Although BYBs often use the term hybrid vigor incorrectly, the term itself was not made up by BYBs. The term is used by biologists to describe a phemonon in which the offspring of two different species out-performs both of its parents. The term can apply to plants as well as animals. (I'm not sure about the other kingdoms.) The term only applies WHEN the offspring out-performs its parents, so not all hybrids have hybrid vigor.
2) Mixes aren't hybrids.
A hybrid has parents of two different species. A wolf / dog cross is a hybrid, so is a coyote / dog cross. A pug / beagle cross is not a hybrid because both pugs and beagles are the same species, canis familiaris. Technically, mixed breed dogs can't have hybrid vigor because they aren't hybrids.
3) The mutts are healthier theory generally applies to dogs who, over generations, have the opportunity to breed through natural selection.
Nature is cruel. Dogs who breed without artificial (human) selection often don't have the same luxuries as dogs in breeding programs. These dogs often have to search for food and shelter on their own, and they don't spend a lot of time at the vet having all of their problems attended to. So, the weak dogs die off, and the healthier dogs go on to breed. Displastic dogs can't go very far, and brachycephalic dogs overheat. You get the point. If you want a mix because you want one of those "healthy mutts," your best bet is to get a dog whose parents and grandparents led rough lives, not a mix who parents hung out on someone's couch.
No need to flame. You made an excellent point and backed it up with the right information. I don't see how anyone can dispute what you said.
Animals in the wild have always seemed healthier to me. My first cat was a total outdoor cat. I had her for almost 20 years and NOT ONCE did she ever have to go to the vet or require ANY kind of medication. We fed her table scraps, she caught lizards, and she wasn't spayed. (I was a kid and my folks would not fork out money to fix an animal - but thats another story).
I now have 3 cats - all are indoor cats - and require 3 or 4 visits to the vets office per year. It's amazing. In the 'wild' animals survive by knowing what their bodies need. When we humans take control of them - everything goes whack.
~~although i'd say overall in general a mutt would be healthier than a breed with lots of problems like english bulldogs~~
thats right - the reason mutts are sometimes considered healthier is because they have to fend for themselves - they are roamers, mongrels.
On the other hand, pures and crosses who are intentionally mated do not ever develope this characteristic which is why one is not really more helathy than the other.
***Edited By: Ansy1 on 11/26/2004 12:13:14 AM*** Reason: vnxckjnvksfjnvdfjnv
I agree, pearl. But most dogs, whether mutt or purebred, are healthier than English Bulldogs because English Bulldogs are structural disasters. They have funny personalities, but their bodies are put together in such a way that would make a mechanical engineer cringe.
That was funny...lol. It raised a question for me though. Not ot get off topic here....but if the EB is such a structural disaster then why were they ever bred? I mean, we all know that todays' pures came from yesterday's crosses. If the concern of the crosses that are bred today is of health - then why is the same argument not applied about the EB? The EB is a result of crossing other breeds of dogs. Whatever it's purpose was - I'm sure another breed already could serve that purpose - so if people are gonna ask why we'd breed a cross that could lead to such defects, maybe they should first educate themselves on the defective dogs we already have and are considered pure bred.
***Edited By: Ansy1 on 11/26/2004 12:36:45 AM*** Reason: htfghvhgv
Back when bulldogs were used as bull baiting dogs, they weren't built as badly as they are now. They could actually breathe and chew, and you know, walk. But wins in the show ring by dogs with a more exaggerated conformation led to changes across the breed, and now they can't even mate naturally. You gotta love progress.
I agree about the importance of questioning current breed standards. What drives me nuts about cross breeding is when breeders use badly built (or otherwise unhealthy dogs), mix them, and say, "Look, our dogs are healthier because they're mutts." I have no problem when breeders mix breeds to produce a dog, free of health problems, with structural integrity. And breeders of purebreds who continue to pump out dogs that can't breathe or move drive me just as nuts as the cross breeders.
I am helping my neighbor find a puppy for her daughter for christmas. She mainly wants a Shih Tzu. I saw an add in the local paper for Shih Tzu/Lasa Apso X's and the add said they had more puppies coming soon for christmas. So i thought I would call to see if they might possible have pure Shih Tzu's available near christmas.
The lady was dumb as a post!!! I was appalled! The lady went off on how much better her mixes were than purebred dogs because they are so health. She said her neighbor gave her a Lasa Apso/Shih Tzu X and she decided to breed it. Then her daughter wanted to make some extra $$ so she got her daughter a shih tzu/pom to breed! Then she said how after that all her kids wanted to breed dogs so she got all of them their own mix to breed. "It is so fun to just let them breed on their own and see what you get!!"
