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BREEDING - The Big Picture!

Well, you finally did it, Dan. :D It's been almost a year since I've last posted anything in the MD Forums, but I just have to say that this is by far the best writing on the subject of breeding and clarifying certain details most breeders are clueless about I have ever seen. Thanks and keep 'em coming. 8)
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    • Many articles have been written about dog breeding, with the better ones usually covering some aspect of canine genetics as well. However, even those latter manuscripts merely revolve around Mendelian genetics. While this is undoubtedly valuable for the understanding of inheritance when breeding individual dogs, I have seldom encountered resources, where the authors tried to put dog breeding into a broader context. The question is, would our perception increase, if we took the focus away from single dogs or even individual breeding programs and started looking at breeds in their entirety? Is there any tangible benefit to interpreting our breeding efforts in the light of the impact on the complete breed? Whenever we consider a dog breed as a whole, the term Population Genetics should come to mind right away. But what exactly is Population Genetics? Well, it essentially describes a discipline within genetics, where quantitative tools are applied to understand global genetic drift, gene migrations, allele frequencies of certain desired or undesired traits etc. This outlook - as I will try to illustrate here - has far reaching and I believe fascinating implications. Let us dive into this matter with a little thought experiment at the beginning. Suppose you decided to recreate a breed of antiquity, which to all accounts has been extinct for centuries. To your own amazement, you were able to identify say 4 unrelated males that express this presumably ancient phenotype and another 7 females, all hidden away in various remote areas of the world. This basically becomes your foundation – or in genetics terms comprises the gene pool of your new breed. So far so good. But once you start breeding them methodically, you soon realize that your breed quickly becomes tightly related. After only two or three full generations you find yourself having to resort to inbreeding to further increase the numbers of specimens. So what exactly happened? And why could this development potentially be a bad thing? And what is inbreeding anyway? Before we proceed, let us first briefly discuss the terms inbreeding and linebreeding. In the canine world, inbreeding is defined as breeding closely related dogs to each other, i.e. parent to offspring (vertically) or brother to sister or half-brother to half-sister (horizontally). Let me stress right away that inbreeding in itself can be a valuable tool to ‘fix’ certain desired genes and should not be quickly discarded as the works of unethical breeders. This writing is really not supposed to become an argument for or against inbreeding, rather a plea that a full appreciation of its broader implications should be paramount before even considering such a breeding strategy. When we now look at the term linebreeding, it is traditionally referred to as a relaxed form of inbreeding, meaning the matching of distant cousins or aunts to nephews, grand-uncles to grand-nieces etc. In reality, the distinction between those two forms of inbreeding is just arbitrary, as genetically speaking there isn’t a fundamental difference between them. Emotional reservations aside, the actual genetic relationship of two individuals is scientifically determined by Sewall Wright's Coefficient of Relationship (RC), which basically computes a percentage of relatedness by derivation from the Coefficient of Inbreeding (COI). I’ll spare you the math. But it turns out that solely based on their four generation pedigrees, apparently unrelated or only remotely related dogs from the same breed can share a substantial amount of common genes, resulting in a notably high inbreeding coefficient, when mathematically verified over the past 10 generations. This is actually the case for the vast majority of today’s purebred dogs. Inheritance is not as straight forward as many believe. Oftentimes, people mention percentages of “blood” in their dogs as if these were absolute certainties, whereas in reality the percentages beyond the actual parents rather describe only probabilities. Believe it or not, this is an important distinction. There is no physical law that makes sure that a pup is 25% genetically identical with its grandfather. This is only the probabilistic mean, to be observed if one would fully genotype thousands of puppies and their respective grandparents, then calculate the average similarity; it’s just a convenient simplification that works somewhat well in practical terms – nothing more. Please keep in mind that these numbers are only an abstraction of reality. Ok, now that I sufficiently clouded the neat and cozy Mendelian approach, let us get back to quantitative genetics, or at least a global viewpoint. As various dog breeds evolved over time, people had primarily the same principal objective – to obtain sufficient consistency in the progeny of their dogs with regard to some defined labor task. They strived for a distinct conformation in phenotype as well as certain favored personality traits; in short, the optimal dog for a given task. When we really think about this from a genetic perspective, the underlying objective really was to limit the variability of a given gene pool in order to create a coherent type of dog, that performed well above average in the respective niche. In this procedure, an initial dog population of some intrinsic diversity would be progressively “pruned”, until a new dog population of superior working quality had been obtained. Just as the consistency in phenotype improves, the variability in the offspring decreases over time, meaning that the range of available alleles in the gene pool narrows over time. A while ago, I started a MolosserDogs thread with the title [url=http://molosserdogs.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=2340]“What is a mutt?”[/url], only to illustrate how people would struggle to clearly define what the criteria for being a mutt would be. I believe that there is no clear cut definition. If anything in that regard can be said with confidence, then it is probably that purebred dogs display a tighter genetic variability than “mixed” dogs. By the way, the consistent phenotypes due to limited gene pools with homozygosity for many alleles in pure breeds are of fundamentally different composition (and quality) than those of wild pariah dog populations. This has to do with masking of recessive genes, which unfortunately is beyond the scope of this topic. Only this much, in gene pools of pariah dogs, recessive genes can be carried along without being frequently expressed nor completely eliminated from the gene pool; only to pop up, if and when they prove advantageous. Anyway, as far as we are concerned for now, whenever we study the gene pool of a particular dog breed, it is safe to say that we are dealing with a more or less isolated subset of available gene alleles from the generic gene pool. Now, narrow and isolated gene pools aren’t an exclusive phenomenon of dog breeds created by man. Small wolf packs in nature for example aren’t exactly fully transparent either, their sexually mature members are certainly not available to every potential mate out there but restricted to selected specimens even within their own family. While close incestuous pairings seem to be the rare exception in wolves, this arrangement still meets the criteria for loose inbreeding. If what we call “linebreeding” constantly occurs in nature itself, it can’t be all that bad in breeding programs either, right? Yes, of course. But there’s more to it. Let us come back to this issue a little bit later. When linebreeding is performed in a meaningful manner of strategic breeding efforts, the objective is to emphasize desired features or to eliminate undesired genes. Inbreeding is used to ‘fix’ specific genes, essentially an attempt to concentrate the allele frequency of a targeted trait. This is a science in itself and the subject has been satisfactorily discussed in other threads already. I would only like to discuss the “side effects” here. Due to affects of gene linkage, we cannot pretend that we are solely tinkering with the targeted gene, when we try to modulate an allele frequency of a population to our advantage. When we fix one gene, we affect others in their relative occurrence as well. Without even realizing it, we are likely to increase the rate for infrequent recessive defects