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Author Topic: Dogs ruined by show breeding  (Read 10516 times)

akodo

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Dogs ruined by show breeding
« on: June 13, 2010, 07:33:50 PM »
I get so frustrated with certain pockets of my fellow human beings sometimes.

I am a real dog person, and I grind my teeth whenever I learn more of how show breeding has ruined everything in the past.  Now, show breeders are getting a little bit better, but still.  Breeders in the past have alway seemed to have gotten the cart before the horse.  Breeds developed to fulfill a roll, selective pressure selected certain body types to best achieve this roll.  For example, grey hounds were bred for speed, thus developing long legs.

What do the show breeders do? Decide to give awards to the dogs with the longest legs, not the fastest dogs. What happens?  You get 'show lines' that are bred exclusively for certain physical characteristics listed in the standard ignoring other characteristics not mentioned, and you end up with long legged greyhounds who can't run...but that's okay because they have long legs.  So in the very process, they destroy the essence of the dogs.

Now, sometimes this happens by accident.  Take the St Bernard.  A bunch of dogs were lost in an avalanche and so to rebuild the breed Newfoundlands were brought in...only thing is the progeny had long coats like you see in modern St Bernard...and these coats clumped up snow to the degree that dogs could no longer rescue.  The snow in the long hair weighed them down to much and the dogs died unable to return from even short patrols.

One of the worst offenders is the bulldog breeders

This is where the breed 'jumped the shark'

http://www.messybeast.com/history/bulldog5.jpg

moving from the dog on the left to the dog on the right, which has a little bit shorter muzzle and is a little lower to the ground required BIG skeletal changes simply because it was on the edge.

Take a look at this skull progression...the middle skull corresponds to the stuffed bulldog on the left.  That should have been plenty bully  (no one is going to mistake the left dog for a pitbull)...and actually much more bully than what the butcher who actually used the bulldog 50 years earlier would have wanted.  But by pushing it, what was a strong healthy unique dog became a health abomination.



here's a close up of a different modern bulldog head


what's worse, even though certain aspects like 'dish face' and 'sway back' are show faults, to ge t the other features about half the puppies end up with these undesirable traits which are even worse skeletal deformations.

In attempts to get this  they try to avoid these


no one seems to be noticing that they aren't accidentally producing the long nose bulldogs any more, but constantly accidentally producing dish face.

Luckily there are a half dozen different 'recreations' of the old bull dog.  Some are very similar to each-other just going for a bully, yet healthy animal.  Additionally, there are 'rediscovered' patches of bulldogs that were working dogs and avoided show breeder interference.  Others are targeting specific 'eras' of bulldog, like the 'victorian' bulldog.  Still, they are ALL better than the 'English' or 'Modern' bulldog.

Why would you want these



rather than these?





Some of those looking too much like a heavy-set boxer or a pitbull type?  (like this one)


NO PROBLEM
There are even some breeds like 'Olde English Bulldogge' that split the difference.  Some "Oldes" could even pass for English Bulldogs..but breeders try and take a step back at that point.



« Last Edit: June 15, 2010, 02:22:05 AM by akodo »


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LittleLebowski

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Re: Dogs ruined by show breeding
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2010, 07:53:22 PM »
  I read that the breed standard was just changed, was it not?

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Re: Dogs ruined by show breeding
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2010, 08:06:07 PM »
Too much breeding for appearance rather than behavior.
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Re: Dogs ruined by show breeding
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2010, 10:28:40 PM »
Species breeding selection based purely on vanity is a cruel practice.  Keeping pure strain breed stock is one thing, purposefully breeding to the point it's literally detrimental to the health of the animals in question is something I believe that will be answerable to God.  It's a wide, gray, possibly undefinable, (hence legal) form of animal cruelty, IMO.
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Re: Dogs ruined by show breeding
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2010, 10:10:32 AM »
AKC does not recognize performance, just appearance.  I have seen Catahoula hounds.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catahoula_Cur They are beautiful dogs, well proportioned, intelligent, but they herd differently than collies and don't all look the same.  AKC wants barbie dogs that look identical and can't do anything. 

