Breeding out DA

Discussion in 'The Breeding Ground' started by HayleyMarie, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Who said I did much hunting? I have met many breeders and talked to even more. ALL of the breeders who hunt admit to DA/DR existing in their lines. The only ones who are all "my dogs are all great with other dogs" whom I have met all have the sort of dogs who will stack nicely beside racing going on.

    IMO talking with you previously my definition for DA/DR is lower than yours. Petie and Dekka are very similar. They hung out together just fine in the hotel when we shared one for a trial. BUT I admit that Dekka is DR/DA, regardless that its fear based. Zo was pretty good MOST of the time. BUT to me if the dog is good 95% time it doesn't matter...
     
  2. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    There are different types of drive though. Dogs who have high tug drive/play drive and do things like agility and spring pole etc don't necessarily have high drives when it comes to other things.

    I had a dog with next to no play drive. I never harnessed it in her as a puppy and when she was an adult and I wanted her to play it took some work. She had good food drive though, so I built on that and had her playing spring pole and tug like nobody's business. She'd still take a food reward over a toy, but I was able to use a little of both in training successfully. Now this dog never ever lacked in herding/prey drive. Show her ANY livestock and she was on. I'd say her drive on stock was over the top. She competed in agility successfully, but I never got that amount of drive out of her unless she saw stock. She was also dog selective. I wouldn't take her to a dog park, but she had a select few dogs she could play with. She wasn't a lunging mess trying to get to dogs, but she wouldn't back down out of a fight, and I did a fair amount of work with her before I was willing to trust her off lead around lots of dogs.

    The DA aspect doesn't mean a dog is or isn't drivey or gamey, but it is something that can come hand in hand with the drives you want for other sports. Dogs who were bred to go in and move or dispose of animals need to be able to withstand the fight. It's a very fine line to walk. I think breeders and owners of certain breeds can't ignore that aspect and prepare to manage it. If you lose that part of the dog, you lose some of the other properties that make that dog the breed that it is.
     
  3. houlahoops

    houlahoops New Member

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    To be fair, I'm coming at this from a more houndy perspective, and my interactions with APBTs have been at both ends of the spectrum. I have met a handful of soft, easy dogs, and a couple that only would have loved me if I were served with potatoes. I consider both of these personality types to be atypical, of course.

    I, too, am a little uneasy with the assertion that game = DA. I've hunted with some downright gritty dogs who wouldn't have hesitated to jump on a hundred pound pig that could have sneezed and caused some serious damage. But I was, almost without exception, completely comfortable adding my own drivey, gritty dogs right alongside proven hunters or new pups. Just because a dog is insanely high drive doesn't make him DA or even DR.

    That being said, I also knew plenty of hunters that didn't cull DA animals and continued to bring them on hunts. These guys bank on the fact that the dog wants the pig more than they want to kill each other. It's not a method that worked 100% of the time, and I refused to hunt with people who saw it this way, regardless of how gritty the dogs were or how many pigs they brought home at the end of the day. Bailey, for example, never works with a pack due to his less-than-stellar social skills (DR with a pinch of DA thrown in for good measure), and we always hunt solo (not to misrepresent myself here: we tree/corner or spotlight and then leave).

    As for APBTs, I'm not entirely sure what the worry is about as far as breeding out DA. There are barbie collie (border collie) lines that I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole, but which make fabulous active companions or sport dogs for a less-savvy handler that wants a light-weight, fluffy labrador. I'm not horribly offended by people that breed "pet" houlas...I just know that I need to be careful where I'm getting my animals from.

    I feel like it would take a concentrated, universal effort to really ruin the breed entirely, and a small effort by a handful of breeders is hardly more objectionable than people who are breeding "gIaNt RARE rednose pitt Bulls" out of their backyards.