that just happen to be closely linked to our original gene of interest. One might now hastily conclude that all inbreeding (whether incestuous or linebreeding) is “evil” and simply resort to selecting very distantly related specimens from the same breed. Let us investigate this potential strategy for a moment. I hope you still remember our initial thought experiment. Let us switch into the next gear. Suppose we are dealing with a rare breed of about 400 specimens total, which are unrelated. (I use 400 as this is the number that Gary Sicard came up with in a recent discussion. I will demonstrate shortly, how the exact amount of specimens in a breed is almost irrelevant.) For simplicity, we will assume that about 50% of these dogs are male, the other half obviously female; none of them spayed or neutered. How long do you think, will it take before all dogs are related to each other? If you guessed after eight generations, you are right. This seems so counterintuitive, doesn’t it? The reason for this rapid decline in unrelatedness is that the genetic convergence follows a logarithmic function. For those who are interested, the equation to determine the first generation of inbreeding is Gi= |(ln(n)/ln(2))+0.5|+1 , where n is the amount of dogs from the less represented gender. What this really means is that the possible number of available unrelated specimens is cut in half with each generation. So, if we had just 16 studs and equally as many females, we’d experience unintentional inbreeding within only 5 generations. And keep in mind that this would only hold true, if one employed every specimen equally in the breeding program. If any stud were to be favored as a show champion for example and all bitches were bred to that one stud, then complete relatedness would obviously be achieved much sooner; this could be considered as a founder’s effect. The subsequent unintentional inbreeding would further amplify unwanted traits – or more precisely, genetic diseases. And in fact, this is precisely what happens in so many ‘novel’ breeds. The genetic base is so thin that it usually takes only 10 years or less in a breeding program, until more and more problems surface within the breeding stock. A perfect Pandora’s box, as far as I am concerned. I have previously mentioned that narrow gene pools are not bound to man-created dog breeds but also occur in wild populations of canidae. If these effects are as detrimental as I make it sound, why aren’t wolf populations riddled with genetic diseases? Why do breeders and dog owners experience problems more frequently in recent decades and not as severely in the early days of breeding for type? The answer to that is that “linebreeding” is only one half of the story, only one part of a truly successful strategy. When we look at wild predator populations, one thing becomes immediately apparent. Let’s assume an ecosystem of stable equilibrium between a population of some sort of prey and a pack of wolves. A female wolf comes in heat only once a year, and even then on average she produces around 25-30 young wolves throughout her life. However, in order to maintain that aforementioned perfect equilibrium (I will refrain from harmony, as the prey would probably beg to differ), statistically speaking, all she really needs to produce are two new wolves, one to replace herself and one to replace the sire. This progeny would maintain the wolf population stable, until the next generation eventually takes over. So the legitimate question is, what happens to the other wolves? It is well documented that the majority of the offspring will simply starve or die prematurely of other cause. Bluntly stated (and statistically of course), only the fittest survive. Nature “recalls” those that didn’t make the cut – for whatever reason. I was recently asked, if it was true that historically livestock guardian dogs such as the Sarplaninac truly had only very few puppies in a litter? The suggested 2 or 3 puppies per pregnancy would indeed be remarkably low, considering that those sheep guardians are pretty large dogs. My response was that I’m sure that in many cases only very few puppies officially made it to young adulthood, regardless of how many puppies the dam actually gave birth to. Well, these were different times and not all dogs in a litter were necessarily allowed to live long and prosper lives. Even at older ages, dogs that didn’t perform as expected, were simply culled – no questions asked. Such a strict breeding regime ensured that only the toughest dogs survived; those with genetic impairments didn’t make the cut. Almost like the unfit wolves. Today, mentioning the word culling is almost a strict taboo. Yet, it is necessary to complement systematic breeding efforts, whether we like it or not. Now, before breeders rush off into the garage and get their big axe out, I would like to stress that I am IN NO WAY suggesting any killing of puppies. While people in the past supposedly did not know any better or didn’t have the means, today we have the privilege to have modern tools at hand that would allow breeders to cull without actually harming the individual dog. Recall that the real objective here is only to eliminate unfit phenotypes from the gene pool, not to harm dogs. The overall goal of such an endeavor really should be to improve the health of the intact population as a whole. Modern tools could be comprised of spaying/neutering, limited registration, withholding pedigrees until breeding age, shared ownership etc. Responsible breeders should first and foremost keep the well-being of the breed in mind. Such an effort can only be a bottom-up approach and not dictated by breed registries. In conclusion, linebreeding techniques are unquestionably useful in a breeder’s aspirations to produce better dogs. Incestuous inbreeding, if applied correctly, can be very effective in fixing genes of interest. However, these techniques require very close monitoring of the offspring, in particular for undesired traits – and harsh culling. People are frequently unaware of how quickly a given dog population converges into a single cluster of interrelated specimens. This occurs at a much accelerated rate, when breeders all eagerly breed to the same show champion. This can cause problems rather sooner than later. It is therefore a myth that all puppies from reputable breeders will be of outstanding quality. This viewpoint may be lucrative for the individual breeder, but let’s face it, not all puppies should be bred down the road. If culling is omitted for financial or emotional reasons, all that people are really doing is to support the increase of genetic problems for future dog generations. I realize that I have only scratched the surface of many issues. I did not aspire to achieve even remotely thorough coverage of this complex matter. But I hope that I could at least provide some rationale, why breeders should start seeing the breed in a big picture, and especially the potentially detrimental effects that their own actions might have for the entirety of the breed. There will surely be those who will utterly refuse to accept the importance of culling as part of a comprehensive breeding strategy and I understand that this can be a controversial issue. Nevertheless, IMHO it is part of the equation. Dan
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      • Well, you finally did it, Dan. :D It's been almost a year since I've last posted anything in the MD Forums, but I just have to say that this is by far the best writing on the subject of breeding and clarifying certain details most breeders are clueless about I have ever seen. Thanks and keep 'em coming. 8)
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        • Thanks Dan - you (and Lee) do for genetics what slicing did for bread.
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          • Dan - Thank you for the post. The thread about breeding two males to one bitch & DNa varification has got me thing about how one could use modern science to "brred-out" (or greatly reduce)genetic health problems in thier breed of choice. In my case Rottweilers aren't know to live past 10yrs. They don't really mature until 3-4 years. erious health issues don't "usually" manifest until the dog is 6+ yrs. That said if Sperm from 3-4 yr. old males that had correct conformation, disreed working ablity and proper temperment were frozen an not used until the dog had reached maturity, one could evalute the stud true contribution to the gene pool. I'm sure the people that own the famous race horse "John Henry" had wished they had frozen a few straws. :wink: Of course this only accounts for 1/2 of the Genetic meassage. So, eggs would also have to be saved so the bitch could also be evaulated.
