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Old 04-27-2006, 03:00 AM
IliamnasQuest IliamnasQuest is offline
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Default Breeding for "Quality"

I find the concept - or the variety of opinions on the concept - of "quality" in dogs to be interesting.

First let me define what I mean by quality, so we're all working from the same idea. Quality would be a dog that has reliable and consistent breed characteristics, follows a set standard, is sound in temperament and health, and shows the instincts necessary to represent their breed.

So let me break this down: "reliable and consistent breed characteristics, follows a set standard". By this I mean that a quality breeding dog is of an established breed, not a mix, and represents the breed properly as has been determined by the parent club of the breed. The reason I think this is so important is that we each have our chosen breeds and we choose them because of their characteristics. If a breed standard is not followed or mixed-breeding is all that takes place, then those characteristics will fade and become less distinct - and therefore a doberman will not truly be a doberman (for example). Only by strict adherence to the breed standard can each breed maintain and continue their unique set of characteristics.

"Is sound in temperament and health". Any dog being bred should be determined to have a good solid temperament. This will vary according to the breed. A solid temperament in a lab may mean it is to be accepting and friendly to strangers, a solid temperament in a chow may mean it can be aloof and yet not aggressive. But each dog should have an impecable temperament for their particular breed. Yes, some temperamental traits can be changed/assisted through handling, but there are a number of traits that can and are passed on genetically. Temperament is absolutely important. As far as health goes - a concientious breeder always (let me repeat that, ALWAYS) tests their breeding stock for genetic diseases. To me there is NO excuse for not doing the proper health testing prior to breeding. Only by being diligent in this can we help to diminish and hopefully eradicate some of these devastating diseases in the various breeds.

"Shows the instincts necessary to represent their breed". A dog is more than body shape and hair color. Each breed was develped for a particular purpose. Granted, some have more purpose than others! It's part of the breeders responsibility to make sure that each dog has the intelligence and instinctual ability to be a working dog in some way. This can be done through testing for instincts, showing in obedience and agility, being a therapy dog, etc. My belief is that no dog should be bred unless it has working ability. After all, what good is pretty without brains and ability?

To me, only a dog of quality should be allowed to breed. This is our responsibility as humans - to control the aspects of breeding in those species that don't have a concept of restraint when it comes to reproduction. I know there are people that disagree with this. I'm not sure why they think mixes should be bred - but in all honesty, it's hard to argue with the temperament and health requirements and very few people breeding mixes (accidentally or on purpose) have done any sort of testing.

If dogs are allowed to breed willy-nilly, then we'll have willy-nilly breeds. The sad fact is that there will always be irresponsible people breeding mixes, so there will always be a supply of those. We're a long ways from running out of mixed breed dogs! But those who enjoy certain traits that are associated with certain breeds should continue to work hard to provide quality dogs.

This is in no way meant to put down anyone with a mixed breed or any dogs that didn't come from quality breedings. I've loved my mutts every bit as much as I've loved my purebreds. But the reality is that humans have an obligation to control the dog population, and the dogs that are produced should be produced for logical and sensible reasons. I've done the responsible thing - all of my mixed breed and "non-quality" (as per the above qualities) dogs have been spayed/neutered, and my potential breeding dogs have been carefully handled so as not to be bred accidentally. And in the case of my middle chow (who was not spayed until she was six) I decided she was not the type of dog that I wanted to breed after all. She has a lot of great qualities, and I could have sold pups and made money - but she didn't meet all of the standards that I think are important in the breed.

Okay, I'll stop rambling now .. *L* .. I didn't get enough sleep last night and it's midnight now .. that's my excuse and I'm stickin' to it!

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
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Old 04-27-2006, 04:02 AM
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I love your post. That was good to read and more people should have the opportunity to read something like that. The more we can educate the public the better off our pets!
Thank you!
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Old 04-27-2006, 07:32 AM
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I agree also! And thank you for taking the time and effort to post that! I also have a mutt and two purebreds. One is from a rescue and is an aussie although the worst example of an aussie I think I have ever seen, clearly a backyard breeder, or someone that just decided not to alter and let his dogs reproduce "willy nilly" as you say () Although the rescue I got her from was doing a good job helping dogs, they weren't a great rescue by any means, there was no talk of needing the dog neutered when we got him like there should have been. Because of bad breeding this boy is nervous, way too long in his back, oversize for the breed, bad coat, etc. I still love him dearly though

I took it upon myself and got the boy clipped a week later. My doberman is also altered b/c I believe that allowing more lives to come into the world is a commitment that requires vigilance and dedication. And I'm not willing as of now to take the time, money, potential heartbreak, and lifelong responsibility on. I'll leave it to people that are willing to do that and do it responsibly, but at least I'm not adding to the people that breed irresponsibly or allow breeding haphazardly.

I do believe it's possible for those who prefer an unaltered dog to live happily ever after too. I had my doberman for two years unaltered, I decided also that she wasn't good enough to pass on her genes, and was completely responsible with her, no accidents, or even near accidents. I believe that we should alter, but if someone choses not to and is responsible with their pets, then that is acceptable too, as they aren't adding to the "body count" in the dog world.
Great post once again!
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Old 04-27-2006, 10:01 AM
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JennSLK JennSLK is offline
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Well said
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Old 04-27-2006, 11:15 AM
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TRell me this *And this is in no way related to me personally* Just wondering YOUR opinions.

FOR INSTANCE-My CHOCY(dont freak, hes not going to be bred, not going through this again!) But FOR INSTANCE. He has an aweful overbite. BUT, by age 2 he has acceled at obdeience, agility and any other sporst/competiton he is in, OMITTING conformation due to his overbite, but he has mastered and won all the rest.

NOW, do you possibly breed him to pass the GREAT traits, his drive, intelligence, possibly creating offspring that can contribute to a wonderful pedigree and ribbons??Or do you not due to the simple overbite???Because the dog is obviously not perfect, but only due to a short bottem jaw.

Just curious, and if you have anything negative to say save it, because this is all purely just a question, I am not breeding, so calm down before you get worked up!!!! Just a question in the back of my mind!

Here is a pic of his overbite
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Old 04-27-2006, 11:55 AM
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I wouldnt. Thats a serious fault. It could interfear with him doing bite work, if you wanted, or he could pass it on to his kids and they could have it worse.

IMO I feal that no dog should be bred if it has a fault that interfears with the dog's proformace. IE: A sheperd with a horable bite
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Old 04-27-2006, 12:10 PM
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all kidding aside though, isn't he precious with his overbite???Lol!

We have tried to name him something "pitbullish" but cannot come up with anything manly enough due to this bite. So he's just "chocy" but looks like a nemo!!!

Back on topic!
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Old 04-27-2006, 12:11 PM
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Great post, Melanie!

Mach1: I personally would not breed a dog with a serious fault like an overbite, especially not in a breed like mine that requires a sound mouth for work. Chocy is adorable though!
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Old 04-27-2006, 07:00 PM
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That is quite an over bite.
That could possibly interfere with retrieving in the hunt tests or field trials.
Even if he was a FC or NAFC I wouldnt breed to him.
But he is darn cute! And very smart too!
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Old 04-27-2006, 07:30 PM
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hey, i have an overbite can i pass it it my children? lol jk, i have braces but no overbite. And well said
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