Well first lets look at the difinition of the two words!
A breed is defined when the same type of animal is breed to each other and they pass on predictable traits to their offsrpring. They must breed true! To be a breed you must have several distinct traits, not just one (myotonia). To be a breed you must have one consistent look. Remember that a poodle always looks like a poodle. You dont have to think about what breed it is when you see a poodle. When you see a Fainting Goat you should be able to do the same thing. Know that it is a Fainting goat by the traits you see!
A line is a term used to represent the bloodlines found in the goats lineage. (Their sire,sire's sire, and dam-all part of the line)
Example: The Quarter Horse Impressive was an awesome horse. Impressive was the bloodline. He was a Quarter horse breed.
Example: The Playful Acres line and the Fridays Fainters line are both Fainting goat lines found in the breed.The Playful Acres line and the Fridays line are Fainting goats with lines that mainly origianated from Tennessee. Almost all lines will have a mixture of their origine. When people refer to " Texas and Tennessee" lines that just means that most of their bloodlines orginated in either Texas or Tennessee. Both so called lines contain many different bloodlines. I believe this terminology is incorrectly confusing new breeders because a line is a bloodline and nothing more. There are many LINES in the Fainting goat breed. Not just Texas and Tennessee.
When the Fainting goats are bred together they produce a certain distinct ear set. Ears are held horizontally and forward. Ears are medium in length. They have a certain facial profile. The profile is one that is slightly dished or straight.They also have buggy eyes. They have a strong level of mytonia. Myotonia is the gene that makes them appear to faint. Fainting goats are smaller. They always pass these characteristics on to their offspring which means they breed ture.
When the Myotonic goats are bred together they too produce a certain distinct eat set but it is different than that of the Fainting goats. The Myotonic goats have longer ears. Their facial profile is sometimes slightly roman or convex but never dished. The Myotonic goats no longer have the buggy eyes. The level of the myotonia is often not as strong in the Myotonic goats. They are bigger in both size and muscle. Again they pass on their characteristics to their offspring.
We can see that the Fainting and the Myotonic goats both produce different but distinct characteristics from each other. That makes them each considered a different breed. You can't consider the goat breeds the same when they have totally different characteristics and breed true to these traits. They MUST be considered a different breed. The problem is that many years for whatever reason they have been all grouped together as a singel breed.
Both originally coming from Tennessee bloodlines, however the Myotonic goats are slowly losing their Tennessee heritage. This is leading us to two different breeds.With this being said we must remember that many goats have bloodlines from both sides. It is vital that your goat match the breed standard. The background or linage is important to maintain but we must as breeders strive for that historically correct look at this point. We must move forward. We must aim for one consistent look in our herds.