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Is a big head a big deal?

Discussion in 'Breeder Discussion' started by Alan, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. Zoe

    Zoe GRCH Dog

    Only thing I do like about a big head, is they can wear their collars looser and they don't slip them! lol
  2. Drgnrdr

    Drgnrdr Big Dog

    Is a big head a big deal?
    I would think any mammal would say, "only to the birthing mother".;)
  3. monkeys23

    monkeys23 GRCH Dog

    I agree.

    Its a ridiculous fad and I think an overly large head makes the poor dog look goofy. Can't you just see the other dogs teasing it? haha...

    Reminds me of my other animal fad pet peeve: Quarter Horses. I hate, hate, hate how they are increasingly being bred for big ugly butts and ridiculous amounts of muscle and yet at the same time also for itty bitty delicate heads. I will admit being biased toward the leaner hot blooded horse breeds, but c'mon people aren't they supposed to be fast (their name comes from being used for the quarter mile races) and not grossly muscle bound with a midget head?
    I think the same argument can be made about the big headed "pit bull" fad...
  4. screamin'eagle

    screamin'eagle Good Dog


    First of all you proved a good point, but not the one you intended I'm sure. I'll get to that in a moment.

    Do you know the difference between an American Pitbull Terrier and an American Staffordshire Terrier? Apparently, from the pictures you've posted in several threads you do not. Also using the fact that you wrote that you "googled" APBT and the above picture also speaks to this fact. Most people can not tell a bulldog from an alley cat, and google is not necessarily a reliable source of information lol. In fact many of the same dogs will show up whether you type in American Staffordshire Terrier or American Pitbull Terrier. If you dont believe me try it. Let me know when you find the dog with porcupine quills in his face. He is apparently a Bull Terrier, but his pics will show up under Amstaff and APBT. I suppose the google search engine is not the best as breed recognition.

    As a quick the lesson...the Amstaff breed was established in the 1930s and renamed from pitbull to disassociated the dogs from the major work that American Pitbull Terriers did (fight!) That being said some (like myself) believe that with over 60 years of selective breeding for show and working purposes respectively they have become different breeds. Others believe that the American Pitbull Terrier is the working version of the breed while the Amstaff is the show version. Either way in general (but not exclusively) the Amstaff was not bred for working purposes so to speak about that breed in terms of working function is moot, but like I said the first dog that you posted was obviously bred for show. There are some that go to the extreme of saying that all APBTs that are now bred exclusively for show, and not working abilities are by definition Amstaffs. As far as registries go...you can dual registry an Amstaff under either breed name. You may know this, but a dog can be an AKC Amstaff, but a UKC ABPT. I wonder how that fact may effect the dogs in the pics that you posted? Would make for good research.

    Historically speaking the "smooshed jaw" which you already said you weren't referring to was introduced by the people who ruined the English Bulldog (show breeders). The original bulldog could not have been effective at his work if his head, jaws, face, etc were built like the English Bulldog was today. I think that you agree there.

    Now for the links that you posted. I just wanted to draw your attention to the AADR standard... http://www.online-aadr.com/Standard.html . Not one of the dogs that they use as an example looks like the dog that is a UKC show champ in the first link. In general, but not exclusively AADR and ABDA dogs are staying true to the traditional look of the APBT, that is,the look of dogs that tat2stuff and myself posted. The "traditional" look of the dogs that you refer to is the traditional Amstaff, and over the years because dogs are dual registered between AKC and UKC the dogs there are generally, but not exclusively built "thicker" to say the least. I agree the middle link, and the third link are good example of an APBT. Neither one of those dogs look remotely like the one in your first post, or the first link in the post I am now responding to.

    The point that you proved unintentionally is illustrated in the links that you posted. Look at the UKC show champ (with no tuck and looking like mastiff blood is influencing his breeding) in your first link, and compare him to the weight pull titled dog in the third link. That is the difference between breeding for show and performance!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2007
  5. Alyssa

    Alyssa Puppy

    See I think that is going to differ according to the person.

    I don't personally feel that the AADR's standard sets the real standard for the APBT breed, myself.

