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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.


• We already made it clear that we respect the position of many breeders who ultimately look for an improvement with each litter they've produced.  And we have come to points of worry about our own dogs where we do and have tested our foundation using traditional methods of physical testing.  For our own peace of mind in understanding the physiology of what we call our own.  However, we will always favor conclusive answers based on Genetic test results when ever possible.  

Ground Zero for Diversity Planning, research your puppy
• It also doesn't sit well with us to participate in contributing information into an already skewed set of statistics.  We have experienced worrying about physical problems with our dogs and have traditional physical tests performed  whenever necessary to ascertain whether what we see is a result of injury or physiology.  Or if something we're witnessing visually can be determined as congenital, hereditary and degenerative.  Again information we don't need to share.  But, it is information we have clearly used and continually learn from.

** And we clearly don't hesitate to omit a dog from our program if there is a problem.  

Let me put it how we understand it from a purely Medical perspective, Genetic perspective and Veterinary perspective.

Without complete data you're just guessing
• Unless you test The Parents in front of you, and all their siblings and all the puppies produced by these parents and all their siblings...and all the Parent's of all these Parents and all their Cousin's and all Grandparent's and all their siblings and all the puppies from all the Aunts and Uncles and all their siblings and all the puppies of all those siblings and all the parent's of all those Grand Aunts and Uncles ....so on and so on.  You're staring at an entirely incomplete set of data when you finally take a look at the statistics provided from all these physical tests.  And since all throughout these decades of testing ONLY one or two dogs from any given liter, or one great grandparent or grand Aunt or cousin having been tested there is certainly nothing conclusive to make confident selective breeding choices from this incomplete set of data and no logical way of setting an effective baseline of measure with all the missing information.  You're effectively rolling the Dice and taking a Gamble based on an incomplete collection of data.  Conclusive baseline measures would be gathered from testing every 10,000 dogs out of a 10,000 dog population, not 10 dogs out of every 1000.  Really grade school here, but easy to understand.  Anything less is still a shot in the dark. 

If the tool doesn't work, try one that will
• Can these stats reflect positively?  Yup, very easily.  The figures can also skew either way if its based on just a small percentage of the entire population and fate gives you mostly bad or mostly good specimens in that pool.   If all you test is a just small percentage of the population that does pass then the results anyone presents will reflect a positive shift using just the segment that was tested.  But, if you fail to test the entire population and only have maybe 10% contribution then you have given yourself based on statistics a baseline measurement with a 90% portion of missing information that may not reflect the same.  Again all this points to a big "shot in the dark" gamble.  Rendering the 10% baseline about as usable and trustworthy as a broken tool.  

**Its supposed to fix something, but it just doesn't work.

• So based on simple logic and the fact that in all the decades these tests have been available and incomplete there has been no significant change statistically in either direction, Chatham Hill Dogs chooses not to participate in contributing results into a system of scoring based on physical test results that is in itself already inconclusive, incomplete and completely random in the answers provided.  Answers that clearly don't cure or fix the specimen.  In the end its a selective choice the breeder needs to make.  And common sense would tell any breeder that sees a visible eye problem that was not a result of injury, that there is something wrong here in this dog that may be a degenerative hereditary or congenital issue and passed onto offspring.  However, In their determination to maintain some of the phenotype or perhaps the temperament or the physical prowess of a specific lineage, breeders who put more emphasis on their success in competitions and trials will often choose to breed a poor specimen with a specimen that passed with flying colors to dilute the possibilities of that negative trait from popping up in the resulting litter.  

The British Monarchy was line bred
• But, now all these pups are carriers for a negative trait that was only diluted through this breeding.  And typically a competition driven breeder will look to the litters they produced to keep what they determine to be the "best" picks from that litter in the hopes of keeping some of the magic they believe will win those coveted trophies they identify as the measure of their success.  And this is where you see the repetition of negative traits that pop up again and become common to specific lines of dogs.   Since those targeted dogs eventually also get bred to and from down the road, further perpetuating the negative traits endemic to those specific lineages of champion dogs.  It's a quest for a short term goal of achieving a championship versus a quest for a long term goal of a longer lifespan with a strengthened immune system.  What they do with their dogs is really their business, but the way they've been doing it is the enabler for perpetuating the common health problems in our dogs.

