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I'd like to chat about this element. Hips, testicles, and ears are all things that owners/breeders can provide human intervention to decrease or eliminate the problem. My question is after this manipulation is done, should we consider these dogs breedworthy. Suppose the intervention wasn't done, (diet and weight with hips, taping the ears, tacking down the testicles), would people breed to these dogs??? What is the difference in what the same dog will produce if the intervention is or is not done?
 

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The intervention if done soely for cosmetic purposes and the dog is not to be bred is fine IMO. No one wants to show a dog with one ear up and one ear down.

If a breeder or purchaser of a dog to be potentially used for breeding intervenes with the development of the dog such as the things listed above, then they are hiding the true fault of the dog.
There are things that can happen like an ear breaking in a fight, or sitting in a crate for too long etc. That would be fine to fix because its an external source that causes such.

But for a breeder to change the development of their dog to hide a fault their line passed down is just ridiculous in my opinion. Know what you breed and avoid it in the future.
 

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Is keeping a dog nice and lean and feeding them a healthy diet manipulating hips?
No its responsible dog ownership ;)
 

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No its responsible dog ownership ;)
I was thinking that too, but I always learn a lot from Cliff's posts and was hoping he would elaborate a bit more on why he included it with testicle tacking and ear taping? Is it possible to "fudge" a dog's hip scores through diet and exercise? Obviously we all want a dog who can stay orthopedically sound through weight fluctuations, pregnancy, etc.
 

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I was thinking that too, but I always learn a lot from Cliff's posts and was hoping he would elaborate a bit more on why he included it with testicle tacking and ear taping? Is it possible to "fudge" a dog's hip scores through diet and exercise? Obviously we all want a dog who can stay orthopedically sound through weight fluctuations, pregnancy, etc.
it can be fudged slightly. A dog in very good condition with strong muscles will have better looking hips than the same dog would look with a non conditioned body. That is why when dogs are diagnosed with HD it is recommended to keep the dog not only light weight but exercise regularly. The muscles take up for the slack that the hips are not taking. Not to mention the muscles will push the hips into socket better giving a better overall image.

But you can only fudge it slightly. A dog with HD will be very obvious on x-rays to a professional. Theres no way you could go from "HD" to a "good" though.
 

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I re read my above post and I wanted to correct what I wrote.

"No one wants to show a dog with one ear up and one ear down."

I actually meant to type
"No one wants to have a dog with one ear up and one ear down especially if its a pure bred."

If the dog is intended for show and is to be shown for show ratings or championships then IMO it is cheating to modify the dogs body other than a groom.

There was a (I believe it was)Pekinese that had to have surgery on its nasal passage to breath properly and won I believe Westminister. That to me is absolutely disgusting.
 

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If the dog is intended for show and is to be shown for show ratings or championships then IMO it is cheating to modify the dogs body other than a groom.
Then there sure are a lot of "cheaters" in the American show ring....

Many people do prophylactic ear taping. I don't agree with it, but people don't want to risk their "big star" having ears that don't stand.

For the record, the American girl that I own and show never had to have her ears taped. They were up when we got her at 12 weeks, and ever went down, even when teething (and she's got some big honkin' ears).
 

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My question is after this manipulation is done, should we consider these dogs breedworthy....
....snip....
Suppose the intervention wasn't done, (diet and weight with hips, taping the ears, tacking down the testicles), would people breed to these dogs??? What is the difference in what the same dog will produce if the intervention is or is not done?
There would be no difference in what the dogs produced because they weren't genetically altered. The genes don't change because you hide or camouflage a fault. (So where are you going with this because you already knew the answer :))

I'm not a breeder but whether or not the dog is breedworthy would depend on several factors. (I think?)
What was the fault to begin with and what are the odds of it showing up in future litters? How does it affect the dogs ability to work, it's temperament and it's health. Does the dog offer enough "good" in the mating to offset the original problem? There's a big difference between a soft ear and HD or cryptorchidism.

I'd say a cosmetic "change" like taping ears, although dishonest, (unless disclosed) isn't going to have the same impact on a line as hiding genetic problems that affect the health or temperament of the dogs. Altering a dog so it might win in the ring is just a hollow victory, but then again, conformation shouldn't be a stand alone source for determining breed worthiness. IMHO.
 

