Thursday, 1 September 2016

Danes: the ugliness inside

Next week, all 216 Kennel Club breeds will be represented on a walk to raise money for several very deserving children's and canine charities. Pedigree Paws Unite is the initiative of Gavin Robertson, who organised a similar walk, Jilly's Jolly Jaunt, in 2013 after he won Crufts with his Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, Jilly (Ch Soletrader Peek A Boo).

Like Jilly's Jolly Jaunt, the aim is to promote a positive image of pedigree dogs; that Kennel Club dogs are happy and healthy; that every breed is capable of walking one of the 5-mile legs.

Unfortunately, the Great Dane pictured in the beautiful artwork created especially for the event by artist Elizabeth Greenslade, will not be able to attend.

He has just died of osteosarcoma, aged 4.

"Ryder" (Ch Semalda Koochie Ryder) was, I have no doubt, very well-loved by his owner Adam Chappell. You can tell from his Facebook posts and Twitter feed. Ryder was a good-looking Dane, too - a touch on the heavy side for my taste but with particularly good eyes (worthy of note because we see some really awful ones in the Dane show-ring).  I see, also, that Adam has also signed Maria Gkinala's petition calling for the FCI to act again the hyper-type Danes swamping the European show-ring.

But the problem with Danes isn't just on the outside. A diagnosis of osteosarcoma is as depressingly predictable in this breed as soft-tissue sarcomas are in Flatcoats or malignant histiocytosis in Bernese Mountain Dogs or dilated cardiomyopathy is in Dobermans.

The average age of death of Great Danes is just six years old. It's partly due to the Dane's giant size and fast growth - bone cancer is very common in many giant breeds.

But we could breed them a bit smaller. We could grow them a bit slower. We could make much more effort to document the deaths and select for longer-living lines - and we could outcross to another, longer-living breed.

Did you know, there's a breed way bigger and heavier than Danes that is still working at 15 years old and regularly makes it to 20?  It's called the Mongolian Bankhar, similar but distinct from the Tibetan Mastiff.  There is, incidentally, a fantastic initiative breeding and re-introducing these dogs as livestock guardians in their native land - check it out here.

Want some of those genes?

And if, by the way, you read that question, looked at the picture of the dog and concluded that you didn't want those genes because the progeny would't look like a Dane... then I'm afraid you are part of the problem, not the solution.

None of this, I would like to stress, is intended to sour the Pedigree Paws Unite walk. It's in a good cause. But I am not going to pass up the opportunity Ryder's death affords to highlight that there is a problem on the inside of Danes (and too many other breeds) too, and we need to do more to tackle it. It is not enough to hip score or eye-test - or have your Dane prophylactically "tacked" to prevent bloat (another big killer in the breed).

I am sure Adam Chappell would say that he would give anything to have Ryder walking proudly at his side next week.

Every Dane breeder needs to re-think what they are willing for that word to mean.


  1. Of course those dogs *can* live long -- I say can because the life of a livestock guardian dog is hard and accidents happen. Two good reasons: 1. They are not pure bred. 2. People do not lavish vet bills on them. Gene flow + rigorous selection for things that *matter*, that's the key.

    Purity has nothing to do with a recognisable type of dog. It has everything to do with our identity as owners of a 'special' type of dog and our willingness to nurture disease and deformity to protect our ego.

    If breed branding and its resultant purity obsession were seen as the idiocy it is tomorrow and no one stood by it with people breeding what they valued -- at the very least, a dog with a long healthspan (not lifespan, you can keep a dog expensively alive for a long time) and a decent temperament -- you'd still see retrievers, setters, mastiffs and what have you, but the plethora of ribbon-awarding breed designations would be blessedly gone. Dogs would be cheaper to keep and live longer. And that's a win in anyone's book.

  2. are you saying that breeding smaller danes or "growing them slower"will cure this disease? Or that selecting another "longer lived" breed as an outcross will cure this disease? I am sure that the canine health researchers need to know this. Perhaps you could send them your research.

    1. I suggest you google "osteosarcoma association with rapid growth", Bestuvall. And indeed, there is some awareness of this in the giant breeds - hence many exhortations to watch the amount of nutrition.

      "Osteosarcoma of the long bones is the most common malignant tumour of bone in dogs accounting for 85 −90% of primary bone tumours and almost exclusively affects the large and giant breeds such as rottweiler, great Dane, Irish wolfhound, greyhound, Saint Bernard [82]. The aetiology of osteosarcoma is probably multifactorial; the predilection for the tumour to develop at metaphyseal region of long bones, especially the distal radius and proximal humerus, correlates with weight bearing, and rapid bone growth during early development along with bone stress due to weight bearing (possibly resulting in microfractures) has been implicated in the aetiology of these tumours [83]. Increasing weight and height appear to be important predictive factors for the disease in the dog [84]. Growth hormone has been shown to be present in canine osteosarcoma samples [85] and studies evaluating the role of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and its receptor IGF-1R and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and its receptor c-Met in osteosarcoma cell lines and tissues have shown that these factors may contribute to the malignant phenotype [86, 87]. Sex hormones may also contribute to osteosarcoma risk with intact males and females being reported to be at increased risk [84]. However in the rottweiler neutering before 1 year of age appeared to increase risk of bone sarcoma in both male and female dogs [88]. As is the case in many human and canine cancers, alterations in the function of the tumour suppressor genes RB and TP53 have been implicated in the pathogenesis of canine osteosarcoma [89, 90]. The fact that specific breeds appear predisposed suggests that more specific genetic factors may be implicated in the aetiology of canine osteosarcoma. Breeds reported to be at increased risk of developing osteosarcoma include the doberman, German shepherd, golden retriever, great Dane, Irish setter, rottweiler and Saint Bernard [88, 91, 92], large sight-hounds such as Irish wolfhound, Scottish deerhound and Borzoi [84], greyhound, rottweiler and great Dane [83] and Irish wolfhound, Saint Bernard, and Leonberger [93]. It may be argued that these predispositions may be related to size rather than breed, and this is supported by the fact that greyhounds and whippets consistently clustered together in an analysis of molecular variance in microsatellite loci [26, 43], yet whilst appendicular osteosarcoma affects greyhounds [82], the disease is rare in whippets, or indeed in dogs under 25 kg body weight [84, 94]. Interestingly IGF1 and its associated regions are a major contributing locus in size diversity in dogs, accounting for about 50% of the genetic variation in size [95]. Osteosarcoma is particularly prevalent in retired racing Greyhounds, possibly implicating stress or trauma in the aetiology of the disease in this breed."

