AND AUSTRALIAN STUMPY TAIL CATTLEDOG
As more research is conducted in the field of (color) genetics, more information gathered and more of the
chromosome: The nuclear structure which houses (contains) the genetic information. Chromosomes exist in
pairs and therefore there are always two copies of a given gene.
gene: a unit of inheritance
locus (-ci): the position of a gene on a chromosome. Every gene has a specific locus
genotype: the genetic make-up of an individual
phenotype: that part of the physical appearance of an organism which depends on gene action
homozygous: the condition when both alleles of a gene pair are identical
heterozygous: the condition when both alleles of a gene pair are different
dominant: term describing a gene which can produce a phenotype when present only once; also the
phenotype which results
recessive: term describing a gene which must be present twice to produce a phenotype; also refers to the
phenotype which results
wild: the “normal” phenotype
mutant: the non-normal phenotype; is a relative term (relative to the population from which the organism
color genes: genes that affect the pigment color of hairs
pattern genes: genes that affect the distribution of a particular color.
Different terms are sometimes used for the same genetic colors, depending on breed and sometimes country too.
MELANIN, AGOUTI AND RED:
Melanin is the substance that gives a dog’s hair its color. There are two distinct types of melanin in the dog —
Eumelanin is, in the absence of other modifying genes, black or dark brown.
Phaeomelanin is, in its unmodified form, a yellowish color.
Melanin is produced by cells called melanocytes. These are found in the skin, hair bulbs (from which the hairs grow)
A protein called the Agouti protein has a major effect on the amount of melanin injected into the growing hair. The
The Extension Locus – E
This refers to the extension of eumelanin over the dog’s body. The dominant form, “E”, is normal extension. The
The way to tell the difference between an Agouti red/yellow and an Extension (e/e) red/yellow dog — is the Agouti
DOMINANT BLACK — “K”
The dominant form of black: completely dominates all formation of phaeomelanin pigment. In the past, dominant
Dominant black (K) is epistatic to whatever is found at the Agouti locus (simply means that it causes the Agouti allele
When “K” is in the dominant form, “K/K” or “K/k”, there would be no expression from the A Locus and the color is
When “K” is in the homozygous recessive form “k/k”, the coat color will depend on what is located on the “E” and “A”
Dominant “K” codes for both dominant black and brindle in decreasing order of dominance:
K — dominant black (does not allow the A Locus alleles to be expressed)
A dog that is:
K/K or K/k — dominant black; dominant black carrying recessive black
Brindling is ‘stripes’ of eumelanin-based (can be modified by the genes at the B and D Locus, so the color could be
It is thought that the three loci E, K and A act together as follows:
If the dog is “e/e” at the E locus, and at the K locus, it is “K”, “k^br” or “k”, its coat will be entirely red/yellow
If the dog is E/E or E/e at the E locus, and at the K locus, it is “K/K” or “K/k”, its coat will be entirely dominant black
If the dog is E/E or E/e at the E locus, and at the K locus, it is “k^br/k^br” or “k^br/k” it will be brindled with the color of
If the dog is E/E or E/e at the E locus, and at the K locus, it is “k/k” the distribution of eumelanin and phaeomelanin
The Agouti Locus – A
Simply, this is how the pigment is distributed on the dog’s body and hair shaft.
The Agouti locus controls the formation of the Agouti protein, that in turn is one of the mechanisms that controls
Two promoters are generally associated with the “wild type” version of the agouti gene.
The Cycling Promoter produces a banded hair with a black tip and yellow middle over the entire body. If only the
The Ventral Promoter dictates that there will be only yellow color in the hair on the belly. The animal will have black
If something inactivates the agouti protein, or if both promoters are disrupted, the animal will appear to be solid
If a mutation occurs at one of these Promoters, this can cause the yellow to be expressed over most of the body.
