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so what? :roll: dog fighting is banned in most countries. its banned for a reason. badger baiting is illegal!!!! just because you're "ok" with it doesnt make it right!
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    • brindle, I don't know if you are aware, but there is competition for working dogs (especially german terriers) in fox and badger catching in their earth gapes,their natural habitat, and it is done under the FCI rulles. This can be very bloody and often some dogs stay desabled for rest of their lives, badger can messed them up prety bad. When people go to such competition with their dogs, nobody call them morons, and still, there is big chance that dog will not survive. :?: Testing of the old shepherd breeds is not a big deal, when you have that in mind what I've just wrote up there. That is the only way for shephardfolks to see what do they have in the yard, is that dog capable to owerpower predators or not, and they have to be shure that he is, otherways, if they do not test it before they go to the mountain pastures with their flocks, they risk to lose not only their dogs and sheeps but even their own life. So, if you are asking me am I OK with that kind of test fights, my answer is: YES I AM! Aleksa
      • so what? :roll: dog fighting is banned in most countries. its banned for a reason. badger baiting is illegal!!!! just because you're "ok" with it doesnt make it right!
        • Brindle, Give me a break! It's DOG's history! Some people don't agree with their past..but that is their history...All molosser dogs were created for a reason and it was not to sit around and look pretty! Amber
          • Brindle, I think you're missing the point here. Testing is not a blood sport. There's no need to get defensive and insulting like that. You're entitled to your opinions, but at least be respectful.
            • brindle, It's not badger baiting, it's badger hunting and it's not illegal! I said that is done under the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale - in france, or english - International Cynology Federation), the biggest "dog" or kennel organisation in whole wide world! On those events, dogs are competing for CACT or CACIT titles, almost the same thing as CAC or CACIB titles. Difference is that CAC or CACIB are beauty titles and CACT or CACIT are titles given to dogs for their working abilities. CACT or CACIT (first one is: Candidate for National Working Champion; and second is:Candidate for International Working Champion) events are established for preserving charracter and natural instincts of certain breeds, because those things were main reasons why people started to breed them in first place! For so many centuries dogs were only man's helpers and not pets. I would like to see you brindle, at some mountains here on Balkan Peninsula, where the bears and wolfs would be your closest neghbours. Then I would ask you if you would test your dogs or risk everything just because you don't like that. Aleksa
                • --------- ...test your dogs or risk everything just because you don't like that. -------- Is there any proof, that the best fighters are the best in predator control? You see, there is continuous discussion running on Russian forums about this "testing". I follow it for a long time, and I may assure Wolf, that there are many aspects of the thing, which were never mentioned here. I do not mean humane aspects of the fight itself, and want to omit everything coming from difference of the cultures. I talk to many breeders, I talk to the people living all their lives in Central Asia and in Caucasus region. And as a result I get strong beliefe, that LGD fights, now called dog testing, is not a real life thing, but just a game with weak background. What was once a pure entertaiment during people gatherings (and at that gatherings they fight everything - male sheep, young boys, young horses, dogs... ) became in 80's a sport, and then professional sport, with tournaments, winners, and high stakes. Only then the word "testing" appears, to justify all system. That is the history as people remember it in last 3-4 decades. Trying to reach deeper, I did not find any historical evidence of dog fights being a system in any Central Asian country - no tales, no written sources, no stories from travelers. And no evidence that it had any zootechnical value, as evaluation for working abilties. And no proof that the winners were preffered for breeding. Common for any "wolf-killing" dogs was wolf baiting, trapped of wounded wolfs were used for it. And even in this favorable situation dogs were badly wounded and sometimes killed - but that was real thing (and the only real test for predator control work). So, from what I found apeears, that "teating" of LGD's was invented in last 2 decades and have NO old tradition in Central Asia. I would be glad to hear any information pro and contra , as well as historical facts about such "testing" in other regions of the world. Respectfully, PES P.S. May be we should take this discussion to "LGD and predator control"? Because Serbian Defence Dog is not an LGD and the subject for this testing?
