Should dogs outside the standard be bred?

Genetics, breeding, birth defects, diseases, etc. (No litter listings)

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Re: Should dogs outside the standard be bred?

Postby Doc E » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:14 am

I live in the Labrador world.
In that world there are almost two breeds.
There are the "show dogs" (bench dogs) and there are "field dogs".
Those of us with field dogs call the bench dogs "Pigadors".
Most pigadors couldn't find their way out of a paper bag.

Most Field Labs are outside of the breed standards for one reason
or another.

.
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Re: Should dogs outside the standard be bred?

Postby JONOV » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:24 am

mastercaster wrote:
Let me ask you this: Why should I or you care about someone else's written standard for physical conformation, if it isn't relevant to you or I?

Personally, I take a rather dim view of the conformation standard's importance. For a lot of reasons. What's important to me as a hunter might be irrelevant to you as a hunter. Someone that does a lot of late season duck hunting and mostly takes shorter, flatter pheasant or grouse hunts is going to have a different ideal than someone that mostly chukar hunts.

If size were important to me, I wouldn't buy a dog that comes from big parents. I think that one thing that attracts folks to Griff's is their shorter stature, and if its important, than they shouldn't buy a dog from big parents.

The other reason, is that the show world can lead to some totally useless dogs. Because they "conform" to some standard or another, and ignore other more important traits. I've seen some really nice "looking" dogs that have the right proportions, etc, but you see them run or whatever and it doesn't add up. And one only needs to look at Cocker Spaniels or even Show Ring Labs to see what the awful consequences are.

The other thing, is that some dogs just get big despite having normally sized parents. I know one such 80 lb Griff. She's never been bred though and won't be.


I do care to a certain extent. When I did all my research on what my next bird dog would be one of my considerations was the size of the dog. I hunt the entire bird season but I spend just as many months of the year up here in BC fly fishing lakes out of my 9' pram. I wanted my dog to go with me at all times. There's not a lot of room in the front of the pram behind the middle seat once I throw my fishing bag back there but there is enough room for a fifty pound dog.

The things that were most important to me when contacting breeders is that the dogs were bred to hunt, had good temperament, had no genetic health issues, and would be a medium size dog. Everyone I ended up speaking to only sold their pups to hunting families which I felt really good about. I also wanted a pup from a repeat breeding so I could get a real good idea about the size of the dog when it became an adult. My pup came from the third breeding of its parents,,,,all females from all three breedings were between 46-50 pounds. My griff is 20 1/2 months old and is 47 lbs. so I'm happy with her size,,,,,lots of room in my pram, her stamina is excellent, plus her prey drive is through the roof!

I don't mind seeing larger griffs out there. I just hope if they are ever used for breeding that they get bred to a MUCH smaller griff in hopes that the pups will be within standard in terms of size. I don't want this breed of dogs to be re-classified one day as a Large breed dog. Just MHO.

Some really good responses here,,,,would like to hear a few more to see what other hunters think.


I care too, about the size of the dog I'm buying, and I wouldn't buy a big Griff. But to me, that's one of those things that gets filtered out when I'm looking for a dog, along with the health and temperament of the parents, their hunting ability, the appearance of the dog, the bloodline in general, generally in that order but not rigidly so.

But that doesn't answer the question posed originally, which is "Should they be bred?" I think that documented health clearances, Hunting NA, and temperament all are more important than size in and of itself. Then you get into other questions like coat...

When I hear people start to talk about physical traits with no connection to their abilities I throw up a little. Things like "head shape" or "bone structure," mainly because it indicates to me that they are breeding for traits that most people outside a show ring don't care about.

Its completely fair to say, "that line is big and i'd be concerned about hip dysplasia down the line." But, if your doing your homework ahead of time, you should have health clearances anyway to minimize that risk.

Also, What if someone has a dog that's a wee bit smaller? A 40 lb dog..."I love her, she sits perfectly on the back of my Kayak"
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Re: Should dogs outside the standard be bred?

Postby jarbo03 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:32 am

orhunter wrote:Griff websites aren’t places where a person researches hunting dogs. You’ll find everything except hunting dogs on them.

