Saturday, 4 June 2016

"However perfect and beautiful the dogs might be on the outside, on the inside they are broken"

The video above is of a Dobermann called Bella. Be warned - the end of it shows her dying in the middle of a retrieve  "Bella..?" calls her owner as he sees his dog collapse and starts to run towards her. "Bella...!"

It is not a one-off. Many other beautiful Dobermanns die in exactly the same heart-breaking way because of a disease that now affects around 60% of the breed: DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy).

Dobes suffer from various forms of the disease and other heart issues too.  According to the available statistics, the average age of death for this breed is now between seven and eight years old.

Yesterday, Carol Beuchat from the Institute of Canine Biology came across the video of Bella dying and was so moved she stopped what she was doing to write this impassioned piece calling for breeders to re-focus on the root cause of the problem, not the consequence.

She writes:
Our dogs are dying of inbreeding. Decades of inbreeding in a quest for the ever more perfect dog has resulted in the loss of genes that are essential to life. However perfect and beautiful the dogs might be on the outside, on the inside they are broken.
What are we doing about this? We seem to be doing a lot. There are research studies, DNA tests, health seminars, disorder-specific Facebook groups, and so on.

But our dogs are dying of inbreeding. None of the things we are doing will cure inbreeding. Scientists can't cure inbreeding. Inbreeding must be cured by breeders.

In 2002, Dr Reinhard Haberztti wrote: “The Dobermann was created from mixtures of various breeds and half-breeds at the end of the 19th century. This genetic variety was a great health advantage. Up to approximately 1950, there were practically no hereditary health problems, worldwide.

Yes, you read that right.

Less than 70 years ago, there were almost no known hereditary health problems in Dobermanns. 

Now the breed faces extinction. 

Carol references work done by Professor Sonia Garcia to conclude that without a change in breeding practices every Dobermann will have DCM by 2039. Every Dobermann.

I have a particular interest in this breed because my boy Jake is a Dobe x GSD mix (with Dobe making up the most of his ancestry). He is 14 now and, without fail, any vet that examines him raises their eyebrows when they listen to his heart.

Because it's that strong; that steady, with none of the telltale arrhythmias that kill so many Dobermanns. Just luck, almost certainly, but outcrossing is probably the only way out now for this breed.

There are now a handful of Dobermann breeders talking about an outcross but, sadly, such a venture is very unlikely, currently, to be endorsed by the majority of breeders who have been indoctrinated into thinking that such a move would sully the purity of their breed.

Here's what Carol thinks:

Unless there is some unanticipated scientific breakthrough, the future of the Doberman is grim. Dogs will continue to be snatched from life by sudden heart failure, and owners will continue to come home from work to find their dog dead on the floor. The Doberman DCM Facebook group will continue to grow. The Rainbow Bridge will widen to accommodate the souls of the dogs that are dying too young.... 
DNA testing does not make somebody a "responsible" breeder. Caring for the heritage of your breed does not make you a "preservation" breeder. Pride and love and dedication are all terrific, but they will not prevent the heartbreak that awaits thousands of Doberman owners in the future. Breeders need to DO something about this. Breeders need to step up to the plate and acknowledge that continuing to breed dogs that are likely to die of a genetic disorder is irresponsible, unethical and inhumane. That is certainly how the average, everyday dog lover feels. This is also how I feel. 
The Doberman was not created in its present form by a dog-loving God. It is a "blender" breed, created by a man who mixed a bit of this and a bit of that until he had the dogs he wanted. The breed was "recognised", the studbook closed, and the gene pool has been getting smaller ever since. Can the breed be saved by a cross-breeding program Who knows, but certainly it is worth a try and there is little too lose. But time is running out.

Read the whole of this incredibly powerful piece by Carol here - and if you don't know her work, please take the opportunity to explore the ICB website and what it offers to everyone interested in breeding healthier dogs.


  1. haunted by this video. The terror in the owner's voice. Had no idea the issues with doberman were so bad. I spend my time railing against brachy dogs (being the owner of a rehomed one) but this has shaken me to my core.

  2. There is a short documentary about DCM in Doberman made 3 years ago.

    Has anything changed much?

    From what I have seen in Doberman groups, the answer is no.

    And it is a shame. I loved Dobes, but I will never own one. They don't live long enough and have too many health issues.

  3. The time to act is NOW for all the breeds suffering from this man-made problem.

  4. Hey Jemina! Here's an awful link. What's your opinion?

    1. My opinion is that Dobe breeders are not going to health-test their way out of this one.

    2. He says the dogs don't have issues but the grey (blue?) Dog in the video has almost completely straight hind legs to the point that it looks like its suffering from slipped hocks from the position it must hold its back legs in to walk. I would consider that a fairly serious issue...

  5. Outcrossing is the only way out for many breeds, I'm sure.

    1. Julia you are right. No one can control canine genetic diseases and manage inbreeding depression in shrinkinkg gene pools. All metods like genetic tests, genetic indexes (like COI, AVK, EBV) only prolong breeds agony because in many breeds dogs are more related than brothers and sisters. Genetic diseases (like for instance cardiomiopathy or osteosarcoma)are about 10 times higher in particuar dogs breeds than the people average. STOP INBREEDING because you are killing dogs for your pleasure. I you like inbred - inbred yourself.

  6. The DCM video in English:

  7. Ohhhhh, I have an anecdote related to this. I have a (former) friend/acquaintance that I knew from local dog agility competitions where I live in the U.S. This woman has owned three or four Dobes in succession. One or both of the first Dobes died young of DCM. Her oldest living Dobe did agility, and when that dog was around six in 2014, she got a "show" Dobe and started agility & conformation with that dog. (And is planning to breed it someday). The older of the Dobes recently developed severe, life-threatening DCM. So the owner started a GoFundMe to beg $10,000 to treat that dog.

    There are two issues for me here. First of all, I happily give money to GoFundMe's that involve found/injured rescue dogs; dogs shot accidentally by hunters, leashed dogs mauled by roving pit bulls, etc.) But in this case, this is an educated woman who knows that 60% of Dobes are going to die young from this and had already lost at least one dog to it. As the past/present owner of 3-4 Dobes, chances are good that 2-3 will die from it. IMO, it's sheer stupidity for her to keep buying this breed and then expect friends and strangers to fund her when one of the dogs has $10,000 medical expenses from completely expected disease. At the very least, she should not own the breed unless she herself saves up the $10k she'll need BEFORE buying each successive Dobe.

    The other issue is that this same woman frequently posts memes on FB saying that AKC purebreds are great and mixed breeds or hybrids completely suck. That anybody who doesn't buy an AKC show dog is an idiot who doesn't care about the health of their dogs. And anybody who breeds or buys a hybrid is a puppy miller or is a fool who is unknowingly wasting money on a "mutt."

    Back when I was still her FB friend, I wrote polite comments on all these posts pointing to relevant articles on PDE and she deleted them. After the GoFundMe begging started, I pointed out that she shouldn't expect strangers to pay $10k so she can keep buying the same defective pure breed, and that maybe she should look into getting some different breed or a mix. She unfriended me, of course.

    I would love to breed my accomplished sports/performing Papillon someday to create hybrid puppies. Paps are generally healthy and long-lived, but I still think hybrids have advantages. (And I want to produce a short-haired pup to keep as a future sports dog; impossible with pure Pap). But unfortunately, I think 99.99% of Americans in the show and sports worlds are just like this woman, worshiping their purebred eugenics ideals while their own breeds are falling apart. I'd love to get word out to find a good match, but would be drawn & quartered, then whipped and boiled if anybody knew my "nefarious" scheme. All the people I do agility with are the same ones clicking "Like" to the "AKC purebreds are the BEST!" memes... Ugh!

