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Friday, November 8, 2013

Introducing The "Duke" of Chatham Hill

To learn more about Diversity breeding concepts "Click Here"


Meet Duke.  Who..As per his owner... is often mistaken for an Irish Setter.  He's a Liver colored 3 year Old Flat Coated retriever.   What makes Duke so special for us.  Well his daddy is a yellow Flat Coated Retriever and he's the result of an intentional effort to produce an FCR with what we hope will be a stronger immune system than the given expectations we've seen thus far, by simply embracing the yellow variant into our breeding program.   So far we've been fortunate and haven't been met with what the majority of the FCR community has expected or wished for us.  Now it can be said that there is very little to no evidence that simply using a yellow FCR is going to provide a stronger immune system.  Maybe that is the case, but when no one has previously done this as a controlled experiment and used yellow FCR before then what baseline of measure do you have to compare this statement to?  Common sense tells us that if you are constantly removing the yellow factor from the breeding equation you therefore effectively lower the contributing population for an already diminished gene pool then by simply allowing this once forbidden yellow gene to again contribute to the overall equation... you are in fact putting more resources back where they're needed.  And for obvious reasons these genetic contributions are different resources from the current lot of Black and Liver only.  How so?  Well if you take it away for generations and simply hope it will just go away.... and the result over the long term shows an increase in health problems over where you started from....  How can it hurt to add back any variable that will increase diversity by any percentage?  The FCR population suffered all this time due to practices of the old school breeders basically exercising  a prejudice against color, but this also sort of just left them with a way to shuffle more ingredients back into the genetic mix without entirely looking towards other breeds.   Simply use the yellow dogs.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Controversy over Breeding dogs

We are Dog breeders.


The act of stating "I am a dog breeder" doesn't always come with wide eyed appreciation.



And that's okay...

• We get it.  We completely understand what the hobby breeder has to contend with.  And we're not just talking about a breeder like ourselves that has an agenda of diversity planning and outcrossing, we're also talking about breeders of show, trial and hunting dogs who also have a goal of producing champions and specialized dogs for service and hunting.  The main thing that unifies us in what we're doing is the fact that we love our dogs.  And we enjoy the process of whelping and socializing our puppies as well as the process of meeting new families that are interested in buying one of these puppies.  The daily interactions with our breeding dogs and the time we spend essentially designing a playtime with them that also contributes to training them and promoting their natural abilities.  That's our daily job, its something we do because we love the fact that these animals respond in a wonderful way to how we provide all these wonderful activities for them.  And in the long term we also breed with a selective process to bring more of these dogs into the world and fill a desire for people who want some of the same magic we've discovered in them ourselves.

• There is never a hesitation from any of our children when they answer the question "what does your mom and dad do for a living?".  They are actually proud to say "My family breeds dogs"(even though dad has a career that takes him off to NYC daily so he can help support his family and the entire pack of dogs).  Its the fact that we breed these wonderful dogs that takes priority in their young minds.  As a parent we don't get to see the reactions from their peers or the adults in their life that may ask this question of them.  And If there was any negative look in the face of those asking, our kids would more than likely not notice or even understand why if they did notice.  They are actually proud of what their family does and how we do it.  The entire process is in their eyes just normal for them and the wonderful things we do on a daily basis are just taken for granted by our kids.  Because for them its just the right way to do things.  And for that, as parents we feel blessed.  Because they will grow up... getting it too.  



Friday, July 12, 2013

Talk about being nosey...


Black, Yellow and Liver Chatham Hill Retrievers
Diversity Breeding Guidelines we follow
As we've learned...the color of your dog is indicated by the color on the nose.  Yes, the nose not the color of it's coat.  The eyes are also indicators Since like the nose if it's a black dog then the eyes will be black, too.  And if the dog is Liver it will have Amber or Gold eyes.  We found this VETGEN color chart while researching color predictions in dogs about 6 years back. At the time this was directed at Labrador breeders to help assist with calculating the percentages of colored puppies in the resulting litters if breeders mixed and matched different colored parents.  And using this as the basis for our Flat Coats we found it was usually pretty accurate once we knew the DNA color profile of our foundation of dogs.  And we've DNA tested all our dogs for the color they "really" are.



