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Discussion Starter #1
with my work with food production animals the concept of statistical data to estimate potential breeding value is old science, i wondered if this concept could be used effectively in breeding dogs to work.

an explanation for angus cattle is here;

American Angus Association - Value Indexes

while on google i unexpectedly found a similar concept attempted for gsd's. i had never heard of this before and am wondering why this is not better known/accepted;

http://www.grunfeldshepherds.com/articles/lanting/pdfs/Fred Lanting- BREED VALUE and the GSD.pdf

i can say for cattle no decent breeder buys semen based on the numbers alone they always go out to the field and LOOK at the stud of interest.

as a further example of "scientificating" the only hardcore research i seen on inheritability of working traits is this early research on the australian Kelpie which was bred for much the same reason as the gsd was put together - as the ultimate working dog;

Valuable behavioural phenotypes in Australian farm dogs

with the next generation of breeders with such tools at their disposal there might actually be a chance for a revival as the gsd as the top working dog......
 

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HD is the least of my worry/criteria when it comes to choosing a good GSD.
 

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the thread is not solely concerned about HD, kind of wondering about the whole dog and using the numbers as a tool in addition to vague and rather meaningless interpretations of breed standard, conformation & working titles and plain old mysterious voodoo magic.

as a newb i am sick of the lies and trickery and stupidity i see so evident in dog breeding especially around the breeds i like - i am sure some people will fear the science and some will embrace it, the only real question is if it is seen as an important enough issue to justify/redirect scarce high level scientific funding to sort out the poo from the clay.
 

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Isn't that where individual research comes in? Look at what has been produced in the past, and how the breeding matches will possibly go. Transparency is important regardless, so the magic is unveiled. If there is mystery, then I'd stay far away!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
true that, point taken on buyer discretion, i just thought...never mind.

i know how i will get me good dogs i want and if you get you good dogs you want that's all that matters i guess.
 

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Interesting concept. I am thinking you are from Australia but could be wrong. If you are there was a really interesting story on Landline yesterday about the University of Sydney's Veterinary Science faculty starting a study into "farm working breeds" so mostly the kelpie but also the ACD and border collie....they want to see if you can measure any of the traits which produce a good stock dog and therefore take some of the guess work out.
We use ebv's when buying our rams....lots of figures.....mostly measurable though....like weight for age, birth weight etc. I guess in dogs alot of it is "opinion" ......can you "measure" temperament, drives etc like you can weight/height?? If that is the kind of thing you mean.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
yes to in oz and yes to "can you "measure" temperament, drives etc like you can weight/height?? If that is the kind of thing you mean." plus heritability of health (and non-health).

i just got some angus from buliac stud and they are big on ebv's but certainly do not totally replace it as looking at the beast in person and seeing how it performs over time with a range of heifers, climate etc.
 

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Isn't that where individual research comes in? Look at what has been produced in the past, and how the breeding matches will possibly go. Transparency is important regardless, so the magic is unveiled. If there is mystery, then I'd stay far away!
That is precisely what breeding values are.....looking at a group of animals and how they all perform and putting a value on it.
In the past buyers of bulls/rams for example did have to do a bit of digging to find out the history etc of certain sires....these days it is all at your fingertips in an easy to understand (well once you learn) format......takes a fair bit of the guess work out of it......not sure it would work in dogs....i think that is what this new study is trying to ascertain. :)
 

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i just got some angus from buliac stud and they are big on ebv's but certainly do not totally replace it as looking at the beast in person and seeing how it performs over time with a range of heifers, climate etc.
Yes, angus are certainly leading the way when it comes to ebv's.....but as you have said the best figures in the world aren't much good if the bull/cow can't walk properly ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
the difficulty with onyx approach is that it takes considerable knowledge of the buyer to know what they know and what they don't know, ebv's altho imperfect and always evolving are a great tool to expel some of the voodoo magic in breeding.

the only reasons i think it would not work in dogs is because;

1. you don't risk losing some or all yr annual income and possible livelihood by a bad decision.