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            • Now could we maybe have a topic heading on genetics and breeding? I know I've seen some great info pass through the general forum from time to time, but it would be nice to be able to access it easier. Just a thought! BTW, excellent post Dan! :D 8)
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              • Nice Dan!! Thanks!! :D
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                • Good post Dan. I have a few thoughts I thought I might add if you don't mind. [quote=Astibus]Inheritance is not as straight forward as many believe. Oftentimes, people mention percentages of “blood” in their dogs as if these were absolute certainties, whereas in reality the percentages beyond the actual parents rather describe only probabilities.[/quote] It is this very reason that while some people have hounded me wanting to know percentage this or percentage that...I keep telling them you have to select for TRAITS. Yes, percentages can be close to probable outcomes...but the absolute outcome isn't fixed on a percentage. Instead, it is fixed upon the selection pressures of the desired features. [quote=Astibus]...recessive genes can be carried along without being frequently expressed nor completely eliminated from the gene pool; only to pop up, if and when they prove advantageous.[/quote] Yes, if the recessive genes are popular enough to recombine as a fairly common occurance in order to select for the phenotype expressed by a homozygous recessive genotype...and therefore increasing its breeding. If the recessive gene is rare though, then it will be extremely unlikely for this rarity ("endangered") to exist in a homozygous (expressed) recessive form and therefore a rare recessive gene may only exist in a heterozygous genetype carrier that would be phenotypically no different than a homozygous dominant genotype/phenotype...and therefore never be given any favoritism. If a heterozygous genotype expresses a phenotype that is more likely to survive than a homozygous dominant geneotype...then I might would agree with this as a liklihood, but if that was the case it really wouldn't be "recessive" but codominant or incompletely dominant. [blockquote]Why do breeders and dog owners experience problems more frequently in recent decades and not as severely in the early days of breeding for type? The answer to that is that “linebreeding” is only one half of the story, only one part of a truly successful strategy... ...only the fittest survive. Nature “recalls” those that didn’t make the cut – for whatever reason.[/blockquote] Agreed...In other words, performance selection. Breeders must remember this if they really expect to produce working quality dogs. Too many breeders say they breed for working ability, but in actually don't. Just look around. For example...I am not saying x-raying dogs and such is a bad thing, but to think that x-rays is some proof of working ability simply is an amazing ignorance IMO. In nature, the "x-ray" is...do you have what is needed to survive? Well, breeders should ask..."do you have what is needed to do the job you have been bred to do?" and then they should test the dogs accordingly with real tests that measure these working abilities. I have never heard of a winning alaskan musher sled team that placed x-rays, pre-lims, thyroid tests, etc over the ability to pull the sled...yet, remarkably working class huskies are fitter than show huskies...which inherit comparably good fitness from their working cousins when compared to predominantly show bred non-working breeds. Now of course, this arguement/point shouldn't be used to justify not x-raying a dog or doing other tests UNLESS the breeder is REALLY GOING TO PUSH A DOG to its limits, measure recover time, etc to realy look for maximum performing individuals within a population...and not confusing such feets as such with wishful thinking while running "fi-fi" or "fu-fu" around the block. One final comment on culling Culling doesn't have to mean death. It just has to mean removal from the breeding population. Culling can humainly be done by spaying or neutering an animal and placing such individuals in pet homes. OH...and here is a link to a similiar topic I posted on the Bandog discussion forum, that I probably should have posted in the general topic forum as it pertains to all breeders. http://www.molosserdogs.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=2584
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                  • Dan, GREAT post!!! :D I've been reading up on genetics lately so I was just able to get a decent grasp on everything through the jargon. :) You can Lee both make some great points and my thoughts on what breeding (and culling, for that) should be based on are virtually the same. Again, wonderful post. [blockquote]Now could we maybe have a topic heading on genetics and breeding?[/blockquote] I think that having a forum for breeding and genetics would be a great idea too. 8)
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                    • Lee - RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED "Agreed...In other words, performance selection. Breeders must remember this if they really expect to produce working quality dogs. Too many breeders say they breed for working ability, but in actually don't. Just look around. For example...I am not saying x-raying dogs and such is a bad thing, but to think that x-rays is some proof of working ability simply is an amazing ignorance IMO. In nature, the "x-ray" is...do you have what is needed to survive? Well, breeders should ask..."do you have what is needed to do the job you have been bred to do?" and then they should test the dogs accordingly with real tests that measure these working abilities. I have never heard of a winning alaskan musher sled team that placed x-rays, pre-lims, thyroid tests, etc over the ability to pull the sled...yet, remarkably working class huskies are fitter than show huskies...which inherit comparably good fitness from their working cousins when compared to predominantly show bred non-working breeds. Now of course, this arguement/point shouldn't be used to justify not x-raying a dog or doing other tests UNLESS the breeder is REALLY GOING TO PUSH A DOG to its limits, measure recover time, etc to realy look for maximum performing individuals within a population...and not confusing such feets as such with wishful thinking while running "fi-fi" or "fu-fu" around the block." To me breding for only performance is just as bad as breeding for only conformation....No Actually I feel it's worse. Many of the tough & gretty breeds can & do work well for a few years with bad hips, elbows. Thier pain threash holds are higher, maybe muscle mass to bone ratio is higher in the hip girddle. But into years 4-6 thier youth is no longer to over compinsate for thier dyplacia issues. So, what happens in effect people are breeding desposible dogs. To me that's more inhumae that teminally culling puupies. I've meet dozens of "preformance " breeder that would never concider using X-rays or testing of thyroid, heart etec. But, have no problem continuing to breed unhealthy stock in the fraint hope that eventually they might get a dog that will work into middle age. I've seen hogdogs that can work @ 7.8.9 yrs.....I've seen 9 y.o. Shz III GSD'd compete, I've seem an 11yo GSD that can still clear hurddles.....So I know it's more than possible to breed with the goal of a long healthy life vs. flash in the pan preformance. Agian NO OFFENCE INTENDED.
