Past or Present?

Discussion in 'The Breeding Ground' started by RedyreRottweilers, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. Subject for discussion:

    Stud dogs of the past

    Do you think your breed is better or worse than it was 20 years ago?

    Are there dogs of the past that you feel you would like to use if the semen was available and you had the right bitch?

    There are some dogs I like very much from the past, however, I also feel that the Rottweiler has evolved/improved to the point where dogs of 20 years ago would not generally be of great benefit. In particular dogs of this era most did not have elbow or heart screening on record. We can determine to a large extent from pedigrees and current health testing records which dogs produced mostly normal offspring or not, however, with some dogs there will always just be a big question mark where these issues are concerned.

    For me I think at this point in time there are plenty enough very nice dogs who are currently available that I would not need to consider a frozen implant from a deceased dog.

    Anyone else?
     
  2. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    Interesting question Red! My first thought would be to say the Border Collie breed as a whole is worse now than compared to 20 years ago because there is a much bigger split now.
     
  3. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    For shelties, it's yesteryear by far for me. Imo, shelties have gone downhill over the years. I long for the more functional, less collie like, less exaggerated dogs of yesteryear. We've done so much inbreeding over here it's scary as well.

    Here's the oldest dogs I can find.

    The earliest Shetland Sheepdogs

    Lerwick Jarl
    This one is probably my favorite.

    Or this one:
    Ch. Woodvold (Thyne's)

    Ch Farburn Captain
    I love that dog's look

    http://hem.passagen.se/nightwin/articles/shepherds/images/72group.jpg
    Look at the legs and less coat.

    Misty of Greyhill

    http://www.portmazathe.nl/ped/photo/chestnutlassie500.jpg (she was half collie, though)

    More collie crosses I like:

    Eng/Am Ch Catmore Chum
    Ch Wee Laird o'Downfield

    We Laird doesn't need to be re-added to the line, he's 25% of the American sheltie nowadays.

    I just think they were even more beautiful back then.

    As far as paps go, I'm actually not as up on the old time dogs, From looking at pictures of *show dogs* they look fairly similar, though it's beginning to get more refined, more typey. As far as the breed's origins, I actually don't like the way they looked. They were a lot more spaniel-y and many were solid colored. Kirby made the breed a lot more popular in recent years, unfortunately. It has really been the catalyst for the breed's sudden popularity and the start of seeing paps in pet stores and mills. I love that Kirby did so well, he was an outstanding dog, but I wish they went' back to their pre-90s popularity.
     
  4. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    Goldens have more coat and feathering now due to English breeding , but I still like the look of the field breeding .
     
  5. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I think papillon history is fascinating. They're a lot more documented than the shelties and you can find paintings back to the 1600s of them.

    From the 1700s:

    Papillon Club of America's Historical Website
    Papillon Club of America's Historical Website

    Those two phalenes look basically identical to today's phalenes.

    This is supposedly the first painting of an erect eared continental toy spaniel. I can't say I want to go back to this look, though. :lol-sign:

    Papillon Club of America's Historical Website

    This is the oldest photo I can find: WebGeneal 4.7.0 (2004.05.01) (looks like a chi to me. That color is no longer accepted either)

    Didn't really answer the question but I thought it was interesting. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2009
  6. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    I love today's Pap Ears !!
     
  7. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    Speaking strictly with working circles, the Aussie hasn't really changed too much over the last 20 years, though there are now screenings and tests to run for epilepsy, MDR1 gene mutation and CERF/OFA. Prior to 1994, there really wasn't a split within the breed, so it's extremely sad and disheartening to see what 15 years has wrought. Bayshore, for example, was one of the foundation kennels in ASCA. Now, they are so far into AKC territory that they aren't terribly well liked by most of ASCA and their dogs have lost basically all working ability, trading it for the flash that wins in the ring.
     
  8. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Some from 20 yrs ago, would depend on the dog, 10 yrs yes. Today the terriers we are seeing have been bred so much for show ring that they are now over angulated behind and too straight for the front angulation. Which of course is a big no, the angles must match front to back. Yes these new jrts are pretty and boy oh boy can they trot pretty around a ring, but they are useless for much else, imo. Its especially disappointing when the breed standard states that they are to have 'moderate angulation'.
     
  9. PixieSticksandTricks

    PixieSticksandTricks Athletic Labs. They Exist

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    I would say over all both Labs and Cocker Spaniels are worse off. With the exception of some field breeders.
     
  10. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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  11. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    My boyfriends dog is co-owned, shown and is bred. He has a golden retriever but tyler is a SHOW GOLDEN, beautiful dog, lots of coat, strong bone, but DEFINETLY not a working dog. i love tyler but sometimes miss the working golden of 20 years ago
     
  12. colliewog

    colliewog Collies&Terriers, Oh My!

