A Few Home Truths.

I am sure that breeders around the world will react in ways that will reflect their acceptance or not of the opinions presented in this article. So be it. People have the right to agree or disagree. Such should be the case in all democratic societies.

Since you have taken the time to read this I must assume you either own or have owned a pure bred or cross/mixed bred dog. Be they pure bred or cross/mixed, all are, or should be, someone's loved companion. In my case, I use the term 'cattle dog' because I only ever knew the breed as Blueys or Heelers until I started breeding and showing. Then I was introduced to the pure bred, pedigreed Australian Cattle Dog. Whether in the show ring or 'just hangin' out', enjoying a day in the country, the difference between these pure bred and cross bred dogs could well be just a piece of paper.

Regardless of which Canine Control or which country, that piece of paper or pedigree, is about as useful as teats on a bull. You see, what is written on that piece of paper is only as good as the ethics of the individual breeder.

This is where I can hear the rumblings start to develop into a thunderous roar of condemnation, so I will state here and now that there are many breeders whose ethics are beyond reproach. However, like any other business, and it is a business where big money is charged for pups based on the pups' pedigree, greed raises its ugly head.

I have seen pedigree papers showing dogs that have been dead for 6 years sire litters! (According to the pedigree papers). Not just the one litter, either! In one case a dog that ran the streets was "used". Of course he had no 'papers' so a ring in set was used to register the litter. You do not need to be very bright to work out the perpetuation of this false "pedigree". So on and on went the breeding along with the continuing false registrations for generations.

I have yet to know of any Canine Control that does not, or will not accept the breeders' word as to correct sire/dam listings on litter registration forms. How can they? They have to accept the breeders' word because, apart from a DNA test, they (the relevant Canine Control) cannot disprove the breeders' word. Who would be prepared to absorb the costs associated with DNA testing each time a litter was registered? The relevant Canine Control? Guess again!!!

So much for control.

Costs of litter registration often deter breeders from registering all pups in a litter. Quite often pups are not registered because breeders deem them not 'show quality'. Often some are not registered because of birth defects and others go to pet homes because they do not meet the cosmetic requirements of the show dog 'Standard'. . 99% of these pups are sold, bred to and bred from. No papers accompany these pups, so what makes them any better or worse a "dog" than any cross/mixed breed ?

Over the years I have seen cross/mixed bred dogs with better conformation, i.e. better front angulations, stifles, bites, top lines and feet, than a lot of pure-bred, pedigreed show dogs. Most pure-bred ACD show dogs couldn't work a full day. The majority of the ACD show dogs would have never seen a cow.

The best worker I ever had was by an ACD/Kelpie sire out of an ACD/BC bitch. None of which were pedigreed or were papered. Nor can I say with any conviction that any of the three breeds were "pure-bred". However, I would back them against any pure-bred ACD working today.

A mixed breed is not necessarily a mix of purebreds. You will often hear..."My dog is an ACD-Border Collie-Kelpie" as though the dog's parents and grandparents were purebred members of these three breeds.

We must remember that the first dogs did not start out as fancy purebreds and everything that isn't pure is some degenerate form of these purebreds. On the contrary. The first dogs were the original, naturally evolved dogs. They roamed the edges of early settlements and reproduced randomly. Natural selection and 'survival of the fittest' was the order of the time. The purebreds that came along much later (mostly in the 1800s) developed from these dogs and are mainly man-made or man-assisted.

The original dogs have been reproducing as well, and we still see the results of their random breeding today as each country's 'wild dog'. So, unless you know that a puppy's progenitors were pure-bred, trying to assess what breeds might be in his background may be a waste of time. Because it may well be that the pup has no 'pure' breeds behind him at all. He could possibly come from a long line of those wild, original fringe dwelling dogs.

Man has a lot to answer.

Submitted by John Chandler

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