VetgenVetgenVetgenVetgenVetgenVetgenVetgenVetgenVetgen
BBEE
I
BBEe
II
BbEE
III
BbEe
IV
BBee
V
Bbee
VI
bbee
VII
bbEE
VIII
bbEe
IX
BBEE
I
All
Black
All
Black
All
Black
All
Black
All
Black
All
Black
All
Black
All
Black
All
Black
BBEe
II
All
Black
¾ Black
¼ Yellow
All
Black
¾ Black
¼ Yellow
½ Black
½ Yellow
½ Black
½ Yellow
½ Black
½ Yellow
All
Black
¾ Black
¼ Yellow
BbEE
III
All
Black
All
Black
¾ Black
¼ Choc.
¾ Black
¼ Choc.
All
Black
¾ Black
¼ Choc.
½ Black
½ Choc.
½ Black
½ Choc.
½ Black
½ Choc.
BbEe
IV
All
Black
¾ Black
¼ Yellow
¾ Black
¼ Choc.
9/16Black
¼ Yellow
3/16Choc.
½ Black
½ Yellow
⅜ Black
½ Yellow
⅛ Choc.
¼ Black
½ Yellow
¼ Choc.
½ Black
½ Choc.
⅜ Black
¼ Yellow
⅜ Choc.
BBee
V
All
Black
½ Black
½ Yellow
All
Black
½ Black
½ Yellow
All
Yellow
All
Yellow
All
Yellow
All
Black
½ Black
½ Yellow
Bbee
VI
All
Black
½ Black
½ Yellow
¾ Black
¼ Choc.
⅜ Black
½ Yellow
⅛ Choc.
All
Yellow
All
Yellow
All
Yellow
½ Black
½ Choc.
¼ Black
½ Yellow
¼ Choc.
bbee
VII
All
Black
½ Black
½ Yellow
½ Black
½ Choc.
¼ Black
½ Yellow
¼ Choc.
All
Yellow
All
Yellow
All
Yellow
All
Choc.
½ Choc.
½ Yellow
bbEE
VIII
All
Black
All
Black
½ Black
½ Choc.
½ Black
½ Choc.
All
Black
½ Black
½ Choc.
All
Choc.
All
Choc.
All
Choc.
bbEe
IX
All
Black
¾ Black
¼ Yellow
½ Black
½ Choc.
⅜ Black
¼ Yellow
⅜ Brown
½ Black
½ Yellow
¼ Black
½ Yellow
¼ Brown
½ Choc.
½ Yellow
All
Choc.
¾ Choc.
¼ Yellow


The Chart also helps to understand where a dog that may be a carrier for another color comes into play as a part of the selective breeding process.  Dogs that are Black can be carriers for the Liver or Yellow color.  And if you pair two parents that appear black on the outside, they can very well produce a litter of puppies that are all three colors.  And that is amazing.  Also note that the chart shows the color of the dogs depicted as concentric circles.  The outermost circle indicates the dominant color of the dog's coat and the small dot connected to the circle indicates the color of the dog's nose.  The inner circles indicate what type of recessive color carrier they are.  Some dogs can be Black or Liver dominant and also recessively carry both of the other colors.  The real hard hitting fact about this chart...


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Wonderful World of the Internet

For Diversity Breeding Guidelines we follow Click Here
Chatham Hill Dogs received a call recently that was very pleasant, flattering and eye opening.  The person on the other end said they feel so honored to be speaking with us and had been following us for many years.  Reading our posts on many forums and blogs and after absorbing what we have to say... becoming a follower and a fan of our ideologies.  he pointed out that whenever we were challenged or flamed we never recoiled or faded away, but always came back with an informed response.  Well, most times that was the case.  I do recall some times when the derogatory insults were just tossed right back at the stone throwers.  

This conversation opened our eyes to the fact that we've caused a stir in the dog loving communities all around the world.  That people are talking about us and what we do.  Some opinions are stronger than others. Some are pro and some are con, while others are sort of just sitting back and watching from a neutral position.  Some of these observations come from individuals and others are from organizations.  However from our perspective they are all indicative of one major thing that is important to us.  There has been an awareness brought to the attention of the world that we are doing things differently and seeing much better results because of our choices.  If they're talking, then if Chatham Hill Dogs is an enabler for the debates that arise because of it... then we're happy for it.

To our surprise this long time fan brought to our attention that one of the organizations that has actually had something to say about what we're doing was actually the Kennel Union of South Africa aka KUSA.  If you click the link it will take you to their page which addresses the topic of the Yellow Flat Coated Retriever with an entry that was co written by Jane Laing – Woodside Flatcoated Retrievers and Diane Holman – Trevena Retrievers. And how they basically believe regarding how yellow FCR and the rules of the British Kennel Club should apply in the spirit of maintaining the legacy of the original creators of the Flat Coated retriever in following the tradition of removing the yellow from the breeding population.  Breeding only Liver and Black colored dogs. Keep in mind these two writers for KUSA are people we've never met or spoken to.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Common goals derived from differing ideologies


For Diversity Guidelines we follow CLICK HERE
• We never question the resolve of another breeder to do things in the best interest of their dogs.  It seems many are constantly explaining their position and stance, about their ideologies and beliefs, to us when there is no need to.  If we're challenged we simply point out in our conversation where things were said that were unfounded and uncalled for.  We might make assumptions based upon that conversation, but in the end what we offer is to listen and possibly absorb some of the good from any conversation and maybe make some of it our own or walk away knowing the other side of a conversation may make some of what we do their own.  

