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Maralynn

"Rosettes to Ruin"

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That was an excellent article. It is particularly effective by showing the change in skull shape in those few years!!

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That is a fantastic article but I'll tell you what - the folks that buy into the kennel club mentality would dismiss it. They feel they are the "salvation" of their particular breeds, saving and protecting them by their breeding "to a standard". Of course, you've probably noticed that the standards change over time with the winds of style.

 

Ever imagine a bulldog actually being able to bait a bull? Old engravings, etc., show the bulldog looking rather like what we'd call a Pit Bull Terrier or Staffordshire Terrier, not anything like an English Bulldog. Most English Bulldogs can't reproduce without help, and are lucky if they can waddle across a room without getting winded (and it's not just a matter of being unfit and overweight).

 

So many, many show-bred breeds no longer significantly resemble in form or function the dogs they are descended from. They are descendents of Border Collies, or English Sheepdogs, or Bearded Collies, or whatever functional breed they once were, but they sure aren't those breeds in reality, form, or functionality any more.

 

One only needs to look at how cattle showing resulted in grossly different build in livestock over just a few generations - anyone remember the very short-legged beef cattle of some decades ago, or the very long-bodied and long-legged, sloping-upward-at-the-rump show cattle of more recent years? Those long, upward-sloping heifers were just calving and post-partum-infection disasters waiting to happen.

 

How about the American Quarter Horse, or should I call it, the community of horse breeds descended from and called the American Quarter Horse? Compare a halter horse with a racing-bred, or a cutting horse, or an English Pleasure horse, or a reining horse, or just a good, old-fashioned ranch horse.

 

A well-meaning friend once said (about Border Collies, no less) that if you want one to do stock work, get one from working parents (of course, he meant AKC herding-titled parents). If you want one for obedience, get one from "obedience lines". Same for agility, etc. Sad, but true if you buy into the kennel club mindset and want the breed to be anything and everything but what it should be...

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Nice article. I especially liked the "Working Terrier Standard":

 

"...FEET: four, one at the end of each leg, with extremely tough pads.

 

...EARS: yes, two."

 

When you look at those skulls, you realize how truly creepy show-ring breeding is.

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I am so glad that someone posted the link to this article so I won't be as long-winded. Besides, you have to see those skulls to truly appreciate what happened to the Bull Terrier. It was a wake up call to me about a breed near and dear to my heart. See, my childhood companion was a Bull Terrier (old type, definite stop to the skull.) I knew that something had happened to this breed, but I wasn't sure exactly what. I just knew that my Poochie and General Patton's dog weren't Spuds McKenzie. Not even close.

 

The Bull Terrier was once a working breed, having the unenviable job of catching and holding the bull so that the human could perform unpleasant tasks, like castration or slaughter. As such, the dog had to be fearless, relatively insensitive to pain, and willing to lay down his life for his human companion. Once this job faded with more advanced animal husbandry, the Bull Terrier was unemployed. For awhile, he was the dog of choice for the "sports" of Bull Baiting and Dog Fighting, but then those occupations were outlawed and the BT once again found himself without a job. Unlike his former co-worker, the English Bulldog, who had already been altered beyond recognition, the BT still had his physical function. In addition, the breed had many admirable qualities and breeders sole concern was softening the aggressive side to let the positive qualities shine through. The breeders did an admirable job of it. Dogs like Poochie were still supremely self-confident, extremely loyal, and willing to put themselves in grave danger to protect their families and friends. The BT now was people friendly and--given the dog fighting background--amazingly tolerant of other dogs. But with that no longer desirable stop in his facial profile, Poochie was no longer welcome in the show ring.

 

The lack of stop was accentuated to create the bulging dome-shaped "egghead" of the modern BT, all for show ring appeal. If it were merely a matter of looks, well, tough crunchies. But with the genetic manipulation to achieve this deformed skull caame a host of other problems. Hydroencephaly was becoming more prevalent as was zinc deficiency, both increasing the dog's propensity for aggression. But the worst side effect was the change in the type of seizures this seizure prone dog exhibited.

 

Poochie had the old type seizures, grand mal. Stiffening, falling over on his side, trembling while his limbs went rigid, the seizures were frightening to witness, but relatively harmless. The seizure would pass, Poochie would make his whoozy way over to the water dish, take a brief nap, and be back to normal in no time. Even if he had wanted to attack in the midst of his brain's misfiring, he was paralyzed by the muscle rigidity and unable to do squat. Not so the modern version of the BT. The grand mal has given way to partial seizures that the owner may not even realize are happening. And because the poor confused beast is still physically capable of movement, he is quite likely to fly into a murderous rage. "He just attacked for no reason. It just came out of the blue." Well, no it didn't. But try telling that to the poor owner who has just been savagely attacked by his beloved dog...especially a dog that shortly thereafter exhibits no sign of aggression and seems quite unaware of what just transpired.

 

The point of my rant is that the Bull Terrier not only underwent a complete appearance makeover but a more than slightly problematic personality change. The good all round family pet of the first half of the century had become a ticking time bomb.

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So many, many show-bred breeds no longer significantly resemble in form or function the dogs they are descended from

 

very true, I have a custamer at work who is in her 90's, she used to breed and show American Cocker Spanials, she showed me a pic of her and 2 of her Cockers from before the war..the difference between the Cockers then(show dogs no less!) and the cockers today is so great that if I did not know that these were show cockers, I would have placed my money on "Spanial mix". reather then fur that looks completly clipped up and shaped, it was moderately long, naturally flowing and silky..they looked...natural. there was no turned up nose, and the stop was not so deep, the head was also less blocky. they did not have those fuzzy faces that need clipped smooth, they just had a normal smooth face. colour was different to..the pics were black and white, but the markings..the one was almost solid colour exept for a white splotch with speckles in it on its nose. they were gorgous dogs, but not even remotely what we see today!

