Oh boy, my favorite!
I do not think that prongs and e-collars are the devil.
I am all for people breeding mixes as long as they're breeding healthy, sound dogs and standing behind them. Same with out-of-standard colors.
Similarly, I do not think that Doodles are a scourge upon dog-kind.
I am 100% for outcrossing and think that the dog fancy's view on it is outdated and spitting in the face of the actual science behind breeding. In fact I think a good portion of the dog fancy has absolutely zero clue about science and instead goes by tradition which is incredibly messed up.
There are some dog breeds that it is impossible to breed ethically, like Bulldogs, unless you're breeding way out of standard.
Purina is not pelleted poison and too many people get caught up in feeding what's trendy instead of actually looking at what works for their individual dog.
I think that in some breeds, AKC conformation is a joke. You're not evaluating breeding stock with you've got a dog whose fur is carefully sculpted in unnatural ways filled with hair spray and chalk.
I absolutely do not think that we should save every dog and that filtering a ton of money into one special case, whether it's a very sick, very injured, or even aggressive dog, is a waste of resources when we should be helping as many needy dogs as possible, not spending thousands to tens of thousands on just one.
First post immediately makes me feel a lot less controversial because it hits a lot of my big points, of course. :lol-sign:
But also reminds me that "controversial" is relative to the community you're engaging with. I'm also part of a few wherein not
using prongs or especially e-collars for training is itself controversial, and find myself getting side-eye because I emphasize using other methods first and using unpleasant ones only very
judiciously. I have a plastic prong for long-line herding exercises because my dog will choke himself on a flat collar, and an e-collar as an emergency "stopper" for off-leash work at home (not
as a replacement for PR-based recall training but as a failsafe in case he ever blows me off and heads toward the nearby highway - I have yet to have to use it that way and hope never to). I'm perpetually trapped between being too soft for balanced trainers and too cruel for R+ only trainers.
A few more I have gotten flack for, some possibly surprising:
Willingness to breed merle x merle is not central to breeding good working dogs. If your two best workers are merle 9/10 times you should still be able to get a solid dog out of one of them to breed to offspring of the other if you're utilizing good long-range thinking in your breeding program.
If your breeding program is regularly producing deformed dogs, culling them does not negate the fact that you are producing a high percentage of dogs that are unworkable.
Contrariwise, if you did do a merle x merle breeding and have DM dogs as a result, unilateral lethal culling of all EW pups is not
the most responsible course of action. There is no point euthing pups if you have yet to determine the extent of their actual issues, and in a world where speutering and pet homes exist there is no reason why a dog with minor hearing issues, etc. would in any way impact the quality of the breed if desexed and sent to an active companion home. It's one thing if you can't find one that's suitable and quite another if you don't even look.
And following from that, I really don't give a crap if a person that has done a merle x merle breeding is selling a DM dog as long as they are being honest with potential buyers.
If I have an issue it will be with the dog being bred at all, not simply with it leaving the premises.
But all of that said, I can conceive of merle x merle breedings being justifiable in an extreme minority of cases, and can see them having been justified historically when dogs were more relied upon, based on other qualities of the dogs that may not otherwise be preserved.
"Work testing" is not a wholesale replacement for health testing.
I don't have a problem with work-bred dogs going to appropriate pet homes - the most important thing is that the dogs' needs are met, if there is a surplus of dogs vs. working homes I don't much care how they get met.
If one dog can't handle the livestock you're putting it on by itself most of the time that means you need to put more/better training on the dog, not
that you need to throw more dogs at the problem.
And one controversial amongst those that dislike the UKC classification of Catahoulas and the fact that it may exclude them from Cur and Feist program hunting activities (which if so - I'm not clear on the point - is a bad call on UKC's part regardless, because they are absolutely hunters):
Catahoulas and in the past all other curs were probably as much stock dogs as hunting dogs, if not moreso the former. The first registering body of the Catahoula put "cowdog" in their name, not "hog dog." And let's not forget what type of dog Bewick used the word "Cur" for in his history of British quadrupeds.
"a trusty and useful servant to the farmer and grazier; and, although it is not taken notice of by naturalists as a distinct race, yet it is now so generally used, especially in the North of England, and such great attention is paid in breeding it, that we cannot help considering it as a permanent kind. They are chiefly employed in driving cattle; in which way they are extremely useful. They are larger, stronger, and fiercer than the Shepherd's Dog; and their hair is smoother and shorter. They are mostly black and white color. Their ears are half-pricked; and many of them are whelped with short tails, which seem as if they had been cut: These are called Self-tailed Dogs. They bite very keenly; and as they always make their attack at the heels, the cattle have no defense against them: In this way they are more than a match for a Bull, which they quickly compel to run. Their sagacity is uncommonly great. They know their master's fields, and are singularly attentive to the cattle that are in them: A good Dog watches, goes his rounds; and, if any strange cattle should happen to appear amongst the herd, although unbidden, he quickly flies at them, and with keen bites obliges them to depart."
IIRC there are several genes that can cause bobbed tails in dogs and the one present in Catahoulas is the same one consistently present in the British and European-descended stock dog breeds that have naturally bobbed tails. Coincidence? IDK, mate. A lot of the purported history of the breed is poorly documented and I suspect much of the popular story is rather off. But the idea of owning a descendant of red wolves and a conquistador's war dogs proves easy to romanticize I'm afraid. According to Wisdom Panel the modern Catahoula is most genetically similar to scenthounds overall, which also does not follow from the party-line history of the breed.
I also think it's fine to take a pup at 6-7 weeks in a minority of cases.
think Flexis have limited uses although I wouldn't use one myself with my dog right now.
And this is a weird one but I often think that "dog people" overstate the difficulty of BC ownership. I'm sure it varies by line but I've seen plenty of functionally inexperienced owners do fine with BCs as long as the dog fit their pre-existing lifestyle (they live rurally or are very active, etc.) and there are a lot of other breeds I'd be quicker to caution an appropriately-situated newb away from, myself.