      I wrote this blog five years ago which explored some of this:

  3. Many livestock guardian dogs are pure bred.. some are not.. but selection for work is imperative and dogs that do not come up to the mark are eliminated very quickly.. sometimes by drowning, sometimes by gunshot ..dead dogs are very cheap to are correct about that. and dogs that live "on the range" die from all sorts of horrible causes including attacks from other animals.. a slow and painful yes rigorous selection is the key but only if you are willing to eliminate the unworthy in a expeditious manner. Ruthless culling has long been criticized by people on this blog but hey if you are looking for cheap dogs and what you say are longer lived ones breed some

    1. Bestuval,

      you propose breeding for purpose by isolating them from that purpose? Never expose them to environmental selection, to get dogs that will excel in that environment?
      Select them from the show ring instead, and expect the standard itself has done the selection?

      Your whole perception of reality is skewed to think you can some how hold a dogs purpose in the standard, when the standard itself is your purpose.

  4. I have bred Great Danes for over 25 years, in all that time, i have never had one case of bone cancer, not one. The nearest i came to it, was a friend of mine whos cross breed had it. Some of my Danes have lived to 11 and 12. Your blinkered attitude, and one size fits all, is just not valid.As For Adam and Lesley, they are one of the few breeders who travel to Europe to mate their bitches, to try to ensure a wide gene pool, your one sided swipe at them at this sad time, is not fair or justified.

    1. Great Danes *predictably* die young of osteosarcoma and surveys (including two by the Kennel Club) suggests that 6 is the average age of death for the breed , whatever your own experience.

      *THAT* is what's not fair or justified.

    2. Anecdotal evidence never trumps correct scientific process and large sample size. It's wonderful that your Danes are relatively long-lived; but it's not the norm. Would you not want to try to truly improve the breed? Truly improve, in terms of health and longevity, rather than maintain the status quo and breed for a standard (this remark is not necessarily directed at you, but purebred apologists in general)?

    3. Despite questions about how well Finland represents all of dogdom, I regard the Finnish data on life expectancy and cause of death pretty highly. At least they track ALL registered dogs in the breed. The Finnish data
      give a life expectancy of 6 1/2 yrs for great danes (N=1254), however those listed as dying of cancer, on average, die at 7 yr 1 mo. This suggests that there are a lot of maladies that kill off Danes before they develop osteosarcoma or other cancers. Unfortunately, 'unspecified' is the largest cause of death . . . more than twice the numbers for death from old age or cancer/tumors. Bottom line . . . we are absurdly bad at keeping data on cause of death for pedigree dogs, but Danes seem to die off at a relatively young age from a wide variety of causes, including digestive (bloat?), skeletal, heart, behavioral, and neurological problems.
      Given the rough life and strong selection acting on the Bankhar population, it wouldn't surprise me to find that they'd quickly show a broad range of health problems if they were brought into a dog culture where we expect every pup to survive and find a home.
      You can't compare a population that has been subject to rigorous culling to one that hasn't been. Nor can you predict how quickly health factors will deteriorate when you cease to cull.

      bottom bottom line . . . it's very sad that Danes have such short lifespans and are subject to so many horrible diseases. Doubtful that outcrossing to a giant breed from Mongolia would be a panacea though.

    4. anecdotal evidence falls into the category of 'observations' in scientific method. It is useful for developing hypotheses for more rigorous testing. Should not be dismissed out of hand. Sometimes the exception proves the rule . . . sometimes it shows that the rule isn't so potent and reality is either more complicated or works differently from what is accepted.

    5. Jennifer, thanks for posting the great link to the Finnish database. However, I can't find the longevity data. I went to my dog breed (Papillon) and can see show reports, hip results, etc., but clicking the Health or Health Statistics tabs doesn't lead to a longevity database. What do I need to click on to see this?

    6. I have to comment on one thing - "old age" is not a cause of death. There would need to be an underlying disease process to actually cause death. Having "old age" as a reason in the data undermines the accuracy of the data.

  5. put your money where your mouth is.. that goes for all of the naysayers and "keyboard experts" here.. leet us know how may samples you send and how much cash you donate ( I am sure they are happy to take any currency
    here is the link to the AKC Canine Health Foundation:

    CHF-Funded Researcher at Auburn Developing New Bone Cancer Therapy

    The AKC Canine Health Foundation has awarded Dr. Bruce Smith, director of the Auburn University Research Initiative in Cancer, a two-year grant totaling $118,848 to test a new therapy for treating bone cancer in dogs. The research could one day be broadened to include many other kinds of cancer—and possibly cancer in people. Video credit: Auburn University.

    Related Multimedia

    Canine Hemangiosarcoma: How Much Do We Really Know and When Will We Find a Cure?
    Osteosarcoma Research Update
    What to Expect When You Visit a Veterinary Oncologist

    1. Treatment is great and all, but wouldn't you rather try to reduce its incidence in the first place? Hence the general spirit of this Blog post...

    2. From an academic perspective, purebred dogs are pretty interesting as disease models. They're large animals (large compared to mice), they have a more human-like inflammatory response than mice do, they are inbred enough that you need few individuals from a given breed to have a representative sample and where a genotype is driving the condition, the proportion of affected individuals, carriers, individuals with sub-clinical disease,
      -- all of whom help elucidate the mechanism of action -- is excellent. Best of all, generating these problems would have been unfeasibly expensive to do from scratch, but breeders and owners have carefully nurtured them and are willing to share... cheaply.

      However, from a clinical perspective, they're pretty hopeless. My analogy for it is that it's like being a doctor with a patient with a nail in his head. He is willing to pay anything, do anything to relieve the splitting headaches, to treat the fever of the concomitant infection, take any drugs that would break up the biofilm that has formed on the nail and prevent conventional antibiotics from fully treating the infection, accept skin grafts/ wound debridement... BUT WON'T LET YOU TAKE OUT THE NAIL. Won't even countenance discussion about taking out the nail.
      "Is it my diet?" he asks. "What if I go on a grain-free, all organic rawfood diet? Won't that help with my head?"

      There is no practical, clinical improvement in the health of dog breeds that can be made without a commitment to a highly-diverse population. I'm leaving aside all the structural idiocies such as brachycephaly, skin folds, excessively long backs, colour-linked lethality and what have you that various purebred breeders vaunt and work hard to keep. There's a reason those defects are called 'sports'. All those aside, there's no improvement to be made unless there's a viable population to select from.

      There is much that science could contribute, but this is not a scientific problem at its heart. It's a sociological problem. And for that reason, I am super glad that Jemima has taken on this cause -- she's just the right sort of person for the problem.

