The posture of Pouters: Pomeranian Pouter, Dutch, English and Ghent
The great national exhibitions are a good place to compare the
different pouters breeds. Pouters differ in size and weight, the
length/height proportions, in behavior and not least in the posture
that make a significant difference in some otherwise very similar
breeds. In the standards, these characteristics of a breed are
postulated. Even breeds of the same size get by a different posture
a very different and characteristic outlook, provided that the
individuals shown comply with the standard requirements. And that
does not always hold, unfortunately also not at the great shows.
Those interested in the anatomical basics of domestic pigeons in
general and also in pouters will have to take a look at the book by
Dieter M. Fliedner (2012), 'The Artist's Guide to Pigeon Anatomy'
(both in English and German language) with impressive photographic
documentation of the skeletons of individuals of different breeds. A
documentation of measurements published in literature in the past is
given in the author's book 'Taubenfärbungen' in the introductory
chapter (2015, pp. 14-26).
Dutch, Pomeranian and English pouter have many similarities, which
point to the shared history. That applies to
the size of the frame,
proximity of the regional origin, between which there were
intensive contacts and trade relations in the 19th century, and for
the spread of the specific pied marking in all three breeds.
All three breeds have feathered feet, the English pouter very
scarce, the other two breeds strongly developed muffs. Important as
a difference is the postures that was already shown in the author's
book on pigeon breeds (Fig. 1).
1: Dutch, Pomeranian and English Pouters from the book 'Taubenrassen',
The different stance is the most obvious difference between these
pouters: Balanced the Dutch, the Pomeranian more upright, and erect
with consistently sloping topline the English. For the Pomeranian
pouter the stance in the standard is anchored (standing at an angle
of 45-60 degrees) , and the Pomeranians shown on the shows usually
have no problems with this requirement.
2: Pomeranian Pouter self red at the Show in Leipzig, graded with
excellent V (Hans-Gero Sperlich)
A further difference between the breeds are the only medium long
legs of the Dutch Pouter. Differences in leg length in some Pouters
breeds is more apparent in the clean-legged as shown in Fig. 3 for
the old German Pouter and the yellow Brunner.
3: Ghent Pouter with the Dominikaner pied marking, Old German Pouter
in the middle and Brunner Pouter at the right (Taubenrassen, 2009).
As a descendant of the Dutch Pouter the Ghent Pouter completes the
group. The Ghent should have a balanced body in the back, but with
erected front body.
The correct formulation of the standard properties of the different
breeds was a complicated and long lasting task end of the 19th and
in the first decades of the 20th century to avoid an overlapping of
different breeds that all reclaim their right.
The historic pictures of Pomeranian pouters at the book by Prütz
1885, Lavalle and Lietze 1905 still show with the erect stance
similarities at the former fashion breed, the English pouter, who
for himself was a descendent of the old Dutch pouter. The overly
upright stance also applies to photos of some Pomeranian Pouters
that were shown all over the world on the Internet. Probably the
main characteristics of breeds have not yet in all strains settled,
and moreover also not in the mind of every fancier.
4: The process to find the own way between the different breeds.
Here at the example of the Pomeranian Cropper about 1900 influenced
by the then fashion breed, the English Pouter with extreme erect
stance, from the book 'Pommersche Taubenrassen' 2010.
In 1925 a painting demonstrating the
characteristic of selected pouter breeds was published in the book
edited by Wittig. At the left below an English Pounter, no. 5 a
Ghent, no. 6 the then called Old-Dutch Pouter and no. 8 the
Pomeraninan Pouter. The Pomeranian now not as erected as shown by
Prütz and the today desired postage, the Dutch and Ghent at that
time not yet with the balanced stance of the present-day standards.
5: Different size and stance at selected Pouter breeds (Wittig,
In the standards the differences in the stance of breeds are clearly
defined . For the breeders the meaning will become obvious often
only in direct comparison of breeds . The ideal image of a breed can
be internalized only, if you know the related breeds and something
about the development of the breed . For the judges, the problem
exists that a pigeon should show in the desired pose in the short
period of the evaluation, what they do not always do . If one stays
long time before the cages, we see that some pigeons almost
permanent show the desired stance, while others only exceptionally,
if at all.
6 and Fig. 7: Too flat stance at a grizzle Pomeranian Pouter, and
too erect at a Ghent Pouter
The figure and possibly faulty posture are hereditary, which is also
well known from breeders of other pigeon groups, at least from the
top breeders. Fanciers who can constantly monitor their animals in
the breeding facility, have better ways of judging as a judge at the
shows and that advantage should also be used for selecting stock
8: English language summary of the Chapter on Pomeranian Pouters
from the book Pomeranian Pigeon Breeds, 2010.
M. (2012), Die Gestalt der Taube.
Artist's Guide to Pigeon Anatomy, Ilmenau German and English
Lavalle, A. und
M. Lietze (eds.) (1905), Die Taubenrassen, Berlin.
(1885), Illustriertes Mustertaubenbuch, Hamburg, no year (1885).
(1904), Die Arten der Kropftauben, Berlin, no year, 1904 date of the
(2015), Genetik der Taubenfärbungen, Achim.
(2009), Taubenrassen. Entstehung, Herkunft, Verwandtschaften.
Faszination Tauben über die Jahrhunderte, Achim, German language.
(2010), Pommersche Taubenrassen.
Naturdenkmale aus Pommern. Pigeon Breeds from Pomerania. German
language with English summary for every Chapter.
Wittig, O., ed.
(1925), Mustertaubenbuch. Berlin.