2. people that buy dogs in the main just tend to like a dog cos they like it, the dog never has to actually do anything requiring a scientific sledgehammer to solve in terms of inheritable traits. so a "solution" would only be to an ill-defined and subjective problem to start with.
 

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Well, like x11 posted, people put their spin on things and some titles aren't earned honestly. I don't think it would work with a 'database' of sorts.
I still believe that there won't be shortcuts for breeders when it comes to choosing their pedigree matches responsibly.
Dogs aren't livestock....or shouldn't be anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes, angus are certainly leading the way when it comes to ebv's.....but as you have said the best figures in the world aren't much good if the bull/cow can't walk properly ;)

praise be to macdonalds for that, nah angus are a nice breed and do well. my days of chasing yaks in the sub-tropics are knid of over and angus seem just fine.
 

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Angus fan here.....I actually had my own little stud as a teenager.....used to show my little herd....sold about 10 bulls.....but it came to an end mostly because of...you guessed it.....EBV's......wasn't able to go down that track.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
that sux, so how do they get data on old studs?? like yr comment on great numbers but a possibility of a physically deformed beast - strange how that can happen.

if you ever want to trade decoy work and yr in qld get in touch with me. you from vic i am guessing?
 

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I used Angus bulls on my commercial herd. I used the EPD (at least that is what is was called the last time I bought a bull) to decide between bulls when evaluating them on the hoof. I would go over the pedigrees before heading to the breeders, look at the EPD and then go see the live animals. Worked very well for us.

Saying that, most of the values used in cattle are objective and thus measurable where as much that we choose and value in GSD is subjective or based on personal opinion. We are not producing animals for one purpose either. The ultimate purpose of beef cattle is meat. That makes measuring and comparing specific traits easier and possible.
 

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Help me out here....I'm a city girl, I know nothing about livestock! The ZW score is not a rare concept, at least I don't think? I know a lot of people that pay attention to ZW scores but like Jane said, HD/hips are only one part of a larger equation.

There is the GSD Breed Betterment database which is extremely in-depth as far as health in general.

As far as trying to evaluate the dog overall...it will always be subjective because people want different things and I actually like this about our breed. You can get pretty much any dog you want. Some people want a man-eater, some want a more mellow dog, some want a cray toy dog that will search for a toy for hours, some need a large dog for mobility assistance, some need a small dog for agility....
 

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Lies, it is a similar concept to the ZW system.
 

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Just like there are index for HD I´ve heard they used index for mental qualities when breeding GSDs for service, based on the selectiontest the dogs did, speaking of the breedingprogram the state has for GSDs in sweden. Maybe not really so different from looking at the relatives HD-reults when breeding, even if you don´t have any speciall index for that, the idea is the same I suppose, get a more complete picture of HD not only on the individual dog but also in littermates and close relatives. For workingtraits I guess the swedish MH-test is the same, a standardized test judging working/mental qualities in a group of offspring to get an idea what is passed on for qualities. I see this more of a comlpliment to the other tests that is available to judge workingqualities like sporttitles or "real" workingdog certifications, to get a more complete picture and reach those dogs that are not trained to a high level.

To get a 100% correct measurement on all usefull workingtraits it´s not easy to do without testing the dog in it´s supposed work I suppose, but there also lies the problem that not all dogs are used for let´s say herding, hunting or policework, and the trainer affects the results obtained.
 

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Look up the Bio-sensor breeding program in Aberdeen proving grounds, US Army, for a scientific approach to breeding GS.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Look up the Bio-sensor breeding program in Aberdeen proving grounds, US Army, for a scientific approach to breeding GS.


I have heard internetally that the intnial bio-sensor program was a failure and that the intial dogs used pretty much had very bad & sad endings.

it gets discussed a bit on various dog forums but the general belief it is promoted by many breeders but the army and medical world discreditted or discontinued it as no real value???
 
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