    I found their pictures unclear and their descriptions hazy at best. As a result of finding their information and website lacking (again - just my opinion) I tend to not really bother with their standards at all nor do I really judge by their standards in the least for APBT's - anymore than I will judge by the new American Bully breed's conformation standards that are beginning to establish themselves. The American Bullys will likely have confirmations that say that giant head on bow legged barrel chested hippo bodies look that they all like for whatever reason is the right way for that breed to look.

    In my opinion, I found MUCH more valuable and clear and concise information on APBT standards at http://www.apbtconformation.com/

    THAT site for me is practically a lifesaver for understanding and learning about conformation in the APBT breed. Especially since it points out and shows BAD examples and explains *why* it's a bad trait or considered a flaw, right alongside the good examples.

    I just can't agree that the AADR is the defining organization of the breed or by any stretch, the final authority.

  6. screamin'eagle

    screamin'eagle Good Dog

    Me either, and that wasn't my goal in linking to that standard, but more to demonstrate a show vs working perspective. In context, the UKC was the only registry mentioned in the post that I was referring to so I was offering the AADR standard to demonstrate the contrast, and a theory for the reason why, that is, Show vs Working (again generally, but not exclusively). Actually, in context, it was said that basically the ABDA and AADR as generally favor working specimens and the UKC/AKC as generally (but not exclusively) show specimens...to link to the ABDAs standard http://www.adbadog.com/p_pdetails.asp?fpid=32&pg=32 and to quote section 1 paragraph A...one has to know the history behind a breed's existence in order to understand its standard is what I was gunning for in my previous post.

    Conformation standards were originally determined to best observe dogs that could physically be most successful at a given job. For example, a haevy back end would not function well because of one reason, and too big a head and a short muzzle is undesireable for another. That's why one must know the reason behind a breeds existence. The UKC conformation champ that was shown on the link provided in the post that I was replying to demonstrates how this standard has changed over time. Consider Colby's Primo http://www.pitbull-chat.com/showthread.php?t=165&highlight=primo
    whom the standard for the Amstaff was originally based upon vs. the conformation champ shown in the pic...big difference. In fact he was reg'd with the ABDA, UKC as an APBT and with the UKC as an Amstaff in the 1930's...my how perceptions change!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2007
  7. Miakoda

    Miakoda GRCH Dog

    This was one of my boys....and a great one he was.....


    And of course my 42# Mia

    Last edited: Dec 15, 2007
  8. Alyssa

    Alyssa Puppy

    Ohhh! Thanks for explaining! I totally misread what you were saying then, ack!!

    Gotchas!! Thanks for clarifying!!

    ::: nods :: I see what you were saying now.
  9. Patch O' Pits

    Patch O' Pits Good Dog

    Having a huge head which often also comes with a muzzle that is too short is not balance and thus IMO can affect performance. A dog that can't breathe correctly or is top heavy will not work the same as a correct dog of equal drive and ability. The standards were created for good reason

    Too many think bigger is better which is not true when speaking of head size or the overall dog's size when speaking of an APBT

    On the other side and a little OT, in general, I have seen people at times posting dogs from both now and the past as having good conformation with good weight height proportioned and proper head proportion but they seem to over look crappy straight rears, splayed feet and other visible structural things gong on... so , what I am getting at is I think the total dog is what need to be looked at and not bits and pieces.

    You shouldn't just look at the head or any other one part alone. Balance and proportions overall and the different aspects of each part of the dog is what needs to be taken into consideration.

    Add to that the dogs temperament , drive and overall health

    I can think of a few dogs in particular that I know people will ooo and ah over their structure, but have not so perfect temperaments. That to me boots them right out of being good dogs no matter what structure they have.
    So pictures don't always tell the whole story either.

    There is no "perfect" dog, but some are way closer to being correct as per the standard than others
  10. Miakoda

    Miakoda GRCH Dog

    I agree. However, I'll take a proven working dog with a few faults over a more 'perfect' conformation dog any day. It's about more than just looking good.

    For example, Rex (above) had an ugly underbite & his lower canines weren't even symmetrical. But I would take him over any conformation champ any day and I would have bred him over that other dog as well.