  6. Bestuvall, Why spend a fortune fixing a problem when you could spend less (only the few cents on printer ink to change the breed standard) to prevent it from happening in the first place?
    "Where's your evidence??" I hear you cry.
    Very big dogs often get bone cancer.
    Big dogs sometimes get bone cancer.
    Small dogs hardly ever get bone cancer.
    Nobody is asking for a Great Dane the size of a whippet. But "sometimes" has got to be better than "often", right?

  7. Quote – ‘Did you know, there's a breed way bigger and heavier than Danes that is still working at 15 years old and regularly makes it to 20? It's called the Mongolian Bankhar, similar but distinct from the Tibetan Mastiff.’ Yeah, paper is tolerant. The quote is of purely anecdotal value, iow from hearsay of those who may be eager to generate an income from some naïve types looking for some miraculous canines freshly dug up in inhospitable regions. There’s no evidence to believe that breed is distinct from the Thibetan Mastiff: both of Chinese origin and each harboring a display of different types/sizes. One of the many contradictions here to be found 1) a huge dog breed averagely living way longer than simple mutts, those with the so-called ideal genetic diversity; 2) this huge Mongolian breed seems to be promoted as a possible salvation of another large breed (the Dane) but there’s no reason to belief it shall drop the percentage of deaths due to osteosarcoma; 3) the supposition – ‘they are not pure bred’, well everyone shall believe the dog in the picture IS w/out doubt the result of many centuries of mutts only bred for purpose but wonder by wonder that dog breed of poor ‘nomadic herders’ now attracts the ‘Western’ attention by his huge appearance & coat. A new canine rage in the making?

    1. wynants: "There’s no evidence to believe that breed is distinct from the Thibetan Mastiff"

      You don't believe that genotyping by Cornell University and the Canine Institute of Biology could determine if the "Mongolian Bankhar, similar but [genetically] distinct from the Tibetan Mastiff"?

      I do find the promoted lifespan of 15-20 years dubious; however, there are other large breeds (i.e. Anatolians and Kangals) with 13-15 year lifespans (double that of Danes).

    2. (Sounds like someone can't accept a large breed that lives a long time while his mastiffs live to 6 years)

      Well, I guess you, an expert on the breed who has seen many and know exactly how long they live knows more than those who actually have an entire breeding program to preserve the breed.

      Well, I guess anecdotal evidence saying mastiffs live to 8+ years, and great danes living to 11 and 12 is alright, but when its a dedicated breeding program of working dogs that says it, its incorrect, huh?

      Yes, there is genetic evidence of the link to the Tibetan Mastiff, as well as historical evidence.
      I think again, people who have studied the breed and its origin know this type of thing ;)

    3. Also, no one will be making a rare breed the new "canine rage" any more than any other breed, not to mention its so rare its barely known at all.
      The tibetian mastiff would sooner be the canine rage.
      Western attention comes from people trying to preserve the breed.

      Going back to health:
      A quote from the research you didn't do:
      "Examples of 15-18 year old dogs working with Nomads in the field is not uncommon – this is of interest since most Bankhar never receive vet care and eat solely boiled livestock innards, rice or noodles, and bones. "

      Meaning despite no vet care, and random scraps that they are fed with no consistent source of balanced nutrition, they still very often live twice as long as the english mastiff and great dane.

      And diseases in the breed is also extremely rare, including bone diseases such as Hip Dysplasia.
      Coming from the direct sources of those who actually work with and record all the members in a breeding program of this breed.

      Or is it too hard to wrap your head around of a large breed that lives such a long time that is not actually a breed, but a landrace, and has no responsible breeders or health testing at all, just freedom to outcross to nearby landraces and survival of the fittest?

    4. Should not forget the impact fitness and weight has on the health and longevity of dogs. The majority of the individuals in this "breed" are fat and lazy.

    5. People so often romanticize their favorite breeds and exaggerate their lifespans. The dogs we remember most are the ones who live longest. The pup that had bad hips and didn't make it to two years old would be forgotten. I think skepticism is justified . . . until someone does a serious 'demographic' study of the land race.

    6. Either way, even if you remember the dog or not, the fact there are some which live to 15-20 in the first place says it all, despite low populations.
      I wonder how many Great Danes and Mastiffs live to that age? Is there enough to make it feel like the occurrence isn't rare?

      Sckeptisism is fine, but you can't blow it off completely. Its a breed recovery program, not a responsible breeder. They can always be asked, and they may even have data on this type of thing, especially since they do DNA analysis, have a carefully planned program etc.

      And I am sorry, but there are people who say "their mastiffs live to 8 years old, some even 10, that study is incorrect!!!" Or "my danes have reached 10-11 years old, you are wrong in saying that they live to the average of 6"
      I guess thats fine to say then?

  8. I would not suggest infusing the genes from Bankhars to save Danes. This is an excerpt from the linked website on the project to save the Bankhars from a significant genetic bottleneck.

    "There are a few pockets of pure Bankhar dogs left. Mongolian Bankhar Dog Project has identified these dogs using DNA testing and has isolated these dogs for breeding the next generation of working Bankhar guardian dogs."

    A small gene pool of genetically pure dogs to be bred together to save a breed. Not a good source of genes to save another breed from the effects of inbreeding.

    1. "DNA analysis by Cornell University show the Bankhar has very high genetic diversity"

      Well? Pretty good diversity there. And very good health too.

    2. The project is doing it right in terms of "saving a breed" (actually a type) with limited numbers of dogs, but I still would not advocate using a small gene pool (even if it is a diverse as possible) as a source to save a highly inbred gene pool with more numbers. I would advocate using a divers gene pool with larger number of individuals.

    3. Diversity is what counts, and the reason its so diverse is because of the outcrossing with nearby landraces as well. This means while the choice in dogs to use is small, the dogs have much more diversity.
      Compared to using a pedigree breed which in the showring which can have terrible diversity.
      And diversity is what keeps a breed alive, and that means with every outcross to this breed you have, they will have unique genes to each other, regardless of numbers.

      Compared to purebred dogs with some of which have appalling diversity.

  9. I think because it is done so rarely we don't even realize how quickly out crossing a breed to something different can be brought back to looking like the original breed in just a few generations, while still gaining the genes of a new dog. The bobtail boxer experiment is neat because you'd think it would take a lot longer to get rid of any trace of corgi in a boxer than just two generations (yes, it doesn't look like a show boxer, but if I'd seen the white dog on the streets, I'd have never guessed the dog was anything but a boxer).

