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"Testing" and breedworthiness

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"Testing" and breedworthiness

Post by scott-YHK on Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:26 pm

Let me start off by saying that what a man/women chooses to do with their property is there own business...that being said:

After reading a few recent threads I thought I'd get some opinions as well as giving my own regarding testing and breedworthiness. IMO, it's a shame when folks use diagnostic testing results as a major (or only) consideration to determine a dogs worthiness to be bred. I'll be the first to tell you that I personally don't regularly use diagnostic testing on my dogs. However, my dogs are worked regularly and frequently in a demanding vocation. Structural faults are readily seen and dogs are removed from the genepool accordingly. My line of thinking is that first and foremost the dog should be proven to work at a high level prior to any thoughts of diagnostic health testing/breeding. If you want to complete the diagnostic health testing after the dog has proven themselves to work at a high level and before breeding them...good on ya'

I also think that some folks either don't know, or like to fantasize that playing with a tug, flirt, or springpole (or occasionally hitting a sleeve/catching a shoat in a pen) is actually work. Can those things show you something about your dog? yes. But, they are not a vocation and can give you only basic, entry level information at best. Certainly not anything to determine breedworthiness.

So, there are a couple of my thoughts...what's yours?

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Re: "Testing" and breedworthiness

Post by JSAN_911 on Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:46 pm

scott-YHK wrote:Let me start off by saying that what a man/women chooses to do with their property is there own business...that being said:

After reading a few recent threads I thought I'd get some opinions as well as giving my own regarding testing and breedworthiness. IMO, it's a shame when folks use diagnostic testing results as a major (or only) consideration to determine a dogs worthiness to be bred. I'll be the first to tell you that I personally don't regularly use diagnostic testing on my dogs. However, my dogs are worked regularly and frequently in a demanding vocation. Structural faults are readily seen and dogs are removed from the genepool accordingly. My line of thinking is that first and foremost the dog should be proven to work at a high level prior to any thoughts of diagnostic health testing/breeding. If you want to complete the diagnostic health testing after the dog has proven themselves to work at a high level and before breeding them...good on ya'

I also think that some folks either don't know, or like to fantasize that playing with a tug, flirt, or springpole (or occasionally hitting a sleeve/catching a shoat in a pen) is actually work. Can those things show you something about your dog? yes. But, they are not a vocation and can give you only basic, entry level information at best. Certainly not anything to determine breedworthiness.

So, there are a couple of my thoughts...what's yours?
preach on brother i wish i can add something to this but tham you covered all corners!!! flawless!!!!!
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Re: "Testing" and breedworthiness

Post by Taskmaster on Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:56 am

So Scott, are you of the opinion that because a dog can work possibly all day and preform a job like hog catching well. That in and of it's self clears the dog of health issues like hip or elbow dysplasia? Because if so you honestly couldn't know for sure because you admittedly don't regularly health test. So dogs who might have CHD are allowed to slip through the cracks and you could unknowingly be breeding two dysplastic dogs together.
I agree everyone should govern their yard how they see fit. But if one hopes to improve their yard and the breed overall than doing the core health testing is imperative.
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Re: "Testing" and breedworthiness

Post by Taskmaster on Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:08 am

scott-YHK wrote:
I also think that some folks either don't know, or like to fantasize that playing with a tug, flirt, or springpole (or occasionally hitting a sleeve/catching a shoat in a pen) is actually work. Can those things show you something about your dog? yes. But, they are not a vocation and can give you only basic, entry level information at best. Certainly not anything to determine breedworthiness.

So, there are a couple of my thoughts...what's yours?

I have to disagree because all quote, unquote jobs needn't be done on a daily basis in order to determine a dog's worth or ability to do said venue. I have to ask how many dogs have you trained in say Schutzhund, PSA, KNPV and or the Rings (Mondio, Beligan, French)? To what level were those dogs trained too? Because honestly until you have done it you can't appreciate, understand or know what it takes to achieve it or the caliber of dog thats needed.

Bitework training can be just as revealing of a dog's weakness and strengths whether its done once, twice a week or month. But like anything else what it really boils down to is the person/s ability in evaluating the dog and their wellness to cull out dogs that don't cut it.

In order for a dog to be successful in any job or venue there has to be the presence of traits and or skills in dog necessary carry out that job.
Bitework is no exception, the AB needs to possess those qualities or traits in order to do it well.
Here are a few of the traits or skills needed:
strong full grip
prey drive
fight drive
clear headed
ability to handle pressure (both mental and physical)

Are those not some of the same qualities or traits needed in a good catch dog?