    1. Anything past a 1st generation cross is a risky business when it comes to hybrids.

      While the first generation may make dogs healthier in terms of recessive diseases, these dogs can be carriers of said diseases.
      Dominant diseases will of course still affect the dog.

      What makes this worrying is that you can quickly bring ailments from both parent breeds and then put them together into one breed.

      And designer dogs often are not health tested. Some good breeders do health test the parents, but many don't and bring problems into the mix.

      While currently they are unregistered so there is no problem with the genepool becoming unhealthy as you can bring new dogs into the genepool whenever you wish, people are tying to get designer breeds recognized.

    2. Not exactly: Is crossing two breeds more or less likely to produce health problems than breeding two purebreds?

      Honestly if you're really concerned about new issues popping out, I would worry more about popular sires and the over reliance on linebreeding (inbreeding) practices. The first one because that is the biggest culprit in spreading deleterious genes, and with the second one you can end up matching two carriers.

    3. Check into flyball people. Many of them seem to be open to creating sport mix dogs like border-jacks. Like with any breeder, you have to see what health testing they do, but finding a sport mix dog is possible in the US.

    4. Well, 70% of diseases in dogs are recessive, 11% dominant.

      If you are creating a new breed from a labrador x poodle for example, without health testing the parents, we will then be creating members of a new breed.

      Currently, most dogs of this new breed would be unrelated completely. New dogs are added all the time to this new breed.
      But lets say suddenly, you create a closed studbook. Aka, the new "breed" is registered.
      Now, all these dogs will be breeding with other members, completely unrelated. These recessive genes will be passed around like wildfire with no one the wiser.
      Its a pretty similar concept, like this regarding dobermanns.
      However, its not just one disease in the new genepool, its both from both breeds.

      Now, with designer breeds, imagine one was the dobermann with 60% having DCM, and the other breed was a CKCS, with 90-100% having heart murmurs.
      Now, 50% of the genes will come from both breeds. The genes from both diseases are extremely prevalent in both breeds.
      This means a large percentage of first generation mixes will CARRY the genes for those diseases, assuming they are recessive.
      You already have a high percentage of dogs with the diseases.
      For the first generation, you will be much healthier. For the second generation, you will have a risk of those diseases since both parents could easily be carriers.

      Since the majority of CKCS have a heart murmur, the majority of Cavadobes (not real name I know) will carry the gene. Breeding two together gives a 25% chance the offspring will have a heart murmur, and 75% will be carrying at least one gene for it.

      Yes, usually mixed dogs will have much lower chances of having the disease on the first mix, especially with healthier original breeds.

      The link talks about basic genetics and inbreeding.

      If a single cockerpoo for example had a mutation which caused a disease, then yes, the mix would most likely be fine as this dog will probably not spread the gene too widely.

      However, if you take the fact a disease is found among the original breeds of the designer into account, suddenly the percentage will be higher. perhaps 50% of how common they are within each breed, but if you start breeding in a pedigree fashion, or as though they are purebreds (aka designer to designer) then it would quickly spread.

    5. So the problems with pedigree dogs have a trickle down effect on cross breeds, over time.
      As long as the K.Cs influence our choices towards the predictability of using pedigrees in breeding, they will be used to produce those crossed breeds.
      And THATS why there is this recent need to test even cross breeds.

      If thats not grounds to contest their rule against cross breeding I don't know what is. They destroy their 'competition' while protesting its ethics.

    6. Well yes, this is exactly how the different breeds were formed, and why there are such genetic problems within them. It's also why I don't know any labradoodle enthusiasts who want labradoodles to become a recognised, closed "breed". Most people prefer an F1 cross for these reasons. There is just no need to create more breeds, they will all just suffer from small gene pools eventually.

    7. I just have to say here, most health testing is a complete joke. Some tests like hip dysplasia actually look at the hips and grade them, yes, and I suppose it could rule out any dominant/gene expressive candidates, but for one who is carrying it recessively, which is a lot of purebred dogs, this does nothing to help them. The problem with purebred dogs is really not dominant/expressed genes, those typically get disqualified, shunned, or made sterile, it is the hidden recessive genes which are shared throughout the gene pool. I am by no means saying don't health test, but it really aggravates me every time I see people act like if you don't health test, you're crap, or if you do health test, you're the better breeder and you won't produce defective dogs. Health testing is used to rule out, but it by no means prevents. Yes health testing is good, but it should by no means be the only thing you base choosing a breeder on, and it should not be an automatic "you are a good breeder" if you do. You are perhaps better than some, but not necessarily "good". There are still breeders who health test and breed dogs who have seizures and the like, and honestly I feel some health tests have been faked or in some cases, this animal was health tested at 2 years of age, healthy at the time, later developed cataracts (and of course the breeder said this was "old age", and you might think, but) then went on to produce 8 week old puppies with cataracts. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, you can heart test them at 2 years and have them come up clear, when the defects actually start to show themselves at 5. I saw a breeder do this, and she was considered reputable just on the basis that she health tested, and no one looked at the fact that she was testing too early, and she did have dogs die to heart defects later on. I have seen so much health testing falsehoods and failures that I consider the whole thing laughable and the people who uphold it as the holy grail to be oh so ignorant. The breeder, in the end, is the holy grail, and no "test" will ever change that, unless they make a "so you want to be a breeder?" quiz but you know, that probably won't even be foolproof, as the fools always find their ways in, but we can hope, right?

      Secondly, on the subject of hybrids: no. Just no. You can breed crossbreeds beyond F1 without having detrimental health defects. The basis is that you have two breeds with absolutely no related health issues, and this can sometimes be rather difficult because if you take two small breeds of dog and breed them together, well, many small breeds share the same health defects, so again it is difficult, but not impossible. If you go with a stock animal, you are more likely to have success because they are not so inbred, and the less inbred the better. The concept of outcrossing or mixing breeds of dog is to lessen the inbreeding. The more you outcross and the less you inbreed, the less instance of recessive genes. When outcrossing, yes you have a chance to find a recessive carrier, but if it is a breed which has less of an instance of this health defect, just how likely are you to find it? If the answer is not very likely, then this is a good candidate. For instance, if you are taking a breed where 70% are reported as having hip dysplasia, and there are only 100 specimens of the breed, to a breed where there are 5,000 specimens and a 10% incidence of hip dysplasia, what is the likelihood? Certainly there is a chance, but if you were breeding to the same gene pool and the incidence was say 50 or 60%, you'd be far more likely to run into problems, wouldn't you say? It is a matter of breeding greater evils with lesser evils. It is just common sense, which unfortunately isn't so common these days. You might be able to do this with purebreds, if people actually opened their pedigrees up, but that notion is laughable, so, next best choice: outcrossing.

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  9. Isn’t it a strange situation that has occurred? Myself I could never have foreseen how things were going to turn out. That the system with dogs divided into 300 plus closed populations of different breeds is nowadays a slowly sinking ship. And the so called experts that really should react and act are just like the orchestra on the sinking Titanic, they play on (on the dog shows) and desperately try to pretend that nothing has changed. Or they just don’t can grasp it.
    Yes, I believe that outcross is the only answer in most cases. Even if there’s a risk that this might be too late with some of the breeds. I congratulate the person that will be able to talk sense with the leading lights in the different dog breeds and make them face the reality.

