Culling GWP Puppies

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

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Postby KJ » Tue Feb 01, 2005 5:33 pm

Vom Britt,
I have only had a few litters and have never bred to a slick dog but, if the BEST dog was a slick face, I'd use it. I'd just make sure I picked a nicely coated dog from the litter (with a slick parent) to avoid too many coat problems down the road. Of course, I would avoid breeding a slick if possible but, I do think it is important to look at talent first, then coat.
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Postby Vom Britt » Tue Feb 01, 2005 5:53 pm

KJ,
Would you pick one of those slick puppies for yourself?
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Postby kurzhaar » Tue Feb 01, 2005 6:04 pm

KJ wrote:Vom Britt,
I have only had a few litters and have never bred to a slick dog but, if the BEST dog was a slick face, I'd use it.


How can a slick GWP be the "BEST" dog when it doesn't fit the breed standard or exhibit the characteristics that make it a GWP?
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Postby Vom Britt » Tue Feb 01, 2005 6:12 pm

Yes Jon I can, in fact have been reading you for years and knew which direction you were going to head for as soon as I saw who the author of the post was. It's to bad you quit on the GWP & started over. Contrary to what you have been stating about the GWP, there are far more than a handful of outstanding versatile GWP's. I'm going to do what I feel is right for the breed, you know, like improving it or as Kurzhaar mentioned "having a plan" which I have for the last three years.

Bob
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Postby Jon » Tue Feb 01, 2005 7:25 pm

Breeding slicks - sounds like the GWP is headed where it needs to go-more towards the shorthair and pointer. :) All that hair is just gonna slow 'em down while they're scampering up those Idaho chukar hillsides anyway. Help keep the weight down too. I can understand why you're gonna be restricting registrations :wink: But, I wouldn't worry about breeding slicks. Let the next guy worry about the future generations. Why worry about the standard. How big are these slicks gonna be?

Yes, I left the GWP. Simply found that the type of dog I wanted was in the VDD. Got tired of seeing little white FT dogs, shorthair "wanna-bes", half baked show/hunt test dogs. Maybe there are better performing/coated/looking NAVHDA dogs now, but the test scores sure don't seem to indicate it. The best versatile dogs are coming out of German lines, so why reinvent the wheel? I just went there. Besides, when you go to the VDD National meeting, all the folks actually hunt!!! :D Try discussing the virtues of a good duck search at a GWPCA function. Best way I know to spend an afternoon talking to yourself.

But, your breeding German pedigrees anyway, aren't you Bob? Where did those black dogs come from?
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Postby hicntry » Tue Feb 01, 2005 7:52 pm

It appears to me that what is being talked about is merely breeding a few good dogs. Improving a breed is far more involved. Vom Britt has the bitch( how about the stud?) With two dogs, what are you going to improve? Nose? It is only going to get as good as the best one of the two. Conformation? Still it is only going to get as good as the best on of the two. You just can't do it with two dogs unless there is an awful lot of time spent in the field with others dogs that are working with you. I found out early on that you can take no ones word about their own dog....you have to see it first hand over quite a period of time. Then maybe you have a choice of ten different noses, conformation etc. Then it comes to the simple part. A lot of breeding until you see consistency in what you are looking for. When you are producing 80% of the pups you want in a litter and only two out of 10 that are marginal, or have the wrong coat, you are getting there. The problem I have found, as you start seeing progress, some of your goals may change, because you see where an improvement can be made. It is a very time consuming project, full of pitfalls. It isn't rally just a mater of not breeding the culls, it is largely dependent on what you "are" going to breed and how close you are willing to breed.
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Postby Vom Britt » Tue Feb 01, 2005 11:46 pm

Jon, guys like yourself have nothing good to say about current AKC/NAVHDA wires. But man if there is a DD grandparent or GGP dog back there and that current dog has done well, folks like you are the first to jump on the "we are breeding German pedigrees" bandwagon.

Are you referring to my bitches mother with you comment "Where did those black dogs come from?" If you believe I have black wires, you have me mistaken for someone else.

Would I ever consider owning a DD? No, the reason being time is precious to me. I enjoy the time I spend training my dogs for AKC and NAVHDA hunt tests and of course hunting them. It would be a total waste of my free & valuable time to spend that time training my dogs to chase/track rabbits, chase/track deer, the sharpness test, pick up a fox and bring it back etc. etc. All the guys I hunt with break their dogs off trash, instead of playing games with trash. Of course one mans trash could be anothers treasure. Oh, I almost forgot about training a dog to lie and stay down during a driven hunt simulation. Myself, I would rather have them standing and marking falls/kills, but since I don't get into driving birds/game, why waste my time when it could be used in a more productive dog training environment, which overlays my hunting & testing desires?

