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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Moral Compass for Dog Breeders


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In conversations about the topic of dogs you find many different perspectives on the subject.  A belief system in the minds of each individual that has their own strong views, they are the champion of their chosen ideology.  And those ideologies can be very similar and open minded or extremely hardline and opposite from our own.  In an attempt to simplify this into a visual metaphor I will use the term Moral Compass.  Its an easy yet simple way to review just where we stand based on our own ideologies.  And a moral compass allows us to review just where a breeder stands in the midst of controversy.  Actually providing a measure that allows each person to reflect where they stand on a subject and put into perspective before they fire bullets without a cause.  Or without understanding where others are coming from.  Its possible that from understanding these differences it would lead to less contempt and hatred between these ideological factions.

Lets look at a simple Moral Compass.  The one pictured below shows an evenly balanced individual with no tendency to favor any of the extremes from the categories that sit around the circle of ideologies




The Balanced Breeder; The Moral Compass above shows a balance between The Trophy minded Dog Show and trial driven segment of the dog world in relation to the Extremist Rescue minded activists, the Purely profit driven Back Yard Breeders or Commercial Breeders and Advocates for better long term health of their dogs.  Depending on where you place the circle of ideology you can easily see where the underlying Morals are for each individual group.  A balance between all the extremes leaves an equal amount of concern for each category and therefore a balanced Moral compass.  This is what a breeder should strive for.  This is what Chatham Hill strives for.  However, after the jump you'll see the Moral Compass that reflects what we've had to deal with for the time we've tried to find that balance.
When we first started out in the pure bred fancy and actually went to dog shows we were just stunned at all the different breeds.   The fascinating differences and the almost religious practices that the breeders participated in prior to any showing.  It was at times very amusing and at others very concerning to witness.  Primping and preening their dogs to prance around in a show ring.  Making every effort to keep the onlookers away from their champion dogs for fear of contaminating them with germs from the curious public.


  • I'll add the AKC Dog registry to the above as Morally balanced.  You see, the AKC doesn't set the standards that can prove detrimental to many of our pure breed dogs its the breed clubs that submit these standards to the registry.  The AKC then becomes a central repository for the lineage history of the breed clubs that join them.  And although the AKC can follow the guidelines set in place by the breed clubs... they are powerless to enforce reform without losing the support and funding of the breed clubs themselves.  So the main registry is kind of stuck in the middle.  And the result is the practices that put our dogs in such a sparse genetic situation in the first place continue.  Fortunately the public awareness has forced the moral compass of many breed clubs to try and clean up their image.  But, if you consider where the situation is for many breeds.... the awareness may have come too late.


Making a profit is not a bad thing.  In fact a breeder has a right to make a profit for their efforts.  The ethics behind their motives for doing what they do, and how they do it can be compared to other breeders, however it doesn't make them wrong or right for wanting to make a profit.  But, you have to consider that the product of their efforts and the chosen specimens are at the center of it all.  And whether their methods actually threaten the life of the Mother and Pups or if those methods merit them is a measure the buyer needs to and should consider.  So the following is a metaphorical representation of measure from the perspective of the Chatham Hill Gang.  However, our perspective comes with the experience of having others with very strong and often skewed ideologies volley derogatory terms, threats and do whatever they can to to disparage and undermine us.  And without having met us, spoken to us or our references.  So, enjoy.



Elitist Breeder; The Champion driven dog fancy people depicted above truly love the fantasy behind their chosen breed.  The historical images provided by the background histories that were mostly fabricated to romanticize the breed and put them in favor with the vanity of the elitist segment of society.  Its not a secret that the dog shows and hunting trials were all created by an elitist segment of society in the early creation of the Registries.  It was a status symbol for the times and an expression of oneself to own a particular breed with distinction and class.  But back then the dogs also didn't die early or have extreme inbred deformities.  


  • These same types of dog people also lash out when anyone dares to speak up or question their old school thinking towards breeding practices and close line breeding.  We've had to deal with phone calls in the middle of the night from some really hardcore fanatics.  Who think that their breed somehow just appeared before man by divine intervention.  And if you ever remind them that the dog they love so much took many attempts of outcrossing and backcrossing between several different breeds to obtain the final result they'll talk right through you like you weren't saying anything. 
  • They are split equally between making another champion and obtaining as much money for the resulting Stud services, Brood services and the Puppies from their Champions.  And they make it a point to differentiate themselves from others by touting physical tests, trophies and bloodlines.  And hardly mention a thing about the resulting health of their lines.  And if you are doing anything outside of what they call the breed standard then they are also quick to label you a Back Yard Breeder.  But wait it gets worse.