                  • Well, testing of dogs was done in two ways: 1. Dog vs. Dog 2. Dog vs. Wolf (rarely a bear) Dogs vs. Wolf way was done in a period when dog is around one year old. It was not the fighting test ofcorse, because the wolf is traped and sometimes badly wounded as you said it pes. Important thing for dog is to show that he have guts and currage to confront the wolf, because sometimes even that is enough to scare the predators, and if he don't do that (lack of selfconfedence), the dog was killed on the site, by his owner! I know it is cruel, but that's the way it is. Dog vs. Dog tests are done not that much to show dogs fighting skills, but rather to see which dog is more dominant. Custom in villages on Sarplanina is that winer of those turnaments is considered as the most dominant male specimen, and shepards would bring their females for mating to that dog. This is only custom of folks from Sarplanina Mountain region, I'm not speaking for the rest of the people. Ther is more, but I've allready wrote it in SARPLANINAC-ABORIGINAL TYPE forume on this site. Aleksa
                    • I absolutely agree. Taking th bitches to the winner happens in Central Asia too, but as I understand, has no much effect on all population. May I copy your answer to the "LGD and predator control"?
                      • Hello I have no personal experience with traditional dog fighting, but I know a guy who's been living (and travelling around) East-Europe and Russia/Caucasus/Baltikum for more than 30 years. He's a journalist and has witnessed many dog fights. His impression was that people did this for fun/sport and honor...even in the mountains. He also believed that this "oh we do it to test the dog's ability to fight predators" was merely a poor attempt to justify the barbarism, or an excuse to keep on with the show. Ability to fight predators is only 1 skill among many required for a good LGD. Many people have two or three dogs as well, so often it's not necessary for a LGD to win over a wolf alone. In my opinion it's much more important that a LGD manages to work with other LGDs as a team. A LGD that runs away from a predator is not good, but you don't need dog fights to test that.
                        • Yes recercare, dog fighting of old mountain breeds in their natural soroundings is done today for money and I certainly do not aprove that. That is happening for last 30 or so years, but that was not the case in the past, because then, only treasures of those people were their flocks and their dogs, which provided life and survival for humans in those rural regions. In first half of 20th century it was almost imposible to buy a god dog from villagers, especially if that dog was victorious in battles with wolfs or bears, and even if the villagers would sell it, price was very high. You had to give them somethimes even 50 ewes for it, or gold and beside those two, there was no other way to get it. Pes, taking the bitches to the winner may not effect all population but that is the traditional belief of mountain folks. Their logic is: -Strong and fearless parrents will give you strong and fearless pups; so that's the way they do it. You can copy my answer, yes. Aleksa
                          • Aleksa, your information is almost the same I heard from Central Asian region. Especially about buying the real wolf-killing dog - it was (and in many places still is) next to impossible, they are priceless. Now, let us consider the value of those dogs, and the fact, that at that times winner's trofey was usually a sheep, or something of similar value. Who will risk to injure the dog, which can save hundred sheep, to get one more sheep? That was the first thing which make me doubt, that old-time tournaments were really competition between best shepherd dogs, and that they are connected with the ability to fight predators. More likely not experienced, younger dogs were used for this fights, and it was pure entertainment rather then testing. It was in the times, when real testing was done by real wolfs. And I have all reasons to believe words of one guy from Tagjikistan, that most fighting dogs are from the villages, not from the pastures. LGDs are multipurpose dogs, amd there are as many of them guarding houses, as guarding sheep on the mountain pastures.
