Does form follow function?

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Does form follow function?

Post by Hawthorne » Sun May 27, 2012 11:25 pm

All of you biology students out there know what I'm talking about.

I just had a fantastic discussion with my mentor about a number of things: one of which was does the form of the dog (the standard) line up with what the dog is bred to do. So--I have several questions to ponder:

1. Has someone written a breed standard for a wolf? (since we're trying to mirror wolves in some shape or form)

2. Is the form of a wolf the best structure for function (in our case pulling sleds)? If not, what alterations should be made to the physical form?

3. Does our breed standard follow function? That is, is the form of the Tamaskan the best physical form for a sled dog?

4. What should or would the differences be between the standard for the wolf and the standard for the Tamaskan Dog and why?

Ooo, neat stuff! She gave me a book title to look up: The Dog In Action has anyone read it? Have any suggestions for further reading?

Ready, hike!
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Sylvaen » Sun May 27, 2012 11:54 pm

Hawthorne wrote:1. Has someone written a breed standard for a wolf? (since we're trying to mirror wolves in some shape or form)
Nope: because it's a species, not a breed ;)
Also, there are many varieties / sub-species of wolves, which can vary a great deal in appearance; the 'breed standard' for a North American Timber Wolf would be drastically different to the 'breed standard' for an Arabian wolf.
Hawthorne wrote:2. Is the form of a wolf the best structure for function (in our case pulling sleds)? If not, what alterations should be made to the physical form?
"Is the form of a wolf the best structure for function" - YES (adapted and evolved over millions of years to develop into the wild wolf of today)
"in our case pulling sleds" - NOPE
"If not, what alterations should be made to the physical form?" - Malamute body structure is best for pulling heavy loads, while husky body structure is better for pulling lighter loads at greater speed. Wolves (and Tamaskans) have narrower chests and less shoulder muscle-mass, which the best sled-pulling breeds have developed. These 'ideal' sled-pulling breeds also have more compact bodies overall (not so tall and lanky or long-backed).
Hawthorne wrote:3. Does our breed standard follow function? That is, is the form of the Tamaskan the best physical form for a sled dog?
I feel that the breed standard does follow function without sacrificing the 'breed' FOR function. For instance, the Alaskan Husky is ideally suited to its purpose but it isn't exactly a 'breed' per se, just a collection of sled-dogs that are bred to work without regard to appearance.
Hawthorne wrote:4. What should or would the differences be between the standard for the wolf and the standard for the Tamaskan Dog and why?
Ideally the Tamaskan Standard should mirror that of the wolf with regard to appearance but if we factor in function, then we would want to have dogs that still maintain more of a husky-like bodyshape... the downside is the curly tail.
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Hawthorne » Mon May 28, 2012 1:33 am

Sylvaen wrote:
Hawthorne wrote:1. Has someone written a breed standard for a wolf? (since we're trying to mirror wolves in some shape or form)
Nope: because it's a species, not a breed ;)
I know that but there should be a basis for comparison and to create a breed standard for a wolf--whatever subspecies we pick-- it should match, shouldn't it? Or be some basis for comparison? Or maybe there shouldn't be if we want to follow function only.

If Malamute and Husky body types are best, then the Tam body shape is not ideal for pulling sleds. This is what I'm getting at: does form follow function? A veteran dog judge looks at our breed and wonders what they're for. Not a criticism here--just a thought process and observation.

What does the curly tail of a husky do? That is--is there an advantage for sled dogs to have a curly tail? Or is it just a consequence of breeding?

I hope you understand what I'm getting at--of course I know there isn't a "breed standard" for wolves. But if there was what would it be and how would it compare to a Tamaskan and the function of the breed? I had a very long discussion with a veteran dog breeder and her impression of our standard was that it was lacking. She's not being critical--just that she can't even "picture" the dogs by reading the opening statement.

