She is a multiple generation dog...and at this stage is more of a pure breed than a mix IMO. The foundations in her though, if you go back to the original origins of her, would consist mostly of EM and APBT, some Neapolitan. After 10 years of selective breeding, she is composed of prey drive, defense drive, fight drive, low rank, high alertness, high athleticism, good health, and loyalty (pack drive).
Hey lee, hope I'm not derailing your thread here, but I was just reading some posts on your forum and it made me wonder which dog you would consider the best you've ever owned? Frankly it kind of seems like levi would have to be right up there, and yet you don't rate neos, so I'm just wondering do you base your dislike of neos off purebred specimens or off their offspring in hybrids sucking?
Just interesting to know for me because in australia we're pretty laid back and open minded about using whatever in a cross but then we naturally cull hard, seems you're really reluctant to breed from a dog in the first place that isn't awesome in every way, and I'm just wondering if this could be responsible for your strong aversion towards neos compared to other bandog breeders. Seems you've had an awesome neo x and you favoured it in your breedings but because the pure neos you've seen were unimpressive you consider them a shitty breed to use in bandogs. Seems to me if levi is one of the better dogs you've had you should recognise that neos can produce good bandogs.
Levi was a very good dog, but I think Preacher, Bandit, Bullette, were better. I have had several very good dogs though and it would be impossible for me to make a ranking list. He was certainly a nice dog, so I don't like saying I have produced many others that I think were better dogs. Levi was loyal and had excellent commitment and athleticism.
That said, Levi was NOT directly off Neos and not even close to it. He was a 5th generation dog...meaning a LOT of cleaning up (culling) was done in his bloodline prior to him being produced. In 5 generations, one can make big changes so I don't think Levi represents "Neo crosses" per say.
That said, yes, I do believe the Neo cross is better than a pure Neo (if one uses good dogs of course)...but IMO that is because I see the potential (and in fact likelyihood) of the APBT to improve upon the Neapolitans weaknesses in structure, athleticism, confidence, and drive...and the Neapolitan addind a degree od defense. The breeding does work, it just isn't my personal preferrence as I think there are stronger choices.
Fair enough. But levi was bred by someone else right?
I'm just making the point that maybe if you saw the neo that was used to produce levi's bloodline you might not have used it yourself ( I feel pretty confident you wouldn't have), so I wonder if maybe you are too strict in some departments?
Aussies will cross straight up show dogs into a working dog, show dogs that have a million things wrong with them, but the work sorts the winners from the losers and in the end you can't argue with the serious working dogs being produced.
Tonedog, I would use a good Neapolitan that would engage an attacker and follow through with confidence when pressured and that had some drive to do work. Remember, Levi was born over a decade ago...five generations of breeding prior to that means his Neapolitan origins would have dated back into the 1980's. At that time, there probably were not too many Neapolitans in this country. It certainly wasn't the popular show breed it is today. Additionally, people back then that could afford the dogs were most likely people that actually knew how to physically work. In the last few generations of PEOPLE we have gone from labor to computer. At one time, things were different than they are today. People earned there keep. That wasn't lost in 1 generation (20-30 years), but as more and more generations pass we certainly see more and more people not earning their keep. In other words, I believe working dogs in GENERAL are not at the same level of quality that they were in just 20-30 years ago.
In other words, if I was to bet I would venture to say that the Neapolitan in Levi was probably a better Neapolitan than most of the ones, if not all of the ones, I have seen...and I would say there is a good chance that I would use it. But this of course is pure speculation. In the end though, why does this matter? What's your point? That people shouldn't try to find working class specimens or that we should expect non-working dogs to produce working class dogs? If that is the case, well...I would disagree. I think the only way to CONSISTENTLY maintain performance is to select for it.
I guess my point is if you're bending over backwards to try and find athletic mastiffs you might be inclined to sacrifice in other departments. Like this dog's temperament is not perfect but it's athletic and that's SO hard to find in a mastiff so we'll go with it.
