Aboriginal dog breeds in the modern world.
Today the problem of Aboriginal and local breeds of domestic animals saving, including dogs, is recognized by the world community as an important part in the saving of cultural and natural heritage of the planet. Since 1974. two UN agencies: Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have been making several projects in this area together.
Common interest in the study and rescue of endangered breeds of domestic animals is determined by the following factors:
1. Aboriginal and local breeds are part of the Earth's biological diversity, that is, are part of the world natural heritage;
2. Aboriginal breedsare always connected with ancient cultural traditions of all the peoples of the world. For indigenous ethnic groups, these animals are still animals of worship and often determine the distinctiveness of their spiritual world and religions;
3. in the so-called arduous biocenosis unique, adapted over the centuries and millennia genetic material, presented with a collection of gene funds of Aboriginal and local species, often can not be replaced by any variations of species from other regions or plant breeding.
In cases where a gene fund has being stored in local areas for a long time, it represents a natural wealth, not less valuable than coal, oil, gold, etc.In our country they are gene funds of many local breeds of domestic animals, horses, cattle, birds and of course the dogs-the most ancient companions of a man.
A famous geneticist A.S. Serebrovskij pointed to the two processes that change the gene content: selection (natural and artificial), trying to reproduce some genes and remove others, and popularizations, which creates new genes. The genefund of a breed is considered as a complex of hereditary features or set of genes and their alleles, which the essential characteristics and qualities of the breed. In the direct meaning a gene fund of domestic animals of any type is determined by the variety of breeds,sub-breeds, populations and separate animals that in general corresponds to the term "genetic resources".
Native (Aboriginal) and artificial (factory owner) breeds.
At his time Darwin divided the breeds of domestic animals into man-made (artificial)and natural. The first ones were withdrawn as a result of deliberate human action selection-they often have an unnatural appearance and without supporting selection greatly inclined to lose their newly acquired characteristics due, firstly, to return to the exterior and behaviour of an ancestor and, secondly, the continued volatility. Artificial species include species of plant breeding.
Natural breeds of domestic animals are ancient, particularly aboriginal breeds, which have a shape of their ancestors and with the least amount of non-functional signs of domestication. They are optimally adopted to external conditions thanks to poor feeding and hard living conditions and have a strong constitution, great endurance and resistace to local diseases. Natural breeds with extensive habitats normally consist of in-breed groups which may differ considerably on appearance and its intended purpose. Now natural (Aboriginal) breeds are found in those regions of the world which are little affected by civilization, although before they were popular everywhereincluding all European countries. The deliberate selection of rarely affect them, often unconscious and natural, as these animals take care of themselves and actively adapt to environmental conditions though even very small differences in outside conditions influence them.
A very important part of natural breeds are Aboriginal dogs. Arctic and Northern hunting dogs, draught-dogs and olenegonnye spitz, the Caucasian and Central Asian sheep-dogs in their historical breeding places – all of them belong to aboriginal dogs in our country.
As it is well known, since the 1930s in the USSR they began to select or plant breeding of many Aboriginal dogs, particularly hunting huskies, Caucasian and Central Asian sheepdogs. Nowadays such dogs which don’t differ much from Aboriginal, are much worse in their working qualities endurance and some peculiarities of behavior.
Modern dog planters need a lot of tact in making a programme of planting aboriginal dogs in cities and nurseries. Special attention should be paid to remaining territories of habitats of aboriginal dogs.
According to the authors, we should be very careful with any attempt to divide any Aboriginal breed to a number of species, based on such features as color, some constitutional features, habitats. This would mean splitting the whole gene fund, which may undermine the genetic health, including psychological and immune side of the breed in general.
Influence of plant breeding on the Aboriginal breeds.
In contrast to the principles of national selection which provide sustainability of aboriginal breeds, plant breeding means changing of exterior features, working qualities and behaviors which occur within one generation of breeders. Soviet kinologists tried to transform aboriginal hunting huskies into three famous sports and hunting breeds. Both behavior and the exterior changed not for better for a dog.
Let's discuss some of the basic characteristics of the exterior of dogs by artificial selection.
Color, hair cover. The hair cover is a measure of the health of animals, and inherited hair color wash out eyes and nose radužiny mirrors indicates genetic (Constitutional) weakening, so caution should be breeding dogs light colors. Colours of the coat are the rocks of both formal and functional value. Functionally different, first of all, rhinoceros and solid colors. Large blind spots make it easy to visually monitor the dogs when past′be animals, hunting, free search of various objects on the ground, especially at dusk and in large poorly lit buildings.
Started in ancient times dogs color change was due to the need to give these pets to the most simple and "convincing" the hallmark of their wild relatives. The modern diversity of colours, achieved through breeding, at present, in addition to the formal and functional breed signs (contrasting and protective colours) get he identity value.
The first phase of the destructive hair change of husky occurred in connection with the fact that its quality has been evaluated on expositions for about a century already, which take place usually between hunting seasons, i.e. in the first half of the summer. Wild dogs of the northern hemisphere in these months have the main change of winter hair coat to the summer one. However, most canine experts not knowing the biological regularity prefer animals with full-hair (winter hair) to the fading species, i.e. those who change their hair in autumn-winter but not in spring-summer period.
The displace of fading of city huskies is connected with their selection on summer-autumn field trial for waterfowl birds (duck). During this time the dog is not in its fading period and it is better protected from the cold water and skin damage in coa overgrowns. And, finally, the last reason of fading displace is the main tests for sports huskies «on a squirrel» held in the late autumn and early winter. A diploma received for work «on a squirrel», opens the way for a sporty husky to a tribal class, for the continuation of its generation.
