Discussion in 'Dog News and Articles' started by OutlineACDs, Dec 31, 2012.
Is the Dog Fancy at a Tipping Point?
This article came across my Facebook.
The article is interesting, and the comments after it even more so for me.
Granted, I'm very much on the "outside" of the dog fancy. I don't do conformation or breed or have any desire to do either, so my thoughts are to be taken with a large hunk of salt block .
I do think things are changing, and that they will continue to do so. I think the market for purebreds from breeders will continue to decrease - although only to a point. I don't think the desire for purebreds will go away completely ever, and I think the ball will be in the breeders' court to decide how to handle it. Decreasing the number of litters while increasing/maintaining the genetic diversity (Keeping the "big name" sires from flooding entire generations with their genes) would seem critical. Increasing the market for the puppies as much as possible (putting sport/work titles/history on the dogs so they appeal to those outside the conformation/pet world) would help. Keeping studbooks open to non-AKC registered purebreds probably goes against the instincts of people on both sides of that fence.
And, quite bluntly, the purebred people (speaking generally - I know plenty of purebred people who aren't the issue) need to be kinder and more accepting. As someone who is very active in dog sport with my rescues, and who sometimes tosses around the idea of going to a breeder next time, an article like that turns me off, and the comments under it make it worse. Because when I read "I have a rescue dog too! I don't think they are terrible!" it doesn't balance out "Well if you want a nice dog with a predictable temperament who is healthy and wonderful, you have to go to a breeder. Rescue dogs have baggage and you don't know what they will turn into.". I read all the words and all my heart hears is "Your dog has less value than mine". And it makes me pull away and turn into "I got two amazing dogs from very different rescue situations, and by God I'll get another and knock your 'perfect' purebreds off the podium."
Some of my closest friends are breeders, and I am in awe of what an amazing thing they do for their breed. I absolutely believe we need good breeders of purebreds out there maintaining the breeds and producing what people want.
Some of my closest friends are rescuers, and I am in awe of what an amazing thing they do for dogs. I absolutely believe we need good rescuers out there pulling the amazing dogs off of death row and placing them in homes where they can thrive.
I found it funny, and a little sad, when last month, two of my good friends finally met. Both had heard me speak of the other fondly. One friend runs a rescue that mostly pulls dogs from the southern shelters. One friend breeds a companion breed and shows. Both happen to do agility as well. *Both* commented to me after the fact that "I wasn't sure if she'd have an issue with me, since I breed/rescue." Both laughed when I mentioned the comment, and replied with variations of "Why would I have an issue? She has nice dogs that are well cared for and go out and do things."
When people can stop talking down the other side in an effort to boost their own position, perhaps all dog people can work together to combat the political issues that will affect us all in the long run.
I started and stopped reading this article probably five times, I don't know why I can't get through it.
Oh, I get it. I see it all the time. Some trials down here (AKC) have the opted out of allowing the mixed breed (PAL) registered dogs to compete. Is it because these trials already regularly filled to the limits before mixed breeds were allowed to compete? I don't know. I currently don;t have a mixed breed competing in anything, so that doesn't affect me. I don't like supporting a club who discriminates though. Even if AKC's sole reason for allowing mixed breeds to compete was money. If they are allowed, then open the trial to them.
I also see the bleeding heart rescuers who want every. single. dog. spayed/neutered. Keep your hands off of my pets. Period. I have two intact males right now. One is most certainly a "rescue" of undetermined breed/history. I'm just glad he wandered up into my yard instead of us getting him through an actual organization. Now, he will be getting neutered, but at the time, my vet thought it was best to wait. His balls aren't causing us any trouble and with the massive amount of infection Gus had when we got him, neutering wasn't an option.
What I got out of this article was more about the rights as pet owners. With people lobbying for gun control right now, I feel we are stepping closer and closer to losing our rights to own pets. I am not a gun freak, I really could care less about guns, but I will support American's rights to own them because if you take one right away, you open the door for more to be taken too.
It sucks on both sides of the fence. I care about dogs, I don't like seeing people dumping litter after litter at the shelter. In a town of 60,000 people, our shelter PTS about 500 unwanted dogs/puppies/cats/kittens a MONTH. In one month. I won't quit producing litters though, I won't quit buying dogs from good breeders. And oddly enough, I guess I will support the rights of those who also choose to breed, or not S/N, etc.
Oh, I know the bleeding heart rescuers you mean, and they are absolutely an issue. But since the topic of discussion was "why are purebred breeders losing buyers to rescue", I mentioned that side of it. Neither side is guilt free when it comes to this rift that causes dog groups to fight against each other instead of working together.
If your intact rescue dog is being contained enough to not be breeding, and you are willing to take responsibility for any puppies if that containment fails, I have zero issue with him being intact. And, as I said, I have no issue with good breeders working to maintain and improve their breed even while shelter dogs die.
As you said, it often boils down to the rights of the owner. The problem I see outlined in the article - and the comments - is that until the rescue people stop fighting with the purebred people; until the conformation people stop fighting with the working people who are fighting with the sport people; we are just wasting energy that should be directed elsewhere.
I haven't read the article yet but this is a good point. Divide and conquer means that the anti-pet people have an easier time getting their way. Get the breeders and rescuers fighting and it's easier to get anti-breeding laws in effect. Get breeders pointing fingers at each other for being responsible or irresponsible and it's easier to get anti-breeding laws passed. But it's not just breeding that is affected or targeted. There's BSL, limit laws, etc which affect all owners regardless of where you stand on rescue vs. breeding. In the bigger picture, the breeder vs. rescue stuff isn't that important. There really is room for both. There really is a place for both.
