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CANINE GENETICS

 

As dog shows struggle to recover from COVID-19, dedicated dog fanciers have new perspectives and genetic insight on the future of pedigreed dogs.

 

 

 

IS THE PUREBRED DOG IN DECLINE?

Science And Advisory Board

 

We receive dozens of posts from successful breeders who bemoan the decline of their breed. They blame a new generation of dog breeders who either lack genetic knowledge or whose prime incentive is commercial gain.

 

 

A renowned Terrier breeder said “If a breeder's main reason for breeding is making money, we have to accept that they feel no responsibility to the breed, its health and welfare or maintaining its Breed Standard.

 

Dog show judges say most purebreds can no longer do the job for which they were developed. One Best In Show judge shook his head and said he’s had Working-Guarding breeds in his ring that would run from a stranger. A terrier judge who was part of the conversation added that she sees dogs in her show rings that would run from a mouse! No one laughed.

 

Another multi-group judge told our reporter “some toy breeds showing this year must have been bred out of boredom.” He said several dogs brought into his ring were “seriously lacking in breed type and fearful even though most toy breeds are known for courage.”  Our columnist asked why he thought breeds are changing. He replied “Not enough breeders consider breed functionality genetics. Imagine a Hound that won’t hunt or a Doberman that doesn’t protect.”  Even more troubling, he told the writer not to use his name... he doesn't need arguments and too many “show people know it all, except for their breed standard...

 

Thankfully there are still breeders who are of the opinion that purebred dogs have a purpose, from protecting hearth and home (here and with our soldiers abroad!) to putting food on the table or equally as important, being a comforting lap dog.

 

Novice dog breeders who think breeding a winner is simply a matter of mating a blue-ribbon bitch to a top-winning stud dog are another reason purebred dog popularity is waning. They don’t care about or don't understand pedigree genetics.

 

Understanding how to READ a pedigree is an art form in itself and this is where the truly great breeders score highest.  A 4-generation pedigree supplies valuable genetic information if the reader cares to research the dogs who appear in it.

 

Every successful breeder will have developed the ability to assess what faults and virtues are behind their own breeding stock. The astute animal breeder will analyze the level of line-breeding and which sires have the greatest genetic influence for specific traits - both desired characteristic and unwanted faults. With this information, the wise breeder can decide which animals can be safely doubled up on and which are risky.

 

The Master breeder will study a pedigree and research the dogs through photographs and first-hand accounts from other Masters of that breed. This attention to detail, IF it were to be stressed and supported by the AKC, would go a long way in preserving the purebred dog and each breed's genetic "inborn" capabilities.

 

 

Science and Advisory Board member Tam Cordingley says “The ability to ‘read a pedigree’ is an art and something that can only be learnt over time. Like mastering any creative craft, being able to understand purebred dog genetics, the faults and dominant virtues represented on that pedigree is an art form in itself.

 

The purebred dog is precious to mankind and our history around the world. Understanding and applying canine genetics it is the keynote to a breeder’s success AND in preserving the purebred dog for families and fanciers of the future.

TheDogPlace.org EST 1998 © https://www.thedogplace.org/Genetics/is-the-purebred-dog-in-decline-st21F071.asp

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