  10. Abandon the pure breeding paradigm.

  11. Gosh isn't Jake a nice looking dog! Interesting he looks neither Dob nor GSD, a fine blend.

    1. He looks very GSD to me. I wouldn't have known the rest of his parentage was dobe though, I guess it's the long fur?

      Mongrels and crossbreeds are often very beautiful dogs, many times being better looking than purebreds, and can be very unique and exotic looking. I really don't understand why pedigree breeders / owners speak of them in such distasteful and disapproving tones. It's almost like they fear them as competition for their purebreds, or maybe they're trying to convince themselves the purebreds really are better?

    2. His colouring is very GSD true but the rest looked very setter to me.

    3. Some slo-mo video of Jake playing if you'd like to see him in action.

  12. I was going to say before the iPad decided to post all on its own, he probably has a wonderful bark on him too. I would be proud to own such a dog and even prouder knowing he was healthy.

    This is just so appalling about Dobermans. Almost every pedigree dog seems to have this genetic inbred achillies heel or heels one way or the other. iIts become the norm. Why do people accept this horrific situation and plough on as though this was just another breed standard rather than a real tragedy and one that can be avoided.

    It's honestly starting to look like a parade of the sick and infirm. It's really sad to think we might lose pedigree dogs like the Doberman. The traits we so admire will be lost for good this way. Rather than be preserved sustainably with judicious out crosses.

    Who in their right minds would buy such a breed with ever diminishing returns like this. Knowing your dog could prematurely just fall over dead is horrific. It's not like dogs live for ever as it is!

    Definitely long over due to rethinking pedigree dog breeding, to stop thinking of pedigree dogs in terms of purity and rather of a line of useful known ancestors to their enduring health and preservation as being a pedigreed of note instead. We need to be proud of the use of other breeds and types, their continuing use to preserve our breeds.

    Yes of course this is how most dog breeds came about in the first place. We just got stuck by refusing to allow the breeds to evolve any further by closing registers, in many cases this was also of course by design. We have to accept it was a mistake. A backward dynamic. It's honestly the only way forward.

    Quite honestly we should instead be extatic there is in fact a solution. Just depends on exactly how much we truly love our breeds I suppose.

    1. River P, you say that it'd be a shame to lose the purebred breeds but yet you advocate for cross breeding them into extinction. Cross breeding does not preserve the breed nor does it preserve breed type. It just turns purebreds into just another mutt. I've got an idea, why don't we do away with registries, no more dog shows,no more pedigrees, no more breeds. Let all wanna be breeders come together and have a doggie breeding free for all until all dogs are medium sized,brown,prick eared mutts. Wouldn't that be great? A whole lot of genetic diversity there.

  13. I have a question about beautiful Jake--he is gorgeous. I have never bred dogs, but have been showing them in conformation and a dozen sports starting in 1977. My impression from talking to breeders has always been that long coats are recessive, and that breeding a short to long will always result in a litter of short-coated puppies. If Jake is mainly Dobe, but still has a relatively long coat, this would mean my info is incorrect.

    I had been counting on this info being correct, because I love everything about my Pap except his long coat. I have been considering breeding him to something short-coated, like a Toy Fox Terrier, so I could keep a puppy as my next sports dog. But I thought it was virtually guaranteed the pups would have smooth coats.

    So I wanted to double-check. Do you know without any doubt that Jake has Dobe parentage? Or was the mom the GSD and somebody just guessed that his dad must be that Dobe that wanders the neighborhood? Thanks.

    1. You are right in saying that short is dominant over long. But Jake isn't a straight Dobe x GSD x - just *mostly* a Dobe x GSD mix. Other breeds in there include English Setter and Harrier, which helps explain the longer hair.

    2. I think gsd are technically short coated. Long coated means feathered as in spaniels. Dogs like afghan dont have feathers so are genetic short coated too

    3. I wonder if the fact that he isn't just a 50/50 also helps with him escaping DCM and myriad other issues. I knew the most fantastic dobe/vizsla cross who died as tragically and as unexpectedly as the dobe videod. He was a fantastic dog and only 5, until that happened I'd been very keen on looking for a Dobermann cross as a way of finding a dog with some of the characteristic of a Dobermann without the scary statistics. I think outcrossing is the only way out but the dobermann will require an awful lot of new blood. A true and tragic example of function not following form.

  14. Thank you for blogging about this. I have to say, I was very anxious watching the video. My dobe is my world, Im not having kids, so he takes that place in our household. He's an amazing dog, and I have fallen in love with this breed, but their future terrifies me. My boy was 4 in january, and his family seem to produce dogs who live to around 9-10, so I am hopeful he will be the same. But its still not nearly long enough. I want a dobe for the rest of my life, but with the way they're going, I don't know if thats going to be possible, not if I don't want to live with constant heartache.
    Outcrossing is the only way, and it baffles me how people cannot see it, can't put their bullshit about purity to one side for a moment and look to the future of the breed.

    I couldn't ask for a more perfect dog than my dobe, and he is the most loving and affectionate animal I have ever known. This breed would give its life for its people, but we aren't prepared to do much to save theirs, it seems.

    1. Trouble is we are all influenced to some extent by this philosophy with out realizing how much.

      So LOOK for an out cross. Or cross breed. Too many choose the 'predictability" of a pure breed.

      S.K.Y, yep. People tell me the K.cs are are just a minority group that hardly any one pays attention to- yet they have created the situation where its just about impossible to search for a well thought out planed and suitable mate out side of the pedigree system.

      Their rules don't allow them to recognize responsibilty outside of their own system. So its destroyed.

    2. I hope your guy beats the odds and lives a good long life.

      One thing that hasn't been brought up here is another Dobe issue, which is compulsive wool-sucking. I worked with several wool-suckers when I worked as a dog behavior consultant. It can actually be fatal, as the dogs are so obsessed with chewing on wool that they can get fatal intestinal blockages. Between that and DCM, the breed is just so risky. I've always loved Dobes, but if I wanted the look with (possibly!) fewer health issues, I might look into something like a Pincher or a Manchester Terrier. I haven't been around enough of them to know anything about their temperaments or health issues though. But having a Dobe registry in which "10" is considered long-lived and breeding worthy is just awful. My last four breeds routinely live to 14-16 years old and they're still competing in agility and obedience at 10-13 years old. And I'd still like to see their ages increase closer to 20 years...

  15. The ICB website is essential reading for all dog breeders.

  16. Such an awfull thing to go through, poor owner.

    Wool sucking, DCM , then you have wobblers, bloat, VWB.
    and testing for most is not effective.And temperament problems too.

    I love this breed, but won't have a pedigree again. Meanwhile, my lovely cross breed bitch is 10 years now and still has the build and energy of a much younger dog. Still leaps the fence to follow me on my farm rounds. and has never seen a vet apart from vaccs and a broken tooth. All indications are that she easily has a good 6 years more.

    She is a working girl, effective and safe around people and loves children.

    1. What do they suck if there's no wool around?! Is it only wool? This is the first I've ever heard about this, it's very strange. Is it a compulsive "suckling" reflex? Obsessive compulsive behaviour? Faulty reflexes...

      What next!

      The mental health of our dogs is also being badly affected by breeding practises, absolutely.

    2. They'll also flank suck, which although doesn't give the risk of wool ingestion can cause skin lesions. So it seems to be the suckling that's the compulsion.

    3. Wool sucking is common in Dobes and in some Asian-origin cat breeds (which came here as exotics with likely very small gene pools). It's a maladaptive OCD behavior that simulates nursing. Dobes preferentially choose wool items or their own flanks (which is known as "flank sucking") but will also suck on other textiles.

