Saturday, 28 December 2013

Pied pipers and the blot on the fancy's landscape


The painting above shows a piebald ("pied") Mastiff by Gilpin, dated 1780.  Pied Mastiffs were common at the time and, indeed, the colour featured in the first, 1880 breed standard for the Mastiff (or what's known as the English Mastiff outside of the UK).


But the colour was dropped with the formation of the Old English Mastiff Club in 1883, just three years later. Today, the only admissible colours are apricot, fawn and brindle.

The "problem", however, is that pied Mastiffs have continued to be born, despite breeders' best efforts to get rid of them. For years, these pied pariahs have been quietly culled or sold off to pet homes; same as so many other "mismarks" in so many other breeds.

But now there's a campaign to have piebald re-admitted into the Mastiff breed standard. It is being led by Simon and Jen Willshire of Gammonwood Mastiffs in New South Wales, who believe it is a madness to continue to deny - and decry-  their existence.

It has, predictably, prompted a storm of protest within the breed.

Here are some of the comments out there on Mastiff internet groups.
"The breeders of the past were much more responsible.  They were put down at birth.   Many breeds are put down at birth when they are not correct."  
"The pied 'mastiff' is nothing more than a mongrel with a designer price tag. They are nothing more than the offspring of BYBs."  
"I have never had a pied and never want it to happen.  Breeders today are too soft in the heart, they want to save everything. Are we that sure that these genes just mutated on pieds or could a fox have gotten in the Hen House ...so to speak."
No one knows exactly why pied was dropped from the breed standard. It might have been that it was an attempt to differentiate the breed from the St Bernard. Or it's possible it was connected to an awareness that white is linked with deafness in some breeds (not, of course, that this prevented the embracing of very white dogs in other breeds). But there may have been something else at work too. And that's because piebald/parti-coloured* dogs began to disappear from other breeds (and art) in the late 1800s/early 1990s, possibly fuelled by a belief that solid colours were somehow "stronger" and "more pure".

Note the wording in the excerpt from the 1880 breed standard above..."pieds are admissible and equal for purity".  It was clearly designed to reassure that pied mastiffs were, indeed, purebred.  And that's because at the time "piebald" didn't just refer to a colour - it was a term widely used to describe mongrels (etymology here).

The Mastiff wasn't the only breed to lose its piebalds around this time. Until 1880, Irish Setters comprised both solid red dogs and red-and-whites. They were considered all one breed and were shown in the same ring. But the founding of the Irish Red Setter Club in 1880 specifically excluded red-and-whites. Segregated from the rest of the breed, the IRWS very nearly died out.

Gordon Setters too, often black + white, or tricolour  in the 19th century, became solid black with tan points - somewhat ironically given that the Duke of Gordon favoured the parti-coloured dogs. Interestingly black, white + tan is still considered a registerable colour by the Kennel Club and they do appear in litters from time to time. This picture is of an accomplished working tricolour Gordon Setter, but you would never see one in the showring. Today, the breed standard demands that Gordons are black and tan.

FTCH Freebirch Vincent with Bob Truman, circa 1980
The same happened with parti-coloured Poodles - once widely celebrated in art; ostracised around the turn of the 20th century; today viewed with horror by many Poodle purists.

Of course, piebald/parti-colour dogs remain an integral and valued part of other breeds but it should be remembered that the late 1800s/early 1900s was a time when much of the (white) world was being swept up in unapologetic and unfettered racism; when any hint of "mongrelisation" was viewed with revulsion. The term "piebald" was often used pejoratively.

Look at this reference from Genocide and Settler Society: Frontier Violence and Stolen Indigenous Children in Australian History by Dirk Moses.


And I found this, also from Australia,  dated 1909.

And how about this, from the same period?


We still have some of this prejudice in the horse world. Piebald/painted/pinto ("coloured") horses are considered inferior by many - often dismissed as "gypsy" horses. It is easy to understand how it could have informed dog-breeding. Indeed, many breed standards limit the amount of white admissible. A little bit of white on a dog's chest or foot is often a fault, deemed evidence of impurity.

