Friday, January 1, 2010

Interesting perspective

First, for those of you who have happened upon the website and not seen it, yes it is down. Several issues. Someone somehow, corrupted part of it and I had to shut it down. I have a feeling I know who it was. The webhost was able to provide me with some information. And secondly, I'm working on a new domain name host, which of course, doing it over the holidays is really stupid, so it will be until next week sometime before I have everything up and running again.

But onto the topic of today's blog. Magazines these days are getting smaller and smaller. That's not my topic, but it's a comment that I have to make after going down stairs to the "library" area of the basement and finding an old article in an Equss magazine. My Horse and Rider stack is thick, but the last year or two's are small, thin and don't amount to much in storage.

I digress. January 2010 Horse and Rider has an awesome article called Go Gelding. The article is by a really great trainer, Bob Avila in his Practice Pen section of the magazine. The gest of it is why a good stallion can make a great gelding and how many people don't do it just because of the extra work and time. Two points he makes are An Earned Right and A matter of time. After reading the article, some points struck me as to how close it reflected many dog breeders in our current time.

An Earned Right--he first asks the "why". Too many stallions around. Isn't that just the same as dogs? There are too many stud dogs around these days. He then comments, that that means there are way too many medicore or worse ones . Here's the best point that I think anyone with an intact dog---dog or bitch must seriously consider. " Breeding should be an earned right-a stallion shouldn't be bred unless and until he has proven performance record and the brain to match it. " WHOA there filly! Translating that into our dogs, we need to seriously look at the dogs out there being offered to stud. The old adage-Champions shouldn't always be bred-comes to mind. How many stud dogs are out there that offer conformation and structure but lack in brains? Can't herd, can't do obedience, track, have crappy temperaments, etc? How about the bitches? Equally important. How many bitches are bred that fail to finish in the show ring and yet the owners come up with a thousand excuses why, can't do a performance event of any sort, but yet are bred?

That brings up another point that Bob makes. "Breeding just because you like him doesn't cut it. For example, I see a lot of people who breed their stallions(stud dogs or bitchs)because they can't get them shown. Rather then taking that as a sign a horse(or dog) should be gelded(altered), they make the excuses, breed the horses(dogs), and thus make more bad horses(dogs)." I think he hits right on the head there. We have way too many mediocre or worse dogs out there showing in the rings today, not making it, yet the breeders are using those same dogs in the whelping box, only making more bad dogs.

I think where this takes us is back to the beginning. Breeders need to take a stand on the quality of the dogs they place, the ones that make it to the show ring and just because it's got four legs and barks, doesn't qualify it for the show ring. This last year I saw so many litters out there and comments about the entire litter being show quality or placing all but one in show homes. Again, it's our responsibility to take an honest look at what we breed and yes, be picky, overly picky. Granted what one breeder doesn't like, might be just what another wants, but in the end, going back to a very popular saying--If we are not but caretakers of the breed today, there won't be anything tomorrow.

So breeders, as this new year dawns, I challenge you to take a very deep and reflective look at your dogs. Are you holding on to a dog and breeding out of sentiment? Or are you doing it to improve the breed and basing it not on the paperwork with history behind it or are you taking a good honest look at the type, quality and brains of the dog phyiscally in front of you and assuring that you are doing right by the dog and the breed?

Later gators.....


Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it.

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