I was scanning through the "should I breed her" post and saw some folks speaking about whether or not a breeder should only breed dogs who have been shown. My feelings are as follows.... My breed is a working breed with it's own registries. We are not in any way affiliated with AKC. We do have conformation shows, but our primary events at our shows are working events. Our dogs can compete in weightpulls, protection (BST's, hardest hitting, etc.)driviest puppy, hog catching, sprint races, hangtime.... My breed has two written standards due to the many unique types within the breed itself (conformation shows have 2 rings going at once... one for bully/Johnson type dogs and one for the standard/Scott type dogs)The standards are revised regularly since cosmetics are not really a concern for the breed.... form follows function... if the dog cannot physically perform the job it was bred to do, then it shouldn't be bred. You will not see a ringful of lookalikes at an American Bulldog show. Every breeder seems to have their own flavor or style of dog and you can point out whose dogs came from where. I know many breeders (myself included) who have dogs that would not do well in the conformation ring (tail too short, lack of pigment, etc.) But, the dogs can pull, catch, outperform many other dogs. Dogs like this will be bred well before a conformation champ will be. Many of the "pretty" dogs do not have the drive, heart and capapbilities to perform.. they were bred to "look pretty" and all the working ability has been slowly bred out of them. Now I am not saying that all the show dogs out there are worthless and fit into what I described. There are a lot of dogs that have it all.. looks and workabilty. (What every breeders goal should be) My point is just to show that as long as a breeder's dogs are performing what they were bred to do, they don't need to have a conformation title to proove them breedworthy. This goes for all breeds out there (bird dogs, livestock dogs, etc.)I justy used my own as an example. Another sidenote in regards to health testing. I have seen many people today use hip scores, etc. as a selling tool. I have seen dogs in my breed who looked like they had been put together by committee (bowed front legs, high in the rear, low pasters, cowhocks..) but these dogs had outstanding pen-hip scores so the breeders are marketing as such. Now these dogs can hardly move and in no way perform any task other than keeping the couch warm! But, they have "nice" pedigrees and great scores so these breeders breed them. On the other end of the spectrum are the working breeders who do no testing other than proving their dogs workabilty. They won't breed dogs until 2 years or later and the dogs are some of the best working stock out there. (offspring are also great working stock and producing great working stock...)I personally would breed to an untested working dog over a great scored wreck of a dog (and I know many other people who share my same feelings) I'm not saying that everybody should quit health testing there dogs (as many dogs show no signs of dysplasia or djd but very well could be). I just wanted to explain that in order for breeds to improve and advance, it is important to look beyond conformation titles.... If someone has been breeding working dogs for years and has an excellant program with proven generations of healthy working stock yet does no health testing, I feel their stock should be breedworthy over a dog who may have the best hip scores out there but has no workabilty. Again, feel free to ask questions or state comments. These are just my opinions and what I have heard from the majority of the working dog community.
my thing is .. breeders that sell akc dogs.. when most of them will go to people that just want a pet , not one to show. so why charge so much. and how can someone that inbreeds charge any amount of money for a puppie that is just wrong. if you ask me , i think it is wrong to sell puppies so much because they are akc. you should only sell them for a high price if the person shows you that they are going to show them. i just think its a ripe off. but hey thats my opinion.
I agree with you, all of these breeds were not created by the length of their tail or color of their fur but how well they could do their job. I breed Pomeranians, I also would choose a dog with a phenominal temperment and a "glitch" in conformation over a dog that was "perfect" but b!*chy and yappy. Breeders are supposed to best represent their chosen breed in ALL manners. I do not show but would like to just to see what all the hype is about.
Your post brought up many good and valid points...I dont know any thing I admit about your breed...But I do think there should be more to it when it comes to breeding. I would like to hear more on this topic if you could expound on it at all. I think it is interesting...and I value your opinion and I think the way you expressed it was very easy and simple to digest...
i have to agree that emphasis on conformation only is a problem. i don't see how a different color, such as a silver lab (if they are truly only lab) should be a problem. or so what if they are an inch too tall? i can see limits on size serving a purpose, like in the teacups being a really unhealthy size for dogs, or the giant breeds getting just too big to be anywhere near healthy.
