Structure - a complex system considered from the point of view of the whole rather than of any single part.
Difference - a distinguishing characteristic; distinctive quality, feature, etc.
In the world of breeding dogs, there is much talk of structure. Structure is the individual pieces that make up our dogs. For many breeds, somewhere along the line of producing them; someone decided how they should look. Each breed has their individual look. Some breeds have been altered so far from where they once came from that they have been literally handicapped as far as movement is concerned. Oh yes, there has been much tweaking of structure done to our dogs; and not all of it is good. In fact much of it is downright horrible.
I like to look at the wolf as what our dogs should look like. Different sizes of wolves, but still having the structure of a wolf. The wolf is perfection in structure. Although poodles do not resemble wolves, they are very close proportionately in structure. Watching Elsa run around after her ball, turn on a dime and leap effortlessly made me stop and think of the difference in structure between her and Tilley. Tilley was smaller, more compact and even more agile. Tilley was born to fly; Elsa was born to run. The slight differences is a body is what being an individual is all about.
I look at myself and my four brothers and sisters; we are all very different. In fact I have a 6 foot twin brother, I am 5' 1". I'm the shortest out of the whole bunch and stockiest, we are all very different. Take a look at human athletes, all different. Some people were meant to run; not me, I lift and love it. Other folks have a body that was made for rowing or dancing. Do we attempt to create cookie cutter babies like we do with our dogs?
When I look at what has happened to many of the breeds out there it makes you wonder. So much focus goes into structure yet the big picture seems to be illusive. Taking away a dogs ability to breath correctly so that they can have a perfectly flat face; shortening their legs in order to give them that big dog on short leg look, crazy. Straightening out the angles on their legs so that they have a stiff gate when they move. Honestly, it's really bizarre. I love all dogs, no matter what size, shape or color. A dog to me is a dog.
Perhaps we should give them back their structure, let them be free to run and breath properly? We should look at the big picture instead of picking apart the tiny aspects of a great dog? Let individuals be just that, individual. Within a litter there will always be one that shines athletically, another who might be the epitome of Lassie; while yet one more could be born a powerhouse weight pulling dog. Let's celebrate the little things, the differences in all of our dogs.
When a litter is born, no matter what breed or mix of breeds; each is an individual, standing alone as one. Having structural differences is okay, in fact it is great. The difference between being different and having proper structure taken away are vastly distinct spectrums. On one hand we expect perfection in our dogs; yet there are others who breed imperfection in every dog. Imperfection as far as resembling the working wolf structure; not the small differences that make an individual. It is a strange thing that we humans do, isn't it.
Before we humans got involved in the whole "breeding" of dogs; the image of a future canine was perfection. But as we tend to do we took it and morphed it into what we desired; a plethora of options structurally. Creating dogs who no longer have the structural attributes of a wolf is bizarre. Yet we take dogs who have sound wolf like structure and pick them to pieces as far as our image of perfection. We are a strange bunch.