Trial Fanatics; The above depicts another segment of the dog fancy where the land of make believe comes into full effect.  This group is really hung up on living life vicariously through the athletic skills of their dogs.  They participate in mock trials that simulate a situation to make full use of the hunting skills of their chosen breeds.  They aren't as hung up on profit for their efforts as they are for the recognition that they have this amazing specimen.  They idolize their dogs and covet the prestigious trophy as their way of paying tribute to this dog that performs amazing feats of coordination and agility at their beckon call.   Ironically the trial dog circuits are often more severely inbred and closely line bred than their conformation show cousins due to the belief that the physical traits and the drive are inherited.  And therefore some of the worst examples of longevity and proper health are in this segment.  Yes, more so than the conformation circles.  

  • We plan to take our first venture into the rally competitions this year.  But, its more for the joy of it than it is for the trophy.  Its fun to do as well as fun to watch.  The dogs actually have fun and the owners get to mix it up in the ring with their favorite pooch.  And my kids can have fun doing what mainly comes naturally for their dogs.  Running around and mostly hamming it up.  We would go to flyball competitions, but those are more common in urban areas and not very common by us.  Rally event are usually found where most conformation shows are and the dogs look so happy and have fun.  And for our children it has to be fun for them to enjoy doing something again and again.  Conformation events just got a little boring.  

BUT... the above segment has also given us some late night calls with nasty epithets towards my family, my children and our dogs.  Even threatening to do us harm.  Really now, do they really think they're scaring us?



Animal rights activists;... This includes PETA extemists, Dog rescuers, maybe even Vegetarians and/or Vegans....whatever.  These people are crazy.  They not just threaten but even attempt to pull strings or involve authorities with trying to undermine your endeavors.  They do this without having ever met you and they assume so much about you sight unseen.  They make assumptions that your dogs are not cared for, that they are being harmed and perhaps even exploited.  They know nothing about your goals and label you another backyard breeder.  These people do scare me.  Because they think with pure emotion rather than with common sense.  And in doing so many of the threats they made forced us to lawyer up and to fortify our property with a dozen around the clock surveillance cameras.  And my spouse to finally get a gun....Yes she's now a pistol packin momma.  All because of idiots like the above.
  • We feel sorry for most of these people.  We find that the effort they put into championing the rights of animals is admirable.  But, they often go to the extreme with what we can only explain as pure evil hatred.  We're sure not all of them are like this, but the ones that actually act out in anger actually will attempt to harm you in order to make their point hit home.  And these are the ones that have threatened my family by actually getting the dog warden involved under false claims and recruiting people who work for of all places our veterinary service to turn over records without our consent.  Needless to say... a few lawyers and the Dog warden was put on notice while the personnel who  handed over the records, which only put us in a good light anyway, was fired.  Yep... don't mess with the Chatham Hill gang.  Yer lucky the lady din't shoot ya.  



Clueless Breeders; Now lets talk about those who ride our coat tails.  They aren't threatening us or trying to undermine us, but they kinda sit back and watch what we're up to.  Then they paint themselves as being like us, but clearly have no idea of what a COI is or the benefits of multiple Studs and Bitches.  Of tracking back the lineages beyond 8 generations or more.  The actual beneficial DNA tests to seek for screening actual genetic problems and what signs to look for regarding hip dysplasia or luxating patela.  They don't screen their buyers for a physical address, veterinarian, or even a job.  And they certainly don't care for much more than the check you hand over for their puppy.  Their motive is purely profit driven.  They simply want to make a quick buck using the high yield gained from selling these puppies.
  • We like to confront these people with the same questions we would ask as an educated consumer.  And in doing so we then show them how we are very different from them.  Its extremely amusing for us to see the tactics they employ to promote their litters.  "Both Parents are from AKC Champion lines", "Home Raised",  "Champion Bloodlines".  Ummmm Okay.  Then visit their website and clearly see they have a dozen bitches and one stud????  Or the bitch is here and the stud lives somewhere else.  And this is with just the people attempting to sell purebred dogs.  The ones with the real drive to make fast cash will jump on the latest fad dog mix of the month.  Throw in a poodle with anything else call it anything-oodle, doodle or poo and suddenly you're making a lot of money.  Screw knowing the parents of the dogs or what possible benefit there is to the mix.  Much less even wondering if there is really any good reason for that mix.  These people are stupid and driven by pure profit.  If their bitch dies.... they promote one of its babies to the new producer.  Which brings up another person that fits the above Compass setting.....

