Oct 21, 2004, 1:03 AM
Post #18 of 161
Re: [surchinmy] "Champion & champion may or may not procudes champions, non champion & non champions never produces champion!"
[In reply to]
Waaah ... so many post here already ar ... And also, now can really call you "uncle" hor ... congrats Thanks Tau keh! Hacienda
Back to the discussion at hand ... If the statement had been ... "Champions or Champion lines are more likely to produce Champions" ... that would have been most acceptable ... The use of the word "NEVER", it not only obtuse but wholly misleading. Totally 100% agree. Never was the word that basically got me going. Perhaps some leeway ought to be given due to limited comprehension but how - when self grandiosities flourish like fungus on wet bread? LOL. The fact of the case is ... everytime a breed is registered for the first time with any association or federation, the initial batch of champions will be the only champions in that newly introduced breed ... and will continue to be so until sufficient dogs get titled, and a pool of "officially" recognised lines are developed. It will be most interesting to see what happens if the Shiloh Shepherd is accepted and recognised. Even though RRidgebacks have been around for a while, they remain a marvellous case in point. Perhaps because of its origin, the mystic of introducing original African blood still intrigues many RR breeders (I suppose it's the same with other breeds too, GSDs from Germany, Tibetan Sp from the Himalayas etc), and many RR breeders still seek out older SAfrican RR lines from Glenaholm and Pronkberg for outcrossing. This is entirely dependent on what breeds you're talking about. Many breeds may have originated from country X but country Y is recognised as the country of development so depending on your breed you may not always want to go back to the country of origin to get new lines. For example, the dachshund is a German breed but country of development is UK. I'd never se myself going to Germany to buy a German dachshund as they are totally different to the ones i am used to. Essentially the fundamental breed aspects are still there but the styles are totally different. I guess with RR's the country of development is still country of origin?
But for some reason, many substantial Glenaholm and Pronkberg dogs were never shown to title. Perhaps because of scarcity in competition, the distances involved ... maybe Cdy of SRridge will know the exact reason. But whatever the reason, even as recently as 10 or so years ago ... as can be seen from Harjaselan's incredibly detail research into her own lines ... Titled RRs were coming out of lines without previous titles or with a very small smattering of titles. In these cases yes i guess situational reasons meant they were unable to show. But i do know of some dogs that are born of show lines, never shown bec breeders feel they are not 100% up to scratch but are used at stud or as brood bitches and can produce stunning progeny who can even be champions!! But ultimately, as is your point ... the longer a breed is registered, the more established the champion gene pool becomes, the less likely breeders (especially novice breeders who are more eager to establish quickly titled dogs) are inclined to look outside established lines. You'd be foolish to. Why try to reinvent the wheel when it's already been done?
While there is much to be said for sticking with developed lines - why start a new kennel 50yrs behind everyone else, when good lines are available, that shortens period of development ... it's a safer for sure (especially (as you say) with tough competition in many breeds) - some questions do arise: For the pedigree buyer: Yes, it's good that pedigree buyers realise that "big bone & big head" is not always the mark of a good specimen ... Unnaturally over-developed skeletal structure, carries many dangers of its own ... Restriction of gene pool? Has an alternative scenario developed today? How is the propensity of relying on developed lines affecting the breeds generally? ... Is this actually better for the breed in the longer run? ... Most commonly, the issue of restricted gene pool is raised when discussing this question ... That is one issue. That is why we always look for outcrosses. It's generally safe to go three generations of in-breeding and then outcross. But you can outcross earlier if you wish if there is a bad trait developing in your lines that you want to correct so you outcross to a line that is strong in that area. So long as you are not KENNEL BLIND, do health tests regularly if your breed is affected by a particular disease then you can line breed all you want and it will be safe. For example two things which can plague dachshunds are PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) and IVDD (Invertebral Disc Disease). Researchers in the UK are now through DNA testing trying to identify the gene that causes PRA so that in time to come when we DNA test youngsters you will know for sure if they carry that gene. If so then you discard them from your breeding program no matter how structurally correct they are. Likewise breeders in the USA are funding research by scientists to try and identify the gene that causes IVDD. That means in time to come, as a responsible breeder, if someone comes to me to use my stud dogs i will demand that they show me DNA testing which showed that their bitch is also clear. So the onus lies on breeders to enforce it. With that in mind genetic diseases are minimised, and hopefully eradicated. As for expanding Gene pools, with todays technology in AI (artificial Insemination) expanding ones gene pools is no longer a major worry. Sadly we in Malaysia don't have such facilities (yet). Show conformation instead of type? But more that, especially when looking at the way some breeds are going (US lines being a good example) ... Is this propensity to stick with so-called winning/champion lines causing not just health but serious conformation & type issues? Are we going to see more and more dogs with - high or show stepping gaits, flashy in the extreme ... sloping toplines from withers to croup ... excessive angulation ... new neck and tail sets - just because they win, with perhaps scant regard to type & purpose ... Dog showing initially started not as beauty contests but as the assessment of breeding stock. Like a livestock market, people paraded their prized Foxhound or whatever to show off how good their dog was so when others wanted to breed their females they would come to them. These owners would also brag of the working ability of their dogs as the dogs were used for practical purposes. Despite what anyone wishes to believe - all dog breeds were developed for a specific purpose in mind. Dachshunds were bred with short legs so that they could go to ground and hunt badgers. The reason they have prominent prosternums is to give them ample lung space to be able to go to ground in a burrow 9 inches deep, some 20 or 30 feet down and still breathe. Fox terriers etc were bred with strong tails and were docked shorter so that hunters could use the tails to pull the dogs out of fox dens and burrows without breaking the tail and without having to dig them out if they are stuck! With the tail docked they grab them only by the root which is the strongest part of the tail! But the animal libbers and fancy vets will have you