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  #11  
Old 01-03-2008, 02:56 PM
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Vicious circle...and the only one's being hurt are the breeds involved.

The root of the issue is people...people wanted the Bulldog to look the way it does...and now it does....so now they don't, now it's horrifying!...so soon they won't look like that anymore...but then that "old look" will be resurrected as "rare" and guess what? Round and round we go! Same with the other old favorite breed to bash on...GSD's...

There is nothing new under the sun...as the saying goes...breeds will always change...people will always complain..."resurrect" "recreate"...and then fads will change again...lifestyles will change again...and we'll go around again. Fads have driven dog breeding since it began...competition too...Farmer John liked Farmer Ted's dog but he hated Farmer Ted so he created his own version of the same breed but BETTER...Lord Hurley loved Lady Hairston's Setters but thought they'd be nicer in Black and Tan so he bred his own version that could outhunt her's and even better weren't nrealy as ugly, but then she bred her's even PRETTIER...etc etc...
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  #12  
Old 01-03-2008, 03:02 PM
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I have nothing with making new breeds (as long as its not the byb or millers doing it lol) But to change a dog to the point of it no longer being able to work is silly. A new colour, etc is fine. But how does breeding lines with hip displaisa fit in? Or other known genetic issues just because that dog can win in the ring. Not saying all breeders do this, heck some of my close breeder friends would never ever do such things. But we all know who does these things.
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  #13  
Old 01-03-2008, 03:33 PM
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Of course I know people who cut corners in breeding...I know them in show, sport, and hunt and BYB fields all...and all are equally annoying. But I don't see the point in laying the blame for an entire breed's decline at their door. It take a village...and genetic disease has been around a lot longer than they've been...and people have been ignoring it a lot longer than they have...right back to the beginning of most breed...even working ones.
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  #14  
Old 01-03-2008, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dekka View Post
I have nothing with making new breeds (as long as its not the byb or millers doing it lol) But to change a dog to the point of it no longer being able to work is silly. A new colour, etc is fine. But how does breeding lines with hip displaisa fit in? Or other known genetic issues just because that dog can win in the ring. Not saying all breeders do this, heck some of my close breeder friends would never ever do such things. But we all know who does these things.
I could even tolerate not being able work, or at least not being the best at it, because working dogs make terrible pets in many cases (though I'd like at least an echo of the instincts there!) . .. but the hip dysplasia is one example of the problem . . . or, talking about English bulldogs . . . the problem is not that they don't look like the old type (in my mind) its that they've been exaggerated so much they have huge health problems. I LOVE EBs . . . I even like them just as they are . . . but I'm unwilling to take on the health problems that I have a good chance of getting with one no matter who I get it from. Its one thing to go for a look . . . and another thing to take it so far that the animal is barely functional.
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  #15  
Old 01-03-2008, 06:07 PM
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HBH I know its not JUST the breeders. But I would think, perhaps I am overly optomistic, that people who breed and show do so because they love their breed. And I have issues with how people who go around saying dogs should only be bred to better the breed (which I agree with) but will breed dogs with known health issues, but will point to the fact that because the dog wins its bettering the breed. I know of a few working people who will breed to lines known to produce health issues. But at least a good working dog will have to have decent structure and athletisim to be able to to work for any length of time, an appropriate temperament and instinct. Conformation only tests the dogs structure and ability to trot prettily. How many dogs actually work at a trot (some do, but many don't) I know many a horse that has a stunning trot but can't canter worth a darn..and therefore is not athletic enough to succeed in any career other than maybe driving. This is why in some breeds of horses, the horses at inspections are shown loose so that all gaits can be assesed. To many fancy trots but useless horses have been approved.
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:06 PM
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Truthfully, I agree with everything Luisa mentioned in her article.

Show breeders are mentioned the most because in many working breeds (such as the border collie), they're glorified for producing the prettiest dogs that are in the spotlight the most. When truthfully, they are a variation of BYBs. I do not mean this to be offensive to the members here who breed their dogs for the show ring - chances are, your breed is not widely used to do what they were originally bred to do. I don't know many Beagles who are still needed to hunt in packs, or GSDs that are needed to tend flocks, APBTs that are used to fight other dogs, etc. Border Collies are still needed as working dogs, and to breed for anything other than working ability is to harm the working Border Collie as a breed. If someday there are no more sheep or cattle farms and people don't need herding dogs, then by all means it's doing right by the breed to select for other traits. But until then, breeding away from the original purpose (the "standard", I guess you could say) is only hurting the breed.