      A similar phenomenon is German Shepherds who chew at, bite and chase their own tails. I worked with several GSDs that had this. It starts with them spending much of the day spinning in circles chasing their tails. Eventually, they would start chewing their own tails until they were bloody and had bone exposed. One client's dog had successive amputations with adequate pain relief and cones... but as soon as the cone came off, the tail chasing and chewing began again. (This was all before I met him--I referred him to a board-certified DVM behaviorist for psychiatric meds).

      And I haven't seen this in person, but apparently bull terriers and some other breeds have a type of behavior called "fly biting," where they constantly snap at imaginary flies. This is thought to be a form of epileptic seizure. Just amazing that we are not outcrossing and breeding to get away from these behaviors vs. breeding for the conformation ring as the top priority.

  17. We had been really nervous viewing the actual movie. My personal dobe is actually my personal globe, I'm lacking children, therefore he or she requires which devote the home. He is a fantastic canine, as well as I've dropped deeply in love with this particular type, however their own long term terrifies me personally. My personal young man had been four within the month of january, as well as their loved ones appear to create canines that reside in order to close to 9-10, and so i 'm optimistic he or she would be the exact same. However it's nevertheless not really almost lengthy sufficient. I'd like the dobe for that relaxation associated with my entire life, however using the method they are heading, We have no idea in the event that that is likely to end up being feasible, not really basically do not wish to reside along with continuous heartache.

  18. Hmm, weren't breed standards and pedigrees originally created with the sole purpose of showing dogs? I swear they aren't necessary.

    Breeds and land-races have been maintained through time without pedigrees as its the idea of being fit for function.
    Some breeds such as border collies, German shepherds and Labradors need to be line bred with members of the same breed to be as useful as they can for work with Guide dogs, police dogs and herding dogs to produce the best dog for the purpose, but is it necessary for a cute pet?
    People have had breeds since dogs were domesticated.
    However, isn't showing a problem since it increases the affect of popular sires within breeds for NO REASON?
    Its not for work, showing is literally adding more problems to breeds, not only ruining temperament, structure, etc. but also makes certain sires more popular when they don't need to be.

    If there wasn't showing, then fewer dogs would be "better" than another. For example, without showing, how would you choose the "best" bulldog?

  19. I don't think the problem is 'showing' as much as it is the severely limited purpose of breeding in pedigree dogs, where the only recognition of 'best' is show ring accolades.

    Any other qualities a dog can bring to its owners come after that.

    Dogs aren't bred for man, but for a pedigree.
    In the "natural" environment breeding dogs are chosen for an individuals own priorities- What qualities that individual values most, or thinks are needed for his/her purpose. Its not perfect, but but accumulatively, it means the SPECIES is being developed according to the environmental needs and demands.

    Accumulative improvement by being able to cater to ALL needs of all individual environments at once.

    The K.Cs ruling against cross breeding, or breeding dogs ineligible for registration means that only the single, K.C environment can be catered to. Their needs and demands are uniform and set by the standard for each individual breed, and JUDGED by the show ring. Not by individual needs and priorities.
    Problems aren't able to be tackled at an individual or cumulative level.
    Priorities are set by the clubs and tackled by the clubs, one problem at a time. For one single environment at a time. What the Club needs, not what the breed needs.

    With out the clubs, how would you choose a Bulldog?

    You would choose according to what YOUR priorities and expectations are. For YOU. Not what the breed clubs tell you the breed brings you, but what you want in the breed.

    And breeders would be free to do the same, If only the pedigree and breed club standards were not the 1st requisite to be considered an 'Ethical" breeder.

    We would each be responsible for our own choices, and play our own part in further developement of the species.

    Instead, with a ruling that the pedigree and its attendant standard is 1st priority, that personal responsibility has been taken from us.

    When an organism does not recognize its environment, responsibility TO the environment is lost.
    Samefor the organization.

    1. The showring is just hugely popular.

      The problem is, popular sires and inbreeding are the main problems with breeding dogs. It looses genetic diversity within a breed.
      However, a dog that does well in showing, or a person linebreeding for a specific look are large problems and spread negative genetic ailments, and not just the ones you can see.

      If the showring wasn't the default "quality test" for the dogs, and if it wasn't the focus for so many breeders, popular sires would be less popular, and fewer people would linebreed for certain looks.
      Its the sport itself that is defining how dogs are bred, and it has no reason to exist in the first place. It doesn't better a breed, its just a fixation on appearence limiting those which do not conform from being bred.

      With 400+ clubs, run by ordinary people who love the purity of the breed, that is already causing problems in itself.
      How could you tell all these people to stop creating popular sires and limit the amount of puppies a sire can have, or to not allow dogs with a COI above a certain percent to be registered?
      You can't. People would get upset with the club, and they can register their dog with or without it.

      A breed club can also exist even if the showring doesn't. A few clubs do not even allow dogs registered with the AKC to be part of their club.

      You see, the problem doesn't exist within the individual. You cannot look at it that way. Just because some people choose less popular sires, and because someone keeps the inbreeding COIs as low as they can, doesn't save the breed.
      You need a proper breeding structure to conserve genetic diversity.
      An individual effort is not going to accomplish that. The best would be a structured program overlooking breeders and keeping them on the right path.

      Rather than having the showring as the focus, genetic diversity should be what comes first.

      The pedigree in itself is a useful tool. But having a closed pedigree is not so much. I do think keeping a record of a dogs ancestors is important, but I think all dogs should be given the oppotunity to have one.

      You see, genetic diversity is hugely important, and people will not maintain it on their own.

      A club can try to eliminate a health problem, but there are other negitive concequences from inbreeding that often cannot be seen.

    2. I agree the problem doesn't exist within the individual. It exists because individuals are subsumed by the organization.

      Showing is ONE purpose to keep and breed dogs For. Its not THE purpose.

      There is room for other purpose to flourish, IF the Orgs. stop putting the pedigree as the first criteria of a breeder, and the show ring as the only acceptable bench mark of success.

      But for that to happen, the rules need to be changed so that the pedigree and the single standard it represents is not the sole mark of a responsible breeder.

      Breeding for other purposes than the pedigree has to be recognized as just as legitimate. It has to be recognized that there are other valid purposes to breeding than just supporting and perpetuating a pedigree. Other accolades than the show ring have value.
      And that can't happen while the message from the K.Cs says otherwise.
      Yeah, there will still be popular Sire, and Popular Dams. But there will be far more of them, for more reasons.
      Breeders could legitimately breed for some of those with out automatic censure from their peers.
      Reducing inbreeding within the ranks, increasing the numbers of popular dogs, and not be censured for cross breeding to meet market ( or environmental ) demands.

      Breederes could legitimately cross breed out side the K.Cs protocols. Changing the culture over time.
      Making it more acceptable to "Break" the closed line and more likely in future that out crosses will be seen as an acceptable option for improvement where and when needed.

      Forcing a change in culture by a change of rules that ALLOW for other purposes.

      It should not be permitted that one purpose for dogs should dominate the whole culture of ownership, purpose and breeding ethics for dogs. As it does.

      That one insistence by pedigree breeders, that the pedigree itself is what sets their dogs apart,is what shuts down real conversation on practices, ethics, needs and what actualy brings value and real improvement to the mix.

    3. P.S

      The K.Cs dominate the dog breeder culture by dint OF their organization.