I'm not being ignorant--just trying to have an intellectual discussion about the theory behind our breed standard. I thought it would be fun. And to learn more about measurements in regards to function and I suppose safety. How long can a sled dogs back be before it is a detriment to it's well being? How big can their ears be before they have a tendency to be frostbitten? How big should their paws be to walk on the snow? I'm making all of this up--but you see what I mean. The measurements aren't just for appearance's sake--but for a reason. A long rib cage and a short loin is for jumping straight up in the air. What are our dogs measurements for other than to look like a wolf? I'm curious about making these correlations to the wolf. I thought it would be fun.
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Nino » Mon May 28, 2012 4:02 am

I acturally don't agree to a degree about the Tamaskan not fitting the function of a Sled dog.. A lot of the Tamaskans could with ease be compared to that of racing huskies (light and not too much of a heavy coat - though a bit bigger) or those of the Alaskan Huskies that is bred for short sprint races, so where the Alaskan Malamute is optimal for transporting heavy loads, and that of the Siberian Husky for long distance running, the Tamskan as I see it is quite fitting for sprint "sledding".
Another thing though we have to take into consideration is, that the Tamaskan isn't made JUST for Racing/Sledding, but also as a sporting breed and the long legs and quite often slim body is very fitting for several of the sports, since the body comformation often results in very fast dogs with a great agility.
Besides this? The nose, eyes and ears are in my experience used A LOT more than I'm used to in other breeds - which would make this type of dog very fitting as working dogs too.
The thing I Myself see as the great advantages of breeding towards the most natural look a dog can have, that of the wolf, is that the wolf over thousins of years have evolved to what they are today, every thing on a wolf have an advantage to what it had/was before. The ears are great for listening - the size of them and the hair they have are exactly what they need to be protected, the eyes are great for seeing, the nose is great for smelling, the coat is just what they need for protection, the tail is great for comunicating (ad the rest of the body) the body is great for stamina etc. etc., all in all the Wolf is the ultimate canine of all around perfection, nothing more nothing less.

The tail it self in malamutes and Huskies is as far as I know something that have occured and then been nurtured by human because of the "cuteness factor" - the things I have read online myself is that the mushers that does a lot of sledding/racing prefers that the dogs runn with a straight tail because they runn better (yet another thing that makes sense in the context of the wolf)
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Sylvaen » Mon May 28, 2012 11:29 am

Just to add to the above comments, I believe that the shortening of the spine (by selective breeding) - to result in more compact bodies that are better suited for pulling - is the factor that is responsible for the curly tail. In some extremely short-backed breeds (bulldogs and pugs for instance) the curly tail is very pronounced, which is why those two factors go hand-in-hand: proportionally short back = curly tail. I think, if I remember correctly, that it corresponds with the vertebrae. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any dog breeds with short spines / compact bodies that don't have curly tails... can anyone think of any? Aside from possible 'cuteness' factor, which enhanced this trait, I have a feeling that it could also be handy for sled dogs as they can more easily curl the tail around their body when they sleep in the snow, and the tail of the dog in front keeps out of the way of the dog behind (when pulling a sled in formation) - however, a fluffy curled tail could also block the vision of the dog behind so not sure how useful it would be after all.
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Nino » Mon May 28, 2012 4:02 pm

I would say that some of the terrirers line the JR has pretty short and compact bodies but not a curly tail..

I don't think that the curled tail help much when keeping warm, on the contrady I have seen several ex. Malamutes with tails so curly that they still curl when lying down..
And the problem I see (and believe I read on some racing breeders HP) is that the dog whose tail is curled up while running - does not pull the right way, while the dogs with their tail straight out in the air pulls more and really works in the Harness.. Imho it's a simple body positioning question.. If your "back" isnt straight you won't be able to pull as good as if it is..

Both the malamute and the husky standard says that the length of the body have to be longer than the hight to the withers
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Hawthorne » Mon May 28, 2012 4:18 pm

Now we're getting somewhere. This is the discussion I wanted to have. I don't have much to say at the moment--but maybe after I read that book...