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    I would love to go back and breed to some of my own dogs from 20-30 yrs ago!!!
     
  13. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    I think that pitties are worse off as a breed. Obviously there is BSL, and combine that with the hippo-bulls, randomly bred BYB dogs, pits bred for "protection," and the popularity explosion of the breed among people who are not responsible enough to own them has really done the breed some damage.

    I think that labs were better off back in the day as well. I have a thick lab breed book and I get a little sad when I look at the pics because I would *love* to see labs like that today on a regular basis. Sadly, with this breed both the hardcore field lines and the hardcore show lines have deviated from what the breed should be--both looks and temperament-wise. Not enough of the show line labs have the drive that they should, while in some of the lines they have bred so heavily for field trials that the dogs are no longer properly tempered or good companions. It is hard to find representatives on either side that look like the labs of the past did.
     
  14. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    With you Fran! Seger is beautiful , but I still go back to the old breedings . Check out Lorelei's Golden Rip .... my first Golden's Daddy !
     
  15. HoundMusic

    HoundMusic New Member

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    I would have to say for my breed, both in field/show divisions, there has absolutely been drastic improvement.

    As far as the field lines go, there was a movement in the 60's that dramatically ruined the breed for hunting. Now known as brace Beagles, this bloodline was out of the old Pearson Creek bred by George Nixon & also some Grey's Linesman blood. Nixon was singlehandedly responsible for taking the hunt out of rabbit dogs, reducing Beagles to Basset proportions in some cases, perpetuating severe health issues. He later admitted, after his success was waning, that he overdid it with the inbreeding. He was chronically breeding full or half littermates generation after generation. Goals were to slow the Beagle to a crawl and hone line control to perfection. They were known as "walkie" talkies" because instead of tracking down a rabbit they would literally walk on the line of scent and give voice every other step. In essence, the dogs that were bred for decades thereafter were not bred to hunt but to follow the line while abandoning all other characteristics, including health.
    In the late 70s-mid 80s, faster speed dogs became popular again here, and during that time most dedicated Beaglers were working to restore the breed to rabbit dogs. The old Pearson Creek lines were so unhealthy even 40+ years later they breed true as slow dogs with close line control & a plethora of health problems. Along with better hunting dogs came a better perspective on conformation, health, hardiness. Around this time the first serious attention was given to crossing into field/show lines. It had been done before but the Woodpont, Little Ireland, Indian Hills/New City strains were the first to do it right and keep it up. Woodpont still exists today, and Indian Hills breeding may be making a comeback :)

    For show bloodlines ... I actually like what I saw from the early/mid 80s and before. Then for a while there was way too much attention paid on a flashy Beagle with a full muzzle, blocky head and square, squat proportions. When I first started out looking for a foundation bitch, oh, around '02 sometime, I wanted to cross field/show but what I saw winning in the show ring @ the time largely turned me off. WAY too much bone, overdone heads, short backs & overangulated hocks that gave the appearance of a sloping topline when stacked. NOT conducive to long hours of running in the field :nono: There were several kennels such as Echo Run, Brushy Run, Just Wright that seemed to have a good sense of how a Beagle should really be built, but it wasn't the prevailing attitude. So I set out with a field bred bitch that went back to the old Showfield show lines which have now died out in the pedigrees of strictly show bred Beagles.

    If I was starting today, however, the breed has been so VASTLY improved in maybe the past 5 years, I would probably start out with a show bred bitch. The bulkier mini Rottweiler Beagles still exist but are not as common. Breeders are paying SO much more attention to health in the past few years. And I even see many breeders, even if not breeding for hunt, at least giving credence to hunters and are really paying attention to how our ugly ol' rabbit dogs are built. You can always spot a breeder who either started in field dogs or takes some interest in how a rabbit dog should be built.

    So I think the breed, after being in both abysmal or not so great shape over the years is finally shaping up. The breed is attracting serious people - YAY!!! There is a loooooong way to go with late onset conditions ... I was surprised that a recent OFA survey ranked late onset seizures (after 5yrs) almost as common as ones that began before 2yrs!!!!! We also have field breeders who will always blame their epileptic dog's seizures on "sugar fits" and breed dogs with disc problems. Show lines have a tendency for too much inbreeding & I do think there either is right now or will be in the next few years, a problem with a shrunken gene pool. We have lost diversity of bloodlines to a large extent and most of our show bred dogs go back to one male who was frequently used in the late 90's and beyond. The catch 22 is that this male was responsible for much of the improvement in the build of show Beagles ...
    But the well respected breeders, for the most part, are vastly improving the breed at this point. There are some problems but all breeds will have that. It was a long time in the making but I think the breed is beginning to straighten out.

