SIZES IN THE AUSTRALIAN COBBERDOG
When I studied for my judge's licence in the conformation show ring, each of the individual breeds had an ideal weight we had to learn for bitches and an ideal weight for dogs. This I understood, because it gave the students a (very) rough idea of what size each breed was supposed to be. After graduating, and being faced with real live dogs to judge at the shows, I wondered why so many dogs (males) we'd learned were always heavier than bitches were in fact often much lighter beneath my hands on examination even though they were usually taller. Then it hit me that weight isn't a true indicator of size (height). There are some very good reasons why.
We all know that muscle and bone weigh heavier than fat, but the BMI comes into play too, which is the reason that a small fat human or animal can weigh more than a tall lean one who is not fit. So at the end of the day, a dog's weight is no indicator to me of what size in height it is, or is likely to be at maturity if it is still a puppy.
The Australian Cobberdog (ACD) as a breed is still in its infancy when compared with other breeds which have been in existence for hundreds and even thousands of years. When a breed as ancient as the Poodle still has unpredictable variations in height it is unlikely that the ACD will be reliably , precisely sized any time soon in any of its size categories..
This early ancestor was a big dog the size of a small pony. His size was average for the developing breed at that time.
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY SIZES IN THE ACD?
DIPLOMAT from early root stock in the 1980's was typical of the size at that time. He was a big dog standing at 28 inches or 71.12 cm.
There was a need for a smaller dog with the same character and coat traits. But this could not be accomplished overnight. There were originally only two sizes intended; the Standard (big but not as big as Diplomat) and a smaller version to be called Miniature only because it was smaller, not tiny. But on the way down, (where we are today in 2022) the height of many ACDs lies somewhere in the middle. For want of a better descriptive term, they're known as 'Medium'. The dogs closer in size to Standard have been dubbed 'large mediums' and those closer to the Miniature size are called 'small mediums'.
WHAT IS TOO LARGE OR TOO SMALL AND WHY?
TOO LARGE. Orthopedic health problems and shorter lifespan. Hip Dysplasia, Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy, Osteochondritis, and Panosteitis. All of these conditions result in lameness and pain.
TOO SMALL Prone to fractures, Hypoglycemia due to small stomach, Heart problems, Eye problems, slipping patellas, incontinency issues, accident prone, early gum disease.
HISTORY SHOWS that there will always be some breeders who will want to cash in on a trend set by public demand, (more puppy sales) but before selectively breeding for tinier or more huge size, they should think about the overall consequences to the breed they profess to love. Once the line is crossed, where does it stop? This is why it is so important that Breed Standards be put together by unbiased knowledgeable people in the field, and that they do not leave room for mis-interpretation nor exaggeration.
SIZE and TEMPERAMENT
There should be no difference in temperament across the range of sizes. If a breeder tells you there is, and that Miniatures are too excitable to make good therapy dogs, or that Standards are too big and rough, then you might want to look for a different breeder.