State of the breed WPG. NAVHDA scores

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Re: State of the breed WPG. NAVHDA scores

Postby orhunter » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:21 am

Flitecontrol: Cool. I bet you know a whole lot more than you're letting on....?

Some of the dogs in the book are absolutely stunning in their looks like Avaj of Iamonia, Mahaska's Merry Susan, Lucas of Huntrer's Creek, Vickings Du Bois Follet and a host of others. Their coats are what every Griff breeder should strive for. Medium length, flat lying. Says nothing of the dog within.
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Re: State of the breed WPG. NAVHDA scores

Postby JONOV » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:53 am

I've seen a lot of really nice working ones. I haven't seen as many that also have a decent coat. I think that locally there are many that are dual bred for the show ring and they get bred with crummy coats from a hunting perspective. Though they are pretty and good natured dogs.
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Re: State of the breed WPG. NAVHDA scores

Postby Stretch » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:05 am

I’ve seen a couple stoneyridge dogs in person and they have a much shorter coat than my wpg. Also they seemed to be higher energy. From what I saw they were good dogs but not what I personally would want. There seems to be big difference in what every breeder is going for. So where does the standard fall now compared to 50 years ago, and what does the standard mean if everyone is going different directions?
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Re: State of the breed WPG. NAVHDA scores

Postby Meridiandave » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:54 am

orhunter wrote:Joan's book is so old it has no relevance to modern times or dogs. It's still a great read with endless reference material.

Flitecontrol: If you haven't read it you really need to so you have an understanding of where some of us are coming from. I'm sure the past ten years have had a huge impact on the overall success of the club. The first ten years accomplished almost nothing.



Harvey, I completely disagree. You can learn a tremendous amount from that book of one is paying attention. I spend hours. Looking at pictures gives me a history of the breed. I look at the old pedigrees from the original dogs. We can also the use of primarily German imports for decent amount of time. Some of those imports had soft coats. The pictures on the book tell the story. The book let's us know one of the soft coated dogs had a brother. That brother would have had a soft coat recessive gene. Now we know why soft coated dogs really start appearing in the breed. No winder Flite control says the breed was inconsistent. It was.

Couple that book with the Titled and Tested Griffon book published around 2011. We can start to see which lines are producing which dogs.

On the flip side What flitecontrol seems to miss is what story the next book tells us through pictures and test scores is that book is Griffons seemed to start making a grr2at leap forward in 1989. Those dogs almost always have French Canadian or French dogs in them. These higher scoring dogs filter through the breeders. We see these dogs start in the upper Midwest, move slowly to the West and Montana.

The books tell the story. They often don't tell it in words, but in pictures.

I am not saying that Griffons dont have problems, they do. But I am saying that if you pay attention, you can get a really good dog and sometimes those dogs come from breeders you may not expect.

As a breeder friend tells me. 20 years ago it was really hard to find a good Griffon. Then, for awhile, it was hard to find a bad one. He then fears for the future with all the non testing breeding. I think we will always be able to find good ones now and I think that is what the statistics show, what we need to do is make sure the mean doesnt get dragged down again.
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Re: State of the breed WPG. NAVHDA scores

Postby orhunter » Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:14 pm

Dave: I wasn't very clear I guess??? I meant in reference to the dog's the club was turning out. Look at my second sentence. The book is always at arm's length next to the computer. Love going through it.

One thing Joan told me way back was, "we need to stop breeding test scores." She was right. Dunno what the rest of the club thought of that?

If one were to look through my stack of pedigrees some similarities in all the top dogs would be discovered. Lots of European influence early on in addition what the top breeders of the day did to build a solid base. Things were really starting to happen around the late 80's like Dave said.

Today's big problem with the Griff is becoming the flavor of the month with no reference to those early dogs contained in their pedigrees. Complete unknowns in many cases. This is no clear reflection on the dogs but when someone sends me a pedigree to look at, I can't tell them a darn thing.

Stretch: There is no standard. This is one of the difficulties. Some well known breeders are turning out dog's I wouldn't particularly want to own while some unknowns have excellent dogs. It's all about who you know in finding these obscure litters.

Just to throw out some early names...

Alder's edge Ian
Aspen Point's Bolt
Point's Pewter Tip
VC Goose Creek Amigo
Alder's Edge Feu Follet
Shingobee Lake Czar
VC Anton of Geneva Lake
Black River Destiny
Jacky Du Bois Aux Palombes
Welches Sir Timothy
Ingo Vom Kastanienhain
Eco De St Landry
Des Chien's Anna

This is just the tip of the iceberg.
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Re: State of the breed WPG. NAVHDA scores

Postby JONOV » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:24 pm

Stretch wrote:I’ve seen a couple stoneyridge dogs in person and they have a much shorter coat than my wpg. Also they seemed to be higher energy. From what I saw they were good dogs but not what I personally would want. There seems to be big difference in what every breeder is going for. So where does the standard fall now compared to 50 years ago, and what does the standard mean if everyone is going different directions?

