Articles | Volume 57, issue 1
11 Mar 2014
 | 11 Mar 2014

Usefulness of discriminant analysis in the morphofunctional classification of Spanish dog breeds

Ana González, Manuel Luque, Mariano Herrera, Carlos González, Elena Angón, and Evangelina Rodero

Abstract. The aim of this study was to determine whether the classification of local Spanish breeds of dogs, based on morphological traits, matches or differs from the classification based on the dogs' breeding goals. A total of 15 biometric measurements and 10 functional indices were obtained in 1 365 dogs (709 females and 656 males). The dogs we measured belonged to 16 different breeds, 14 of which were officially recognized by the Spanish Royal Canine Society. Similar average values of morphometric traits and indices (P<0.001) were obtained in both sexes: the Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz was the breed with the smallest format and the Pyrenean and Spanish Mastiff, the largest. In the case of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) groups, significant differences (P<0.001) for morphometric traits were found, and in both sexes, the third group was the one with the smallest format and the second group, the largest. The differences obtained were more marked between all groups than within groups, and the morphological characteristics were similar, in accordance with the purpose for which the breeds were bred. Therefore, the existence of a morphologic pattern is accepted both in the breeds and the functional groups. Two as yet officially unrecognized breeds, the Orito and Paternino Hound, must be included in the fifth and the first FCI groups, respectively. When the Orito Hound is recognized, it will be added to the fifth FCI group and the word »hound« will be deleted from the name Paternino breed.