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Old 02-15-2009, 01:07 AM   #1
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Default What If There Were No Registries?

The recent threads on creating new breeds now have me wondering what the future of dogs might have been if National registries for pure bred dogs hadn't come into play.

Long before there were National registries and Kennel Clubs, many special interest breeds had been carefully developed. Each breeder kept their own records and a "mans word was as good as his bond". Breeders got together, competitions were held and champions were crowned. Then those breeders decided they needed a central registry and the Kennel Clubs were born.

If the Registries and Kennel Clubs organized by the old time breeders hadn't taken over and changed the way things are done; would the purebred dogs of today be any better off or would many of them even have survived?

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Old 02-15-2009, 03:12 AM   #2
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Good question. Probably not. As there probably wouldn't be consistancy in breeds. As a child growing up most of the dogs I ever saw were X breeds & the only ones I ever had until April. My very 1st dog, parents, though was a X Scottish Terrier. My uncle knew the owner of the mother & she was a pure bred.

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Old 02-15-2009, 09:26 AM   #3
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There are those who are convinced that reconigtion of a breed by a registry such as the AKC is the worst thing that can happen to "their breed and in fact have fought tooth and nail over it.

Not all breeds seek AKC recognition. In the case of Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and Jack (now Parson) Russell Terriers, original non-AKC breed clubs have sometimes opposed AKC recognition so vehemently that only a small proportion of the breed are initially AKC registered. For example, when the AKC recognized Border Collies, most Border Collie people refused to register their dogs with AKC, choosing instead to continue registering them with the non-AKC American Border Collie Association (ABCA). Only about 6% of Border Collies are registered with the AKC, placing the AKC Border Collie at risk because of its extremely small gene pool. AKC will sometimes re-open the stud book to give breeders a second chance in such cases, but even then it is rarely utilized fully. Breeders opposed to AKC recognition may then look at the AKC population and accuse the AKC of ruining the breed, but in fact they themselves are partly to blame for promoting the splintering of the breed.

What unforunately happens is that when a working dog becomes a show dog, the emphasis on conformation (with no regard for performance) often results in a split between working / herding / field lines and show lines. It happened to the Lab years ago and there is no shortage of breed clubs who wanted to prevent it from befalling their breed.

For example:
Because the Border Collie is a performance dog and not a show dog, Border Collie owners over the years have not wanted the breed to be recognized by the AKC and bred for show. As with other breeds not recognized by the AKC, the Border Collie could be entered in AKC-sanctioned obedience and tracking trials through the granting of Indefinite Listing Privileges (ILP) by the AKC. For more than forty years, the Border Collie was a member of the so-called Miscellaneous Class of dogs who were eligible for this type of showing, and many, many Border Collies received ILP numbers and achieved distinction in obedience and tracking. During those years, several AKC presidents and directors publicly stated that the Border Collie was not appropriate for the show ring because of its focus on performance and its lack of physical standardization.

The JRTCA and its registry were founded in 1976 for the purpose of protecting and preserving the unique characteristics and working heritage of this great little terrier, and remains dedicated to that purpose today. The Club is, and always have been, emphatically opposed to recognition of the Jack Russell Terrier by any kennel club or all-breed registry. Recognition, it is believed, will be detrimental to the preservation of the Jack Russell as the sound, intelligent strain of working terrier it has been for more than 100 years.

Not all breed fanciers wanted AKC recognition, however, so when it was proposed in 1985, the ASCA declined to pursue AKC affiliation. Many club members feared that the emphasis on conformation competition that often accompanies AKC recognition would divide the breed into show and herding types, rather than the all-purpose Aussie they valued. In addition, the increased popularity that is sometimes created by the words "AKC registered" was worrisome, as the Aussie was not a breed for everyone.

In 1992, the CKCSC, USA was invited by the AKC to become its parent club for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, but the membership voted nine to one against accepting the AKC's invitation to affiliate. A small group of CKCSC, USA members formed the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club (ACKCSC), and they applied to the AKC for parent-club status. This was granted, and in March 1995, the breed was officially recognized by the AKC. The CKCSC, USA continues to operate as an independent breed registry with its own specialty- show system, while the ACKCSC became the parent club for the breed within the AKC.
The long-term effect of AKC recognition of the breed in the United States is yet to be determined, but one thing is certain'The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will continue to be protected by those in both old club and new, who are truly dedicated to its preservation.

So is having a breed recognized by a national registry necessary for the prservation? There are those who would say the exact opposite.
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:01 AM   #4
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Very interesting topic!

Registeries are an interesting entity, when you consider that their primary objective is just to keep lists of pure bred breedings. IF that was all they did, and the breed clubs took more of an pro-active approach to maintaining its breed to the standard, maybe we wouldn't see so many divisions in the working, hound and herding groups. By division I mean, even though there is truly ONLY one standard per each breed, each division has "their own" standard. Example, field lab and show lab.

