Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dog Dealers on the Boards

Someone on a bulldog board posted a link to this post.

No harm.

The post is somewhat illuminating about the speed of collapse at the AKC, but it is hardly controversial, as the graph is from the DVM News.

What's funny is that someone who signed her name "Bev" then chipped in to say:

If one reads his blog for any amount of time you will begin to wonder how he can support the AR's, bash the AKC and yet still breed and hunt with purebred dogs?? I e-mailed him last year and asked him what his logic was in supporting both sides..... still waiting for an answer.


Eh?

Now here's the thing: I keep all my emails. All of them. I have no email from this person. None.

And yes I checked.

You see, "Bev," it turns out, is someone by the name of Bev Hale who, along with her husband Kirk, breeds "Olde English Bulldogges."

No, I have never heard of them either. More on that in a minute.

First you may ask: What's an Olde English Bulldogge?

Well, to make it simple, it's a breed invented in America by dog dealers selling romance and nonsense.

Sadly, we have lots of this stuff over here.

Look through the back of any dog magazine, and you will find dog dealers hawking "testosterone" dogs to young men.

The list of dogs includes the "Olde English Bulldogge" along with the Old English Bulldog, the Original English Bulldogge, Olde Bulldogge, the Campeiro Bulldog, Leavitt Bulldog, the Catahoula Bulldog, the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog, the Aussie Bulldog, the Victorian Bulldog, the Valley Bulldog, the Olde Boston Bulldogge, the Dorset Old Tyme Bulldog, the Ca de Bou, the Banter Bulldog, and the Johnson Bulldog, to say nothing of the Alana Espanol, Cane Corso, Bully Kutta, and the recreated "Alaunt."

These new-age molosser breeds are sandwiched between the English, Neopolitan, and Bull Mastiffs, the Rottweilers, the Dogue de Bordeaux, the Dogo Argentino, the Fila Brasileriro and, of course, the English Bulldog.

Now here's a question: Do we really need pretend bulldogs in America?

What's wrong with American Pit Bulls?

We have them everywhere. In fact, over 45 million pounds of Pit Bulls are killed in U.S. shelters every year.

And unlike the dogs being sold by the Hales, most of these American Pit Bulls can actually work feral pig or move a rangey cow if they need to.

The dogs Bev and Kirk Hale are breeding, however, look like cartoons. These aren't true working dogs. These are "show off" dogs bred for intimidation and designed to be paraded around on heavy chains by men who need that kind of thing. John D. Johnson created these kind of dogs back in the 1970s -- "kegs on legs" which are too heavy in the body, and too short in the face to really move in hot country.

Of course, there is no stopping dog dealers, is there?

The Hales tell us on their web site that their dogs are registered with the Continental Kennel Club, which is the favorite registry of puppy millers and order-by-mail dog breeders.

Caveat emptor!

On the home page of their web site, the Hales tell us that "The Olde English Bulldogges are a new venture for us," and in almost the same breath they tell us that "After much thought we have decided to let the chickens go."

Right.

Trading one short-term hobby for another. At least you can eat the chickens. But the dogs??

I have fired off an email to Ms. Hale. It will be interesting to see if I get answer. I write:

  • You claim you contacted me last year. Please send me that email. I have never heard of you and recall no emails.

  • You claim I breed dogs. When was that?

  • You claim I "support the AR's." When was that?

  • You claim I hunt with pure breed dogs. Which ones are those?


For the record, as regular readers of this blog know, I do not breed dogs. I have said this many times, and it is not closely held information.

Nor do I hunt with "pure bred" dogs." I hunt with working Jack Russell terriers which are a type of dog, not a breed. This is Working Terrier 101.

If I have ever "supported the ARs" I am sure it is news to them! The Humane Society of the U.S., PeTA, and a few others I can tick off (such as the RSPCA and LACS) have all felt withering fire from me at one time or another.

So what are we to learn here?

Nothing more than what I have said many times before; the boards are full of anonymous cowards, trolling pretenders, and fantasy flakes and fakes.

Caveat emptor.

If you are looking for a dog, do your research and stay away from people who clearly fit the puppy peddler and dog dealer mold.

If you are looking for a molosser breed, please consider going to a shelter and rescuing a Pit Bull. There are a lot of beautiful, sweet dogs to be found there. One is at my feet right now, and I assure you she does not look like a cartoon and she can move like the wind. She is a dog you can be proud of -- my son's pride in his dog is evidence of that!

Before you get a molosser breed, however, make sure you know what you are doing and that you are a forever owner. Make sure you have a stable housing situation, a fenced yard, and are willing to excercise and train this dog which is not a Labrador Retriever.

Molosser breeds are too often victimized by get-rich-quick dog dealers who are only too willing to sell to anyone who comes along.

Dogs bought in haste are too often dumped in leisure, and a million dead molosser dogs a year is the legacy of that.

The molosser world does not need more of this. In fact, it needs a great deal less.


5 comments:

Tim said...