I'll ask you this: Should every breeder be going towards the exact same thing? Is it not possible that both the Stoneyridge Griffs, and your dog, are both great examples of the breed? That's not to say that there aren't characteristics that should be generally avoided or bred away from, but deciding when something less tangible than an obvious fault (like an aggressive, overly shy, entropion/ectropion/dysplastic) should NOT be bred gets harder.

Here's the thing about the standard. Even with an organization that has a lot of say-so over what gets bred like the VDD, there's still quite a variety in what they produce, especially superficially. I'll hear comments about how they've done a great job with consistent coats. Personally, I don't see it. You do see a variety in temperaments and hunting style among them. Actually quite a variety from what I see at NAVHDA. No, you don't have field trial type running dogs but you have a wide variety all the same.

The other thing, is that I think its hard to get everyone to agree on what part of the standard is the most important. If you have a dog that's a phenominal retriever and superb in the uplands but is an inch too tall and the coat is a bit softer than perfection, do you chose to breed it over a dog that's closer to the physical standard but inferior in the field?

I also seem to remember reading about the Stichelhaar, that part of the breeds undoing was that they had incredibly strict standards for breeding...to the point that they wouldn't breed dogs for silly things like their eyebrows growing in the wrong direction.
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Re: State of the breed WPG. NAVHDA scores

Postby Stretch » Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:10 pm

I'll ask you this: Should every breeder be going towards the exact same thing? Is it not possible that both the Stoneyridge Griffs, and your dog, are both great examples of the breed? That's not to say that there aren't characteristics that should be generally avoided or bred away from, but deciding when something less tangible than an obvious fault (like an aggressive, overly shy, entropion/ectropion/dysplastic) should NOT be bred gets harder.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with Stoneyridge dogs or anyone’s dog for that matter. I’m just wondering where the happy medium is in the standard.
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Re: State of the breed WPG. NAVHDA scores

Postby Meridiandave » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:40 pm

JONOV wrote:
Here's the thing about the standard. Even with an organization that has a lot of say-so over what gets bred like the VDD, there's still quite a variety in what they produce, especially superficially. I'll hear comments about how they've done a great job with consistent coats. Personally, I don't see it. You do see a variety in temperaments and hunting style among them. Actually quite a variety from what I see at NAVHDA. No, you don't have field trial type running dogs but you have a wide variety all the same.

The other thing, is that I think its hard to get everyone to agree on what part of the standard is the most important. If you have a dog that's a phenominal retriever and superb in the uplands but is an inch too tall and the coat is a bit softer than perfection, do you chose to breed it over a dog that's closer to the physical standard but inferior in the field?

I also seem to remember reading about the Stichelhaar, that part of the breeds undoing was that they had incredibly strict standards for breeding...to the point that they wouldn't breed dogs for silly things like their eyebrows growing in the wrong direction.


Harvey, sorry, I actually think we are on the same page with this one. I think the point we are trying to make is that you see some very good griffs start to appear in the 1990's. This is after the split as breeders were allowed to do what they want.

JONOV, I qouted you because you are absolutely correct. The reason is a thing called Genetic drift. What genetic drift refers to is the loss of genetic diversity from factors other than selection. Here is an example. A female is bred once and jas a litter. Only one of her children is bred. Mathmatecially half of the genetic diversity is lost with each generation. This is why geneticist have the 50/500 rule. It states the minimum breeding population should be 50 individuals in the short term and 500 individuals in the long term. I contend this is what was happening with the griffs in the late 1970's and early 80's. In another thread the issue was brought up to flitecontrol, why did they not breed back to the other females. He said becaise they were inferior. However, if we were looking at the program long term, that is exactly what they should have done.

On the other end of the spectrum is selection pressure. Testing, shows, breed wardens and evaluations that lead to individuals being excluded from breeding are examples of selection pressure. When your breeding standards get so tight that not enough individuals are being bred, genetic diversity is lost.

So in a perfect world, we would have 500 individuals available to breed and all of them tested. There we have the genetic diversity and the selection pressure.

Delmar Smith said he didn't care about titlles, he cared about the dogs and how it personally evaluated. In other words you can get a good dog without titles. We should always be looking for such dogs regardless of whether they have a perfect pedigree.
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Re: State of the breed WPG. NAVHDA scores

Postby flitecontrol » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:56 pm

Meridiandave wrote: Harvey, sorry, I actually think we are on the same page with this one. I think the point we are trying to make is that you see some very good griffs start to appear in the 1990's. This is after the split as breeders were allowed to do what they want.