I'm not trying to be an annoyance--I really am curious about the form of our breed. :D
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by HiTenshi16 » Mon May 28, 2012 6:22 pm

I'm also not sure if length of the back has to do with tail curling. I get many comments about how Ulric has a long body and his tail also curls. I always thought that it was because his tail is so long playing in factor why it curls (aside from knowing his sire had a really curly tail).
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Booma » Tue May 29, 2012 12:04 am

Nino wrote:I would say that some of the terrirers line the JR has pretty short and compact bodies but not a curly tail..

I don't think that the curled tail help much when keeping warm, on the contrady I have seen several ex. Malamutes with tails so curly that they still curl when lying down..
And the problem I see (and believe I read on some racing breeders HP) is that the dog whose tail is curled up while running - does not pull the right way, while the dogs with their tail straight out in the air pulls more and really works in the Harness.. Imho it's a simple body positioning question.. If your "back" isnt straight you won't be able to pull as good as if it is..

Both the malamute and the husky standard says that the length of the body have to be longer than the hight to the withers
I've seen jack russels with curled tails.
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Nino » Tue May 29, 2012 12:24 am

Kylievr wrote:I've seen jack russels with curled tails.
And I've seen without - doesn't make my point less value that some of them have curled ones while others don't - maybe quite the opporsite ;)
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Tatzel » Wed May 30, 2012 12:42 am

Ah, this might be a bit off-topic, but I've seen the BBC reportage on intelligence on dogs, and have to remember the breeding program of the sib foxes which were bred for 50 years for tameness (and how their appearance started to change; different fur patterns and colors, floppy ears, shorter/curled up tails etc)

Now I remembered that some of Lynn's dogs (JJ, Bodie, am I getting these names right? Sorry if I don't!) were sorta shy-ish on the Tamaskan meeting/show, and I have to agree that they're her best looking (read as: most wolfy looking) dogs. It's just an idea, but could it be possible that despite breeding for temperament, the closer the look gets to the wild original, the more of a handful the dogs become? I mean it may be just a coincidence, but I find that thought to be interessting.
It would be curious if the genes to the appearance were linked to the genes repsonisble for behaviour.

(then again, I remember reading about Erik Zimen's breeding program where he crossbred poodles with wolves, and the F2 hybrids were ranging from dog-looking to more wolfy looking, and their looks didn't determine their behaviour at all, some of the more wolfy loking hybrids were more dog-like and friendly, and some of the hybrids which looked like regular dogs were more shy and wolf like in behaviour)

Opinions on this sorta theory?
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Tiantai » Wed May 30, 2012 6:12 pm

Tatzel wrote:Ah, this might be a bit off-topic, but I've seen the BBC reportage on intelligence on dogs, and have to remember the breeding program of the sib foxes which were bred for 50 years for tameness (and how their appearance started to change; different fur patterns and colors, floppy ears, shorter/curled up tails etc)

Now I remembered that some of Lynn's dogs (JJ, Bodie, am I getting these names right? Sorry if I don't!) were sorta shy-ish on the Tamaskan meeting/show, and I have to agree that they're her best looking (read as: most wolfy looking) dogs. It's just an idea, but could it be possible that despite breeding for temperament, the closer the look gets to the wild original, the more of a handful the dogs become? I mean it may be just a coincidence, but I find that thought to be interessting.
It would be curious if the genes to the appearance were linked to the genes repsonisble for behaviour.

