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  #11  
Old 11-23-2012, 07:16 PM
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Lyzelle Lyzelle is offline
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The diversity of the gene pool in Sibes is mini anyway. The majority of AKC registered Sibes came from only 2 bloodlines. And very few breeders health test, and if they test anything, it's only CERF. Few dogs in conformation lines work. Working lines don't make it in conformation. Sport lines are rarely even registered, let alone purebred.

It's sort of a disaster. And that's the only reason I want to breed. I feel like I need to be fixing it in some way rather than just bitching about it. But I'd be stuck between a hard place and a raging, highly political breed club.

All the reasons to not breed and all the reasons to breed. I'd like health tested, mentally stable and psychically flexible (for sport/working AND winning at conformation shows) dog. Not going to happen unless I breed it myself. And again, then I'm doomed anyway because of the breed club and registration options. And entirely way too small gene pool.
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  #12  
Old 11-23-2012, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpringerLover View Post
1) If you have not bred, but plan to, what's in your "code of ethics?" Such as, what is the necessary health testing, necessary titles, whatever else that you WILL NOT compromise on for your dog, and/or the stud dog?
There are only two breeds at this point I feel I have enough knowledge about to even consider breeding. Ideally I would CHIC both but at the minimal hips and elbows.

For titles I would not except anything less then a working title or service dog certificate.

Even though my next dog wont be bred I am getting every known health test done on (hopefully) him just because there is basically no documented health records on the breed. And I find that unacceptable so if the breeders aren't going to be anything about it, I might as well.
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  #13  
Old 11-23-2012, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by SarahMichelle View Post
Even though my next dog wont be bred I am getting every known health test done on (hopefully) him just because there is basically no documented health records on the breed. And I find that unacceptable so if the breeders aren't going to be anything about it, I might as well.
There are people doing something about it.
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  #14  
Old 11-23-2012, 07:42 PM
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A friend of mine did a full genetic profile on her dog that included homozygosity - really interesting!
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:47 PM
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I should also add I do DNA parentage testing on all my dogs as is required for breeding by my breed's parent club, puppies can not be registered without it.
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  #16  
Old 11-23-2012, 09:01 PM
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The first breeding I did, I compromised in that the stud I used was health tested, titled at both ends, sound structure, an outcross, and improved on most of my bitch's conformational faults. But he was a bit big, and I'd been thinking that with my bitch at the top of the standard, it might be better to go with something well within the standard. It turned out not to matter, the resulting bitch I got from that breeding is well within standard.

When I bred her, I compromised a little more seriously in that the stud I used hadn't been OFA'd yet. He was young, a few months shy of 2, and he was supposed to get prelimmed before I used him, but it didn't happen. It's just such an ordeal for me to arrange a time I can whelp a litter, I went through with it anyway. He did get OFA'd as soon as he was 2, and was hips/good, elbows/normal, so it turned out fine.
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  #17  
Old 11-24-2012, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpringerLover View Post
There's been a lot of talk about breeders and breeding lately. I'm curious about a couple things...

1) If you have not bred, but plan to, what's in your "code of ethics?" Such as, what is the necessary health testing, necessary titles, whatever else that you WILL NOT compromise on for your dog, and/or the stud dog?
I think for my breed the BSCA COE is a good starting point: http://www.bsca.info/codeofethics.html

At minimum for health testing, xrayed hips and CERF'd eyes. I do elbows too and so do most people in the US. I guess if the male was what I was looking for in other ways, I'd consider a dog without elbow clearance. There's not really any other clearances required for the breed and the biggest health concern is not HD, ED or eye disorders but epilepsy which is impossible at this time to screen for. So a dog's family history as far as epilepsy goes is going to be a big factor to consider.

I don't have title requirements for breeding. Titles are great but don't tell the whole story. My ideal is always for the parents to be a CH with other titles, preferably advanced titles. I wouldn't discount the right dog for lack of titles on either end though but I'm not sure I'd use two untitled dogs either, as serious puppy buyers often do want to see the parents have some accomplishments. It can be hard to sell puppies from two totally unknown, untitled parents for sure unless you are already well known enough that people will want your puppies regardless (and most of those breeders are breeding titled dogs...).


Quote:
Originally Posted by SpringerLover View Post
2) If you have bred a litter, did you end up compromising on anything? And for what reason?
My first litter out of Loki was not planned...so I compromised in that I didn't get to pick at all LOL This was Loki and Jagger.

Second litter was out of Belle. An untitled bitch that I co-owned and owed litters on. I really wanted to use an older, known male with good accomplishments on both himself and his offspring and a solid temperament, known for producing solid temperaments. I did just that and the resulting litter was my most successful to date. If there was a compromise beyond the bitch not being titled, I suppose it was on type as both tend to be a bit more "course", heavy boned and didn't have "elegant" heads. I got some puppies who were more course and some who were more refined. Not really a big deal at all and something that isn't hard to fix in future generations if it ended up bothering me.