    Of course, it would probably be more common knowledge if every one would quit freaking the hell out over wanting to add new genes to make dogs healthier.

  10. Quotes from that dog project – ‘The dogs were and are a huge source of pride to nomadic families. Unfortunately over the last 80 years, modern breeds have been brought into Mongolia. The Bankhar, which were historically the only dogs in Mongolia, are now very rare.’ ... ‘There are a few pockets of pure Bankhar dogs left. Mongolian Bankhar Dog Project has identified these dogs using DNA testing and has isolated these dogs for breeding the next generation of working Bankhar guardian dogs.’ – So let me know what’s meant with PURE Bankhar dogs other than ‘a few pockets of them are interbred’ thus forming a genetic bottleneck?

    Re Anatolians/Kangals – they also are races of dubious origin w/out much birth date recording or chipping by a governing body, iow easy to blow up figures if one cannot verify such records, and - quote –‘Those who actually have an entire breeding program to preserve the breed’ have to rely on hearsay due to lack of verified information. The naive ones call it ‘record all the members in the breeding program of this breed’, the same ones who romantically conclude - it is NOT a breed but a landrace free to outcross to nearby landraces meanwhile promoting the profits of ‘the survival of the fittest’ as if it may be an ideal for modern breeding methods. PS – are those who don’t survive included in the grand table of life expectancy or swept under the carpet for being not pure?

    1. @Wynants
      These breeds are outcrossed with local landraces, its not a closed pedigree as you are used to.

      "We use DNA analysis to ensure that our dogs do not have modern dog breed genes in there make up. However, we do not distinguish genes from “neighboring” natural dog types, as these genes have always moved into and out of the genetic makeup of the Bankhar."

      Aka, they do not want modern breeds in the mix which reduce the Bankhars ability to work, but nearby landraces are welcome in the blood.

      If you know anything, then you would know outcrossing is one of the best ways to help a breed.

      This is a program designed to protect the bankhar as well, so of course it will be a rare breed. But the fact is it still has a lot of diversity, little homozygousity, and is long lived and healthy.
      Outcrossing to it in its current state will be very beneficial due to that hetrozygousity, meaning each dog will still bring in unique genes.

      They probably have more diversity than the average purebred dog.

      You see, first you shame a breed for having no numbers meaning you see there could be problems with lack of diversity so few unique genes in this breed for an outcross (not true)
      But then you critisize the fact it isn't "pure"
      That my friends, is pathetic, when outcrossing with something pure is more important than trying to find something healthy.

      PS. Not being pure is a good thing because having a wide variety of genes is brilliant for an outcross, especially if they are healthy and not closely related to our modern breed.

      You seem to incorrectly understand how diversity works. The fact its a landrace, the fact its developed away from modern dog breeds, the fact its diverse and healthy is what you want.

      And you are judging the program because???? Before judging, why not ask them themselves rather than sitting here on the sidelines and complaining bitterly about something you know NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING about. I mean literally. You probably have not even met an actual landrace from europe.

    2. Also, how many large breeds get even a personal anecdote for that they can live 15-20 years? Because the numbers come from experiences, even if the percentage isn't accurately represented.

  11. Elisabeth Greenslades work is absolutely charming. She captures so beautifully the attitude and character of each doggy to a T. Wonderful.

    Hope Waitrose use it for a biscuit tin selection then I can get a couple. It will be the closest since childhood I want to get to owning a Dane again.

    Its very tragic the Dane is dead, she caught his face magnificently.

    How long do our lovely dogs have to suffer and die prematurely for something to be done? They honestly don't deserve this. Four!

    Are all our breeds going to end up only being immortalised on old biscuit tins?

    Aren't they worth keeping at all?

  12. Quote pipedream – ‘You don't believe that genotyping by Cornell University and the could determine if the "Mongolian Bankhar, similar but [genetically] distinct from the Tibetan Mastiff"?’

    Re the Canine Institute of Biology I’ve already made my clear reserve (wynants27 July 2016 at 20:41); their COI diagram is simply flat-catching in order to suit their needs.. To be specific – it a/o interpretes a 6% COI (with five generations) for a dog as – dixit - a relatively low risk; so far so good but then comes up for that same dog with a calculation over 20 or more gen-s of a high COI (ca 25%) which is simply impossible! A five generations COI includes ca 97% of that dog’ genetic input, what remains after the 5th generation till the Ark of Noah forms only some 3%, wherefrom only A PART can be added to the overall COI. In case of the dog scoring 6% COI (with five generations), this may give a final result (over 20+ gen-s) of only ca 7% instead of the blown up 25% presented by that Institute.

    Btw, the introducing text doesn’t mention that the dog in the propaganda photo has been proven (by genotyping) to be one of those few PURE Bankhar dogs; the site of the Mongolian Dog Project presents dogs of completely different type .

    Quote River P – ‘Are all our breeds going to end up only being immortalised on old biscuit tins?’- A possible scenario if the canine world becomes ruled by people with only interest for health meanwhile contempting every effort to preserve cultural heritage (our dog breeds) by 1) rooting out forms of excess and 2) low COI breeding (as proposed by the KC).

    Note – Breedings between breed parents unrelated in their resp 4G ancestries produces offspring with a COI of ca 1% or even less, the COI difference to an outcross being only very fractional, that in the understanding that an outcross cannot guarantee the absence of any given doubling up of inherited diseases/disorders.

    1. Seems you have some issues you want to ask Carol Beuchat about?
      Well, rather than complain about it in the comments section of a blog, why not send them an email and have that debate with these people who study genetic diversity, run their own courses, have publicated quite a lot, has a PhD in the subject, 30 years experience in this area of expertise, and works with and talks with many other people who are just as knowledgeable in the subject matter.

      Or you can just assume your right and she's wrong without ever even talking with her.

    2. Thx for your proposal, but I don’t have any issue to ask thereto. Everyone can check correctness of my calculations; mathematics & graphics are simple and clear here,. Accolades all kind may perhaps impress the blog reader but cannot change a 25% into 7% or vice versa?

    3. And, btw, seems you have some issues to realise that since July 27th till present date no one has refuted my posts re the COI tampering by that institute. Quite odd to realize the tens of thousands PDE blog page views per month. Quote –‘she ... works with and talks with many other people who are just as knowledgeable in the subject matter.’ – are they all not reading/participating this blog because they have much more important work to do in their pinnacles of science?

    4. Well, you will need to show me an example of what you are talking about before I would question it, perhaps a webpage link?

      COI was not created by the ICB, but two different models by two different people. Wright and Hardiman.

