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Old 02-13-2009, 02:51 PM   #1
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Default Creating a new breed for agility [split]

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Originally Posted by boxerpups View Post
Sniffer dogs used for either drugs/ cancer , you will not get better than is already used ..most sniffer dogs are spaniels..(here in the UK anyway) they are used because of their exuberance and abiltity to work.

You cant improve on what we already have.....


We have enough breeds to fit every requirement if needed..


So I will have to disagree with the thought on utilizing new breeds, as the breeds we have , have enough capabilities to supply all demands.
I disagree with this idea. I think it's a limiting statement. For instance, look at the sport of agility. It's a new sport. There are breeds that do well at it, but I have no doubt that there could be a breed created to excel even more. Our current breeds have issues with structure and agility. And some of the breeds that are very good at it also have problems with too much drive and thus injuring themselves doing it.

I could easily see a new breed developed for the sport. The focus would be on having a great, fast dog that has the structure to stand up to agility's specific demands. And also a dog that has sense enough not to ignore it's body as it hurdles willy-nilly around the agility ring. You want a dog that's biddable, able to make proper decisions to take care of itself and has proper structure for agility. I don't know a breed with these combinations.

I think by saying we have enough breeds to cover all circumstances is putting blinders on and not opening your eyes to the potential dogs can give us. Agility is just one example. There are bound to be 100 more great examples, and the idea that we shouldn't consider creating new breeds to help dogs help us live better, happier lives is going to keep some great advances for dogs and people in the future from happening
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Old 02-13-2009, 03:03 PM   #2
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I disagree with this idea. I think it's a limiting statement. For instance, look at the sport of agility. It's a new sport. There are breeds that do well at it, but I have no doubt that there could be a breed created to excel even more. Our current breeds have issues with structure and agility. And some of the breeds that are very good at it also have problems with too much drive and thus injuring themselves doing it.

I could easily see a new breed developed for the sport. The focus would be on having a great, fast dog that has the structure to stand up to agility's specific demands. And also a dog that has sense enough not to ignore it's body as it hurdles willy-nilly around the agility ring. You want a dog that's biddable, able to make proper decisions to take care of itself and has proper structure for agility. I don't know a breed with these combinations.

I think by saying we have enough breeds to cover all circumstances is putting blinders on and not opening your eyes to the potential dogs can give us. Agility is just one example. There are bound to be 100 more great examples, and the idea that we shouldn't consider creating new breeds to help dogs help us live better, happier lives is going to keep some great advances for dogs and people in the future from happening
Not even the Border Collie... I dont know if many of the top agility people would agree with this... as this is the breed that is used almost exclusively in the UK for this sport.
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Old 02-13-2009, 03:07 PM   #3
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Agilityk9trainer, surely Agility is a recreational sport and nothing whatsoever to do with a dog that is trained or has natural ability to do a specific job which will ultimately benefit the health/quality of life of humans. Are you saying that we should be trying to breed some sort of canine olympic super dog Just so someone can stroke their ego and go home with an agility trophy, agility might be an important and entertaining hobby for a few people, but in the big picture it holds no monumental importance whatsoever!!!!!!! And again in the quest to breed the olympic super dog, what happens to the 'fallout' dogs that do not make the grade? another potential tenant of our many rescue centres, or possibly fertilizing someones garden!!!

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Old 02-13-2009, 04:21 PM   #4
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Not even the Border Collie... I dont know if many of the top agility people would agree with this... as this is the breed that is used almost exclusively in the UK for this sport.
Of course I took the BC into consideration when I made my first post. They are the most popular agility dog in the larger jump heights after all.


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Agilityk9trainer, surely Agility is a recreational sport and nothing whatsoever to do with a dog that is trained or has natural ability to do a specific job which will ultimately benefit the health/quality of life of humans. Are you saying that we should be trying to breed some sort of canine olympic super dog Just so someone can stroke their ego and go home with an agility trophy, agility might be an important and entertaining hobby for a few people, but in the big picture it holds no monumental importance whatsoever!!!!!!! And again in the quest to breed the olympic super dog, what happens to the 'fallout' dogs that do not make the grade? another potential tenant of our many rescue centres, or possibly fertilizing someones garden!!!
You are completely wrong about agility dogs not benefitting the health/well being of people. This is a comment made by someone who doesn't compete in the sport. Agility is an athletic event for BOTH the dog AND handler. Therefore, the sport is a great benefit for people as far as exercise AND mental health is concerned. There have been many documented cases where people's lives have been saved because of the exercise they received doing agility. And as anyone who has ever competed in canine sports knows, the friendships, bond with the dog and the adventure of the sport gives lasting emotional benefits that truly cannot be found through other means. So, yes, agility dogs DO in 1000 ways offer health and emotional benefits to humanity. Go train your dog in agility and compete, and you'll see exactly what I mean.