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Re: Dogs ruined by show breeding
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2010, 10:24:24 AM »
I agree.  I have purebred dogs-herding dogs.  One of the three (the cardigan corgi) actually has the body-type, instinct and drive to do what in theory he was bred to do.  The other 2 are pembroke corgis.  The pem's as a breed (this is much discussed in herding circles) have almost a complete lack of instinct and drive to work, not to mention how the show ring has left us with very large chested, extreme short legs/heavy bone which prevent the dogs from working.  (no slamming, I do know there are pems out there who can manage advanced courses in trials, but they are few and far between when compared with the cardigan corgi-many who can compete with the border collies.)

My female pem is my agility dog, she does well (luckily she has a slightly longer leg and shorter back than most pems) but does not have a good work ethic.  When she's done, she's done.  The cardigan will work (herding or agility or play) until he literally drops.  In my opinion (show) pembroke breeders have reduced the pem to be a large toy dog with nipping tendencies not the all purpose farm/herding dog of years ago. 

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Re: Dogs ruined by show breeding
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2010, 11:48:49 AM »
Just a correction for Akodo.  The short snout, health problem riddled dog is no longer refered to as an Old English Bulldog. 
It is simply "the bulldog."
http://www.akc.org/breeds/bulldog/

And I'd love to own an Olde English Buldogge.  A fantastic animal, strong, healthy and great with kids and family.  As George said, Personality and health over looks. 
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LittleLebowski

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Re: Dogs ruined by show breeding
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2010, 12:08:10 PM »
And I'd love to own an Olde English Buldogge.  A fantastic animal, strong, healthy and great with kids and family.  As George said, Personality and health over looks. 

  You've owned one in the past or seen one in person?  The above pics are pretty impressive.

LittleLebowski

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Re: Dogs ruined by show breeding
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2010, 12:13:20 PM »
  Which German Shepherd looks more healthy to you?

Show dog:


  Or working K9 dog (in California), Czech German Shepherd line:






  And with his handler's Belgian Malinois:



Harm

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Re: Dogs ruined by show breeding
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2010, 12:14:41 PM »
  You've owned one in the past or seen one in person?  The above pics are pretty impressive.

I've yet to own one.  A neighbor has 2 pups from the same litter.  Fantastic animals.  Beautiful, strong loyal and friendly.  My kids love them.  Of course he paid 2k apiece  :bash...  I'd also like to point out there is a touch of size difference.  they are larger dogs, not mastiff size or anything but they are not to be mistaken for the traditional bulldogs.


Speaking of the German Sheps - went through a BP checkpoint a few weeks back and they had 2 dogs at the station.  Man they were beautiful working dogs. 
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LittleLebowski

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Re: Dogs ruined by show breeding
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2010, 12:16:21 PM »
  Very, very impressive.  I prefer the working breeds (GSD, Malinois) but I'd take one of these guys if they're intense and smart.  I like how the tail is NOT docked.  Seeing Dobermans makes me fume....


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Re: Dogs ruined by show breeding
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2010, 12:51:05 PM »
I have mixed feelings towards this act of breeding.

This is the natural state for the genetics:



So anything outside of that is most likely detrimental to the overall health of said animal(as an individual). So putting forth any argument about damaging animals because of breeding is sorta the very black pot commenting on the unusually dark kettle. The overall survival of the specie is obviously greater with human domestication and selective breeding for what we want. Domesticated dogs have many, many more genetically linked health issues than their wild cousins. That is an inherent side-effect in narrowing the genetic pool available. We(as humans) introduce genetic problems to the specie the instant we start breeding for our use.

So this seems like an argument of how much is the acceptable degree of modification. We obviously make them less healthy genetically the instant we breed animals into a true "breed". So how less healthy is acceptable? I do not know.