                            • In the old times at fighting tournametnts on Sarplanina villages there were no trophy's or prizes involved that I'm aware of. The biggest prize was pride of best dog's owner and respect of another participators. One of the ways to get something from villagers who have great breed specimens is to buy a pup from them, because they are more willing to sell it instead of full-grown dog, but the chances are that even then you can't expect that you'll get what you are loking for. In most cases, shepards will sell you a pup that they choose, and you are not alowed to pick the best one from the litter. I've learned that the easiest, and probably the best, way to collect some blood of those great working dogs is to bring your bitch to them for mating and then do your own selection among the pups. Aleksa
                              • I dont quite understand why the dog would need to be tested if ithe dog was working with a flock and sucessfully defending the flocks and or tribes against wolves and other predators. Wouldn't the dog have already proven itself long before testing? The pups would have been born into the flock and the ones that didnt make the cut were culled...what would testing against another LGD have to do with anything? I cant see shepherds holding a dog until maturity and then 'testing' it against another LGD to decide if it worthy...that would be a waste of time and energy to a shepherd and its flock
                                • My mistake - BREEDS, not breed :( Now, about the history of the breeds . In my opinion, no matter, what causes lack of any evidence of this type of "fight testing' of LGDs - Russian conquest of Central Asia in 18-19 centuries, Communist rule in 20 century, general lack of interest in dogs in muslim countries, or just , as I think, absence of such "testing" itself. Having no evidence, we should withhold speculations, especially in such controvercial topic. We all know, that LGD fights are traditional for some public events in some regions of the world. As well as sheep, cock, horse,etc. fights. And dog fights in this context does not need any more explanation, than fighting other species, including humans. Respectfully, PES
                                  • This is for jenga123 Selection of LGDs starts very early, from the first day that they were born. Bitches are welping, in most cases, in a hole in snow or dirth digged by them. Pups have to survive through those harsh winters and almost constant lack of food. The ones who manage to do that, are then observed by owners. If the pup is shy and easilly scared and winy, the shepherd eliminates it. I've personaly witnessed when a shepherd gave the skin of a freshly killed wolf to 40 day-old pups to play with it and observed what they are doing. For the first time in their lives they scented the smell of blood and smell of beast. Five pups aproached to smell it carefully. One of them started to squeal and then ran off. The four pups that stayed started to bite the skin and to growl. The shepherd then took the pup that ran off and killed it behind his house! When I found out what he did, I wanted to kill him myself, but I knew that I couldn't, it's their rule and right, and above all, he had four sons who would've killed me then. In the next period of the pups' lives, the shepherd observes how those puppies are counteracting with the sheep and how they are learning and taking the knowledge from the older dogs in their pack. If they are not good at it, he decides to sell them or give them away (but that happens very rarely). Then, when the pups are 9 to 12 months old, shepherds test them with wolves, trapped somewhere in the mountains. If the dog attacks the wolf determinatly, he stays in his pack, and if not, he is being killed! In the period before 9 months of age, shepherds usually leave the pups at home when they are going to their mountain pastures, because at that age pups are just another easy prey for wolves because they aren't fully developed. Testing of a dog with another dog is done, as I've already said it in my previous posts here, for determination of dominance of dogs and is done usually when the dog is older then 12 months. This gives the shepherd information about the dogs for mating, 'cause if he doesn't have a dog that is the strongest, bravest and most dominant, he will be pairing his bitches with the one that is, and the winner on those kind of tournaments is the [u]one.[/u]. Aleksa
                                    • Alexa, Using wolf skins and trapped wolfs for testing is very close to what shepherds do in Asia and Caucasus. With that difference, that younger dogs born on the pastures usually are raised there, and dogs born in the village are taken to the pasture around 3 months old (the older the pups are, the more problems they meet being introduced to new pack). There is one thing I do not understand. As you said, tournaments are held to pick "best of the best", a champion between best LGD males from different owners, usually in the same village. But real dogs, which can take wolf, are priceless, as you said ealier, they may cost 50 ewes or more. And each tournament is risk of serious injury of these dogs. For the only reason, that "... if he [shepherd] doesn't have a dog that is the strongest, bravest and most dominant, he will be pairing his bitches with the one that is, and the winner on those kind of tournaments is the one". Perhaps people there are better, than in other places :D From all I heard and read I cannot imagine a shepherd risking his strongest, most experienced dog to give a chance to improve quality of some other guy's LGDs. Respectfully, PES P.S. Despite what is often said about the noble style of LGD fights, injuries can be very serious. Just because of the size, weight and muscules. Not even talking about holes in the skin, treated on the place with couple of stitches and ointment. Broken legs, ligaments, and especially broken fungs are known to happen at each tournament, and these injuries are making the dog useless for a long time, if not forever .