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                      • [quote=Igmuska]Now could we maybe have a topic heading on genetics and breeding? I know I've seen some great info pass through the general forum from time to time, but it would be nice to be able to access it easier. [/quote] :D ... and so shall it be :D
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                        • Thanks Lee and Dan for the great stuff you guys are sharing, its priceless education especially for we grey horns. Well done Gary for your prompt response, you are a genie our wish is ur command :D :D :D
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                          • [blockquote]To me breding for only performance is just as bad as breeding for only conformation....No Actually I feel it's worse. Many of the tough & gretty breeds can & do work well for a few years with bad hips, elbows. Thier pain threash holds are higher, maybe muscle mass to bone ratio is higher in the hip girddle. But into years 4-6 thier youth is no longer to over compinsate for thier dyplacia issues. [/blockquote] The reason you feel this way is because of how you defined performance. To me, a dog that performs well into its old age is a better performer than a dog that only performed for a few years...and therefore the older performer should be continued to be bred to strengthen the gene pool by increasing the frequency of their contribution. Also, a young performer that performs exceptionally well in spite of some "issue" perhaps ONLY does so simply because of some other area (drive) being extra strong to making up for the weakness...When we breed the best performing animals to the best performing animals, in time all weaknesses will be removed while at the same time all strengths will be passed on. This occurs as a process of selection over time. The strengths of the young performer will be passed on as will be the weaknesses. However, by properly selecting on the basis of performance a selective breeder will capture offspring that obtain the strengths of that dog and yet don't have the weakness. This occurs due to the principle of independent assortment. Say the old performer is an excellent reliable consistent good and sound performer. Say the "young" dog is a dog that is OFF THE CHARTS in drive, but has a "bad leg." First, lets be honest about what an x-ray looks at. It only looks at a joint and true soundness requires more than just a good joint. What about cardiovascular heath, nervous system development/coordination, drives, muscular strength, immune system, endocrine system, liver function (important in endurance events), kidney function, tendon strength, etc...As there are many lame dogs that have "good hips" according to x-rays...yet the dog won't work. (Additional note: To me, lameness should be measured by work oriented selective pressures that push the dog hard and observing the dog's recovery time.) The goal is in time, selective breeding brings OUT all the strengths and removes all the weaknesses as populations continually improve and continually raise the bar to remove the "next" exposed weakness. ANd some day capture the soundness of the old dog, but to capture the incredible drive, stamina, endocrine system, nervous system...or whatever strengths each dog has to offer. To bring the best with the best, removing (culling, spaying, neutering) the less-than-best along the way. This is the only way to obtain the best in the end...the real best...political or not. And it was this "cold hard fact" of how dogs were bred in the past. Dog's were not historically bred on an affirmation, well fair type program where people justified those that didn't carry their weight...yet it was the historical breeders that not only produced the best performing dogs in the world but ALSO the MOST SOUND DOGS in the world.
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                            • Dan I loved your post, really great piece on culling. Now, I have a question that I would like for you to ponder upon. 50 years ago It was nothing for dogs to live up into their golden years, assuming that they didnt live to tough a life. Even today breeds such as the Plott, Redbone, Walkers, Greyhounds and the like all commonly see 13 years, or more! Usually the people breeding these dogs, know nothing of genetics. They simply breed the most "visibly" fit and best performing specimins to a complimentary bitch. With obviously fantastic results. I personally believe that we as humans tend to overthink almost everthing that we get our hands on. 60 Years ago concrete was one strength and one mix 3000psi, The slabs poured at that time and the masonry work is still strong to this day. My home was built in 1960. And the foundation looks as if it were poured yesterday. We now have a diferent mix design new admix dosage, new slump requirements, blah blah blah. A new mix is created daily for every situation and strength requirement you can imagine. And the darn slabs crack routinely within just a few years after being poured. What I am saying is why does everyone have to turn something so simple into rocket science?
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                              • I am going to jump in and answer this. They turn it into rocket science because they think they can substitute for performance testing. The truth however is always the same. We will only produced what we select for.
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                                • So Lee, are you saying you only breed old dogs that have proved working abilities thru the years?
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                                  • Lee, we are definately on the same page here. 4Myneo, of course that wouldnt be the case. Whatever the case may be they are great looking dogs.
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                                    • Great post Astibus. I just have one comment to make. While line\inbreeding is effective in fixing traits, it isn't the only way to go about it. Assortative mating can have the same results albeit perhaps in more generations. There are breeders who employ assortative mating while actively avoiding line\inbreeding and who are very satisfied with the consistency in their lines.
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                                      • [quote=4myneo]So Lee, are you saying you only breed old dogs that have proved working abilities thru the years?[/quote] Like Boomslang stated, that isn't the case. We have bred some young dogs a time or so that have performed exceptionally well. But our older dogs that continue to work well are more likely going to be bred more often and therefore make a greater contribution to future generations than would a dog we only bred once or maybe twice. One example is an EM bitch we bred twice so far. She is coming up on her 9th year and still sound, active, and vibrant...and for this reason I may just breed her again. I use her in our program because she is a strong girl and a well performing dog. I bred her once last year because at 8 she was still very able and acted young. Now at approaching 9 years, she has shown no more signs of aging still and I may just breed her again yet...because she acts like a young healthy dog and can still work. In fact, she likes to work. I kept an entire litter out of her once and I may just do this again with another stud. Here is the funny part of this though. Some will complain about breeding a quality performing dog too young when they will do the same thing only having it "confirmed" by a lab test, and then the same people will often complain about someone else breeding a dog that is old...even though the older dog may act younger and be more active than their young lab tested dog. My thoughts on this are, no one should breed a bitch that can't perform for any reason...and this includes a dog that acts old. I guess some people with Mastiffs that are dying at 4-6 years old simply can't understand. Another thing is people THINK they can replace performance testing (which shouldn't be done) with these quick lab tests and such because today...in a world of microwave ovens, lazy tv life, diet in a pill, and the internet...who would take the time to really work a dog so it can be active, healthy, tested, and live a long happy quality life. After all...people hardly excercise themselves anymore between their meals at McDonalds. When was the last time had 14 home cooked meals in one week (just 2 a day for one week)? I grew up in a home where people worked and the lady of the house cooked for the family and we sat at the table even breakfast and dinner...and the only meal on the go was maybe lunch. I miss those days. When quality work was evident in the final product. Today, almost no one really works dogs anymore...so I don't really expect people to understand this. Today, politics as always is the case drives what is popular even if what is popular is totally wrong. AND with so many of the other things that are politically correct, you simply can't lab test the ability to work or the ability to perform. There is only one way to know that.
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                                        • Lee "The reason you feel this way is because of how you defined performance." No I feel this way because I have my retired Ch. Catahuola lying by my side, high point dog in hog bay trials & coon trials, comformation ch titled in 4 registerys. He has bi-lateral dysplacia. in his 1st 3 years no one knew it but my vet & myself. You could not see him limp or gate poorly, he could walk 3-4 miles w/o fatuge. Now in his last years my eye tear up watching him struggle walking. All because I bought into the "working is everything BS" years ago. I'll discuse the topic at lenght but ,don't tell my what my reasoning is. "When we breed the best performing animals to the best performing animals, in time all weaknesses will be removed while at the same time all strengths will be passed on. " That premise is flawed. Without the aide of medical evaluation one is just rolling the dice. By time you've realized your stud is producing cripples he's past his breeding prime and all you've accomplish is to breed more cripples. I can understand that breding mindset in primative culture or in remote areas of the world. There's just no excuse not to take advantage of moderen medical test ti produce excelllent dogs. Without a strong & correct (to the breed) bone structure, temperment , drive courage are worthless.
