Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Ten Years Gone....and Ten Years After

Go back in your closet and get out a couple of old dog magazines, and look to see who was showing and selling in your breed just a decade ago.

Now look to see if they are still in dogs now.

No? A lot are gone, you say?

I am reminded of this phenomenon every time I go to a dog show and look at the new "Kennel Names" gracing the pop-up tents.

Who are these people?

Flip through a breeder's directory or a dog magazine, and you will find more of the same.

Click on a few links, visit a few blogs, and you will find more new arrivals and lots of abandoned houses; web sites not updated in five years, and most of the kennels names listed in the "blog roll of friends" gone with the wind.

So many come, stay for a few years, and then they are gone.

It is not a new problem.

Dog breeders and instant experts show up on an almost daily basis to replace the old ones who wander off to take up new hobbies -- off-road biking, fly fishing or raising backyard llamas.

Surveys show that the average person who breeds show dogs is in it for just five years before moving on to something else. "One and done" hunters seem to be the majority, not the exception.

Someone sent me a link the other day to an Internet bulletin board where someone that no one has ever heard of (and who is not using his real name), was denigrating someone who actually has a real name, and who has dug a few dogs, and bred some too.


But of course, most of the people on the boards are all of 12-minutes old themselves. What do they know? They certainly do not know any better!

Old story. Pretenders and wannabes will always be with us.

There are the terrier experts who do not own a locator collar, pointer experts who do not own a shotgun, and collie experts whose dogs have never seen a wild-eyed sheep.

There are the dog training experts whose expertise is based on training a retriever puppy, and there are the wannabe dog-fighters who roll around in "strong dog" myth like a dog in stink.

It takes all kinds, I suppose.

I got an email the other day from someone who had a bug in her bonnet. She wanted me to know she was an expert in her breed, and that she had owned dogs for 11 years.

Wow. A real expert. Pardon me if I might suggest that expertise is not yet won if your first dog has yet to die of old age! Credibility might also be enhanced if you knew the data being cited comes from the only two breed health surveys done for your breed! Basic stuff. Not much to know, but do try to learn it!

The Internet has made it easy for parrots and typing monkeys to put up spaces that fill voids, but offer no real substance.

And what is the result? Lolcats, puppy peddlers and copy-paste experts.

They are like the Hollywood western towns: a board one-inch thick, with nothing but the desert behind it.


Julie said...

LOL. I love this, So true!

HurricaneDeck said...

My favorite folks are the newbies that already have the perfect dog - the first one they purchased from a farmer in Louisiana with no pedigree who they single registered with a dubious kennel club.

If you don't always consider yourself a student of the breed(s) or the activity(s), you'll never learn.

Plus, dog breeding isn't for the weak - I've found that out the hard way!

Anton said...

Couldnt agree with you more. Although one sidenote, years of experience in a game doesn't make on a master of it.
Although there are far few of them, I have encountered a few old timers that cannot even have a normal discusson with the young ones "because they have been in this game since 19xx and thus they must be right and the young one must be wrong".
To me that is just as ignorant. The age of a persons knowledge doesnt make it more right or wrong. Although actually, somebody who is a true scholar will always question everything he/she knows, and never assume they have the absolute truth.

PBurns said...

You are 100% right Anton!

Time is the HOPE of knowledge (or change), not the evidence of it.

I actually intend to write on that next, but have run out of time so it might be tonight for tomorrow. The analog to the folks that are as light as a feather are those that are as dumb as a rock. They may weigh more, but they are the core problem, especially in the KC (and sometimes in the field too).


Carolyn Horowitz said...

In my breed, '5-Year Wonders' are almost always people who get too many dogs too fast. The wake up one day with 15 dogs under the age of 5, a spouse who's ready to leave, and no life.

A lot of times they quickly became dumping grounds for long-time breeders who bamboozle newcomers into thinking that if they don't go along with ridiculously restrictive contracts or being the 'farm team' no one else will ever work with them. Sooner or later they figure out they've been had by greed or simply insecure, controlling people.

I find that people who have good, non-dog careers and interests outside of dogs tend to do better as they are less impressed by the 'breeder mystique' BS and they have interests and achievements independent of breeding and the show-ring. JMO, of course.

PBurns said...

That feels right CH.

My showing career, however brief, is 25 years behind me now, and I was never that social to start with (and it * was * all done long before there was an Internet), but I have seen enough since then to think what you describe is, in fact, a common tar pit that too many people fall into. And, of course, all parties suffer, dogs and people alike.


Bóxer Urkabustaiz said...

Some people gets into dogs thinking it is an easy hobby, when it actually requires a high level of commitment. To stay into dogs you need to really enjoy dogs and breeding for its own sake, independently of the most "frivolous" aspects like entering shows, etc.

Jennifer said...

Agreed... But it's a mixed bag. There are also a core of breeders who have been with their breed fo 30+ years, sometimes generations. Some of them are all show, and have contributed greatly to the deterioration of their breeds...they are the backbone of ACK stupidity. Some are seriously committed to balance, health and working ability. Many between. Not all newbies are arrogant pricks...and someone with a good bitch who does their research, takes good advice, and uses good sires may end out producing a few, or a few dozen, good pups.
As more people listen to the animal rights lines and sputter their dogs, selectively bred dogs, including working dogs, will become harder and harder to find.

Gina said...

Yep. Watched them blaze in ... and blaze out. And while they’re in, they’re the loudest on breed “history” and “improving the breed” nonsense. And most vehemently against opening the pool to a cleansing flush of much-needed new genes.