Clarification. The WPGCA never dictated to members whether or not they could breed their dogs. That has always been the case. However, if a breeder wanted to have their breeding approved by the Breeding Committee, which required the breeder to sell their pups with the Breeder's Agreement, you had to submit it for their approval. The Breeders Agreement guaranteed a minimum level of proficiency for the pups it covered. Buyers tended to favor pups from approved breedings, for a variety of reasons. Since there were never restrictions on breeding, I don't see how the split resulted in better dogs being produced.
I've had several really good dogs, but none were perfect. Neither am I, so keep that in mind!
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Re: State of the breed WPG. NAVHDA scores

Postby Urban_Redneck » Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:06 am

Meridiandave wrote:
So in a perfect world, we would have 500 individuals available to breed and all of them tested. There we have the genetic diversity and the selection pressure.



Do you believe the common practice of "Breeding Restricted" pedigrees ends up hurting the overall quality of a breed?
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Re: State of the breed WPG. NAVHDA scores

Postby Meridiandave » Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:19 am

Urban_Redneck wrote:
Meridiandave wrote:
So in a perfect world, we would have 500 individuals available to breed and all of them tested. There we have the genetic diversity and the selection pressure.



Do you believe the common practice of "Breeding Restricted" pedigrees ends up hurting the overall quality of a breed?


Really, really good question. Geneticists would tell you the minute you close a registry book genetic diversity would begin to decrease. So they would say yes.

On the flip side, we have vdogs, which require specialized traits like pointing. Plus all breeds by definition are partially inbred. In order to keep the dogs moving forward as hunters we need some mechanism to apply a selection pressure. I am still a firm believer in hunt testing to a standard. That is the selection pressure for many of our dogs. So what I think we should allow breeding rights to be released on hunt testing.

I do not think that limited registration helps a breed when the goal is to limit others from becoming breeders. That is really about controlling and limiting the market, so supply stays low and prices and demand stay high.

My belief is that people who go through hunt testing and hunt their dogs, should be able to breed, particularly if they have a great specimen. It is tragic to lose that line of dogs, because of a breeding restriction that is not based on performance.

Just my opinion.
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Re: State of the breed WPG. NAVHDA scores

Postby jpost » Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:56 am

I'll put my 2 cents in. I like going back to the Dyer article from 1917. When some of the first griffs were coming to the states.

https://korthalsgriffon.org.uk/535297/p ... JyEZrphoGs

It talks about clubs and shows/hunting dogs that were one and the same. LOOK AT THE PICTURES. They had no mop tops with long soft coats back then.
The article talks about Breed standards that are still very important today. It maintains uniformity in the breed. Size and Functional Coats should be held to the highest level. What good is a dog when you can't hunt it because it comes back a mess.

As a breeder we may want to lean one way or another for personal preferences/hunting conditions, but not to the point of loosing the basic function for what the dogs were bred for-Hunting.
The shows now a days are not doing many breeds a favor. Short blocky little Labs, Golden's that have long soft coats, Springer's that have hair down to the floor. Shepard's that can't walk. What are the judges thinking? They take a trait that the breed is known for(like the griffons rough coat and furnishings) and over select for it losing the main function of its intent. Good coats are a must! I wear tough pants when I go to the field. No long soft cloths hanging around me, why should my dog!

As far as the test scores, griffs are doing better than 25 years ago. They have more drive and better point with good nose work.
We can can have some lines that run bigger or others that are more closer working, as long as we keep the health and cooperative personalities that we all love.

Navhda NA test scores are very useful. They help breeders evaluate litters/lines and help hunting families find pups that will fill there needs.
But just remember paper can not, and does not, make genetics better. It can only validate what potential the dog has to begin with.
It still takes the "eye" of a breeder, (highly critical of their own dogs) to maintain or improve a breed. My Stonyridge dogs have been more line bred than others and we will have to go farther away genetically pretty soon to maintain enough diversity. But we will still try to keep our "type" in breeding. No big out crosses that can drag in unwanted recessive genes.

When the WPGCA brought in the Fousek line they had many poor griffs in the club. Joan had pushed out some of the better dogs/breeders and the breeding committee had gotten to biased with their opinions and paper blind. When they did the out cross they did pick up a very good heterosis kick and had some great test scores and hunting dogs. But they also brought in some hip and elbow trouble that came back to haunt them later on. They couldn't go back in genetically and line breed with themselves and had lost the purebred Griffon non club dogs that were nothing to do with them. That forced them to keep going to the imports and they lost there griff line. They have some decent dogs now. just not griffs.

I hope as griff breeders we maintain some of the genetic diversity but still breed to a standard. Our griff's are getting more popular now and in 5-10 years may pass shorthairs in NAVHDA registrations.
In 2018 we had 1,187 GSP and 809 WPG http://www.navhda.us/Reports/ReportView ... xport=true

With demand comes growing pains. I hope we can continue to breed what the article was talking about and what Korthals would be proud of.