My issue with oversize dogs is, they wouldn’t be what I consider to be do it all dogs. A dog should be able to go from the duck blind to the Chukar hills, hunt day after day without breaking down. I have doubts the big dogs can pull this off. I wouldn’t have a clue where to draw the line on what is too big so this is open to debate among us all?

Personally, I don’t want anything to do with females over about 52 lbs or males over 60 or the dogs that produce such offspring. Griffs must have the physical structure that says, I can run all day. Living in the west, my personal needs were certainly different from those living in other parts of N. America. If all I did was hunt pheasants and waterfowl, I’d probably be happy with whatever.....long as it was a hunting Griff. Something we don’t find on a Griff website.


They definitely should be able to do it all. My experiences have been quite the opposite. With a week long trip made out west every year, along with the upland and waterfowl we do here in Kansas, i have seen the smaller dogs be the ones wearing out faster on most days. Confirmation and stature I'm sure has a lot to do with this, along with conditioning of said dogs. I have not seen a situation where Taz has slowed because of his size, i think being lean, leggy and athletic help with this a lot. My last lab was oversized, but with wrong propirtions, he did wear out fast. Was asked to breed him several times but refused.
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Re: Should dogs outside the standard be bred?

Postby JONOV » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:38 am

flitecontrol wrote:I had WPGs for almost 30 years. My first dog back in the early 1980's was Cacei de la Cote. IMO, at around 54-57 pounds he was a good size for a hunting dog. Not so small that he couldn't bust or worm through heavy cover or take on any game I hunted, or so large that hunting him here in the South resulted in a dog that got too hot too quickly. At the Griffon tests I attended, I saw some very large dogs (IIRC, the largest was around 80 pounds). While I never hunted over any of them, I always wondered how well they would do in hot temperatures, or very thick cover.
.

That's a good point. Someone could live in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Dakotas, Iowa, and never have any idea. And presumably, most of his dogs would sell to hunters in a similar climate...

People comment that my GWP is "Big." Well, he's tall...but has never come in over 74 lbs. Usually he's about 70. I like it, I've never been concerned about him overheating (though he does pace himself) and I live in NC.
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Re: Should dogs outside the standard be bred?

Postby orhunter » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:39 am

Mastercaster: We can’t judge a dog’s worthiness for breeding based on a single dog. Breeding material comes from litters that demonstrate a high level consistency among the entire litter. A great dog out of a so so (or worse) litter is going to produce a lot of so so (or worse) offspring.

I wish Taz occupied the front seat in the truck along side of me. What a gorgeous dog!!!
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Re: Should dogs outside the standard be bred?

Postby jarbo03 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:49 am

JONOV wrote:
flitecontrol wrote:I had WPGs for almost 30 years. My first dog back in the early 1980's was Cacei de la Cote. IMO, at around 54-57 pounds he was a good size for a hunting dog. Not so small that he couldn't bust or worm through heavy cover or take on any game I hunted, or so large that hunting him here in the South resulted in a dog that got too hot too quickly. At the Griffon tests I attended, I saw some very large dogs (IIRC, the largest was around 80 pounds). While I never hunted over any of them, I always wondered how well they would do in hot temperatures, or very thick cover.
.

That's a good point. Someone could live in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Dakotas, Iowa, and never have any idea. And presumably, most of his dogs would sell to hunters in a similar climate...

People comment that my GWP is "Big." Well, he's tall...but has never come in over 74 lbs. Usually he's about 70. I like it, I've never been concerned about him overheating (though he does pace himself) and I live in NC.


Taz is not the best in the heat, and as said, we rarely have to deal with it during season. Can be really hot during early chicken season, but it is usually a morning or evening hunt anyways.

Have also seen that condutioning can play a huge role in how dogs handle heat. While Taz stays in shape over summer, he is not hunt conditioned. Is asking a lot for a dog to hunt in high heat, and sut in a marsh at 10° .
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Re: Should dogs outside the standard be bred?

Postby orhunter » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:06 am

Jarbo:

Think of what I said as being in theory only. Logically speaking. We get into trouble when we try to lump things together like weight. If the dog is the correct weight, it will perform. That’s but a single slice of the pie as you noticed. I bet a more detailed examination of those small dogs that couldn’t take it would reveal other possible reasons. Sometimes the pedigree is enough. As was mentioned, narrow chested, short legged dogs. When viewing a Griff from the front while it is sitting down, the front legs should be spaced far enough apart the dog almost looks odd. This give the dog agility. The spine should be short so when measured, the dog will be square. A long spine is great for flat out speed in a straight line but not for agility. Short legs and shallow chest can also contribute to not being (or appearing) square even if the spine is the correct length. When viewing a dog from the side, it should appear tall on its feet, look fast. The muscle structure on the front shoulders should really bulge if the dog is conditioned. Take away this stuff and the weight doesn’t matter. Put it all together, the weight probably doesn’t matter then either?
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Re: Should dogs outside the standard be bred?

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:10 am

I think any dog with an undercoat sufficient to protect it while hunting waterfowl in severe conditions is going to struggle with heat. No way around that tradeoff is my experience and belief.
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Re: Should dogs outside the standard be bred?

Postby jarbo03 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:09 pm

Orhunter:

That is why i mentioned that stature and conditioning could have played a big role. A well put together dog with good conditioning will always be a better choice, regardless of size.

I would also say that conditions and terrain play a huge role. I hunt a lot of deep and thick crp, with cut and uncut milo fields. Where Taz only has to get his legs through the stubble, the smaller dogs have to also get their chest through. My dads britts tear their chest and belly up. As dogs with drive do, they keep going, but they are tore up at end of the day.
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Re: Should dogs outside the standard be bred?

Postby orhunter » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:44 pm

Lack of heat tolerence is something we need to accept in order to get the rest of the package. The only time Ellie wouldn’t pant is when the temperature was below 20. She struggled with anything over 40 or so because she was a mover. Her fighting weight was 50 lbs but she looked smaller.
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Re: Should dogs outside the standard be bred?

Postby flitecontrol » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:13 pm

All my dogs live outside. I have noticed that they develop a thicker undercoat when we have (at least to us in the South) a colder winter. It's much like a horse in winter. If it wears a blanket to keep it warm, it never develops the longer winter coat because it doesn't need it. Come spring, the dogs pretty much loose all their undercoat. I don't think any breed, including Labs and Chessies, are going to be really warm after retrieving in very cold water.
I've had several really good dogs, but none were perfect. Neither am I, so keep that in mind!
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Re: Should dogs outside the standard be bred?

Postby orhunter » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:34 pm

The only time I ever thought Ellie was cold was when taking a break while hunting in freezing fog with the air temperature 29/30. Just warm enough so it wouldn’t freeze on her fur. If it was colder, she’d be fine. My crap dog Cassie, would jump in the lake for a swim just to warm up when we were duck hunting in cold weather. Sitting there in the cold didn’t suit her very well.
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Re: Should dogs outside the standard be bred?

Postby jarbo03 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:15 pm

Hasn't been many days where Taz looked chilled, this was probably close as possible, i know i was cold. 5° and the river was freezing. I think problem was we dug bli ds into the sandbar, which was like ice. Along with the wind, the bottom of his blind was on the cold sand.
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Re: Should dogs outside the standard be bred?

Postby hicntry » Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:11 am

Regardless of the breed standard, there are much more critical things to look at than size. Any size is bad if the dogs not built for it, doesn't matter if it is big or small. If all these opinions here are not from breeders, it really has little to do with any decision making because any non breeder can buy whatever size he prefers......it is kind of a personal choice the way I see it. A person usually starts breeding because he thinks he can breed a good dog. With that in mind, he should breed for his ideal dog and not what someone thinks he should breed..
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Re: Should dogs outside the standard be bred?

Postby flitecontrol » Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:08 pm

That's true, but only to a certain extent. I've been checking the DD breedings, and haven't come across any breeding of a smaller size female with a smaller male. There are a few dogs that are smaller than most, but still none I've seen that are the minimum size. Most of the males are in the mid to upper range in size, ans the females tend to be similar. It appears breeders just don't want, or won't breed dogs that are near the bottom of the standard size wise.
I've had several really good dogs, but none were perfect. Neither am I, so keep that in mind!
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