IMPROVING THE SUCCESS OF BREEDING PROGRAMS FOR LGDS

Discussion of the training, use, and management of guard dogs, guard llamas, guard donkeys, guard goldfish, etc.

Re: IMPROVING THE SUCCESS OF BREEDING PROGRAMS FOR LGDS

Postby Kathy Lewis » Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:40 pm

Hi Janet,
I was thinking more of dogs leaving the sheep or not being effective guardians than harassing the sheep. You are right that in range situations dogs are not as likely to be bored and there is often some control of pups from other LGDs as far as harrassment of sheep.

The LGD traits I hope are never lost or diluted are those of the very close working dogs. Those that spend their whole life in the flock trudging along as the sheep move, actually controlling movement of the sheep to some extent and sleeping in the flock at night.....not worrying about the feeding station, not chasing down predators, worrying about thunder and lightning and definitely not visiting the neighbors. These dogs are pretty hard to fault as far as predator protection and being trouble free.

We've had some experiences that lead me to believe these traits are largely bred in rather than shaped by environment or management. Over the years we've had a few dogs that displayed this behavior even though they weren't raised in a suitable LGD environment or even bonded to sheep.....kind of like the occasional BC that changes homes and becomes a useful herding dog in middle age. Although these traits would not be as obvious and easy to track in smaller more controlled environments IMO it would be valuable to track them by getting range flock buyer feedback.
Kathy Lewis
White Dorpers with Lambplan EBVs
www.whitedorper.com
Kathy Lewis
Old Hand
 
Posts: 310
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:48 am
Location: South Central Oregon

Re: IMPROVING THE SUCCESS OF BREEDING PROGRAMS FOR LGDS

Postby dog » Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:46 pm

my view and it probably will not be shared by a lot - LGD breeds should not be crossed - the breeding of most LGD's has taken many years in some hunfreds of years to achive a true LGD - each breed has particular qualities and is suited to a distinct type of environment - by crossing the lgd breeds the work that has gone before is destroyed - to improve the breeding one selects within the breed not from outside it.
dog
Old Hand
 
Posts: 1090
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:50 am
Location: Australia nsw

Re: IMPROVING THE SUCCESS OF BREEDING PROGRAMS FOR LGDS

Postby stockdogranch » Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:00 pm

I probably have no business in this discussion, as I certainly don't breed LGDs. But I DO have two that are cross-bred (a three-way cross, I believe), and it seems to me that the breeder has done a spectacular job of crossing for particular traits, and as far as I know, these crosses are quite consistent over generations. At any rate, they do what they are expected to do and what they need to do for me extremely well,
A
stockdogranch
Old Hand
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:52 pm
Location: southern CA

Re: IMPROVING THE SUCCESS OF BREEDING PROGRAMS FOR LGDS

Postby Polypays4U » Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:27 pm

dog wrote:my view and it probably will not be shared by a lot - LGD breeds should not be crossed - the breeding of most LGD's has taken many years in some hunfreds of years to achive a true LGD - each breed has particular qualities and is suited to a distinct type of environment - by crossing the lgd breeds the work that has gone before is destroyed - to improve the breeding one selects within the breed not from outside it.

I agree. If it is good for herding dogs, why isn't it good for LGDs? This is what I was looking for in the thread on Breeding LGDs. I didn't ask the question here as this seemed more about scoring LGDs.

Why not improve the quality of a breed rather than try to start a new one? I know I shouldn't talk as I raise Polypays, a composite but I stay within the breed to work on improvement.
Bill Hardman
Uncompahgre Polypay Farm
Delta, Colorado
The western home of productive Polypays.
Polypays4U
Old Hand
 
Posts: 468
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 6:21 pm
Location: Delta, Colorado

Re: IMPROVING THE SUCCESS OF BREEDING PROGRAMS FOR LGDS

Postby lovetree » Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:12 pm

We cross breed our LGDs amongst breeds that have been genetically selected for similar guarding styles. Out crossing amongst similar guarding style breeds has allowed us to maintain the even temperament of the dogs and to continue the established tradition of how the shepherds in the EU breed working LGDs.
Mary Falk / LoveTree Farmstead
home of the dual purpose Trade Lake Sheep and the nationally celebrated Trade Lake Cedar Cheese
NW Wisconsin
lovetree
Old Hand
 
Posts: 1972
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 7:00 pm
Location: northwestern Wisconsin

Re: IMPROVING THE SUCCESS OF BREEDING PROGRAMS FOR LGDS

Postby Janet McNally » Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:24 pm

I could write a whole book on why cross dogs but I will just provide 5 points.

1) purebred as conceived of today, is a great restriction of the gene pool compared to the past. It means being restricted to a breed registry that represents sometimes, an extremely small population. This phenomenon is relatively recent, especially in the LGD breeds, having begun in many cases as recent as the 1950s or 60's or even much more recently. This is but a blip in time in the history of the LGD.