NOTE: In part of a series on Dog Coat Color Genetics by Sheila Schmutz, she states that recent studies
To further complicate things, agouti has 2 separate and somewhat distant promoters. Roughly, one seems to
The agouti gene has been mapped in the dog and DNA studies to determine which patterns are under the control
Decreasing in order of dominance: (**sable may be dominant over wolf in some breeders)
“a^w”, ‘wolf’ color – This is like “a^y” but the tan is replaced with a pale gray/cream color and the hairs usually
have several bands of light and dark color, not just the black tip of sable. Example would be Keeshond, Siberian
“a^y”, ‘sable’ – also known as ‘dominant yellow’ or ‘golden sable’. This results in an essentially red/yellow
phenotype, but the hair tips are black (eumelanin). The extent of the eumelanin tip varies considerably from lighter
“a^s”, ‘saddle’ – Eumelanin is restricted to the back and side regions, somewhat like the black/tan (“a^t”) allele
“a^t”, ‘tan points’ – This is primarily a solid colored dog with tan (phaeomelanin) “points” above the eyes,
muzzle, chest, stomach and lower legs. The hue can range from a pale biscuit to a rich ginger to a golden copper
“a” – last of the Agouti series is recessive black. When a dog is homozygous for recessive black (a/a), there will
be no red/yellow (phaeomelanin) in its coat (unless “e/e” is present, which is epistatic to the Agouti series).
BLACK or BROWN (CHOCOLATE) – B GENE LOCUS: (pigment color)
This gene, when in the homozygous recessive form, has a lightening effect on eumelanin (black-based colors)
B/B or B/b – black
It is believed that the Brown Locus codes for an enzyme, tyrosinase-related protein 1 (TYRP1), which catalyzes the
When brown (b/b) is expressed, it means that the final step in eumelanin production has not been completed and
When the alleles are in the homozygous or heterozygous dominant form of B/B or B/b, the color and pigment
When the alleles are in the homozygous recessive form (b/b), the color and pigment will be brown. This just means
DILUTION – D GENE LOCUS:
(dilution of pigment)
D/D or D/d – it allows for full color (black or chocolate).
COMBINATIONS OF B AND D IN EUMELANISTIC COATS:
The effects of these 2 genes, when combined, form a range of 4 eumelanistic (‘black-based’) colors:
The color of the pup/dog (Eumelanistic Color):
B/B d/d or B/b d/d will be blue in color
b/b D/D or b/b D/d will be brown/Chocolate (called red in Kelpies)
b/b d/d will be flat or dull diluted brown/chocolate (called fawn in Kelpies).
WHITE SPOTTING – S GENE:
The “S” series alleles appear to be incompletely dominant. In dogs it is thought there are four alleles that deal with
“S” – ‘solid/self color’. Most dogs that are homozygous for “S/S” have no white hair at all, or possible a tiny
amount, like a white tail tip.
“s^i” – ‘irish spotting’. This involves white spotting on most parts of the coat, but not crossing the back beyond
the withers. This color pattern is evident on the Border Collie, Australian Shepherd and other breeds that have the
“s^p” – ‘piebald’. The white is more extensive than irish spotting, and often crosses the back. It is sometimes
confused with the merle pattern. This coloration usually has large colored spots on the body. The white covers
“s^w” – ‘extreme white piebald’. A dog that is homozygous for “s^w” will be almost entirely white, like some Bull
Terriers. The Australian Cattle Dog, the coloration that is called “Blue”, and “Red” by the ACD and ASTCD
TICKED – T GENE:
A dominant mutation that causes the presence of color (flecks of color) in areas that have been made white by the
T/T – ticked (incompletely dominant to non-ticked). This gene is what gives the ACD and ASTCD their
ALBINO – C GENE:
(development of pigment)
At this locus, almost all dogs are “C/C”, or full color.
The lower series alleles, in order of decreasing dominance:
“c^ch” – Chinchilla — It is an incomplete dominant gene. Chinchilla lightens most or all of the red/yellow
(phaeomelanin) with little or no effect on black/brown (eumelanin). It turns black/tan to black/silver. In dogs, this
NOTE: Newer research indicates a chinchilla-like mutation occurs in dogs, although, tyrosinase activity hasn’t
“c^e” – is ‘extreme dilution’. It causes tan to become almost white. It is thought that the white labrador might be
“c^e” with another, lower, “C” series allele. The “c^e” allele may be responsible for producing white hair, while
“c^b” – or blue-eyed albino. This is an entirely white coat with a very small amount of residual pigment in the
eyes, giving pale blue eyes. It is also called platinum or silver. This allelic pair could be responsible for the white
“c^c” – true pink-eyed albino. Has not been seen in dogs.
