Collie that won Westminster is son of double merle

Discussion in 'Dog News and Articles' started by lizzybeth727, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    To turn that around, why isn't it ok for Jim and Bob down the street to breed their untested dogs or two dogs that have thyroid problems if it is ok to knowingly breed two merles together?

    So what? It's ok because people have done it before and because the dogs were working dogs? "Honey, I know I had an affair, but JFK did it AND HE WAS THE PRESIDENT!!!!!". Yea, that works. People used to do and do all kinds of things but that doesn't automatically make it ok, a la the old parents' standby "if all your friends jumped off the Empire State Building, would you?"


    I call BS. I've seen (sometimes heated) discussions about double merle breedings long before this on various forums. And besides, so what if that really is the reason? You're not allowed to care about the issue because you just learned about it?
     
  2. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    Me too. It's a little off topic but as you all know I have a dog from a merle to merle breeding and plan on getting another from a merle to merle breeding.

    I've often wondered about merle and how breeding merle to merle is gone about differently in different breeds. Many of the show merle breeds breed for Irish markings with a pretty decent amount of white (including near and around the head). They breed for the "pretty merle" that doesn't have the larger splotches of solid color.

    Koolie breeders breed the merles with little to no white and prefer dogs with larger solid splotches. They still get double merle puppies no doubt, but it seems to me the incident of double merles with perfect hearing and sight seem to be much more common.

    They are another breed that I would love to have tested to see how many of the "solids" being used are actually solid.

    And I will stop going way off topic.
     
  3. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    It wasn't a bash.. I would think the AKC officials would be annoyed at being called 'just a registry'. Do I think they could do things better. That is not a 'bash' just an honest critism. In my research on the whippet stuff I have found they will unregister dogs many dogs if things aren't to their liking (yet leave others..) why not implement things like no carrier to carrier, no merle to merle breedings (in breeds where it is known to cause serious issues)? No registry for you.

    Outside of the KC many registries require more than just two purebred parents for full registry. Or have big shows have basic requirements like health clearances for what the breed club determines is the main issues? There are many things that can be done. Sticking one's head in the sand and saying anyone who criticizes anything about a KC is 'bashing' it is not going to help solve anything.

    To those who say that the dog's know no different. Thats no excuse. Dogs born with pain also know no different. I don't see how producing (intentionally) blind and deaf dogs so breeders can have more prettier (not healthier, better tempered, better structured) by puppy buyer standards is at all in the best interest of dogs.
     
  4. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    Not arguing here as I think we have a lot to learn from the breedings done in koolies/catahoulas that are merle x merle.

    I was under the impression that there is very little health testing done in these breeds. So, are you just assuming that the merle x merle puppies have good hearing and eyesight, or are they being CERF'ed/BAER tested before going to their new homes?

    Like I said, we BAER test our puppies before they are ever sold. I know a good friend of mine (who breeds shelties) CERF's her puppies before they go to new homes since eye problems are so common in collies, which shelties were bred down from.

    Just wondering since you said that there are relatively low instances of merle x merle koolie pups being blind or deaf. You can usually tell a totally blind/deaf pup, but not one with colobomas (sp?) or unilateral hearing etc.
     
  5. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Yes, I think a better question than "would you rather be blind/deaf or dead?" is "would you rather be blind/deaf or not?" No, the puppies don't know any different, but why throw them under the bus in the name of... what? Titles? It's not like breeding double merles is going to cure cancer.


    Also, deformities are not limited to blindness/deafness:

    "In all breeds, the double merle genotype can be sublethal and is associated with multiple abnormalities of the skeletal, cardiac, and reproductive systems (3, 9, 10). For these reasons, merle-to-merle breedings are strongly discouraged (9)."

    Another:

    "Fetal death rate for MM dogs is reported by some to be as high as 50% and surviving pups generally do suffer from some form of sensory and other anomalies, with hearing and sight defects most common."
     
  6. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I like the idea that if you're doing to do merle x merle breedings you should participate in a study. I know they wouldn't all jump on that opportunity but it would be nice to have that data- how much white is on the parents, is the merle a darker type of merle or clearer, breed of parents, lines, etc.

    I'm not sure how I feel about merle x merle across all breeds. I just don't think there's enough data out there for me to have much of an opinion. I couldn't (at this point) buy from a merle x merle breeding.

    There is also the fact that you can get deaf dogs pretty easily from other breeds, particularly white spotted breeds. Dalmatians are another that comes to mind and a vet friend of mine has stated she thought the collie thing was overblown because you are more likely to breed a deaf dalmatian than a deaf collie from merle x merle. I am not sure how accurate that is but it was food for thought for me.