                                      • That is my point...these shepherds have too much at stake to 'test' their dogs...if the dog is successfully protecting the flock or a tribe then it in fact is doing its job what needs to be proved? if it doesnt work out then the dog is culled...that has been my take on it
                                        • [blockquote]Testing of a dog with another dog is done, as I've already said it in my previous posts here, for determination of dominance of dogs and is done usually when the dog is older then 12 months. This gives the shepherd information about the dogs for mating, 'cause if he doesn't have a dog that is the strongest, bravest and most dominant, he will be pairing his bitches with the one that is, and the winner on those kind of tournaments is the one. [/blockquote] This I don't understand. Why are the winners of these tournaments chosen for mating? They are perhaps the most strong and brave ones, but not necessarily the best LGDs. Ability to bond with flock, and not to forget the ability to discover threats by using nose,eyes and ears is much more important. Another important skill is to analyze, or in other words figure out whether an object is a threat or not and react accordingly. Like I said earlier, you don't have to be the bravest or strongest to be defeat predators because LGDs often work in teams.
                                          • [blockquote]The dog that's being tested in a match is not being tested for his work with the flock! [/blockquote] Yes, I knew that Wolf :wink: -but inevitably you have to have to choose in most cases. For example, you have 3 LGDs.: nr.1 who has the best bonding ability and discovers threats quicker than the rest. nr.2 who is excellent but not as good as nr.1 nr.3 who is very good but not as good as nr.1 and 2. Now let's say that all of them have strenght/guts/drive enough to protect the livestock from predators. However, it turns out that nr.3 is the best in dog fights. Well, should you choose nr.3 for mating/breeding then? In my opinion nr.1 would be a better choice. Of course, you could be lucky to have a dog that is both the best LGD and fighting dog, but how often does that happen ? Not often enough to base a breeding program on it at least, it would be way too idealistic.
                                            • It doesn't work that way recercare, you know. Breeds like CO, CAO and Sarplaninac, simply know what their duty is, it is written in their gene codes. The dogs that can't bond are eliminated from the pack as pups, or simply stay at home as guardians. One of legendary Sarplaninacs, called Sari, in his 9 years long life never went with sheeps to pastures. Durring the day, he stayed in his masters cabin and sleep, but every evening when sheeps come back from the mountain in to the barn with three other dogs, Sari is coming out and starts his guardin. Every night he circled around the barn and cabin in a mile wide circle and not even once failed to do his duty, and he killed more then 10 wolfs in his life, all at his night guards. He was the most precious dog of all four for his master. Usually there is one male and few females in pack that is guarding sheeps. Females are so called "alarming device" and they are usually the first that spots the enemy, and first ones that take some action and if they can't manage to overpower, the predators then the large male starts his show with the help of the females ofcours. Breeds like Shars, COs an CAOs are not the dogs that are moving far away from flocks in order to find and chase of the paredators , like to clear the path for the sheeps. They are staying very close to flock in order to defend it with all their power if some danger occures. So you see, they don't act like GSD or Border Colie, they are not trying to find the predators, they act more like profesional bodygards. If the danger is there, they will stand infront of you (or the flock) and defend and protect you and even risk their own life if it is neceseary. To go back on your example. If I had those three dogs that you have listed and the third one is best fighter, then yes, I woul go with him for breeding. Aleksa
                                              • [blockquote]Breeds like CO, CAO and Sarplaninac, simply know what their duty is, it is written in their gene codes. The dogs that can't bond are eliminated from the pack as pups, or simply stay at home as guardians.[/blockquote] Aleksa, Yes, it is written in their gene codes, and those who fail to bond will of course NOT be used to guard the flock. However, if you look at my example again; ALL three of them could work well as livestock guardian dogs, but still nr.1 is a bit better than the other two. That does not mean that nr.2 and nr.3 will be killed by the shepherd. Not all LGDs are equal, some are better than others. I would assume that those who are excellent, very good and even good are used......while the poor and catastrophic dogs will get another job. I didn't understand "It doesn't work that way recercare". What did I say that didn't work? I respect your view about choosing nr.3 for breeding, I just disagree with your choice. :)
                                                • When I said that it doesn't work that way, I meant your choice of picking No 1. dog for breeding. Shepherds do not think that way. They actually do not care that much if dog doesn't bond to its flock as long as the dog doesn't do anything that could harm the sheep. And if that dog tends to be or is a great fighter and wolf killer, then he is the best one for them. That's how it works in the mountains and in the heads of shepherds and that has been their way of stud selection for ages. I know that they are risking to lose such a valuable dog in those fights and they are aware of that too, but they'll do it anyways. I have to give them credit for this, because that way of selection through the centuries built that famous character of those breeds, the character which makes them respected and popular in the whole world today, the character that leaves people (which are introduced to those breeds for the first tim ) stunned, amazed and overwhelmed. Thank you for respecting my opinion and you have your God given right to agree or disagree with it. :wink: Aleksa
                                                  • Well there are a lot of LGD breeds in many different countries and in most of them that "testing" thing doesen´t exist. Still they are great LGD´s and fight wolves and other predators with the same fierceness, dedication and effectiveness as those of the balkans and caucasus. I don´t think that LGD´s need to be tested, they´ll show what they´re made of when needed. They don´t need to be champion fighters or to fight a wounded wolf to be effective guards. It flows in their veins.