    Much longer than I anticipated, lol, sorry :D
     
  16. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    German Shepherds? Check out this page and make up your own minds :( past to present
     
  17. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I love the old 1940's- 60s show line shepherds (both american and german). You don't see that look much anymore at all.
     
  18. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    My first one was farm bred and was built almost identically to this one

    [​IMG]

    Bimmer fits the description of these GSDs better than a purebred does by a long shot, even temperamentally.
     
  19. Crowsfeet

    Crowsfeet facetious.

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    Whoa.. the hips of the GSDs in the time-line look as thought they've evolved(or, devolved?) drastically.

    This is a really interesting thread.
     
  20. Hairy&Stumpy

    Hairy&Stumpy New Member

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    Thought I'd chime in with an interesting perspective...bear with me...:)

    20 years...I don't know about 20 years...but from videos of old specialties, yah, I have tons, I can tell you that the numbers of dogs were much higher, meaning more diversity. Many of those breeders are older now, and don't breed anymore. We didn't replace those breeders with new ones. Sure there have been a few, but nearly as many as back then.

    Believe it or not, I am probably one of the youngest members of our Breed Club and I will be 42 in May. :eek: Not sure about the International figures on that and recently many of those across the pond have been joining our club.

    If you go back to the 50-60's, my gosh, there were lots of Skyes! Specialities could bring an entry of 100 or more and now, we are lucky to get in the 40's and regionals (there are only 2) bring under 20 if not more than 10 many years. The Roving Specialties bring more, but we haven't had one since 2005.

    From what I have heard from the old school judges and I mean those in their 70's to 80's is that during that time of higher numbers in the 1950's, etc. that temperaments were at times an issue. Our dogs are in essence very large dogs on really short legs, with a full, powerful jaw, so ill temperament can and was dangerous and the reason some of the older judges are still wary of them. As a whole, I think the breeders today learned from that and our temperaments have GREATLY improved. The proof of that is in our Specialty critiques. Every year, I read that testament and that is a good thing...so to the answer the question for the OP, yes we are better today as far as temperament.

    Conformation wise, and while there are exceptions, I feel the breed as a whole has gotten bigger than needed as per our standard. I believe the older standard had a weight at about 30 pounds, I'd have to pull out an old book for the exact verbatim, but that has since been removed from the standard and we are left with height and proportions. The height limits are OFTEN overlooked as long as the dog is proportional and even though the correct proportion is 2:1, many times extra length is considered to be desirable. I feel it is not. Dogs with longer backs (we don't tend to have back problems in the breed like Dachs, etc.) usually include a longer loin. With a longer loin, when dogs age, and this is my opinion, the top line starts to suffer or sag which is unsightly in the breed.

    So are we better off today? With bigger dogs? I don't think so. BUT!!!! and this is a big BUTT, our standard is full of words that describe substance, strength, power, heavy bone, etc. If we fail to breed for these things, which can include larger specimens, it IS possible to loose substance and then you are left with weediness. Our breed calls for substance and elegance, but if too much effort is placed on elegance, one can loose substance. My old, deceased mentor always told me, breed for substance, because IF you loose it...you will have a **** hard time getting it back.

    Along the way, some ideal dogs come about. Those that are low, those that are 2:1 and not more, and those that are filled with substance that look like they could do the job they were meant to do, but still look elegant and regal. But, at the same time, they stick out, because they tend to not be as tall and long (proportionately) than the rest of the crop.

    There is one dog out there now, was actually the Westminster winner, that to me, is very desirable. NOT because he won this show, but because he reminds me of the dogs way back in his pedigree which is the same pedigree as mine. His dam is my girl's mom's sister and my boys' cousins. He is low, 2:1, with a powerful head and level topline (although the video doesn't show it.) He reminds me of many great dogs from the past. His recent candid photo makes him look like our great, great grand dam.

    I am answering my own question here. YES, I would take stock in old semen! Lol...one of the reasons I plan on collecting and storing both my males when Lola comes into season next month. What I won't give to have a shot at some of those old dogs.

    But, unfortunately, in our breed, I don't think we have had ONE frozen semen litter to date. We are a small gene pool, and it's not something that has been done prolifically in the past, or has health testing been important. Just recently, people have started testing for knees and eye at the urging of the Finland Skye club. I think I am the only person who has heart tested my dogs and posted that info on OFA. Typically, we don't as a breed, have those problems as compared to other high profile breeds...but now more people are doing it, so that is a good thing.

    Are we better off today? Sure, in some aspects. Our numbers are the worst part. While Skyes are best not a popular breed, we still DO need new fanciers to bring for the future. And yes, I'd love to access dogs from the past, but it really isn't an option as no one was doing that much. I think more are now and I plan on doing it, just so people in the future can access my kids.

    Wordy, sorry.
     

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