GRAYING – G GENE:
This is a dominant mutant gene that causes the dog to gray with age. The pigmented hairs are progressively
MERLE – M GENE:
(ACD and ASTCD do not have the merle pattern)
The only way a merle colored pup can be produced is if at least one parent is merle. Some breeders are of the
If someone tells you that they have a litter of merled colored pups and there are no merles for many generations in
The merle gene is an incomplete dominant or a gene with intermediate expression and is another dilution gene.
A “m/m” (homozygous recessive) dog is normal color (no merling). A “M/m” (heterozygous) dog is a merle. A
Cryptic or phantom (as it’s sometimes called) merles are dogs which carry a merle gene but are phenotypically
GENOTYPES AND COLORS:
(“-” is either the dominant or recessive allele)
B/- D/- E/- K/- = black
b/b D/- E/- K/- = brown (chocolate)
B/- d/d E/- K/- = blue
b/b d/d E/- K/- = fawn
at^at B/- D/- E/- k/k = black with tan points
at^at b/b D/- E/- k/k = chocolate with tan points
at^at B/- d/d E/- k/k = blue with dilute tan points
at^at b/b d/d E/- k/k = fawn with dilute tan points
NON-EXTENSION RED (cream):
B/B d/d e/e = dilute red to pale cream with gray nose (dog is genetically a
B/b d/d e/e = dilute red to pale cream with gray nose (dog is genetically a dilute
b/b d/d e/e = dilute red to pale cream with rosey-brown nose (dog is genetically
b/b D/d e/e = dilute red to pale cream with brown nose (dog is genetically
b/b D/D e/e = dilute red to pale cream with brown nose (dog is genetically
B/B D/D e/e = dilute red to pale cream with black nose (dog is genetically black,
B/b D/d e/e = dilute red to pale cream with black nose (dog is genetically black,
Dogs are either black or red —- other alleles act upon each other to create different colors or different shades of
When you are looking at coat color, it is best to look at the entire picture. The entire picture being all the alleles that
Keeping in mind that each puppy receives a copy of each allele from their parents.
The first listed allele is expressed, the second one is hidden or carried. If one parent is brown (b/b) – the “b”
If one parent is B/b – the puppy can receive either “B” or “b”. If the other parent is also B/b – the puppy can receive
Genes that are carried can remain hidden for many generations. Some are under the impression that the hidden
Pigment distribution patterns are controlled by the A and E Loci.
Color that is modified by diluting colors are controlled by the B, C, D, G and M Loci.
The placement of white areas on the coat are controlled by the S and T Loci.
K Locus: controls the expression of the A Locus and brindle
K/K or K/k – does not allow the expression of the A Locus (the alleles are still present, just not allowed to the
k^br – encodes for brindle (in order for brindle to be expressed, the dog MUST be able to express the alleles
k/k – allows expression of the A Locus alleles (all red [sable] ASTCD’s and red [sable] ACD’s)
E extension: controls the extent of black (eumelanin) or yellow (phaeomelanin) across the coat.
E/E or E/e – black coat (keep in mind we are only talking about one allele, when other alleles are added, the
e/e – red or yellow coat (this is a mutation and does not allow black to be expressed. It is epistatic (means
*NOTE: Red (e/e) has been found in the ASTCD and ACD
A Locus: Controls the amount of black and yellow color placement on individual hairs.
a^y – Sable: red shaft with black tips (genotype of the red ASTCD and red ACD)
a^w – Wolf: banded coloration; eumelanin and phaeomelanin compete with each and this causes the banding
a^s – Saddle: no one is sure if this is a separate allele from tan points, or just an exaggerated pattern (can be
a^t – Tan points: eumelanin covering most of the dorsal (back) surface with phaemelanin on the legs, throat,
a^a – recessive black: Only a few breeds are recessive black, usually found in herding breeds (Australian
*** NOTE: there are two promoters that are associated with the A Locus. The cycling promoter produces a banded
B Locus: Controls ONLY eumelanin (black) to either a modification of or full color. Also controls skin pigment (eye
It is believed that the Brown Locus codes for an enzyme, tyrosinase-related protein 1 (TYRP1), which catalyzes the
When brown (b/b) is expressed, it means that the final step in eumelanin production has not been completed and the
When the alleles are in the homozygous or heterozygous dominant form of B/B or B/b, the color and pigment (nose,
When the alleles are in the homozygous recessive form (b/b), the color and pigment will be brown. This just means
B/B or B/b – is full color, does not change skin pigment or iris color
b/b – the last step in the production of eumelanin is missing, therefore; the color is brown (not red). This allelic
***NOTE: there are actually 3 different alleles that encode for the brown color, since they all do the same thing, only
D/D or D/d – controls full color (black or red) (ASTCD’s and ACD’s are thought to be homozygous for this
D/D or D/d – no dilution, codes for full color
d/d – dilutes any other alleles present (example: dilutes e/e to pale yellow; dilutes b/b to a flat silvery-brown dull
C Locus: Controls full color or dilutes the color
C/C – full color, no dilution (keep in mind the b/b and d/d will dilute the alleles regardless)
c^ch – chinchilla gene: is incompletely dominant and is a flat color. Is said to not greatly affect black and has
c^e – extreme dilution of color. Dilutes red and yellow color to a silvery color approaching white. West Highland
c^b – blue-eye albino. Very rare. May be responsible for the blue-eyed, pink skinned, white Doberman.
