Deaf Dogs Automatically Euthanized - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-16-2007, 07:51 PM
 
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Culling is compared to natural selection, but I don't think it's serving the same purpose if human intervention is deliberately maintaining a genetically weak or in bred line of animal.

I am very curious how breeders feel--is there a lot of debate that certain breeds have reached "the point of no return"...that radical changes are needed in certain lines to justify the sickness and genetic problems cropping up in purebreds? Are there ethical debates over breeding for type to the point that culling the evidence of widespread weakness is considered part of the problem, not the solution?

Quite simply, the point of culling is to remove the weak from the gene pool. In theory if this is done mercilessly then eventually the various weaknesses would disappear. If you have to keep culling generation after gernation and make no headway you are not doing it right.
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Old 03-16-2007, 10:36 PM
 
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heartmama, there is a huge rift in the border collie community that is in a similar vein. ever since the akc accepted the border collie as one of their breeds, they are now being bred for confirmation. and people who appreciate working BCs hate this because they say you will end up with "a pretty dog with great hips and eyes, but who doesnt know what to do with a sheep to save its life". *snip*
I don't know if this is how it is with border collies, but Labrador Retrievers are essentially divided into two types (in the US): show/bench type dogs and field types.

It's interesting, this breed stuff. I'm not sure where I stand on a lot of the trickier issues. Something to read and think about, I guess.

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Old 03-17-2007, 12:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quite simply, the point of culling is to remove the weak from the gene pool. In theory if this is done mercilessly then eventually the various weaknesses would disappear. If you have to keep culling generation after gernation and make no headway you are not doing it right.
I would point out though...in many of these cases that culling will not have an impact though. If that male and female are continually producing litters where consistently puppies/kittens need to be culled then the parents should NOT be bred! After all, what is being produced also tells you the underlying genetics of the parents.

If a genetic trait, if dominant would be fairly easily removed from the gene pool. Most problems that we are talking about with these breeds though are from recessive traits...so you have parents who act as carriers. In this case, the parents would need to be removed from breeding program. If the parents are continued as breeders, euthanizing the deformed kittens/puppies really isn't doing much for the gene pool for that breed.

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Old 03-17-2007, 01:54 AM
 
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Breeders of working dogs are generally MORE intense about health testing. When you consider the amount of money poured into a working dog, if you spend all that money to find out you tend to have bad backs at the age 5 thats REALLY bad. Where as most show dogs are "done" by 5 yrs.
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Old 03-17-2007, 01:58 AM
 
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Not really phatchristy, when culling is done appropriately, if you get a dog who produces cullable pupps, you spay/neuter/don't ever breed again the parents. Good breeders and breed clubs also then send those pedigrees into the various vet schools doing research on those diseases so they have more information to attempt to figure out exactly WHERE in the pedigree it's starting.
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Old 03-17-2007, 01:13 PM
 
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It is pretty common here. We rescued a pup that was dropped off at the store my dp worked at which was beside a dalmation breeder. She was being returned for deafness. We had to take her home for the weekend. When we got a hold of the breeder they told us whe would be euthanized. I called the family of one of my students who was deaf and they couldn't bear the thought that she would be put down so they agreed to having her spayed and took her home. They named her Abby. She was well trained with sign language and was a wonderful comapnion to the family. She fit right in!
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Old 03-17-2007, 02:43 PM
 
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I'm interested to find out if other parent breed clubs for dogs who tend to have "cullable" traits, have their position as strongly worded as The Dalmatian Club of America? I have already posted parts of their position on deafness and culling, and i personally find it unnecessarily strongly worded. I absolutely understand if a breed club strongly recommends culling to reduce incidents of certain traits, and i absolutely understand a breeder making that choice. What i don't understand is wording their position so strongly that a breeder essentially has NO choice. They make it very clear that if a breeder does not euthanize deaf pups they are NOT a responsible breeder. I would imagine that a breeder could damage his/her reputation within the club if it gets around that they are placing otherwise healthy, but deaf, pups in homes that are willing to work with such pups.

For example, deafness in Boxers can occur if the dog is white. But according to the breed club:

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A breeder may choose to place white puppies in homes as companion animals. But the practice of placing white puppies should be done carefully. A responsible breeder should require that any white or mismarked puppy must be spayed or castrated if placed as a companion animal.

ABC policy strictly forbids registering white Boxers with the American Kennel Club, as well as selling white Boxers or breeding white Boxers. The ABC also requires that white puppies not be included in the count on the AKC litter application form. The ABC has never condoned or encouraged the culling of white puppies.
I looked all around the Great Dane breed club site, but couldnt find much information about deafness, let alone culling. I found something in the minutes of one board meeting that suggested they were going to write a brochure for rescues on how to place deaf pups in good homes. The Dal site, on the other hand, would automatically say "euth the pup, DO NOT PLACE" *regardless of temperment.* Indeed, they state that if a family buys a pup, is having problems with it and then finds out its deaf, they don't recommend first trying a trainer that knows alot about deaf dogs, teaching the dog signs, or doing anything at all to help the dog adjust. They say, literally, to euth the dog and start over with a hearing one.