(then again, I remember reading about Erik Zimen's breeding program where he crossbred poodles with wolves, and the F2 hybrids were ranging from dog-looking to more wolfy looking, and their looks didn't determine their behaviour at all, some of the more wolfy loking hybrids were more dog-like and friendly, and some of the hybrids which looked like regular dogs were more shy and wolf like in behaviour)

Opinions on this sorta theory?
Off topic yes but aside from the Tamaskan breed that tamed gene thing has actually happened with a few captive pure wolves in the Toronto Zoo as well as with some actual high-content wolfdogs. After 5 generations of selective breeding you often get results like pups acting different from their great-grandparents. It's called genetic memory and may explain why the domestic fox kits in their 10th generation were not afraid to just approach a person like their tamed parents but the previous generations were more shy and the trust had to be earned. I've also met a 6th generation captive Eastern wolf in 2007 who was less shy compared to a few mid-content wolfdogs I've known before. The fact that you can breed tameness and turn a wild into a near-domestic animal just opens more questions such as the change in their genetic makeup.
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Hawthorne » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:07 pm

So, I don't have an eye for these things yet. But perhaps someone could describe the breed to me better:

Do Tamaskans have a well laid back shoulder?
A short loin or a long loin?
A short rib or a long rib?

I just am not familiar with how to "see" these things. There's a long list. I'll post when I'm done reading this book. :D
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Nino » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:07 pm

Hawthorne wrote:So, I don't have an eye for these things yet. But perhaps someone could describe the breed to me better:

Do Tamaskans have a well laid back shoulder?
A short loin or a long loin?
A short rib or a long rib?

I just am not familiar with how to "see" these things. There's a long list. I'll post when I'm done reading this book. :D
I would really like to get a piece of paper which explained very specific what these terms mean.. since I am not born into english, I have no Idea where precisely the loin starts and stops..

and the same with the laid back shoulder, what do I compare to, same with the rips? :oops: :oops:
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Hawthorne » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:14 pm

Oh, I know. That's what I mean. What is this new language? I'm not familiar with "standard" or "judging" jargon. All the same, I'm curious and want to know: "What does it all mean?" LOL
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Nino » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:17 pm

would be pretty great with a piece of paper (or several) or pdf, that has angles (like shoulder or how pointy ears are or the like), measures (compared to the rest of the body) with the explanation of terms/names and what is wished for, with a "too big", "too little" and "perfect" for each character wished for..
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Hawthorne » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:07 pm

Yes, my thoughts too. I'll do what I can with the book that I have and then come back here to share.
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Lyss » Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:39 pm

Hi all :D

1. Has someone written a breed standard for a wolf? (since we're trying to mirror wolves in some shape or form)

I could post or send you the "American Wolfdog" breed standard. It's not a standard for wolves, per se, but I think the publishers - the (now defunct) "United States Wolfdog Association" - wanted to produce a wolfdog breed with a specific type based on North American wolf subspecies.

2. Is the form of a wolf the best structure for function (in our case pulling sleds)? If not, what alterations should be made to the physical form?

The wolf has the perfect structure for its evolutionary function: endurance hunting; not pulling sleds.

In an article asking if wolves would make good sled dogs (by author and retired Iditarod musher, Joe Runyan), one musher (Tim White) was quoted as saying that the wolf's head is too big to be advantageous to a fast traveling sled dog, its natural pacing gait and long legs - while economical for traveling long distances and breaking through deep snow - are not good for a working animal etc. It was mentioned that Tim White based his observations on his own two wolf pups that he raised as working sled dogs in the mid-1970s.

If the wolf turned into the ultimate sled dog, the physical alterations would depend on its function: racing (sprint, MD, LD), competitive freighting, or subsistence living. I imagine a great sledding "wolf" would be smaller, broader, and more compact than its wild cousins. As a racer, it would have longer bones and a slender, wiry structure. As a competitive freighter, it would be beefier, with thicker bones and a broad, bullish structure. And as a sled dog used for subsistence living, it would be rangy and tough, and structurally fall somewhere between a freighting dog and a racing dog.

3. Does our breed standard follow function? That is, is the form of the Tamaskan the best physical form for a sled dog?

As an all purpose athlete and companion, yes, I think the Tamaskan breed standard follows function. However, I don't think the Tamaskan embodies the ideal physical structure of a sled dog. These dogs appear, to me, to be very athletic in a general sense, and capable of performing a variety of physical tasks with ease without necessarily excelling at them (which is not a bad thing, and I'm not trying to cause offense - I just mean there are better hunters, lure coursers, protection dogs, sled dogs, herders etc. that are purposefully designed for that kind of work, whereas the Tamaskan and other breeds-in-development, on the whole, are not).