In Mastiffs, the piebald gene is recessive and can be passed down silently for generations. And so pied dogs continue to be born - and show breeders continue to cast them out, very often dismissed as evidence of crossbreeding back in the pedigree. (This despite, of course, their apricot, fawn or brindle siblings being accepted as purebred Mastiffs). Some kennel clubs won't allow them at all; others only allow pieds limited registration or with their true colour mis-described. You will certainly never see one in the show-ring. The UK Kennel Club standard effectively bans pied dogs by stating: "Excessive white on body, chest or feet is unacceptable."

But this is being challenged by Jennifer and Simon Willshire, of Gammonwood Mastiffs, who were startled when one of their Mastiffs (a brindle bitch mated to a fawn) unexpectedly gave birth to these three pied pups in June 2012.


The Willshires already knew that the recessive piebald gene - although rare - has always been in the breed. Long before their own pieds were born, they had made a film which explored the issue. See here (about 26 minutes in).

Consequently, the Willshires felt that their pied pups had every right to be recognised as Mastiffs. As the Wisdom Panel result below shows, their pups were indubitably purebred. So instead of culling them, as some suggested, they have started a campaign to have the colour accepted in the breed.


The Willshires have been in the breed for 20 years and are active members of the Mastiff community in Australia. Jen Willshire is English - her grandfather was a Major in the British Army, her great grandfather was Rear Admiral in the Royal Navy and served as a Gentleman Usher to four reigning monarchs (including our current Queen) between 1927 and 1961.

In short, they are educated, articulate, passionate, persuasive - and unlikely to be fobbed off by lingering prejudice and arbitrary rules that make no good scientific sense.

They are  supported in the UK by the great canine historian, Colonel David Hancock - a Mastiff man himself:  Hancock maintains: "The exclusion of pieds wholly on colour grounds is irrational, unscientific and harmful to the breed."

But for pied to be fully-recognised, the two Mastiff clubs here in the UK would have to give their approval.  Recently, the Willshires wrote to the Old English Mastiff Club with this plea:
"We know our piebald Mastiffs to be true Mastiffs, no matter their coat colours. They show this in character, form, mannerism and everything they do. They are kind, loyal,courageous friends. They are not the results of crossbreeding and they are able to produce solid standard coloured fawn, apricot and brindle offspring. We ask why should they not deserve the same recognition and acceptance as their parents and siblings?"
They continued:
"We hope the OEMC will take a stand for piebald and provide registry departments with the necessary consent to record their colours accurately. We hope the club will review its stipulation that piebalds may not be bred from, shown or exported. Their genes are useful, their looks are beautiful and they deserve the opportunity to go to the very best homes possible, regardless of where they are on the globe."
And here - brace yourself - is the response from Club Chairman Sian Hall, published in the OEMC Autumn/Winter newsletter.
"Some minor Antipodean breeder, whether by accident or design, have landed themselves with pied dogs and seeks to change our Breed standard to legitimise and justify their actions. Reliable sources say these dogs are being sold as "rare" Mastiffs. Is this to inflate the price? Our breed standard, drawn up by the greast Mastiff experts; Dr Sidney Turner, Mr Mark Beaufoy MP, Dr Forbes Winslow and Walter K Taunton in 1883, when they founded the OEMC, has been our lodestar in definiting the Mastiff is its grandest form. The black mask is indispensable. A white face or part coloured face doesn't bear thinking about. I know retro is cool, but not when it applies to our dogs!!"
So where to now?

It is of course ludicrous to have a colour bar like this still in effect today now that we better understand the genetics. There is no evidence that pied Mastiffs carry a greater risk of deafness that can be associated with too much white (although this has been intimated by some).  And it makes no sense to forbid breeding from dogs that may be superb examples of their breed, just the wrong colour.

At the end of the day, no one would be forced to breed or buy a pied mastiff - there's a DNA test available to identify carriers.  The Clubs worry about Pieds becoming "fashionable" - but what was it other than fashion that led to them being dropped from the breed standard in the first place?

I hope that in my lifetime we will see this kind of discrimination end - and not least because some dogs continue to be killed just because they are born the wrong colour. It is a blot on the fancy's landscape; something has no place in a modern, welfare-savvy society.