2) most breeds as defined by breed clubs today, were defined by political boundaries that did not exist 50 to 100 years ago. Shepherds were migratory people, and their dogs, and dog breeding (of which their was little control except that one would hope they mated with other shepherd's dogs on the mountain passes or villages) covered a very large area that extends well beyond today's political boundaries in Europe. I should point out that in Eastern Europe for example (Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia) what was basically one 'breed' type became 3 or 4 different breeds in modern times. So instead of interbreeding as they once did (and sharing a much larger gene pool) these breeds have become very narrow in their gene pool only just recently. Meanwhile the dogs now defined as a separate breed are merely close cousins.

3) selection of the next generation did not occur so much at mating, but at whelping where pups were selected on preferred coat color, often only two puppies were selected. Thus new genes crept into the LGD base on a regular basis.

4) A good read is Ray and Lorna Coppinger's "DOGS" a book that goes into the origins of the domestic dog, including a great deal of discussion on the evolution of behavioral traits. In that book Ray puts forth the theory that a LGD is what it is, due to a history of crossbreeding that has kept the LGD gene pool largely more diverse than what we define as a 'purebred' today. His opinion is that the hybridization of the gene pool might actually be required to maintain certain LGD behavioral traits.

5) Independent research by Ray and Lorna Coppinger, and by Jefferey Green, where the performance of various breeds, including hybrids were compared found that the hybrids scored higher and were more successful than the purebreds.

Now having said all of that, if I want a herding dog, I want a purebred border collie. But a border collie does a very different job from the LGD. So what is good for the border collie, where it is ok to have some rather obsessive behaviors, is not necessarily good for the LGD, where obsessive behaviors can become quite destructive.

Hybridization (the crossing of two LGD breeds) in the USA has been mostly a practical matter. If you raise Pyrs, finding a purebred Pyr might not be too difficult, but what if a purebred Pyr does not really suit your situation? The Polish Tatra suited me very well and for 9 years I had an excellent Tatra male here. He had everything I wanted, the picture of health, assertive with predators, yet gentle with stock, and stayed with his flock. I spent all of that time, and $6K trying to find a suitable Tatra female for him. All four females failed to meet my criteria (either due to joint issues or behavioral issues) and were turned into pets without producing any pups. Meanwhile Koci produced 150 hybrid puppies that have been excellent working dogs throughout the country. What a waste it would have been to not use him because someone thought crossbreeding was a bad idea, or worse, what a bad idea it would have been to perpetuate the bad traits in those four females in the name of breeding purebreds! If you have a pair of good dogs....and they are truly good, use them! whether or not they are the same breed.

Lastly... This is the new world with a new environment and different needs than the countries of origin... The quarter horse was born out of necessity by crossing breeds much as I just described above. It was a practical matter. What we have brewing here in the US is perhaps a new breed, the success of which will be fueled by the much larger population and greater selection intensity available because it is not restricted by the books, the fads, and the fetishes, of a breed club.

Janet
Janet McNally
Tamarack Prolific and Ile de France crosses
Minnesota
Janet McNally
Old Hand
 
Posts: 5699
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:26 pm
Location: East Central Minnesota

Re: IMPROVING THE SUCCESS OF BREEDING PROGRAMS FOR LGDS

Postby lovetree » Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:40 pm

Why not improve the quality of a breed rather than try to start a new one? I know I shouldn't talk as I raise Polypays, a composite but I stay within the breed to work on improvement.


In example, the Spanish Ranch Mastin ( known in Spain as the Mastin Ligero) has always been a breed that was the result of shepherds from the lowlands exchanging their best pups with the shepherds in the highlands.
The breed "The Spanish Mastiff" registry wasnt formed until the 1940s and then it was based on conformation rather than perfomance based selection, resulting in an overall different dog in appearance and performance. What you see on the ranches in Spain is very different than what you see in the show rings. When you talk about staying "within" the breed to improve it, you need to understand that the "registered" breeders do not do that, they bring in different breeds of dogs to create whatthey believe is a better "built" animal. In Spain, the Spanish Mastiff breeders brought in Saint Bernard bloodlines in order to "beef up" the breed to create the "war dog" look, to create a more massive appearing dog, characteristics thathad nothing to do with working ability. The Spanish shepherds refer to those dogs as being " a stupid mass of wrinkles". The difference between a Mastin Ligero and a "registered" Spanish Mastiff is 140 lbs versus 200 lbs +. I am not saying that all registered Spanish Mastiffs are stupid and over built, the Spanish shepherds are saying this.
The original Maremmas that Ray Coppinger brought to the states right off the ranches in Italy (no pedigrees) were a different dog than the 'pedigreed " Maremmas that followed a decade or so later.
Janet is spot on with her assesment of LGD breeding programs. I myself like to stay within breeds that are known for their similar guarding style, and I like to stay within the bloodlines that have been used by dairy shepherds because of selection pressure for temperament around family, but those are my preferences.
Mary Falk / LoveTree Farmstead
home of the dual purpose Trade Lake Sheep and the nationally celebrated Trade Lake Cedar Cheese
NW Wisconsin
lovetree
Old Hand
 
Posts: 1972
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 7:00 pm
Location: northwestern Wisconsin

Previous

Return to Guardian animals

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron