Register    Login    Forum    Search    FAQ

Board index » Dr. Dog » Breeding & Genetics




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:56 am 
Offline
NLDA Lifetime Member
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:27 am
Posts: 2456
Location: SoCal
Yet another fabulous post from Patrick. Here is the link, http://terriermandotcom.blogspot.com/20 ... stite.html, but I'm going to post it as usual to encourage everyone to read, because this one is great. Emphasis added.

Counterfeit Collies and Transvestite Terriers

Whenever dog people get together, someone is sure to talk about "the breed standard" and how "form follows function."

It all sounds good, of course -- wonderful rhetorical chestnuts -- but it's pretty much nonsense.

Think about it. A working dachshund is a great little animal in the field and does the same work as a terrier, but it does not look like a terrier, does it?

By the same token, a Jack Russell Terrier does not look too much like a Border Terrier.

Smooth coats and rough do equally well in the field, as do coats of black, brown, white, or any combination in between. A folded ear is the same as a prick ear, a black nose the same as a liver-colored nose.

And is it any different for running dogs, molosser breeds, herding dogs, pointers, or retrievers? Does color of the coat matter? The "expression" in the eyes? No!

A working dog is defined by its work, not by its form. A retriever retrieves, a herding dog herds, a pointer points, a molosser guards, a pulling dog pulls.

"Form follows function?"

That's not even true in that sentence!

Form is about form. Function is about function. At best there is a relationship when it come to gross body shape or size, but that's not what they are judging at the dog shows is it? Instead, the most minute and insignificant detail is elevated to importance by preening pretenders and a handful of people doing contrived "work."

And what is the result?

It can be seen in breed after show-ring breed: transvestite terriers, counterfeit collies, and bogus bulldogs. The dogs may look the part, but they cannot do the job.

The Saint Bernard has been reduced to such dysplastic dysfunction that the dog cannot hope to rescue anything. In fact, it is an animal that needs to be rescued!

And let's not even start with the show-line German Shepherd, with hocks so sprung it looks like a dog sired by a frog.

Here is a simple truth: you cannot protect and preserve working dogs without working them.

You cannot breed quality retrievers or pointers when your own dogs have never heard a shotgun.

You cannot gauge the sheep-sense and holding power of a good Border Collie by tossing a Frisbee.

You cannot judge the true grit of a Jack Russell Terrier with a rubber ball. A one-hour cart pull around a farm does not a sled dog make.

People who think otherwise are kidding themselves. They are the reason every working dog breed dragged into the Kennel Club has been ruined there.

These people sincerely believe that if they breed a dog that looks the part, it can do the part. But this misguided belief underscores their ignorance. What makes working breeds special is not what is on their outside, but what is on their inside.


"But why do we need that today," says the matronly show dog breeder. "No one works dogs today."

Really? Well, maybe not in their suburban world of shake shops and one-minute rice. It is true that in their world, there are no hunters, cowboys, Eskimos, or gamekeepers. In that world there are no rats, fox, bear, sheep, cattle, duck, geese or pheasant. But these creatures exist outside the suburbs, and these people exist there as well.

In America, Australia, and parts of mainland Europe, dogs are still used to bust, hold and drive wild cattle and hogs.

Retrievers and Pointers are used as bird dogs the world over.

Terriers are still used for pest control, not only in the U.K., but also in America, Canada, South Africa and mainland Europe.

Dogs are still used for transportation in the Arctic, and rabbits are still brought to hand by running dogs the world over.

Is this work being done with Kennel Club dogs?

No. Not usually. And no wonder; form is not function.

No matter how attractive a man in a dress might be, no one who has a clue is going to take that "girl" to the prom.

And yet Kennel Club breeders will tell you, straight faced, that they are sincere in wanting to protect their breed. And who are they trying to protect it from? Why unscrupulous people who are not show-ring breeders, of course! And what do they intend to protect the dog with? A scrap of paper!

It is all laughable nonsense. And it becomes nonsense on stilts when people begin to talk about "the standard" as if it were a sacred text delivered to Moses on the Mount.

In fact, is there anything standard about "the standard?" I defy you to find a single canine standard that is more than 20 years old that has not been changed at least once.

And then there is the little matter that the standard is not the same from one country to another, or one registry to another. So what is so "standard" about the standard?

Ironically, what is NOT part of any standard in the U.K. or the U.S., is a requirement that the dog actually be a proven worker in the field. That, apparently is not "the standard." That function is not required for the rosette. A black nose, is a "Yes," but working a dog to the task it was bred for is a "No."

And so we come back to the real meaning of "form follows function" as used by academics in the dog world.