      To be honest, I also don't really understand what you are trying to say either. Not that I don't understand the subject matter, but am confused what points you are trying to make, so I usually just ignore you.

      Also I cannot speak on behalf of an organization which has professionals which have been in this area for decades.

      Not sure about other people though, but if you are going to use this as an example to say these experts are wrong, then it seems more like something you should talk with them about rather than using it to degrade the institute when you haven't even heard their theory or explanation for what it is you are trying to say.

    5. So by that comment Wynant's "are they all not reading/participating this blog because they have much more important work to do in their pinnacles of science?" You obviously don't have anything of importance to be getting on with.
      Wynants, unfortunately you can make COI's what you want them to say. I find they are mostly used now a days as propaganda tools as stats are often used. You are as guilty of that as the institute. When I'm given a stat I like to break it down to actually find exactly what is that a percentage of. With breeding dogs and to get them to a healthier place it will take a mindset shift, some will be able to do this and we are seeing many breeders looking at their chosen breeds and realizing something is wrong and ideologies have to change, but unfortunately some will not be able to move forward and I would say that you come over as someone who cannot move forward and are so stuck, most people have realized it is pointless to move a debate forward with you, unfortunately.

    6. My dog had a 5% COI over his 4 gen pedigree. His COI over a 10 generation pedigree turned out to be 25%. I was shocked to see how often one popular sire turned up in his extended pedigree, thus causing the high COI.

    7. I see what wynants is talking about now, (I am anon 14:07)

      To be honest, yes, thats entirely true. I may not have a story like 14:11 does, but my dog apparently for 5 generations has an inbreeding COI of 0%. Exactly 0%, no shared ancestors at all.
      But for 9 generations, it is 2.45%.

      Sure, its not 25%, but i am trying to say that COIs do increase depending on how far back you look.

      I thought its really obvious?

      Are you questioning how widespread a single dog can be that it increases the COI drastically?

      Well, if you are, then I guess you are just in disbelief? It shouldn't be questioned as every generation the dog has double the ancestors of the previous generation.
      Using that simple fact, its obvious they wont all be unique. Especially with line breeding and breeding of successful dogs, with some siring hundreds and hundreds of litters.

      You really would be surprised how widespread a single sire can be in a breed, especially with selective breeding.

      I thought it was so obvious, that you must have been talking about something else lol

    8. Anonymous4 September 2016 at 14:07 - Well, I usually just ignore anons too, especially those lacking any content.. Anonymous5 September 2016 at 11:29 – Well, this anon seems to be a qualified mind reader aka ‘most people have realized, &c’. Thrive well on such 'ideologies'.

    9. Thanks Wynants, you have just given a prime example of why "most people have realized it is pointless to move a debate forward with you, unfortunately."
      Slightly economical with the truth as well when you say, "Well, I usually just ignore anons too." You only have to take a look through this blog to know that you just can't help yourself, that's why you are here now replying my anon comment.
      Don't have to be a mind reader, just an observer.

    10. Omitting the 2nd part of the quote - 'Well, I usually just ignore anons too, especially those lacking any content' - seems rather a non-observing attitude. 5 September 2016 at 20:58 aside, I only replied to one anon , ie 3 September 2016 at 18:35 because, opposite to you anon, it had some content. First-class capacities as time waster but as observer even less than as mind reader.

    11. The second part of your quote was not used, because you infer, "especially" which means that you still usually ignore quotes and make a bit more effort to ignore ones that are "lacking in content" What you are dong now Wynants is just splitting hairs. Which you have quite a habit of doing.
      I presumed the "lacking any content" bit was s subtle dig at me, but somewhat of a contradiction as you were replying my comment, and yet again you reply and prove the things I have said above, but "you just can't help yourself."
      Funny that you should say that I'm a "First-class capacities as time waster but as observer even less than as mind reader." because I'm observing how much time you are prepared to waste, especially something "lacking any content."

      Sorry, wynants, but you have replied me several times in the past on blogs on here. I'm not going to drag through endless pages on this website, but one was when you brought "machiavellian" in to it. You seem to have a very selective memory as well.

      You say, "opposite to you anon, it had some content.", so why

  13. Hmmmmm, no one should use a landrace when outcrossing a genetically pure and unhealthy genetic mess of a breed. Prehaps this is correct, why ruin a healthy landrace gene pool with the genetic mess created by the conformation ideals.

    1. You will find outcrossing to landraces are actually studied and also done very often in agriculture and in different species.

      I don't see what makes you think no one should be using a landrace and what makes their genetics worse than using a purebred?

      Outcrossing the Bankhal dog with more modern breeds that cannot do well in the bankhals dog is actually a problem in the breed and reducing the breeds working ability.
      But you could still use a bankhal stud for a modern breed without damaging the bankhal.

  14. COIs are calculated from pedigrees to estimate levels of genetic similarity; genotyping data is absolute for determining levels of genetic similarity.

  15. I'm done with this nonsense, have too much to do getting working border collies (our breeding and training), our flock of sheep and farm ready for sheepdog trial.

  16. Dear Ms. Harrison,
    Took my 115 pound Maremma? Great Pyr? to the vet because she had an ear infection. Vet said she didn't see many 11 year old big dogs. Most of ours live that long. What gets them is gradual deterioration in their hips so they can't get up.
    They've coyotes, bobcats and black bears to contend with which they do by barking them off. I know some guard dogs who actually tangle with predators but mine just explain there's cheaper protein in the next guy's pasture.

    They're amiable brutes and just as intelligent, though much less trainable, than Border Collies. Commercial sheep breeders don't care what breed or cross they are. We once had a goodun that was half Pyr and half Border Collie.

    Never seen one that was all black tho.

    Donald McCaig

  17. If this research on the effect of inbred Neanderthal genetics on modern humans is anything to go by, because purebred dogs are such genetic basket-cases, we shouldn't use them in any future outcross-breeding programmes but stop breeding from them altogether.

    1. I don't have a clue as to the soundness of wolf populations around the globe but if any were in trouble introducing domestic dog in the form of pedigree show dogs would yes be extremely unwise.

      This is about saving domestic dog breeds not the wolf, though.

      Purists note, that article makes a clear case for interacial marriages producing healthier more fertile babies as African Homo sapiens weren't tainted with weak Neanderhtal genes. The very same genes that made some us all blonde and flushed. Seems Herr Adolf had even less science on his side than we ever new.