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Well, I do not see keeping a dog lean and fit as human manipulation. I just see it as good dog ownership.

Taping ears? I'd say it depends. Was it this ONE dog out of litters upon litter of full and half brothers and sisters and uncles and aunts? Or is this something that is commonly cropping up? If it's the ONE dog, and it's a dog that is completely breedable in all other ways, then I say go for it.

The testical thing not so much. I haven't researched the issue at nauseum, but I believe there are some fairly serious health concerns that go along with this. Not to mention it's a given that the dog must be neutered, correct?

So...I guess....it DEPENDS.
 

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Then there sure are a lot of "cheaters" in the American show ring....

Many people do prophylactic ear taping. I don't agree with it, but people don't want to risk their "big star" having ears that don't stand.

For the record, the American girl that I own and show never had to have her ears taped. They were up when we got her at 12 weeks, and ever went down, even when teething (and she's got some big honkin' ears).
That is actually one thing I still have a hard time to believe, is going on in the US.

In Germany, you can't talk about it. If you say that you taped your dogs ears, that dog is brandmarked for life! It's a BIG taboo. Everybody does it but nobody talks about it. It happens behind closed doors and you won't ever see a taped or glued dog on club premises. Don't get me wrong, people will help you and let you know how to do it but at the same time they turn around and tell everybody that you tape your dogs ears.

Over here, it really doesn't matter. People talk openly about it, you see them all the time, even put pictures up....

In Germany you'd be labeled as a breeder who produces dogs with soft floppy ears and you really don't want that label.
 

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Then there is the other side of the coin, why can't you show a dog with a scar from an injury that took place after it was born which has nothing to do with its health?
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Folks, people are skirting this issue and many so called reputable breeders won't even weigh in....My point is if you have to tape the ears to stand, or your diet and weight is the difference in OFA Good to Fair, or the manipulation was done to assure the testicle stays or comes down. When these dogs are 3 years old and are winning on the show circuit or winning on the trial field, are people going to breed to these dogs???? Now a cloned exact twin of these dogs and the ear isn't standing because it wasn't taped, the dogs has OFA fair hips instead of Good because of the diet and weight during puppyhood, the male only has one testicle descended because the vet didn't intervene at 8 wks to 4 months. Now would these dogs be bred to, like the cloned brother/sister who had the intervention. Now if a person wouldn't breed to the flawed examples, but would breed to the fixed examples does this help the breed. If this really occurs should not light be shed on this as it has a negative impact on the breed or because this is primarily done by reputable breeders and it is altrusic in nature we act like it doesn't impact the breed negatively and keep it in the dark.
In keeping with the priciple, and other thread in this topic, if you have a somewhat skittish puppy and you socialize the puppy extensively, and the dog becomes three and is Champion or CDX/UDTX, and people flock to breed to him/ or want pups out of her....is this reputable also?
Truthfully, I was not surprised at the lack of response...could have predicted it....if this was something that was prevalent by BYB, there would be 10 pages of posts with the usual saviors leading the charge; but muteness becomes the word of the day on this topic...lol
 

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Could this be true - my vet did an x-ray on my dog and told me that if I wanted OFA good, all he would have needed to do was to rotate the leg a bit and it would have put things in order. I didn't care, he's a mix, it was just to see how he looked, and he has mild HD, but my vet said it was possible to position a dog in OFA (not PENN) so that a dog looked much better/passed. He said not ethical, but he knew of a vet that did this that everyone brought their dogs to for his "good positioning." Can this be true? That is sort of like the other examples, but a bigger, more clear line it would seem if it can happen.
 

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I am no breeder by any means:) but I have to say, the biggest peeve of mine is weak ears (along with other things)..It drives me nuts,,alot of times you can 'see' those weak manipulated ears on older dogs running around the ring, flapping in the breeze.

I know of a breeder whose dogs all have weak ears,(she tapes probably 80% of her puppies) yet she continues to breed them, they are in the ring (they aren't doing that well I might add & she's been 'showing' for years) I swear the offpsring's ears are getting weaker and thinner by every breeding..

