Thursday, June 23, 2011

Kate: The Outcross Bitch?

You want to know why it's hard to get the dog show crowd to stop inbreeding within a closed registry pool? Simple: dog shows started in Europe where they have been led to believe, for more than 500 years, that incest is best. As Jessa Gamble at The Last Word on Nothing blog notes:

All ten current European monarchs — that’s Belgium, Spain, Luxembourg, UK, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Liechtenstein, Monaco and the Netherlands, for those who haven’t kept track of republican trends — are direct descendants of John William Friso, Prince of Orange, who died in 1711, ten generations ago. This fact understates their actual degree of kinship, however, because the interconnected bloodlines cross much more recently. Most of the European monarchs are also descended from the grandmother of Europe, Queen Victoria of England and from Christian IX of Denmark, both of whose many respective grandchildren – who occupied their thrones during the First World War – married each other so conscientiously their family tree sports the systematic order of a round-robin badminton tournament. Of course, Queen Victoria and her consort Albert were first cousins to begin with, and Victoria passed her hemophilia down to her far-flung grandchildren....

So is there a glimmer of hope? There is. As Ms. Gamble, a Canadian, notes:

... My own Queen, whom I first pledged to serve shortly after my seventh birthday as part of a Brownie Guides initiation, three fingers solemnly raised, has reared her children to break the pattern. None of her four offspring married into royalty and her grandson’s match with a commoner — which might elsewhere have been considered morganatic (unequal) and been denied the full conferral of privileges — promises to widen the gene pool yet further. I look forward to seeing their children healthier for it, whatever their title.


Federico said...

I heard that the late mother of the second-in-line to the british throne did one better, and increased the gene pool further by increasing the number of sires.

Unless, obviously, ginger hair is a novel mutation...

Kate Price said...

Queen Victoria bred pugs........says it all !

seeker said...

Good on ye, William for picking a healthy attractive intelligent mate for your run at life. It shows much wisdom on your part in picking a mate that will overcome too much inbreeding, work well with you in the field and can produce healthy get. And the 'bitch's' bloodlines have shown good ability for working and a talent with success. I think this dog will hunt.

Debi and the TX JRTs

Richard Gilbert said...

Amen. Enjoying your blog.

Breeding is about concentrating qualities NOT bloodlines. For various reasons, people get confused about this, and admittedly mild linebreeding may sometimes be necessary. But one must realize that all "pure" breeds--closed gene pools--deteriorate.

I hope a few folks are making quiet outcrosses to unregistered Jacks or similar breeds (Patterdales) to keep the vigor and work in the JRT. Most of those who breed Jacks, even in the non AKC clubs, appear to do so on appearance primarily. Showing is fun, and great for children and the weak minded, but is a decadent activity that always leads downward, at least for the animals.

I wrote a tribute on my blog to my Jack who died a year ago this last April :

He was a great unregistered dog. Had too wide a chest, and his front feet turned out like a penguin's flippers. But he'd never read the standard, and man could he hunt. From a working pack in southern Ohio's hill country. Two years ago, just before we moved to the city, we had to get him stitched up one last time, at age 12, after he took down a BIG possum.