For these folks the "form" being referred to seems to be a paper form showing the pedigree of the animal being displayed. And "the function" these people are referring to is either the rosette from a show judge, or the cash to be gotten from a prospective dog-buyer.

Form follows function, indeed!

_________________
"You must be a very small minority no matter who you hang around with. Maybe you should start a magazine, Vegetarian Hog Dogging Monthly, find some like-minded individuals."
- Inspiration for my next project from TBH

True Blue Lacys: http://www.truebluelacys.com
More Lacy Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/julieanna/sets/72157605027566732/


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:38 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 5:36 pm
Posts: 906
Location: menard tx.
SO TRUE.

_________________
Dont get my personality and my attitude twisted, Because my personality is me, and my attitude depends on you.


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:04 am 
Offline
NLDA Lifetime Member
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 4:46 pm
Posts: 4640
What a shame that there are so few people in the world that understand what he is saying. Great post!

Betty

_________________
Betty

"You did then what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did
better."
Maya Angelou

"You have enemies? Good, that means you stood up for something in your life!"
Winston Churchill

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bjleek/


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:47 pm 
Offline
NLDA Lifetime Member
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:27 am
Posts: 2456
Location: SoCal
When I first saw his declaration that "form follows function" was BS, I was a little worried. We have made it very clear that in some ways form does follow function for Lacys, primarily because they needed to be a compact dog capable of working in thick brush and running for miles. Then I read he wasn't talking about that type of form and I was hooked. He just has a great way of explaining things that are obvious but get so twisted around in the rhetoric.

Patrick really is an incredibly astute writer. He has written two books about working terriers and his daily blog has some great nuggets of wisdom. He also is a huge fan of what we're doing at the NLDA. Power to the working dog! :D

_________________
"You must be a very small minority no matter who you hang around with. Maybe you should start a magazine, Vegetarian Hog Dogging Monthly, find some like-minded individuals."
- Inspiration for my next project from TBH

True Blue Lacys: http://www.truebluelacys.com
More Lacy Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/julieanna/sets/72157605027566732/


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:58 pm 
Offline
NLDA Lifetime Member
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:02 pm
Posts: 385
Reading him, and reading "Dog Wars" about the Border Collie, I do get concerned anytime I hear "conformation" listed as a criteria for our Lacy. As the Border Collie evolved working sheep, there was no conformation defined at all, and for instance size ranged from 25 to 65 pounds. That resulted in some pretty kick-ass working dogs. Is it possible to serve the two masters of Conformation and Working Ability at the same time? Like everything else, it comes down to breeder decisions. I hope that, when push comes to shove, working ability is given the nod over conformation.

_________________
Jim Browning
and Cannon


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:02 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 5:36 pm
Posts: 906
Location: menard tx.
You can get it ALL with a WELL BRED Lacy. :-BD

_________________
Dont get my personality and my attitude twisted, Because my personality is me, and my attitude depends on you.


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:14 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:04 pm
Posts: 1677
Location: Burnet County
Mr. Browning..you are correct..it does come down to breeders choices.
Fortunately there are enough of us breeders coming together and forcing the work issue with the Lacy that it may be a breed spared the show ring and respected in the working breed world for many many many years to come. But it will also take dedicated owners who share the goal of preserving the work ethic to really insure that mission.

I do believe as a breeder that you can and should breed for all three attributes, however I also believe for the Lacy working ability comes first and foremost. ;)

Great post as always by Patrick! Thanks for sharing it Julie!!

~Mis

_________________
M.D.Brooks Founding Member & Breeders Committee Chair
Bayed Blue...Bayed True...That's A Lacy Dog
If You can't keep up with the Lacy Dog...stay on the porch!
http://www.nationallacydog.org/index.html
http://www.lacyhuntingdogs.bravehost.com


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:51 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2008 1:28 am
Posts: 285
Location: Bel Aire, KS
I believe now in England it's illegal to hunt foxes with dogs. I have wondered what happened to all of the hounds and the terriers that were kept as working dogs. A friend of mine who is a JRT breeder said she had to go to England personally to hand pick what she thought was a good dog only to have to put down one dog. In England, they allow JRTs to run loose together because they put down the ones that fight. They sold bad JRTs to Americans who were willing to pay outrageous prices simply because it was a direct import and all of sudden Americans were calling them up and asking why their import was fighting with other dogs or when the pups that were bred by the import dog were suddenly trying to kill each other at 3 or 4 months of age. English people told them that they didn't have those problems because they culled the fighting pups. I think if you truly want a working dog..better buy from a breeder who culls heavily. Not too many breeders are willing to cull those days. For catahoula breeders, I only know of one who does it and he has his own bloodline of catahoulas that are usually brindle in color and has a tiny bit of hound crossed in it. I don't know if I would have the heart to cull but I would simply have the dog neutered/spayed and placed in a home where the dog would be ok and go from there. That is one way of culling.


