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Old 02-15-2009, 12:55 PM   #1
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Default Should we 'dumb down' our dogs?

All this talk of creating new breeds for specific purposes, and the arguments against it got me thinking. One of the arguments against creating breeds or crosses to do certain jobs, like the ideal agility dog, or a working cross like a 'sprocker', was that the dogs that don't end up working would be unsuitable for the average pet home. Well my thought is this: should we only breed dogs that are suitable for the average pet home?

My idea of this 'average' home is where the dog gets walked, but doesn't desperately need a long walk every day, isn't too hyper to play calmly with the kids, doesn't go crazy without a 'job' to do. I consider my brother to be an example of this: he, his wife and two little kids have a cavalier and he's a healthy, happy, well loved little dog and they are good owners. I would never in a million years suggest they get a border collie and a springer spaniel like I have. They have neither the time nor inclination to give high energy dogs like these enough exercise and stimulation to keep them happy and keep them from destructive behaviours.

So, average pet home isn't really any more suitable for a working type border collie or springer spaniel, or many other breeds for that matter, than it would be for a hypothetical cross or breed created to work in the field or be great at agility. By this argument should we only breed those breeds that are suitable for the 'average' home, just in case? It would save all those high energy dogs from ending up in shelters or languishing in unsuitable homes.

I for one certainly don't want a 'one size fits all' dog, much as I think my brother's dog is really sweet, he wouldn't be the dog for me! Perhaps it is a selfish viewpoint to want a dog breed to exist so I can own them, even if that means some will go through shelters and rescues, but the existence of dog breeds is for the needs of humans anyway, rather than for the good of dogs themselves. I love that there are so many breeds of dogs and I don't want to see any of them disappear, but I'm aware that breeds were created to do something for humans so it has been a selfish thing from the start and there's no getting away from that.
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Old 02-15-2009, 01:25 PM   #2
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my view is..........there are plenty of breeds that can do agility very well, but people want dogs that are quicker, can turn more quickly,

could it be the desire to win that lays behind the perfect agility dog?

runs.......................hides?

If im wrong and there is a good reason for mixing....Im sure someone will tell me
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Old 02-15-2009, 01:49 PM   #3
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IMO, breeding down to create pets does not do any breed any good. As a breeder, I strive to produce better than my "breeding stock"(I hate that term, as my dogs aren't just breeding stock, they are more than that). My primary goal is to produce the best health and temperament that I can in each litter. For me, that means my dogs have to be proven breed worthy. A good breeder knows that even though they strive to produce the best they can, chances are very high that not every pup in that litter will meet the breeder's standard. We aren't always lucky to have a litter full of top working prospects(whatever that work may be) or top winning show dogs. However, we know that chances are there will be some pet quality pups in that litter. Or maybe we hoped for herding prospects, but we may just have produced the future flyball king of the world.

Producing pups to meet the general public's need for pet quality does every breed an injustice, IMO. If I wanted a lab as a pet/companion, and didn't have any plans to work that dog in field trials, I would still go to a breeder whose stock is titled in that working area and have consistantly produced dogs who have competed successfully. That is how I can maximize my chances of making sure I get a well bred pup, who meets my standard for a pet.

Why produce pet quality for the public when there are already top litters producing pups that are pet quality or better? As you may have guessed, running a shelter, and doing rescue for many years has jaded me a bit on this subject.
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Old 02-15-2009, 02:22 PM   #4
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my view is..........there are plenty of breeds that can do agility very well, but people want dogs that are quicker, can turn more quickly,

could it be the desire to win that lays behind the perfect agility dog?

runs.......................hides?

If im wrong and there is a good reason for mixing....Im sure someone will tell me
I wasn't actually trying to argue that we should or shouldn't create new breeds (I don't know how I feel about that), just that the argument that pups of a new 'breed' could be too high drive for the average pet home could be extended to many of our current breeds. A lot of breeds are not suitable for an average family home, so should we not breed these either?
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Old 02-15-2009, 02:27 PM   #5
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You dont need to breed any dog for one purpose or to suit just pet homes any more if you want a dog look at your lifestyle your health and what you would like to do with the dog, when your sure about this then look for a dog/breed that could suit all these things I would absolutely love to own a newfoundland and after reading Fedes thread would love the experience of owning a wolf dog but my health and my lifestyle would not allow for these breeds to be happy or stimulated livingwith me. I would in no way want these breeds dumbed down so I could have one as the whole reason they appeal to me would have gone