Now, let's look at how many of our current breeds were created. Hmmm. Through sporting events, of course!! Look at the "Sporting Group" in the AKC. Even the name tells you how and why many of these breeds were created. To make better "sporting" dogs. So, according to your model, we shouldn't have bred these dogs, and perhaps, since they apparently have no real use for humanity, we should let these breeds go into extinction. After all, they were bred for something as useless as sport.

Other breeds also, then, need to go into extinction. Bully breeds were bred for sport. Poodles were bred for sport. And many of the hounds were bred for sport. So, they shouldn't exist either.

And what about dogs bred for things we no longer need. Like Dalmations who were bred to run alongside a carriage. They're useless now. Should we let the breed go extinct? How about Ridgebacks who were bred to hunt lions. No one should be hunting lions anymore, and besides, it was a sport to do so when the dogs were bred. We should let them go extinct.

I think if you understood agility and the agility competitor, you wouldn't have made the statements you did. I don't know one single agility dog that isn't first and foremost a house pet, and I know thousands of agility dogs. But if I wanted to get a dog that would be both my pet and my agility partner, I might be interested in a dog that actually HOLDS UP STRUCTURALLY to the sport. And, if you had read my first post correctly, you would have seen that that was the entire point. In the sport, we have dogs break down a lot because of genetic structural issues. But breeding a dog for agility that can hold up to the rigors of the sport AND have the drive to do the sport well, without too much drive so that they over run and injure themselves (which we see in many BCs, BTW...shelties, too) then we would have a dog that would have a longer, happier career and life. Now, is that a bad thing? Did I say a thing about an "olympic dog that earns trophies?" Nope. Not a mumblin' word. A well bred agility dog would be about structure and the right amount of drive and other characteristics, too.

BTW, you mentioned "olympic" in your post. Agility is not an "olympic" sport and is indeed mostly just a local sport.

And as for "fallout" dogs, again, you don't understand the agility competitior obviously. These dogs are housedogs first and foremost.

I encourage you to re-read my orginal post on the topic.
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Old 02-13-2009, 04:56 PM   #5
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I have read your previous posts, this thread is very similar to others that I have already commented on, you also miss my point which is in the never ending quest to breed the perfect agility dog there will only ever be a limited amount of suitable homes available, this applies to all specialist dog types/breeds, I am not specifically picking on agility dogs or enthusiasts, but more using them as an example, I own Pharaohs and know only too well how hard it is to find suitable homes for them, that is why I will never have another litter, The fact that these dogs are first and foremost pets is also irrelevant, there is the potential for these/any dogs to be rehomed/end up in rescue centres for the above reasons, they have been bred for agility, and as such will require considerable more exercise than your average dog, This then narrows down again the number of suitable homes available to them. You also point out the health benefits of owning an agility dog, owning any kind of dog at all will benefit all both physically and mentally, that is not the point I am making, and of course I would not wish any of our older established breeds to die out, IMO the only justification for breeding any dog for any purpose is when you have a waiting list of guaranteed suitable homes for every puppy born, otherwise you are just contributing to the general global problem of too many dogs for too few people. As the above mentions this thread was started by asking a question - should we deliberatly cross different breeds to do specific jobs, then no I think we have more than enough dogs to fit all requirements and producing more cross breeds for whatever reason is extremely irresponsible.!!

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Old 02-13-2009, 05:15 PM   #6
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First, Skunk, I think this area of discussion points directly to Barbiepoodle's OP. Should we cross breeds to make dogs perform specific functions. The agility topic is an exact example of such a topic.

Sharidan,

I would agree that you can never make the "perfect" dog. I would also agree that cross breeding for a specific use (ie. agility) in the wrong breeder's hands would cause more dogs to wind up in shelters. But in the RIGHT breeder's hands, this wouldn't happen.

Both breeders I have used for my shelties make me sign a contract that says if I ever have to give up my shelties or I die, the dogs go back to the breeder to be rehomed. These breeders have waiting lists (one is a 2 year list). This is how responsible breeders do it. They require the dogs return to them to be rehomed.

