This weeks article focuses on some of the current issues around out crossing and inbreeding in purebred dogs and is a follow on to some of the recent discussions being held around DNA purity on the Murray River Retriever site/s on facebook.
I wanted to perhaps give you an insight into what people who love the Dalmatian breed have been put through due to people breeding for profit in the wake of Disneys 101 Dalmatian films. There have been some pretty hard times and some good times as a group of committed people have to the largest part worked together to correct some of these issues and to bring the breed back from where it was placed in the late 1990’s.
Disney first released the film 101 Dalmatians in 1961, the film was taken from a book of the same name. This saw a massive amount of increase in interest in the breed. The interest in the breed again peaked in 1996 when Disney re released an updated version starring Glen Close and Jeff Daniels. The result in both cases was that unscrupulous people saw an opportunity to make money and began breeding Dalmatians outside of the guidelines set by the relevant kennel clubs and set forth a number of pups loaded up with temperament and inbreeding issues into the wider community.
Let me say that I love the Dalmatian breed, but if you have not owned a dog before and cant handle a high energy dog, I really don’t recommend you go out and get one. A Dal can be a lot to handle and its best to have some experience in dogs before you own one.
Anyway the results were that problems started to occur with biting, being unpredictable and being destructive. All of which led to a totally unwarranted reputation for a breed that had in the past served people in so many good ways and as a treasured family pet for so many families. As a result record numbers of Dalmatians were taken to shelters and euthanized and the breed left with a poor reputation in the eyes of many. All because people had no interest in breeding guidelines and the breeding practices of the relevant clubs. The fact is that once you wave $100 notes under peoples faces, the propensity for greed and stupid decisions becomes paramount. As the Dalmatian craze faded away quality breeders began the process to undo the damage with correct pedigrees being used and the lines being pure. A Dalmatian bred today from a quality breeder is far removed from the one that the puppy farmer wanted to sell you years ago.
Currently the Murray River Retriever Association are working on a DNA project and are working with owners to bring assistance to breeders to breed from the best stock and to breed with the right temperament. If you are an enthusiast of the Murray River Retriever, I would like to ask you to really take on board what they are doing and the advice and assistance that is being offered. Its my view that the craze for liver coloured curly dogs is really heating up in Australia and pet shops are already trying to cash in on selling Murray River Retrievers under other names and as the latest designer breed. The result from ignoring the advice of the MRRA and doing what you please will be the same as what happened to the Dalmatian, – Biting, Poor Temperament and Health Problems in your animals that could so easily be avoided.
What does it mean to be really be a success as a breeder? In my mind its the dog you bred that dies in its owners arms some 14 years after it was bought as a puppy. Not the dog that gets euthanized for biting or dies in pain of organ failure in the beginning of its adult life. Ultimately how your pups end up in the homes that adopt them is largely up to you. Breed them well and give them every chance of success and you will rightly earn your reputation as a quality breeder.
For more information,
The Murray River Retriever Association http://www.mrr.org.au/
The MRRA on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/groups/255490854848890/
Murray’s in general on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/groups/Murrayriverretriever/