    On the other hand, I certainly don't see the point in breeding out DA except to keep the breed safe (differentiating "working" lines from "pet" lines so stupid people acquire few true APBTs). That could be a good thing...right? If everyone that bought a border collie got a working dog, there would be even more of them in shelters.

    I am not an APBT person, but having grown up with houlas and yella dogs (I guess these are curs, but I'm not sure of the exact type), we have dealt with a little bit of DA. I had some great working dogs that I could take to the dog park, and some awful ones that I couldn't.

    -shrug-
     
  4. ravennr

    ravennr ಥ⌣ಥ

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    sigh

    I feel like this thread has just been repetitive post after repetitive post. It's like some people just aren't grasping what's being said by those who are involved with the breed.


    For one thing, nobody said that game = DA/DR. That implies a direct relationship, it implies you cannot have one without the other, which isn't true in all cases. However, most game lines are DA/DR. And that's okay! It's already been said that they tried breeding out DA/DR in the AmStaff, and it did not work.

    I don't really understand what is so hard to understand about the concept of breeding out DA/DR leading to trouble. It's not really rocket science, is it? It's just the way it is.

    Sorry if this post is curt in any way, I'm just a little taken aback at the fact that this is seemingly so difficult to understand.
     
  5. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    For the rest of your post, I agree with Ravennr that its not that game=DA or vice versa, just that when breeding for game you will tend to get DA/DR as a by product. At least you see it in pretty much ANY breed with high drive and high tenacity to engage formidable quarry. Which makes sense when you think about it, a dog that backs down to confrontation is more likely to not engage quarry. Not that it would be a hard and fast rule by anymeans, but breeding over a large group like a breed is an issue of averages and not individual dogs.

    For the quote above.. IM (limited)E (down to individual dogs) when my dogs are 'working' which includes ratting they ignore all personal issues. Dekka was ratting at a friends barn when one of her dogs got loose and came flying in. Normally that would have been a trigger for Dekka, but she was so 'busy' that she ignored the other dog even when it was right around her trying to 'help'. So there is likely truth in their opinion.
     
  6. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Petie and Dekka not similiar on any level, the main one being he has never left me to seek out a strange dog and poke holes in it. And the one time we shared a motel we put an x pen across the room. And I do not agree that ALL the breeders admit to DR/DA to exist in their lines, guess it depends on who you talk too and what you know about the lines. As for Zo, if she was good 95% of the time after everything that happened to her and considering her dam......that would be amazing.
     
  7. Bahamutt99

    Bahamutt99 Dafuq?

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    Teal, if you are speaking of the breeder I'm thinking, I wouldn't call her dogs cold. Maybe colder than most in terms of dogs that still work and actually look like APBTs. But she mentioned on FB that one of hers jumped on another of hers while out on a walk together. Some people are just not as public about accidents, and that's probably a good thing. Other people make sure they tell every single board/forum/group/site they're a part of when their dogs get in a scrap. Lol!
     
  8. Whisper

    Whisper Kaleidoscopic Eye

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    :rofl1:
    I love that! And I agree. I don't have much experience with Mals (though the more I hear about them, the more sure I am I would love to have one someday, and yes, even the "bad" stuff makes me want them more, lol!) but I see so many GSDs that depress me. I'd rather have my bratty, spitfire rescue GSD pup whose ears will probably stay floppy than a "well bred" GSD who acts like a golden retriever.
    And I do ditto Fran's posts. Golden Retrievers are swell dogs, but they're not my kind of dog, and certainly not the kind of dog I want when I'm expecting a GSD.

    As for the whole DA subject, I still stick with my other post in this thread when it first popped up. I do not agree with breeding out DA.
    I love APBTs, but such a high chance of DA is the deal breaker of why I won't get one. And I certainly wouldn't demand breeders to change the breed to be tailored to me. It means they're not the right breed for me, as lovely as they are. Period.
     
  9. Teal

    Teal ...ice road...

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    *I* am not condoning breeding out DA, as my previous posts in this thread will attest to. I was merely answering a question that was asked.

