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Tommy Coyote

The Heartache of bad breeding.

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Where there is no actual function (for example, work), then the form that follows needn't be functional. Case in point: all the dog breeds who are incapable of functioning in a normal way.

 

Although of course the AKC uses the "form follows function" thing as their argument for why they can simply breed for form. Because, you know, if the dog has a particular form, then of course it will function as intended. Sadly delusional.....

 

J.

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Many of those photos are grotesque. How could any of those dogs be "functional"? The "Zorro" dog in particular has a back that looks like a chiropractor's nightmare. And he's a stud dog. Four litters in a little over a month this summer? Hmm...

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That site made me very sad, for awhile way husband and I seriously considered a GSD our dog at the time was a GSDx and we loved her loyalty and brains but everytime we saw a pure bred version who was getting older, their bodies where breaking down yet you could see the spirit and will to run and play was still there just trapped in a crippled body sometimes they were as young 6 or 7. My friend and neighbor has a GSD imported from Belgium who is a bomb dog working for the state, I would not want to live her personality she is rather driven but at 9 she is still able to go to work, still athletic, still looking good. if I could have found a dog like her without huge expense I might never have got a border collie.

 

To have such a great breed that is also still a useful working dog be so deformed is shameful.

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A pug sinks when you throw it in the kiddie pool. A dog that can´t swim to save its life. Says it all really.

 

My apparently randomly bred terrier can't swim properly either - solidly built, square and not very flexible. We found out this weekend when we tried to cool him off in the river.

 

But pugs - while I was typing this reply I got a call from someone wanting to come to our agility classes with one. I advised a vet check first.

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There's someone that does agility with her pugs here, they're really fast, drivey little dogs surprisingly!

 

Dobermans are another breeds that don't always swim very well... I know of quite a few that sink!

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People continue to breed unsound animals because there is money in it.

 

Why don't more working breeders test for known health problems in our breed? Why do some condemn such tests? Why are health problems in any breed often kept hush hush?

 

Of course I don't expect answers, just noting some of the reasons/problems which create unsound dogs in any breed

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Pam, many do. Look at the format of the SV Germany. The biggest and most important registry of the German Shepherd. Mandatory hip and elbow ratings, back is recommended (need to check but dont think mandatory for breeding).

Tight regulations on breeding age and litters. Tight regulations that even forbid certain crosses based on the ZW (zuchtwert), which is a number assigned to each breeding animal that reflects it's health and the health of the offspring (it is a formula that is above my head). If two animals have a combined ZW above a certain number, pups will/can not be registered.

 

The biggest tragedy for me is though, that they also require dogs to have certain working titles (AD = endurance, BH = obedience, SCHH 1/2/3 = actual protection consisting of tracking, obedience and bitework), with a SCHH 1 being the lowest on top of AD and BH. So that is at least 3 titles. Yet, our German showlines in no way resemble what I consider a real GSD. They are as bad as the American Showlines almost yet they come out of highly regulated breeding programs.

Why? Because people cheat! It all boils down to personal integrity. Simply having a frame work of rules and incentives in place that will certainly guide the folks that have morals and ethics will never weed out the folks that simply think they know better and do however they please.

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Pam, just re read my post and feel I got of target. What my actual point was, even when done right, we still have huge issues despite all the testing.

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Pam,

While I don't agree with keeping things "hush hush," a recent experience gave me some insight into why people may be reluctant to discuss some health issues. Everyone knows (I've said it enough) that I produced epileptic pups, and yet close relatives from the dam's side had been bred a lot and produced a lot of puppies. As far as I know, I am the only one who ended up with epileptic pups. The sire was bred several times and again, only my litter had epileptic pups.

 

Fast forward a few years and I was explaining to someone about a breeding choice I made. The bitch was closely related to the bitch that had the epileptic litter. There was a potential stud I really liked, but he was the grandson of a half brother of the stud I used on the first litter. Chances are that the pups would have been fine, but I didn't want to play those odds.