So.....anyone know if other breed clubs besides the DCA word their position on deafness and culling SO strongly?


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Old 03-17-2007, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by queenjane View Post

So.....anyone know if other breed clubs besides the DCA word their position on deafness and culling SO strongly?


Katherine
Wow, Katherine that is an EXCELLENT point. A new perspective to think of it from.

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Old 03-17-2007, 11:09 PM
 
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Part of why the dal club's statement is SO strong is that when Disney released 101 Dalmations, dals shot from a little known breed to a very popular breed in a matter of a year. That is a death sentence to a breed. You start with a small but fairly well managed gene pool and suddenly every Tom Dick and yahoo is breeding a litter of dals to meet demand. Health testing goes out the window and the breed is in serious trouble. That kind of instant popularity is just about impossible to recover from for a breed--especially a breed already known for temperment problems in a dog without deafness but when you add that to the congenital deafness, it's just devastating.
People buy dalmations because they're cute. Most people don't bother to find out that they are incredibly demanding dogs, they require hours of excercise a day--hard excercise, they need to be jogged, for more than an hour, they're a road working dog. It's unfortunate that they've been placed in the non-sporting group because people assume that means they make good lil housepets and that just isn't so.
The nicest dal I ever met, he was just a total DOLL. His owner biked him 10 miles every single day, rain or shine. In the winter if she couldn't bike him she worked him on a treadmill--for 10 miles. She said ONE day without that and he was obnoxious, snarky and destructive. She actually had him trained right to his obed trial championship but she said every single move was a fight with him. Every second of his life was a power struggle of sorts. She was an owner equipped to handle a dalmation.

Anyway, I think the reason the statement is SO strongly worded is that it helps the breed club to weed out the back yard breeders--that is not an easy task--afterall, if you look at nothing but numbers, Joanna and a backyard breeder with a couple dogs he puts together once a year probably have the same numbers.
I would also say that for a breeder who does health test and keeps up to date on pedigree research, congenitally deaf puppies probably happen very seldom, for a backyard breeder who doesnt' know the pedigrees, they would happen at a much higher rate.
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Old 03-18-2007, 01:40 AM
 
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Anyway, I think the reason the statement is SO strongly worded is that it helps the breed club to weed out the back yard breeders--that is not an easy task--afterall, if you look at nothing but numbers, Joanna and a backyard breeder with a couple dogs he puts together once a year probably have the same numbers.

I would also say that for a breeder who does health test and keeps up to date on pedigree research, congenitally deaf puppies probably happen very seldom, for a backyard breeder who doesnt' know the pedigrees, they would happen at a much higher rate.
ok, maybe i'm dim, but i'm not following the logic. How is the DCA telling GOOD breeders to kill/cull deaf puppies impacting at all the actions of a BYB?

My concern is that a GOOD breeder who has the occasional (hopefully)deaf pup, doesnt have the option of placing that pup in a home if they choose to do so. I'm not sure they truly even have the option of keeping such a dog, without affecting their reputation....the DCA position seems to be that deaf dogs shouldnt even exist, regardless. Maybe they think that if deaf dogs are allowed to live, that people will think most dalmatians are deaf or something? I dont know. People are going to have prejudices about breeds no matter what you do...i was at a dog park one day with a six month old, very sweet and smart dal foster pup, and another person there said to my face "Oh, dalmatians, they are really high strung and stupid right? And they bite???" She had a pitbull with her! Of all people, she should have been sensitive to stereotyping breeds!:

How much control does a breed club have over BYBs anyway? My guess it, not much.


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Old 03-18-2007, 05:22 AM
 
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A club's COE is a reflection not merely of rather standard "this is what it means to be a good breeder" statements; it is also a living document that tells a lot about what a club has gone through in the past, what it fears going through in the future, and the beliefs of powerful or persuasive individuals in the club. Changes to COEs tend to be rather rich in subtext.

My best guess for the Dal COE is that there's a powerful population of hard-line breeders who put in the automatic euth. clause after being burned many, many times by unsuitable buyers. From what I remember, the Boxer club used to strongly advise euthanising, but now just forbids registering the whites (yeah, I know they say they didn't encourage it, but I certainly remember the atmosphere of the club).

http://www.dogplay.com/Breeding/coe.html is a list of all COEs. It's fascinating reading because it so clearly indicates what a club has gone through. So the Mal breeders specifically forbid crossing with wolves, the Kerry Blue people have a huge section on the fact that you can't charge extra for registration papers (which has to have a story behind it), the Lowchen COE says that you can't bring up private disputes at any show site (some screaming argument has to have prompted that clause).
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