    I have a dog who is like yours - She'll take down live game and pursue a lure, but has no "play" drive. Or rather, she didn't... she's starting to come into it now! But her food drive is incredible. She's also been dog friendly up to this points - and she's almost 3.

    In the end - No dog in the modern day America can be described as "game" because the only true test of gameness is in the pit, which is now illegal.




    In your first paragraph - The dogs who weren't friendly to you should have been shot. Human aggression is in NO way related to dog/animal aggression and is NEVER accepted by reputable owners/breeders!

    I've yet to meet a hog hunter who will tolerate even a DR dog on their hunts... I completely understand why you'd separate yourself from those folks! Hog hunting is intense, and dogs need to not present a hazard to other dogs out there. Which is why MOST of the dogs out there are not purebred APBTs.




    I completely agree!




    Was this recent? I haven't seen anything from her about it... so we might be thinking of different breeders? lol It's no secret where my puppy came from, so I dunno? lol




    I wish everyone felt like this!!
     
  10. Freehold

    Freehold New Member

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    Personally, I don't understand the attraction of dog-aggressive dogs. However, I'm not saying that people can't enjoy them - I just don't want one. I don't have the desire (or endurance) to manage dogs who might at any given time decide to rip into eachother. Just not something I enjoy in any way.

    I don't honestly know if it is possible (or desirable) to breed out DA in breeds who tend towards it. If I were to try to, I would select proactively towards dogs who have all the traits I want, and minimal DA. It can't be taken out in a single generation, possibly not in 20 generations. But if it were one of the essential traits you wanted to watch for in your breeding program I am certain DA could be reduced without damaging the breed. You can NEVER breed for one trait alone, forgetting other traits. That will ruin any breed.

    I'm going to make a comparison to Wolfhounds (who are not DA at all). The issue in Wolfhounds is longevity. Like DA it is so inherent to the breed that you can't just wipe it out by culling a line or two.

    There are some breeders who have focused on longevity in their breeding programs, with some success. However, with such focus on longevity the overall quality of the dogs tends to be lost. It cannot become the defining characteristic in the choices as to what dogs to keep or cull. Longevity is a plus - something you want IN ADDITION TO the breed characteristics you are aiming for. When comparing two equally nice dogs if one comes from a line where the dogs tend to get cancer by 6, and the other has parents/relatives who have lived past 10... well choose the dog with the healthier, longer-lived lines. But if the dog from the long lived-lines is inferior to the dog with lines that have a higher incidence of cancer... well don't make the mistake of losing your quality/type.

    Of course, you want the best of both worlds. Sound, healthy dogs who live a long time, and who have the breed traits/type you want. You also want enough variation in the bloodlines to avoid recessive traits surfacing and causing problems.

    Same goes with breeding out DA. If you have three bitches from equivalent lines, with equivalent types and one is severely DA, one is DA in specific situations, and one is not DA but doesn't have the performance traits you want, then choose the dog that best meets your needs. The moderately DA dog might have the traits you want, and possibly throw less DA in her puppies. When selecting a breeding "keeper" from the litter, try picking a dog that shows the personality you want, but not necessarily the one with the most aggressive personality.

    I think it would be possible to reduce DA with a very specific and carefully planned breeding program. But I don't think many people honestly want to do it, nor do I think that if can be successful without open and honest interactions between all the breeders involved. The breeding world is so convoluted I can't see this easily happening...

    Anyway, I personally choose dogs who are not DA. While I have had some experience with DA dogs (mostly in rescue foster situations) I honestly have little to no tolerance with it.

    If my own mature, non-DA dog suddenly became DA, I'd need to try to figure out why. Yes, I'd manage it as best as I could, but if it came down to it I might choose to euthanize or rehome for the safety of my family. I can't risk my kids being caught in the crossfire of two fighting dogs. Not worth it to me, not even slightly.

