thought I'd share a link to a series of articles about why "line breeding" is the same as "in breeding" and why it's bad for dog breeding...
Inbred Mistakes I
Very interesting read and mirrors my views for the most part, especially -
"I think what Joanna is trying to say is that closer breedings are more likely to double up on genes that the breeder has no desire one way or the other to be doubled up. This is true, and this is why a more distant breeding between dogs that still share the desired traits is safer. In fact, this is what I advocate. If you want to maintain good bone and a long shiny straight coat in your dogs, find an unrelated dog that has both good bone and a long shiny straight coat. This should not be that difficult, and the benefits to keeping the other 99.9% of the genes that we don’t want doubled up on unnecessarily free to be heterozygous is a major benefit".
"If there is an inbred pool of “healthy” dogs, it is to be found in another breed, and even then the rules of blood purity have prevented the Dalmatian backcross project from being accepted. And the idea that an outcross needs to be inbred itself is also unsupported and dangerous. One never need turn to this mythical healthy inbred population if breeders would simply outcross and bring in even a little bit of new blood. The maximum benefit will not come in removing disease through inbreeding (this has never been successful), but in managing disease so that it is rare.
It is not a problem that disease exists in dogs, it is a problem that it is so prevalent. Playing the lotto is not stupid because you have a chance at winning a fortune, it is stupid because you have a really really really lousy chance at winning and a very very very good chance at losing your investment".
So happy to see that there are dedicated breeders out there who are becoming more aware of this. I think as time goes by and accurate information (not just what breeders tell you about their lines when they have no understanding of genetics) is more readily accessible, there will be more of them and different sorts of people becoming involved in dedicated dog breeding, rather than just the show community. I think the growing popularity of mixed breeds proves that most people don't really care exactly what their dog looks like, they want healthy, happy and even unique dogs and they don't want to support inbreeding/linebreeding practices, or the breeding to win shows without testing for anything else (stuff that actually matters to pet owners).
In regards to your second point, I don't agree with that entirely. I'm not saying that it doesn't occur, but there are a lot of people out there who don't want another purebred and deliberately go out of their way to avoid them. I'm very confident that if I were to walk down any street and ask everyone on that street whether they wanted a mixed breed of known parents vs a purebred from a registered breeder, the overwhelming majority would choose the cross. It's just what I see day in day out. At the vets, at training clubs, at parks, at the beach... I think tolerance for people breeding indiscriminately and without the best interests of the dogs at heart is very low. But, if given a choice between a mixed dog satisfying those criteria and a purebred dog, from what I've seen there would be plenty of takers for the mixed option.
I think in the past people weren't aware, they didn't know anything about how purebred dogs are produced and what their situation is but thanks to documentaries and the internet so they can learn that regardless of what their breeder might tell them, they're not alone in owning a sick papered dog, and given that these sorts of inbreeding practices don't even exist in most other domesticated animals (for example crossing cows, horses etc is just fine) people don't accept it anymore. I know I don't.
The use of in breeding is not uncommon in herding dogs. Uesd appropriately it strengthen some top quality characteristics. There is a very good explanation of the value of inbreeding in working sheepdogs in a book "Working Sheep Dogs" by Tully Williams (CSIRO Publishing). It covers it comprehensively and scientifically so I couldnt even begin to cover it here but it certainly explains why out crossing can also lead to failure and poor quality working dogs and why inbreeding can be extremely effective.
As to the statement that there is a growing popularity of mixed breed dogs, I think this can also lead down wrong paths, my mothers mixed breed has a long history of poor health and I know many examples of HD and other problems in randomly bred mixed breeds.
Personally I would rather take my luck with a breeder that understands genetics and how to use it to best effect and has a long history of health testing and selecting superior dogs. For me this is essential in working dogs, inbreeding for me in this situation is not a problem if the dogs are quality. I dont buy dogs selected for a show breed standard (ANKC) but I have seen quite a few, mainly Border collies that are fit, healthy and vigorous and come from breeders who know their stuff.
I have seen some basket case mixed breeds so boy you can get yourself into trouble picking up a backyard mixed breed. I have seen several randomly bred mixed dogs have to be euthed for severe genetic problems causing great grief to their owners, so it is not just in purebred dogs that this occurs.
People need to understand that mixed breed doesnt always equate to a superior dog as there are many things that can go wrong with random genetics.
It is always the dog that suffers in the end from poor breeding of any variety. Breeding should aim to minimise this.
Last edited by Kalacreek; 06-27-2014 at 11:07 AM.
You have to remember that heavy culling can be used in production type animals so any faults can be quickly culled and only the best most productive animals kept. Inbreeding can bring faults out very quickly as it can bring a doubling of exceptional qualities and as long a s selection pressure is applied very good animals can be produced from closer breedings with very desirable and heritable and measurable traits that people pay a lot of money for.
Last edited by Kalacreek; 06-26-2014 at 02:09 PM.
Eugenics - selective breeding - if there wasn't any of that, dogs would all look pretty much like wolves. Or the semi feral dogs of Asia and Africa eg Dingos and PNG singing dogs shape...Eugenics has never been my thing in any species.
Eugenics as a word - is really about selective breeding of humans - and the idea has been around a very long time. Remember the expression "well bred" or "I was born and bred (location/skill)"
Hitler thought that it was a good idea to cull all the people he thought "poorly bred" - which was always an insane idea. But used to happen routinely to puppies that weren't quite right. Never mind the litter mates were all carrying the same genes.
So recently the half sister to my friend's cripple dog - got first place in a national agility competition. Not fair. But if the breeder had been more careful - maybe all the litters would be sound? Or at least s/he wouldn't rehome the unsound ones.
Selective breeding is used extensively in agriculture in both plants and animals to optimise production and produce material that is suitable for our needs. Bread and biscuits are made from specifically different types of wheats and extensive back crossing is used to capture and distill disease resistances and other desirable genetics. Some lines of sheep are bred to produce wool that is not scratchy, production animals that are very good at converting plant material into meat and milk. A dairy line looks very different to beef lines for obvious reasons. Plants and animals are also selected to excel in specific environments. There is plenty of back crossing, outcrossing, inbreeding, line breeding, heavy culling going on to achieve this. Nearly everything you eat or wear is a product of selective breeding.
Yeah I do know that. It was an emotive reaction to a derogatory comment about dogs that aren't purposely designed by humans.
Inbreeding and line breeding have a purpose in dog breeding. The growing trend of mutts is due to peer pressure and marketing NOT logic to be honest. Breeders have been bad mouthed so much lately that there is a guilt complex about pedigree breeding and that is BS.
I have dogs that are line bred, two both have their grandfather the same on both sides. Done properly it's a wonderful tool, both dogs are happy, healthy and fantastic workers.
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