 

I was explaining this to someone who was looking for a puppy. What that person appeared to take away from my discussion with her was that the "lines" the sire was from produced epilepsy. In other words, this person thought that it would be necessary to stay away from anything related to the *half brother* of the stud I used, even though that half brother had never produced the disease, nor had the sire I used, *except* when bred to *my bitch* (who has a gazilion relatives all over the place without any health issues). I had to caution this person to not go around stating that the half brother and his relatives had epilepsy in the lines, because that's just not the case, but that *is* what that person was taking away from our conversation.

 

By the time the discussion was over, my head was spinning. People want easy answers and this person wanted to be able to pinpoint lines that carry that disease. If there's anything the folks researching the genetics of epilepsy have discovered it's that pinpointing "carriers" isn't that easy and that it's likely that both parents would have to have certain combinations of genes in order to produce pups with epilepsy.

 

I have to say that after I saw how an intelligent person could misconstrue what I was trying to say and jump to their own conclusions based on the information given, I can understand why people might be reluctant to discuss those issues (after all, in this case the person wasn't drawing conclusions about *my* dogs, but about someone else's dogs because they happened to have one dog in their pedigree that was a half brother to the one dog in my epileptic dog's pedigrees). I'm not saying it's right to not disclose, just that until the general dog-buying population of folks has a better understanding of the genetics behind some of these issues that are kept "hush hush" I am not surprised that some folks don't want to talk about it, because some people will take a little specific information and then paint with a very broad brush. And that's a shame because it does prevent people from being open. The follow on to my anecdote would be someone coming back to me and asking me why I had said so and so's dogs produced epilepsy, when that isn't at all what I said. Sticky wicket.

 

J.

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Julie writes: I have to say that after I saw how an intelligent person could misconstrue what I was trying to say and jump to their own conclusions based on the information given, I can understand why people might be reluctant to discuss those issues (after all, in this case the person wasn't drawing conclusions about *my* dogs, but about someone else's dogs because they happened to have one dog in their pedigree that was a half brother to the one dog in my epileptic dog's pedigrees).

 

But it is greed and ignorance that keeps things hush hush. Ignorance that spreads false information, ignorance that there may be a particular health problem (in a breed) and overall ignorance of the current science and how things work (or may work). Greed that "I (not anyone in particular) want to get the best $$$ for my pups so I'll just skip over the testing or telling the uninformed about possible issues within the breed." If they don't skip, then the potential buyer may go to someone with a 'guarantee' (which does NOT guarantee a healthy pup, but can only say certain problems may not occur), hence GREED.

 

G. Festerling: Greed is the cause of cheating.

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Yes it is.

 

But I was just about to applaud Julie's post. It never ceases to amaze me what very intelligent people can do with info. And in quite a few instances, I have to agree with her.

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I think we're talking about two different things Pam and they don't necessarily go hand in hand. I was discussing at least one reason why people may be reluctant to discuss potential health issues in their own lines (or even others' lines) because as you say ignorance can cause people to misconstrue, which was my exact point.

 

I don't think it's all about greed. I think it's at least in part people not wanting to have people who don't know any better spreading half truths and falsehoods. I'm not talking about testing for stuff that can be tested for and is a problem in a particular breed; I'm talking about issues for which there is no test, like epilepsy. So while you seem to be saying that it's always ignorance and greed, I'm saying it can be one, the other, or both, but that the two don't have to go hand in hand.

 

Another example of ignorance: I can remember another time when I bred my bitch to a dog who was relatively unknown at the time (2005) but has been bred to a lot since then. My bitch didn't catch, and next thing I know, I'm hearing folks saying that the stud was "shooting blanks." That's a prime example of not only ignorance, but also spreading falsehoods, since the stud had produced pups after my bitch didn't catch. And yet the person in question thought nothing of making that comment within hearing of numerous other people at a trial.

 

Anyway, there's two sides to every story, and I admit that I know of instances where some really odd excuses have been made for why dogs produced what they did, but I think to claim that people not talking about issues is entirely about greed is flat out wrong.

 

And just to clarify for anyone who may be confused: Only the first paragraph in Pam's post is quoted from me; ther rest is her own words.

 

J.