When I asked her about health testing she said, "is that the same as getting their shots every year? Because I do that."
When I asked her if she ever breeds pure shih tzu's she said, "Well I have a shih tzu/maltese that looks mostly shih tzu, and a Lasa Apso that looks mostly shih tzu, so I am sure you could pass their puppies off as purebred." I just thought..."did you really just say that?"
Then she said that although she put in the paper that she wanted $250 for the Shih/Lasa pups, that she was probably going to charge $300 or $350 because "they are just so cute!" Then she told me that she also does deals when you buy a whole litter or more. She said that a lot of people like that because then they can sell them to petstores.
I honestly had to hold my breath.....I was soo mad at her stupidity!!!
Proto, talk to me about in the ring breeding for angles and such... trashing a breed. I think some breeders are realising that they have "created a monster" and are figuring ways to undo some of what was done. In the NBC dog show today, the Lab was a good example. I breed Labs. That Lab was breathing like he ran a mile, not crossed a ring. I am SURE he was well bred, and a Champion, all those dogs were. He would be interesting(?) to watch getting a ticked off wounded goose back into a boat.
Oh, the topic...I studied biology up thru college. I hybreed my dogs. I do not inbreed, or linebreed. I have incredibly intelligent, sound dogs, good looking in an old fashioned way (I am told) that likely would not do well in a show ring. Yet.
I saw that lab; I watched the show, too. He looked exhausted. One of the advantages that labs have is that they are still used as working dogs, and badly built or unhealthy dogs make bad workers. The breeds that are still used for work have good lines out there, even if you don't necessarily see them on TV. Kittysmom, I remember you talking about a picture of one of your dogs coming over a ten-foot fence. Now that's a dog who can move.
I wish breeders would have to study biology before breeding.
***Edited By: protodog on 11/26/2004 1:28:51 AM*** Reason: revved up tonight and had more to say
Thank-you for remembering that. Actually, it is an edu photo I use w/(sorry) idiot puppy buyers. I thrash them on what the dog can do...then discuss pups, if they pass... I had a dog, see Thanksgiving thread: Liberty's Lava...that we aquired because the owner could not keep her in the yard. She could scale chain link like a cat.
It said" what are you thank-ful for"...sorry... long/not over day. I am awaiting the Cornish Game Hen and fresh herb,italian sausage, bacon, whole grain bread dressing, w/ cranberry sauce made w/ honey, and potatoes, baked w/ yogurt and bacon bits. The dogs suffered so long in prep that they got extra goodies in the pan. All are sleeping and full...'sept mom....
That's a dinner worth the wait. I found the thread you mentioned. Yeah, educating dog buyers/adopters is a "whole nother" topic. I'm helping to foster a dal mix who is an amazing escape artist. She was given up twice, partially because nobody could figure out how to contain her, before I met her. Someone who was potentially interested in adopting her wanted to know if she would stay within the person's four-foot fence. I laughed out loud.
***Edited By: protodog on 11/26/2004 2:09:34 AM*** Reason: typo
Poor things. It is hard not to be rude to some puppy buyers. I think so many of them mean well, but Oooff, are they ignorant. Worst thing is when they see a well trained dog as an example, and think you just push a button...
The Old English bulldog was originally developed as a farm dog. Because of it's build, & familiarity with farm animals it was used for bull bating. Then when bull bating was outlawed they actually stopped using it for fighting unlike the pit. However it wasn't used for farming again either. It became a pet. However I have no damn clue as to why they were then bred to look like they do now. In fact immigrants to America brought Old English bulldogs with them when they came here. They however used them for they're original purpose as a farm dog. So in all actuality the American Bulldog more closely resembles the Old English Bulldog than the English Bulldog.
Kittysmom - I totally agree with you! I raise shelties and in some places they list the standard weight as being 14-16lbs. I always sigh when I see this. Who can image a 14 lb dog herding sheep? The sheep would step on the dog and that would be the end of it... I see all these breeders out there now raising this TINY shelties that don't even look like what they should be. I have pups actually out helping with their families sheep and doing very well, so I personally like to see my dogs a little more sturdy. I think if it's possible that your 4 year old daughter might break the dogs leg while playing that you have started to ruin the breed...
The English Springer Spaniel is the one I laugh about. If you do some looking they actually say in many places that the "working" variety is built differently than the "show" variety. Shouldn't the dog get marks based on how well it could do it's job? (I think it would be amusing to have the judge pull up a recliner for the companion/toy breeds and see how they do snuggled up watching TV. :)