Exploitive Breeder; After riding on the wave of success they discovered as ignorant clueless breeders, some people take their efforts and ramp up to a much larger scale.  In effect capitalizing on the demand for many different breeds and designer mixes all at once and producing so many puppies that they can ship them off to pet stores or fill mail orders online then shipping to anywhere in the world for an additional fee, all sight unseen.  Clearly their ideology on the Moral Compass is the same as the Backyard Breeder.  But at a much larger scale it promotes neglect of the dogs that produce this extreme cashflow for them.  Very few commercial outfits are really top notch when it comes to clean living conditions and veterinary care, but they still consider the dogs their livestock and don't nurture the instinct for bonding between human and Dog.  In effect its like living in a prison and being used as a slave to produce babies that are cared for with the minimum amount of human intervention.   And as soon as the babies are gone, the mother is knocked up as soon as she's in season again.  
  • And that's what the good commercial outfits are like.  The rest will leave their dogs living in the feces they produce and raise their puppies in the same conditions.  The mothers and fathers can have poor hygiene, visible health issues, blindness or literally emaciated.  And these breeders just keep chuggin along because the pet stores that fuel the impulsive buying public just keep ordering more of what they're selling.   If we could....The Chatham Hill Gang would free these dogs and burn every operation like this to the ground.  Yep we said it.  That's what we'd like to do.  Instead we continue to try and educate in order to take business away from both of these types of profit mongers.
The sad part about the previous 4 examples .... most of them don't even realize how over the top they are.  And for some reason they always seem to think and act in ways that fulfill all the stereotypes about them.  These stereotypes are obviously there for a reason... because the cross section of people that fit each of these descriptions actually live up to those stereotypes everyday.

But there is a good side we've encountered on this Moral Compass.


Modern Veterinary Practitioners; notice the word MODERN.  It makes a big difference.  Because the traditional old school veterinarians would likely get lynched in a room full of pre-med students looking at the future and having to share their space with Veterinarians who are still stuck in the past.  I've been witness to this type of argument... between a traditional old school Veterinarian, a new modern forward thinking Veterinarian, a Medical Doctor and a Geneticist.  Needles to say... the old school Veterinarian... was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  But the veterinarians I call my friends and family are so forward thinking that they would literally make heads spin at all the old school practices we've been led to believe are so beneficial for such a long time.  
  • There is actually more risk to a dogs health if you choose to spay or neuter.  Yep... I said it. Click here and HERE to see a couple of studies.  And There have actually been studies that show a neutered male actually has more inclination to be aggressive than a non-neutered male.  Yep, I was so surprised at these Findings as well which you can read about Here.  Keep in mind these are a small sample of what is out there now.  So the next time a Veterinarian tries to convince you that spay or neuter is the only option for peace of mind.... you may want to tell them to go hit the books again.  

  • I love our Veterinarians.  Yes that's plural.  They are a friendly and very educated bunch.  They are dedicated to the concerns of the animals and know that not everyone will have the funds for those really expensive procedures.  Yet they work with you.  And they do it knowing that you have the best interest of the dog in mind.  And they don't pull punches or buy into the crap that the older outgoing veterinarians keep selling.  In fact they will tell you how some common theories really are false, where others have merit and where to focus your energy for a real beneficial payoff for a longer healthier life with your companion.  They make money, don't mistake their kindness as solely non profit.  But by being up front and honest they earn it without having to sell you on the things that most Veterinarians thrive on to drive up business.  Now its rare for this kind of Veterinary service to be so available to anyone.  So, don't just resolve yourself to go to the one that's down the road or that your friend goes to.

  • Ask Questions.  Ask how often they attend seminars and research presentations for newer modern approaches to veterinary medicine.  Those are the ones that care about improving the outlook for the future, not continuing to line their pockets hedging their bets that we will continue to take their word for everything they say.  You are allowed to seek a second opinion even for your dog.  And in doing so you might just find out there are alternatives to the same procedures that have been pushed on the public for so many decades.   You've got to think, that if in modern medicine for humans that things have improved so much in the past 10, 20, 30 years.... they got maybe 90% of their answers studying the animals we take to those Veterinarians and using that data to improve our future outlook.  So, why haven't so many Veterinarians taken those same strides?   Hmmmmm?  