      Thats not a bad thing if that culture is organized around the idea of improvement, rather than just established pedigrees and standards.

      An insistence of equality between pure and cross breeds can only happen if that equality is formaly recognized within the rules that bind that culture.

      If that happens, breeders become equal no matter what their purpose and Show Breeding is just one valid purpose out of many as it should be. Not the dominating purpose. That becomes improvement as their constitution states, and a benign influence on the practices and values to achieve that improvement.
      Through the knowledge and understanding of back ground and heredity a pedigree can provide. Not for the sake of the pedigree itself which is just a single tool to access that knowledge and understanding when used for improvement first.

    4. A single organization can not have the over all focus to replace an environment that demands what it needs now by the individuals who can recognize what that is in their own specific environment, for their own specific needs.

    5. "You see, genetic diversity is hugely important and people will not maintain it on their own"

      Yes, they emphaticaly will.

      Its how domestic dogs came to be, before the K.Cs subverted the INDIVIDUAL values people sought to support their own purposes in keeping or breeding dogs-

      To tell us the Pedigree is the only legitimate indication that ANY purpose or value is to had.

      Collectively, the individuals are what makes an environment for dogs. Through finding value in them they can support, and demonstrate to others as worthy of replication.

      We, as the environment for Dogs, WILL support what brings most value.

      That can't be done if any organization (or any single environment) is dominating the messages of what those value should be, until another problem arises. It limits our market (or environmental) values according to time.

      The values MUST always be environment specific to have any purpose TO the environment.

      The K.Cs have been dominating the messages of where value is to be found.
      In the pedigree, which is bestowed on dogs that meet a 'Standard'. A single environment that can't possibly meet needs for the whole of the environment, (or Market) alone.

      And because of the insistence the pedigree is the only legitimate mark of Value, It locks us in to a cycle of antagonism. We knock them down because they aren't meeting our needs, and they knock us down because we challenge THEIR values.

      The values can't be divided in a single species. Environment will seek value.
      Thats the nature of environment. For the species to be supported BY that environment, or Market, That Value MUST be demonstrated. With out being knocked down by competing values.
      Neither the human or canine species can dictate what values are accepted by the environment.
      It can only demonstrate the best that can be found, and hope it finds favor.

      NONE can find favor if even one group can't meet needs and demands, yet dominates the messages from species to environment and subverts any other values that try to gain favor.

      This is physics.
      Acting on the culture created by the constitution that formed it.

      And brings us what we are dealing with today.

      Domestic dogs are a single species. There is a single environment that supports it. Man.

      No single PART of that environment can successfully dictate direction of the whole, with out loosing value and purpose in the environment that hold it.

  20. Not only show dogs have popular sires. I've had three Border Collies and have been involved with them in eight different sports, including advanced levels of sheep herding. I agree with an earlier poster that it's important to have "breeds" when it comes to certain jobs that require a lot of specialized characteristics. While not all BCs will herd, a good BC can beat the best of any other breed, as has been shown in virtually all countries with livestock.

    To show how the popular sire effect also occurs in working dogs, consider "Wiston Cap." This ISDS (UK) Border Collie was born in 1963 and won the Supreme in 1965, at which point he started being used at stud. By 1995, the final litter of BCs was born in the UK (and likely the world) that did NOT have Wiston Cap in their pedigree ( Yep, in 30 years, one non show dog's genes got into virtually 100% of all dogs of his breed in existence.

    As it turns out, there's a 99% chance that Wiston Cap was a carrier for CEA (, which is why it is now commonly found in the breed.

    I'm a huge proponent of all registries--show and working--put a cap on number of puppies that any sire/dam can produce. Maybe 10 (or one litter, whichever is greater) for dams and 20 (or two litters, whichever is greater) for sires. This would also encourage the breeding of different dogs, keeping more genetic diversity in the gene pool. As I learned on PDE, only 11% of male goldens in the UK leave behind offspring, meaning a loss of 89% of diversity in each generation in an already-closed pool. Stopping popular sires/dams would help this situation a lot (as would allowing outcrosses).

    1. Wiston Cap, born in 1965 and used for stud after winning Supreme in 1965. A popular sire who was used extensively enough that today, Virtually all of his breed today can trace back to his line.

      Yet, If the pedigree and its attendant standards were not promoted as the defining tool for ethics in breeding, the win that caused his popularity as a Sire would not have been regarded as such an all encompassing, sought after value for EVERYONE involved with the purpose of the breed.

      The pedigree as a stand alone tool tells us we should all be after the same qualities that have brought success in the Ring. Be that ring a Show Ring, or a Competition Ring.
      As long as that ring is used to demonstrate a success for the PEDIGREE standard.

      And even competitive sports become a ritualized, standardized 'Show' that contributes to predictable, fixed responses from the dogs undergoing them. Requiring set and fixed traits to be perpetuated.

      Because trials and competitions are NOT demonstrations of success in a variety of environments and a dogs ability to fulfill his purpose in them.

      They are a ritualized environment, demanding ritualized responses. To reinforce a set standard represented by a pedigree.
      A one size fits all re-enforcement. Nothing wrong with that- If your purpose is to trial (or show, or compete) as a pedigree breed owner. Thats as valid a purpose as any other.
      The only problem is that it still doesn't support any deviation from a single standard and environment.

      trial successes don't over ride the success of unregistered dogs in their home environments fulfilling their purpose day after day, hours or days at a time in the harshest of conditions.
      Trial successes don't guarantee success in real world environments, or indicate superiority out side the trial or show world.

      I believe Border Collies have the same success at trials in Australia too. But on the big stations, I'm pretty sure the Kelpie has proven far more useful. Purpose is environment specific, but trials don't allow for that either.
      Yet trials are the avenue that must be used to promote pedigree success out side the show ring. Trial and sport becomes another form of 'Show'. Especialy if they are specific to certain breeds or cross breeds must be neutered to enter.

      I doubt that win would have had such far reaching implications for the breed if "Pedigree" was not pushed as the defining symbol of ethical and responsible breed improvement, or standards.

    2. The vast numbers of breders who sought the lines of Wiston Cap didn't seek them because they thought he could add value to their own personal goals, purpose or environment.

      Most supported his line because his line supported the pedigree.

      Individual values aren't fully considered by most who adhere to the pedigree system.
      They can't be fully considered while those values must be defined against the 'Standard' expectations for the breed.

      The Standards are Set. Only one 'Standard' can be accepted at any time. So only time can alter the breed. The market, or environment has no influence on what is Set. The only avenue to get past that is to set yet another standard to adhere to. As people here call for.
      But any standard = restriction of values that can be found acceptable.

      By adhering to set, pedigree standard before all other considerations in breeding, By agreement, The standard is set in time. Not by environment and its needs or demands.

      There are 2 possible ways out of this cycle.

      1st one is to force change to any breeder Org. rules so they forbid discrimination against members or other breeders who breed dogs ineligible for registration. Weather thats outside their membership or within it. Registration protocols can ONLY be applied to dogs that will be eligible for registration.
      Any thing else is beyond their remit and that now needs to be formaly recognized.
      No discrimination for Cross Breeding.
      How else is out crossing to be seen as acceptable by membership? when clossed lines are the definition of a pedigree breeders ethics?

      If that can't happen or won't, An entirely new Registry based on Purpose and the values that support purpose will be essential.

      Those are the 'elements' missing from the physical equation that says a species is viable.
      Those are the only elements that bring responsibility to the environment that supports a species.