Bullymom: Excellent thread! Utilitarianism is a common issue among breeders, pedigree enthusiasts and general pet owners. What is your opinion on: How high is the demand for true working dogs? How high is the demand for show dogs? How high is the demand for pet quality?
i think genetic testing and other tests are necessary though as a way to help cut down or eliminate hereditary problems. i agree the working events help to weed this out, if they can't perform they aren't bred.
bully mom, I think I know of a book that you may find very very intersting. It is called "dogs best friend" by Mark derr. I am a working dog enthusist also. I do not breed, I have found much more luck with physical soundness in working dogs and temperment. I must say working dogs have forced me to change my way of thinking on training and what a 'good dog" is. I am talking about the true working dog not just breed, but actual working ability of that individual dog. I am investing in a pup for schutzhund here in a few months. this will be the first dog i will train for schutzhund all my own. I have been helping trainers and learning for more than a year now. I am sorry enough about me...check out the book. Mark Derr hits on some very eye opening points in all of dogdom. taking on the world of the AKC, Show world, and even the darkside of shelters and rescues. also he explores ancient breeds and breeders who have breed there own breeds for hundereds of years and have never been introduced to society. a very different dog book.
In my opinion, breeders should be knowledgable about the dogs they're breeding, whether its for show or work. Either way, the dog is being bred by knowledgable people who are interested in producing a healthy dog. The majority of people, I believe, are just looking for a pet, not interested in either of the above, however, I would want a genetically healthy dog, bred by someone who knows what they are doing. I wouldn't say all breeders HAVE to show or compete, but usually the people who do are the ones who know the most about their breeds.
the solution to all of this. Is governing bodies. There are none. there are only buisness to make money (not to say some individuals that are affilated with the buisnesses genuily care about the the dogs) I.E. AKC and other registries, breeders, breed clubs,race tracks and agencies to clean-up the mess left behind Shelters, rescues, Humane societies, animal control. There is nobody waching out for the dogs. nobody monitoring breeders. nobody montoring owners. after the breeder or the pet store, it's a free for all. and then we pick it all up at the pound. we need the goverment to step in and help us find dogs and good first and stop putting so much effort into finding a second one. and also we need a agency governing what breeders can and cannot do. the dogs being breed should be getting certified to be breed.
I believe that working dogs are just as important than show dogs, if not in some ways more. Dogs back then were meant to work, most of them anyway. I'm not dissing show dogs or people who breed them I'm just saying that working dogs are important too. Not many people reconize them as being a breeding dog because they aren't show dogs. I breed Golden Retrievers on a very small scale and they are from traditional working(hunting) lines. I try to follow the breed standard as much as possible though. But my female is definitely not a show dog. My dog Kelsey is a great family pet and a very good agility dog. If I would of trained her from a pup then she would be a great hunting dog too. When I'm choosing to breed my dog with a certain stud my main things when looking for one is health and temperament. The stud I am using right now hunts, comes from hunting bloodlines with titles, is healthy, great golden temperament, beautiful, and is pretty close to the breed standard. What I don't like is when people think if you don't show your dog and you breed it, than you are a bad person.
Loiusa-I think a breeder that I spoke with has a valid point as to what she charges. I also asked whether she charged different prices for male vs female, show quality vs pet quality, etc. She told me that she charges the same amount for all of her dogs, reason being that she breeds her dogs to be the healthiest, best quality dogs she can raise. The same amount of work/research, whatever, goes into a pup whether you plan on showing it or just making a pet out of it. So I guess it is up to the buyer if they want to spend less money on a pet that might not have the same health benefits as someone who breeds simply because they happen to have one of each sex and not even doing any genetic testing on the animal.
gunny-- Have you read "Dogs: A Startling New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior, and Evolution" by Raymond and Lorna Coppinger? If you liked "Dog's Best Friend," you'd probably like the Coppinger book as well. The Coppingers are biologists, and their point of view is very similar to Derr's, but they have the science to back it up.
no i have not read that but i will, actually i was pretty inpressed with derrs research on the topics he hit on. I will check out the book you mentioned. I am printing out the page to take to barness and nobles
I didn't mean to sound like I was insulting Derr. I, too, thought he did a good job, and he brings up a few ideas the Coppingers don't, particularly the idea of dog parks being dog ghettos, but the Coppingers include more information about biology. The two books work well together.
Gunny: Who will decide who will represent the governing body? Do you allow backyard breeders and puppy mills to be on the governing body because they need representation too? Aren't registries supposed to be like a governing body? How can you control through a governing body free enterprise and the American way? I think a governing body is a good idea. I just want to know how you would implement it?
Registries are not governing bodies. the service they provide is to register dogs and prove pedigrees. I would hope a goverment agencies like the USDA could govern canine breeding practises. as they do with cattle. maybe we could start it on a more local level using local humane socities Or even holding a the AKC accountable for some of this. The breeders would have to form there own 'union' to help protect thier rights. My concern is the dogs who don't speak or have thumbs to communicate there injustices and need for someone to watch over them. when you buy food or a baby items or a car there are standards they have to meet in terms of saftey and quality. dogs can be sold with faulty temperments and genetic health problems. some states have flimsy laws. but it is not enough. I also would hold owners accountable for the health care and control of the animal.