She has all the 'problems' cliff mentions, lack of testicles, etc, yet she keeps on pumping them out:(
 

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I"m not a breeder, never want to be. Know very little about genetics so these are just questions....for those knowledgeable breeders is this, if a dog has all these wonderful qualities but has weak ears, do you the breed with a dog that has strong ears to keep some qualities but have puppies with better ears? Isn't that the same philosophy as breeding dogs that are only OFA fair when they have great balance of drives?

I don't see how this can be a black and white answer. To me it sees logical that if one trait knocks an otherwise awesome dog out of the breeding ring then the genetic pool gets smaller and smaller so that it will someday accent the very traits that wasn't wanted in the breed. Is that true?

So in choosing a dog for breeding stock you obviously consider the dog itself but don't you also consider the other side of the equation...i.e. the mate to offset any undesirable qualities?
 

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well if "were" a breeder, and had a dog with weak ears and was looking to improve,,I'd definately be considering a dog with a good ear 'set' , nice and tight, and definately strong ears..(of course all other factors would come into play as well but I wouldn't be breeding weak to weak)

it may not be a black/white answer, but there are enough dogs out there, to improve on those weak traits to pick from.
 

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I am no breeder by any means:) but I have to say, the biggest peeve of mine is weak ears (along with other things)..It drives me nuts,,alot of times you can 'see' those weak manipulated ears on older dogs running around the ring, flapping in the breeze.

I know of a breeder whose dogs all have weak ears,(she tapes probably 80% of her puppies) yet she continues to breed them, they are in the ring (they aren't doing that well I might add & she's been 'showing' for years) I swear the offpsring's ears are getting weaker and thinner by every breeding..

She has all the 'problems' cliff mentions, lack of testicles, etc, yet she keeps on pumping them out:(
Mine is the only one out of that line with ears like she's got. I honestly don't know what happened. As a puppy, before teething, they were up and strong and standing. After teething one of her ears was literally hanging. It's up but it's hanging the same time.

While the ears got bigger they are still standing strong and none of her sibblings, none of the other dogs, out of the entire line has the same problem. They have strong, none flapping ears. I did not tape them when I should have taped them. I did not glue them when I should have glued them. I tried when it was already too late and I knew it was too late because I believe that you should not manipulate the ears, either they go up or they don't but it's a horrible feeling when you have pictures of a puppy with standing ears and they go through teething and all of a sudden something went wrong and one of the ears doesn't come up the way it should be and everybody says the dog has soft ears.

She's literally like the case Justine described. She's got everything to be breedworthy, she's a single case out of that line and nobody knows what happened to her ear....

I'd love to show her but honestly, I don't know if I should. I'd love to show Yukon but he lost his ear as a young pup and if they consider it "cropped" he's disqualified.

Two dogs, same ear... is she bred badly? Nope, she's from one of the most reputable breeders out there. An honest man. A man who would give you a new puppy if yours had to be put to sleep due to bad hips, and that is very rare in Europe since you don't get health guarantee.

A man that worked hard to make his kennel what it is and even though Indra has that problem and I had bad luck with Judge (which is not the breeders fault, it's an injury), I'd buy any time again from him because I know I can trust him and he'd pick the right dog for me and goes out of his way and even drives the dog, all the way from Austria to Frankfurt.

He is one of those breeders who really takes interest into his dogs and he's not ashamed of Indras ear either. It happened.
If I had glued her ear at the right time, what difference would it make? Seriously... what difference? It's up and standing, not the way it should be but it's standing.

The ears in the working lines are getting bigger and bigger as well. Some of them are as flapping as in the showline and you have to reverse it at some point. And if I'd breed her, I'd make sure I'd chose a dog that has all the desired traits and comes from a line of dogs that bring out small, strong ears, that itself would be manipulation and you'd still don't know how it would turn out. But the only way to reverse an effect is to actually do it and to try to reverse it.
I prefer the smaller, thick, strong ears. Ears like Yukons or Zenzys ears. Strong ears, non flapping ears.
Judge doesn't have that issue. His ears are strong and he's a full brother. Same mother and father. So either it was an injury that went unnoticed (she never had an ear infection, I did get her checked out on that) or it's simply mother nature laughing into my face...
 
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