There was a time when an AB performed a variety of duties all in the course of being a farm utility dog. But now days we have gotten away from that type of dog and the AB is becoming one dimensional in their ability to perform tasks or duties. I feel that to continue on on this path will negatively effect the AB.
The ability to prefrom different tasks is one of the reasons I was drawn to the dogs that make up my biatch, Katara's pedigree http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/dog.html?id=908883 . Because they have it all, looks, health, and are proven in working drives/abilities in various venues and their ability to pass those traits on. Which helps to keep them multi-fauceted and more like the ABs of old.
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Re: "Testing" and breedworthiness

Post by scott-YHK on Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:47 am

Taskmaster wrote:So Scott, are you of the opinion that because a dog can work possibly all day and preform a job like hog catching well. That in and of it's self clears the dog of health issues like hip or elbow dysplasia? Because if so you honestly couldn't know for sure because you admittedly don't regularly health test. So dogs who might have CHD are allowed to slip through the cracks and you could unknowingly be breeding two dysplastic dogs together.
I agree everyone should govern their yard how they see fit. But if one hopes to improve their yard and the breed overall than doing the core health testing is imperative.

No, I don't think it clears the dog of health issues, but in my experience the dogs that aren't structurally sound can't/don't make the cut in the woods. Now I'm only speaking from what I personally have seen. Let me ask you this, if a dog had diagnostic hip testing (let's use OFA) and the report came back as severe, but the dog lived and worked at a high level to a ripe old age and never showed any signs of his ailment...does it really matter what the diagnostic test results were? If I raise dogs that can perform rigorous work at a high level regularly/frequently and never show any signs of being unsound structurally...in all honesty, that's good enough for me.

Again, my opinion here, but no one person can do anything to improve (or even impact) the breed as a whole. The best they can do is better their own yard. I have never sold an adult dog and it has been a rare occasion when I have sold a puppy. My pups go to hunting homes to prove or cull. If it culls, I replace it. What I consider a wise old dogman said breed judiciously (only proven workers) and cull ruthlessly. That formula seems to work out pretty well.

scott-YHK
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Re: "Testing" and breedworthiness

Post by scott-YHK on Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:56 am

Taskmaster wrote:
scott-YHK wrote:
I also think that some folks either don't know, or like to fantasize that playing with a tug, flirt, or springpole (or occasionally hitting a sleeve/catching a shoat in a pen) is actually work. Can those things show you something about your dog? yes. But, they are not a vocation and can give you only basic, entry level information at best. Certainly not anything to determine breedworthiness.

So, there are a couple of my thoughts...what's yours?

I have to disagree because all quote, unquote jobs needn't be done on a daily basis in order to determine a dog's worth or ability to do said venue. I have to ask how many dogs have you trained in say Schutzhund, PSA, KNPV and or the Rings (Mondio, Beligan, French)? To what level were those dogs trained too? Because honestly until you have done it you can't appreciate, understand or know what it takes to achieve it or the caliber of dog thats needed.

Bitework training can be just as revealing of a dog's weakness and strengths whether its done once, twice a week or month. But like anything else what it really boils down to is the person/s ability in evaluating the dog and their wellness to cull out dogs that don't cut it.

In order for a dog to be successful in any job or venue there has to be the presence of traits and or skills in dog necessary carry out that job.
Bitework is no exception, the AB needs to possess those qualities or traits in order to do it well.
Here are a few of the traits or skills needed:
strong full grip
prey drive
fight drive
clear headed
ability to handle pressure (both mental and physical)

Are those not some of the same qualities or traits needed in a good catch dog?

There was a time when an AB performed a variety of duties all in the course of being a farm utility dog. But now days we have gotten away from that type of dog and the AB is becoming one dimensional in their ability to perform tasks or duties. I feel that to continue on on this path will negatively effect the AB.
The ability to prefrom different tasks is one of the reasons I was drawn to the dogs that make up my biatch, Katara's pedigree http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/dog.html?id=908883 . Because they have it all, looks, health, and are proven in working drives/abilities in various venues and their ability to pass those traits on. Which helps to keep them multi-fauceted and more like the ABs of old.

I have absolutely zero experience in pp/sport. But, either I didn't convey my point very well, or you missed it. When I was referring to bitework, I was referring to those that think because their dog participated and/or did well in a hardest hitting contest or will bite a pillow or sleeve in the backyard they have a working dog. I was not referring to those that are actually in training for sport/pp.