• How can this BE?  Well, as an example in humans... breeding to maintain royal bloodlines didn't work for the British Royalty.  They wound up with hemophilia and shortened lifespans and lots of miscarriages.  And there are plenty of recent examples in human history of isolated populations that eventually had accelerated cases of poor health due to limited diversity and unavoidable inbreeding that occurred over just several decades of isolation.  If the Kings and queens of England were supposed to be the purity of humanity at the time.  Then that theory certainly fell flat on its face.  And the really sad part is, that with what we've learned from it... we're now still doing it to our purebred dogs.  Maybe instead of focusing on the outcomes from combining from close line breeding, the process can instead be retooled and focused on being as distantly related as possible.

Tristan Da Cunha, AKA Asthma Island

• As a recent example of isolated population genetics Tristan da Cuhna is an island in the South Atlantic that serves as an excellent example of isolated population genetics at work.  Literally a man made situation where a human population isolated to these islands which served as a wayward stop for many sailing vessels throughout the past century.  Basically, the founding population had asthma.  And further settlers to the island also came with asthma.  Through interbreeding the condition became endemic to this isolated population of people.  Asthma as a native Tristan Da Cuhnian is sort of an identity to this manmade artificially isolated pocket of humans. Again life lessons that mirror what we've done to our pedigree dogs.  Since each breed is literally an isolated pocket of limited genetic diversity.  Each dog breed is a mirror of Tristan da Cunha island.

One of the best, if not the greatest, athlete of our generation
And even if we took the best example of an all around athlete from our generation like.... "Bo Jackson".   You'll find that his career was short lived even though he began as a perfect example of athleticism.  Bo did Basketball, Bo did Football and Bo did Baseball.  Bo did Track and field and anything Bo wanted to do ... until a degenerative condition that was in his family history, blew out his hip.   Effectively ending his athletic career.  Ironically this injury didn't even happen while he was competing in sports, it happened on his leisure time.  He underwent extensive hip replacement and attempted a comeback, but quickly faded away into history.  Which is what happens time and again with purebred dogs.  With diversity planning taken out of the equation everything else fails.  

Perfect specimen visually with bad hips
And of course that's not saying the the great Bo Jackson was a result of line breeding.  Instead, he was a result of fate and human emotions like love, not selective breeding with human intervention or due to being isolated on an island with a small population. And there certainly was no questioning prior to his conception about the health histories between his parents lineages.  That's a big difference.  The British royalty were purposely selected and planned with human intervention.  However, if we know the condition of what we have in front of us and are capable of deciding the outcome of the results using this information, then we don't have to allow fate in the equation.  We can make an educated decision and select based on a combination of all the things we feel are important.   We can have a positive effect on the outcome.  Knowing the ingredients we have to work with.  While still looking to add more ingredients from a uniquely different source.

Diversity planning is clearly much more successful at resolving far more problems than a physical test.  Especially since Diversity planning offers fewer chances of these negative traits that are endemic to specific lines of dogs from doubling up  and presenting in offspring due to Champion dog syndrome, line breeding, and a limited genetic stock due to artificially isolated small breeding populations created by humans.  Avoiding incestuous mating and using informed decisions instead of fate effectively breaks the cycle.

Diversity planning coming right at you
Chatham Hill Dogs is now looking at excellent results from our efforts based on a proof of concept to prove the advantages of diversity planning.

From a foundation of dogs that are not related.  And our mettle on this stance has been acknowledged by the former haters either becoming silent when asked to compare statistics or other breeders who (understandably) wish to remain silent partners asking us for help or sadly by some veterans just refusing to believe our outcomes and calling it just plain luck.