  21. Inbreeding definitely is the major problem spreading disease in dogs. But I realized some days ago there are also other actions such as breeders coddling dogs and interfering with nature that is also increasing diseases in dogs. A couple of days ago I was reading on a show forum how some breeders went through ridiculous efforts to save sick pups. Someone mentioned how a sick pup they saved became a great dog, but I don't think they realize they are harming their breed by saving dogs who will spread genetic diseases!

    I now believe cross-breeding and genetic testing is not enough. Dog breeders will also need to go back to basics to allow natural selection to take place. Something like the following:

    1. Pick two unrelated healthy dogs.
    2. Do health and genetic testing for diseases before breeding.
    3. Let the bitch dig her own natural den, and give birth outside (as dogs naturally are meant to do)
    4. Do NOT try to save any pup that the bitch rejects. Her instincts know better than you. This is natural selection.
    5. Do NOT save fading pups. This is natural selection.
    6. Do NOT breed dogs that need assistance to breed. This mimics natural selection.
    7. Do NOT breed bitches that have complications during whelping again or her pups. This mimics natural selection.
    8. Do NOT use whelping pads and heat pads. This will ensure only healthy, hardy pups to survive. This is natural selection.
    9. Breed clubs should open studbooks to allow a cross once in awhile. This will slowly increase genetic diversity while preserving type.

    PS. Another thing I didn't add is letting the bitch choose the male, as wild canines do. Dogs can detect which mate is healthier. I understand this one may be impractical for many dog breeders to set up.

    If all dog breeders followed 1-9 , this should wipe out most if not all genetic diseases in dogs very quickly in 15-20 years.

    1. For number 4 or 5, why not? If the dog is neutered, it cannot breed anyway lol, so there is no reason to let a puppy die if you can prevent the genes from entering the genepool.
      You know spay/neuter contracts exist, right?

      for number three, wth?

      You sound very heartless...
      Seriously, I have to disagree with trying to indirectly kill as many puppies as you can for no reason. If they are unhealthy or weak, neutering removes their genes from the genepool.

      Also, you are silly in mentioning such stupid things yet avoid the obvious, such as choosing less popular sires.

      I suggest reading this if you want to ACTUALLY know the best ways to help the problem of lack of genetic diversity.

      For number 9, I totally agree, 100%. We need that, yet those who want to keep the breeds completely pure are preventing it.
      A few outcrosses have been allowed by the kennel club already with the Dalmatian, Belgian Shepherd and miniature bull terriers.

      The above is something that I fully support, but I can imagine many breeders would go completely insane and loose their heads if it happened.

    2. @Sunny Dogs continued..

      I suggest reading this if you want to ACTUALLY know the best ways to help the problem of lack of genetic diversity.
      I have already read that url before and that is part of the answer for genetic diversity, but don't fool yourself into thinking that human beings are just as good as natural selection with eliminating out disease in animals. Wild animals are healthier, hardier, stronger, and more intelligent than any domestic animal that humans bred because of natural selection.
      I agree with the URL, but I also want natural selection to catch anything that humans cannot prevent or detect as well. Some diseases have a continuum from minor to severe. Humans often notice most diseases only after it becomes severe. By then multiple dogs already have those genes for disease in large enough numbers in a breed. Natural selection can weed out even the slightest expressions of a disease.

      Note: I am not a dog breeder (at least yet) but I stand by the list, and would include doing anything that increase health of dogs.
      Natural selection is a powerful tool that seems be totally ignored by most western show breeders.

    3. I think it is pretty easy to see which pup would naturally die or a pup rejected by its mother and put that pup on a spay/neuter contract. I do not see why that is not an option?
      Thats just as bad as kulling puppies because they do not have a ridge.
      The only difference being you are not directly doing it yourself. Natural selection is about which dog goes on to produce offspring. You will find that surprisingly, a neutered dog cannot! If you need to do something to keep the pup alive, isn't it obvious that this pup should be put on a spay/neuter contract?

    4. Jemima did the first part of my response to Sunny Dogs get lost? I see the second part but not the first.. I even tried a repost but still do not see it?

    5. for number three, wth?
      If you have the land, nothing is wrong with raising dogs as naturally as possible. Except relatively recently in some western countries, dogs have whelped in natural dens for thousands of years and still do in many places around the world:
      There are also several possible benefits:
      1. Artificial man-made whelping boxes are not the same concave shape or texture as a natural den in the earth. Elbow and hip dysplasia is partially caused by both genetics and environment. It is possible that pups developing in whelping boxes have an increased risk for dysplasia as their hips and elbows develop in an environment that canines did not evolve in.
      2. Healthy pups raised outside in a natural den will help their immune system develop properly. Read about the Hygiene Hypothesis
      3. Pups that have a genetic weak immune system that cannot be detected early by humans will be targeted by natural selection.

    6. You sound very heartless...
      You are free to your opinion, but I disagree. I believe a breeder needs to be objective and not let emotion interfere with breeding for and increasing the health of dogs.
      Seriously, I have to disagree with trying to indirectly kill as many puppies as you can for no reason. If they are unhealthy or weak, neutering removes their genes from the genepool.
      I am NOT trying to kill pups. Instead I would just not want to save what natural selection clearly is targeting. There is a BIG difference. Man cannot select out diseases as well as natural selection can. There are thousands of genes for potential diseases, and new mutations occurs in every organism. Yet there are only few tests that can test for a few genes that cause disease in dogs. Resources and time spent on trying to save sick pups is resources and time not spent on bettering your breeding program for healthy dogs.
      Also, you are silly in mentioning such stupid things yet avoid the obvious, such as choosing less popular sires.
      First nothing I wrote is stupid. The list is designed to allow as much natural selection to occur as possible. Matter of fact if you look at farm dogs, shepherds, African tribes, etc. globally most people who breed their dogs for a working purpose the situation and effect is the same. Even some hunters in the US and Europe who breed their own dogs for hunting have a similar set up. Dogs bred like this tend to be very healthy and hardy. These people don't even do genetic testing, and yet their dogs are not riddled with diseases as in show dogs. If their dogs were, the dogs would be useless for work. Note that does NOT mean I agree about no genetic testing, I believe dogs should be tested.
      Second I have thought avoiding popular sires was obvious on this blog because of the talk about avoiding inbreeding. Also shouldn't my number 1 cancel out the popular sires’ problem from the start?

    7. I will try a final repost. May be my original was too large for the comment section, so I will break it into parts:

      For number 4 or 5, why not? If the dog is neutered, it cannot breed anyway lol, so there is no reason to let a puppy die if you can prevent the genes from entering the genepool.
      You know spay/neuter contracts exist, right?

      Spay/neuter contracts can be ineffective as most breeders don't have the money, time, resources, etc. to enforce those contracts. If a breeder does have the money, there always are ways to get around a contract. Also neutering early may have harmful effects in the future for pups, or the dog may not fill out as they should.
      I would also wonder why in the world would a breeder knowingly want to pass on a dog with a genetic disease/defect to someone else? Why put someone in the position where there is a risk of the person having to take care of a very sick dog and pay expensive vet bills, or go to a vet or animal shelter who will put down the sick dog anyway?

    8. Thats just as bad as kulling puppies because they do not have a ridge.
      Let me state right now I do not believe in any feel-goody idea such as "every creature desires a chance to live".
      I see that as lacking substance and very impractical and when applied to breeding dogs leads to irrational actions taken based on emotion. Culling for a missing ridge is doing it for the standard. Not interfering with nature selection is just letting nature do its job. They are not comparable. A breeder' resources and time can be more productively used for healthy dogs.