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                                          • [quote=Platz]Lee "The reason you feel this way is because of how you defined performance." No I feel this way because...[/quote] If you look at your reply (no offense intended) you will indeed see you defined that dog as a performance dog. I myself (again no offense to your dog) I do not define that dog as a dog that would perform. [blockquote]I have my retired Ch. Catahuola lying by my side, high point dog in hog bay trials & coon trials, comformation ch titled in 4 registerys. He has bi-lateral dysplacia. in his 1st 3 years no one knew it but my vet & myself. You could not see him limp or gate poorly, he could walk 3-4 miles w/o fatuge. Now in his last years my eye tear up watching him struggle walking. All because I bought into the "working is everything BS" years ago. I'll discuse the topic at lenght but ,don't tell my what my reasoning is.[/blockquote] Did you not just define that dog as a working dog? The truth of it is, even though the dog scored good in some trial...you say "in his first 3 years no one knew it by my vet and myself. You could not see him limp or gate pooly, he could walk for 3-4 miles w/o fatige." News flash...walking for 3-4 miles does NOT test a dog's soundness. I have a 9 year old 150+# bitch that will still walk 3-4 miles. If you want to use a workout to measure soundness...real soundness...you will have to really WORK the dog and MEASURE its recovery time. You obviously never did that. Instead, you assumed the scores in some trials was sufficient work to measure performance. It wasn't performance testing or working that failed your dog's selection measure...it was your knowledge of what real working is consisted of. I do not wish to offend you, but to attack performance testing as flawed when it isn't is erroneous on your part. Again, I am not wishing to offend you, but you must accept the source of the problem was you didn't know how to work a dog in such a way to test performance. It was your knowledge at the time that failed, and to say otherwise I believe (as is proven by history) is to deny the reality of what real performance testing accomplishes. This simply isn't fair. We need to accept the truth in order to produce the best. History has shown...the most sound breeds in existence are the real working breeds and this is no historically proven (working breed after working breed) repeated coincidence that shows working breeds to be the most sound. (When I refer to a "working breed" I am not referring to the "working class" of k9s, but to breeds developed on the basis of actually physically doing taxing activities...such as a husky, greyhound, APBT, etc). Working a dog isn't something we can just speak or be affirmed (patted on the back) in some well-fare based "title" earning game of a "competition." Working a dog, if you are going to use it as a selection measure of soundness, must encompass a real test of soundess. It is something we have to really do. Titles typically are not really working events. The training field however may be. As the dog's owner it becomes YOUR responsibility to know your dog and its limitations. To do this, you have to work the dog. A lot of people make claims about things they never test, and they shouldn't. I see prey driven game playing dogs claimed to be "protection dogs" because the dog got some title somewhere or played some tug game on some field...but these same people would panic if someone ever stressed their dog...and many of these "protection dogs" would honestly run in fear if they criminal ever whopped them a good one, and only then would these people/handlers begin to then realize they never trained their dog in protection work in any of their "protection training days." But, it isn't my responsiblity to go around wacking these dogs on the head to wake the owners up on what real training or working is. Also, I like games too...so I can understand why a person might wish to do such things...but we have to FIRST be honest with ourselves and accept the limitation of what we do instead of pretending what we do is more than it really is. What I mean is this. If you want to know if a dog is physically sound, you will have to build them up, push them to the limits of a true athlete, and see how well they do. If you don't do this, then you don't know if you have a sound athlete or not. We can't pretend to be gods and speak things into existence simply because we desire them. We have to see what is there. Again, we will only produce what we select for. [blockquote]"When we breed the best performing animals to the best performing animals, in time all weaknesses will be removed while at the same time all strengths will be passed on. " That premise is flawed. Without the aide of medical evaluation one is just rolling the dice. [/blockquote] On the contrary, that premise is accurate and proven by history. Why are the most sound dogs in existence dogs that were developed not from lab tests, but by developed by working in the field...real "no well fare programs or affirmation" programs, but work where a dog literally has lives on the line or puts money on the table to earn his keep or right to breed. In fact...I would state history has PROVEN that without performance testing one is just rolling the dice.
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                                            • AWESOME post dan, and as confusing as it was for me, it did clear up a lot too.
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                                              • What else can I say except great posts Dan and Lee. 8)
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                                                • First of all, thanks to everyone for your kind words :oops: :) ; but I gotta say that I am particularly pleased that my thread apparently has influenced Al Wolf in his decision to post again. :D Great to have you back, my friend! 8) [quote="boomslang"]Now, I have a question that I would like for you to ponder upon. 50 years ago It was nothing for dogs to live up into their golden years, assuming that they didnt live to tough a life. [..] Usually the people breeding these dogs, know nothing of genetics. They simply breed the most "visibly" fit and best performing specimins to a complimentary bitch. With obviously fantastic results. I personally believe that we as humans tend to overthink [..] why does everyone have to turn something so simple into rocket science?[/quote] OK, let me try to address this brilliant question. :) Modern science provides us with a depth of insight into dogs that is virtually unprecedented in history. With the completion of the dog genome, we now know that the canine genome contains about 19000 - 20000 genes dispersed over a sequence of 2.41 billion nucleotides. There are about 400 known hereditary diseases for dogs described in the literature. (For some reason, those sources didn't include "tailwagging idiocy" in their list :lol: ). Novel tools such as whole-genome Genechips for canines allow for comprehensive genetic profiling of a specimen's composition. Diagnostic molecular markers, X-ray and many more techniques are available today to investigate the predisposition of our dogs and take those findings into further consideration. Great stuff, if you ask me. Here's the thing though. Those technologies are essentially prognostic tools, and most of them very one-dimensional at that. They do NOT replace the methods that were used in the past. If one attempted to select breeding stock solely based on such analytical approaches, one would quickly be overwhelmed. In layman's terms, it would be like trying to control a sack of worms. Please allow me to give you an analogy that will illustrate the underlying problem. Suppose you find yourself in a ping-pong match, where you are standing on one end of the table with the BEST ping-pong racquet you can possibly buy, and a group of people on the other side of the table. Your job is to fend off the balls that these guys are hitting in your direction. Problem is, they have 400 balls at their disposal (symbolizing the 400 possible hereditary diseases). You can easily imagine that eventually, some balls will get through to your side; in the end, I'm sure you'll lose the game - regardless of the quality of your "high-tech"-racquet (or is it racket?) ....... UNLESS........you change the playing field to your advantage (literally). Position the ping-pong table on a hill with a steep slope, so that your opponents will have to hit the balls uphill. :wink: Gravity will play in your favor and return the opponent's balls right back into their quarters. That gravity essentially represents the environmental pressure. If the slope is steep enough, you'll likely succeed. What I am trying to say is that "high-tech" obviously can be a great tool, but it won't be able to replace the 'help' of nature, when you face a "multi-dimensional" challenge. What people in the old days simply did is to choose a "slope" THAT "steep", that they wouldn't even have to think very hard about the complex theory behind successful breeding. For the most part, nature would take care of it. Now back to your question, why don't we simply do what people way-back-when did? Well, unless you have dozens of dogs, hundreds of sheep and thousands of acres of mountainous pastures, it won't be easy to find that "steep slope", i.e. this harsh environmental pressure on your population, that is really necessary. This is where "high-tech" comes in as a measure to somewhat compensate for the shortcomings and limitations of our modern world. Knowledge about the fundamentals of genetics will undoubtedly be beneficial in those endeavors. So we oughta think about how we want to breed dogs. It is my belief that today, we will have to employ both strategies simultaneously to be able to maintain a high quality in dogs. The emphasis however, should always lie on the "old ways", as those truly are the PROVEN concept. 8) Regards, Dan P.S.: Igmuska, thanks for suggesting a separate forum topic on breeding & genetics - Great idea! Thanks so much for realizing it, Gary! And great discussion by the way... :D