    I will say that I've seen some gamebred dogs with awufl front ends (extremely bowed) and that I will not accept as IMO it will truly hinder performance.
  11. Patch O' Pits

    Patch O' Pits Good Dog

    Every dog has some sort of faults. Many which can be somewhat fixed in a line or totally fixed in a particular pup by breeding to the right dogs

    To me an APBT lacking drive is a No-NO for the breed right along side a crappy temperament

    However some pretty show dogs can't work LOL . I've seen plenty that can and do.

    I like a good balanced dog... balanced in every way not just structurally speaking
  12. Shes Got Heart

    Shes Got Heart Little Dog

    Those dogs are beautiful. Especially the 2 reds, thats the type of head shape that I'm referring too... without being overly massive or long in snout.
  13. CoolHandJean

    CoolHandJean Krypto Super Dog

    Just a fad like someone said. Notch has a big head, and Tess has a "small" head. For some reason, people get more afraid of Notch because of his big head, or more interested in him because of it. It's odd.
  14. demo-dog

    demo-dog Little Dog

    I agree with the overall sentiment here regarding the performance shortcomings of bigger heads – for PIt Bulls (Just trying to keep it PG here.)

    I must say, for me, visually I don't hate a large head. I'm not talking Bullies, or those horrendous Turd with legs/Gargoyle/MidgetMonster dogs some byb pass for pits. I just find the tad larger than confirmation head to be handsome and to give a pleasant visual balance to me. I have to be honest, though I've never rescued on looks, always based on the situation at hand.
  15. Zoe

    Zoe GRCH Dog

    I get the same deal with Tank and Arez. People always think Arez is some sort of lab mix and people are generally scared of Tank because of his huge mug.
  16. Pit Bulldog

    Pit Bulldog Little Dog

    I like them with heads so big that the dog cant even lift the head off the ground. They just end up dragging the head on the pavement as they walk. Bigger the head, gamer the dog is. I hear the new super ill dogs off GrCh Scrotum just have a head with legs and a tail coming out of it, and no trunk. Now them are truly fastlane dogs!!!!
  17. Palamino

    Palamino Little Dog

    The size of the head is not as important as people make it out to be.(Unless it is one like Pit Bulldog referred to:D)

    Its “conformation” is one of the least influencing factors in function and mostly it is of aesthetic value only. The head of the show Am Staff is an example where the standard has been taken to far in the absence of function.

    Two points that come to mind where it is a disadvantage are:
    *To big a head carries more weight and makes the dog heavier, increasing his chances of having to fight a bigger, heavier dog.
    *To small a head is easily punished by a nose fighter and is also especially easy for an ear fighter to shake.

    What is important is what is in the head and what is attached to the head. The engine and driving force of the bulldog is housed in that brain.
    The teeth are housed in that awesome jaw and these are his weapons in function and must be very strong and should meet in the front with the fangs (canines) slipping tightly together, the upper behind the lower when the mouth is closed.
    That awesome jaw is closed using the “temporal fossa” muscle exerting pressure on the coronoid process. This varies from bulldog to bulldog and the location of this muscle as well as its development will influence his power to bite hard.

    Like the pictures above posted show, the greatest fighters do not have the biggest heads.

    As we journey down the road of time though, we are going to be seeing more and more bulldogs with bigger and bigger heads as to many that is the "fashion" and trademark of the breed now.
  18. Patch O' Pits

    Patch O' Pits Good Dog


    I think in most cases those who brag about a dog's head size are not well informed on what the breed should be like. These are also usual the people who are bragging about their dog being short and wide or HUGE.
  19. DryCreek

    DryCreek Little Dog

    And bam, we have a winner LOL

    Head size is only an issue when it disturbs the normal process of birthing or when it's something specific thats trying to be obtained through a breeding program.

    Breeding specifically for large heads is wrong! :nono:

    I know I've made the comment "look at the cranium on that pup" LOL, but a large head to me is very different than what is advertised for in those crappy breedings where they measure the dogs skull...:rolleyes:
  20. CoolHandJean

    CoolHandJean Krypto Super Dog

    Nope, not true. lol. Notch has a big head, and if we don't have his collar tight enough, he gets himself out of it.

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