    9. To be honest, if you see a weaker puppy and sit there and let it die, how is that not killing it when you could easily save it.
      You seem to miss the point. There is no reason to let it die. At all.
      Natural selection is not intelligent, it is not all mighty, it is not god, it is just what would happen in the wild.
      All it means is that the pup would die in the wild. That is it.

      The reason natural selection exists is to get rid of weaker genes that do not help the species progress.
      Guess what does the exact same thing?

      I would say that is fine with what you said. But the problem is, there is nothing wrong with keeping the puppy alive!!!
      Nothing at all! The genes won't be passed on and producing weaker offspring, the puppy would still bring happiness to anyone it lives with, etc.

      If you are convinced the pup will be sick when it grows older, then let it die humanely (pts) with no pain rather than let it die slowly.

      If you say breeding should not have emotion, using that logic you can get out a machete and kill all but the puppies you want to use to breed, you could make the puppies and dam potentially die and leave them out in snow and rain or in the sweltering heat, you could refuse to get the vet at any stage, you could kill the dam with that machete if she produces bad puppies, you could keep 1000 dogs and use them purely for the sake of breeding and keep them in tiny cages with bare minimum food, water, and refuse to clean out the kennel so that they hopefully die and only the strongest survive, etc.

      If you want as much natural selection as possible, then the above would all be great ways to do so.

      Seriously, morals are there for a reason. You have not even said why spaying/neutering the puppy is not an option either.

    10. Well, technically all dogs of a breed are related.

      Popular sires (as you obviously already know) are sires that have been used many times. Nothing to do with how related they are to the dam. Nothing to do with inbreeding.
      A dog can be completely unrelated with your dog, but can still be a popular sire.

    11. Also

      Let me state right now I do not believe in any feel-goody idea such as "every creature desires a chance to live".

      Then why care about health at all? If you don't care about the life of a dog, why care about the health of one?
      You seem a little inconsistent.

    12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    13. @Sunny Dogs

      I care about health because I like healthy dogs. I'm not being inconsistent. Letting natural selection take its course does not contradict what I wrote in any way at all.
      If I was a breeder and realize a pup is not going to make it, sick, unhealthy, etc I would humanely pts. My list does not state, "it is mandatory to wait to the very last day". But I'm not for spending resources or time on saving a sick pup that naturally would not make it due to natural selection, nor with passing a pup with a health risk to someone else. My goal would be to focus on breeding healthy and hardy dogs.

      If you say breeding should not have emotion, using that logic you can...
      I wrote a breeder needs to be objective and not let emotion interfere. Your strawman examples would not be a great way to do it at all, and at this point I see continuing with you is pointless. We are just not going to agree.

    14. Ya see, your points are just...

      Natural selection has to do with genetics, that is something you agree with, right?

      Your point was that by letting the pups die, it would make breeds healthier, right?

      The problem is, there is no reason too, because spaying/neutering exists.

      Thats where all your logic fails.

      The only reason to let the pup die would either be because you are too lazy to want to have to look after an unnecessary pup, or because of ethical reasons such as what would be most humane.

      The latter is purely emotion and what you think would be best for the pup.

      Your argument that letting the pup die would benefit the breed is very flawed since if no breeder did that, and instead they spayed/neutered the pups that would die, the result would be exactly the same, making your entire argument irrelevant.
      The fact you can't see that and then treat me like the idiot really just shows your way of thinking very clearly.

      You do not see 60% of Dobermann puppies being abandoned by their mother or as dogs that would have died from natural selection because thwey have DCM. You don't see 90-100% of CKCS puppies be set on the path of death via natural selection because they will grow up to have heart murmurs later in life, and you also see weaker pups and mothers that loose interest in breeds with few health issues. You don’t see Pekingese refuse to look after their pups because he ones from show lines struggle to walk 10 meters without overheating and needing to be carried.
      But at the same time, 80% of bulldogs cannot birth naturally and need a cesarean, and if you decided you would let natural selection take place there, the bulldog would rapidly go extinct. Perhaps that could be debated whether its for the better, but the fact is this breeding is to preserve a breed.

      If the same happened with human children and we decided children that would not manage to survive without help should just be humanely left to go, then that would be very unethical. But you see, humans are creatures too.
      You could say humans are more intelligent, but newborn babies aren't.
      You could say it would be scaring for the mother, but "emotion should not interfere"
      Humans have little natural selection, so surely that would benefit the human race, right?
      Can you see the issues here? You can say "but dogs are not people", but that is a weak argument as humans are just animals like any other.

      But yes, I can never see eye to eye with you. I am happy with spaying/neutering pups that should not have their genes in the gene pool, and I do not think there is anything wrong with that as it causes no harm.

      When its the runt of the litter that is struggling to survive, there is not necessarily anything wrong with it other than that it is not as strong as the other pups in the litter. It doesn't indicate the pup is carrying a deadly disease.
      Runts do not indicate a pup that will be weaker later in life either.
      It depends on why the puppy is a runt. Often it can just be the position in the womb which causes less nutrients to reach the pup, and with the right care, the pup will most often grow up into a normal healthy dog like its littermates.

      Some have health anomalies which cause the stunted growth, yes, but in a healthy, well bred litter that isn't the most common cause. There is no way to know whether that is the issue or not.
      Infection can also cause this problem as well, which is also not genetic.

    15. Also, regarding your thought on speutering, if done before 1 year old, the risks outweigh the benefits, yes.
      But it also has its benefits too, and the risk of an ailment as a result of the procedure is very small anyway.

      The risks with males slightly outweigh the benefits even after 1 year, but the risk is still so small, so is it not worth it to keep the dog from having unhealthy puppies?

      And you don't give puppies away to random people, but to people you talk with and build up a relationship with. Of course, you can't always choose correctly, but its not as though its blind. It would be easy to explain why, and also wish to see evidence of the procedure when it's time.
      I think the chances they will ignore your wishes as well as what is on the contact and refuse to provide evidence from someone who you built a relationship with is not a major risk.

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. To have healthy, functional, stable tempered dogs that bring enough value to their owners that its worth while keeping dogs in their lives.

    Thats the goal. Isn't it?

    On this forum, surely we all agree the Pedigree system has 'INHERANT' problems. Passed down from its inception.

    So why do we continue to believe that tweaking "standards" people breed for is going to change anything?

    We need to change the way we are thinking, because we are all still caught up with the idea of "Breeds" and single standards. Pedigrees.

    This isn't just about breeds. Its about dogs because any problems in breeds trickles down into, and affects, the species.

    We had successful dogs long before we had Pedigrees to replace a definition of their purpose.
    We need to ditch the hype and doctrine of a Pedigree being the definition of responsibility.

    The Pedigree and its use in breeding is NOT the way out of this. Its a tool, and useful one. Thats all.

    To put all your faith in a pedigree is to have none in the dog. As a species.

    Pedigree breeding is a legitimate purpose to breed for. Showing is a legitimate purpose. Trials are a legitimate purpose. Sport and herding and companion. Service etc.

    Its the PURPOSE that gives the dog meaning and value to man. NOT the pedigree.
    Yet even here, we talk of 'standards' as the way out. Setting new ones or 'higher' ones. Culling for a standard, choices for a standard, disease in a standard.

    Its impossible to 'set' ANY standard in time and have it meet environmental needs.
    If it doesn't meet needs, it can serve no purpose.

    Healthy, functional, stable tempered dogs that add value to their owners lives is the purpose of a breeder.