We can sympathize with the animal if it suffers. Since it is a mammal AND a social one. We can recognize the physical expressions of pain and suffering more easily than that in plants we modify. So it is difficult to separate emotions from this issue and make a solid, logical decision.
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Harm

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Re: Dogs ruined by show breeding
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2010, 12:59:57 PM »
  Very, very impressive.  I prefer the working breeds (GSD, Malinois) but I'd take one of these guys if they're intense and smart.  I like how the tail is NOT docked.  Seeing Dobermans makes me fume....




LL - Intense and smart seems to be a good description.  My observations aren't very intense or close as I said its a neighbors 2 dogs.  As a family man I also MUST have a dog that is good with kids (and even non family people need dogs that are ok with strangers so they don't end up on the bad end of a lawsuit).  They are that.  They also seem to be very protective of their "pack."

We need Dot4x4 in on this.  Not only is he a big proponent of the breed, but he's also VERY generous and has 2 to boot! 

I love BIG dogs, but I've completely fallen for this breed.  For me the only thing keeping one out of my home is cost and availability.  Unfortunately in Phoenix it appears they draw a premium. 
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LittleLebowski

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Re: Dogs ruined by show breeding
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2010, 01:06:41 PM »
  Not being a breed snob at all nor trying to be smarmy but when dealing with a good Belgian Malinois or German Shepherd, intense and smart take on a new meaning.....  You really gotta work their brains as well as their bodies. 

  Looking forward to learning more about these real bulldogs.


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Harm

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Re: Dogs ruined by show breeding
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2010, 01:26:18 PM »
  Not being a breed snob at all nor trying to be smarmy but when dealing with a good Belgian Malinois or German Shepherd, intense and smart take on a new meaning.....  You really gotta work their brains as well as their bodies. 

understood
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Re: Dogs ruined by show breeding
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2010, 03:25:33 PM »
You rang Harm?  Sadly I to let Renfield go to a friend of the family as he was just too big and playfull. (I have small children and he would never hurt them but he would knock them over) I still have Egor and even though he is technically a fault, (He has a cleft lip that goes into his nose) he is a papered "Olde English Bulldog" and they are actually an attempt to bring back the sporting of the breed.  My mom has an "english bulldog" that you see in movies, short, always snoring and farting.  "Maggie" is a great family dog, and very beautiful but she can barely climb onto the couch.  Maggie can go for a walk, about 100 feet before being out of breath and in danger of overheating.  My Olde English Bulldog Egor on the other hand has no breathing problems and can jump into a fullsize pick up and can go outside to play with his "ball" for hours and be fine.  Here is a pic of Egor.... I am 5-10 and wear a size 64 suit  for size reference.  And another one of his lip defect,  Because of his cleft lip he should have been put down but I saved him and got him at a discount, 300 bucks instead of the 1600 his littermates were going for and I signed a contract that I would never attempt to breed him because of his fault.
Yes I live in California.  Please dont hold that against me.

Harm

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Re: Dogs ruined by show breeding
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2010, 03:28:00 PM »
Oh man.  I'm sorry to hear about Renfield.  Wish I could have helped with that but I'm sure you found him a great home! 

Reading more about how they "rebuilt" the classic breed is really interesting. 
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coyotesfan97

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Re: Dogs ruined by show breeding
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2010, 08:40:02 PM »
LL took the words out of my mouth or (more correctly out of my post) with his post over GSDs.  What a difference between the show AKC GSD and the working Czech GSD.  :banghead 

There's a reason the Dutch don't care what a Malinois looks like.   :shrug

They just want a dog that works.  :clap
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Re: Dogs ruined by show breeding
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2010, 08:42:15 PM »
Can you guys actually explain the differences between the "show" GSD and the "working" GSD, please?  I would like to know.
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LittleLebowski

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Re: Dogs ruined by show breeding
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2010, 08:57:18 PM »
Can you guys actually explain the differences between the "show" GSD and the "working" GSD, please?  I would like to know.