Geneticists;  I'm very proud of the fact that I know someone who used to work at the very same laboratories that the founders of DNA and genetic research created.  The Watson and Crick Laboratories in NY.  And I'm extremely proud to know this is a close family relative.  And its no surprise that as a scientist the focus is on answers not money or rescue or trophies.  Sure they may may get acknowledgement for their body of work in the form of an award or feel some reward for the rescue of an entire species from the brink of extinction or some peace of mind knowing that there are wonderful people in the world who will fund their ongoing studies to continue to find answers that will help improve our future.  But their drive is for answers to discover a cause for a problem.  And once they've found those answers they lay the groundwork for all the other specialist that are waiting behind them to carry the torch further and apply it in their areas of expertise to provide a better way of doing things to benefit our future.  
  • The above type of professionals deserve a lot of respect.  Much of what they do is taken for granted, yet we owe so much to what they do for us.   Many positives have come from the research they provided.   Add the canine breed called the Boxer to this equation as well, since this was the first dog to have its DNA sequence mapped to provide the gateway for a myriad of other breeds and the breakthrough towards preventing so many different hereditary genetic defects.  As more breeds are added to the list more definite choices can be made on breeding to promote a better future of our dogs... not to mention for humans.  But, at least with our dogs the positive effects can be seen much quicker since the selective process will allow for better choices and the cosmetic look and the Physical prowess won't be the only deciding factor.  
Medical Doctors; Now the thing with medical doctors is they primarily deal with human health issues.  But, they owe much of their findings to what happens with our four legged companions.  And they can see a parallel with the way tests and treatments are applied between both worlds.  Its this perspective that can actually open our eyes to a lot of wasted effort going on in the current way of doing things for our canine friends.  If you tell my in law who happens to be a Medical doctor (yes we're proud of that fact, too) the types of physical tests that are given to dogs to test for many common disorders and let him know many breeders use these as a prerequisite to their planned breedings.... He'll flat out tell you its a waste of their time.  Our Veterinarians will concur with this assessment and the geneticist will hands down agree %100 of the time.  Until you provide a DNA based test to rule out the disorder you are screening for, there is no physical test that will give a conclusive guarantee that disorder will not pass onto the next generation.  
  • So, let's use the Flat Coats and the Irish Setters as examples.  The FCR is commonly afflicted with a type of juvenile blindness called PRA.  Or Premature Retinal Atrophy.  The common course of action to test for this is an actual physical inspection of the dog's eyes.  And all it does is either rule out or confirm the presence of signs of this disorder at the time of the test.  Its not preventative medicine.  It is however a diagnostic tool to provide a baseline measure against other dogs tested.  It will not cure your dog or heal your dog, nor will it prevent the disorder from being inherited in your dog's offspring if you breed your dog with another dog carrying this disorder.  And for specific breeds PRA may be caused by different triggers so the testing has to be done at a DNA level to first identify the markers for that trait then to use a good selective process to breed away from it and thus, eventually over a few generations, to eliminate it.  The Irish Setter is an example of a breed where the genetic tests have virtually eliminated the disorder.  The FCR is an example of a breed where this marker has yet to be discovered and therefore the physical tests are all we have at the moment to say either we have it or not.  But with the disorder taking 6 to 9,10,11 or more years before it manifests. You really have nothing conclusive to make a determination off of.  And by the time the disorder does present.... you might have a few litters behind you already.
So the that's the basics of that Metaphorical thinking.  Broken down and simplified.  Sure there are many gradients in between that we've given examples to here.  As individuals the Compass can swing in any given direction and possibly even skew and morph the ideology from a circle to an eclipse an orb or an amoeba.  But for the premise of simplicity the circle does represent very well the extremes and the balanced examples.  Where do you fall on the Compass?

Cheers





10 comments:

  1. Could you please tell us which AKC recommended health screening tests you personally do for each of your breeds and crosses?

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  2. The testing is only a requirement of the parent clubs associated behind each breed, but not by the AKC. And unless you’re really stuck on having some badge of honor once again, then the AKC does give out a “Breeder of Merit” acknowledgement on behalf of the requirements set in place by the breed club.

    The AKC doesn’t recommend any tests for any breed. They do however donate a portion of their revenue to continued studies of existing disorders and diseases with the CHF (Canine Health Foundation), CAR (Canine Support and Relief ), (Canine Health Information Center) CHIC, (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) OFA, (Canine Eye Registration Foundation)CERF. The AKC is very black and white in this regard since they DO NOT RECOMMEND any of the testing. They do contribute funding to the registration process behind these organizations. It’s another way to track our dogs in a database with a wealth of information on the condition of the dogs who are entered in them. As for Health screenings, they always defer this determination to the breed clubs. You know, the clubs that provide a significant amount of the AKC's funding. So in terms of logic... the AKC is just a registry, They may have more common sense than the breed clubs, but they certainly don't make the screening rules concerning each breed.


