Purebred Afghan Hound Strongbred American Alsatian DireWolf Dog
The purebred dog was created in 1882, at the time called "pureblood." Today, we know that the long-term sustainability of the purebred dog as it was initially created is not viable over extended periods of time. Without adding genetic diversity to the lines by periodically crossing with other unrelated breeds, purebred dogs may soon become a thing of the past as devestatingly crippling diseases and genetic brick walls stop our beloved purebred dog breeds from moving forward. Some purebred dog breeders have begun to realize that the only way forward is to allow systematic crossbreeding for the renewed health of their dogs, but it is still a very new and controversial idea for most purebred dog breed enthusiasts. [See: Dalmatian Heritage Foundation, and Bernese Mountain Dog Vitality Project.] The reluctance of those within the purebred dog breeding scene to demolish the very limiting practice of pure breeding is why a new way of breeding was created in 1988 to describe a new type of dog breed: the strongbred dog. With the advent of a well-defined healthy and sustainable way of breeding for the strength and viability of a dog breed, we can renew our commitment to the genetic health of our beloved pets. Following is a comparison between the two types and how they are different from one another.
Purebred Dog breeds adhere to the following:
- Published pedigrees include only dogs of the same breed all the way back to the beginning of the breed.
- Standards of the breed are written in broad terms to be interpreted by the breed club of the day.
- Dogs within a specific breed are outwardly measured against other dogs in a show ring by a judge.
- Dogs adhering to the ideal for the breed are rewarded with show titles and winning prizes.
- A particular dog breed can develop extreme examples based upon public or judge opinion.
- Champion stud dogs and dams within the breed can appear many times throughout the pedigree. Breeding on one or two high ranking dogs within the breed is common and encouraged.
- Certain pedigrees coming from specific lines within the breed are revered as more prestigious.
- An overall uniform look is required to be said to be a breed.
- Temperament is assessed in the show ring when the judge approaches the dog during the few moments they are together in the ring.
- Dogs can be disqualified by the judge for defecating in the show ring, snapping at the judge, or acting aggressive toward other dogs or people.
- Purebred dogs are specifically trained to display show ring etiquette.
- Specific clips and cuts are a part of the look of the dog and a dog breed that is not clipped or cut properly, despite being clean and brushed, can be disqualified from the show. Furthermore, specific clips can emphasize or de-emphasize a certain dog's features.
- Dogs come with a pedigree from an all-breed registry. There are many of them including: AKC, UKC, ARBA, FCI, KC, etc.
- Dogs are said to be "recognized" when they are officially registered through one of the all breed registries.
- Crossbreeding is not allowed and any crossbred dog is considered a mutt.
- Outcrossing is breeding to a dog from the same breed that does not have the same ancestry within the last five to ten or more generations.
- Great health is up to the individual breeder to prove their dogs are free from genetic health issues, as much as possible.
- Many breeds have very unnatural features, such as very short snouts to the point of breathing difficulties or short legs and long bodies which cause back issues, etc.
Strongbred dog breeds adhere to the following:
- Published pedigrees include all dogs bred, no matter the breed, going all the way back to the beginning of the breed.
- Standards of the breed are written in exact terms to dissuade anyone from altering or deviating from the founder's ideals.
- Each dog within a specific breed is measured only according to the ideal by the founder or certified judge, and never against any other dog within the breed. Points are generally awarded to the dog for its closeness toward the standards. Thus, only three judges in agreement [or the founder alone] determine the championship status of the dog.
- Dogs adhering to the standards of the breed are awarded titles and prizes.
- Extreme examples of the breed are discouraged at all times, as the point is to adhere to the exact standards of the breed as they are written and interpreted by the founder.
- Champion stud dogs and dams can be as numerous as the dogs that adhere to the standards, or as few as the crossbred dogs that do not adhere to the standards. Dogs are bred based on the need of the breed, not because they have reached championship status.
- Certain pedigrees are not revered as prestigious. Pedigrees only help the breeder know with which genetics he/she has to work to continue to improve the breed and always breed better than the parents.
- A uniform look is not required as regular and systematic crossbreeding dictates that certain dogs will not adhere to the standards. We recognize breeds based on how many generations they are within the breed.
- Temperament is assessed throughout the lifetime of the dog, beginning at birth. Genetically inherited temperament is included in the standards and each breeder must prove through formal standardized temperament testing that their dogs adhere to the temperament standards. If a dog's temperament does no adhere to the standards, the breeder is obligated to say why and how they are different.
- Dogs can be disqualified from breeding, but never from showing. Every dog within the breed is worthy of being assessed toward the standards. However, aggressive dogs or dogs that have other temperament or health issues will be disqualified from breeding within the breed.
- Each dog is assessed on their genetically inherited temperament, health and overall conformation. Training will not be considered in the assessment. This is because we want the natural genetic nature of the dog to be assessed, not how much training has impacted the dog's ability to show itself.
- The dog's natural look is the ideal and is what should be assessed. Strongbred dogs are not specially clipped, but shown in their natural state in order to assess the genetically inherited look of the dog and not mask any flaws that may be present.
- Dogs come with a pedigree directly from those people who care about the dog breed the most, the breed club itself.
- Dogs are recognized by the breed club and its members. No need to go elsewhere.
- Crossbreeding is not only allowed, but encouraged at specific times for specific improvements to the breed: genetic diversity, increased size, elimination of specific health issue, etc.
- Outcrossing is breeding to a separate dog breed that has no similarity in pedigree whatsoever. This, in turn, will give the dog breed the most benefit of genetic diversity.
- Great health is up to the entire unified dog club with all breeders working toward a common goal.
- Breeds possess a natural appearance, with no extreme features that detract from the overall health of the dog.
American Alsatian DireWolf Dog - Skipper
Photo credit: DireWolf Dogs of Vallecito, LLC