  Bred for looks, look at the pics above.  The crouching look comes from the desire to make the dog look good while trotting in the show rin (seriously).

  coyotesfan, isn't that a heck of a nice looking Czech GSD?  The LEO K9 handler working with him says he has some drive.  Intimidating fella.

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Re: Dogs ruined by show breeding
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2010, 10:49:49 PM »
They breed "show" dogs to look good and remove/lessen their working drives.  Its a lot easier to show an AKC dog in the ring.  Some folks for some reason think the sloping back and crooked legs of the show dog look good.   :facepalm

The sloping back and legs cause hip and back problems as GSDs age.  The Czech Shepherd LL posted shows little slope and his legs are just about as straight as the Malinois pictured with him.  (Is that Nacho by the way?).  The Czechs and East Germans breed GSDs the right way for working dogs.  Originally the GSDs were used as herding dogs.  Now if you say working dog you usually mean as a Police or Military K9.

LL I really like the look of that Shepherd.  I'd work him given the drive his handler relates.  There really isn't a comparison for deterrence when you pull an 80-90 pound black and tan GSD out of the car as opposed to a 65 pound Malinois.  The Mals drives will usually be a lot higher and they'll bite harder but most people don't know that.
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Re: Dogs ruined by show breeding
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2010, 11:50:44 PM »
Thanks for the explanation...

I was actually going to ask why that poor AKC dog looked retarded.  I feel really bad because I really enjoy GSDs.  Poor dogs...

This one belongs to a family friend, and I really like her and she is even loyal to me.
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akodo

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Re: Dogs ruined by show breeding
« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2010, 02:20:44 AM »
Just a correction for Akodo.  The short snout, health problem riddled dog is no longer refered to as an Old English Bulldog. 
It is simply "the bulldog."
http://www.akc.org/breeds/bulldog/

And I'd love to own an Olde English Buldogge.  A fantastic animal, strong, healthy and great with kids and family.  As George said, Personality and health over looks. 


yep I mispoke.  AKC calls then Bulldog, but English Bulldog is a common way to distinguish between them and other bulldog types.  I can's say for sure if AKC uses English Bulldog as an offical just less common term or not.  I accidentally brought in Old, and that will do nothing but confuse the issue thanks to Olde English Bulldogges.

I'll go and switch that out.

Similarly, the AKC Mastiff is also known as English Mastiff to allow it to more easily be distinguished from the many types of mastiffs. 

akodo

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Re: Dogs ruined by show breeding
« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2010, 03:02:56 AM »
Can you guys actually explain the differences between the "show" GSD and the "working" GSD, please?  I would like to know.

the easiest way to spot the difference is a sloping back on a show breed.

But here is the long and the short of it.  A female dog can produce 100 puppies easily. In general, a female dog who has ONE litter will have about 5 puppies.

If every dog was allowed to breed JUST ONCE we'd have an exponential dog population explosion.

Hence, to keep levels sane, only 10% (or less) of female dogs should be allowed to have pups.

The question then becomes 'which 10%'  and the answer is obvious 'the best 10%'...mated to the best 1% of males.

So who gets to define best?  Someone who does PURE work may take the best two workers, regardless of breed.  Think about the sled-dog racer who takes the two fastest dogs and breeds them even if one is a Husky mix and the other is a GSDxPointer mix.

Someone who is PURE show will take a look at which ones are the best in physically meeting a written 'standard' regardless if the dog is deaf, blind, mean, sick, and stupid.

To be honest, most pure show dogs are also now judged on health and low human agression...and sometimes a few other characteristics.

BUT there are other breeders out there who within a given breed see a lot more dogs as 'acceptable' because the meet the breed standard or are 'close enough'  Once they have met the hurdle of meeting the breed standard or being close enough, rather than choosing the two that BEST meet the breed standard...said breeders target another characteristic.  Unfortunately here in the USA many people think bigger is better, so those folks take the biggest male and biggest female and breed.  This can lead to just as bad animals a show breeders, because if an animal is big and stupid and sickly...it is still big, and so it gets bred, passing on the bad with the good.

