Saturday, January 05, 2008

Dog Breeding-- Again

Patrick once again documents the damage that the AKC, dog shows, and the idea of closed studbooks do to dogs, with many links. He quotes Donald McCaig:

"Throughout the fight [with the Kennel Club], I kept stumbling over a simple truth without quite seeing it: dog fanciers and their creature, the AKC, really do believe that what is most valuable about any dog can be judged in the show ring, that the show ring is the sole legitimate purpose and reward for all dog breeding. They even believe, against all evidence, that the show ring 'improves' breeds."

It. Does. Not. EVER.

My friend MB, with whom I went to Turkey in search of dogs, sent me this excellent essay on the same subject. Read the whole thing but especially the part below "The Healthy Continuation of Breeds" and engrave these words in stone: "Population geneticists insist that limited populations under strong artificial selection, subjected to high levels of incest breeding -- such as our own CKC [Canadian KC] purebreds -- simply cannot maintain genetic viability and vigour in the long term without the periodic introduction of new and unrelated [emphasis mine] genetic material. They are referring, moreover, to true outcrossing, the introduction of stock unrelated to the breeding line, not merely the use of a dog which might be from someone else's kennel but is derived from exactly the same foundation stock some generations back."

Please remember this the next time you want to tell me to inbreed the tazis. I will keep an Asian strain and type and working ability, but will never rule out an outcross to good dogs of similar type and working ability. That salukis have however reluctantly allowed this may be the salvation of the breed-- as far as I know they are the ONLY AKC breed that allows new "country of origin" genes in. This is why MB brings in dogs from Kurdistan, and I go to Asia.

11 comments:

Heather said...

I have a hard copy of Jeff Bragg's article that I printed out in 1997. Rocked my world then -- I'd certainly never been a kennel club Barbie, but neither had I seen such a fundamental critique.

Thirty years from now Bragg's manifesto will form the substrate of every sensible dog breeder's worldview. Most will have no idea where their "orthodoxy" came from.

Dan & Margaret said...

I just confirmed what I thought I knew with a Basenji person at the trial we're at... Basenjis have also had their studbook opened to African dogs by the AKC. FWIW ;)

Steve Bodio said...

Yes Dan-- but only once, as a one- time thing, and few of those were carried on-- whereas, despite the outraged snobbery of show purists, saluki breeders can still bring in "desert- breds".

John Burchard has the details of the basenji thing if you are interested.

Nightmare said...

The AKC does not open stud books. The parent club decides that. IIRC, the Basenji people had a back up plan to register the African dogs with a foreign kennel club recognized by AKC; after three generations, the resulting offspring would have been registerable by AKC even if the parent club had decided not to open the stud book. The Greyhound parent club waffles back and forth occasionally on whether to accept NGA dogs, and the Dalmatian club changed their mind and decided not to register the dogs involved in the Dalmatian/Pointer project. The AKC being a 'club of clubs' is screwing the dogs over big time; even if they wanted to, AKC can not dictate policy to the parent clubs regarding breeding for genetic health. The stupid thing is, if a cross-breeding happened more than three generations ago, AKC doesn't care. Check into the 'controversies' involving merle Cocker Spaniels and Chihuahuas (have they always been there, or were they the results of cross-breedings fraudulently registered as pure?) The Bragg article has some wonderful ideas in it, but unfortunately you'd have to replace a significant number of parent club members with brainwashed pod people to pull most of them off, especially cross-breeding, no matter how carefully controlled, and the rewriting of the sacred standards.

It rather amazes me that anyone, knowing Steve's views on landraces, tazi's, etc. would even suggest inbreeding them. BTW, does SPDBS consider the Tazis to be Salukis, or something else?

Steve Bodio said...

"It rather amazes me that anyone, knowing Steve's views on landraces, tazis, etc. would even suggest inbreeding them."

Nightmare, you'd be surprised :-) Most people, "brainwashed" as you say, operate under that paradigm.

Not blog readers though.

"BTW, does SPDBS consider the Tazis to be Salukis, or something else?"

Three saluki judges have evaluated the three parent dogs and judged them (excellent) salukis but haven't sent in the paperwork yet (those that want to bred to them are more anxious than I). We'll see...

indigoGlyph said...

Just FYI - on BBC Radio 4 right now - a programme on the New Guinea Singing Dog, debating whether it's close to an ancestor of modern, fully-domestic breeds. Not sure if you can get access to the BBC 'Listen Again' archive, but if you can ... http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/pip/govuy/ .

Steve Bodio said...

Can't seem to get it. I wonder if there are transcripts or recordings of such things-- this really interests me!

indigoGlyph said...

I've had a look at (ahem) alternative methods - no luck, yet. You could try this link instead. Not sure if it's for UK-browsers only: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/radio4_aod.shtml?radio4/newguinea_singingdog

indigoGlyph said...

Steve, you have an email at ebodio-at-gilanet.com containing some links to a (non-BBC) site - these are guaranteed to work. Ahem.

Steve Bodio said...

Many thanks- I am too electronically ignorant to work the last. It hasn't come up yet but the webz operate outside of time!

Must get Chalk on Water in blogroll.. it is in my favorites.

ZaltanaAnatolians said...

I realize this is an older thread, but wanted to add that Anatolian Shepherd Dogs have an open studbook and the offspring of an import can be registered with AKC. The import has to be registered with the AKC parentclub, the offspring also have to be registered with the breed club and then can be registered with AKC. The Anatolian is fairly young as an AKC recognized "breed", so initially the studbook was closed after some dogs were registered. this created an outcry in the Anatolian community about the lack of genetic diversity and not being able to register dogs from the country of origin, hence the studbook was re-opened and has remained open since.