But I confess I don't hold out much hope for the Mastiffs. The Old English Mastiff Club is still seething about the fact that they lost a 10-year battle with the Kennel Club to have a dog called Jengren Mr Milligan, born in 1999, struck from the register - something it felt so strongly about that it spent an estimated £18,000 in legal fees. The reason? Mr Milligan's pedigree lists his dam as "unknown". (Report here.) The Club claimed - and continues to intimate - that his dam wasn't a Mastiff. And never matter than Mr Milligan's sire was the Champion Jengren Pluto, that Mr Milligan himself did well in the show-ring and that he went on to sire the breed's record holder, Ch Lady Lavinia.

A current link on the OEMC website states:
"Due to the upsurge of interest and disbelief generated by the emergence and proliferation of an influx of 'mastiff dam unknown' lines and to fulfil our fundamental obligation to protect our noble breed, we are showing the following pedigree as guidance for the unwary and unknowledgeable."
In the same newsletter that trashes the Willshire's plea for pieds, Chairman Sian Hall laments that 32 of the 50 Mastiffs registered in the third quarter of 2013 originate from the "dam unknown" line and concludes:
"All this, together with the farcical strictures imposed on us by the powers-that-be are the slow death knell of the Mastiff that you and I went out and bought, shared our lives with and shed copious tears over when that awful day arrived. Remember what it was that first attracted you to the Mastiff, hold on to it and fight for it. 
"Our footprint in the history of our breed is not one to be proud of. Future generations of Mastiff fanciers may well look back and wonder we we did so little, and cared even less."
The message is clear: the threat of pieds and a drop of mongrel blood will be the ruin of the breed.

The reality of course, is that it more likely to be its salvation.

Please sign the Willshire's petition.

The Gammonwod Pied Mastiffs  Facebook page is here.






* pied/parti-colour means different things in different breeds - but essentially refers to white dogs with spots/slabs/patches of one or more colours.

127 comments:

  1. Absolutely stunning dogs. Absolutely scandalous that this is still happening. It's the same for Pugs, I remember there was a campaign in the US for 'Pugs of colour', pure dogs in different shades. Well, once upon a time black Pugs were culled too. Silly really.

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    1. This is so true.I'm sick of the irrational snobbery involved in dogs and the arrogance of some so called Good breeders.

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  2. I have three very disparate reactions to different parts of this narrative.

    First, that drawing of nightmare mixed-race future, if one expurgates the racist stereotypes, looks an awful lot like the millennial mixed-race present. And future. In all the best places, anyway.

    Second, how conscious are you of the fact that, in establishing the Wilshire's bona fides as educated, articulate, etc., you literally present Mrs. Wilshire's pedigree as evidence:

    Jen Willshire is English - her grandfather was a Major in the British Army, her great grandfather was Rear Admiral in the Royal Navy and served as a Gentleman Usher to four reigning monarchs (including our current Queen) between 1927 and 1961.

    Is that some sort of parody of the way that English show-fanciers think?

    Perhaps if the issue was playing out in the US, a Hollywood celebrity or the parasitic offspring of some mega-rich asshole would be trotted out for credibility?

    Third, how the hell does one know the sire of a dog and not the dam? One doesn't, unless someone is lying/deliberately concealing.

    As you know, I'm no fan of "purity" outside of the realm of dairy hygiene and German beer; but pedigree integrity and accuracy is crucial for conservation breeding. At its most basic, knowing the animal's ancestry helps one avoid inbreeding.

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    1. Heather, I think that perhaps, when Jemima presents the "Wilshire´s pedigree", she is just saying "as English as they come" - making me for one laugh even more at the hilarious snobbery of that "minor Antipodean breeder" snub, which means "silly little foreign nobody from the other side of the world" . Jemima, you swear to me that you didn´t find that sentence somewhere in a Jane Austen novel, or took it out out of the mouth of Becky Sharp? :-)

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    2. I listed Jen's antecedents partly to counter the inherent snobbishness in the OEMC response ("some minor Antipodean breeder") and to point out that she would be unlikely to give up without pa good fight. But fair point, Heather.

