German Shepherd Dog > Brief Ethology lesson (5 replies)
Brief Ethology lesson
by Am Virk on 08 April 2010 - 17:56
|This is something on found on the net.|
Sexual isolation from the greater population of dogs leads almost inevitably to dire consequences for those dogs that get trapped in a pure breed. A severe problem with locking dogs up reproductively is the problem of inbreeding. Once the stud book is closed on a breed, it is unbelievable how fast they become inbred. How fast will inbreeding occur? If you have just one founding sire then all the first generation will be siblings or half-siblings. By the 2nd generation, all breedings are inbreedings. If there are 2 founding sires (unrelated), then the third generation is inbred. If I start with 500 unrelated founding males when I closed the stud book, then by the tenth generation I will start inbreeding. That could be in as little as 15 years.
If I created a breed of dogs in 1900 (that is, closed the stud book) with 500 males, currently that breed would have been inbreeding for 92 years. They are caught in a genetic trap. If members of a breed club begin to breed to this year's Bundeseiger champion only, then inbreeding starts next year. If you eliminate from the breeding program all animals that exhibit, for example, retinal atrophy or hip dysplasia (which is a given) then the inbreeding coefficient increases more rapidly. The breed is in big trouble.
The old fashioned breeders who continue to create dogs by cross-breeding for specific, specialized tasks, like the lurcher breeders of Europe or the sled-dog drivers, are, by and large, disdained by pure breeders. Improvements of plants and animals, when performance is the goal, relies on cross-breeding and hybridization. The successful techniques of cross-breeding of working dogs are practically unheard of outside their fields. What the purebred breeders forget is that golden retrievers and every other modern breed are products, originally, of cross-breeding. That is why they have been good dogs. At least in the beginning, they had the health, and energy that are known as hybrid vigour.
Can you see "Ego" written in the above? The obtuse arrogance of the pure-bred crowd will be it's own demise. Interestingly, from my own empirical evidence, not all outstanding protection dogs have to be of the known, " preferred" breeds that we know of. To name a few: Boxer/Rhodesian Ridgeback, Irish Wolfhound/Bouvier, GSD/Rottweiler, Lab/Bull Mastiff - were outstanding. That is why, on a personal note, I am interested in the Black Russian Terrier.
by TessJ10 on 08 April 2010 - 18:27
An utterly ridiculous article that I cannot believe anyone would take seriously. To blast purebred dogs as a whole with such incredibly untrue and ridiculous presumptions like "If members of a breed club begin to breed to this year's Bundeseiger champion only, then inbreeding starts next year. " Think of all the thousands of GSD bred around the world this year, and this yahoo is stating what would happen if everyone bred all these dogs to ONE DOG ONLY.
by DDR-DSH on 08 April 2010 - 18:54
|I also would tend to call this crap.. Except that "crap" is a perjorative term, and I'd rather pick this apart a bit more on the objective / scientific level, where perjoratives are not appropriate.|
First of all, the title or the article, pretending to be of an "ethical" nature, has nothing to do with pragmatic decisions, animal husbandry science (it is a science as well as an art) and nothing to do with the freedom of choice it claims to promote. In fact, if this article does NOT have an agenda against the breeding of purebred dogs, you could fool me.. It seems to be critical of purebred dog breeding! So, what is it trying to say? Is it saying that a closed stud book and purebred dog breeding is doomed to fail by design?.. or unethical? What's the point of this argument? Would the author like to make a rule of "anything goes" with regard to breeding of animals? I'm all for the "anything goes" part, to the extent that someone can do it within accepted, normal standards of good animal husbandry (i.e. "Don't breed dogs without purpose or future, and which you cannot properly care for").
Rules which provide a sensible framework for a group to work under are sensible. I'm NOT for rules which are mandated and enforced by law. People SHOULD have choices.. I'm in complete agreement! But, if you're trying to say that it is more "ethical" to have mixed breeds, then that's where I have to protest. This is not a matter of ethics, but one of personal choice and freedom. It cannot be both, can it? It can only be both if the individual or the subgroup (i.e. breed club) is free to make this kind of choice for their own ethical reasoning. That said, the whole concept of trying to mandate choice under the guise of "ethics" and calling it "freedom" is ridiculous! If you want to cross a Russian black terrier and a Poodle, you are free to do it.. Purebred dogs and registries are not concerned with this.. They are only managing that which is in their own purview!
The other thing which may not have occurred to many people (surprisingly) is how similar wild animals such as Thompson's Gazelle and Cheetahs are, one to another of same species. This is simply because they ARE INBRED!! It has been proven that Cheetahs, for example, have an extremely narrow gene pool. No doubt this is true of virtually all wild species which are specially adapted to a limited environmental niche and look 99 percent alike. They are all decended from ONE animal at some point in time.. an animal which occurred because of a mutation in the genetic code.. and it happened that this particular mutation gave them an advantage over others of their kind which did not have this mutation.
Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but wouldn't it be nice if more people studied, learned and thought a bit more, before opening their mouths and saying something ridiculous and absurd? Frankly, this sounds like "animal rights", anti-breeding culture claptrap..
by TessJ10 on 08 April 2010 - 18:57
|You're right, it is a pejorative term and I should've used something more objective. But sometimes you have to call crap, crap.|
by hodie on 10 April 2010 - 00:34
|The definition of ethology pertains to the study of behavior, innate behaviors, and can be applied both to animals and humans. It has nothing to do with ethics.|
The article actually has a point in that we have indeed created genetic bottlenecks, not only in animals, but in some situations and time periods, among humans. And the article is indeed correct in the assertion that breeds have been created by human manipulation from an assortment of genetic makeups, some far in the past.
There is an argument to be made that introducing genes into a given dog from other than the normal gene pool may help promote vigor in a given species. If one studies GSD pedigrees, one does, in fact, see many, many dogs with linebreeding to the max. There are a few who try to stay away from that, but generally speaking, and as is often seen here, people want to linebreed. There are positives and negatives to doing so, especially when one really does not know what they are looking for.
Whether the author is promoting routine cross-breedings or breeds him or herself something other than pure bred *(whatever that really means because no dog is really pure bred) remains to be seen. It would have been nice had the original poster also properly cited the source. For all we know, this isn't even a true accounting of what was written or said.
by VomMarischal on 10 April 2010 - 03:54
|Seems to be from this:|
"Dogs, A startling New Understanding of Canine origin, Behavior & Evolution" written by Raymond Coppinger and Lorna Coppinger
Review here: http://18.104.22.168/search/cache?ei=UTF-8&p=Sexual+isolation+from+the+greater+population+of+dogs+leads+almost+inevitably+to+dire+consequences+for+those+dogs+that+get+trapped+in+a+pure+breed.&fr=moz35&u=www.thebark.com/content/future-dogs%3Fpage%3D3&w=sexual+isolation+greater+population+dogs+leads+almost+inevitably+dire+consequences+those+dogs+trapped+pure+breed&d=A1TOUO_EUmL4&icp=1&.intl=us&sig=D3xYvUTLpTdu_abZF_XdcQ--
just more plagiarism