    2. I interpreted it as this: Purebred dog breeds are inbred and therefore lack genetic fitness. The resulting genetic damage is NOT eliminated through outcrossing. Therefore, using purebred dogs in any breeding programme will result in health problems further down the line, because their genetics have been irreperably damaged as a direct result of inbreeding.

    3. YES.

      So why do we allow the K.Cs to actively promote through their rules a belief that pedigrees only can bring relliably ethical practices, or that diversity is the enemy of the species?

      This is a direct attack on fair trade through their own rules, and allowing this to continue damages domestic dogs as a species.

      A petition with educational info. is needed to insist that a registered breeder must not be bound to that ideology, that a registered breeder is permitted to breed unregistered dogs with out censure from the org. or its members for doing so.

    4. Yes, the first paragraph of that is undoubtedly true @ 00:18!

      Fran I dont think we can say Caucasian Homo sapiens aren't particularly successful as a species genetically speaking. They are a pretty large diverse type for starters and have been around for at least what is it 20 000 years or so. Far from dying off Caucasian have prospered.

      Life expectancy would appear to be pretty stable and certainly far better than ever before in their evolution. If we/they lived much longer it could become a problem instead. Environmental factors.... Homo sapiens of pure African decent are apparently even healthier genetically speaking even though they have a generally lower life expectancy. So it's of course not quite so black and white.....

      The irony here of course is that if it were we would have to accept there is an inherent value in 'pure" gene pools......purity for purity sake and without it "we" caucasians for example are all doomed because we can never rid ourselves of Neanderthal genes.

      Pure gene pools are not inherently of value as we know. In the case of wild animals like the Dingo finely tuned to it's environment purity of type is definitely a plus. Domestic dog breeds are endangering the Dingo already pedigree or not. For Neanderthal man at the time it wasn't, for the good and the bad their genes are still alive and well today! For many populations of domestic dog breeds at the moment it certainly isn't, the same for isolated populations of other species like wild animals, example the Cheetah.

      As so many pedigree dogs are so fatally inbred they could destroy domestic dog in some isolated locations, possibly they have already. It all depends on who comes out on top. Single outcrossing can improve pedigree dogs for particular problems as we know but its not an end all solution. Breeding practises have to fundamentally change.

      Diversity needs to be a priority long term. Until we can genetically engineer a breed to be 100% free of diseases we don't have any other tools at our disposal.

      The pedigree closed registry paradigm is a failure primarily because it takes one species and divides it into hundreds of smaller closed genetic pools which we then constantly strive to impoverish genetically by backcrossing to fix and "improve" various "desirable" winning traits and winners based purely on looks alone.

      How is it we ended up with a giant short lived dysfunctional disaster like the English Mastiff? Instead of a functional healthy athletic English mastiff. By doing exactly that.

      We need to celebrate genetic diversity in our breeds where it works and not fear that it's "contamination" instead.

      If we let our dogs go wild in numbers and let nature do the selecting we could end up with a pretty healthy wild dog yes, but the genes for those diseases that plague our breeds would never entirely disappear even if there was no sign of problem, doesn't mean those wild dogs are unhealthy.

  18. What about the KCs rules forces one to buy a pedigreed dog? What about the KCs rules prevents someone from producing and selling unregistered dogs? If nothing how is it an attack on free trade? Just don't buy a registered dog!

    1. The KC endorsement that breeders try to sell you as you can't breed from the dog is actually just an endorsement that if you breed from an endorsed dog you will not be able to register the pups with the KC. They will try to tell you it means you can't breed from the dog, but read the endorsement it just says, "Progeny Not Eligible for Registration" if you breed from the dog. So you can breed from an endorsed dog, but will not be able to register the offspring with the KC. It is just a club rule and if you don't want to be in the club the rule means diddly squat.

    2. What once was seen as a badge of honour, "my dog is KC registered" is nowadays more a badge of shame. People who breed unregistered dogs, many doing so for the love of these animals, not rosettes, are usually labelled by the KC's and their supporters as "backyard breeders". Do these KC types book hotel rooms for the deed? I'm proud to say my dog is from a backyard breeder, no mating cradle involved, just a healthy sire and dam with good temperaments, no profits made on the pups, which all went to people known to the breeder. Hmmm, backyard breeders or KC supporting breeders, which ones are in breeding for the right reasons I wonder?

    3. Um, a reputable breeder is not what you think it is.

      Reputable breeders rarely make money from breeding.

      They breed to improve their dogs for a specific purpose

      They health test their dogs

      They prove the breeding value of their dogs

      They have a vision of what they are aiming for.

      They take back any pups that the owner can no longer keep so they don't end up in shelters.

      They make sure the pups are going to people who suit the breed(s) and have knowledge on the breeds needs.

      Back yard breeders usually have crappy reasons for breeding dogs. Who knows why the byb of your dog bred their dogs, but usually there is no thought to the mating and why it happens, no purpose behind the mating, the pups are very often sold for profit. These dogs are not making better dogs, and its these types of dogs which end up in shelters.

      No, a reputable breeder in my eyes has nothing to do with registration.
      I believe whether its someone trying to breed a brilliant sports mix, working dog mix, purebred or mixed, they can still be responsible.
      There are no excuses, but I hope a poorly, irresponsibly bred dog makes you feel better.

      I bet if this BYB had two pedigree dogs, you would not be bragging about it right now.

      The ones breeding for the right reasons, I'd say the responsible breeders as they are actually trying to breed better dogs.

    4. Also, I will just say, I don't think inbreeding is responsible breeding.
      I don't think breeding for the show ring and disregarding important traits like good nerves and temperaments is responsible breeding.
      And again, to me a responsible breeder can be trying to breed a mix or a purebred, and to me that doesn't matter.

      Of course, I also don't support those that go overboard either.

      But thats a responsible breeder to me, perhaps not to the next guy.

      I also forgot to mention the socialization of the pups and puppy culture and things to give the pups the best start in life, as the first 12 weeks at THE most important to a dog, which is based on studies as opposed to personal anecdotes.
      Where responsible breeders are getting the pups used to strange sounds, new people, new situtations, and are working their butts off to give the pups the best start, I wonder how much a byb will do?

    5. Sunny Dogs-
      How do you then define a Back yard breeder, If its got nothing to do with registration?

      As to how much a back yard breeder will do, here at least, you might be suprised. A long way to go yet, but we have seen a rise of those realizing they can be 'BYBers' and still set an example. Others are folowing.
      Advertising litters with pics and known history, temp etc. of both parents, info. on socialization done, follow up of pups and face book groups for buyers to brag or complain/seek help on pups bought. Lots of transparency.

      So if mix or pure bred doesn't matter, what IS back yard breeder?
      Used to be any one who wasn't registering pups through a K.C?

