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Kennel Blindness

Is kennel blindness real or imagined? Could it be that breeders actually begin to believe their own stories with continued repetition and reinforcement by well wishers? The below was written by JP Yousha and give a good explanation of what Kennel Blindness really means. After reading, please comment on the article but do not turn it into another kennel bashing thread :idea: KENNEL BLINDNESS. All breeders have their favored characteristics and pet peeves. All are willing to sacrifice the perfection of certain traits to consistently achieve others they feel more important. This "worldview" on their chosen breed(s) leads to a style and the emphasis of certain traits within the correct type that breeder will be known for (e.g. size, headtype, longevity etc.). That many breeders have deliberate styles of dogs is good for the breed; it preserves the variety & strength of the breed. But many breeders fall foul of their own likes & dislikes, especially at the beginning when they know little about the breed and later on, as the years pass and they achieve some success, having now looked at the style they chose to breed so long they think of it often as the breed itself. If this quality is combined with an intolerance for one's rivals and/or for the faults least liked and virtues most admired, a good line of dogs will dwindle down to be more memory & reputation than a still truly vital line producing excellent dogs. Kennel blindness is also an almost universal trait of the "Sour Grapes Society;" those "wannabees" in a breed who have a thousand excuses for why their dogs don't succeed, all of them to due with the faults of other people and other people's dogs. It is also a major trait in so-called "pet breeders" who tend to not self-educate about the breed at all, so don't really know much about the breed they may well adore. They generally let their love for their pets blind them to their breeding worth...or lack thereof.
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  • Is kennel blindness real or imagined? Could it be that breeders actually begin to believe their own stories with continued repetition and reinforcement by well wishers? The below was written by JP Yousha and give a good explanation of what Kennel Blindness really means. After reading, please comment on the article but do not turn it into another kennel bashing thread :idea: KENNEL BLINDNESS. All breeders have their favored characteristics and pet peeves. All are willing to sacrifice the perfection of certain traits to consistently achieve others they feel more important. This "worldview" on their chosen breed(s) leads to a style and the emphasis of certain traits within the correct type that breeder will be known for (e.g. size, headtype, longevity etc.). That many breeders have deliberate styles of dogs is good for the breed; it preserves the variety & strength of the breed. But many breeders fall foul of their own likes & dislikes, especially at the beginning when they know little about the breed and later on, as the years pass and they achieve some success, having now looked at the style they chose to breed so long they think of it often as the breed itself. If this quality is combined with an intolerance for one's rivals and/or for the faults least liked and virtues most admired, a good line of dogs will dwindle down to be more memory & reputation than a still truly vital line producing excellent dogs. Kennel blindness is also an almost universal trait of the "Sour Grapes Society;" those "wannabees" in a breed who have a thousand excuses for why their dogs don't succeed, all of them to due with the faults of other people and other people's dogs. It is also a major trait in so-called "pet breeders" who tend to not self-educate about the breed at all, so don't really know much about the breed they may well adore. They generally let their love for their pets blind them to their breeding worth...or lack thereof.
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    • [quote=JP Yousha (quoted by gsicard)]Kennel blindness is also an almost universal trait of the "Sour Grapes Society;" those "wannabees" in a breed who have a thousand excuses for why their dogs don't succeed, all of them to due with the faults of other people and other people's dogs. It is also a major trait in so-called "pet breeders" who tend to not self-educate about the breed at all, so don't really know much about the breed they may well adore. They generally let their love for their pets blind them to their breeding worth...or lack thereof.[/quote] Generally speaking, I agree with the definition of kennel blindness, but this quoted part here just sounds a little too elitist for my palate. I mean, "why their dogs don't succeed" based on whom or what? The revered show folks?! The vanity of show judges?! The amount of willing customers?! Who's to decide, who else is a "sour grape" in a given breed and who is the "real deal"? The dominating In-crowd? This position would basically translate into a group version of kennel blindness, if you ask me. Actually, a condescending attitude towards "so-called pet breeders" could just as well be interpreted as a form of kennel blindness. ;) I think everyone is entitled to breed according to THEIR own vision....as long as they don't elevate that vision to "the only right way". And hopefully they have health in mind... If my interpretation of the term "kennel blindness" sounds too loose (or maybe even too radical), then just think about this....if we were talking about livestock breeding instead of dog breeding, we wouldn't even have this discussion. ;) Dan
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      • [quote=Astibus]This position would basically translate into a group version of kennel blindness, if you ask me.[/quote] You are right on Dan. However, I do believe to some extent that there is a certainl destructive level of group think occurring in most of the popular breeds. A quick google search returned these 8 traits of group think. Members, see if you observe these behaviors in your group of club: 1. Illusion of Invulnerability: Members ignore obvious danger, take extreme risk, and are overly optimistic. 2. Collective Rationalization: Members discredit and explain away warning contrary to group thinking. 3. Illusion of Morality: Members believe their decisions are morally correct, ignoring the ethical consequences of their decisions. 4. Excessive Stereotyping:The group constructs negative sterotypes of rivals outside the group. 5. Pressure for Conformity: Members pressure any in the group who express arguments against the group's stereotypes, illusions, or commitments, viewing such opposition as disloyalty. 6. Self-Censorship: Members withhold their dissenting views and counter-arguments. 7. Illusion of Unanimity: Members perceive falsely that everyone agrees with the group's decision; silence is seen as consent. 8. Mindguards: Some members appoint themselves to the role of protecting the group from adverse information that might threaten group complacency. I could take each of those 8 points and apply them to the Neo, CO, CAO and others quite easily. Even the author's own attitude shows a certain level of bias as you pointed out.[quote="astibus"] Actually, a condescending attitude towards "so-called pet breeders" could just as well be interpreted as a form of kennel blindness. ;)[/quote] [quote=astibus]...if we were talking about livestock breeding instead of dog breeding, we wouldn't even have this discussion. ;)[/quote]Not so sure about this because I have heard that it can get pretty touchy in the livestock world too but I have no first hand knowledge of it. Thanks again
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        • excellent post gary :D with the aforementioned this could possibly strenghten many groups in a great many ways if one is honest with self...this can b applieed to/with any particular group/club...owning other small creatures and at one time being a member of such groups/clubs this type friction is there as well so point n case being there is no exceptions to such oppositions/adversities...these indiscretions have been and wiil be around forever unfortuantley :roll: i own pet dumbo-rats and the clubs/groups are even more so irrational and self-righteous lol :roll:
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          • Gary, I liked that list a lot. :D I wonder how many breed "officials" would find their own actions reflected in those bullet points. :lol: [quote=gsicard"][quote="astibus]...if we were talking about livestock breeding instead of dog breeding, we wouldn't even have this discussion. ;)[/quote]Not so sure about this because I have heard that it can get pretty touchy in the livestock world too but I have no first hand knowledge of it.[/quote]I guess when I wrote this, I was still affected by the local county fair here, where people proudly showed their 25% Holstein - 25% Swiss - 50% {I don't remember} milk cow. Try THAT in a dog show.... :wink: :)
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