                                                    • [quote=Skive]Well there are a lot of LGD breeds in many different countries and in most of them that "testing" thing doesen´t exist. Still they are great LGD´s and fight wolves and other predators with the same fierceness, dedication and effectiveness as those of the balkans and caucasus. I don´t think that LGD´s need to be tested, they´ll show what they´re made of when needed. They don´t need to be champion fighters or to fight a wounded wolf to be effective guards. It flows in their veins.[/quote] Don't necessarily disagree with you ... but we also must agree that those breeders have done a great job maintaing and selecting their breeders. Maybe we should not only look for the methods but, and especially, also for their results. Nanci
                                                      • [quote=Aleksa] They actually do not care that much if dog doesn't bond to its flock as long as the dog doesn't do anything that could harm the sheep. And if that dog tends to be or is a great fighter and wolf killer, then he is the best one for them. That's how it works in the mountains and in the heads of shepherds and that has been their way of stud selection for ages. [/quote] Aleksa - this is a very, very important point that should be discussed and explored further. It is so easy for most of us who have not actually seen the dogs in their natural habitat working for a living, to take them and their temperament for granted. Environments where their life depend on how well they actually do their job. Thanks for the salient reminder. All the best.
                                                        • I think life is hard enough for them already and is that hard LGD life that makes them these awsome rustic and semi-wild dogs we love. With all the fights and problems these dogs face in their everyday life I don´t think there´s a need for fighting tests. The shepherd knows their dogs and will know who´s the best one for breeding. I agree with you Gary, we shouldn´t take these dogs and their temperament for granted but when I said that and LGD will show what he´s made of when needed I was thinking of a good working dog. I also agree with you Nanci that sometimes we have to look more into the results and I´don´t doubt that they achieve good results with those tests, I´m just questioning if they are really necessary, ´cause I believe that good breeding results can be achieved with a natural and simple evaluation of the dogs and their working abilities. Estrelas, Transmontanos, spanish Mastinos, Great Pyrenees etc are generaly great LGD´s and they don´t have to fight with each other to prove themselves. Anyway, I´m not against those tests as long as they are made JUST for breeding pruposes and not for entertainment and money, and as long as the dogs don´t get seriously injured or killed in those fights. :roll:
                                                          • "we shouldn´t take these dogs and their temperament for granted but when I said that and LGD will show what he´s made of when needed I was thinking of a good working dog." And which test would determine a good working dog? Tiago
                                                            • Thanks for a GREAT post Wolf . Tiago
                                                              • [quote=TiagoF]"we shouldn´t take these dogs and their temperament for granted but when I said that and LGD will show what he´s made of when needed I was thinking of a good working dog." And which test would determine a good working dog? Tiago[/quote] The best test is indeed work the dogs in their "natural enviroment". Nothing is better than that. Any person that use their LGD dogs as LGD 24h//7h will know who are the best, and who is able to do their works and how isn't - well, those who aren't able will be elimaneted by natural selection. But, unfortunally, not many breeders work their dogs and many of them only focus on "shows", and when talking about working breed is not a good thing ... So, if we cannot work our dogs, if we do love the breed and we are agains't fighting or any "ancetral tests" it's time to make a new kind of test .. why not make a simple TAN, testing corage and "protective instints" ? Nanci
                                                                • Is the purpose of the dog to be a LGD?