    6. Yes exactly and yes there are also alternative registries that breed along different lines, not for all breeds but the time will certainly come unless the KCs of this world don't get their act together.

      In some case it's just one breeder no registry. They're still responsible breeders.

      MO there is just responsible breeders and irresponsible ones and most of the former are not in Kennel Clubs. But of course yes there are also a great deal of irresponsible breeders outside of Kennel Clubs, this doesn't make them backyard breeders just irresponsible breeders, this includes puppy mills.

      Of course the biggest irony of all is show breeders who think because they health test and win ribbons makes them responsible breeders and not only that but the only responsible breeders!

    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    8. @Anon 02:44
      The above comment was deleted to change what I have written, apologies.

      I decided I would not be able to accurately explain what a byb is, so I decided to ask on 2 different forums so see the consensus from general dog owners.

      So these may have more answers added to them. I did this to hopefully hear the more common opinion. I asked the same question to, which is poorly written.

    9. Your premiss that "all BYB are irresponsible" is flawed, what would be more accurate IMO as "are all BYBs 'meant' to be irresponsible?".

      Yes they are certainly labelled as such. BYB is simply something first coined and promoted by KCs and BCs and their members who register with KCs, breeders of pedigree showing dogs.
      Plain old marketing propaganda. It's a derogatory inflammatory term for someone who breeds outside of National/Internationl KCs for the good or the bad of dogs. Despite the fact that puppy mills and everyone under the sun have always in fact also been able to happily register their puppies with the KC. That irony was and is still lost on most of them.

      Interesting how informed many are these days. Many now implying on the forums you linked to at least that "BYBs" to them are not breeders working outside KCs and their BCs but are in fact simply what they consider irresponsible breeders instead. For others even if they dont say it the all too frequent use of the word "pedigree" gives the game away. To them a pedigree is not just a record of ancestry its a record and proof of a closed register breeding and therefore "responsible" and not a BYB. Generally most seem to go with its a defunct term and there are just responsible and irresponsible breeders and offer up what those might be. They almost all rely heavily on "health testing" as the litmus test which as we know within pedigree show circle breeding is a badly flawed premise for quite a few very logical already well known reasons.

      The term BYB shouldn't be used at all anymore, I agree with most on that. It's become confusing and ambiguous, used to describe any breeder good or bad by anyone, depending on who is using it and why. It has no meaning other than a negative propaganda tool.

      An irresponsible breeder is just that, plain English same as a responsible one. What these are to a great extent of course also relies heavily on agenda, the term BYB used to be a dead give away as to what that is in fact but now it seems at least from your forums to generally mean nothing anymore. Unless used by a KC member to describe someone who doesn't register their dogs with them and who breeds outside of closed registries.

      Xeph got it spot on,

      "How do you define a BYB?" Anybody you don't like. LOL

    10. Well, with any word, its about how it is interpreted.

      If the entire world thinks the word means something it doesn't, then that means they are using the word with that meaning.

      Its useless to say what its supposed to mean when people don't mean that.

      But yeah, I see where you are coming from completely.

  19. Through their active promotion of beliefs not based on science.
    Through the age old mantra 'Avoid back yard breeders'
    Through the idea that a dog with out a pedigree has no reliability of traits.

    Its not 'force' as such, but it is an active and prolonged ( for over 150 years) oppression of any practices that don't fall under their own jurisdiction.

    Its a shaping of direction and attitudes over the last 150 years that insists breeding should be left to the 'experts" and there can be none out side of K.C membership.
    The insistence BYBers are unethical because few health test, with out disclosing how its not mandatory for most pedigree breeders either.
    For the belief that blames BYBers for the health or temprament problems in pure breeds.

    I have known since childhood that the pedigree system would collapse, eventualy, but as long as I could get good dogs I thought it would be some thing that we would work around.
    I never realized the effect it had on the SPECIES until I could no longer find the kind of dogs I had come to expect.
    It took me 10 years to find 2. I depend on them and don't have that kind of time to look again. So I bred them.
    The kind of crap you are forced to deal with from pedigree breeders IS oppressive to the extent few can stick to their convictions. Few can gain recognition for a job well done, and few can teach or promote good breeding practices out side of a K.C umbrella. It will not be tolerated with out a back lash and personal cost.

    It a system that will force us all into mandatory health testing, because PEDIGREES are failing and we allow that to dictate direction for every one.
    Because we won't stand up to say a K.Cs or breed club HAS NO RIGHT to make rules that lie outside their their own jurisdiction. Rules that WILL and DO affect those out side their own jurisdiction by the actions of their members, acting on the prejudice inherent in their constitutional identy.
    The same prejudice that oppresses their own members taking effective action to save the breeds.

  20. Robert Berni- exactly!

    Since their inception, the K.Cs have railed against Back yard Breeders. Yet when you think about it, almost all the breeds we have today were back yard bred. They were developed by people breeding dogs for their own purposes, suited to the environments they provided in their own back yards. Using dogs proven IN their own back yards. Until the K.Cs came and appropriated these local specialty types, called them 'Pure' breeds, and taught that success is not reliability of performance or purpose, but a show ring title.

    This attack on 'back yard breeders' amounts to a destruction of the values a pedigree stands on.The values that SHOULD be brought to support the pedigree system.
    I am convinced it has contributed directly to the ignorance of the community in how they respond to the species, and by extension towards welfare problems.

    If "the people" are no longer fit to breed their own dogs, you won't teach them how its done- and any one who does clearly doesn't know, or they would be be a K.C member who wouldn't!

    And THATS why the practices that make a good breeder are not up for discussion. Its not about practices, its about identity as a K.C member, and defined by pedigree.
    But with out discussion of practices, people can't be expected to make the best decisions.
    They are denied an ability to respond more effectively.
    they are denied response-ability.

    You create the world you believe. If you don't teach the values that aid purpose, they are lost.

    We don't discuss what practices are useful.
    Because to be 'ethical' means to be bound to a K.C identity. That identity doesn't recognize 'practice' or values as some thing 'common' to breeders. If it is, they lose their exclusive exclusive identity.

  21. Dear Doggers,

    I breed my non-KC/AKC dogs in the front yard. They do almost all the work.