For two hours of the test ,a sports husky is to show a wide and deep search and find two squirrels in the region poor in squirrels, and the dog manages to do it thanks to the high speed racing. Of course, the dog with an artificiallydisplaced fading period will win in mobility. These «species of Sunday», as they were called by a famous canine expert V.G. Gusev, are preferred for tests in the central of Russia though they are usually used for leisure. But when sports huskies are returned to northern regions to "improve" and reconstruct local breeds, they have to search a fur animal at temperature 40 C below zero and to sleep on the snow at night. Alas, they are not able to endure such a cold no longer.
Changing the fading periods and hair quality occur with dogs which moved from the steps, the Central Asia and the Caucasus to the temperate climate of Eastern Europe. Let’s have a look at the structure of the head, which is the main breed sign.
First of all we should note that with very low for all dogs sweat glands a tongue and lips have an auxiliary heat exchanging function for many breeds have tongue and lips, developing into so-called "bryli", and increased helixes. It is no accident that this additional "cooler" is located close to head brain, particularly sensitive to overheating. Morpho-physiological changes ofhelixes of hounds and breeds close to them in the origin, began as a result of natural selection, but then they were increased withartificial selection and this process has been lasting for thousands years.
Hounds and related breeds of hunting dogs during their long work have very high muscle and psycho-physical load, causing a strong the organism heating. This has led not only to changes in the structure of helixes and enlarging lips into "bryli", but also to shortening and poor hair withoutthe inner layer.
The dogs with brahicefalia are in the saddest state (Bulldogs, mopses, boxers, etc.) The mouth of brahicefals can not contain a toungue of necessary size which is necessary for effective participation in heat exchange and the helixes are still truncated and despite the changes in the standard. Such animals in summer suffer greatly from heat and nothing can save them: neither short hair nor almost bare belly nor developed brylis nor the constant sollivaciâ (increased salivation). At summer exhibitions they wash the dogs’ head, fit special hats, and yet they suffer from heat strikes, even at a temperature not exceeding +30 degrees Celsius.
Buldog’s bite ("overbite") or opposite lowbite are the most disqualificating features of most breeds except some decorating breeds. "Direct", or tongs-like bite is a topic for discussion for many years already. In the Army military-hunting society Nurserysome species of Russian hounds were excluded from tribe class because of «direct» bite in the early 1960 though they had field 1-st degree diplomas (very rare for this breed); Naturally, their rejection on such formal signhas produced nothing but harm for the development of this breed.
In general plant breeding of working breeds based on exterior signs is accompanied with significant changes in the structure of the head. For example, samoed’snarrow slant-set eyes have turned into round and convex, muzzle has shortened, forehead has become convex, ears have become smaller and lost their "wild" form. Briefly speaking, the dog has got "a face" so sweet for ancity resident’s heart, but incompatible with the original purpose of working
Tail. The dog’s manner to keep the tail wrapped in a circle over the back or lying on a sacrum is common for the absolute majority of sptz-dogs, many dogs-pariahs, Dingo, a number of other species and is one of the earliest signs of domestication of a dog. The founder of the zoological classification K. Linnaeus defined this manner as a species indicator of a domestic dog.
The interdependence between the ways to keep the tail up or cool down and the way of the behaviour of dogs is easily traced on two relative breeds of hounds: Russian, which is based on the standard to keep the tail (GON) hood, and Anglo-Russian (skewbald), which is not precluded from taking its tail hold sharply up (hounds krutogony). A Russian Hound is not characterized with fighting qualities and it suffers a greater or less degree of antropofoby. An English-Russian hound is almost free of this drawback, and in fact it is much more pugnacious. This example reflects a general rule. Ètologists release in dogs and wolves to a dozen transmissions movements and fixed the tail.
Of course, when evaluating the Aboriginal dogs all deviations exterior signs, non-functional values, should depart to second place when compared to the behavior and working qualities. We think that we can use these words to dogs "the good soldier cannot have a bad feather!"though they are usually used by those who enjoy coke fights.
Unfortunately, the manufacturing standards and rules of testing of aboriginal dogs hardly take into account their biology and functional features in normal use and boost the development of primarily exterior signs of formal and decorative nature. Transformation of working breeds into decorative are easilyseen on the fate of the German volshpits, Dutch keshond or our Aboriginal driving (samoed) which are successfully bred as business , even in subtropical countries.
All mentioned above demonstrate the relative value of exterior signs in the standardization of Aboriginal breeds, especially those with extensive historical extension (Laika, the Caucasian and Central Asian sheep-dogs, etc.). Dog breeding, as no other cattle-farming, is characterized with a variety of breeds, many of which on zootechnical criteria should be recognized as formal. It is important to note that a large number of these damaging species requiring separate breeding and therefore quickly degraded, impoverishes the breed gene fund as a whole.
In today's "breedmaking" it is appropriate to remember the history of the creation of three breeds of domestic hunting huskies. A cynologist e. i. Shereshevsky at one time was very simple: held on the map border on the Ural River and the Yenisei River and approved three breed laek. To the Urals-Russian-European, beyond Ural mountains to the Yenisei River-Western Siberia and East of the Yenisei River-East Siberian laika. Do not like to see this sad experience repeated nowadays.
N.P.Bogoslovskaya, K.T, Sulimov, scientific-Coordinating Council on domestic species dogs Russia at RosNII cultural and natural heritage, Ministry of culture of the RUSSIAN FEDERATION and the RUSSIAN ACADEMY of SCIENCES
"It is important to note that a large number of these damaging species requiring separate breeding and therefore quickly degraded, impoverishes the breed gene fund as a whole."
We have had some very detailed discussions about this very thing here on molosserdogs.com before. I think it is time again to resurrect that discussion. It is especially important in the rare breed world that we take great care to widen the gene pool even if the phenotype changes slightly.