Comment to 'akbash, anatolian, kangal, boz kangal, malakli...'
  • [quote] Are Shars LGDs on steroids because of mastiff blood? Most certainly not, they've been like that for a long time.[/QUOTE] How confident are you of that really? Honest question, you may have good reasons to be very certain. I don't, at the moment. [QUOTE]I would say that "LGD" breeds as you have in mind are just watered down variants of these eastern LGDs. In short, this kick ass ingredient in eastern LGDs developed more or less on its own, due to a harsh selective regime. [/QUOTE] This is the common assumption. But actually lgd breeds like the kuvasz are not watered down versions of the cool LGDs. They could be watered down all they like it would still show in their genes that they're related to mastiffs. Some LGDs obviously are related to mastiffs, but then also obviously related to the LGDs which aren't related to mastiffs. So it's a bit of a puzzle to work out how this could make sense, UNLESS these "mastiffy" LGDs are LGD x mastiff hybrids. That LGDs weren't initially mastiff like, some strains have been influenced by mastiffs and this has made them mastiff like. Maybe this hybridisation occurred in 1910, maybe it occurred in 1770, maybe it occurred in ancient rome or ancient greece, I dunno. But instead of what I used to think, and what a lot of people think, that mastiffs and LGDs share a common foundation (usually that mastiffs descend from LGDs), and that this is the reason they are similar, the evidence seems to suggest instead they were separate strains whose paths crossed at some point. Resulting in some hybrid strains, but strains still exist that are not hybrids, and infact they seem to be getting the work in the LGD world more so than the hybrids (not because they are tougher or meaner or more formidable, but because they have good LGD qualities- mostly attentiveness, alertness, reserved intelligence/caution, etc etc- qualities outlined by ray coppinger in his LGD study). I basically don't think the kuvasz and similar dogs are "watered down", I think LGDs by nature don't need to be and aren't supposed to be more than that, the job simply doesn't call for it and so LGDs didn't naturally evolve to be more formidable than that. What people have since done is start using their guesswork to assume an LGD would be better if it was more formidable, and so they've artificially crossed in mastiffs and also bred for size and ferocity and even fighting ability, making the dogs fight and etc. But then these creations have had very little influence on the real LGD world, limitted success, mostly just persist as impressive pets and second rate fighting dogs. Real lgds are mostly still the less mastiffy ones. [QUOTE]I also don't know if weak examples of LGDs are an indicator that the tough examples must be crosses. That would be like stating that the APBT must be crossed because the show AmStaff is worthless. It's just different selective criteria in most cases. No?[/QUOTE] I don't think the "weak" lgds are worthless, quite the contrary, they're the ones that seem to actually be working as livestock guardians. These formidable and powerful LGDs are the ones I'm scratching my head about. They're touted as being the ancient real deal, but I'm wondering if that's the exact opposite of the truth. That they're new, and not the real deal. Modern artificial fabrications designed to be formidable and tough and mean and etc, but for no real reason, just so turks and serbs and russians and whatever else can impress their buddies with their badass dog and maybe have it beat up their buddies dog. These dogs might even find work with the military or whatever, they probably can turn out to be great guard and pp dogs. Seems to be the case. What doesn't seem to be the case is a dominance of the livestock guarding bracket, and I see lots of excuses and criticisms and fairy tales as to why that is. Ones I've been convinced about in the past, but am starting to question. Maybe in this case, the simplest explanation is the correct one. LGDs in their true form (ie the dogs that evolved to meet the demands of livestock guarding) are just like the akbash and kuvasz and etc, that's the form that follows the function of livestock guarding. All the impressive LGDs have just been fabricated by people to be impressive, with the use of outcrossing to mastiffs and bullbreeds and selecting for size, aggressiveness and fighting ability and etc. The amstaff and apbt are still genetically identical. I doubt kangals and ovcharkas and etc are genetically identical to the akbash and kuvasz and etc. I'd wager they have obvious mastiff influence as well as ties to the kuvasz, which would support my theory. All this said, the shar could be an exception for all I know. A strain of real LGD that evolved to be more formidable, maybe, I don't know. What I'm saying seems more so very clear for dogs like kangals and ovcharkas. In my mind shars are on the fence at the moment.
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