4. What should or would the differences be between the standard for the wolf and the standard for the Tamaskan Dog and why?

Differences that "should" exist depend on the ultimate goal of the Tam committee / community / breeders. (1) What is the purpose or function of the breed? (2) To what lengths is the Tamaskan community willing to go in order to realize this goal? and (3) Assuming the breed's primary purpose is to look like a wolf, will there be any "fail safe" physical features included in the breed standard to differentiate the Tamaskan from the wolf?

Ooo, neat stuff! She gave me a book title to look up: The Dog In Action has anyone read it? Have any suggestions for further reading?

I haven't read that particular book, but you might be interested in Dogsteps and The New Dogsteps by Rachel Elliott, and the DVD "From Tongue to Tail: The Integrated Movement of the Dog". :)

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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Hawthorne » Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:22 pm

Thanks for your reply, Lyss. (Wyoming, eh? Jealous! Almost moved out there a couple of years ago.)

These are my questions posed to people to try and bring to their attention that without a function--wether it be general or specific--the breed has no purpose. And without purpose it fits into the category of labradoodles. Please don't take offense to this as I am not trying to cause problems. What I think is, and this is entirely my opinion, that the breed standard is entirely lacking. My mentor was surprised that such a loose description could even be called a standard (again, I'm not posting this to offend--just to bring this to everyone's attention!). And we had a very difficult time attracting a "real" judge to jude the 2012 US show. Why? Because the standard does not describe what they should see.

So, just a heads up that I will be reading these books, taking notes, comparing to our breed and reporting back here. I've taken it upon myself to try and write a better breed standard. This will by no means mean that I intend to exclude dogs with a "more restrictive" standard. That's not what it's for. It's for creating the ideal picture in our mind based on looks and function, and as "the next step" for what to strive for. Those sexy long legs that Freyja has are "for" something. And my curiosity is peaked as far as what the rest of the Tamaskan "form" would be for...
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by AZDehlin » Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:28 pm

Hawthorne wrote:Thanks for your reply, Lyss. (Wyoming, eh? Jealous! Almost moved out there a couple of years ago.)

These are my questions posed to people to try and bring to their attention that without a function--wether it be general or specific--the breed has no purpose. And without purpose it fits into the category of labradoodles. Please don't take offense to this as I am not trying to cause problems. What I think is, and this is entirely my opinion, that the breed standard is entirely lacking. My mentor was surprised that such a loose description could even be called a standard (again, I'm not posting this to offend--just to bring this to everyone's attention!). And we had a very difficult time attracting a "real" judge to jude the 2012 US show. Why? Because the standard does not describe what they should see.

So, just a heads up that I will be reading these books, taking notes, comparing to our breed and reporting back here. I've taken it upon myself to try and write a better breed standard. This will by no means mean that I intend to exclude dogs with a "more restrictive" standard. That's not what it's for. It's for creating the ideal picture in our mind based on looks and function, and as "the next step" for what to strive for. Those sexy long legs that Freyja has are "for" something. And my curiosity is peaked as far as what the rest of the Tamaskan "form" would be for...

Maybe we can take measurements of all adult dogs at show... and start getting and average of what all the measurements are on our dogs?

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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Lyss » Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:23 pm

Hawthorne wrote:Thanks for your reply, Lyss. (Wyoming, eh? Jealous! Almost moved out there a couple of years ago.)

These are my questions posed to people to try and bring to their attention that without a function--wether it be general or specific--the breed has no purpose. And without purpose it fits into the category of labradoodles. Please don't take offense to this as I am not trying to cause problems. What I think is, and this is entirely my opinion, that the breed standard is entirely lacking. My mentor was surprised that such a loose description could even be called a standard (again, I'm not posting this to offend--just to bring this to everyone's attention!). And we had a very difficult time attracting a "real" judge to jude the 2012 US show. Why? Because the standard does not describe what they should see.