• Getting people to understand your perspective is really never accomplished fanning flames for starting an argument.  That just creates division which ultimately breeds hatred and contempt.

if you want to give your opinion in your own public venues.... thats different.   But an opinion without first presenting the stance of the subject of your opinion... again just breeds contempt.  

• The benefits of social medium such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogs or Personal Websites is that it offers a place to state your agenda, share it with family, friends and people interested while spending far less time away from the wife and kids in another 2+ hour conversation with yet another breeder who feels compelled to keep repeating their ideologies to us.  We already know their agenda, they're the same ones that have been repeated to the public for decades now.   We just don't agree with all of them.  And Social media kind of affords us the opportunity to not have to repeat ourselves while allowing for you the viewer to change the channel if you don't like what you see.

Breeders make decisions on behalf of their breed of choice
• We've stated that medical information is private and disclosure of such information in the hands of haters often winds up skewed and misrepresented to bolster their own beliefs and fan flames of their misguided hate, often before they know anything about us. We do share things with our clients.  And as an example, we've used the choice to not disclose our children's medical information as an analogy as to why we don't post this information publicly.   However, we are not humanizing our  dogs since they are not in a position to make decisions like a grown human adult.  We make decisions for them.  As such we don't feel that the disclosure of information on a website for the benefit of any specific breed club we don't belong to or ever wish to join, or any curious breeder passing judgement before knowing who we are, relevant or in the interest of protecting our privacy.  Nor do we need to go on about it.  Children are planned, nurtured, become self aware then grow up and become adults who make their own educated (or non educated) decisions.  Dogs are purchased.  They are a form of property, for companionship, for security, for therapy, for disability assistance, for search-rescue and for many people a reflection of themselves.  But, what you do with your personal information about the things that are yours and with whom you share it with... is entirely your business.

Our generation has much to fear from sharing information
• Coming from a background of Information Technology (our real careers).  We know how easy it is for anyone with malicious intentions to use much of this information to really make life miserable for the people who choose to openly share it.  Being that we have been the target of much malice from veteran's in this game.  Well... need we say more?

 • BTW... from our experience, when we've approached many (veteran) old school breeders in the past... we really were just another family looking for a pet, with the option to possibly breed in the future.  They made it clear then why they don't do that.  More to the tune of .... to own one of my dogs you have to get involved with Showing,  trials and proving things at a competitive level, not to mention the fact that they would insure maintaining a stake of ownership in the dog just in case it does become a Champion and can make them more money.  Basically telling us that we will have to pay for rights to raise what amounts to their puppy.  And that we would need to prove the dog is worthy of breeding for them by achieving titles for events that really don't apply in modern society except to to prove to like minded breeders that it will cost you to stud with this dog or brood with this bitch.  Again, a title is not a measure in our eyes or in the eyes of the public majority of what the world finds worthy as a dog's prerequisite for breeding.   Especially with the odds of that Champion being line bred for its purpose.

Most breeders require titles before you can breed their dog
• Why point this out?  Simply because the market demand for these dogs is not driven by the competition segment.  Its the consumer market that drives the demand for more puppies of a certain breed.  The quest to own something unique and uncommon yet bid-able to mold its character into a reflection of ourselves.  So its rather self defeating for our pure breeds to cater to the market segment that put these pure bred dogs into the situation they are today.  It would make more sense to meet the demands of the market that actually wants a longer return for their investment in your puppy.   And to actually exercise breeding practices that do promote a strengthened immune system.  Offering you the buyer more time with your dog and less time figuring out how to pay the Veterinary bills.

All the reason for breeding is in the eye of the beholder
To all the other breeders out there.  Veterans or newbies.  Respectfully.  As always, good luck.