believe it was fashion. YEAH RITE! I digress. So esentially all these show dogs of yore had great working abilities. As time progressed and social classes disappeared the common man on the street could own a pedigree dog and so they became more popular and people started to enter dog shows. The shows changed type in that they took on more of a beauty aspect with confirmation stilll as the underlying deciding factor, but over time this has been further and further diluted through man's desire for fads and fashions. Fad and fashions? Well the American's mating an Irish Setter to an Afghan hound to get the very long coat gene! That is why American Irish setters have beautifully long coats. Some say these are myths bec the AKC will not allow you to cross breed, but these are things people did without making public knowledge so that they could get a beauty aspect accentuated. Everyone will claim they are breeding to type (i.e. what the dog was originally bred to do) but how many Gundogs these days go hunting? How many dachshunds go badger hunting? Etc. etc. I mean in the UK, US, Australia & Europe they have field trials but rarely do you get the hardcore show people going for field trials to prove their beautiful dogs working ability!! So yes we have bastardised some original working traits in breeds for beauty. I guess the trick to not to overdo anything! But sadly some countries have blind disregard for health issues and conformation issues and follow trends and fashions and aloow things such as missing teeth, etc etc plague the breed. Yet dogs with these faults are awarded top awards in the show ring! That is very sad and frightening because in due time you'll have these beautiful coated specimens with very showy attitudes, but who have to have their food blended bec they have no teeth to chew with! So whilst our show dogs might not be bred nowadays to do the exact functions they were originally bred for we still try VERY HARD to make sure that conformation wise they do conform and are structurally and mentally sound. Dogs being assesed in todays dog shows are still being assessed for correct conformation and ability to carry out the work they are done. But being show dogs people tend to close one eye to fashion elements like extremely long coats and so on. But you can't compromise on basic conformation and health! Show temperament instead of breed temperament? Perhaps of most interest to me ... is it also bringing "change in breed temperament"? ... Has this reliance on so-called Champion lines led to dogs being bred with "show temperament" as opposed to typical breed temperament? As most dogs are now nothing more than house pets essentially why not have a show temperament? If by show temperament you mean outgoing, exuberant, love the whole world, scared of no one, bite no one, happy happy happy, then why not?? I want to breed a dog that will end up a model canine citizen. I mean ok lah some people still want to buy dogs to "guard" their house but that is becoming a rarer thing these days right? Most people wise up that an alarm system is far cheaper and easier to maintain. So why not have dogs that don't bite people or shy away? This development is perhaps not so apparent with naturally gregarious breeds, and may be seen more clearly in some working/guard/herding type breeds ... dogs that show and behave well for the show ring - because they have had their breed type temperament bred out of them.
Are we starting to get breeds with homogenous temperament? I repeat my point above. Why not?!!!!! They can be better adjusted and more sociable but that doesn't mean you can ever eliminate their natural instinct. My dogs will not attack other dogs and are sociable to other dogs and humans, but if a rat runs past or cicak or bird flies to low they will kill it. Instinct is impossible to breed out of them. And its their instinct that sets them apart from the next breed of dog. My English setter was never trained to set, but watch him in the garden and he will set the birds for you as his ancestors many many moons ago did for huntsmen. Does the maxim "best to the best" mean the same as it did 20years ago? Has the maxim, breeding the "best to the best" been reduced to matching dogs from the lines with the most titles ... rather than matching dogs that conform best to type, standard & purpose? ... Depends who's interpreting it. If your doing it for money then you need all the extra sales factors to help you justify your price. If you're doing it for the love of your breed and for the quest of producing quality stock that are an imporvement of the last generation then best to best takes on a whole new meaning where titles fade away into oblivion. But to reach that stage you need to really know what you doing or atleast have a 80% idea of what you're doing. I am very fortunate in that i have a poll of very close friends in my selected breed, who are all longtime established breeders to who i turn to for help and advice. If i want to do a mating i will plan out what i want to do and ask them for their opinion. Then looking at pictures (or knowing the dogs) looking at pedigrees to see the ancestors, they will ask me why i decided and give me their opinion of what i could "hope" to expect! So in that i get the input of people familiar with my lines and longer in this game than me who will give me sound advice or who act as great sounding boards for me when i have something planned in my head. I never believe in seeking one single opinion as i find a selection of views from well ground breeders in you chosen breed can give you varying advice (as this is all subjective) and then you decide what course you want to ultimately take. I never believe i know it all and i always look to those who've been doing ti longer than me as that is where i gain knowledge! I was told one thing by one of my early doggy mentors - "keep your mouth shut and your ears open. God gave you two ears and one mouth for a good reason!" Ofcourse she meant ask questions by all means but don't open your mouth and think you know a lot if you actually don't. Nothing wrong asking as you have everything to gain when given the answer. And if so - is this what breeders truly believe is best for the breed? - Or is winning & money (with the event of sponsorship) now the overriding factor. While time cannot be turned back - sponsorship & money shows are here to stay ... Would breeds not benefit from knowledgeable "mavericks" who would dare more ... and bring moderation back into play? Moderation is a subjective word. What is moderation to you may not be for me. I might argue that so what if they have stylish sloping toplines so long as they are healthy? And you could come back and say but the original dogs didn't have that and then it's your opinion against mine!! Why turn back the clock? Depending on what breed you're in you may have come a long way as far as health and such things are concerned so why go backwards! But i'd like to go back to get frozen semen from some great dogs who were way ahead of their time. Had we managed to store their semen and use it now things might be very different!
While many in this Forum are not breeders, a discussion on these issues may still be of interest to some ... and your thoughts will be appreciated. Cheers
Dachshunds of Distinction
(This post was edited by LCK on Oct 21, 2004, 1:20 AM)