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                                                  • [quote=Warthog]While line\inbreeding is effective in fixing traits, it isn't the only way to go about it. Assortative mating can have the same results albeit perhaps in more generations.[/quote]Absolutely! :D Thanks for pointing that out. My post is far from an attempt to cover all aspects of breeding. I just wanted to point out that "linebreeding" (and obviously incestuous inbreeding) without rigorous culling really is insufficient - in the long run. But you're right, breeders should investigate assortative mating to see, if this could be a viable alternative for them. :) Dan
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                                                    • [quote=Astibus]Please allow me to give you an analogy that will illustrate the underlying problem. Suppose you find yourself in a ping-pong match, where you are standing on one end of the table with the BEST ping-pong racquet you can possibly buy, and a group of people on the other side of the table. Your job is to fend off the balls that these guys are hitting in your direction. Problem is, they have 400 balls at their disposal (symbolizing the 400 possible hereditary diseases). You can easily imagine that eventually, some balls will get through to your side; in the end, I'm sure you'll lose the game - regardless of the quality of your "high-tech"-racquet (or is it racket?) ....... UNLESS........you change the playing field to your advantage (literally). Position the ping-pong table on a hill with a steep slope, so that your opponents will have to hit the balls uphill. :wink: Gravity will play in your favor and return the opponent's balls right back into their quarters. That gravity essentially represents the environmental pressure. If the slope is steep enough, you'll likely succeed.[/quote] Excellent point, Dan. 8) P.S. It's good to know I'm not the only analogy-freak here. :D
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                                                      • Lee - If you go back and read and think about my eariler post you see I'm not in any way attacking preformance testing. I'm currently, preparing my Rotty for the AD test. "I am not wishing to offend you, but you must accept the source of the problem was you didn't know how to work a dog in such a way to test performance. " That would make sence if I had bought the dog as an adult.....But, since that dog was 8 wks old at the time your point is moot. No the problem is trusted "breeders" that thought they knew more than they did....They talked alot about history too... :roll: What I am against is preformance ONLY breeding, breeding programs that excuse medical screening as some sort of PC sillyness. I t doesn't matter (to me) how much drive a dog has if it's crippled. A fact that is not always obvious in a young dog. And I belive you do understand that point if you have been in dogs as long as you insdicate. As to your dismissal of titles & competion....I've heard that smack all the time from people that can't get it done. The value in a title is that someone (unbiased & experience in that breed)other that the dog owner is confirming ablity. Bottom line is we all have our own ethics. :wink:
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                                                        • [blockquote]That would make sence if I had bought the dog as an adult.....But, since that dog was 8 wks old at the time your point is moot. No the problem is trusted "breeders" that thought they knew more than they did....They talked alot about history too... [/blockquote] Talking about history and using it as a model are two different things. I have no idea if the breeder you got your dog from or not used performance selection. Talking about history has nothing to do with performance testing unless one is going to pick up the torch and go do it. Now, you spoke of how your dog would walk 3-4 miles without showing signs of limping or won some field events. What was your reason for mentioning this, because it seemed to be as if you were saying that was some type of measure...and to me, it most certainly is not a sufficient measure to test soundness. [blockquote]What I am against is preformance ONLY breeding, breeding programs that excuse medical screening as some sort of PC sillyness.[/blockquote] Call it what you want, but that doesn't change the facts that you have refused to address...the facts that the most sound breeds in existence are/were breeds developed without lab tests but on the basis of actual performance tests where a dog had to earn its keep. [blockquote]It doesn't matter (to me) how much drive a dog has if it's crippled. A fact that is not always obvious in a young dog.[/blockquote] Being crippled will show up under real performance tests. You apparently don't accept this, but like I stated...history has proven that performance testing removes the weak...weak for whatever reason. [blockquote]And I belive you do understand that point if you have been in dogs as long as you indicate. [/blockquote] Now, you can try to imply personal attack if you like, but let me tell you what "points" I "understand." I understand fact. Let me underline this portion of this message for you, as I don't want you to miss this. [u]The term fact refers to what has been proven...as in results. And the results show...accept them or not...that the most sound animals are animals that have been SELECTED on the basis of ability. Ability can be looked at in the terms of resistence to stress. Only the most sound dogs in both MIND and in BODY can endure the most demanding of selection measures...and this is how we should use technology to improve our capabilities if we truly wish to improve dogs. Instead of trying to replace performance testing (which like it or not is what general screening type of lab tests try to do), we should enhance are abilities to work dogs and measure their recovery times.[/u] Performance testing is the way to produce sound dogs. Lab tests would serve dogs better if they were not used as a breed selective measure, but used for clinical diagnosis. [blockquote]As to your dismissal of titles & competion....I've heard that smack all the time from people that can't get it done. The value in a title is that someone (unbiased & experience in that breed)other that the dog owner is confirming ablity.[/blockquote] I am not saying you shouldn't go out and get titles if that is what you want to do...but instead of taking my word for it...or instead of assuming I can't get one...how about lets look at another fact. A simple fact is less than the best dogs can get titles. Agreed? After all, your bilaterally disabled dog was able to. And I have seen dogs with "protection" events titles that wouldn't protect their most loved ones if ever threatened. Games and real events are two different things, and to assume or imply a dog doesn't know the difference is...to be honest...totally foolish. And when things are done in a game like fashion (not real)...these titles don't really "confirm" ability. There are a number of dogs getting protection titles today that could never do real protection work. Would you not agree? Any real protection dog trainer knows this. Many real protection dogs would be too civil to score well in an event...but be far more capable on the street than would be some sleeve jute junkie that is in it for a prey driven game. [blockquote]Bottom line is we all have our own ethics.[/blockquote] You are absolutely right. The most ethical path one can take is to accept the facts as we know them, learn from them, and apply that knowledge into choosing the best "ethical" path one can take. I...I choose the path of historically proven facts. Oh, and since you brought up ethics...how about answering this. How ethical is it to not address the questions presented to you when your "points" are discredited? You didn't answer why you mentioned your dog's titles and ability to walk 3-4 miles. You stated the ability as if it was some performance measure and when I replied saying my 9 year old 150# female can still easily walk 3-4 miles you then say you were not claiming that to be a performance accomplishment...yet, you never addressed why you mentioned it if it wasn't to imply ability. Again, the problem here isn't performance. The real problem here seems to be pride. You have problems accepting the fact that you were not aware of how to performance test for soundness...and because you can't accept it, I believe you can't admit it. And I also believe this is why you choose to bring emotional implied personal attacks or "discussions" of ethics...all implications but all also diverting the real issue. You may not have intended to go down this road, but it is what in the end happened. Instead of pursuing this further....sit back and think about it for a while and really look at what history has given us. Don't "talk" about it. Seek to understand what really happened. The key to producing sound animals is to select for sound animals. Think about this and ask yourself, "what is the best way to see if an animal is of sound mind and body...really sound?" Good luck with your journey for the truth. You have a lot here to think about. I wish you well. P.S. No harm done between us as far as I am concerned, as my goal isn't to attack you. I just want people/breeders to think about these things. Best wishes.