c^c – true albino. Pink eyes. Not seen (yet) in dogs.
S Locus: Controls white areas on the body
S/S – Self colored, no white areas are expressed. Sometimes a very minimal amount of white can be found, like
s^i – Irish spotting: white collar, white on legs, white on tail. White does not cross between the withers
s^p – Piebald: white covers 50% of the body and will cross between the withers and tail. There are well defined
s^w – extreme piebald: white body with colored heads and usually a spot near the tail. Some dogs may have
T Locus: Control small spotting on the body
T/T – ticking: can only occur in areas of white color. The T and S Locus compliment each other; in other words – white
T/T or T/t – ticked or roan
G Locus: Graying gene
G/G or G/g – animal grays with age, like a human
M Locus: Controls the dilution of a dogs coat in a patchy pattern (incomplete dominance). Both normal color and
M/M – double merle; occurs when merle is bred to merle
M/m – merle; occurs when merle is bred to non-merle
m/m – non-merle (ALL ASTCD’s and ACD’s are non-merle)
World Dog Show Salzburg|
Judge: Herr Svend Lovenkjaer (DK)
Males – Puppy class
Males- Junior class
Ivanhoe Red Tattoo Outback Maverick V2
Males -Intermediate class
Males – Open class
Dedalo V2, res.CACA
Males – Champion class
Queblue Aussie Icon V2, res.CACA, res.CACIB
Males- Veteran class
Females- Puppy class
Females- Junior class
Females – Intermediate class
Females – Open class
Females – Champion class
Female – Veteran class
SPENDEN FUER REKU/GOOFY
Allen Spendern den allerherzlichsten Dank fuer 475 Euros! Reku ist wohlbehalten in Polen angekommen. Diese kurzfristige Rettungsaktion war nur moeglich, weil zahlreiche Menschen aus Deutschland, Estonia, Polen und Finnland schnell und unbuerokratisch zusammenarbeiteten. Lest dazu REKU’s Geschichte im neuen blog:http://rekugoofy.blogspot.com/
Help to save his life
Hurra, es ist geschafft, REKU kommt zum Zuechter seines Vaters nach Polen. Ich werde die Reisekosten von Estland nach Polen aus Eueren Spenden finanzieren. DANKE an Euch alle, die Ihr Euch so ins Zeug gelegt habt!
KENNEL INGLISILM (not activ anymore)
Heute nacht kam endlich die Erleichterung. GOOFY ist auf halben Weg nach Poznan in Polen und hat seine neue Besitzerin getroffen. Dies ist ihre mail mit Foto:
GOOFY meets his new owner Monika
REKU is finally a good looking, well muscled Australian Cattle Dog and obviously happy with Monika in Poznan.Last news of REKU: He has been BAER tested and is bilateral hearing!
Veliraf Aged to Perfection
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KING’S of the DAWN
Valley of the Wind Ain’t that Love
Byron the Lord vom Teufelsjoch
tel: +43/7612/73 0 82
Corra Blue from Walkers of the Wind
Multi Ch Dinky Di Dakeedoo
Zuechter:Paolo Coletta and Simona Capelli
DROVER’s RUN HORSE RANCH
Ch Armani Kazary Toyo Ken
Puppies have 28 baby teeth. 14 teeth are in the upper jaw and 14 teeth in the lower jaw. They do not have any molars or premolar 1.
When the puppy is about three to four weeks old, the milk teeth start to drop out because the permanent teeth are growing more and more upwards.