Third litter was also out of Belle bred to Loki's brother. In this litter, I was looking for a more intense, drivey dog who was also extremely sound. Belle's first litter produced nice puppies but not all were as drivey as I would have preferred. This times, the compromise was that the sire only produced one other litter and had no performance or working titles. However I knew him, his dam, his sire and a couple littermates really well. His structure was probably not quite as nice as Belle's but definitely not bad, his type was better except for having light eyes. I got crazy, wild, intense puppies from that litter with looks all over the place. Love their temperaments overall but some were a bit sharper than I'd have preferred. Now that both are grown up, I think Belle's first litter was overall better but the second litter had better intensity and more consistent drive.

Fourth and so far last litter was Loki's second litter. Bred to Jagger's half brother. Again, compromised in that the sire had no working or performance titles, although I know him very well and have seen at least 3 of his littermates in person. He's a nice, moderate dog - moderate looks/type/drive. Loki is a crazy, intense dog of similar type. Only got two puppies, so it's hard to get a feel for what a litter would have been like. Puppies are pretty, nice moderate type, one is very outgoing and very sound, the other is more reserved but not to a "no touch" point and probably a bit more environmentally sensitive. One is in a serious obedience home and the other is in a pet home but both seemed to have good drive from an early age. I really wish there were more of them and that I could see the pet puppy more often to get a better feel for her (she's the more reserved one).

The reasons for compromising? No matter what your priorities and goals are for breeding, there is always compromise. There is no one perfect male for every bitch, they all have good points and bad points (as does everyone's bitch). Breeding is about trying to balance the things you need, want, would like and have to avoid. I have had to rule out quite a few dogs I really like because pedigree wise, they weren't what I wanted. Usually due to seizure risk, especially with Loki who's sire has produced epilepsy in several litters. As much as I really want to use very titled dogs, they aren't always the right choice for my bitches. You also have to deal with the stud dog owners and some of them have strong feelings about certain linebreedings or lines or dogs too. There definitely is no breeding without compromise.
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  #18  
Old 11-24-2012, 01:57 PM
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Aleron, what is your best suggestion for researching epilepsy in the breed? It's something I've been discussing with a few and I would love your opinion.
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  #19  
Old 11-24-2012, 02:06 PM
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Our breed club just finished up a final version of our Code of Ethics. It's 3 pages long and the breeding section has 19 points. This doesn't mean that all parents are to be perfect, but they should have their health checks and be representative (rated Very Good at least) examples of the breed type and have correct temperament. There are limits on age, and a limit of 4 litters for bitches.

My dog has allergies, so he will not be breed.
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  #20  
Old 11-24-2012, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianneIsabel View Post
Aleron, what is your best suggestion for researching epilepsy in the breed? It's something I've been discussing with a few and I would love your opinion.
It can be really hard because you have to depend on people to be honest, there is no way to prove if a dog has seizures or not. There are some foreign databases that can be really useful for Tervs and Groens but sadly, very few Mal or Laeken people seem to participate in them. Which might give the idea that epilepsy is not a concern in those varieties and I really wish that were the case. It would make it easier to improve if two of the four varieties didn't have an epilepsy issue. I think it has to do with so many Mals being bred by people who are in the business of breeding and selling working dogs. It looks bad for business to be too upfront about any potential issues. Also, breeders who keep their dogs kenneled may never see seizuring if it did happen.

It wasn't all that long ago that Groen and Terv people weren't all that forthcoming about seizuring either. I remember when I first got involved, the Terv people used to claim it was an issue in Black Dogs but not Tervs. And the Black Dog people would say it was "a Terv problem". I'm glad the hairy crowd has become more open but there still isn't total honesty there either. Looking at the databases, there's very few American dogs listed with epilepsy compared to European dogs. Of course there's fewer dogs here but I personally know quite a lot of dogs who seizure or produced it that aren't listed.

Here's some of the databases:

http://www.belgian-epilepsy.dk/liste.htm

This is probably the biggest database but just a handful of Mals with epilepsy listed, some working and some show. You can search for Mals and pull down the second choice bar for "with epilepsy".

http://baza.belgi.pl/

So my answer is, I wish I had an easy answer for you. Your best bet is to try to find the most honest, upfront and knowledgeable people involved with Mals and see what they are willing to tell you. At least with your own dogs to start with. You can ask on different email lists, FB groups or forums if anyone is willing to talk privately with you about pedigree research regarding epilepsy in working line Mals. Hopefully one day, we will have a genetic marker for epilepsy in all of the Belgians and will be able to make truly accurate breeding choices regarding epilepsy.
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