Predictability in size, color and overall type is a hallmark of purebred dogs, and while everyone understands color and size, type is a bit harder to grasp for a novice. Simply put (very simply), it refers to the qualities that make a Skye Terrier not a German Shepherd Dog. As an aside, “type” can also refer to the qualities that distinguish German Shepherd Dogs from each other when they’ve been bred by different breeders. The bottom line is that when you see the image of a dog, “type” are the qualities that make you know instantly that you’re looking at a German Shepherd Dog.
Play along with us for a moment. Can you name the breed below?
Of course not. This was a random picture of triangles we found on the Internet. Now try again with the picture below:
You identified the breed as a German Shepherd Dog even though the dog is made up of triangles just like the picture above it. Why were you able to see a dog breed in picture above, but not in the picture above it? Obviously, it’s because a very talented artist, Amy Nguyen, arranged the triangles in a way that made the dog recognizable as GSD, but she wouldn’t have been able to do it had “type” not been stamped into the German Shepherd Dog breed – and she has done it consistently with other dog breeds that you can see here (and for the same reasons).
Recognizing type between dogs of the same breed but from different kennels takes practice, but we think you can learn to do it by looking at a lot of dogs of the same breed. An artist’s talent isn’t found entirely in the hand that applies paint to a canvas, it’s found in their eye. You can develop your own eye, too, but not if you only ever look at your own breed at, say, a dog show. Looking at your own breed is important, of course, but to develop an objective eye, you need to study other breeds. You’ll surprise yourself when after a while, you’re able to say that “Dog X” is more cobby, while “Dog Y” has a longer neck. Knowing why will take a bit longer.
If you want to learn more about type but don’t show dogs, go to a dog show, anyway, it’s a living and breathing classroom. If you don’t know how to find a local dog show, contact us, we’ll get you started. Meanwhile, visit Amy Ngyyen’s site. She offers offer services from social media design to illustrations, and more, and she might be who you’ve been looking for all this time.