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                                                          • Lee - The pup in question was out of a working hog dog line mulipule trail ch. and most (but not all ) behind this pup were actively hunted on boar, some on 'coon. For this breed that's about as preformance tested as it gets. the obvious fact with hunting dogs is one can't haul a group of witnesses out on a hunt...and get any hunting done. Bay trails serve a vaild pupose. "A simple fact is less than the best dogs can get titles. Agreed? After all, your bilaterally disabled dog was able to." Which only means that at that point in his life 2- 2.5 years he was able to work through what ever pain he had and get his job done better that they other dogs. Dogs which I had personnal knowledge that were not x-rayed and who's owners tend to have the "if he don't bay or hunt...I won't feed him" outlook on dogs. So did my dog beat a field on crippled dogs or healthly ones? As to Shutzhund or Ringsport.....They are stardardized tests to show aptitude....nothing more. I've yet to meet anyone serious about either that makes any claim beyound that that. "How ethical is it to not address the questions presented to you when your "points" are discredited? ..... Discredited??? Only in your mind :lol: I really don't want this to be me vs. you. The topic is breeding. Of course "historically" man has breed for trait by trial and error, I don't argue that. However, it's 2007, breeders in the USA have the ablilty to use medical screen to acchive the thier goals with out breeing cripple pups into the world until the point that they start finding the few pups in each successive litter don't have health problems or more likely are carriers. For the 2nd time I'm not infavor of replacing preformance test, it has it's place, along with temperment testing, conformation to standard and medical screening.
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                                                            • I am not going to argue with you about this anymore. I say "argue" because honestly it isn't a debate...not when the facts and history show things like they do. Also, you might really want to question the "performance" testing that dog and his parents did. Anyway...take care. You have your mind closed on it, and it is pointless to discuss this with someone that refuses to accept historical facts. Oh...and if you like, you can also look at the OFA stats website and you will see the worst hip dogs are the ones with the highest percentage of OFA records and show dogs, while the best tend to still be from performance oriented breeds. GSD were once a sound animal. Show and other non-performance testing led to dogs being weak in the rear. It is done over and over again. The APBT was a totally sound dog typically speaking just 20-30 years ago. Although pit fighting is still done, when it became outlawed (as it should have), knowledgeable "respectable" participants left the activity. The APBT community was PARTIALLY replaced with show breeders and weight pullers. Weight pulling although it measures strength isn't really a performance measure (nor for soundness), and show breeders began using lab tests...again, another breed started its non-peformance downfall. The numbers and history is there. Don't take my word for it. Just go look for yourself. They have the numbers on their website.
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                                                              • "Oh...and if you like, you can also look at the OFA stats website and you will see the worst hip dogs are the ones with the highest percentage of OFA records and show dogs" Well logically, if those are the only people inthe data base ...Of course that would be true. There's really nothing to question about hunting preformance that is documented. Hunting dogs either bay, catch, retrieve, point, track or they don't, really basic stuff. How well they do it gets into training and learned behavior in the field. The thing I should have questioned is the reason medical testing of breeding stock WAS NOT DONE. The "bredders" I delt with (the reason learned after the fact) was they were just too cheap to spend the money. "Show and other non-performance testing led to dogs being weak in the rear.".......I disagree the love of money did this.....people breding dogs for profit is what has ruined or modrn dogs. There's a reason our USA, Police & Millitary dogs come from Europe vs. American . The europeans Breed for work, Preformance test AND medical screen. IMO the total package. I've took the time top visit our website. I can't seem to fid any information on all this performance testing to keep refereing to. What exactly do yu do to test these dogs? No I'm far from closed minded on this topic. I truely believe everyone has something to offer that others can learn from. If you have anything to offer other than "History" I would like to hear it, I'm guess our friends here would be interested too. If you choose to cut & run. Viya con dios :D
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                                                                • [quote=Platz]If you choose to cut & run.[/quote] It isn't about "cutting and running,"...word games and such. It is about being productive with my time. The information that you needed has been given to you by history (not talking about it, proving it). All I did was give you the direction. I didn't make the rules of selection...God and nature did. It is known as SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST or natural selection. For us, in a domesticated animal society we get to choose and therefore we don't use natural selection but artificial selection. These are not terms or rules I made up. Now, for the best performing animals we should use artificial selection rules that select on that basis. For, what we produced is determined by the selection pressures we apply. We select for traits. If you want your traits to be paper scores...so be it. I want performance, as my animals benifet the most from that as well. Like I said, the information you needed has been given. What you do with it is your decision. P.S. Some breeders are better at seeing the right traits in performance than are others...otherwise all lines would be equal, which obviously isn't the case. Perhaps some breeders need training in what to look for, but that would be another topic.
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                                                                  • Lee - You keep talking about your "preformance" test. I'LL ask you a 2nd time:"I've took the time top visit our website. I can't seem to fid any information on all this performance testing to keep refereing to. What exactly do you do to test these dogs? " You dismisss working trials, obedience trials, shutzhund etc. etc. as meaningless "games" & "paper scores". Seems that if one posts, "How ethical is it to not address the questions presented to you " they should walk the walk themselfs. :D
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                                                                    • With much respect to Dan , Lee & Frank it seems as if all of have forgotten about the past , its lessons , the truths & its methods which some of the " enlightened " have deemed cruel & neanderthalic. If there is one absolute it is those who came before us were extremely practical people ie they did not keep or feed dogs who could not work or where unhealthy , those dogs were culled .....Is this wrong ??? NOT hardly !!!! Training of protection dogs at the turn of the 19th century, the dogs were actually physically beaten to instill a distrust of strangers & to build a man fighting drive .....Is this wrong ???.....NO.....because of this style of training only favored the strong both physically & mentally . Those that weren't were gotten rid of....Inbreeding & linebreeding are tools to fix type ONLY, once type is fixed ......then outcrossing should be the the rule of thumb .....the only drawbacks with outcrossing are the amount of dogs needed for this & good working relationships with other breeders of like minds to exchange dogs with ....Which most know the egos of dog breeders are huge, :lol: SO this could be a small problem 8O . Scientific screening is tool also ....It is not the ALPHA & the OMEGA of dog breeding .....The ONLY way I know to judge the future IS by the PAST
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                                                                      • John, If I have to physically "beat" a dog to get it to distrust strangers, I may want look into another breed:D :D :D :D
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                                                                        • John - The value of History is the lessons we can lean from it, without that we will never advance. Prior to the science that gave us the sextant man thought the world was flat because "History" to that point in time said the world is flat. Which was the logical reason salors did not return from thier voages. Prior to the science that gave us the micro scope and the "discvovery" bacteria man thought man (doctors) didn't feel it important to scrub up prior to surgery. Because "hisortically" Docotors didn't think sanitation in the operatining theatere mattered. Prior to the advent of X-rays for joints to eliminate dysplacia or lab screening for gentics issues we thought one could simply breed to "good" dogs together and every would be all "Peachy-Keen" too :wink: Those that don't learn from the past are doomed to repete it. :D
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                                                                          • [quote=boomslang]John, If I have to physically "beat" a dog to get it to distrust strangers, I may want look into another breed:D :D :D :D[/quote] Well said. Platz, Your request wasn't ignored. It is just a matter of some things can't be written to really understood, but need first hand knowledge with a "hands on" type of demo. Asking me to write out how to evaluate a dog's ability is like asking someone to write how to sing, dance, how to drive a race car, how to ice skate, or make love. No matter how much you read, you just can't get some things from words. Some things simply require experience and hands on to get a real feel and knowledge of what is going on...how to read it and evaluate it. Feel free to visit if you like.