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Very good article! Thanks for sharing.

 

How about the American Quarter Horse, or should I call it, the community of horse breeds descended from and called the American Quarter Horse? Compare a halter horse with a racing-bred, or a cutting horse, or an English Pleasure horse, or a reining horse, or just a good, old-fashioned ranch horse.

 

Being a Quarter Horse owner myself, I have seen the damage done to this breed from ground zero. What people have done to them is atrocious. My horse has never placed in a halter class in the last 10 years and never will. I don't really care, I show him in halter class mostly to get him out of his stall during the show week. But the horses that are winning are the most overweight, psychotic animals I have ever seen. These people feed these horses buckets and buckets of sugary, starchy grains and then lunge them in circles for hours. They don't ride them, the horses are given no form of proper mental exercise. At best they might last until they are 6 years old. For an animal that should live more than 20 years, it's disgusting. Their bodies just break down, they aren't designed for the kind of life (or lack of) that they are provided with. I also have seen more horses with bad legs win over horses with good legs, just because they were bigger! The Quarter Horse is NOT supposed to be some 18 hand moose!

This is what the quarter horse looks like now. How long do you think this huge horse will last on those tiny legs?

http://www.jcquarterhorses.com/PhotoAlbum1/imkiddin1.jpg

 

There was a time not that long ago when people thought that smaller feet made the horse more refined. People advertised that their horse were 1400 lbs and wore double zero shoes. Then they were purposely breeding horses with HYPP because they had more muscling. To me it is so obvious that anyone who does not breed for working animals is going to destroy whatever animal they come across. No doubt about it. :rolleyes:

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Very good article! Thanks for sharing.

Being a Quarter Horse owner myself, I have seen the damage done to this breed from ground zero.

 

That is one ugly horse!!!

 

Give me a good old fashioned Canadian Horse over just about any another other breed, any day of the week.

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Wow, I had no idea that this was happening to Quarter Horses. Back when I was growing up and around horses a lot and had one of my own, Quarter Horses didn't look anything like that. They were closer to 15 hh and solidly built, but nothing like the horse in that picture. :rolleyes: Why would anyone ever want a horse that looks like that? It looks freakish.

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Very good article! Thanks for sharing.

Being a Quarter Horse owner myself, I have seen the damage done to this breed from ground zero. What people have done to them is atrocious. My horse has never placed in a halter class in the last 10 years and never will. I don't really care, I show him in halter class mostly to get him out of his stall during the show week. But the horses that are winning are the most overweight, psychotic animals I have ever seen. These people feed these horses buckets and buckets of sugary, starchy grains and then lunge them in circles for hours. They don't ride them, the horses are given no form of proper mental exercise. At best they might last until they are 6 years old. For an animal that should live more than 20 years, it's disgusting. Their bodies just break down, they aren't designed for the kind of life (or lack of) that they are provided with. I also have seen more horses with bad legs win over horses with good legs, just because they were bigger! The Quarter Horse is NOT supposed to be some 18 hand moose!

This is what the quarter horse looks like now. How long do you think this huge horse will last on those tiny legs?

http://www.jcquarterhorses.com/PhotoAlbum1/imkiddin1.jpg

 

There was a time not that long ago when people thought that smaller feet made the horse more refined. People advertised that their horse were 1400 lbs and wore double zero shoes. Then they were purposely breeding horses with HYPP because they had more muscling. To me it is so obvious that anyone who does not breed for working animals is going to destroy whatever animal they come across. No doubt about it. :rolleyes:

 

 

 

 

 

 

This comparison to halter AQHA horses to working AQHA horses is very much along the same lines as comparing the conformation show border collies versus the working border collies.

 

Although it is a valid concern when one sees the halter horse, not to worry, there are plenty of folks raising true working bred AQHA horses. I raise reined cowhorses and I assure all that they do not in any way, pedigree, looks, ability, and longevity resemble that photo of the halter horse. And no other breed can top the cowhorse -bred AQHA ( or APHA) horse at it's job.

 

It's really no different than the show border collie versus the working border collie.

 

Carolyn

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Guest Marigold

Interesting article. Thanks for sharing!

 

I grew up with the "Little House" books and Mom and I always wondered how Jack could be a bulldog because the bulldogs we knew couldn't do things such as follow a wagon all day in the wilderness etc. Then I learned about American Bulldogs and realized that Jack wasn't like the bulldogs of today but of the past.

 

Our local library carries the AKC Gazette and I read it for fun and information. In one of the recent issues, the Pekinese columnist was concerned that England might make it illegal to breed dogs with faces that might affect their breeding. Even though I'm against government intervention into things such as dog breeding as a general rule, I do think it should be illegal to breed dogs if they'll have a defect that affects their health-and that includes the ability to naturally give birth. I never did understand why people would breed dogs like that-if an animal breed can't give birth naturally, it's not going to survive if something were to happen to the humans.

 

Oh, yes, and I can't understand the need to exaggerate certain features in animals just for show. Show labs are heavy boned which doesn't seem practical for the work they were bred to do. Show Australian Cattle Dogs seem to be following the same route-I saw a couple a few months ago and although their owner was very nice, her dogs were too heavily boned to be able to quickly dodge a cow's kick, turn on a dime etc.

 

Heartbreaking what the quest for a blue ribbon does to animals. :rolleyes::D

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