In regard to breeds that have a utiltarian purpose, the herding, working, and hound goups, if the breed clubs for those groups made it so that the dogs had to have a title that pertains to their original purpose of design, before they could be compaigned in a show ring or bred, we would see differences. (sorry for that run on sentence)

IMO when breeders produce for a single effect, color, angulation, shorter faces, anything "cosmetic" without regard for the original purpose of the dog, we lose what made that dog "special". Then you have those who breed at the other extreme for original purpose, at the cost of correct structure(per the breed standard, not what the judges are liking that year). There is a term often used in regard to the GSD, "Golden Middle". This is not a term I particularly appreciate...but it does help the novice understand that each dog needs a balance. Achieving that balance is very difficult, especially if you have a breed that requires structure and working ability. It is said, if the dog can do the work, do it well, then the correct structure is there. Form follows function.

Unfortunately, where the AKC is not part of FCI, there is no one to regulate the AKC. That is why it is so important for breed clubs to regulate their own breed. Which I do not see happening in a lot of breeds.

Once a breed is recognized by any kennel club, it is almost a kiss of death to that breed. As we know with the AKC, any two dogs with proof of pure breeding can be bred without testing of health, hips, eyes, heart, epi, elbows and most importantly temperament etc.

I like the idea of how things were when people had large kennels of working, hunting dogs that were bred for a purpose, bred for work, and then they got together and worked them first, then did the structural evaluation. However, when money comes into play, which it often does, which ever end of the extreme produces or makes the most money is where the emphasis shifts. Example, more people showing up to watch a Lab show vs showing up to watch a field trial.
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Old 02-15-2009, 02:37 PM   #5
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The registries could (and should, IMHO) be instrumental in maintaining healthy, tested breeding stock. I know this is not being done across the board yet, but such a function would be a good progressive movement! A source where one can learn how the line is doing... what health issues are there? This could assist in cleaning up the problems, breeding out the health issues, and giving the dogs offspring overall better odds at not contracting inherited health issues.

The standards for show breeds should always be form follows function. If the breed is a working type then of course the show dogs should have a form that does not hinder their working function. Realistically we know that has not always been the case in all breeds. The American German Shepherd Dog is just one example of this with the typically seen hindquarters that would make their function difficult to perform.

I can see how the registries can ruin a breed if they soley look at appearance for the show ring and forget about the field/work lines. That is a disservice. I'm not sure things would have been better without the registries. I can see how they could and should have been used. At the heart of this we all know how difficult breeding is, there's much more to it than simply taking one dog and pairing it with another. The registry and its standards can be a tool that helps or hinders depending upon how it is employed.
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Old 02-15-2009, 04:40 PM   #6
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I absolutely think most of the breeds we have today would have died out long ago (or have been changed so drastically as to be unrecognizable) without the registries. Just look at the pictures of the "Champions" before the days of registries. I love doing this. With my breed, the shelties, one Champion sheltie doesn't look much like the next Champion sheltie. That's because one farmer is breeding his dogs differently than the next farmer. There's no real "breed." It's just kinda what someone feels like doing.

That being said, there is a real discrepancy in "working" vs. "conformation" types, especially in the herding/sporting groups. We see it in BCs, labs, aussies...just to name a few. I agree with Haus that the registries should require working/sporting dogs to have a working title before they can get a conformation Championship. It would take care of a lot of these issues.

The fancy is more than aware of these issues, and what we're finding is a split among these breeds. There are the conformation versions and the working versions. Fortunately, I see the working versions winning out, as there are very few conformation BCs out there. There are thousands of REGISTERED working BCs that I see all the time.

This issue is in my own breed. My understanding is that the Sheltie Parent Club has a group of conformation folk who want to see the sheltie become a companion a house pet. However agility has arrived at just the right time for this breed, and the working sheltie is becoming more and more popular again. We're seeing more herding shelties and more obedience/agility shelties. In the end, I think the working sheltie will out. I'm seeing more and more shelties in the conformation ring with working titles behind their names.
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Old 02-15-2009, 04:41 PM   #7
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Im disaponted at registries in average. Even in Sweden we have the difference between work lab and show lab. The show version a bit mre barrel looking. And that it shouldn't be. and i hav t say if I had to choose between a flaw in the looks and a super temperament with all the drive I want and need in my favorite breed the rottweiler, I would take the flawed dog in an instant. The breeds should be homogenetic period, inside and out...

So the registries has its pros and cons..

after reading agilities post, in Sweden the flatcoat has to have an approved field trial/hunting test to get the championship. But, that's the only breed that does, and that is via the flatcoat club. and that is a good thing cause it does keep certain traits in the breed. It has saved them from going the lab way..
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Old 02-15-2009, 05:24 PM   #8
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In the majority of breeds IMO far too much emphasis has been put on breeding for show rather than performance as was the original intention. Even the toy breeds that have no other purpose than just being pets have been harmed. Look at the poor pekes with their wobbling gait, protruding eyes and so much hair their conformation can't even be seen. The ones we see in the show ring aren't dogs--they're dustmops! Who would want a house pet that looked like that and required that much upkeep?