I wonder if some of these new dog breeds are a reaction to AKC breed standards for related breeds. For instance, I have always liked Boston terriers. The ones I have met are generally friendly, not overly aggressive, about the right size for me, and somewhat biddable.

Obviously, I am not a hunter, I have no problem with hunting, I just do not participate. However, I run and hike. Sometimes, I run up to ten miles at a time and hike and camp for a couple days. I would love a dog to run with me, but I don’t want a Boston terrier because they may get heat stroke or pass out because it can’t breathe right (as many can not). It’s terrible that with the current standard, Bostons are not even well bred enough to suit their purpose as a healthy/active little pet dog.

I think a reaction to this could have been the development of what is called the Olde Boston Bulldoge, which I have always been suspicious of. They seem very similar to a Boston, more likely a very small pit bull. I think one of its major selling points is that they are not as brachycephalic or as exaggerated as the Boston. This could be what some people are looking for and could partially explain some the new bulldog breeds, including this Olde English Bulldogge.

Yes, some people want that huge/intimidating dog at the end of their leash for whatever reason, but some people must be looking for a healthier option than the AKC can provide, while still maintaining some predictability for size and temperament.

PBurns said...

An interesting speculation, but entirely untrue at every level.

The "old style" dogs discussed in this post have all been created by young romantic pretenders who sought to "recreate" bull-baiting dogs. That was their goal, and they have been pretty upfront about it. They were not trying to "fix" the English Bulldog or the Boston Terrier, and in fact they never even tried to do that.

These dogs have been around, under various monickers, since the 1970s, and though it is claimed they can whelp and mate naturally, that is more dog dealer talk, as most dogs with massive heads are born caeararian and these "recreated" brachcycephalic breeds are simply English or Bull mastiff crosses (a very, very high rate of caesarians) crossed with English Bulldogs (almost 100 caeasarian).

If you look at the "Olde Boston Bulldoge" what you find here is another dog dealers dog created from an older dog dealers dog.

The Boston Terrier is NOT descended and never was a bull dog as claimed on the "Olde Boston Bulldoge" sites. This was a dog created in the U.S. as a family pet and dog show animals, and its genetic origins is probably from crappy bulldogs exported from the UK (the same as the Frenchie).

If you want a dog to go running with, let me suggest an American Pit Bull or a Jack Russell Terrier, or a Weimaraner, Pointer or Foxhound. Any one of hundreds of dog breeds will fill the bill and most mutts too. But please, let's be clear that a Boston terrier (which weighs about 30 pounds) has as much to do with an "Olde English Bulldoge" (which weighs about 60 to 80 ) as a Boston Cream Pie does.

If you are looking for health, you do NOT start with disease, defect and deformity. And if you are looking for a dog to run with, you do not start with anyone paying homage to a brachycephalic breed.

P

FrogDogz said...

and its genetic origins is probably from crappy bulldogs exported from the UK (the same as the Frenchie)

Up until the thirties, you could tri-register your dog as a French Bulldog, a Boston (Bulldog), or a Toy Bulldog. They were essentially all the same breed in the US, until the standards split.

I have letters from 1880 about the origins of the French Bulldog, and they are very upfront about crossing smaller Bulldogs with several varieties of smaller European Terrier.

PBurns said...

One of the most common histories is offered up here -- a dog owned by french hookers (and which was part pug, same as the Enlglish bulldog) that was swept into the Kennel Club as it tried to make a breed out of anything with four legs and a nose. See >> http://www.bulldoginformation.com/french-bulldog-2.html

It's a true fact that some British dog dealers had a small trade sending their "what the hell is that?" dogs overseas to nearny countries. That's how the Irish terrier reporedly started -- fell terriers too big to go to ground were sold off to Eire. Ditto for bulldogs too small to make the grade -- sold off to French hookers and dock men. Selling a dog to a young hooker would be perfect -- a ready market for cute dogs bought by people who were not too discerning. There are certainly less colorful and less true stories of dog origins!

P

FrogDogz said...

Yeah, the whole 'dogs of prostitutes' thing is pretty much over done. As you said, they were originally sent overseas by UK dog dealers, and a lot of them ended up in Brittany thanks to some factory workers who took them along with them when they left the UK.

They're the ones who cross bred them with terriers and 'popularized' them as a 'miniature' Bulldog type breed. The early letters I have are from some unabashedly self proclaimed dog dealers, talking mainly about how they mixed in various Bulldogs and Terriers to make this 'new breed'.

The whole 'hooker pin up dog' thing didn't start until the breed had already achieved a degree of popularity, at which time the demimonde picked up on them as a nice accessory to add to their photo sessions (a lot of early 'French Postcards' show a scantily clad woman with a strategically placed Frenchie-ish dog on her lap).

Pugs were crossed in some time after that, which is how the Frenchie head went from more moderate to flatter faced. It's also how the black masked fawn coloration ended up in the breed, and that color was considered to be a bastardization by a lot of UK and European breeders right up to the seventies.

All of which is likely more than you ever wanted to know about Frenchies, Patrick!