      As for the "dam unknown" case - it is an interesting one. There's little doubt that the dam *was* a Mastiff - just that the dog originally listed as the dam was apparently with someone else at the time and definitely did not have puppies.

      Jengren Mr Milligan did well in the showring and went on to sire Ch. Lady Lavinia who became the record winning Mastiff in the UK, hence the significance.

      I am unsure why the case was not resolvable... anyone know?

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  3. Fascinating, and I agree, stunning dogs. Love the Gordon, I knew that pure red could appear and that black appears in Irish but didn't know about the parties. What a load of snobbery in dog/horse breeding isn't the saying in hounds "a good hound can't be a bad colour"! This will cause apoplexy amongst the purists.

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  4. Color prejudice is the scourge of pedigree breeding. Without it, as I understand history, goldies and flatcoats would be one breed, flatties would probably be without their high propensity to cancers (and goldies would probably have better temperament). I have Labs. I'm repeatedly rubbed the wrong way by people saying something about my chocolate Labs. They are Labs who happen to be chocolate. If I breed to a dominant black dog the pups will all be black . . . thanks to accidents of history that this is permitted. Have had friends whose bitches have thrown semi-brindle pups due to being heterozygous for the solid color gene and being mated to a dog who is also heterozygous. It is SO SO SO annoying that people doubt that the brindle-look pups aren't purebred.
    Color diversity should be welcomed in all breeds . . . except in cases where color is linked to health problems (like deafness linked to white animals).

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    1. I have owned both a deaf & a blind pure breed Great dane (My current Dane is deaf) Because of the way I train my dogs, they lead the same normal, wonderful lives as my non-challenged dogs. Even if deaf or blind, homes can be found.A deaf dog could probably be showed & no one would know.

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    2. I have owned both a blind & a deaf Great Dane (my current dane is deaf). Because of the training I give them, it's very hard to tel they are "handicapped". They lead very high functioning lives, no different than my other dogs. I could show my deaf dane & you'd never know he was deaf. I don't believe in "putting down" a puppy if they don't have a health risk, bad joints, heart, etc.

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    3. I have a young blind deaf lurcher who has a great life and is otherwise very healthy and would not dream of destroying her.She doesn't know she's deaf blind.

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    4. Yes, but there's a difference between looking after an animal that is deaf/blind, and deliberately breeding for them. No one condones Merle to Merle matings for this reason.

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  5. Sometimes the breedist/racist parallel is so blatant you've gotta laugh.
    According to Freeman Lloyd in the AKC Gazette (1924), there were “ ‘springers’ whose ‘long’ pedigrees appear well on paper, but whose appearances proclaim ‘a nigger in a woodpile.’ ”

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    1. Hilarious! Idiocy in the extreme!

      It is racist mentality aimed at dog breeds which were created by human beings!

      PMSL!

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  6. I love mastiffs. At one time, there was a solid black strain that is now, sadly, gone extinct. There are now very, very dark brindles that are called blacks.

    It's funny that people go nuts over color. This breed as it exists now is a composite of several different dogs, including keeper's dogs from England, the Alpine mastiff (which is not the same as the St. Bernard), St. Bernards, the "boarhound" (Great Dane), and who knows what else. I've see long-haired mastiffs, which obviously have some St. Bernard blood.

    I think most of the fancy breed of the mastiff in England was to breed a canine lion to paraphrase Sydenham Edwards, who wrote, "What the Lion is to the Cat the Mastiff is to the Dog, the noblest of the family; he stands alone, and all others sink before him."

    It's no surprise too that the lion is symbol of the English nation, and it would be befitting to have a dog that somehow resembled the great cat.

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    1. It IS funny that people go nuts over the colour of a dog. Is it some sort of accessory? Like choosing a handbag, or a car?

      Colours should be removed from breed standards. That is, unless there is some direct evidence to link colour to risk of generic disease.

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    2. Cross the mastiffs up. Breed for function not conformation. Out cross to get your desired morph, screw the finicky little points. Breed a healthy dog who does what you want or has the personality you like. I feel sorry for Danes or Dogo Bordeauxs, freaks are what I call them.