    It’s important to note that for the AKC, the part of the test data collected that the AKC actually controls is the DNA profiling of volunteered DNA samples. And again even at a genetic level these tests are only in place to track lineages. They are a way of the AKC verifying who the parents of any dog really are. But, these tests are not a prevention of genetic disorders. They are an identification system based on submitted samples. And the samples submitted are voluntary on the part of the owners of the dogs. If you feel that there is a merit in the OFA tracking…. Then you can feel free to submit your results. Keeping in mind that the majority of results submitted are only the passing ones then you will be adding your dog to a database of mostly dogs tested that passed. And using this as a measure doesn’t give you much to rely on about things truly improving for these dogs. It does provide some relevant information for you … as follows… a good indication of how many people 1. Tested their dogs and 2. How many owners elected to submit their data.

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  3. So, for us…. a sample of our own dogs have been tested when there was a concern on our part for one of our dogs or the part of the owners of any of our pups. So far we’ve had concerns for lameness and based on these conditions elected tests to identify the cause. The tests were done by OFA certified specialists with X-ray screening and/or a combination of physical measurements via PENN HIPP screening. We’ve had a single pup come back with a level 1 severity that was attributed to rapid growth and that pup was put on a 3-month regimen of light activity and monitoring. After which the pup was screened again and no issues were present. Another pup was screened and determined to have a congenital defect on it’s right rear knee that was a level 4 severity and was corrected via surgery. We’ve have two older dogs tested when they came up lame only to discover they were in fact injuries that required time to heal. So this testing is not a cure or Preventive.

    Take note… the testing was done after there was a problem noticed in the animal. And again the testing did not provide a cure, but a means to diagnose the problem and seek the correct procedure to correct it. DO YOU GET IT NOW? As far as, screening for (Premature Retinal Atrophy) PRA…. Again, as soon as we see indications that any dog or pup is favoring one side or the other to get a visual on its target or that it is literally over shooting and not seeing its mark we will test the dog to ascertain its condition. If it’s in fact PRA then we will need to determine if its degenerative, congenital or a detached retina caused by injury. Either way, there is not much to be done to cure it. If its cataracts then there are procedures to consider in order reverse the condition. Again there is no amount of screening that will prevent a genetic problem and there is no test to determine at what point in time any degenerative disorder will surface. So this is not a cure or Preventive.

    We’ve had one misdiagnosis of cancer. Yup, I said cancer. We actually had that purebred dog written off, but thankfully the owner decided to put her dog in a cancer research program to test some experimental drugs for combating cancer. The choices otherwise were either a completely disfiguring procedure that involved removing half the dogs face or Euthanasia. However, since the owner elected to enter the research study, we supported her decision and even took the dog into the clinics for her on several occasions when the owner could not. And lucky for the dog, the initial diagnosis was proven false, since the infection dissipated gradually and then just disappeared. And to the shock of the Veterinary clinics participating in the study… it was discovered our dog was on a placebo the entire time. Since then we’ve also discovered just how common this misdiagnosis is for dogs. In fact it’s also a common misdiagnosis in humans, so a second opinion even a third opinion is always good to seek. Otherwise this dog would have been dead and added to what we now believe are skewed statistics.

    Now for the breeders who are beholden to the parent clubs they follow religiously and don’t seem to understand the difference between a diagnosis and a cure. There is no amount of physical testing that will tell you … this dog or it’s offspring will be blind from PRA or Lame from Hip dysplasia or luxating patella

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  4. Currently there is a set of DNA tests for the Long Haired Weimaraners to test for a form of hemophilia that happens within some lineages of this breed. Considering this, we will test prior to any scheduled pairings. And since this is a DNA based test it does provide a conclusive answer on the passing of this inherited defect onto offspring. And it will determine how we proceed with pairing these dogs for future planned litters. It is therefore Preventive screening. UNDERSTAND?

    Now, here’s a proof of our concept that many of the elitist find hard to swallow. We’ve produced over 110 dogs since 2004 and will possibly add 20 more to that figure in 2012. Thus far no Cancer, no bad hips, no signs of poor vision and one bad knee.

    We’re statistically ahead of the curve. Depending on who’s statistics you want to place all your bets on. We’re either way ahead or really way ahead.