    I know a white sheltie that is deaf. The dog is not double merle, it's a color headed white. White spotting in general can cause problems.
     
  7. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    No, you're right there is very little health testing. Some, though those breeders also tend to be the ones that lean towards the solid to merle breedings.

    The old time breeders for the most part breed merle to merle and very rarely health test. So, yes they could have impacted hearing or sight. That being said, those that have a dog that is pretty obviously double merle watch the dogs like a hawk for any sign whatsoever of deafness or trouble with sight. And because more times than not the double merles are higher white than preferred they don't get bred.

    Again, doesn't mean it's not there but if it is it's subtle enough to be unnoticeable.

    Honestly, I do wish more testing was done all around so I could say for certainty. But I doubt it's ever going to happen because as the older breeders retire and newer breeders take their places. So health testing will go up and merle to merle will go down.
     
  8. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    Thank you, was getting ready to bring just that up. Double merle has a host of other issues attached to it. Many have other neurological issues.

    For me, I think it is disgusting how many breeders choose to ignore the very BIG and very real risk. It runs rampant in danes, even with reputable breeders. Merles are not accepted so its not usually merle to merle...but harl is genetically the same as merle and harl to harl is pretty common :(

    Qcumber is from a harl-harl breeding (momma was rescued already pregnant). She was too far along and not healthy enough to do a spay abort. Luckily, out of the 10 pups only one is deaf and none are blind...BUT, none have been tested either so there may be partial deafness and vision problems etc. Quke has starburst pupils.
     
  9. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    Seeing as ACD's get their deafness from dalamatians I'd say this is absolutely true.

    There seems to be no rhyme or reason regarding the genetic component to deafness in these two breeds. Two 100% deaf dogs can produce an all hearing litter. It can come out the complete opposite as well.

    As a rule breeders don't breed deaf puppies, but its not looked down upon to breed a uni.

    I bred one litter from a unilateral bitch. She was my only dog at the time, and she was wonderful. She finished her AKC Ch quickly, had agility titles, rally titles, and herding instict out the wazoo. All of her other tests were normal, so I bred her to a full hearing male who's parents were also full hearing (both of her parents were full hearing too) I had a litter of 4, all of them were full hearing except the one I kept, who was also a unilaterally deaf girl.

    I spent many long hours on the phone with different breeders agonizing over breeding that litter. I ended up with not a single deaf puppy.
     
  10. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    Well, the breeding that produced the collie in question's sire produced a single double merle puppy.

    Being a singleton, we have no idea what kind of quality any littermates could have been. He may be the lowest quality possible in the combination between the two. He may be a singleton because of the merle/merle breeding, as sometimes fetal double merles do not develop fully. Or maybe they're just claiming he's a singleton when they had to cull more seriously deformed siblings. I wonder what that breeding could have produced if the double M hadn't been mucking it up, if maybe one of the two parents had a quality sibling who wasn't merle that could have been used instead so that there would have been a wider spectrum of puppies to choose from.

    I guess from my point of view, there are enough risks in breeding without unnecessarily throwing another in the mix. Especially when it's such a high risk.

    And catahoulas are weird. They don't count. lol.
     
  11. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    This is interesting. Deafness is an issue with JRTs. Most will not breed a known uni as a rule. Are good bloodlines so rare in ACD (I honestly have no idea..) that its a risk worth taking?

    To me saying the litter has no deafness doesn't mean much. As if its recessive (which at the very least it would have to be) you would be highly unlikely to get deaf puppies unless the sire was a carrier or affected. However all those puppies are possible carriers..

    The LHW do have a small enough gene pool that breeding known carriers (but not affected) of genetic based issues to clear dogs is quite common. So I am not against it, but these things need to be tracked.

    Seren might be a carrier for an eye issue. One of her parents is a carrier. But as long as the people getting the puppies, or grand puppies KNOW that there is a potential issue its not a huge detriment to the breed. But if no one knows that their dog's great grandmother had X recessive issue then they might not be able to make good decision without all the data.
     
  12. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I was always under the impression that deafness was strongly correlated with pigmentation on the ear (specifically inside the inner ear but a lot of times the dogs with white on the visible part of the ear also had no pigmentation inside)

    Paps and JRTs are extreme piebalds. Paps specifically have a requirement in their breed standard to have color over both eyes and ears and my assumption was it wasn't just a cosmetic standard but also to help avoid deafness.

