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Old 07-28-2011, 10:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Iceberg Breeders

I bring this up as a term I use to identify many of the breeders of German Shepherds today.
Often people query the board about whether to breed a dog with an outward expression of an health issue or temperament problem. I see the breed as an iceberg in that there is a part that is apparent on the surface, but a larger part that is not visible but just as; if not more important. How often do I hear breeders make decisions exclusively on the surface element. I equate a specific dog to the visible part of the iceberg, and the rest of the litter as the invisible part of the iceberg. This is why it is so important to identify source genetically to health issues and temperament issues as opposed to individual expression of a singular dog. Say a particular dog bloats, and the cause is due to extreme poor diet/feeding purposes....that is different than bloating from a dog with a genetic propensity for bloat. Why???? because in the first case the problem was created and in the second case the succeptibility of the problem is inherited. In the first case, the rest of the dogs in the litter are not succeptible genetically, and in the second case the other pups in the litter are. This is important in my making breeding decisions in terms of whether I would breed the dog and WHO I breed the dog to.
Remember, if the underlying causation is genetic due to a compiling of recessives, (usually from reputable breeders trying to acheive a specialty goal), then the other pups in that litter will carry the same risk as the pup giving the outward expression. So if your advice to them is to scrap the dog from the breeding pool....what about the litter bro/sis. Is this maybe the reason certain problems in the breed continue to proliferate??? Would not a better solution be that you bring in completely new genetic blood into the equation, to minimize that recessive.(make sure the blood blood is much stronger in that area.)
My point is just as an iceberg, you cannot make decisions based solely of the visible expression seen. Many many breeders do, and if your decisions don't access genetic impact, then its very probable you may continue to create and reinforce the issues that you are trying hard to eliminate.
Hope this makes sense.
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Perfect sense to me. I love the comparison. If only more people thought like you.
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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makes sense to me to,,I'm still waiting for you to write a book to add to my library
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have a picture of Carmspack Allycia UD just celebrating her 14th birthday romping in the with a bunch of family golden retrievers much much younger than her. The owner trials them and has a number of Master Hunter titles on the Goldens . The GSD is still the queen , still in charge , still youthful in attitude although hearing is becoming selective and eye sight starting to be less than .
She underwent a procedure for some damage to her knee . It was recommended , since she was "under" for the x ray to also do an x ray on her hips and spin.
The report was no arthritis on hips or spine , no disorder on spine -- CLEAN , and hips to quote "still tight as a tick" . At 14 .

pedigree represented by her brother Sensei who passed away at age 13 .
Carmspack Sensei - German Shepherd Dog

Kilo was over 13 years of age , Kilos sister owned by Linda Shaw saw as many years plus some -- Addi Tonteichen was that age (will have to check into that).

I had the pleasure of writing the Seidler family , THE breeders of vom haus Iris . Gunther Seidler told me that Rex Iris passed away at age 14 as reported to him by Adam Kuhn, as did the dam Mira haus Iris , Ulf Iris I believe was 13 or 14 also.

Longevity runs in these lines. But this goes far beyond longevity because the dogs are in carefree rugged health to those last days .

There is so much more to understand in genetics than basic mendellian mode . Epigenetics, how outside influences change genes --- big one.

A book I would recommend highly is POTTENGERS CATS that shows the effect of flawed nutrition through generations . This book has been unavailable for decades due to a problem with the estate that inherited the works . 'Finally the problem is resolved and the book is back in print , in limited numbers. I jumped at the chance and bought a few.


more later running behind already
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliffson1 View Post
I
My point is just as an iceberg, you cannot make decisions based solely of the visible expression seen.
This, to me, is a no-brainer. A dog's genotype is a massive hidden iceberg, while his phenotype is only the tip. With the new tool of DNA testing, along with deep knowledge and understanding of bloodlines, we're just now beginning to understand more of what we can't see.

I wish all the wannabe-stud dog owners could read and understand this post.
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Carmen, you are right in that there are many other facets of the equation such as nutrition, phenotype, recessives/dominants, and studious analysis of the genetic component. And others.
I brought up this example as I figured it was simple to grasp, and easy for people to see why many times the solutions given are like a bandaid and do not address the underlying problem.
Many times I see hobby breeders that have a certain "preference" cloud their decision in breeding or acquiring lines. Case in point, if you have a breedingthat takes place, what are the elements of uniformity that you should seek to have a successful breeding? Man has brought so much imbalanceto the breed in the name of likes/preferencesthat are cosmetic.
Case in point.....The dominant color for German Shepherds is sable. 75% of the registered GS in Germany are Black and Tan or saddleback. How did sable become recessive in phenotype when it is dominant in genotype???It certainly didn't arise from balance.!
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Cliff I agree and I know what you are getting at .

What kind of iceberg was Canto Wienerau -- ?

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Old 07-28-2011, 09:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If people really understood this they wouldn't have maintained what they did through him in other countries. I have always felt that Germany bred a certain type of dog to market to the world for monetary gain and they developed another type with totally different genetics for work. Do you think it is a coincidence that none of the top working kennels in Germany have used Canto's lines or derivatives of his lines for decades. They know the money is in black and red and there is a vast world out there that places more value on the part of the iceberg they can see. That the continued breeding on these early same dogs leading to higher incidences of health and temperament problems doesn't bother them because they are exporting most of them for profit and keeping only enough for replenishment.
Carmen, you know as well as I, 40 years ago, when there was no separation in lines and VA dogs were all colors and types, YOU could not buy a VA dog. During the sixties/seventies, we had Erko vom Dinkelland for a long time as the only VA dog in the country. They hardley ever parted with VA stock. But as soon as they developed this line off of Canto/Quanto....everything was for sale at the right price.
Oh Well!!
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliffson1 View Post
But as soon as they developed this line off of Canto/Quanto....everything was for sale at the right price.
Oh Well!!
Are there still showlines that do not stem from Canto/Quanto?
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Nope!
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