The breeder I got Asher from breeds very, very high drive dogs. In fact, I just got in from the back yard where Asher and I were training agility. You can't wear this dog out! My breeder knows this and screens homes very carefully. She makes sure the highest drive pups go to working homes, and finds wonderful pet homes for the ones that don't have the high drive. And everyone - no matter if the dog will work or will be just a pet - signs that contract saying the dog will be returned to her. I love that contract as it also gives me peace of mind that even if Asher is 14 years old when I die, he can go to the breeder to find a lovely home for his last year(s).

None of her dog clog the shelter system, although with their drive and need for exercise/work, they could.

The point is that if someone were to undertake the creation of a new "agility" dog by cross breeding, they would have to be an excellent breeder to get it done in the first place. Such a breeder then would also have the responsibilty to their line and their pups to make sure to have in their contract that the dog would be returned to them if it had to be rehomed.

So, it can be done without clogging shelter and with finding suitable homes for the high drive dogs. Would I want to undertake such a huge responsiblity? Never. The right person would have to have an understanding of genetics, structure, breeding and things I only have a glimpse of an understanding about.

But, yes, it could be done, and I suspect will be done. Already we are seeing changes in specific breeds with the idea of getting better agility dogs. The BC comes to mind. I know breeders who are intentionally breeding smaller BCs to compete in the 16" jump height against the shelties where the BC might have a better chance of winning. And people are seeking out the smaller shelties for the 12" jump height.

Is that right? No as it's intentionally breeding against standard in a specific breed. But breeding for a whole other breed if done right, IMO, isn't wrong. It's how we have our wide variety of beautiful breeds already. Adding more breeds would not be a bad thing as we have different needs in our modern times.
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Old 02-13-2009, 05:30 PM   #7
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So, it can be done without clogging shelter and with finding suitable homes for the high drive dogs. Would I want to undertake such a huge responsiblity? Never. The right person would have to have an understanding of genetics, structure, breeding and things I only have a glimpse of an understanding about.
There is much simpler way to flood the system with agility /obedience dogs... open the gate posts and allow X breeds in..

This way you are not going to risk populating the market with high energy dogs with high drive..that the average owner may find hard to handle... hence flooding the already over populated shelters.

The consequences of breeding such traits into a new breed , is not going ot do the canine world any favours...

Out of any given litter one two or three will go to homes for purpose of either showing/agility/obedience... the rest go to pet homes, and the average pet home will not be active enough to cope with such high levels of energy, and sadly many will end up in the wrong hands or rescues.

For me this is the height of irresponsibility..breeding for type to cater for a minority market.. with no regards for those who do not make it.

Because the simple fact is, once a breeder sell pups, they become the property of the owner, and all the contract in the world stating "dog must be returned to breeder" are worthless "if" said owner decides not to follow the rules.
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:10 PM   #8
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I'm not offended. It's discussed in agility circles and is controversial there, too.

However, I think you guys don't understand something. The current breeds we have do have some serious structural issues when it comes to agility. Shelties have straight shoulders and this causes injuries. BCs have problems with jumping issues, causing injuries. If a breed could be established that had the proper structure to do agility with less injury, then we are BETTERING the dog world. We will then not be asking current breeds not specificially bred for the sport to be doing the sport. We would have dogs who have longer, healthier careers and lives. This, IMO, would be the entire reason for looking at a new agility breed.

As far as using mixes, this is much worse. I don't want this to get into another hybrid vigor debate as we've had enough of those, but the mixes I know often have much worse injury rates because of poor structure for the sport. The people who "breed" mixes aren't paying squat attention to structure. And structure in the agility dog - or any working dog - is all important. It will determine whether that dog will break down and possibly suffer in pain the rest of it's life or have a healthy, happy working career. So going to the pound to find a mix that will do agility is a bit of a crap shoot as far as structure goes.

There's much to be said about understanding genetics and how it affects both structure and personality.

Also Boxerpup, a good breeder won't place a high drive dog in a pet home that isn't prepared for such a dog. I would assume anyone with enough knowledge of how to create a new breed would be a supurb breeder to begin with and would have the knowledge to place a high drive pup in the proper home, as I have already stated.
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:13 PM   #9
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Oh, and BTW, those contracts where the dog must go back to the breeder ARE inforcable. Look at the recent Ellen situation where she got a dog from a rescue. The rescue had the same contract that if she gave up the dog, it had to go back to the rescue. She did give up the dog, the rescue found out and retrieved the dog, creating much media frenzy.

So these contracts are enforcable.
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:15 PM   #10
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But then would that then be being discrimanatory to the owners and dogs already enjoying and doing well at agility if they no longer needed to perform and would you then to have any good chance at competition need to have a specially bred dog for agility and does this not then take the fun element out of the sport, I know its a serious sport I have freinds who do this but its also meant to be fun for all concerned

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