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 Post Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:04 pm 
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Jim Browning wrote:
Sounds like it's all about the desirable recessive genes, and how you double those up by line breeding. Since both dogs have only the desired recessive, you know the offspring will have that. aa and aa can only result in another aa. Makes total sense.


Exactly. What those guys want is to go above and beyond your average dog. And to do that you need to double up the recessive genes. The problem is there are many recessive genes that influence the overall package. For the hog doggers, it isn't just nose or just drive or whatever, it is a mix of many traits. So by linebreeding, they start eliminating the variables and reproduce the entire package.

If you can look at a dog at say, "That is absolutely everything I want in a Lacy," then you have a place to start a line. But that dog needs to be exceptional or you'll just reproduce something mediocre. From what I've seen in horses, linebreeding isn't about improvement per se, it is about solidifying traits so that you can consistently reproduce them. Then you can add in a complimentary outcross to try to improve the line.

Betty, these genetic concepts work for any trait, not just those prized in hog dogs. That is how Roy Hines got his dogs. He added in different breeds for different traits until he had what he was looking for. Then he linebred to get those traits to consistently reproduce themselves.

Lacys do excel at many things, which is why they would benefit from the development of multiple lines. But because these jobs are so complimentary to one another, you could use them as outcrosses to really get some amazing dogs. You could help improve the nose on hog dogs with some blood trailing dogs, or get more grit in the tracking dogs with some cattle dog, and so on. Or you could breed for a generalist in the same way. I think that is ultimately what Jimmy has done. Trap line dogs have to do a little bit of it all to succeed, and the offspring of his trap line dogs go on to do many jobs that utilize those different traits.

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 Post Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:18 pm 
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I'm not being argumentative here, just wondering and asking questions as I see them. I'm also trying to break things down to where I can understand them. I dont even try to follow the aa's and bb's and all of that stuff.

If there are not many good lacys out there and no great ones, why not just get another breed? What is there about the lacy breed that makes you want to breed to get a better one? What makes the lacy worth going to the trouble to breed them for greatness? If size is not an issue and you dont care whether you have a pure bred dog why not just go get a mutt from some breeding and to heck with breeding the lacy? There has to be something that makes Jerry be sad that he is getting away from the lacy breed. There has to be something to this breed to make it different for to him feel that way.

If I was to breed Lucy to make a great tracker, then wouldnt I be losing some of the traits that others like in their dogs? Thats where I get messed up on all of this. If I bred her to another good tracking dog with a good disposition, good looks and all of that, but I didnt care about her working cattle, then I have messed up this breed and made her line just a blood tracking line. See, thats where I think that we can sure screw this breed up by breeding for great hog dogs, or great blood trackers or great cow dogs. They were meant to be good all around dogs. Not just great hog dogs or not just great one thing in particular. I dont want to lose sight of that fact and I think that it will be very easy to do when not everything is taken into account. JMHO.

We have to be very careful and not to fall into the trap that people tend to fall into when going for greatness. In children, there are those who are great ball players, great musicians and the like. But, they also usually fall short on the other aspects of life. Very often greatness comes with a very high price tag.

Jerry, I would like to see what Lucy could do with a good person behind her. I know your part of Texas is worse than mine and I sure dont care to track down there. She might not ever be great and I certainly am not any expert, but I have seen her on a 4 day old track, where it was not only hot and dry, but the ragweed pollen was so bad that you couldnt tell my pants legs from my boots and she was still out there tracking. She would work the blood trail that the hunters had marked and then try again and again to pick it up from there. She doesnt give up, she will track forever and when she finds what she is looking for, she only wants to go look for more. I would dearly love to have a young dedicated tracker behind her, instead of me. I think she could burn the place up.

Now, will someone tell me what 'bottom' is?

Betty

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 Post Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:26 pm 
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Okay, so I have two more questions:

1. Let's say you've line bred a really great dog. and locked in the double recessives for the traits you wanted. Now it's time to out cross (this is to introduce some other trait you want to improve, right?). Don't you have to be really careful picking the other line, to make sure they have each of the recessive genes you want to maintain? Otherwise, wouldn't you lose the traits you had worked so hard to cement in place?

2. Are we anywhere near having the science to correlate complex traits like 'drive' and 'nose' to an actual gene/allele/whateever, so you can know for sure whether a certain dog has the genetic trait you want? I imagine it would take a ton of genetic data, correlated to the individual traits of the dogs?

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 Post Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:57 pm 
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Jim,
I am no expert at line breeding but what I understand is that you can only line breed for 3 generations before things get to tight. So you need to introduce another line bred line with the same characteristics, then the offspring are line bred back to your original line. Steve correct me if I am wrong.

Betty,
I ask myself the same question, I want my Lacys for hog hunting and I like the intelligence of the breed. These are very smart dogs. I also want to see these dogs in high demand for their hunting ability, cattle dogs, etc. I would like to see the dogs of the past that were so highly regarded by individuals who made a living using the breed. Thats why i agree with the breeding standards of this association. Even with my crosses, I will always have a Lacy around.

Bottom is the ability for a dog to pick up a track and take it to the end without giving up. I also think bottom is the dog finding the animal at the end of the track and staying with it until I get there to finish it off. Ex. dog baying a wounded live deer...and giving up if it takes me 10 minutes for me to get there and finish it off. The dog should stay put for 1 hr if need be for me to arrive.

Jerryg


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 Post Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:19 pm 
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Betty,

I think just because we have all become dedicated to the breed.

You always loose any trait that you ignore. Don't want to loose it, don't ignore it.

Its easy to produce a dog that's good at several things but its very difficult to consistently produce dogs that are GREAT at even one thing. Personally, all I do is hog hunt so my focus is to breed for GREAT hog dogs. That does not mean that they wont be able to heard or track but they damn well better excel at hog hunting. Plus, its beneficial to have distinct lines because if I forget about nose and start to loose it as a result, there will be blood trackers out there who focused on it so I can use one of their dogs with solid scenting traits for outcross. Same thing works in reverse.

Jim,

1) Yes and no. Outcrossing can be done to introduce a lost trait or help strengthen a weak one but normally it is done for health reasons. Keep in mind that outcrossing is technically breeding outside of 10 generations. When you do decide to outcross, you should always look for one who will both compliment and benefit your line and if there is something missing, you should look to improve on that trait at that time. But, the true purpose of outcrossing is to produce hybrid vigor. As you lock in the traits that you are striving for, there are always unseen and undesired traits hitching a ride. When these unseen and undesired traits become to strong within the line its called in-breeding depression which mostly refers to health issues like low fertility. Outcrossing at this point is done to produce "outcross, or hybrid vigor". Crossing in unrelated lines (by 10 generations) effectively reintroduces a whole new set of variables in the recessive genes, jumbling up and effectively eliminating the expression of those undesired health traits. Here is the trick........ Unless you want to mess up the whole puzzle, all of the recessive traits, you have to choose a line-bred outcross who's expressed traits compliment your own. You want another line bred dog so that you are fairly certain that its recessive traits are also "set" and that it will be providing two copies of the recessive traits you are after. Then you bring that progeny back to your line.

2) No. Things like color are easy but drive and such are determined by a complex combination of genes that we will likely never identify fully.

Steve

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