Me too, I tried & tried but I just could not get through it :/
Yeah, it can be like that. I was there, traveled with a group of hateful people for years.
I try my damndest not to be that person anymore. I also can't be called a big time breeder, nor am I out showing weekend after weekend. I spend a lot more money enjoying the dogs now. If it isn't fun, we aren't doing it.
There are hateful people everywhere and you (general you) will either allow it, or you won't. When I was hanging around with those kind of people, even if I didn't ant to be that way, I was allowing that bad behavior to occur.
Thanks for sharing the alternative take.
I didn't read the article, but I don't think anybody is losing out to anybody. I see a good mix of people going to breeders and rescues the same as always.
i am emotional with my dogs but not about them. Others should do the same. What does it matter where it comes from? I fully recognize that if I wanted to find a rescue to do what I like to do with dogs, it would take me a long time and a lot of looking, but I could find one. Or I can go to a breeder that is producing what I like and get one there. Much quicker and easier.
It doesn't mean rescue dogs are worthless, at all. If I included pure breed breeders of all dogs in my search it would be the same, I could find a lab to do what I like I'm sure, but I'd have to look long and hard. Going to a place that produces dogs you like, why is that suddenly a bad thing?
Others can try and guilt me about my decision, tell me about the rescue languishing in a shelter that is every bit as good as my dog, but I didn't give it a chance, to that all I can say is none of my dogs will ever end up in a shelter, why do you care where I got them from?
You're a bad person, clearly.
true, but has nothing to do with the topic
Just out of curiosity since I know we have horse people on this board, is there such a huge backlash against people with intact horses or pedigreed horses, breeding programs, and breeding horses for the purpose of competing in venues like track racing, barrel racing, etc. ?
Because there are a lot of unwanted horses going to slaughter every year. It seems like something comparable. Just wondering if there's a similar dynamic or not.
I've been out of horses for a few years, but it is different with horses from what I've seen. There is movement towards 'reputable breeders', or wanting people to only produce foals from parents that have been shown and have good conformation. A horse that has good lines, has been shown (and has placed well), has a good temperament is generally preferred over Suzy's backyard grade horse. Generally horses that are from Suzy have bad conformation and serious horse people know enough to stay away because it affects functionality.
It's very well known though that studs are difficult to manage. Most people have mares and gelding and have to make the conscious decision to pay someone to breed their mare. Unless of course it's the people that keep a stallion out with their mares all the time, or have a foal that grew up and now mom's pregnant.
Makes me glad I'm not involved in showing anymore. The performance people are so much more relaxed and fun.
This is true, but unfortunately there are still way too many people breeding their horses just because they have the correct plumbing. It is typically not too difficult to find people with mediocre stallions willing to breed them for a cheap stud fee. Also, a scary number of horse people think color (palomino, dun, buckskin, cremello, paint, pinto, black) + correct plumbing=MUST be bred! Therefore there are many "pretty" colored horses out there that are of very mediocre or poor quality.
Contention over breeding for a specific discipline doesn't seem to be as prevalent as it is with dogs, but it still exists, especially when it come to horses bred specifically for halter (conformation).
I've been to a number if auctions that run kill horses through and it is a sad thing every time. It's especially difficult where I see a particularly friendly and trusting horse, or a standardbred in there...
I especially like this bit
"Weâ€™re AWFUL. We need to stop loving our incestuous little group of perfect dogs and JUST FRELLING LOVE DOGS. We can still own dogs, still show them, still breed them. Go to Hermes and bring home the bag that your heart dreams of. But for peteâ€™s sake, high-five somebody who has a different bag. "
I do see far less of it in horses. I think there are several reasons.
1) You don't get litters, and the gestation is longer. Yes, there is a surplus of low quality horses, but a mare can only pump out one foal a year. If Joe Nobody decides that he *must* breed his amazingly wonderful mutt because everyone should have one, you could end up with 14 or more puppies. If he breeds his grade mare, you get one.
2) There is so, so much less concern over "pure" lines, at least in the horse world I am in. I've said a million times that dogs would be better off if they were bred like sport horses. Performance matters most; cross breeding is fine if both parents are approved by the registry. The stallion at the barn where I keep Tristan can have his foals registered as Belgian Warmbloods, Dutch Warmbloods, Oldenburgs, and International Sport Horses. You can bring Thoroughbred into a line and still have it "pure". I'm sure in the breed world, there is far more an issue with that, but even associations like the Arabians and Morgans have special classes and awards for half-breeds.
I do think that where you see a similar backlash is in the racing world, where there is so much more money involved and the sheer quantities of horses being produced is enormous. I think some efforts are underway to start to improve the reputation - I know at least one track now holds the former owner/trainer responsible if a horse from their care ends up at a kill auction. The entire industry is in a downslide right now from my understanding, and I think this is just one piece of it.
SillySally also mentioned the halter world (the horse world's version of conformation shows), where it seems to be pretty much the same as the dog world. Lots of talk about people breeding for what wins in the ring, creating horses who are so exaggerated that they can't do their job anymore. Like racing, it's another area where I've read a bit, but don't have any personal experience, so take it with a grain of salt.