Side view of a puppy dentition
When do milk teeth leave?
When do permanent teeth grow?
Dentition in an Adult Dog
|The Australian Cattle Dog has a scissor bite with four different types of teeth; each has its certain duty.Altogether he has 42 teeth.
Incisors- are used for cutting food, chewing,picking up objects and grooming himself or friends; these are the 6 front teeth in the upper and again 6 teeth in the lower jaw.Canines – used for holding and tearing prey/food. There are two upper and two lower canines.
Premolars – used for cutting, holding, carrying and breaking food into small pieces; these teeth are situated between the canines and molars; puppies do not have P1 teeth, only P2, P3, P4; adults have 8 premolars on the top and 8 on the bottom, 4 on each side of the upper and lower jaws
|Expected results for breeding strategies using the OptiGen prcd test|
|Parent 2 Status|
|Normal/Clear||All = Normal/Clear||1/2 = Normal/Clear
1/2 = Carrier
|All = Carrier|
|Carrier||1/2 = Normal/Clear
1/2 = Carrier
|1/4 = Normal/Clear
1/2 = Carrier
1/4 = Affected
|1/2 = Carrier
1/2 = Affected
|Affected||All = Carrier||1/2 = Carrier
1/2 = Affected
|All = Affected|
|The Tragic Loss of Bloodlines
and Mentoring in America
by Carol D. Hawke, e-mail
These tremulous topics are subjects I have been carefully contemplating for better than a decade after we first began to hear rumors from British friends about the unsettling disappearance of renowned bloodlines and having personally witnessed the decline of individual mentoring here in America. The disconcerted whispers have evolved into various public outcries as numbers of longtime breeders, handlers and judges worldwide have united in mutual concern.
In all recorded decades past in America and over much of the centuries written of dog breeding, serious dog breeders have always worked diligently to produce “bloodlines.” Americans are still inclined to fondly refer in slang to their breeding programs as their ” lines.” These were typically direct canine lineages that traced back to one or more foundation stock of note. These “lines” remained consecutive as the decades pushed steadily onward, with breeders adding and removing characteristics in the same fashion as an artist adds and removes detail from a masterpiece in progress. Sometimes that forward momentum came at a crawl and other times in leaps and bounds, yet serious fanciers rarely abandoned their “lines.” In actual practice, bloodlines were only rejected when a deadly defect or perilous plague allowed no other option. For a few breeders, such disaster spelled the end of a life’s work. The venture was over insofar as they were concerned. Others found opportunities to begin again with some related stock shared by a former pupil or two. The point remains; dedicated breeders remained intensely loyal to their original programs.
Each major bloodline presented a differing view of the standard while all of them offered some presentable version. Every kennel or “line” did its’ own share of winning and staked-out a firm place in the annals of canine history. Large or small, each one made a contribution, of that there can never be any question or doubt. One could count on those “lines” inasmuch as they were identifiable types, to produce dogs that would in turn, produce more dogs that bore the distinct resemblance of “the line.” There was a notable, positive measure of consistency both phenotypically and genetically. A common practice was for the next generation of dog breeders (the mentored) to take up foundation stock from two popular “lines” and create, much to their own and everyone else’s great delight, a “new line.” Wisely mentored, talented individuals found ways to bring out the very best of differing “lines.” Such efforts frequently made fast friends of longtime show opponents. After all, both lines contributed to a reawakened success in much the same fashion proud grandparents are spontaneously united. In a few cases where the “lines” clashed and the new efforts failed, each side could blame the other for the unhappy results. Regardless, a mutually satisfying proposition resulted however the tossed genetic coin may have landed. If one cross failed, another was attempted until success was eventually obtained. The entire process was accomplished under the watchful eyes of scrupulous mentors. A successful breeding program of one’s own marked the rite of passage for the past two centuries of dog breeding in America until the most recent decades. Tendencies and trends in dog breeding have suddenly taken a series of sharp turns. Times have changed, yes, but times always do change while dog breeding as a hobby is manifesting an entirely new face.