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So awful.... :( I agree with the people who have said that the owner bears some responsibility. Unless she got him as a rescue, it was partially her responsibility to research the breeders and the dog's pedigree. This kind of thing just turns my stomach.

I see so much bad breeding and it just breaks my heart. I don't understand how some breeders can live with themselves, knowing that they're creating unhealthy animals, many of whom will be surrendered or euthanized.

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So awful.... :( I agree with the people who have said that the owner bears some responsibility. Unless she got him as a rescue, it was partially her responsibility to research the breeders and the dog's pedigree. This kind of thing just turns my stomach.

I see so much bad breeding and it just breaks my heart. I don't understand how some breeders can live with themselves, knowing that they're creating unhealthy animals, many of whom will be surrendered or euthanized.

Honestly, when sunken hips, short noses and dogs that can't even birth their own puppies are seen as the norm, people don't stop and consider how their decision IS bad breeding... it's normal to them. They don't see it. Think of how many people breed barbie-collies and don't see it is pitiful when they can't move sheep. They think they have researched the pedigree and the breeder. I'm not defending them, they should know better... But it's also cultural at this point. People think the low back on the gsd is normal... People think the short nose of a pug/boxer is normal. People think that tiny dogs that can't birth their own liter is normal.

 

That woman with the gsd isn't bad (I'd like to think). I'd say she is mis-informed about normal, and the pain her and her dog is in breaks my heart. Function does not follow form, and that's generally the cause of these breeding decisions - they choose form over function. Is it terrible to see, yes. But when it's so easy to find a barbie collie online and not a BC, I can't fault that woman. I feel for her misinformed view of normal.

 

OK, I'm off my soap box.

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Honestly, when sunken hips, short noses and dogs that can't even birth their own puppies are seen as the norm, people don't stop and consider how their decision IS bad breeding... it's normal to them. They don't see it. Think of how many people breed barbie-collies and don't see it is pitiful when they can't move sheep. They think they have researched the pedigree and the breeder. I'm not defending them, they should know better... But it's also cultural at this point. People think the low back on the gsd is normal... People think the short nose of a pug/boxer is normal. People think that tiny dogs that can't birth their own liter is normal.

 

That woman with the gsd isn't bad (I'd like to think). I'd say she is mis-informed about normal, and the pain her and her dog is in breaks my heart. Function does not follow form, and that's generally the cause of these breeding decisions - they choose form over function. Is it terrible to see, yes. But when it's so easy to find a barbie collie online and not a BC, I can't fault that woman. I feel for her misinformed view of normal.

 

OK, I'm off my soap box.

 

I agree with this so much. Well said.

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Most people who are not "dog" people really don't know anything about proper breeding. They just believe what the seller of the dog tells them.

 

I had a friend who bought a huskie from a breeder. He was 4 weeks old. The breeder told her that it was better with this breed of dog to take them away from the mother at 4 weeks. She didn't have a clue.

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I think an overwhelming majority of pet owners will tend to believe anything they are told, particularly if it suits their *wants*. And if it's a backyard breeder or a pet store clerk who tells them that, they will believe it if they want to buy a cute pup and they want to buy it now. Sort of like all the people that would sooner believe the second cousin of their best friend's father-in-law rather than listening to their doctor.

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Or kind of like my customer who p[aid big bucks for a little dog at an upscale pet store. She really thought that was how you got a really good dog.

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My local pet store is disgusting... I shopped there for a long time because they had good prices and I wanted to support a local business, but I eventually stopped going there and wrote letter explaining why. They always have at least 5-10 Ilitters of puppies for sale there at any given time, and the pups are always deformed toy breeds and/or designer breeds. I asked them once if they wouldn't mind telling me the breeders they buy from, and they said they weren't at liberty to give me that information. You're selling dogs, but you're not allowed to tell customers where they come from? Sounds like a huge red flag for backyard breeders at best or puppy mills at worst. The last straw for me was when I saw them charging $600 for "pugglepoos"-- that's pug-beagle-poodle.

Meanwhile, I'm convinced that most of the snappy, untrained, unsocialized toy and designer dogs that end up at our shelter (about 30% of our intake) were purchased through that store. Gag.

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