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:35 pm 
Offline
NLDA Lifetime Member
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:27 am
Posts: 2456
Location: SoCal
I think Jimmy is absolutely right, you can have it all in well-bred Lacy. But working ability comes first, and conformation follows in part because some aspects of conformation will affect the way a dog works.

We have a friend with a papered Lacy hog dog who gets the job done. The dog is also 75 pounds. Literally, that is not an exaggeration, it is bigger than many Catahoulas I've seen. Now that dog works, and if he bred him to a registered female, that registry would paper the litter because the father is papered. But I don't necessarily think that's a good idea. A 75 pounder just couldn't work safely in our terrain. With the hills and vegetation in the Hill County, a 75 pound dog is going to get caught up and over heat and get cornered in a bad spot with a hog. It's just like Terrierman arguing that size matters in JRTs because a dog that is too wide or too tall can get stuck in a hole. He explains it in this article from his main site, http://www.terrierman.com/terriersizearticle.htm.

So, though I think most aspects of conformation don't matter at all when it comes to working ability, like white on the face or a long coat or whatever, I do think size matters for Lacys.

_________________
"You must be a very small minority no matter who you hang around with. Maybe you should start a magazine, Vegetarian Hog Dogging Monthly, find some like-minded individuals."
- Inspiration for my next project from TBH

True Blue Lacys: http://www.truebluelacys.com
More Lacy Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/julieanna/sets/72157605027566732/


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 4:06 pm 
Offline
NLDA Lifetime Member
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:02 pm
Posts: 385
I agree there has to be a conformation component - if basic characteristics aren't maintained, you don't have a breed. I guess I'm just saying 'beware the slippery slope', because the valid argument that a dog has to have a certain build characteristic in order to work gets twisted around by the show ring people to be "a dog with a certain build characteristic is able to work". Stories abound of conformation show folk saying things like "No, he doesn't work, but of course he could. Just look at him!" Of course, the protection for that is the one being used here: Only breed proven working dogs.

Poor Cannon... he'll never know the joys of sex. :((

_________________
Jim Browning
and Cannon


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:01 pm 
Offline
NLDA Lifetime Member
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:27 am
Posts: 2456
Location: SoCal
Yes, exactly Jim. It is like the scene from Best in Show where they are describing the Poodle's hair cut. "Those are her flippers." :)) Poodles can actually be great hunting dogs, but if I ever see one retrieving in the show cut those yahoos claim is functional, I promise I'll pee in my pants. Pretty much every exaggeration seen in the show ring was based off a minor alteration that made the dog well suited for their job. I shudder to think what that could be for a Lacy.

_________________
"You must be a very small minority no matter who you hang around with. Maybe you should start a magazine, Vegetarian Hog Dogging Monthly, find some like-minded individuals."
- Inspiration for my next project from TBH

True Blue Lacys: http://www.truebluelacys.com
More Lacy Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/julieanna/sets/72157605027566732/


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:33 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 8:28 am
Posts: 1460
Location: USA
Julie N wrote:
I shudder to think what that could be for a Lacy.


A set of brass cods the size of bowling balls!

Steve

_________________
Pigs evolved with ears so that my dogs would have a handle.

Remember the dog wags the pedigree and the reverse is not true.

16, intelligent and articulate, I'm a fan!


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:27 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2008 1:28 am
Posts: 285
Location: Bel Aire, KS
Julie,

From what I understood, some moron tried to run poodles in the Idiatrod (one of my interests is dog sledding) and the poodles basically nearly froze to death despite all that hair because the hair matted up and formed ice balls. The poodles were able to pull but after that, they were banned due to danger to the dogs.

As for the size, I would rather not comment because when I moved up here, I had a 65 lb catahoula pup that was exhibiting a ton of work instinct..had to re-home him. He's literally 75-80 lbs. Every pup from his litter is that size and work extremely well in hog and cattle work and are speedy dogs. His breeder actually grew up with lacys and his dad apparently still breeds them but he said they were too small to get the job done where he works so he went to catahoulas. He said lacys are easier to work with because they're not extremely hard headed or too stubborn like catahoulas. He said catahoulas have more leg therefore they're able to get the job done. Where does he work..I believe West Texas and near Marble Falls or whatnot. I would have to contact him to find out where but that's what he has seen. He is a game manager for several game ranches and his dogs work every day. I think size has little to do with the ability to work..basically what you should look for is size and SPEED. I've seen small dogs be slow and big dogs be fast..it's all in the mind of the dogs not the bodies. :))


Top 
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
 
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 

Board index » Dr. Dog » Breeding & Genetics


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

 
 

 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron