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100 Years Of Breed Improvement

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daffy654 | 15:30 Fri 06th Dec 2013 | Pets
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Interesting blog article about how certain breeds of dog have changed over the last 100 years.
http://dogbehaviorscience.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/100-years-of-breed-improvement/

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True. A Yorkshire terrier used to be quite a sizeable small dog, larger than a Dandie Dinmont terrier. The GSD, as illustrated, used to have a level back, not dropped on it haunches. The Golden Retriever used to be golden; dark gold with white or cream 'feathers'; now nearly all are white. And what has happened to the present short muzzled breeds? A visit to...
19:46 Fri 06th Dec 2013
I'm not entirely sure that the word "improvement" is appropriate in respect of some of the changes represented. Of course the kennel club would call it heresy, but how can the promotion of certain congenital defects be "improvement"?
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The word improvement is in inverted commas in the blog, they are basically saying most dog breeds have been ruined by the changes over the last 100 years. I think all of the breeds he mentions looked far better before, not to mention they were healthier and lived longer.
True. A Yorkshire terrier used to be quite a sizeable small dog, larger than a Dandie Dinmont terrier. The GSD, as illustrated, used to have a level back, not dropped on it haunches. The Golden Retriever used to be golden; dark gold with white or cream 'feathers'; now nearly all are white. And what has happened to the present short muzzled breeds?

A visit to Cruft's soon reveals continuing, more subtle changes. Talk to breeders about what wins and you'll soon discover that fashion is still dictating. The cynic in me thinks that what happens is a well-connected breeder has bitches that throw pups which aren't quite to present standard, but the standard gets subtly changed so they go on winning
what fred said
I agree entirely that there is nothing good about these developments especially when breeds that were once considered placid and reliable are now showing aggressive traits.

I guess the moral is avoid dogs that win at Crufts. Even Border Terrier, bred to keep up with a horse, has become too popular for its own good.
Intriguing, hc. What breeds do you have in mind that were placid originally and now show aggressive traits? I'd have thought the reverse. Many of our breeds were bred specifically to show aggressive traits; this was their virtue; but these traits were undesirable in the show ring or in modern homes as pets and so these were bred out, the only advantage for us that was ever obtained by inbreeding and breeding to a line !
Labradors and golden retrievers are the two breeds I was particularly thinking of, Fred

Interesting photos, daffy. I think the problem is fashion partly, as people prefer "handbag" dogs or crossbreeds that don't moult. The long-term effects of the breed aren't always considered. And dogs are inbred to keep up with demand (Cavaliers, for example) and then can take many generations to "dilute" the lines again.
I don't think that the problem with dogs nowadays is aggression as much as it is that preferred type has almost totally overruled breeding for physical and mental health. If you are seriously breeding a dog for guarding or for hunting big dangerous animals, yes they need aggression when its needed, but they also need to be able to switch it off and work in partnership with humans and other dogs. Hunting dogs who turn on the huntsman tended to have short lives. Add to that people having dogs who shouldn't be allowed to keep furbies, and hey ho here comes disaster.
I know the Kennel club are cracking down on some faults with some of the breeds, I wish they would start throwing out some of the German Shepherds with these sloping backs that cant even walk in a straight line because their back legs are trailing so far behind them, even the German Police have now switched to the Belgian Shepherd (Malinois) and the British Police are following them because the German shepherd is no longer a dog that is fit enough to train to their standards, such a great shame and of course the poor dogs are suffering.
Now I know why my dad favoured mongrels!
RATTER, the schutzhund GSD's are still sound but the temperament that they are bred for is not suitable for a pet home.
Now that it is not allowed to chop bits off dogs to the owners preference it seems as if dogs are being bred to lose bits automatically.
not sure what you mean jomifli?
woofgang, "schutzhund" refers to the a type of training (Protection training) rather than a breed of dog if I am not mistaken. Carakeel was reading an article in a German magazine a while back explaining that the GSD is not healthy enough to work to Police Forces high standards, hence swapping to the Malinois.
RATTER That's why I said Schutzhund GSD's They are bred for the sport by breeders who compete. Physically and temperamentally they are very sound indeed, but are dogs who need to work and their work tends to involve the teeth! I have an internet friend who has a schutzhund bred GSD, I have never met them but those who have say he is a lovely boy, very good with her friends but they wouldn't burgle her house for a million pounds. She puts a lot of time into training and "working" him otherwise he gets bored. She did used to do schutzhund training with him but he injured his back and is now not up to such an extreme sport.
*refers to the type of training
Never heard of labradors or golden retrievers becoming vicious through breeding. Any breed can become vicious if it is brought up in a way which makes it so.
I have, it was a golden, the owner found out alter that there had been problems with other dogs in the litter. I suspect though that this can be put down to how the breeder manages the litter in terms of socialisation and so on as well as poor choice of parents.

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