Cheers


3 comments:

  1. • BTW... from our experience, when we've approached many (veteran) old school breeders in the past...
    NOT SURE IF YOUR REFERING TO ME BUT I AM NOT AN "OLD SCHOOL BREEDER" FAR FROM IT! I TAKE RISKS AND DIVERSIFY MY BREEDING POOL WITH BLUES AND LONGHAIRS...THIS IS BY FAR NOT OLD SCHOOL IN THE WCA.
    we really were just another family looking for a pet, with the option to possibly breed in the future. YOU HAVE YOUR CRITERIA AND WE HAVE OURS...RESPECT SHOULD COME ON BOTH ENDS..

    They made it clear then why they don't do that. More to the tune of .... to own one of my dogs you have to get involved with Showing, trials and proving things at a competitive level, NEVER SAID YOU HAD TO I MERELY STATED THAT IS MY CRITERA TO GET ONE OF MY PUPPIES...AGAIN YOU HAVE YOUR CRITERIA AND I HAVE MINE....

    not to mention the fact that they would insure maintaining a stake of ownership in the dog just in case it does become a Champion and can make them more money. ABSOLUTELY NOT! AFTER I SELL A PUPPY IT IS THE OWNERS DOG. WE SOMETIMES STAY ON THE PAPERWORK BUT WE NEVER ASK FOR ANY MORE MONEY BACK ON THAT PUPPY! IT IS NEVER ABOUT THE MONEY WITH US!

    Basically telling us that we will have to pay for rights to raise what amounts to their puppy. YOU ALSO HAVE TO APPRECIATE THE AMOUNT OF MONEY IT COST US TO IMPORT THE PARENTS AND THE TIME AND LOVE WE HAVE INTO OUR OWN BREEDING PROGRAMS OVER MANY, MANY YEARS...OVER 20 YEARS OF RAISING AND LOVING OUR DOGS..SOME WE HAVE IMPORTED FROM OTHER COUNTRIES AND YOU KNOW THE EXPENSE OF THAT. WE DON'T SELL OUR PUPS FOR SOME CRAZY INFLATED PRICE WE TRY TO KEEP THE PRICE AS REASONALBE AS WE CAN SO PEOPLE LOOKING FOR A PET CAN ALSO ENJOY ONE OF OUR DOGS.

    And that we would need to prove the dog is worthy of breeding for them by achieving titles for events that really don't apply in modern society except to to prove to like minded breeders that it will cost you to stud with this dog or brood with this bitch. YOU SHOULD PROVE THE DOG FITS THE BREED STANDARD AND CAN DO WHAT IT WAS BRED FOR..HUNTING. NOT TO SAY THAT EVERYONE SHOULD HUNT THEIR DOG BUT WE ARE RAISING A SPORTING BREED. THE MORE WE BREED POOR QUALITY DOGS THE MORE WE DEVIATE AND CHANGE WHAT THE DOG WAS BRED FOR.

    Again, a title is not a measure in our eyes or in the eyes of the public majority of what the world finds worthy as a dog's prerequisite for breeding. SOME "DO" THINK A TITLE IS A SIGN OF A GOOD DOG...AND THAT HEALTH TESTING IS IMPORTANT. I HAVE PEOPLE EVERY DAY THAT CALL ME AND THIS IS ONE OF THE FIRST QUESTIONS THEY ASK. THEY WANT TO KNOW WE ARE PUTTING TIME AND EFFORT AS WELL AS MONEY INTO OUR BREEDING PROGRAM NOT JUST TAKING MONEY FOR THE PUPPIES.