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  7. Purebred snobbery based on eugenics principles.

    Piebald coats have temperamental advantages. Balyeav bred foxes for tameness and ended up with piebalds. Work on rats found the piebalds less aggressive than the solid colours (see 'Dogs are from Neptune', Jean Donaldson for full reference).
    The mechanism is on the neurochemistry which affects pigmentation. You would think that if people really understood what they were doing they would read the literature. Obviously, these people are stuck in the 1930s.....

    To breed a dog, such as a Mastiff, to a breed standard that encourages aloofness (difficult to socialise) in the 21st century is akin to madness. To remove the dogs from the gene pool that may well have a temperament more suited to society is irresponsible to say the least, not to mention reducing genetic diversity in the breed as a whole.

    These people are practicing eugenics based on absolutely no evidence. Do they think that people are blind to their behaviour and practices?

    I would like to see a TV documentary focusing on the mentality and intelligence of the people involved in dog breeding who continue to uphold these blind prejudices and in the process are responsible for cruelty to dogs. I am starting to wonder if THEY have some sort of genetic mutation that renders the ability to rationalise and empathise null and void.

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    1. I haven't read Jean Donaldson's book, but this article by Temple Grandin suggests the opposite; that piebaldism may be linked to nervousness: "Nervousness is also common in animals with large areas of depigmented hair and skin."
      And
      "Although piebald spots do not always signal neurological defects, breeding two Paint Horses who have large areas of piebald spotting (white hair with underlying pink skin) is almost sure to cause problems in the offspring."

      http://www.grandin.com/references/horse.genetics.html

      Whether this applies to piebald dogs, I don't know. Has anyone bred two piebald dogs together and had problems?

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    2. What breeders of the ms Hall variety do is simple enough: a common human folly. They defend a fictive territory ("Our Breed" instead of "Our Nation", "Our Party", "Our Religion" or even "Our bleeding Football Club") against all comers... and protect their market share, their wallets and their social position as well, in one blow. It´s a pity they should have to misunderstand so much very basic biology in order to suceed - that must after all take quite a bit of effort.

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    3. There is a whole chapter on colour coat and behaviour in Jean's book. Well worth a read. Some work by Serpell in 1996 suggests parti colour dogs are more 'docile'. 'nervousness' and 'docile' are a bit vague when it comes to defining behaviour. There is some nice detail in the chapter on the MSH and agouti protein interaction and it's effect on seratonin production and pigmentation.

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    4. I know white animals certainly have more health issues, I work in a grooming shop so see it every day & also have had white pets ( hamsters , birds ) who where very sickly

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    5. Extreme white is undoubtedly a potential problem. But that's not what we're talking about here. Pied Mastiffs have a lot of colour on their heads/ears.

      A little simplistically but:

      White on head = bad
      White on body = safe

      Jemima

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    6. That is an unfortunate quote from Ms. Grandin because it is misleading. There is a form of piebald in Paint Horses (LWO, popularly known as frame overo) that is a homozygous lethal. There are other types of piebald patterning in horses (including Paints), many far more common than LWO, that have no impact on the health of the horses that carry them. White patterning in horses has been extensively studied in recent years, with published papers on at least 27 separate white spotting mutations. It is a shame to see this kind of comment when accurate information is so readily available.

      And it is exactly that kind of vague information that leads to the wholesale elimination of colors in domestic animals, even when those colors have no connection to any defects. What is true for spotting in one species may not hold in another, and even within species, what happens with one pattern (or even versions of the same pattern) may not be true for another.

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    7. If it is homozygous lethal then the foals will not survive gestation surely?

      It's an issue of snobbery and racism fundamentally. Just transferred to dog breeding. Eugenics in action. It satisfies some sort of need in certain people. Sickness. We need to call in the shrinks.