We owe it to our friends to improve their outlook
• Both parties can only come away thinking about the mission statement on the other side of the conversation and weigh where it might have some common ground.  And very often there is so much in common its just uncanny.  You just can't realize how similar much of the goals are among other breeders with a passion for improving the outlook of their dogs until they decide to actually talk to one another, instead of standing behind the facade of a fan-page or website and feeding the flames of an argument to their audience.  Which BTW... we never do.  We only share our experiences here.  Which for some reason really gets under the skin of some other breeders like we somehow named them.  But, we don't do that and clearly if they feel compelled to engage us then somewhere along the lines of our sharing our experience they might feel much of what we are touching upon has a focus on what they do.   Well, if that's the case then its not like we bashed them, but they do seem to identify with what we presented as being directed at them.  HMMMM???

**Some things we believe are just addressing common problems from a different angle.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The tired old Mantra of the Old School Breeder



For Diversity Guidelines we follow CLICK HERE
Yup, I now have the luxury of being able to challenge their Mantra by touting my own numbers in this game we call breeding.  And Chatham Hill Dogs may be going down a road that has never been taken before in doing the things we ultimately decide upon for the better interest of our dogs and our clients.  But, we also have the advice of Medical professionals who can compare the outcomes presented by the old school and dated Veterinary information around for decades, we also have Veterinary professionals offering guidance and advice based on MODERN veterinary practice that happens to compliment the same practices in MODERN human medical practice.  In fact we have the pat on the back from Geneticists and Biologists that concur that our approach is far more beneficial in the quest to provide a healthier longer living dog than the tired old practices performed by the MAJORITY of dog breeders you will encounter in the world today.


FCR Pups with a VERY low COI
For those dog breeders its a matter of performing all sorts of physical exams in a quest to say that since my dogs were tested for this Physical test or that one then they are somehow superior to the rest of the dogs out there.  When in fact they fail to reveal to their clientele that NO MATTER HOW MANY PHYSICAL TESTS THEY CAN CLAIM THEIR DOGS PASSED, they can in NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM GUARANTEE  THAT THE OFFSPRING OF THEIR TESTED DOGS WILL NOT PRESENT WITH THE NEGATIVE TRAITS THE PARENTS WERE TESTED FOR AND PASSED.   NIETHER CAN THEY CLAIM THAT THE DOGS THAT PASSED THESE TESTS TODAY WON'T GET THE PROBLEMS THEY WERE JUST TESTED FOR IN A YEAR OR TWO DOWN THE ROAD.  In fact if we look towards modern human medical practice.  Most doctors would find the testing for these physical disorders as a way to determine whether the children of two potential parents would in fact be free and clear of the same physical disorders if their parents passed...  Laughable.  YES.  I said laughable.  And any breeder that touts these tests as the thing that sets their produced specimens above the rest is in fact relying on numbers so far from the truth that if they actually didn't religiously believe in the Mantra they were preaching then it should be a crime.  But, in the end their way of thinking has been ingrained into them from decades and even centuries of tradition and practice that somehow became the status quo for what needs to be done to determine if their dog is somehow superior to the rest.  A simple test that says to the potential buyer...my dog took this test and passed and therefore my puppies are far more valuable than the rest. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Impulsive Buyer vs The Educated Consumer

For Diversity Guidelines we follow CLICK HERE
We get a lot of questions from some very passionate people that love dogs.  Most of the questions are in a form that takes aim at us without really understanding anything about us.  Yes, the sort of well... I'm not trying to start an argument but I just wanna say... kinda questions, AKA "The loaded question".  Fueled by any given individual's personal ASSumptions that we're just another puppy mill or backyard type breeder just looking to make a profit and not really concerned about the welfare of our dogs.  The most popular question seems to be.... Why are you breeding?  Their thinking being that with so many dogs in the world lost into the over burdened shelter systems and being killed everyday why contribute to a growing problem?  THE CHATHAM HILL GANG COMPLETELY AGREES.  In fact one of the reasons we breed is to focus on an educated consumer and practice a screening process that will vet the interested parties with a screening to satisfy our desire to find the right home for our pups.