So, just a heads up that I will be reading these books, taking notes, comparing to our breed and reporting back here. I've taken it upon myself to try and write a better breed standard. This will by no means mean that I intend to exclude dogs with a "more restrictive" standard. That's not what it's for. It's for creating the ideal picture in our mind based on looks and function, and as "the next step" for what to strive for. Those sexy long legs that Freyja has are "for" something. And my curiosity is peaked as far as what the rest of the Tamaskan "form" would be for...
(heh, thanks :D I love everything about this place, except the wind)

No offense taken and I meant none myself! I definitely see your point about function, purpose, and the breed standard, and I'm curious about those too. I'd love to see the Tamaskan fulfill a functional role in the dog world instead of, like you said, simply falling into the category of labradoodles.

Do you see the Tam as a sled pulling breed, though? I was just pointing out above that, if the Tam is supposed to share the same physical structure as a wolf, it would probably do poorly as a sled dog compared to racing-line Sibes and freighting Mals.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder what a breed specific working aptitude test might look like for the Tamaskan... Any thoughts?

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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Hawthorne » Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:22 am

No clue! But if there are books I will find them :D

But yes, that was my thought process: how could the form of a Tam be the best form for a sled dog? If not, then what's the form of a wolf, it's purpose (duh), and what are the differences between wolves and Tams and why?

I tend to make things more complicated then they need to be... :D
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Lyss » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:00 pm

I do the same thing! I tend to get overeager, which leads to over-thinking, which leads to overcomplicating things :lol:

Just have to say, though: I'm really excited to see what you come up with and how it might affect the breed standard! Form and function really fascinate me. I love to know how things work and why.

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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Hawthorne » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:04 pm

Thanks. I don't know how it will be received but I'd just like to see a more specific standard in general.

Oh, I did purchase a copy of Dogsteps, too. I am just reading the other book first.
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Nino » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:07 pm

I found this one and thought it might help some people..
labelanswers.gif
Back - the part of the body between the loin and the withers.
Brisket - the chest of the dog.
Carpals - the wrist, the bones of the pastern joint.
Dewclaw - the tiny, useless, fifth claw - located on the inner part of the leg above the other toes.
Ear - the fleshy, often triangular appendages on the head associated with hearing.
Flews - the hanging part of the dog's upper lips.
Forearms - The parts of the forelegs between the elbow and the pastern.
Forefoot - the front feet.
Hindfoot - the back feet.
Hips - the joints at the uppermost part of the hindlegs.
Hock - the bones that form the ankle/heel of the dog.
Loin - the parts of the body located on both sides of the backbone between the ribs and the hips.
Muzzle - the front parts of the jaws.
Nose - the tip of the muzzle.
Pastern - the part of the leg below the knee of the front leg or below the hock of the hind leg.
Ruff - the long, thick hair that grows around the neck.
Shoulder - the joint at the uppermost part of the forelegs.
Stifle - the dog's knee, located on the hind leg above the ankle.
Stop - the indented part of the skull between the eyes.
Tail - the hind-most part of the backbone, set on the rump.
Thigh - the upper part of the hind leg.
Withers - the top of the shoulders, just behind the neck.


http://www.nrta.com/newsletter/dec2003/anatomy.html
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Hawthorne » Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:04 pm

Interesting website on CSV breed standard: http://tobrok.cwahi.net/vyklad-standardu-engl.htm

And specifically, the acceptable masking: http://tobrok.cwahi.net/vyklad-standardu-srst-engl.htm

I still think we need to look at this and decide how we are different from the CSV.
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Tiantai » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:19 am

Hawthorne wrote:Interesting website on CSV breed standard: http://tobrok.cwahi.net/vyklad-standardu-engl.htm

And specifically, the acceptable masking: http://tobrok.cwahi.net/vyklad-standardu-srst-engl.htm

I still think we need to look at this and decide how we are different from the CSV.
Appearance wise, I don't really see MUCH differences to be honest other than SOME Czech looking more wolfish than most of the Tamaskans.
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Nino » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:36 am

I do see a difference, besides the build... Will try to attend to this thread when I get on my pc though
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Hawthorne » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:34 am

Legs!
Oh my, Do our dogs have long legs.
But what are they *for*? Why would a sled dog have such long legs?