    There is no single standard that governs that process. There are only values that support it.
    The values are specific to each person, their situation, needs, environmental conditions. Their purpose to owning a dog is unique.

    The only common standard you will find is that there IS a purpose. We only have values at all because they support that purpose.
    With out purpose, there IS no value.

    So healthy, functional dogs with a stable temperament are common values to support any purpose for dogs.

    But, If we continue to see the pedigree as the single tool to aid in achieving that we are lost. Because a set standard for whatever purpose a breed represents must ALWAYS put breed specific values before any other purpose or common values. It must. It becomes set in time. It is not environment specific as any purpose must be.

    There is NOTHING wrong with pedigree breeding apart from the fact that it is set in time and makes NO allowance for purpose in the environment. It doesn't do that so much BECAUSE its a pedigree. It does that because the Pedigree is seen as the 1st consideration in any decision or challenge BY the environment.
    And the reason that happens is because the tool has became the purpose while we accept a doctrine that the pedigree holds the value, not the dog.

    If pedigree breeders were encouraged to breed dogs for the market, or environment out side the registry systems as a legitimate enterprise, the pedigree no longer holds other values or purpose to ransom.

    1. The pedigree itself is not the problem. It is an incredibly useful tool. It can help you understand the lines of dog, it is very useful in working dogs, it can identify the originator of certain genes, it can help calculate inbreeding, it can store information about ancestors, can be used to predict the quality of a dog, etc.

      A pedigree on its own is fine. It is simply a record of the dogs heritage.

      What is limiting dogs is the fact that in purebred dogs, the pedigree is closed.
      You cannot add new genes into the breed to improve genetic diversity. Some breeds still happen to have open studbooks though and individuals can be given a pedigree if they meet certain standards or criteria.

      You can imagine if every dog, mixed or pure, could be given a pedigree to record their ancestors, it would be a perfectly fine tool.
      A tool free to any dog, any breed, any mix, any purpose, etc. That in itself has nothing too wrong with it. Its the problem with bringing in new "blood".

    2. But every dog DOES have a pedigree.

      The recording of it isn't what gives it value- The end result is. The dog.

      And that doesn't depend on a recording of parentage. It depends on the understanding and knowledge of the breeder to his purpose.
      In using what information he has access to.

      The pedigree gives access to much more information. Yes. But giving every dog a pedigree isn't the answer either.
      It just reinforces the K.Cs ideal that the pedigree and attendant, 'fixed' standards is what confers quality or value to a dog.
      That the unknown and unrecorded is some thing to fear and avoid. Instead of a way to expand knowledge and seek other values towards a purpose for dogs.

      The pedigree CAN'T be used to predict the quality of the dog.
      It can be used to predict traits most likely to show up. To understand where they originated.
      As applied to a standard and the people seeking those traits.
      It doesn't predict quality or we wouldn't see so many 'breeds' so clearly with out any real 'quality'. Quality is subjective to purpose and environment.

      "What is limiting dogs is the fact that in purebred dogs the pedigree is closed" Absolutely.

      And most pedigree breeders can not consider an out cross because the culture written into the constitution ensures that what is unknown is feared. Predictability will be lost and can't be counted on.
      Even when that predictability comes to include disease and deformity, and has less and less real value.
      As a stand alone tool and the only tool 'Acceptable' Value will be lost.

      Far more effective to force a change in the culture to recognize value can come from unpredictable sources. That it doesn't NEED to add value to a 'pedigree' to have value or purpose. Only to a Dog.
      That there is nothing wrong with a 'pedigree' adding value outside of the pedigree system and to the environment out side of that.

      If the K.Cs just cross breed but bestow a pedigree on the dogs crossed, the K.Cs are still in control of the future direction of dogs with out an environmental influence on where that takes us.
      They are still only using already recorded and known information from closed lines to create the new pedigrees.
      They will have been given far more influence on the environment and markets. Far more pressure able to be exerted to prevent breeding being undertaken by anyone out side of a K.Cs membership. And the unknown and unpredictable still a thing to be feared.

      Microchips could provide public information recorded against any dogs medical and breeding history to accomplish the same thing as forced membership to a K.C. But with out the forced adoption of beliefs and philosophies to standards set in time.

      Religions do a lot of good. But we don't have to join one or adopt the beliefs of one to do good things, or for it to be recognized when we have.

      To give every dog a pedigree asks that it will conform to the beliefs and 'Standards' of the recording body. Not that it lives up to the expectations of the breeder and the Market that will or will not support it on its OWN merits.
      and closed lines

    3. Well, in essence a pedigree is really just a record of lineage, or basically a family tree, doesn't even have to be supplied by a kennel club. There are some people who breed mixes, or breed outside the kennel club who still make pedigrees for their dogs to know the history of the dog and its ancestors.

      The problem is, the kennel club has a registry which only accepts purebred dogs with registered parents.
      You can create your own pedigree outside the kennel club, but the Kennel Clubs type of pedigree is "official"

  24. If its assumed that a member of any K.C Organization will only be breeding pedigree or "pure" bred dogs, Any value in dogs will be seen to come through the pedigree system.

    Because nothing else can have a collective standard to measured against. We can only point out whats Lacking in any dog and reduce that value.
    Like with BSL. And genetic or disease testing. And on and on. Environment is a value seeking system.
    Time, with out the influence of environment, is a value reduction system.

    The pedigree is a valuable tool for any purpose.
    Like a cart to carry a load.
    The pedigree is a value. Its not the purpose. We just make it the purpose while we accept a doctrine that it is.

    The dog is the purpose. The pedigree is a single value of many that can can add to the purpose.
    It can't do that if we keep putting the pedigree 1st.

    Just like putting the cart before the horse won't make the horse more able to pull it.

    Our critical thinking is backwards.
    It is a physical impossibility that the species will survive long term while we think this way.

    The K.Cs own rules demand it, and create the reality we have.

    Out crossing is the only answer but the K.C culture ( and the general culture too, more subtly ) has an indoctrinated belief against "breaking" a standard.

    That can not change until there is some sort of formal recognition that value does not only come because of a pedigree by the people who keep them.

    otherwise we are ALL locked in to trying to find common standards, locked in time.
    When none can be had - by an inherent decree of the K.Cs.

    For Dogs Sake, LOOK.

  25. Rich from Oklahoma16 June 2016 at 14:18

    Points all well taken, but please, crossing your breeding stock with poodles simply for the cute "oodles" name is ridiculous. They do not necessarily improve the breed and beyond puppyhood, inherent cuteness and identity may be bred away.

  26. Agreed.

    But again, a subtle influence from the K.Cs, though not one welcomed or sought by them.

    The Oodly names given to these crosses ensure they aren't seen as 'just' a cross breed. They too have some predictability and thought to 'Standards' behind them.
    Mixed from known quantities. Often bred for no other purpose than appearance. Just like a Pedigree.

    Purpose needs to come 1st. And a formal recognition from any K.C that it does before the public can wake up, reverse our thinking and take responsibility for direction of the species COLLECTIVELY. Not influenced by beliefs that have no place being promoted out side the K.Cs.
    An individual is welcome to any belief they choose. When an Organization says certain beliefs will not be tolerated within that Org, Such as cross breeding or breeding out side of a pedigrees recorded History, They are no longer simply promoting the benefits of their beliefs. And there is no doubt the pedigree brings benefits worth promoting.
    They are actively interfering in any other ideology and bending it to their own.

    They have no right or need to rule against what does not affect their own membership. To do so ensures the environment that supports them is the enemy and they just victims fighting for survival in an antagonistic world.