What shall we entitle this fallacious facade? Nobody I have the pleasure of knowing at length in dogs is able to fully grasp this anomaly and accurately identify it. Is this a transitional phase in dog breeding or is it the wave of the future rendering many of us the tail end of an ancient entity that will cease before our very eyes? The visible characteristics of this incomprehensibly unorthodox approach to dog breeding reveals first and foremost the loss of distinct “lines” as we knew them. Subsequently and secondarily we note the rapid decline of clearly identifiable variations within breeds owing to an apparent lack of resolve to preserve known lines or even develop new ones for that matter. Evidently, many of today’s trendy fanciers may view dog breeding as a sort of genetic ‘smorgasbord’ wherein it really does not matter what one starts with or ends up with as long as it produces a winner instantly. What we are witnessing is the rejection of the proven practice of long term breeding from a particular line or lines in order to manifest some version of the breed standard along with the essential fine-tuning that it has always necessitated. I have personally noted (along with many who have arisen from the traditional role of dog breeding) that no apparent mental concept of the breed standard seems to be required by this new generation of dog breeders. In its’ place resides the quaint desire to refrain from producing a show specimen with any disqualifying faults or other serious refractions that might prevent winning. If every critter produced by such breeders and their typical, entangling alliances is entirely different in type, temperament and structure from the next, this is apparently incidental if not amusingly quirky – rather than appropriately humiliating. This recent phenomena poses a genuine dilemma for the mentors currently addressing dog breeders and doubtless, to our reigning judges.
It has historically been stressed that no individual can successfully breed a line of dogs without a very specific breed template in mind. Similarly, ethical breeders have always been taught to conscientiously remove from the breeding program all stock that failed to meet those criteria. This is the foundational motivation behind judging dogs and the primary protocol for assessing them in a show ring. Today’s version of novice unfortunately tends to reveal the stereotypical know-it-all who eagerly acquires a dozen differing bitches from equally as many breeders (often worldwide) and pack them right off to the top winning stud dogs in their breeds. Such blatantly shortsighted behavior is still preferable to nauseating scenario B. Consider the latter case wherein those same bitches are bred to the most local and convenient stud dog(s) the breeder can find or pick up inexpensively. The fact that these naïve newcomers are frequently financially raped by what should be ‘reputable’ dog breeders (especially overseas) is another issue entirely. Owing to a considerable lack of deep thinking or just glaring ignorance, countless modern breeders are more interested in health clearances than pedigrees and show records than prepotency. Health clearances are marvelous (we’ve promoted them for years ourselves) but they can never substitute for the intimate knowledge that will reveal exactly which lines tend to produce which defects. A series of health clearances achieved by a dog from a line that has consistently produced those defects is like a rubber sword. It’s not going to protect your breeding program in the end run. You may be inclined to disagree with this; but I would rather breed to a dog from a line I know rarely produces a certain defect even though my choice may have failed that test, than the previous candidate. Equally vitally, an experienced analysis of pedigree quality and depth is vital to the success of any breeding program. The inability to wisely apprehend each of these invaluable tools and utilize them from the standpoint of experience will render a pedigree little more than a fancy piece of paper and health statistics and show records no better than an interesting collection of facts. Widely available are wonderful books and new programs designed to help instruct the breeders of this era but again, I reiterate and strongly advocate; personal, individual mentorship has absolutely no substitute. Only a mentor can personally impart every detail of an intimate knowledge while role modeling ethical and conscientious conduct. Successful breedership is taught not bought!
Herein lies my second key point today. Until a wannabe breeder develops a specific breed photograph (hopefully, based upon the breed standard) internally and makes the choice to honor proven, worthwhile mentors who will devote themselves to their pupils success, he will fail to create any long term impact on his chosen breed. Today’s candidates seem to compose a burgeoning group of rootless competitors that buy dogs left and right in each breed and hop right into the ring with them longing desperately for winnersŠor, at least wins. Every year they sport new dogs, new lines and a new look. It causes one to ponder precisely what happened to last year’s models! These people don’t have the groundwork to breed dogs of the merit they desire. Compare any such individual to another who is championed by successful mentors and is blessed with the wisdom and patience to actually heed their advice. Both individuals will output similar amounts of time and effort but the former, self-appointed orphan will nearly always struggle vainly and likely abandon the effort. Others just switch from breed to breed, hoping for better “luck.” Worse yet, many become bitter renegades determined to regain their initial investment one way or another. Perhaps the impact being sought currently is a different one than that so admired in previous decades. If the motivation is simply to “win, win, win!” and subsequently, “any dog will do you,” then our nation’s mentors really ought to step back, take a deep breath, uncurl their toes and fingers and let come what may. My assertion has long been, “Big winds blow over,” but perhaps in this case; “Big wins blow over,” would be more apropos. The end result of each individual’s efforts will eventually become visible in conformation and performance circles and in the annals of canine history, as it always has. However, the likelihood of this fast-food mentality (as applied to dog breeding) ever producing consistency in type, temperament or soundness is well beyond the realm of a slim chance and if it were to gain foothold, we would be forced to concede that the days of bloodlines and prepotent producers may be nigh over. These strangely inspired opportunists will still manage to produce winning dogs hither and yon but never two and three in the same litter. Moreover, such dogs will seldom pass on the characteristics that caused them to win in the first place. Flash-in-the-pan winners may even produce healthier pups in the short term owing to the blessing of outcross vigor but in the long run, the progress will not be sustained. It takes generations of working through genetic defects to breed them out to a very safe distance, if you know “the line” and what it tends to produce consistently that is. It also requires generations to breed in virtues that will reproduce faithfully.