Silver LongHair Weimaraner Puppy
Our goal is in part to avoid our dogs going into a shelter system in the first place. We also aren't going to sit around and wait for our puppies to become full grown dogs waiting for an interested person to just happen to come across a tiny ad in the local newspaper, although we do put ads in them... sometimes.  We live in times where the power of the Internet and social media platforms helps to spread the news about our puppies and allows us to keep a connection with people who already own our pups and people who are interested in a puppy like ours or people interested in what we're all about.  So we use these modern mediums to market our pups.  And there is nothing wrong with marketing something you have that others might want.  So, marketing our puppies is sort of like walking on thin ice, because its just not the sort of thing the established old school breeding philosophies ever employ.  AND OF COURSE we're not a pet store catering to the impulsiveness of human nature.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hey is that a Silver Flattie?

 Silver and Blue Weimaraner
For Diversity Guideline we follow CLICK HERE
They also come in a Blue variant BTW and no they are not Flatties.  But, they certainly can act like them.  These are Long Hair Weimaraner, which do have a flat coat and and mannerisms similar to the Flat Coated Retriever.  Its also a theory that the long haired gene introduces a docile trait for the temperament in this breed, which has been our experience as well as documented on other UK sites that confirm the temperament on this variant of the Weimaraner is comparable to the Flat Coat Retriever.  They go as far as to describe the look of the dog as similar to A Flattie. From our firsthand experience they certainly do calm down in the home and turn on the energy when we run them out in the pastures or several times daily in their indoor arena.  They are typically the same proportions as the Flatties and actually come in colors that are the diluted compliment of the FCR.  Since the Silver variant is actually a diluted Liver color and the Blue Variant is actually a diluted Black color.

We took an interest in the Long Hair Weimaraner because we were researching on further improving through outcrossing, the genetics for our hybrid formula.  And since the creation of FCR developed essentially as a sort of "Heinz 57" formulation from many other breeds of dogs it was not far from the base formulation used in the beginning.  Pointers were a part of the mix to create Flatties from the very beginning of the breed development.  And Pointers have been used recently as a way to correct the shortcomings in another breed of dog that we admire.  The Dalmatian.  The addition of The Shorthaired Pointer into the outcross for the LUA Dalmation was done to correct a health problem in Dalmatians that was painful and ultimately killing them.  That was almost over 2 decades of outcrossing and backcrossing to develop a dog that looked, and acted just like any other Dalmatian, except they weren't Dying from the same bladder disorder that was killing the original breeding stock.  In fact the only way to tell them apart today is from a very scrutinizing DNA test that will show the dog being tested is 99.999+ % Dalamtion.  By all means this is now basically a purebred Dalmation.



So you want to be a Breeder?



For Diversity Guidelines we follow Click here
The following Blog entry has been transcribed from our Facebook Fanpage

Well, look at this link.... and absorb it.  Take note of the work involved.  The research required. Then consider it again.



There's so much to consider when you decide on breeding

I have a neighbor who is so stuck on wanting to breed his yellow Labrador bitch because he just thinks its something a dog needs to do because every dog needs to.  HMMMM????  I've spoken to him on several occasions and really try to see his perspective, but just don't get it.  So, I ask him what good reason is there for breeding your gal, because I really don't see a need for adding yet another litter of Labradors into the world when there are so many already?  I get a lot of well, I got some friends that want to have one of her pups or well she's such a good dog I want to see her have puppies.  Ummmm , Okay? What good does her having puppies do for the breed?  Then I often get that blank stare before he hits me with, well, you're doing it, why can't I?  When I explain what our goals are, I always get to a point in the conversation when the talk about the money comes up.  Wow, you guys must be making a killing.  Your dogs sell for how much?  Wow, if I were you I'd breed my dogs all the time.  And there you have it, for him and most others like him its about breeding his bitch because he can and the ultimate return he sees on all the pups that will net him a nice chunk of change.  How far off from the truth this is doesn't compute for him.  The dollar signs have blinded him of what our true goals are.



Well, dear neighbor, for one thing, I don't breed for the sake of wanting to get a DAM
Hybrids when created from healthy
parents have a genetic advantage
to experience having a litter before her life is over.
  A Dam really doesn't give a crap about that, you do.  We, plan our litters and map out the future for the breed we love so much and make as best as possible every effort to make sure we don't contribute to an already existing problem.  So, if you wish to become a breeder then you really need to become an expert on your chosen breed.  To the point where you can defend your endeavors when challenged by others who have their own very strong ideologies about their own dogs.  Most breeders we've encountered tend to think they are producing a unique product rather than just another litter of a chosen breed.  And that's where we contend they are wrong.  Because for us its not about disparaging them, its more about doing the right thing for the breed as a whole.  And trying to address a larger problem one litter at a time. And regardless of what others are doing, we continue to march to the beat of our drum and eventually will find others who like the sound it makes and will not only listen to it, but start beating that drum with us.