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                                                                            • Lee - I'm not asking about how to "read" a dog in the evaluation process. I'm specically asking how you "preformance" test a stud or bitch to elininate dysplastic stock, thyroid problems, deafness, or other gentic issues from your breeding program. What age, what tests, what frequantcys, what durations, what controls, what proofing etc., etc. ??? These are all tangibles I'm asking about. I believe most of the people on this site are quit capible of understanding a straight forward answer to a legitimate question. Enlighten us. :D
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                                                                              • This is done by applying mental and physical stress...evaluate the dog's response and actions during the process...and then observative the dog's recovery time. A good dog should take these things in stride. Again...to really understand requires first hand witnessing and experience...see the post above because when I stated it was like writting about directions on how to ice skate, drive a race car, dance, sing, or make love...I meant it. Some things just can't be explained. Reading a dog is a large part of it btw, and something you can't just "write off."
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                                                                                • [quote=LeeRobinson]This is done by applying mental and physical stress...evaluate the dog's response and actions during the process...and then observative the dog's recovery time. A good dog should take these things in stride. Again...to really understand requires first hand witnessing and experience...see the post above because when I stated it was like writting about directions on how to ice skate, drive a race car, dance, sing, or make love...I meant it. Some things just can't be explained. Reading a dog is a large part of it btw, and something you can't just "write off."[/quote] You blow smoke better than the spin doctors in Washington D.C. If your reluctant to share in this forum to protect your method or your worried about being "PC' I guess I can understand that. I was sencere when I said that everyone has something to offer for those that want to learn. If you care to PM me on the topic, I'm truely interested in hearing about how one can identify those genetic problems by preformance testing. I'm out on this one.
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                                                                                  • AMAZING ALL YOU 3 FOCUS ON IS WORD BEATING & NOTHING ELSE !!!!! LET ME SPELL IT OUT FOR YOU .......If the dog is pushed both physically & mentally you WILL have a better dog......With todays kinder gentlier methods of training, unsound dogs are ALLOWED to reproduce ....Buldog posted the training methods of a Nightdog in the Bullmastiff forum, take a look & see if any of your dogs could handle that type of training ....IMO most dogs today could not handle that type of stress .....Were the dogs of the past better than the dogs of today ???? IMHO .....YES... they were expected to survive on minimal rations & vet care . Then work & reproduce themselves.....
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                                                                                    • [quote=Platz]You blow smoke better than the spin doctors in Washington D.C. If your reluctant to share in this forum to protect your method or your worried about being "PC' I guess I can understand that. I was sencere when I said that everyone has something to offer for those that want to learn. If you care to PM me on the topic, I'm truely interested in hearing about how one can identify those genetic problems by preformance testing. I'm out on this one.[/quote] What, no smiley face this time? :P I offered to share my methods with you if you visit. Don't write that off as "reluctant to share." It is just a matter of sharing in the right way. If you are out on this one...Take care. :lol:
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                                                                                      • It is my belife that in the days that the night dogs were being used, little else was know about canine pshycology. Therefore physical abuse was the resort that was taken. We have dogs today that perform a much higher level than the dogs old ever did. We have learned so much about canine behavior since the dark ages. Guard dogs of the days of old were simply put out into a large estates or plantations, and left to guard. Military dogs that perform under unimaginable stress, are never beaten nor are police dogs. In the old days for one to own a mastiff it had to be hobbled for public safety. Hobbled by cutting off all but a few toes. This is a testament to both the training capacity of individuals, and the idiocracy of lawmakers. We know so much more now than we did then. Beating a dog or abusing one mentally. Will do nothing more than create a unstable and potentially dangerous animal. I can introduce you to many dogs that were showered with nothing but love. Dogs that have never seen a PP trainer, yet will eat the arms off of anyone that would dare oppose their owners.
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                                                                                        • It really is not fair to compare the dogs of old with the dogs of today. So much has changed in our dogs and the environment. Olden dogs were utilitarian, tools to aide man in the completion of a mission. If they did not perform they were useless. Man and beast competed for food so what was the point of feeding a non performing dog? Current practices do not erase history. We need to keep things in context. I dare say that most of today’s breeds did not even exist several hundred years ago so it is impossible to say how they would have performed. The ancient breeds that exist today are much softer than their ancestors. Pick any livestock guardian breed from 200 or 300 years ago - they had to service harsh conditions, eat minimal food (often what they kill), and protect their flock from predators. Their ability to protect was the determining factor in whether they lived of not. They were either killed by predators or if the predators get the better of the flock the dog failed and was probably killed by the owner. Sounds brutal by today’s soft standards right? More to follow..
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                                                                                          • [quote=gsicard]It really is not fair to compare the dogs of old with the dogs of today. So much has changed in our dogs and the environment. Olden dogs were utilitarian, tools to aide man in the completion of a mission. If they did not perform they were useless. Man and beast competed for food so what was the point of feeding a non performing dog?[/quote] The second part of your post (the part I didn't quote) I agree with. But this part here...although we may not "need them" like we did in the past, there is no reason why we need to breed dogs that are useless in ability. We can still select for an ability if we so desire. I imagine you would agree.
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                                                                                            https://youtu.be/Z1omjDVsS-s
                                                                                            Info
                                                                                            Topic:
                                                                                            BREEDING - The Big Picture!
                                                                                            Text:
                                                                                            Well, you finally did it, Dan. :D It's been almost a year since I've last posted anything in the MD Forums, but I just have to say that this is by far the best writing on the subject of breeding and clarifying certain details most breeders are clueless about I have ever seen. Thanks and keep 'em coming. 8)
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