I am a member of the TCGWPC and have attended functions & tests of theirs. Each & every time I have been around these fine folks, their has been discussion about NAVHDA and have yet to find myself alone, and talking to myself about the merits of a duck search. I wonder why?
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Postby Jon » Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:29 am

Vom Britt,

You are typical of so many GWP folks who don't understand the European evaluation system. Its not about chasing deer with your dog (which, by the way, no one does), its about building a strong, large pool of strong genetic instincts and identifying a strong breeding pool for the future. Whereas the North American tendency is to breed a few great dogs (usually with no prepotence), the European priority is to breed litters or breeding lines with a high overall ability. Almost exactly what hicntry said - you know when you've arrived in breeding when 70-80% of what you breed is really "doing it" and when a good percentage of those also have the coat and conformation that is characteristic of the breed, then you are truly successful. Probably the best modern day example may be the Shooting Star line of GSPs - there is NO GWP equivalent to that - nothing even close. The GWP for the most part is lost in genetic limbo.

Too bad you DON'T see if your dogs can track hare/rabbits - it requires way more nose and ability than tracking a pheasant through short (wet?)grass in the spring. Too bad you DON'T blood track with your dogs - shows real control, concentration and cooperation to do that. Too bad you DON'T test your dogs on retrieval of large game. Many of today's little GWPs could not do this (How does a 40 lb GWP bring back a big goose - drag it by the neck???) Too bad you DON'T insist that your dogs be fearless in the presence of game. It would be less likely that you'll ever have to watch your dog circle and bark at some big wounded honker out of gun range. That to me is at the heart of the breed. How VDD members use their dog is up to them but the testing serves everybody. When you (not you personally) ask for less in your evaluation process, you get less.

I wish you luck as you try to create something out of all the various factions within the GWP community. (Why do you have to create this GWP of your dreams? Why isn't it there already?) I have found that the vast majority of GWP enthusiasts really don't want a versatile dog, they just want their own brand of bird dog. Dog shows and field trials still dominate the official breed club. (They even hold their specialty right in the middle of hunting season!!) I haven't kept up as closely with the NAVHDA GWP, but as of 2002 or so, the only meaningful accomplishments were from European bred lines and stud dogs perhaps with the exception of the Three Devils line. Names like Paulus, Crozier, Kane, Moe, Sowerby, etc dominated the scene as did their stud dogs, all based on imported stock. A clear signal to me that the versatile GWP was in need was the sudden rise of the Czech stud dog that so many folks flocked to for lack of alternatives. Absolutely nothing was known about this dog - dog was a pure genetic wildcard with a butt bite and that said a lot about the state of the breed. In fairness, some good pups came out of this dog.

There are some good versatile GWPs but in comparison to the genetic breadth of the VDD, as far as versatility, its very small. It only stands to reason. Only a fraction of the GWP community is commited to the versatile dog whereas that's the ONLY goal of the DD breeding community. If folks truly want to get involved with the breed as a versatile hunting dog, its the only way to go. There are at least a dozen or more established breeding lines with 30-40 years of planned breeding. Why fiddle around breeding NAVHDA, show, FT, Hunt Test, etc dogs while you try to outcross a breeding pool. It can be great fun, but its a continual crap shoot.

I continue to get calls/emails from folks looking for a quailty GWP stud dog. As of now there is little to suggest. The trend continues. Maybe I should refer them to you for that long list of hard coated, great moving, versatile GWP stud dogs!!! :D
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Postby KJ » Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:00 pm

KJ,
Would you pick one of those slick puppies for yourself?


No. There are few things you can have a pretty good idea of in a 7 week old pup and coat is one of them. I do not like slick face GWPs and I would never purposely choose one if I was looking at breeding the dog. That does not mean I'd rule out the option of breeding to a slick stud or buying a pup out of a slick parent if I felt the slick dog was an exceptional animal (talent wise). In fact, most slick face dogs have nice dense, harsh coats but they are a little short for very cold water work. I'd take a slick over a hairball anyday.

Breeding slicks - sounds like the GWP is headed where it needs to go-more towards the shorthair and pointer. All that hair is just gonna slow 'em down while they're scampering up those Idaho chukar hillsides anyway. Help keep the weight down too. I can understand why you're gonna be restricting registrations But, I wouldn't worry about breeding slicks. Let the next guy worry about the future generations. Why worry about the standard. How big are these slicks gonna be?



Jon,
I am not just interested in the field abilities of my dogs. Water work is equally as important to me. While I do feel most of my dogs are very nice looking dogs, I dont' have a problem with putting a little 'ugly' in them if it makes them better dogs in the field. I know you wouldn't look at a dog no matter how talented it was if it was a little ugly .....everyone has their priorities :wink:

I'll be thankful that their is no GWP equivalent to the SS dogs. From the 7 or 8 I've seen out my way, I'd say they need a shot of fire and desire in their a$$.


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Postby Jon » Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:23 pm

KJ,
I agree with you - temperament and talent have to go first (you did mention temperament, didn't you?) Whereas you might have to consider either ugly or no coat, the nice thing about the VDD is that you don't need to do that. There are plenty of complete packages with the coat and I don't have to hold my nose and accept butt ugly, or fuzzy, or little feminine looking males.