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  5. I would say that the AKC is somewhat biased in that it does not allow any dog not pedigreed as an accepted breed to compete in any event without being altered, and in some events mixed or unrecognized dogs aren't allowed to compete at all (AKC herding being an example).

    This indicates a cultural bias against experimental breeders who wish to prove their stock - for example, you could not show any of your breeding retrievers in Obedience (although I am sure you knew that) which is a damned shame.

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  6. I agree. The AKC however has made strides towards opening up the competition to include hybrids in some events. For someone with a proof of concept that needs to create a baseline measurement of the successes of their long term experiment Vs the status quo...then at least its a welcomed change.

    The AKC is not the end all be all. And in reality the real world is the proving ground. But if you want to embarrass a staunch supporter of the old system of doing things...at least there's a venue to do so by an acknowledged well recognized animal registry.

    Change is happening, since not long ago hybrids were not allowed in ANY event regardless of breeding status.

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    1. Actually, it is quite satisfactory to troll the purebred snobs by bringing in an offensively obvious mutt and kicking all of their asses in obedience hee hee. :D

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  7. Well, I prefer a well thought out hybrid. :-). And still kicking their snobbish asses.

    Although many of the fancy people are actually very nice and cordial. The rest... Hmmmm... Yep, snobbish asses.

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  8. Tis me again Chatham hill, I still like, want and need both purebred and crossbreed dogs so where does that place me??? I cannot argue with some of your views and I cannot abide those who breed their dogs with their hiddeous deformities and darn right lack of regard for the welfare of the animal that gets paraded round the show ring in order to be the best of the best mmmmmm. I have given the show ring ago (I at least wanted to try it) and my gsp bitch was successful, but as a newbie I didn't fit in puh! She was swiftly retired when I realised that she stood much better when she spotted a bird overhead..... What was I thinking? What is a real shame here is that with your text I find what I can only describe as the converted smoker, the scorned with points to score and an axe to grind. how anyone can find mother to son matings etc in any way acceptable beggars belief, exaggerations which create deformed creatures is shocking, I believe in the USA a very successful experiment with the Dalmatian and some outcrossing to eradicate a life threatening disease makes perfect sense to those of us who wish to make things better for our doggy companions, those who appose such things should not be entrusted with them in the first place in my view so basically I am not against your policy for producing quality family pets but I simply don't like your apparent dislike of the purebred dog when it is in fact the breeders fault not the dog, here's the other rub for me is that actually you are well placed for driving forward the necessary change as you obviously have the drive and passion for it but it doesn't have to be at the expense of purebreeds (hope your still with my thread) I worry that trying to convert the public into only buying cross breeds is more of a sticking plaster effect and will have a left, right split where actually what is really needed is thoughtful carefully bred dogs fit for purpose, when are where there is demand and dare I say the ending of dog beauty pageants............ I can accept being the target of threats may more than piss you off and folk this is not acceptable but not all of us are stupid and some like me want change and folk like you are best placed to achieve it, thanks for listening.

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    1. I have no dislike for any of the breeds of dogs we see today. I just have a better understanding of why they are in the genetic mess they are in. And I also know better than to just believe these dogs all just appeared one day through divinity. They were all created by "Man". So with that it should go without saying that the definition of a dog is not found the purity in the bloodline for any specific breed, but the fact that just like humans, Dogs are resilient to bounce back from the mistakes we've forced upon them. But it means that we humans need to make that effort.

      If outcrossing different breeds are what created these "pure" breeds we see today, then the same practice can also boost the immune systems and dilute the negative traits with applied common sense and intelligent outcrossing. After several backcrosses to get back towards the desired phenotype we know as a Flat Coat or a Spaniel or whatever the target is as far as phenotype, then you can test for what that dog is on a genetic level and it will test as the dog breed you're targeting.

      This is true for LUA Dals testing as Dalmations, For Bobtail Boxers testing as Boxers and for Irish Wolfhounds saved from extinction by outcrossing breeds to recreate it ( which admittedly need more diversity again) which test as Irish Wolfhounds. If I backcross my hybrids in either direction to favor Flat Coat or Spaniels enough, they will eventually test rue as the targeted breed. And in the end will do a couple of things. Introduce a new line of that breed and improve the immune systems for this new line of that breed. It would be a boone to any other breeder to add from by mixing this new line into their own foundation stock.

      This is more an educational journey for us. We are certainly open to make changes. But, until we see a reason to, its our feeling and the belief of others who support us that what we're doing is a benefit to the dogs we care about.

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