There really is enough breeds to suit us all you just have to do your homework and be honest with yourself in what you can give to a dog to make them happy and content

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Old 02-15-2009, 02:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Haus Mansfield View Post
IMO, breeding down to create pets does not do any breed any good. As a breeder, I strive to produce better than my "breeding stock"(I hate that term, as my dogs aren't just breeding stock, they are more than that). My primary goal is to produce the best health and temperament that I can in each litter. For me, that means my dogs have to be proven breed worthy. A good breeder knows that even though they strive to produce the best they can, chances are very high that not every pup in that litter will meet the breeder's standard. We aren't always lucky to have a litter full of top working prospects(whatever that work may be) or top winning show dogs. However, we know that chances are there will be some pet quality pups in that litter. Or maybe we hoped for herding prospects, but we may just have produced the future flyball king of the world.

Producing pups to meet the general public's need for pet quality does every breed an injustice, IMO. If I wanted a lab as a pet/companion, and didn't have any plans to work that dog in field trials, I would still go to a breeder whose stock is titled in that working area and have consistantly produced dogs who have competed successfully. That is how I can maximize my chances of making sure I get a well bred pup, who meets my standard for a pet.

Why produce pet quality for the public when there are already top litters producing pups that are pet quality or better? As you may have guessed, running a shelter, and doing rescue for many years has jaded me a bit on this subject.
I agree, a good breeder will put their pups into the right home depending on its drive etc.
There are some breeds though, like border collies, where a pup that isn't quite high drive enough to work but is still too high energy for an average home. Often these pups can end up in unsuitable homes, but I wouldn't want border collies to become 'pet quality' just in case.
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Old 02-15-2009, 02:32 PM   #7
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You dont need to breed any dog for one purpose or to suit just pet homes any more if you want a dog look at your lifestyle your health and what you would like to do with the dog, when your sure about this then look for a dog/breed that could suit all these things I would absolutely love to own a newfoundland and after reading Fedes thread would love the experience of owning a wolf dog but my health and my lifestyle would not allow for these breeds to be happy or stimulated livingwith me. I would in no way want these breeds dumbed down so I could have one as the whole reason they appeal to me would have gone

There really is enough breeds to suit us all you just have to do your homework and be honest with yourself in what you can give to a dog to make them happy and content
I totally agree with this, but if only everyone did their homework before getting a dog!

Can you see where the argument that 'new breeds/crosses might end up in unsuitable homes so we shouldn't breed them' becomes problematic though? Because it applies to many existing breeds also.
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Old 02-15-2009, 02:42 PM   #8
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I totally agree with this, but if only everyone did their homework before getting a dog!

Can you see where the argument that 'new breeds/crosses might end up in unsuitable homes so we shouldn't breed them' becomes problematic though? Because it applies to many existing breeds also.
But as its already at times a problem if we create more breeds or types of dogs then the problem just increases so i still say leave well alone and lets stick to looking after the dogs that are with us at present

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Old 02-15-2009, 02:45 PM   #9
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But as its already at times a problem if we create more breeds or types of dogs then the problem just increases so i still say leave well alone and lets stick to looking after the dogs that are with us at present
Does more breeds mean more dogs though? Or would demand for one decrease demand for another, so we'd have the same number of dogs overall?
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Old 02-15-2009, 02:54 PM   #10
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Does more breeds mean more dogs though? Or would demand for one decrease demand for another, so we'd have the same number of dogs overall?
Hmmmmmm yes I think possibly there would be a decrease in some breeds which would possibly be a bad thing, so maybe not more dogs but same areas of concern people would still need to choose wisely before they got a dog so still see no need to bring in different breeds .

I see it already in the standard schnauzer the original schnauzer with the Giant and the mini being much more popular now and less and less standards are being seen and not many puppies are registered with the KC in any one year, it is easier to find puppy minis and puppy giants a home than it is the standard, dont get me wrong I love all 3 sizes obviously my passion is the standard but one day would love to own a mini and possibly a giant as the charachter of both is fantastic this is if our circumstances allowed it but it does bother me that the original standard schnauzer is no longer as popular as it was and it has never been popular popular such as the labs or collies so would hate to one day see this part of the schnauzer breeds disappear

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