Breeding show dogs from show dogs? Fine. I have 2 dogs from show/sport lines and it's very clear that they were bred as show/sport dogs, FROM show/sport dogs. In most of the breeds that still fill their original niche, you have a very sharp, distinct line drawn between show lines and working lines. It's almost like they are two separate breeds. If you keep to those "variations" and don't harbor illusions about the working ability of the show-bred dogs, I see no problem with it. Just don't take existing working lines and ruin them for work by breeding for appearance only. People buy dogs from working lines because they want a dog that can do it all, but why is it so important that a dog win a conformation championship? If it's of major importance to anyone, they're not breeding for a working dog, they're breeding for a pretty dog that can also work. And soon the pretty side takes over, and the "work" standard gets lower and lower. What does it matter, anyway, since the dogs are "just pets" most of the time? This is the kind of thinking that sends the quality of a former working breed down the gutter.

As for the instinct being present in all dogs, that's halfway true. Yes, a skeleton of the "herding instinct" remains in dogs no matter how far removed they are from their heritage. My show/sport bred dogs still have an interest in stock, they'll still pursue livestock and try to stop them, but is that herding instinct or prey drive? Is nipping at a running child's heels indicative of an ability to control livestock, or is it the little voice that every dog has in his head, saying "chase things that run away"?

The term "instinct" is thrown around way too casually. Look at Bev Lambert's dog working in that video clip. The ability to control sheep at that level of precision at that distance? THAT is herding instinct. Yes, Pippa has been highly trained but training can only take a dog so far. She has natural working ability. No matter how much I train Dakota, he will never be able to do that. He doesn't have the inborn ability.

Show breeders like to kid themselves and think that their dogs can do exactly what Pippa does in that video. THEY CANNOT. If they could, AKC's herding trials would be the same as the USBCHA herding trials. AKC trials would have a 500+ yard outrun in an open field, not a 20 yard outrun in an arena, if the working ability was the same. AKC trials would have a shedding activity, a long fetch and drive, sometimes a double lift outrun (I know it's a lot of lingo, and I don't have the time to define it all. Suffice it to say, these things are not easy.) But the working ability isn't the same, and it's unfair to expect a show dog to be able to work at a high level, just as it's unfair to expect a working-bred dog to win best in show at Westminster.

I ramble. I always ramble on this subject. So, in short, I agree 100% with the author of the blog. I think she's one smart gal.
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  #17  
Old 01-03-2008, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Dekka View Post
I did like the article. I know so many dogs with no herding instinct that have their HICs. I agree its nice to have something to show the instinct is still there, but the bar is set waaayyy to low.
The HIC is a certificate, NOT a title. Both of my dogs have HIC's, but I do NOT claim that they are herding dogs. This is the same as claiming that a CGC is a title. It is only a certificate, and it means next to nothing. (No offense to those who have CGC's)
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  #18  
Old 01-03-2008, 09:09 PM
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but when you get your CD thats 'only a certificate' too. Or your ADC etc. I know people who consider a CGN/CGC a title.
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  #19  
Old 01-03-2008, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
I agree 100% with the author of the blog. I think she's one smart gal.
I agree RD, I visit her blog daily

One thing that needs to be pointed out....

Herding is a canine instinct, no a breed specific instinct. Many different breeds can carry the herding instinct and follow it to a certain level. Some breeds tend to be better than others yet there is no guarantee.

You have a larger variation of the trait within a breed as compared to variations in canines as a whole. There are those (such as Pippa ) that are born to it, while others need varying levels of training to do the job yet they will never be quite as good as a natural. And, as we all know, there are those of the breed that are at the opposite end of the spectrum and couldn't herd their kibble in a round bowl!

The fact that theres an APBT with a herding title blows breed specific traits right out the window.

The fact that any herding breed dog, (work, pet or show), shows a minimum herding ability/instinct is no surprise as it's a common trait among many breeds. It's those that go beyond and not only DO the job, but do it well and love it, that's a goal worthy of striving for in a breeding program.
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  #20  
Old 01-03-2008, 10:07 PM
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APBT's were originally herding dogs J.D. did all the herding on our ranch.
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