Yes, We have the science to breed better than ever before, with welfare expectations well catered for and able to evolve with the times. As they should.
I think pedigree dogs have potential too. But it will NOT be acheived while the present rules exsist. The K.Cs have ruled out environmental selection. They can promote purpose in the pure breeds as much as they wish, it won't bring purpose out side of the K.Cs back unless that purpose is driven by environmental demands, and not restricted to pedigree dogs only. Purpose for dogs is driven by the environment. The K.Cs are only a part of that environment. The aren't "It" They might promote purpose for K.C dogs. It will only be relevent to the K.Cs
The WKC works, because its independent of the K.Cs and a top dog is still judged by how well he performs for his purpose at home on the farm- a great working dog might perform very well at trial. Or he migfht not. You can be sure for every good working dog that does well at trial, there are 10 better at home that will never make it to trial, but they will still be recognised as a good dog and likely have the chance to spread their genes.
Trials don't work to show how well a dog fullfills its purpose, unless its purpose is to trial.
The K.Cs came on the scene after these breeds were developed in the communities they lived, worked and were valued in.
They divided a species in 2. and effectively promote that the way to breed worthy dogs is to breed only from those eligible to have a pedigree bestowed on them after birth. Nothing else in reality separates a pedigree from a mutt- Just a document bestowed after after birth.
Selection for improvement is based only on how well they conform to their specific breed type. Predictability. You CAN'T "improve" on predictability. You can only tighten the parameters to make it MORE Predictable. That means less able to respond. Physical and mental limmitation. Less able to deal with physical stressors, disease etc. Less able to evolve according to new environmental demands.
Some people manage to hold on to purpose despite the K.Cs.
I have yet to see a trial designed to select a good service or guide dog. Thats done on the job. Environmental selection, again.