Q. What is meant by “breed type” and how important is it in a show dog?
A. Breed type defines the essence of a breed, the properties that make a dog that breed and that breed alone, and so it is all-important.
Head, movement, silhouette, coat, and color are among the factors that contribute to breed type. Think of a Bulldog and what makes that breed unique: its massive head, low-slung body, the wrinkles, the characteristic rolling gait. Now picture an Afghan Hound, with its long, refined head; exotic Eastern expression; luxurious silken coat; distinctive ring tail; pivoting hip bones and effortless, floating gait that enable this swift sighthound to chase down leopards and gazelles. Lose the tail, lose the coat, lose the exotic Eastern look, and pretty soon, you lose the breed.
In evaluating any breed at a dog show, knowledgeable judges make their first cut on type; then they find the soundest dogs from among that cut to represent the breed.
There are a lot of red dogs, but not all are Irish Setters, nor are all spotted dogs Dalmatians. If a dog does not instantly shout out its breed to you, then that dog is lacking in type.