From the Dyer Article in 1917

Those who have so far taken up the breed in this country are extremely enthusiastic, and to a
man they predict a brilliant future for it here when it shall have had time to make its worth known.
Mr. Crowell writes: "I shot over a griffon all last fall and can say personally that I cannot
imagine a bird dog which could give a man any more downright good hunting than the little griffon
I used. I do not hereby claim that she is the finest bred dog in the country, and do not wish to
enter into any controversy as to her merits as against those of the pointer or setter; but I do
know that she has a good nose, found her game, pointed it, and retrieved it, with about as little
talking to and as few directions as any dog that I have ever seen."
Dr. Ilyus says: "The chief characteristics in which the griffon excels, and is superior to our
setters and pointers, are his ready adaptability to all species of game, all climates, and all varieties of
terrain, his exquisite nose, wonderful vitality and endurance, and the pronounced instinct which
makes him the easiest of all dogs to train on game.
"As a retriever he has, in my opinion, no superior, and being very intelligent and affectionate,
he makes an ideal man's companion."
Every dog has his day, and the day of the Korthals griffon in America is surely coming.
Personally, I doubt very much whether he can ever displace the pointer and the setter; they are
too well established with us for that -- they occupy a warm place in the hearts of too many
appreciative sportsmen. But he will make his own place in his own way, and unless all portents fail,
and history fails to repeat itself, it will most assuredly be a place of honor in the hearts of men.
It may be some time before you have an opportunity to see one at work in the field, but the
next time that you attend one of the big bench shows, take a good look at the griffon, gaze into
those brown eyes of his, rub your hand over his rough, hard head, and see if you do not agree with
me that this is a real dog, a dog destined by nature to be a friend of man, whether that man fares
forth with a gun or sits by the open fire with pipe and book, and likes to have a shaggy form on the
hearth rug beside him.
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Re: State of the breed WPG. NAVHDA scores

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:42 pm

Meridiandave wrote:
Urban_Redneck wrote:
Meridiandave wrote:
So in a perfect world, we would have 500 individuals available to breed and all of them tested. There we have the genetic diversity and the selection pressure.



Do you believe the common practice of "Breeding Restricted" pedigrees ends up hurting the overall quality of a breed?


Really, really good question. Geneticists would tell you the minute you close a registry book genetic diversity would begin to decrease. So they would say yes.

On the flip side, we have vdogs, which require specialized traits like pointing. Plus all breeds by definition are partially inbred. In order to keep the dogs moving forward as hunters we need some mechanism to apply a selection pressure. I am still a firm believer in hunt testing to a standard. That is the selection pressure for many of our dogs. So what I think we should allow breeding rights to be released on hunt testing.

I do not think that limited registration helps a breed when the goal is to limit others from becoming breeders. That is really about controlling and limiting the market, so supply stays low and prices and demand stay high.

My belief is that people who go through hunt testing and hunt their dogs, should be able to breed, particularly if they have a great specimen. It is tragic to lose that line of dogs, because of a breeding restriction that is not based on performance.

Just my opinion.


Right on with my opinion.

The issue of whether Breeding Restriction serves a useful or harmful purpose depends on whether it can be lifted based on valid and useful criteria, or not.

The restriction on my current GWP was lifted once he passed his UT Prize 1 on his first and only attempt, and his Hips, Elbows and Thyroid came back good/normal. Hunting a variety of wild birds in a variety of conditions is the best information, but the Hunt tests provide independent feedback including alot about the dog's mental state and trainability, and some information on its coat and teeth and to a lesser extent its conformation.

A Restriction used in that manner is all upside in my opinion, (as long as Breeding evaluations include a big dose of "How does the dog perform on Wild Game and does it have a sound temperament in the home, traveling, people, dogs").
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Re: State of the breed WPG. NAVHDA scores

Postby flitecontrol » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:36 pm

Urban_Redneck wrote:Do you believe the common practice of "Breeding Restricted" pedigrees ends up hurting the overall quality of a breed?


Is this supposed to apply to WPGs or other breeds? Never heard of it in WPGs.
I've had several really good dogs, but none were perfect. Neither am I, so keep that in mind!
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Re: State of the breed WPG. NAVHDA scores

Postby Meridiandave » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:37 am

flitecontrol wrote:
Urban_Redneck wrote:Do you believe the common practice of "Breeding Restricted" pedigrees ends up hurting the overall quality of a breed?


Is this supposed to apply to WPGs or other breeds? Never heard of it in WPGs.


Don't know what you are referencing here. I know 4 breeders off the top of my head that do breeding restrictions. 1 does not give breeding rights to anyone, restricting breeding to preserve market share as he does not test his dogs; 1 maintains all breeding rights; 1 allows breeding after hunt testing.
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