For breaking trails!

I'm so excited that I found the answer. Yay!
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Nino » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:51 am

Hawthorne wrote:Legs!
Oh my, Do our dogs have long legs.
But what are they *for*? Why would a sled dog have such long legs?

For breaking trails!

I'm so excited that I found the answer. Yay!
Yes!
Yet not all sled-dogs have long legs!
And not all arctic/snow dogs have long legs!

Try looking at the Lapponian Herder or Lapinporokoira (it is the same breed the second being the original name meaning Lapland Reindeer Dog) this dog have the body that looks a bit like Tamaskans, yet the legs are much shorter! and this is a dog that have to be able to move fast and agile in snow when herding the reindeer!
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Hawthorne » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:24 pm

Nino wrote:
Yes!
Yet not all sled-dogs have long legs!
And not all arctic/snow dogs have long legs!

Try looking at the Lapponian Herder or Lapinporokoira (it is the same breed the second being the original name meaning Lapland Reindeer Dog) this dog have the body that looks a bit like Tamaskans, yet the legs are much shorter! and this is a dog that have to be able to move fast and agile in snow when herding the reindeer!
Right--which is why I was puzzled as to why a sled dog would have long legs--pulling activities are better suited to dogs who are a bit shorter. But if your sled dog has long legs they have an advantage in breaking new trails in the snow. So neat! What I'm getting at is that the long legs are not "wrong" for the breed if the breed is to be a recreational type sled dog / all around working dog. For me, at least, that was a relief to read that our dogs weren't put together wrong. :D
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Nino » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:03 pm

Hawthorne wrote:
Nino wrote:
Yes!
Yet not all sled-dogs have long legs!
And not all arctic/snow dogs have long legs!

Try looking at the Lapponian Herder or Lapinporokoira (it is the same breed the second being the original name meaning Lapland Reindeer Dog) this dog have the body that looks a bit like Tamaskans, yet the legs are much shorter! and this is a dog that have to be able to move fast and agile in snow when herding the reindeer!
Right--which is why I was puzzled as to why a sled dog would have long legs--pulling activities are better suited to dogs who are a bit shorter. But if your sled dog has long legs they have an advantage in breaking new trails in the snow. So neat! What I'm getting at is that the long legs are not "wrong" for the breed if the breed is to be a recreational type sled dog / all around working dog. For me, at least, that was a relief to read that our dogs weren't put together wrong. :D
I definitely don't think that the Tamaskan is build wrong for sledding, but I myself when looking at the different types and breeds of actual sleddogs say that the Tamaskan fits more in the category of the Alaskan Husky which is build for sprint and speed as it most often is lighter build dogs with longer legs whereas breeds such as the Malamute and the Sibe all seems to compared to their body size have a bit shorter legs and more compact bodies..
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Re: Does form follow function?

Post by Hawthorne » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:43 pm

The Hedlund Husky is described as "rangy" -- tall and lean like Tams. They were bred for checking traplines -- so not racing or sprinting. But for breaking new trails in the snow. They sound similar to Tams.

But anyway--that's a little off topic. I'm learning as I go here with the standard and really getting to understand how our Tams are put together and why they're put together the way they are. Not everyone may know this but the way the dog is put together should match with the dog's purpose. For example, if we want a dog to be able to track, they had better have a long enough neck so that the nose can touch the ground--least the dog has to crouch to sniff the ground and it makes a very inefficient tracking dog. Granted, that's an obvious answer.
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bark as if no one can hear you
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