Comment to 'why do dobermans seem weak?!?!?!'
  • It's a good point you bring up because it's exactly that, "the standards" that are causing havoc with pedigree showing dogs.

    Of course closed registries, continual line breeding, popular sire syndrome etc are all also important players too. And of course no one is breeding to these standards  outside of showing so the results are aways going to be different and so by virtue as we shall see in fact also better outside of showing. Of course showing breeders are meant to sell on a show, spay or neuter contract, but many of their rejects do of course end up being bred by other people but the majority end up in so called "pet homes". The latter are the majority owners, who are getting those rejects thinking because they're getting a "pedigree" dog registered by the KCs from showing stock, health tested for one or two things, guaranteed to be pure, with so many Ch in the pedigree that they're getting the most fabulous dog possible on the market. Yes without a doubt these sickly diseased exaggerated dogs are often used for breeding too outside of show homes, they're often only marginally worse health wise than the ones the breeder keeps for breeding and to win at dog shows.

    Exterior, or how a dogs looks is only a fraction of what a dog is, there is so much more. Well there should be but there isn't in the show ring, not much anyway.

    Those standards written in stone that do not allow for any variation in any breed beyond ever more exaggerated compliance to that standard, these are exactly what causes so much intensive inbreeding and exaggeration in type.

    As any breeder will tell you there is no such thing as the perfect dog, right. This is still however the aim even though it's apparently unattainable. Judges are supposedly judging from the standard, breeders are supposedly breeding and selecting from the standard. The aim, to produce cookie cutter examples of the breed, the closer to the cookie cutter (standard) the better right? However when does "a sloping back" or "pronounced stop", "deep chest" exemplify the standard?  When the dog has a head and muzzle that looks like a cartoon of a duck as in any number of ruined gun dogs? When it has a crippled face like a show bulldog? A head so grotesque the dog can barely see, eat or drink? Its awarding dogs with those exaggerations that is causing the ever more deformed dogs. Intentional qualzucht. They win dog shows. To win dog shows you have to selectively breed towards those winning exaggerations or go home with no ribbons. The best of breed has them all, they supposedly exemplify the standard and set the bench mark for all to follow. Until you end up with a great dane whose head looks like it has gone into melt down. Yes just like you those breeders will point to the standard and say "but it says so and only good breeders bred to the standard", it's a mark of a responsible breeder. Never mind that the dog can't even run anymore beyond trotting one side of an eight meter minimum sized show ring and many not even half of a side of the ring without having to stop and rest because it can't breath, because its legs are so bent or because its so loosely put together, so heavy and lacking vigour.......because it so closely inbred to fit the standard so it can win.

    Why aren't breeders and judges selecting, breeding and judging for function instead with just a ball park concept of what fits the breeds phenotype? Allowing for a slight healthy variation in phenotype. Individuality in "line" or individual itself? Because then it wouldn't be as close to the standard as possible. Because showing is based entirely on what the dog looks like in relation to a standard instead. Not partial but entirely. Movement is not judged on function but action and ever exaggerated action which leads to ever ever exaggerated type, until a German Shepherds pelvis looks like that of a shrimp thats been hit with a sledge hammer across its back, with permanently deformed hocks unable to do anything but a wobbling trot. Will a Dalmatian be able to follow a carriage for ten miles, with a relaxed economical gait, well no but it can strut up and down an eight meter ring, is that OK. Not exactly, no it's not. Can a showing pekingese even trot for three meters, never mind get up three steps, no it can't. It's been bred for a rolling, bent legged, heavy body so such an extent it can hardly trot at all never mind walk, even if it could it has so much hair such a flat face that it can't breath, over heats and would fall over dead if it tried. The very same dog is best of breed and champion of all dog breeds at Crufts. Doesn't that tell you anything? It can't even do a lap of honour in the big ring so its carried instead. Believe me not many owners can even carry a Pekingese for that long its so heavy. Does that ultimate piece of ribbon and silver cup mean more than the health and life of your or anyone else's dog? Yes even a tea cup poodle or pekingese bred for a pet shop can mange to sprint around a large arena, no problem at all, no pedigree no champs and no register. 

    Of course opening registries and allowing for variation even slight in the phenotype would mean greater genetic diversity on a continual basis, so would appraising breeds and judging on function ensure a healthy dog. So would standards describing a type rather than absolute cookie cutter dogs, allowing for variation as long as intended function wasn't compromised, and testing for intended function, be it pet, guardian or vermin control. A pet dog has a function, it needs to be sane, athletic enough and healthy. Yes all of these would ensure a healthy breed type, and yes a few do still exist mostly only in true working dog breeds but for a tiny few also for companion dogs not bred for the show ring. Yes bred entirely for the pet market. Of course many if not most of these will be highjacked by showing folks determined to ruin them as well, many are already in developing registries with KCs worldwide including your Labradoodle example. The lucky few with a job still to do be it as much loved pet or work dog remain unscathed and have the most robust healthy genetics found in the domestic dog kingdom. Doesn't that tell you anything either?

    The plight of the Doberman is not unique, its the ultimate fate of every single breed bred in continuously closed registries, judged purely on phenotype which all pedigree showing dogs are.  No where else, only in the show ring.

    Again doesn't that tell you anything either?

    You can push those proverbial peas around a plate until the cows drop dead and you won't have changed anything. The same ultimate fate awaits every pedigree breed bred for the show ring under the present manner. Rare breeds just get there even faster, most start with impoverished gene pools, just a few founding dogs or numbers so small they can't ever hope to ever have a healthy gene pool unless they have access to a working gene pool still bred in open registries. In other words still unaffected by the show ring. Even then as with the Doberman even if they found perfectly healthy specimens of the breed in some small village in Kyrgyzstan it won't actually help much at all and certainly only for a fraction of a moment in time for the breed.

    Basically nothing will change at all unless breeding practises change for good. The best you can do with a rare breed is keep it out of the show ring and keep its registry open for ever, fine tuning it for function where and when ever necessary with like types from as healthy stock as possible. Trying to cherish an exact phenotype within closed registries is like running with a ticking time bomb.