Not saying you do that but I could see this sort of thing arising if you're expecting the dogs on both sides to have no weaknesses, you're bound to sacrifice excellence in the main department you're trying to get out of the cross if you're trying too hard to find a balance of good qualities.
A dog really only needs ONE quality that's excellent to justify using it in a cross IMO, you just then need to be prepared to test hard and cull hard.
People I know if they want a leggy fast bull terrier they don't cross a bullterrier with a slightly faster bullterrier, they cross a bull terrier with a track greyhound, why beat around the bush? Yes the track greyhound is lacking in bull terrier qualities and you'll get a mixed bag of a litter but then over the generations you can select for the bullterrier's good qualities and the greyhounds good qualities and get a nice leggy fast bull terrier, much faster than you ever would have got crossing fast bull terriers, and probably while having to sacrifice on good bull terrier qualities in this desperate search for speed out of bullterriers. Instead choose really good bullterriers and really good greyhounds. Basically it's about playing to the strengths of the dog type you're incorporating into your lines.
Mastiffs aren't overly agile with great stamina and athleticism, but they're strong with good protective instincts and so find a strong one with good protective instincts and don't worry so much about their athleticism, then find an extremely athletic bullbreed with endurance to cross it with.
I'm just saying that would be my approach and I know is the approach of a lot of people who breed hybrid dogs for performance with undeniably outstanding results.
You're aiming for the strengths of a dog type when you use it in a cross, you're aware of it's weaknesses and that's precisely why you're outcrossing to another dog type, to fix that.
I just think going out of your way to find an athletic mastiff and rejecting non-athletic ones is the same as going out of your way to find a big protective pitbull to use and rejecting smaller ones. It just shouldn't be the main concern IMO, we know apbts are small and not really guard dogs and we know mastiffs aren't overly athletic, that's the whole reason for the cross. Play to the strengths of the different dog types and somewhere in the litter will be a serious gem with a combination of the outstanding qualities of it's parents.
Keep in mind I'm not criticising your dogs at all here as I really don't see a weakness and whatever you're doing appears to be working, I'm just noticing your views and philosophies might differ from other people, people who are also producing great dogs.
There are several things wrong with your thoughts when it comes to producing Bandogs or Swinfords.
Breeding Bandogs is NOT like adding one trait to an already established tight bred line of purebred dogs. When one wants to add or enhance a specific trait to a tight bred line dogs, it works well to do an outcross to another line or even another breed and then select for that trait among the offspring produced in the F1 generation...and take those back into the orginal line of dogs to produce F2 dogs...and again selecting for that trait (should it show up it would be dominant...should it not show up then breed some half sibling F2 with some other F2 and selecting for those that show the enhanced desired trait)...and proceed from there by again going back into the original line repeatedly until you breed OUT the outcross percent by reducing the percent of the original breed in successive generations while maintaining the one desired trait...overtime producing a new line of dogs that is essentially the SAME as the original line of purebred dogs but with one enhanced trait.
That however is NOT how Bandogs or Swinfords are produced. A Bandog and Swinford is DIFFERENT than BOTH of the origins...by being a COMPOSITE of both breeds. The Swinford specifically is to have the courage, speed, stamina, health, prey drive, fight drive, and general tenacity of the APBT while having the loyalty, pack instinct, power, and defense drive of the Mastiff. When selecting specimens to use one also has to look for good nerves as well. Generally, rank drive issues is not problem in the APBT or mastiff, but it doesn't hurt to be aware of such issues to be sure.
For the record...I am past the F1 stages. In fact, I do NOT EVEN OWN a single APBT or a single Mastiff anymore and haven't for years now. We have four generations in our program. My point is...I am not going out of my way looking for a mastiff anymore. When I did though, I didn't just look for athleticism. I looked for both physical and mental attributes described earlier in this post.
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