    But that's why I prefer non DA dogs, and would never deliberately choose a dog who was likely to have that kind of issue.
     
  11. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Freehold, you've done a great job of articulating how I've been thinking about this.

    I think it's a terrible idea to say, "I'm going to eliminate DA from my lines/breed by not breeding any dogs with DA" because it's just not that simple and you just don't know what else you're losing.

    BUT, having said that, if it came down to "all else being equal I'm going to choose to breed the dog without DA" I think over a long period of time DA could probably be reduced in a breed without necessarily losing other desirable traits.

    It's just that "all else being equal" is sort of a Hypothetical Land scenario. It's probably not something that is going to happen a lot. There are too many variables and too many factors that would have to line up to be "equal". So it's sort of a mental exercise, I guess.
     
  12. houlahoops

    houlahoops New Member

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    I didn't meant to imply that anyone had made such a claim. However, there is this overwhelming concern that breeding out DA would ultimately lead to the extinction of the working traits that are so highly desirable in the breed (namely, "game" or grit). I'm just suggesting that careful breeding could prevent this (as noted below):

    I'm not saying that it is a worthwhile endeavor (as I've said, I would not purchase an APBT, DA or not, although I love to admire them from afar)...just that it might not be horrible for the breed if it could be done responsibly. It's like breeding for color: as long as it's concurrent with responsible breeding practices, it is still possible for the integrity of the breed to be maintained (IMHO).

    That is fabulous! I do agree that it is a method that has a practical basis, but I have also seen dogs go at it for several reasons while hunting. Sometimes if they are too riled (ie: frustration is high or they've just been let out of the truck) you'll get a little skirmish. The worst fights are often once they already have a pig: dogs in the back that aren't getting any action or are getting pushed around will sometimes try to control the dynamic, which puts everybody in danger.

    I have no use for dogs like that in a pack setting. I would much rather let my guys go and not have to worry about them until they find what they were looking for. Likewise, I (unlike a lot of hunters) train my dogs on a solid recall and emergency down. It's a matter of personal preference (as I imagine it would be with APBTs).

    Yup! And I hope that my opinion on that is clear as well: I see those animals to be poor representations of the breed and of course don't base my opinion on them.

    Absolutely. It just introduces another dangerous variable. The dogs should all be focused on their job rather than each other. Anything else and they are at a much higher risk of being injured.

    Interestingly, back home there has been a shift toward APBTs as catch dogs, but they don't typically run with the hounds (partly because they don't have the endurance that a cur is going to put down). I have never seen one in action, but I would be leery of using them (and not just for DA reasons, of course).
     
  13. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    IME, most (sane) people don't *want* dog-aggressive dogs. It's more that dog aggressive isn't considered important enough one way or the other to really be strongly considered as a reason to breed or not to breed a dog. With all the other things to select for, unless a dog is extreme, it's really not on the radar. Living with dog-aggressive dogs is inconvenient at best. But it's so integrally wrapped up with all the desirable traits, that to selectively breed away from it without losing the drive and spark and tenacity is, well, a daunting task.

    People would rather deal with the inconvenience of dog aggression than risk watering down the breed. I understand that.
     
  14. Freehold

    Freehold New Member

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    :p

    True, true. Though sadly I have met some who were... not sane enough to fit that category :eek: But that's a completely different subject :rofl1:

    I respect that it would be REALLY hard to do. But possibly a worthwhile effort.
     
  15. Teal

    Teal ...ice road...

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    Very well put!

    I have dogs because *I* enjoy dogs - I don't have dogs because my DOGS enjoy dogs!

    But I also don't find having DA dogs to be difficult or inconvenient. Crate and rotate isn't interfering with my life, or hard to do. It's definitely not something everyone is wired to manage... but I feel the same way about people who have dogs they take to the dog park. Even if I had a "dog friendly" breed, I would NEVER!
     

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