I find it extremely frustrating that despite being in the 21st, century people are still extremely hung up on “pure breeds”, especially with the amount of very good books that have been written on the matter and the amount of information out there that is easy accessible to anyone with a computer and some WIFI. This is where a real lack of experience and knowledge of dog history and of times gone by, shows in a lot of people who claim to be dog breeders and dog experts.
In the old days, no one cared about pure bred dogs, they cared about results and the dogs doing what they were bred to do. They bred working dog to working dog to create more working dogs, it was that simple and pureness didn’t come into it. I find it strange how some people get so hung up on how this dog has a bit of running dog or how that dog has a bit of bull blood in it…and? Does that make the dog any less of a dog than the pure ones? The Greyhound and the Pit Bull Terrier are two of the most ultimate athletes in the canine world and have been bred to the extreme and pushed to the limits in their areas and therefore offer any breed many qualities. That is why they have become so popular with many working dog men as outcrosses for their working dogs. The Pit Bull itself in my opinion had running blood and terrier blood before it even left the British and Irish shores to America in the 1800’s and once across the pond I’m sure a few other breeds cropped into their bloodlines here and there.
I remember a few years back I was contacted by a well-known Standard American Bulldog breeder as she wanted to share with me the results of some DNA tests that she had carried out on several of her dogs from different working lines. The results weren’t surprising in my opinion because if you know the history of a breed, its common sense what will more than likely be found in their DNA. The results varied from one line to the other, but they all showed how the breed was made up of several different breeds. Some had as little as 3 different breeds whilst others had as much as 27 different breeds in their make-up. Anything and everything had been found in their DNA from small terriers to curr dogs to mastiffs, this shouldn’t be surprising to anyone but I’m sure many reading this will be shocked and will be doubting my claims.
The Standard American Bulldog is just one of many modern breeds created in the last 150 years from a cocktail of breeds. It is also well known that most terriers have had an injection of outside blood to add certain qualities and features and this has been well documented by several well-known terrier men in books and articles that they have written over the years. Some of the most famous and popular terrier breeds today have had an addition of bull and spaniel blood and even other terrier breeds in more recent times.
People need to stop with this whole “pure” mentality as it means nothing, in fact the many health problems that we see in many of today’s breeds are caused by this need and want to breed a “pure” bred dog to match an unrealistic standard created by a show people. A lot of breeds of today would benefit considerably from a simple outcross that would add a much-needed injection of fresh blood and solve many issues that many of today’s breeds are riddled with.
I take my hat off to breeders who have the minerals to outcross when the time is right, in the know that it will only assist their dogs and the whole breed in future generations. I could think of many breeds that require fresh blood to bring back old qualities and solve the many well-known health issues attributed to certain breeds. These crosses aren’t any less of a dog than the “pure” ones and if we aren’t careful, the horrendous animals we see at shows will only get worse and worse and higher in numbers as the “pure” breeding and silly standards begin to take its toil more and more on all dog breeds.
I think it’s time that everyone from the general dog fancier to dog breeder to breed clubs get on board with this and stop thinking about “pure” dogs but healthy and capable dogs and if that means that an outcross or two is required then so be it. As an old dogman once said to me whether it’s pure or not, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck then it’s a duck…