Luckily, for us some of these breeders focus on something else, like how good of a hunting dog the animal is.  These are generally referred to as 'field lines' and 'show lines' and while in ONLY hunting ability is checked, because so many  unwritten factors come into hunting ability, you also pick up intelligence, drive, health and all sorts of good stuff.  In fact, concentrating the the JOB of the breed is how all that good stuff got there in the first place.

Now, for some breeds the AKC does actually have formal hunting trials and dogs that win such an event do earn championships...in the field.  AKC dogs can often boast championships in both the Field and the Show Ring.

Just like field work, some 'working breeds' have their own trials for whatever job they do.  For Border Collies there are 'show lines' and there are 'working lines' where the better a dog herds sheep the better it is seen as far as champion and breeding rights.

Or you can have breeders who don't bother with 'official' tests and simply take the two best hunting dogs (or herders, or drug sniffers) they can find and breed them, generally they do stick to dogs within a given breed, but not always.

Now, what goes on in Europe is a bit different.  In the breed guidelines, right along with such things as color, size, ear type, muzzle length, etc etc there will be included tests of brainpower, obedience, etc.

This means the Euro breeds who competes in the show ring, the herding ring, the hunting ring, or the shutzhund competition are all more like eachother (as opposed to a guy who breeds any of the best herding dogs regardless of conformation, etc)   A dog that was a champion in shutzhund may have a litter of puppies and have some pups bought by people who want to herd, others who want to show.  Still, even those the dogs from each of these disciplines are very similar, breeders and lines of dogs are generally specialized.

But because of the above, it means even if you buy a Euro GSD bred for the show ring, it is going to be a lot smarter, braver, etc and much more capable of performing police work than a USA GSD bred for show conformation.

Note, I don't think GSDs still have a 'herding' competition or a herding line per say.  BUT I do know that Belgians (which includes the Malinois) Dutch Shepards, and Beaucerons all have herding trials and herding lines.  But a bit of the sad thing is these dogs are only used as herders by people who are breeders and who want dual championships...john Q farmer who doesn't give a rip about dog breeds is probably buying Border Collie from herding lines to run his sheep.  (There are of course some farmers who do have the 'national dog' herding as a reflection of 'national pride')

Another thing with the Euro system, how dogs fit the physical conformity as well as the actual performance test, they are graded A, B, and C (although colors are often used instead of letters) with the idea that A dogs can breed with anything, B dogs can breed with As of course, or other B...but with Cs only after study and discussion.  C dogs can be bred to A, and only with certain exceptions bred to Bs, and only on the rarest of exceptions bred to other Cs.

This allows keeping a working breed looking like the foundation, and yet accepts the fact that the very best bird flusher or sheep controller or man stopper might have a white mark somewhere unacceptable, so rather than throw the baby out with the bathwater, you can control it by taking the champion birddog with the white tip on his tail (class C) and breeding him ONLY with dogs that have the right coat (A)

akodo

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Re: Dogs ruined by show breeding
« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2010, 03:08:38 AM »
Thanks Dot4x4 for the 'testimony' and pics.

It is amazing, how 'bulldoggy' his dog looks and yet how capable it still is.  To my eye, that body type is where the English Bulldog should have stopped.  Squeezing the face just a little more, shortening the legs just a little more, shrinking the hips just a little more (bulldog rules say rear hips should be smaller and 'inside' front hips and legs)  and you have a dog that can't breath right, can't run well, and can't even whelp it's own puppies proper.

Dot4X4, do you know if the Olde English Bulldogge lines yours comes from needed a C-section, or were they 'corrected' enough to give live birth.

(Can you imagine people in Victorian England accepting a dog that couldn't whelp it's own pups?)


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