    Especially with the odds of that Champion being line bred for its purpose. I DO "NOT" LINE BREED...LOOK AT MY PEDIGREES AND MY LITTERS...ALWAYS OUTCROSSING..MY COI FOR MY LITTERS IS LOWER THAN YOURS WAS FOR YOUR LAST WEIM LITTER. I DO NOT BELIEVE IN LINE BREEDING AND NEVER INBREEDING. NOT ALL CHAMPIONS ARE LINE BRED THAT IS AN ASSUMPTION ON YOUR PART.
    JUST THOUGHT I'D ANSWER HERE AS IT'S EASIER FOR ME THAN TO FIND YOUR EMAIL SO HOPEFULLY THIS IS OK TO POST HERE FOR YOU TO READ??? THIS IS NOT MEANT FOR YOUR BLOG BUT IF YOU CHOOSE TO POST IT THAT'S OK....JUST THOUGHT I'D POST MY SIDE OF THE STORY :-) WERE NOT ALL THE SAME AS BREEDERS....YOU HAVE YOUR IDEAS AND I HAVE MINE...IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A PUPPY TO PURCHASE FROM ME..WELL, THEN I HAVE A CRITERIA..IF YOU DON'T WANT TO DO IT YOU CHOOSE NOT TO GET A PUPPY FROM ME..SIMPLE AS THAT...NO NEED TO MAKE ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT ME OR MY BREEDING PROGRAM. WE DO NOT INBREED AND IT DOES NOT TAKE A LINEBRED DOG TO WIN! ONE OF MY BEST STUD DOGS IS FROM A BLUE FATHER! CAN'T GET MUCH MORE "REBEL" THAN THAT IN THE EYES OF THE wWCA OR THE WEIM WORLD. NUF SAID...YOU CAN EMAIL ME IF YOU LIKE...TAKES ME AWHILE TO GET BACK THESE DAYS BUT I WILL SOMETIME... :-) DAWNA

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    Replies
    1. I clearly understand all your perspectives on how you handle your dogs, your breeding plans and your criteria for your clientele. I disagree with some of the aspects of what you believe is the purpose of a dog is in our modern society, especially since the reasons to hunt are a far cry from where the majority of the market driving the demand for your dogs is coming from.

      A healthy Dog is the ultimate return anyone researching and preparing for a dog today is looking for. And on this we are both on the same page.

      Where I see a big slant in your reply post above is where you state that for "some" the Title matters on a dog.... Well, again the audience seems to be different. Since the criteria for the clients we deal with is far from worrying about champion bloodlines. Many educated consumers would be hard to convince that a title even matters when it comes to the health of the dog they wish to purchase, in fact they more than likely after hard hitting documentaries like Pedigree Dogs Exposed have shed light on the purebred dog world, many will frown upon any title or champion status. The one's who don't usually have more on their agenda than just a companion or a family pet. Most people in search of a pet or a companion that can do duty as a hunting dog or a dog that can perform as a search and rescue, or a Disabled assistance dog, or a flyable/frisbee dog or a dog more geared towards Urban and suburban society in our modern times.... Don't covet a title. That title driven mentality is mostly coming from the elitist segment backed by the dog fancy.

      Dogs have deviated time and again from their intended purpose because they are man-made and although in the beginning they may have served more purpose to be that hunting dog in order to bring home a meal... its just not the norm in modern times. In fact they've even changed drastically from the phenotype they all began with. And have taken on more leisure activities that have become the measure of a dog in modern society. They have become a status symbol and even just an expression of ourselves. But they have not maintained their largest audience in the relatively small segment of title driven buyers. How do we know this.... simply because there is a LARGE population of Weimaraners in Pet Stores and rescues. Which also shows that not all the breeders are like you and I when it comes to qualifying their clients or even care where their pups wind up. .

      However, I feel there is a lot to learn from your experience in your breed of choice. Very positive thinking and really not anything like the "clicky" dog fancy circles we've had to deal with. So we do share some common ground in our approaches. With a slant towards a different market segment. The bonus of your breed being Weims, is the gene pool is not in the same situation as other breeds that have a smaller breeding population and a much smaller diversity pool to work with.

      Still... a trophy and a ribbon with a title doesn't make any dog. It just means that someone had the time to put achieving that title as one of their goals. There are plenty of perfect specimens in this world and they don't require a title or a trophy to prove it. And in the end there are many breeds of dogs that will likely have their collective asses saved from contributions to their gene pool made by the pets in this world.

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    2. Also ... Dawna... Just an FYI. In the cyber World... typing in all Caps is called SCREAMING.

      And I know you're not like that... just sayin. ;-)

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