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Old 05-30-2007, 12:54 AM   #1
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Question Would you agree on ancient breeds

I've read things similar of sighthounds - saluki, greyhound, and other ancient breeds. "they've been around so they are a hardy breed" like below. Because they've not been messed with - cross breed & they 're more in their orininal/natural state would you agree that this statement is true or not.


one of the few ancient breeds that have undergone very little manipulation by man. Instead, the breed has been rigorously selected by nature for its ability to work for hours in the heat without food and water. Thus, the dog we have today is an extremely hardy breed, free from inherited health problems: http://www.cirneco.com/history.html
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Old 05-30-2007, 06:01 AM   #2
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I don't know if I totally agree with that assessment of ancient breeds. The Rottie for example is an ancient breed but it has many health issue with elbows and hips. Other breeds you have mentioned are selectivetly bred and just like any corss they can have just as many health problems as any other dog.

With careful breeding you can try to elminate some of the genetic health issues that can crop up when selective breeding and line breeding, however some conditions will crop up from time to time and that is where the careful breeder needs to remove a dog from a breeding program.

So I am on the fence with this one.

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Old 05-30-2007, 07:42 AM   #3
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I guess I had a different idea as to the definition of "ancient breeds". I was going by this site:
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/dog/map.html
According to this, the ancient breeds are:
Afghan Hound, Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Basenji, Chow Chow, Lhasa Apso, Pekinese, Saluki, Samoyed, Shar Pei, Shiba Inu, Shih Tzu, Siberian Husky, Tibetan Terrier.
But I think I know what you are getting at. Nature selects for survival and so favors health. So far I think I can accept the argument, makes sense to me.
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Old 05-30-2007, 08:26 AM   #4
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I can agree that certain breeds are healthier than others based on continued breeding of sound genetics and, therefore, less inclination for certain types of disease; however, genetics alone do not determine the health of any breed. Environment and animal husbandry practices undoubtedly are key factors that must be considered.

As a generalized statement, I can agree that a breed may have less tendency for disease and exhibit longer average life span. However, I can't agree that they can be considered "free from inherited health problems".
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Old 05-30-2007, 10:32 AM   #5
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Selective breeding of canines by humans is not natural selection, and it is, absolutely, manipulation. In a world of constant change and adaptation, a "purebred" dog is about as unnatural as it gets. Controlling when a dog mates, with whom and for what traits, to keep a breed from changing, IS messing with the breed. Creating new breeds is messing. Breeding to exaggerate breed characteristics and behaviors for conformation to a human standard is messing. Breeding to make them work better with humans in a given task, or to make them neurotically focused on that task, is messing. People like to talk about Greyhounds being an ancient breed. They do have an ancient origin, but that is true of all dogs. So called "ancient breeds" may have characteristics that are documented in antiquity, but to say they are in their "original" or "natural" state is a human conceit that ignores thousands of years of human interference in the selection and breeding of these dogs (unless, of course, one is talking about a wild population that has never been touched by humans). Every time two Sicilian farmers decided to breed a particular pair of Cirneco's, they bypassed natural selection and messed with the breed.

Prior to the 18th century, when a British Lord crossed Greyhounds with Bulldogs to improve their stamina and strength, Greyhounds were not the hounds they are, today. Orford changed their coats and their skin, not to mention the emphasis of their musculature, giving rise to what has become the modern racing Greyhound. Today's racing Greyhounds are bigger, heavier, and faster than they were 100 years ago, but their leg bones have adapted for a flat track, not uneven terrain. Today's show Greyhounds have deeper rib cages, longer necks, and are different from their racing cousins and are bigger and heavier than their predecessors of 100 years ago, because human breeders are selecting those traits. Healthy is a relative term, because it depends on what humans want the dogs to be and do. Greyhounds are healthy for their racing careers, but don't forget osteosarcoma, pannus, pemphigus and SLO, and lumbosacral stenosis, while we pat ourselves on the back for a breed that doesn't have hip displasia in its working years.

I'm sorry. I disagree. But I love my hounds and see in them the ancient history from which they descend.
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Old 05-30-2007, 12:18 PM   #6
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Sorry guys I didn't state my question clearly. (hit self in head)

Vagreys, I didn't know they messed with greys. Interesting info.
I guess what I'm looking for is the less these dogs are cross- bred the healthier they should be. And taking into account breeding only healthiest.
So that the oldest domesticated breed, that is still in it's most original form should be the healthiest and by health meaning free of genetic problems.

I don't consider some of the diseases/genetic problems coming from breeding. Example - Humans get some cancers & I think it's an enviromental issue. Pollutants, chemicals in our soil & foods etc. I think that the animals are prown to the same - especially when they are finding animals in the wild with human diseases.

Did I clear things up or confuse the issue more???
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Old 05-30-2007, 12:57 PM   #7
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Good article--a lot to digest at one sitting.

Not too sure if this has any connection to this particular discussion or not, but here goes.

Though I haven't seen any research on the subject, it's my theory that a portion of the health problems in purebred dogs, (and maybe even some mixed breed "oops" litters) is the mentality that everything heroically possible must be done to save unhealthy, weak, sick or dying puppies. In the wild, natural selection occurs and only the strong survive to pass on robust, healthy genes.

Perhaps there's too much, "messing with mother nature" going on, and not enough respect given to natural selection...

I've seen this happen over and over again only to turn into a heartbreak and a disaster for both the humans and the animals concerned!
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Old 05-30-2007, 03:00 PM   #8
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I disagree. Some of the healthiest breeds are modern ones.

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Old 05-30-2007, 05:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by applesmom View Post
..Though I haven't seen any research on the subject, it's my theory that a portion of the health problems in purebred dogs, (and maybe even some mixed breed "oops" litters) is the mentality that everything heroically possible must be done to save unhealthy, weak, sick or dying puppies. In the wild, natural selection occurs and only the strong survive to pass on robust, healthy genes.
That's a point I know I haven't considered.

I've known people to take a breed e.g. sharpei w/eye problems - the breeder was going to put the dog down, but a person will take dog (no cost from breeder & spuetered) - and do the eye surgery needed. It cost more than getting a pup without problems, but they wanted to save pup...
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Last edited by skunkstripe; 05-30-2007 at 07:48 PM.. Reason: fixed dangling tag

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Old 05-30-2007, 05:26 PM   #10
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I feel pure bred dogs are being bred for show ie:smaller eyes in the Collies,what happened to those beautiful Collies on the farm,You must get a pure bred from someone who gives a d..n about the breed or your going to have a genetically unsound pure bred.They keep changing the standards and like cars there not as pretty as they once were.Make any sence ???

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