    The CHW sheltie I know that is deaf has partially white ears.
     
  13. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    And.. I just lost a huge post. I dislike laptops.

    Yes our gene pool is small. A lot of breeders neutered/spayed a large percentage of dogs when the genetic test for PRA came out. If a dog was rated a C (affected), the majority of breeders assumed no one would ever want to breed to it and went ahead an neutered them. We lost a lot of dogs when that happened.

    Take into account OFA (I do hips and elbows), PRA genetic testing, CERF, BAER testing, then on top of that working ability and temperament and your choices can get limited.

    I also can't report on any offspring out of my litter seeing as none of the puppies were ever bred. So I don't have anything further to add about that line. I try to keep up with research and other breeeders. I will say that people are usually up front and honest about what they are producing. Before I used that dog at stud I did ask if he has produced any deaf puppies, or uni's. I also asked my bitch's breeder about dogs behind her and did my pedigree research with OFA as well.

    I'm not sure about the amount of white on ACD's having anything to do with deafness. I've seen heavily mottled dogs, and dogs with BIG splotches of white be full hearing and produce pups with full hearing. My two bitches that were uni's were both minimally to moderately speckled with no white on the ears. My male who is bilateral hearing has a big bentley (white mark on forehead), and he's moderately mottled on his sides and legs.
     
  14. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    I hate loosing posts too!

    Thanks that was intersting. White is often believed to have a factor in deafness in JRTs. People are particularly interested in BAER tests on dogs with white ears. Though I know many an all white JRT (or all white ears) with normal hearing and a few that have fully pigmented ears who are uni.
     
  15. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    I know in danes, with harls and double merles, pigment is definitely an issue.

    From http://www.deafdogs.org/faq/

     
  16. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    What about the instances cited where two deaf parents were bred to produce an all hearing litter? To me that says it may have more to do with the white pigment than a simple dominant or recessive gene.

    There's a point early in the fetal development of all animals (except albino) where the pigment migrates off the neural crest. That's why almost every single kind of animal has a "default" coloration where they are darker along the spine and lighter on the belly. It also just happens that it is a good camouflage pattern, but that pattern exists mostly because that's how pigment migrates. The amount tapers off by the time it reaches the stomach.

    When you have genes for white spotting, that migration is pretty random. That is why clones of spotted animals have completely different markings from each other and from the "parent". The distribution of the white spotting isn't controlled by any gene, it's just present due to a gene, and the actual pigment migration is kind of random and/or influenced by unknown conditions in the womb.
     
  17. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Actually it doesn't say that to me. In order to test that one would need to clone deaf and hearing high white dogs to see if the clones (who as you mentioned would have different markings) were or were not deaf.

    And looking at how many pigmented dogs have deafness and unpigmented dogs don't.. one can't say its more or less related to that. It could be that the whiteness is a by product of the genes that create the hearing issues.

    Once one leaves pea plants genetics gets more complicated than a punnet square. You also get genes that are epistatic to others, incomplete and co dominance etc. Penetrance is also an issue with genotype to phenotype expression. It may indeed by a 'simple' genetic trait that is being masked, or imcompletely expressed due to other genes, that may have some bearing on white.

    As an aside, you cannot get a true albino horse. You end up with a lethal white. Its not the being white that kills, or the lack of pigmentation.. its the other genetic factors that come along with that particular genotype that kill.
     
  18. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    What I can't get past in all of this is that it's being done for a COLOR. Why on earth is there so much emphasis on merle when a merle dog is not going to be better or healthier or anything else vs a non-merle? Because it wins in the show ring? Because it's "prettier" and flashier?

    Just one more illustration of what is wrong with the dog fancy these days. For too many people it has become not breeding toward a better dog but breeding toward what will win or what is the current fad or what is the most unique. Far too often to the detriment of the dogs.
     
  19. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Yup... that's why it makes me feel so ill. There's no advantage to a merle x merle breeding except "ohhh pretty puppies!"
     
  20. Miakoda

    Miakoda New Member

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    Lil, I'm proud that the American Dog Breeder's Association (ADBA) refused to register merle "APBTs". Of course merle "APBTs" just miraculously appeared in the mid/late 1990's (there's no historical evidence that merle APBTs ever existed), but people didn't want to see the continued ruining of double merle breedings.

    However, there is a breeder in Mississippi who breeds litter after litter of merle "APBTs" and will argue you till your blue in the face that such creatures are a part of history, but just glance over her newspaper ad for outrageously priced mutts.
     

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