                                                                  • [quote=TiagoF]Is the purpose of the dog to be a LGD?[/quote] Boas Isn't the Sparla., the Estrela and all the others mainly bred and used as LGD/guardians ? If so, I believe we should keep them true to their origins Nanci
                                                                    • if they are going to be LGD , traditional tests ( whatever they are ) will assure the best results. Tiago
                                                                      • [quote=TiagoF]if they are going to be LGD , traditional tests ( whatever they are ) will assure the best results. Tiago[/quote] Agree. But being used as LGD or as guardian, the dogs have to have 3 commom characteristics (at least), that is: being protective, having the guts (corage) and being indepedent (man independent). Plus, if used (tested) as guards, we must understand that they are not, and will not work, as a GSD. But, now a big problem arises ... how to test this breeds (estrela, caos, kangals.. ? nanci
                                                                        • I never heard of shepherds testing their Estrelas in any way...I understand that it may be a costume in the balcans and in caucasus, but we should understand that in many places that doesen´t exist and doesen´t need to exist. Here in Portugal shepherds often don´t even choose their breeders and when they do they choose them based in their working abilities. You must not forget that shepherds often have more than one dog and as a pack animal dogs often fight with eachother and build up their hierarchy. Shepherds are often aware of this and naturaly tend to choose as breeders the alpha dogs.
                                                                          • If we're talking about working LGDs then it's logical that the selection (or "testing") is done according to location. For example, In Norway sheep graze on public areas that are open to everyone (hikers, tourists etc). Of this reason the use of LGD is very strict. 1. You're not allowed to have the dogs alone with the sheep in these areas. In other words, a shepherd must be there at all times. 2. The dogs are not allowed to bother ppl passing by unless they're acting stupidly. 3. The dogs must not bother other ppl's sheep who also have the right the graze there. So, the LGD dogs in Norway have to be very laid back towards humans, and they must be more obediant than the average LGD. A LGD test should focus on this more than the ability to fight a predator. The shepherd will notice whether the dog is powerful enough sooner or later anyway,.....and Norwegian shepherds can afford losing a dog. They are insured and get funding from government.
                                                                            • [quote=Skive]I never heard of shepherds testing their Estrelas in any way...I understand that it may be a costume in the balcans and in caucasus, but we should understand that in many places that doesen´t exist and doesen´t need to exist. Here in Portugal shepherds often don´t even choose their breeders and when they do they choose them based in their working abilities. You must not forget that shepherds often have more than one dog and as a pack animal dogs often fight with eachother and build up their hierarchy. Shepherds are often aware of this and naturaly tend to choose as breeders the alpha dogs.[/quote] The problem is that many breeders don't use their dogs as lgds .. how should they test their dogs? nanci
                                                                              • Nanci is right. From what I read : In Norway, shepherds would find it better to have a livestock guardian ROBOT than a dog. What is supposed to be a working livestock dog up there? A punching bag for wolves?? Tiago
                                                                                • Tiago, no, not really. We do have working LGDs in Norway (but not many), mostly Pyreneans and Maremmas...and 2 Tatra dogs I think. No dog has died in battle but there've been injuries. Some predators were killed by the dogs. They have proven themselves as very good LGDs and the loss of livestock has been reduced in many areas. But I agree with you, it's not easy to use LGDs in Norway. They have to be very mild tempered to humans, strangers included, but fierce against predators. Another problem is that we are not used to LGDs here, so ppl don't know how to behave. They expect the dogs to be teddybears and many tourists and trekkers would not hesitate to approach a flock of sheep guarded by dogs.....
                                                                                  • Even if the dog puts a threat display ???
                                                                                    • I believe many will think "Oh, he looks a bit serious" but in the next second "Oh well, they can't have dogs running free that will attack humans anyway, so the dog is just showing off". If ppl then choose to approach the flock, even without evil intentions, and the dog attacks, then you can count on that the DOG will get all the blame. However, if people are looking for trouble and try to tease or provoke the flock...then it will be a different story
                                                                                      • I dont know what to say. 8O Tiago
                                                                                        • Nanci, in those cases I don´t know...a temperament test maybe :roll:
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