    Donald McCaig

  22. Sunny dogs - yes, I'm still proud of my "poorly, irresponsibly bred dog" she makes me feel good every day! My "BYB" has been a friend of mine for over twenty years, we met through dogs, not someone whose number I found online. My friend's last pedigree dog was a Dogue de Bordeaux, dead at 7 years old - but he had papers! The dam of my bitch, a Stafford has no papers, but her maternal line is known to us for 4 generations, the sire, we have known for 2 generations. Whilst not "pedigree", they are of the type we want(as we feel many, not all, KC staffords are getting too "dumpy" or short in the leg), longer legged, athletic, friendly, healthy dogs. Hell if it looks like a Stafford, runs like a Stafford, jumps like Stafford, wags it's tail like a Stafford, then to me it's a Stafford papers or not. Search online for a picture of old staffords, you'll see the Cradley Heath, Wallsall and Darleston types, different but the same type of dog.
    Our dogs were bred for a specific purpose, temperament, health, type. My friend, the byb, always planned to keep a pup, which he did. All the pups were brought up with his children, other animals and well socialised. The pups were not advertised, as due to the character and soundness of the dam and sire, people wanted pups before the mating even took place. I fail to see what is irresponsible about breeding from your own dog, keeping a pup to live with your family, knowing the people who took the other pups would look after them properly and not making any money out of the breeding.
    By the way, when walking my "poorly, irresponsibly bred" dog, I was stopped by a man who turned out to be a vet. I guess he liked her type, he knew what she was without seeing her papers or asking about her breeding. He did like her character, her structure, especially her hind angulation! So, I think I'll stick to my BY breeders or should I say fanciers, enthusiasts, dog people, honest decent human beings, who put a love of true type above arbitrary, discredited paperwork.

    1. Pedigree papers doesn't make a dog stumpy, or short lived itself.
      The stumpy appearence is based on showring trends, short lived can be due to a number of reasons including poor health and poor structure.

      A nice breeder of athletic staffords:

      Another breeder of nice athletic staffords:

      I guess my working lab is a fat, kennel club dog with poor health and high inbreeding?
      And my Working Tervuren has huge, lion like coat, poor nerves and other Kennel Club terv stuff?

      Papers don't mean anything for health. Theyre just papers. Diversity and working ability helps preserve health, and open pedigrees keep breeds alive and can drastically help a breed.

      Just because a dog has papers doesn't mean its responsibly bred.
      And it doesn't sound like your staffords breeder was a terrible breeder if the parents had great temperaments, were health bred, raised with purpose, and properly raised and socialized as a pup, and seems to have all the signs, then I am sorry to inform you, your dog is closer to a responsibly bred dog than not.

      From the limited imformation you shared, your dog sounds responsibly bred.

      You do not seem to know what people mean by a BYB. They are categorized as the opposite of what you described.

    2. Again, I'll comment with the links to two forums which I asked dog lovers their opinions on what makes a BYB.

      And tell me, is this type of breeder one you would want to support?

    3. Pedigree show breeders would still call Robert Bernie's dog a product of a BYB, no matter what you have decided BYB is or isn't, simply because it's not registered with a KC and as such there is no proof it hasn't been "molested" and "contaminated" by cross breeding with another breed! That's what should be understood by the meaning of BYB in context.

      Even though it's widely bandied about now out of context of the extreme far right eugenicists of the showing worlds pedigree dog breeders and KCs, they coined the phrase, not you.

      They did so primarily to encourage people to buy their dogs rather than what they describe as the mutts bred by BYBs.

      To prevent confusion no one else quite frankly should be using it unless they're indeed one of those far right extreme.....instead the terms responsible and irresponsible are more than adequate as used instead of BYB by most of the forum members on the sites you linked.

    4. @River P

      The meaning of any word is up to the individual. Most people I know and have met use it to mention a type of irresponsible breeder.

      There are plenty of words that mean something entirely different today than it did in the past. Its about how the average person interprets the word.

      For example:
      Nice used to mean foolish, silly, simple.
      Aweful meant "worthy of awe"
      Naughty meant you had naught, or nothing.

      I could go on.

      I couldn't define it myself, and don't care to. I use "irresponsible breeder" to define anything that isn't a puppy mill.

      Words are used to describe something to someone, so understanding what people mean when they say it is more important than arguing over the original meaning of the word.

      Even if it means something different to the average dog lover than to the average show fanatic or whatever, understanding what is meant by others is important.

      I have now realized what you mean as BYB is the definition held by certain KC people.

    5. Yes, generally all kennel club breeders, but particularly those who show and breed pedigree dogs. It's a disparaging label to define someone who breeds mostly pedigree dogs but doesn't register them or show them with a KC. Recently it's also used to describe breeders who cross breed intentionally as well.

      That's always been my understanding of what is meant when someone uses BYB at least, because it is in my eperience mostly the case. This might be different in the USA......So yes I conciously choose to call all breeders responsible or irresponsible instead, depending on how they are going about things. Importantly I don't make any exceptions, this includes pedigree show breeders, especialy those involved in qualsucht for one example, any kind of irresponsible breeding.

      This avoids confusion as to what exactly a BYB is meant to be and to who. Just dont use it. Many don't define qaulzucht breeders as "BYB" but responsible and see no problem there as they are in most cases fully condoned by KCs, they might even be health testing, yes the irony.

      Yes puppy mills are definitely a class all on their own, and they don't even have to be large scale to be objectionable. Someone who keeps five Yorkies constantly in cages, constantly pregnant, no grooming, exercise, vet attention, fresh air or light or any of the above and still producing puppies is a puppy mill. They can even be registering and showing some dogs at the same time, still a puppy mill.

      Lets face it anything can happen in a back yard!

  23. Sunny Dogs,

    1st link wouldn't work for me. 2nd...lots of differing answers.

    I do believe originally it was a term coined by K.C orgs. to label any non member breeder. Often a term to to describe 'anyone you don't like' ( quote from one of your linked responses)

    Maybe past its use by date as a description then, because I can assure you it IS STILL very often used to describe any breeder not working within the pedigree system, by those who are. Regardless of any care taken.

    Its a term those people have grown so accustomed to having thrown at them every day, so people like Robert and his breeders have come to accept as their label, like it or not.
    So we have decided to like it, and reclaim it. If you mean irresponsible, or careless those might be better words to use. Other wise you might be judging people on no information than a label forced on them by others.

  24. I would very much appreciate any independent supporting evidence -- peer-reviewed or not -- that corroborates the life span claims made for these Mongolian dogs, which seem frankly outrageous.

    1. Yes, it is needed. Let me see what I can find. There is a mention of the longevity here ( the Bankhar Project - run by scientists) but no reference to supporting data.

  25. I too would like to know how reliable the lifespan data is for these dogs since it is longer than wild or captive wolves; where wolves generally are more genetically diverse than dogs.