But would this have happened to these breeds even without the Registries?

Man has always been competetive. In the beginning, most dogs were developed for their working ability coupled with the belief that form follows function.
However the old timers were more dedicated to function than they were to form.

It seems that after the National Registries were formed the combination competitions requiring both form and function split into two seperate factions.

When we got into the GSP's, the breed club members and breeders were divided by field vs show mentalities. We quickly learned that the majority of the pointing breeds faced the same dilemma.

This mentality persisted even though the majority of the show people also actively hunted their dogs! There simply wasn't enough time or money for most individuals to train their dogs and campaign them in both shows and field trials.

In our local breed club there were only two of us that were competing in both venues. Around the evening campfires at Field trials this was an extremely hot topic of conversation. Those of us with show champions usually found ourselves on the defense in these discussions. The majority of die hard field trialers were convinced that show champion shorthairs were nothing more than just a pretty face and the few show dogs that were competing in trials were an exception not the rule. They also argued feebly that our dogs were a fluke in our attempts to blend field and show lines.

In the late 70's or early 80's we began to hear rumors that the AKC was planning on implementing AKC Hunting Tests for Pointing Breeds. All the action on the project at the time was happening in the Eastern part of the country. It could have taken years to bring it to the Southwest.

Hard headed as I am and wanting to make my point loud and clear; at the next field trial I asked the AKC rep to set up a meeting with our club officers, himself, the president of the German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America and the AKC coordinator of the hunt tests.

The meeting was extremely productive and we quickly had permission to hold the first AKC Hunting Dog Test For Pointing Breeds in the Southwest! Now all I had to do was convince the sceptical field trail and show elements to pitch in to put it on.

As true breed enthusiasts are likely to do when the welfare of the breed is at stake; even though they thought it was an exercise in futility they willingly pitched in. We quickly realized we didn't even have anyone to judge the event as it was an entire new concept! One that was geared toward closer working hunting dogs working for a foot handler as opposed to further ranging field trial dogs being handled off horseback!

After a few more lively meetings we decided our judges would be a mixture of hunters and field trialers. The attitude of the chosen field trial judges was a tad negative to say the least. But to give them credit, they were determined to give the dogs a fair shot even though they remained convinced that show dogs can't hunt.

There were many pointing breeds represented at that first 2 day test. Due to lack of training time before the first test was held, the majority of entrants were Junior Hunters and many of them were barely 6 months old. The FT judges were impressed at the surprising (to them) display of natural ability.

By the time our second test rolled around 6 months later we had large entries in all three levels from 7 states and had made believers out of the dyed in the wool field trialers.

The hunt tests are flourishing all over the country and today some of the pointing breeds are in better shape than they have been in decades, with greater numbers of new Dual Champions added to the breed every year.

Field and show lines are being blended more and more and producing some outstanding examples of the breed.

Yet in a few circles the debate will never end!

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Old 02-15-2009, 05:43 PM   #9
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I do not follow AKC but have to have my dogs done through them for $50.00 each then DNA same price done. I go by the SV rules and my dogs are registered through them that counts more to me than any other.

It becomes a pure money gimmick we must follow and rules mean very little, but other good registeries such as the SV are very strict and if not followed, dogs are done at only 2 yrs old. That is the only thing I have against it is to force title Sch1 on all dogs before breeding, hips of course done at one year.

Females only need the one Sch1 title, as they prove theirselves in production, the males are to be taken all the way on titles. Gino was going to get all of his AD, BH, SG, Sch3, but I would not return him as it is purely stupid to me to do this to a dog, and I have bought a couple older ones that chemically were shot being pushed.

One killed my Boston, she did not know a male from a female, only a nervous wreck.

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Old 02-15-2009, 06:10 PM   #10
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As far as I am concerned the KC in Britain is just a money making machine who has lost sight of what they were originally formed to do, yes I reg all of my puppies and dogs with them but only because I have no choice in the matter, there have been other bodies formed in the past who have tried to compete with the KC but unfortunately they never had a chance, the KC is just too big, and is it any wonder, the prices we are forced to pay for registrations and transfers, and not to mention the ridiculously high entry fees we have to pay to enter Champ shows, having said that they have served a purpose by keeping a record and data base of all reg dogs and their pedigrees, which possibly without this most of this information might have been lost. I think that the negative publicity generated by the BBCs programme might have shaken them slightly out of their apathy but on another negative note when I have written to them in the past, they have not even had the courtesy to acknowledge my letter, they are clearly disinterested and realise that they are now indeed clearly beyond reproach. So although I dont agree with the KC, I still think that there would have to be some sort of central data base for ped dogs, otherwise I think there would be great potential for unscupulous people to exploit innocent future dog owners!

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