søndag 5. februar 2017

Show And Breeding: Dogs And Their Temperament

It is demanding to be a show dog, and an even greater challenge to be a great show dog. Just take a moment to pause and think about all that a show dog must take: being touched in the most intimate places, dealing with strangers "in their face", all the noise and smells... Just remember for a moment that a dog has one of the most complex sense of smells in the animal kingdom. Hears better than humans. Physically has it's eyes closer to the ground than most humans. In some sense I think we can agree that is is quite a mentality test for a dog, to be at a dog show.

Showing dogs are one of the main tools for a dog breeder that wants to stay true to the breed standard. Showing dogs will, green-eyed-monster-from-other-breeders-or-not, give you a certain idea of wether the dogs is close to the breed standard or is far from it.

At this, some dogs fail and some don't. I have seen dogs that wags their tails at the judge even as puppies and others as veterans. Other dogs have had bad days and won't show themselves at all. And then there's dogs that bite. Not only their owners, but the judge. Last year I saw a champion bitch of one breed bite the judge in the face. This year, although only in it's early months, I saw another dog, a male of another breed, first growl and then bite the judge.

Sure, a dog can have a bad day as everybody. Like many of us know: it is hard to do your best every single moment of every single day. And so be it. But what about when a bite is not a single incident and the dog keeps attending dog shows, and is even planned for breeding? What when the same dog growls at people, kids and even bites kids, but is kept under such strict regime at dog shows that it cannot bite?

I know of such a dog. It has bitten a judge. It has bitten other people. It has bitten a kid. And it has done fairly well at several shows. I don't believe it is a mean and vicious dog, but still. Is such a dog fit to breed? When is enough, enough? Where do you draw the line? And what about the breeder's responsibility?

If you plan to use a dog that has shown poor temperament, has bitten several times, you are faced with a number of choices. There might be other alternatives too, but let's look at three of them:
1) You can stick your head in the sand and ignore that it ever happened
2) You can put the breeding plans on hold until you really figure out what's behind it all.
3) You can choose to have a zero-tolerance for biting and not use the dog at all.

Behavior might be induced by pain, so there's always that. If that's the case it's all the more important to check the dog out thourougly at an experienced vet: x-rays, ultrasounds etc. It is something hereditary or is it an injury? Sometimes you don't find out what's causing the dog's behaviour, and then you are faced with the two options: breed the dog or not. It might not be easy, as you have put a lot of money into the dog, but you have a responsibility towards the breed, the puppy buyers that might end up with puppies with the same problem. Sure, there's never a 100% guarantee that a puppy might be good tempered even if it's parents are good tempered. But have you really done all you can, if you use a dog that you are fully aware that has shown really bad temperament on several occasions?

I can never, in a million years, defend or recommend a breeder that plans to use a dog with poor temperament, and has shown this on several occasions. Even if the breeder sticks his/her head in the sand and ignore all warning signs, even if told and warned about the behaviour, and still choose to ignore. That is pretty arrogang and selfish. Sometimes you simply have to face the fact that the dog you had high hopes for, is not the dog you hoped for. Not every dog should be bred, not every dog will develop as you hope it will and that sucks. It really does.

lørdag 4. februar 2017

More Than Just A Pretty Dog?

Some dogs just take your breath away when moving in the ring. It might be 30 degrees celcius in tha shade, but you still get the chills from watching certain dogs.

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Matador Breeding

Some males are used more than once. Some males are used two, three and four times. Maybe even five and six. Perhaps seven. When is enough, enough? And what is the span between the first and last litter? The frequency in which some males are used, are quite high, especially if you consider during which time they are used.

In this blog entry, I will use four examples. And then you can make up Your own mind.

Male no 1.
- Used four times on the same bitch over a period of
- Used four times in other countries.
- Has sired over 100 puppies in Europe alone. Mind you the breed does not count as many as a labrador, but it is not exactly endagered either.

Male no 2.

Male no 3.

Male no 4.

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About The Blog

This blog is intended to reflect upon different topics that a breeder has to relate to, at some point. Wether it is about showing dogs in the showring, breeding dogs, drama this and drama that, or other topics.

Sometimes you are faced with different kinds of dilemmas, big or small, complex or simple. Other times you just want to share experiences.

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Selecting Dogs For Breeding

To select a dog for breeding is not always straight forward.

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Showing A New Breed

Every single breeder has, at one point in life, showed their breed for the first time.

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Breeding And Ethics

At some point, when breeding dogs, you have to make some desicions related to ethics and breeding.

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