Thursday, November 12, 2009

Conformation VS Quality

Breeding for Beauty

As we approach the holidays, I think its important to refresh every one's mind on where our dogs come from, the other choices we have, and help educate those that may be new into pet ownership to guide them into making the best choice they possibly can. I would like for each and everyone one of you to please read this article and take time to watch the video below. Please do not cross out of it an any point in time, and pass it on to everyone (including child) you know.

My challenge to all of you is, if we get 1000 legitimate readers to post a comment on this blog (after watching the video) by the end November 26, 2009 and have each one stop by Doglando with a print out copy of their comment to the post, then the University of Doglando will donate $1000 to a charity of choice of our readers.

It was not until I sat in one of Pat Hastings workshops, the "Puppy Puzzle" that I realized how corrupt this ENTIRE industry is. I mean, I knew it, but really did not know all that much that goes into the show world.... its really no different politically than any other organization or competition. What the breeder interprets as good looking, or best representation of the breed, is who wins.... and its just luck as to who the judge really is... every judge will have a different opinion. So my question is why should all those opinions matter anyway, who cares about the looks, why don't we judge on soundness, and structure, and natural movement/motion... why do we judge at all anyway? Because we are judgemental by nature.

We should now this, our society is one of that which gets aroused on visual appeal, good looks, cuteness, and anything overt that makes us melt.... and little do we think about structure, so we like a dog with a mushed in face, and the more mushed in it is, the more cuter we find the dog to be, with no regard to what the effects of a squashed, tight, nasal passage way may cause the dog.

While I was doing my MBA my Business Law professor one day said "for any man made law there is a man made loop hole." That quote really stuck to me, because it is so very true. For example, for breeders to "show" their dog(s), their dog(s) have to follow the kennel club breed breed standards. So lets take that breed standards as the "law." Completely made up by humans, that can be changed at any point in time, by humans, there are so many variations and interpretations of what is acceptable and what is not. What it's not, is its not natural.... these dogs would NOT survive in the wild or as strays and that's because of the human involvement which is so largely based on the worst (looks), not better health).

Documentary - BBC - Pedigree Dogs Exposed

bordercollie19 | MySpace Video

Nothing saddens me more than this stuff.... I mean here we have "educated" dog people, while when dealing with people who buy dogs from pet shops may truly just not be educated.... granted its all wrong, and although so much attention is drawn on puppy mills, what about the show ring? During Pat Hastings workshop she was talking about stacking a dog properly... and she went on to state, if a dog that is genetically sound, structurally sound was lifted off the table (in a particular way to be stacked), and then placed back on the table, the handler WOULD NOT have to adjust the dogs feet to align the dog, because he/she was build correctly. Anytime the handler has to fidget with the dog, and teach them to stand in a certain manner, there is something preventing the dog from doing that naturally. So, bottom line is, the dog could potentially still stack in that manner, but would not be able to assume that position for too long before pain catches up to him/her. Think about this, I have issues with my knees, I can bend my knees and sit on them, however, not for too long. Structurally, something is wrong with my knees, and I can not sit like that for a longer period of time before I become stiff, or my knees lock. But if I had to do it for a show, to win beauty points of some sort, I think I could pull it off for a short time. Worst is that dogs don't complain, and are so much more tolerant than we are, so we just assume they are fine with the adjustment.

Bottom line is, that the poor quality of our dogs, and the poor quality of life our dogs live is not just the fault of puppy mills, back yard breeders, responsible breeders and everyone else who takes part in the production and manufacturing process of dogs, its also the fault of the judges. Judges reward the dogs with exaggerations, then everyone jumps on the band wagon. Another example of this is the health problems associated with the Merle gene and the "cool" pattern it has on the dogs.
This leads to the ridiculous extremes that prevail in the show rings and then the whelping boxes. It takes a great judge with courage, knowledge and no regard to political uproar of his/her convictions to select the proper specimens. If there was truly a test to conduct this "proper specimens" I guarantee you, the dog population would be cut by as much as 90%. Is that not an astounding thought?

Let's pull together for this challenge and make one Charity's Thanksgiving a very special one this year.

Dog Responsibly Pet Parents

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