As far as all the horsepower you refer to, there's plenty of that in the VDD if you know where to look. I'd say that seeing 7 or eight DDs hardly qualifies an opinion. Hell, 95% of the GWPs at the Nationals wouldn't do any better. I always find it amusing that the GWP crowd goes running home to horsepower whenever there is a discussion like this, as if they have a lock on run. What's pathetic about this ploy is that 90% of hunters are still looking for the 100-200 yd biddable dog and that the vast majority of birds, wild or otherwise, are probably shot over dogs that aren't any farther away than that. Any honest trainer will tell you, most high desire dogs that will run 200 yds can be trained to run 500.
On second thought, you can have everything beyond 200 yds if it means you gotta breed smooth and ugly :wink:
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Postby KJ » Wed Feb 02, 2005 2:45 pm

Jon,
I said 7 or 8 S.S. shorthairs, not 7 or 8 DDs.

What's pathetic about this ploy is that 90% of hunters are still looking for the 100-200 yd biddable dog and that the vast majority of birds, wild or otherwise, are probably shot over dogs that aren't any farther away than that.


I agree. It's not my problem that most people decide to live in the east where where it's over populated and the cover is dense. It's also not my problem that most people don't trust their dog to get out of sight.

But....that's besides the point. I think the topic was about culling slick coats.
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Postby dualgwp » Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:07 pm

This thread became hijacked by a few who have a need to beat their chest and be on their soapbox.
Vom Britt - you certainly can do just as you suggested- co-own the bitches that you like, limit registration on the others. Those who don't wish to co-own, will look elsewhere, and that should be just fine. I believe that once you explain to people why you want to co-own the pup, many will understand and even applaud your efforts.

By co-owning a couple of the females, you can have a say in any future breeding plans and if that is what is important for you and your breeding program down the road, then go for it and do it! In today's society there are few who can breed litter after litter and do it the right way, keep the majority of the puppies, train them, test them, hunt them and evaluate them for the future. This is where partnerships with other owners with similar goals is handy. With this type of cooperation you can tell which breedings worked toward your goals, and which did not.

You do run the risk of co-owners not doing as they said they would do, that' s the price of doing business. It will happen, so plan for it. But you will probably form some wonderful friendships for years to come and your dogs will benifit from it.

Picking the best of a litter of 8 wk old puppies....teeth, hair, conformation and temperment (somewhat) , that's about the most you can hope for. I've seen more than one pup that was put at the bottom of the list, grow up and become one heck of a dog. Maybe not the prettiest, but it's easier to fix pretty than what's inside.
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Postby Jon » Wed Feb 02, 2005 4:39 pm

If the object is to positively influence the breeding pool (yours and the breeds), why would you only co-own a few bitches? Couldn't a renegade owner with his stud dog have a much bigger influence on the breed and eventually your reputation as a breeder?

Best to co-own them all and tell the owners what they can do or when they need to pay for the neutering/spaying etc. Or do co-owners pay for half of the vet bills too? :)
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Postby hicntry » Wed Feb 02, 2005 4:51 pm

From what I have seen, co-ownership is a product of the show world. Every show person I have been aquainted with sings the song of "for the good of the breed". In a pigs eye. After years of breeding they are darn lucky to get one or two real show quality pups in a litter. The rest are sold as "pet quality". I would hope that breeders of working dogs would not consider this type of consistency as "for the good of the breed". Producing an 80% cull rate can hardly be considered bettering "any" breed. While co-ownership may work well in show circles, I would have my doubts as it being as effective in the breeding of working dogs. Studies say that 35% is genetic, 65% is environement. The difference in dogs from the same litter can have a marked difference in abilities just from being raised in so many varying environments by different owners. It cannot be controlled.
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Postby Jon » Wed Feb 02, 2005 5:45 pm

hicntry,
You and I may have to have that beer someday - I'll buy because you are right on the money.

Ever notice there are certain handlers that seem to have good dogs all the time. I'm sure experience has taught them how to pick a pup but environment is more predictive of eventual results than any other factor. The real challenge in breeding dogs is getting good pups into good hands. You can co-own til the cows come home, but unless your "dynasty" dogs are in hands that can maximize the dog, you're still shooting in the dark when it comes to breeding. What every kennel needs is a cadre of good trainers/homes/hunters that can really do an honest evaluation of young dogs. Real tough - folks in this country don't want to be someone else's assistant. All the top kennels in Germany have their "Mannschaften" (teams) that work every year to train/test/hunt the newest crop of pups. Totally different. Since everyone's on the same page there, its a lot easier. Can't imagine where the versatile DD would be if there were FT, show, hunt test, flyball and agility DDs. Heh, maybe we'd have white ones!!! :wink:

Serious breeders don't have many dogs over the age of 5 or 6, one of the main reasons few people really get anywhere in this country.
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