Evolve, advance or cease to exist!

imageLet’s think back to 20 years ago, or 15 years ago, even 10 years ago, better yet 5 years ago and let’s review how the things created in those years have advance and gotten better since then. Think about VCRs 20 years ago and think about the Blue Ray player now, think about the 32” tube TV built into a TV stand sitting in one corner of the house because it was too heavy to move and think now about that 60” you just bought from Wal-Mart that you carried inside by yourself. Think about phones from 10 years ago, so used to seeing smart phones now we forget about the flip-phone craze when we all were happy to be able to text for free, only calls after 9 pm or on weekend though because it was free right, and now unlimited everything plans for $50 a month. Think about social media 5-10 years ago with MySpace being the place to be and then Facebook comes along and changes the whole game, add in YouTube and Twitter and now the entire world is connected mentally and visually to each other for better or worse. If we stop and think a bout all the things in our daily lives that have evolved and advanced and been made to fit the intended vision better with each new model in the last 5-10-15-20 years there is no shortage of examples to use and at least one that relates to everybody.
This process of evolution and advancement has been going on in every aspect of our lives from the beginning of time, on some scale or another. Why,then, is it difficult for people to see this very same process happens with dog breeds and breed standards also? The American Bully origins begin about 20 years ago and the foundation of the breed about 15 years ago. In the process of evolution and advancement toward the intended vision there have been better examples of the breed with each step taken and plateau reached. Why is it difficult for people in general to understand that the examples they first fell in love with 10 years ago were not the finished product of the breed or even near ideal examples of what the intended vision had called for? The written standard has always called for a heavy bodied dog, what was considered heavy bodied 15 years ago seems to have stuck in the minds of some people and that is still what they see as heavy bodied today. As we all know and have seen in so many other areas of life, everything is relative so what was heavy bodied back then may or may not be considered heavy bodied now. What does not change and has not changed is the proportions the standard is calling for, large broad head, compact frame, square appearance, 50/50 body/leg ratio and a wide set front end with round ribs and width in the rear to match. The first line of the standard describes the dog as “giving the impression of great strength for its size”, that line alone will tell you a lot about the type of dog the standard is calling for. It goes on to describe the character as a companion breed, a breed built to be the best friend to the entire family. No where in the written standard does it say anything about working or providing any sort of function other than being a family companion that gives the appearance of great strength. The standard uses the words “blocky”, “heavy”, “wide”, “broad”, “large”, “bulky”, “heavily muscled” and “strong” over and over again in order to emphasize just how important these words are to helping each one of us describe and build this dog in our mind. Each and every step of the way there have been dogs produced that get closer and closer to what the standard would consider ideal, and every step of the way we have a large portion of the community fighting these advancements due to being stuck in one previous era or another. Let’s think about the American Bullys from 10 years ago and the American Bullys now, 10 years ago the overall look was a wedge headed longer leaner less compact dog that was trying to advance toward a more blocky more compact more massive heavy framed dog. So why now when we have so many dogs on the scene that carry a blocky head with a square muzzle and deep stop as the standard calls for do we compare these dogs to Bulldogs? Round heads, round eyes, curved under jaws, loose wrinkled skin and long coats are all faults in our standard because they are tell tale bulldog traits and we don’t want the breed going toward a more bulldoggy look. Why is it hard for people to see that displaying snipey muzzles, long thin necks, long legs, racey outlines and slab style rib cages are all faults in the same standard, because they are all tell tale terrier traits and we don’t want this breed going more toward a terrier look either. It is just as far off the ideal to be too far one way as it is to be too far the other way. The breed standard has very clearly outlined the type of dog this breed should be looking for and it has done so for the last 10+ years. Being revised to tighten up the look and eliminate acceptable faults twice since its inception,just as 90% of breed standards have in the same time frame, the picture of the canine the American Bully Breed Standard calls for has never been more clear.

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