Yes, the traits you describe above are essential in a woods dog.

scott-YHK
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Re: "Testing" and breedworthiness

Post by Taskmaster on Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:39 am

scott-YHK wrote:

No, I don't think it clears the dog of health issues, but in my experience the dogs that aren't structurally sound can't/don't make the cut in the woods. Now I'm only speaking from what I personally have seen. Let me ask you this, if a dog had diagnostic hip testing (let's use OFA) and the report came back as severe, but the dog lived and worked at a high level to a ripe old age and never showed any signs of his ailment...does it really matter what the diagnostic test results were? If I raise dogs that can perform rigorous work at a high level regularly/frequently and never show any signs of being unsound structurally...in all honesty, that's good enough for me.

Again, my opinion here, but no one person can do anything to improve (or even impact) the breed as a whole. The best they can do is better their own yard. I have never sold an adult dog and it has been a rare occasion when I have sold a puppy. My pups go to hunting homes to prove or cull. If it culls, I replace it. What I consider a wise old dogman said breed judiciously (only proven workers) and cull ruthlessly. That formula seems to work out pretty well.

Actually, yes it does, because while said dog might be able to perform at a high level, doesnt mean his got will. Now would I exclude him from the breeding program? May be, may be not! A lot would depend on if the female came from a line that was strong for producing good hips. Or at the very least the female would have to have xray cleared hips before I in good conscious use the dog.

See I believe one person can have a huge impact on a breed whether its negative or positive. Think about some of the breeders we know, who are producing 3,4,5 or more litters a year. Or has a very popular stud dog who is dysplastic, poor temperament or some other health issue. That dog or all those pups from the litters produced well have an effect one way or the other on the community. While its true most folks don't mass produce ABs so their physical influence will be limited. The mind set that allows for those practices is somewhat contagious, because some have difficulty not letting money rule them.


Last edited by Taskmaster on Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: "Testing" and breedworthiness

Post by Taskmaster on Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:44 am

scott-YHK wrote:

I have absolutely zero experience in pp/sport. But, either I didn't convey my point very well, or you missed it. When I was referring to bitework, I was referring to those that think because their dog participated and/or did well in a hardest hitting contest or will bite a pillow or sleeve in the backyard they have a working dog. I was not referring to those that are actually in training for sport/pp.

Yes, the traits you describe above are essential in a woods dog.

My bad Scott, I did misunderstand you and now that you have further explained I agree with you.
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Re: "Testing" and breedworthiness

Post by scott-YHK on Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:26 am

Taskmaster wrote:
Actually, yes it does, because while said dog might be able to perform at a high level, doesnt mean his got will. Now would I exclude him from the breeding program? May be, may be not! A lot would depend on if the female came from a line that was strong for producing good hips. Or at the very least the female would have to have xray cleared hips before I in good conscious use the dog.

For me, it does not. Because even though the dog had a poor diagnostic health test...did it truly effect his health, work ethic, or ability to work at a high level?

Taskmaster wrote:
See I believe one person can have a huge impact on a breed whether its negative or positive. Think about some of the breeders we know, who are producing 3,4,5 or more litters a year. Or has a very popular stud dog who is dysplastic, poor temperament or some other health issue. That dog or all those pups from the litters produced well have an effect one way or the other on the community. While its true most folks don't mass produce ABs so their physical influence will be limited. The mind set that allows for those practices is somewhat contagious, because some have difficulty not letting money rule them.

You seemed to have made my point. We are just looking at it from a different perspective. With the vast majority of the breeders breeding unproven working dogs (or pets) at best/culls at worst...the ones that are doing it right can never make an impact on the breed as a whole. The best they can do is work with like minded individuals to produce dogs that suit them.

On a personal note...the chances of my own dogs making it into the (for lack of a better term) mainstream AB world are slim to none. In the past decade, I've personally done 3 bulldog breedings. It really is a pain in the azz to whelp a litter of pups and then do the screenings for placement. Since I rarely put a dog in a pet home (I"ve done this 2 times), they either prove themselves as woods dogs, or they are culled.

I will say this. When it comes to woods dogs, or working stock dogs...in my experience, structural faults are readily apparent. Could be that, over the years, I just naturally look at working dogs with a critical eye.

Please don't think that I'm against diagnostic health testing. I just don't place the importance on it that some do. Hell, some will use it as their only breeding criteria.

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Re: "Testing" and breedworthiness

Post by JSAN_911 on Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:37 am

see im loving this thread we have two sides that came to came agreement we have 1 line from a show working lines and another line from working on field (hunt) and there was no insults no dissrespecting and yet both parties agree to same, 2 pros different views at end day 1 answer..love it
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