Allow me to relate an incident at this point. It’s a true story so I hope all prospective dog breeders will sit up and pay attention. When I was a teenager I worked very hard for a lady who raised German Shorthairs. One day she informed me we were going to clean a large kennel owned by a wealthy fancier of the breed. My mentor warned me to be wary of the dogs and not speak openly regardless of what I saw. The elderly fellow who owned the place was no longer able to manage the operation properly but she also insisted that he had been “an eccentric” all his life. In fact, that is what everyone in our area called this man, “eccentric.” Over a period of decades the patron had built a beautiful, full-fledged kennel with indoor/outdoor runs on a lovely parcel of acreage. Inside this brick facility were special rooms designated to breed, whelp and rear pups and even space for displaying show and field trophies. A small home on the property had been provided for live in kennel help. Large yards to exercise the dogs were overgrown while previously well-keept flowerbeds had withered away. In previous years they must have supplied a lovely grandeur to the exterior. Once inside the kennel, all lofty expectations fell desperately short. The dogs were as many types as one could ever dread coming across in any given breed. There were tall ones; short-legged ones, coarse headed and snipey dogs and not one that looked remotely like the next. There were friendly, tail-wagging dogs kenneled next to neurotic, circle-spinning, crazy dogs that would as soon bite you as look at you. To tell you the truth, it was rather nauseating. I had to seriously rethink the prospect of breeding dogs as a hobby for some time after we finished cleaning the kennel and departed. That chaos was the end result of decades of breeding based upon the incredibly mistaken premise that “winning is the only thing,” and little else mattered. What cemented the dismal failure in my young mind was the realization that the rewards (ribbons and trophies) accumulated over those decades were rendered utterly trivial and meaningless by the lack of consistent virtue in those dogs. This ‘breeder’s’ efforts provided nothing of value and in some ways, served to set the breed back locally. He had accumulated a few, tarnished trophies and wrinkled ribbons but nothing consequential was accomplished. If one can be satisfied with so little then I will admit that this fast-track mindset regarding dog breeding may be of an extremely limited value.
Here is another case in point for those who feel personal mentoring should remain a lost art. An individual whom had migrated from another breed decided to focus an effort at linebreeding on the most prepotent stud dog of the past century. Although himself a dog of many grand virtues, he possessed equal and grievous faults that he managed to set into his offspring. His main fault was a weak, round headpiece featuring a narrow, triangular shaped muzzle (instead of the broad muzzle required) with its’ accompanying narrow, wry jaw. To a lesser degree, he was also straight stifled. Without the meticulous, personal mentoring that should have been provided in order to point out to this newcomer those serious deficits, they became quickly overlooked. As time passed, this confused individual concluded that the miserable headpiece that came to characterize that breeding program should be promoted as a correct feature for the entire breed. These dogs were widely advertised throughout the canine world until many judges began to accept this outlandish conglomeration of faults as an acceptable version of standard breed type. This tragedy may not have occurred if just one particularly prodigious breeder had been properly schooled individually regarding the correct utilization of the breed standard and modern bloodlines. A qualified mentor could have steered this novice around the immobilizing point of blind ignorance. Those judges who fail to read and apply breed standards and who judge by advertisement (familiar faces) alone do purebred dogs an equal disservice. Very often, a simple lack of proper tutoring is all it takes to instill a negative trend into any given breed.
