April 29, 2010 •
Kangal History by Andrew Johnston
About Kangal dogs,
“The most valid question I’ve heard the Anatolian people pose is: ‘why would a shepherd care what color his dog was if it did it’s job?’ And I have to admit I’ve no answer for that. I’ve always found those in dogs that were particularly concerned with a dab of white here or black there, be it Kangal, Boerboel, or a Dogo were not the people truly interested in function.”
In a perhaps telling twist, the most ancient of breeds I work with may have the least to choose from by way of written history. A breed that’s purported to have been around for thousands of years, sitting as Turkey does at the geographical cross roads of the world, that history might be quite busy and all but impossible to document anyway. Or perhaps, as a true land race breed, there is really very little that can be said with certainty; except the breed has been around almost as long as animal husbandry. Continue reading Kangal dogs : an Andrew Johnston essay
by Andrew Johnston, Olympic dogs.
April 29, 2010 • Text Post
Defending the Cross
The crossing of breeds is such a controversial issue it seems appropriate I spend some time addressing my perspective, in print, for the record. To the degree that creates some redundancy with sections like ” An overview, ” I hope you will endure. Given the assumption few will read the whole site, it’s more important that each post stand alone. At the very least I can cut and paste this bit on crosses as needed in my online travels, where the crossing of breeds creates endless hoo-hah.
But anyone in animal husbandry, and most genuine dog men, have known forever that there is a payoff to outside blood. Of late the fickle finger of dog fashion has stumbled on the practice. The extent and degree to which this crossing of breeds may be fad driven, there for short-lived, remains to be seen.
Personally I see it as a logical reaction to the pathetic state of purebreds. The problem then, and the only real limitation of the idea, remains the same. As all the dogs crossed, by definition, must be pulled from that same dubious pool. But while most anything would be better than more of the same purebred disaster, and while crossing does address many of the issues associated with inbreeding, it does not begin to address the greater void of a meaningful selection pressure. Continue reading Purebreed Crosses : an Andrew Johnston essay
The Rare Breed Story : A Canine Fable
by Andrew Johnston
Once upon a time, in a land far away, there was a breed of dog created to serve a purpose. This breed was forged of necessity in a harshly competitive environment, to help the people that used them survive. Most were culled, only the best were allowed to live, because more were born then were needed. The men and women of this culture did not confuse their dogs with their children; they had many children, and grandchildren, to worry about. They valued and cared for the dogs but they were not considered pets, so much as tools. The dogs were worth something in this culture, but there was no significant money to be made in mass producing them. Continue reading The Rare Breed Story : an Andrew Johnston essay