There are invaluable concepts becoming lost to our recent generation of dog breeders. Either that or the wrong shaped pegs are being pounded against their will into the incorrect holes by the stubbornly ignorant for lack of other suitable explanation. I cannot personally conclude that the dog world is so lacking in serious, experienced mentors as it is deplorably void of dedicated, loyal students who are determined to ‘mind their mentors’ and invest more than their silly, petty funds. Rather, let them invest something into the Sport of lasting value such as their time, talent and devotion. I would cheerfully trade ten thousand of these ridiculous, “Top-Ten-Syndrome” devotees with fistfuls of dollars for one modest, respectful and loyal breed student. Moreover I would prefer one without a spare penny. Such a prodigy will be far less wasteful with my precious bloodlines than some exasperating, bill-folding biped that deliriously suspects she can magically create a breeding program from thin air by waving a few bucks in the right direction. Deluded individuals are further inclined to believe that currency can induce lost bloodlines to reappear intact at a moment’s notice. I suppose that our longtime handlers feel equally plagued standing knee-deep in so many upstart “instant agents” who collect dogs to exhibit at sundry fees like garbage men do waste from our sidewalks on a weekly basis. This miserable misconduct readily explains what we end up with in our rings each weekend! Am I suggesting that all modern dog breeders are hopelessly sidetracked? By no means, only that peculiar faction that fit neatly into the trappings of the disclosed package. What if you wish to succeed as a novice breeder but dread falling into this pattern? How can you identify the wrong track if you are on it?
Take the following rudimentary quiz to challenge yourself:
Problems during the growth period in puppies – what to do ?
Did you see examples of knuckling over (bowed limbs) or other bone deformations on young growing dogs in your kennel or at home ? Of course, but what are the reasons ? Can we solve the problem or not ?
Following conditions are the most common seen in young growing puppies and can be categorized as ‘Developmental Orthopedic Diseases’:
- Carpel Flexural Deformity or “Knuckling Over or Bowed Legs”,
- HOD – Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy,
- OCD – Osteochondritis Dissecans,
Knuckling over (bowed limbs) is the main problem normally seen and is not genetic, it happens to all breeds, large or small and it is due to how you are managing your dogs dietary needs and the flooring you are keeping them on to develop. Poor quality diet or too much of a good food, poor footing/slick floors with no rugs, and missing trace minerals. All things that contribute to this problem. If caught early enough it can be reversed with no problem. If left, it causes permanent damage. Knuckling over is first noticed in the area of front leg on a puppy, or the growth plate (wrist or carpal but also shoulder; the dog can be lame) area due to a lack of integrity in the muscle, tendon and ligaments. It is due to uneven growth pattern between the bone and tissue/muscle of the puppy. A diet can cause uneven growth patterns between muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones. They are all developing at different rates – the end results are severe knuckling over and this grotesque deformation can be permanent if not taken care of a proper diet in the early stages. Under 8 weeks of age, it is not a problem and very common because the large and giant breeds grow quickly during the early stages of development.
Inappropriate feeding as a cause of bone deformations – Don’ts !:
- a combination of two different types or brands of dog foods – feeding (50/50)
- change the brand or type of food several times (3-4) times
- the addition of poor quality vitamins/minerals to a diet (not from whole foods)
- feed human foods in amounts enough to disrupt the calcium/phosphorus balance
- feed too many calories vs. the amount of free exercise the dog et on a daily bases
- feeding a pet food that has minerals that are not very available to the body – crude forms
- feeding diets lacking in vital micro minerals or trace minerals
- feeding too much of a well-balanced, high quality-food
Most of the growth problems in puppies are linked to a too high calorie intake (over nutrition) or not adapted calcium level of the diet to the breed size.
Supplementation for puppies is still a need in avoiding other problems as for example skin or gastro-intestinal disorders. But please make sure those supplements are adapted to puppies in their growth period : calcium level must be adapted to the breed size (1.2% for small & medium breed dogs, 0.8% for large & giant breed dogs) and may not provide too much calories to the puppy.
Viyo Elite, a high palatable nutritional drink, is safe to feed to growing puppies. Beside the positive effects on skin & coat health, gastro-intestinal health, muscle tone and joint health, it is also adapted to growing puppies due to the low calorie content and adapted level of calcium to the breed size.
Dr. Wim Van Kerkhoven – Viyo International