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    8. No, the form of lethal overo in horses does produce an all-white foal that must be euthanized. That particular mutation is to a gene that is also involved in the formation of the intestines, so the loss of function there stops that as well as the process of pigmentation. If the horse only has one copy of the gene, the other normal gene can carry out what is needed. That is why the horses with one copy of the mutation are perfectly fine. Most Paint breeders test for LWO if there is any chance that their mare carries it, because it is such a heartbreaking outcome, and unlike dogs they are investing in a breeding that will only produce one offspring.

      There are color mutations in horses that are theorized to be embryonic lethals, but those are all thought to result in early pregnancy loss, and so are treated a little differently. There is also at least one white pattern that is strongly associated with deafness, but it is also one of the top performance (reining) lines in the world, and another pattern that, when homozygous, results in a horse that is night blind. Interestingly enough, that last one has been proven to be a mutation that existed long before the horse was domesticated. Since being blind at night would be a distinct disadvantage in a wild animal, that has lead to speculation that the heterozygous form must have conferred some benefit, since it was perpetuated, but at the moment just what that might have been is not entirely clear.

      I would also add that in almost all cases, these colors with known issues are visually similar to colors that do not impact the health of the horse. With some of these, awareness that they were separate, unrelated colors is relatively recent. It is a complex subject.

      Color selection in animals does have some unsavory connections to the eugenics movement, but then so does the study of genetics. ;) I do think that animal fancies would do well to try to step back, support scientific research into the actual connections (if any) between color and defects, and try to balance that information with what is best for the dogs themselves. As with most of the challenges facing dog breeders today, there really are no simple answers.

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    9. Lesli Kathman, I wasn't intending to mislead.

      Thanks for your informative post.

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    10. It never ceases to amaze me what I learn on this blog, I struggle with the scientific bits nonetheless to know and learn from others is so enlightening and thought provoking. Thank you for such a clear explanation Lesli. If only more dog breeders would listen and learn for the benefit of their dogs the world would for those dogs would be so much more healthy because the breeders have better more informed knowledge.

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    11. I am sorry, Fran. I should have been more clear that I was disappointed that someone of Ms. Grandin's stature had published outdated and misleading information.

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  8. The same nonsense seen with the parti-coloured standard poodles.
    What on earth is going on here? It is extremely disturbing human behaviour to select dogs for breeding based on this superficial and biased human preference.

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  9. Health and the ability to be free and happy for a dog is what should be strived for, and if colour does cause a health problem then obviously it can be discriminated against. I think Jennifer is correct when she says that there can be health issues related to a colour and obviously in a breed (more importantly dogs!) that to breed for such a colour would just be plain mental. Just like the bulldogs shown on the latest blog, I think the woman is trying to breed elephants to put such an emphasis on the facial skin, poor dogs to have such an owner. Anyway colour, it is fascinating, there are few breeds and I think Irish Red Setters are the only one (?) that couldn't deviate without the obvious exception of the Irish Red and White. Weimarana? The snobbery is so astonishingly arrogant within dog breeding, the UK will shortly fall into line with the US and their new laws governing dog breeding. Not all good, not all desireable, shouldn't be needed, but the proof is for all to see that dog breeders will not restrain themselves for the good of the dogs, but it could provide a skeleton from which to create control in this country.

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  10. This is where DNA profiling would help. The sire and dam are profiled before mating. The offspring are profiled before registration. Proof that the offspring are from the sire and dam as written on the pedigree. Do this for 5-generations and the breeders will have their reassurance that the piebald dogs aren't due to a mishap with the cur down the road. The issue breeders have at the moment is they really don't have any way of knowing for sure whether the sire on the pedigree is the real sire.

    It also means if any outcrossing is done, the breeders can rest assured that the dogs being used in the outcross really are the ones claimed, and they will know when the outcrossed offspring are back to genetic purity.

    Somebody needs to show these breeders how few generations it takes for their outcrossed dog's genetics to ressemble that of a purebred dog.

    I'm not a fan of Mastiffs, but I like the look of the piebald ones. That's a compliment, when I find myself recoiling from so many breeds.

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  11. True the standard yard sticks are in place and there for judges to judge by and breeders to work towards - BUT - how simple it would be to simply show the ones that conform to the standard best, and they should logically win, and keep the others for non show purposes, therefore having access to the wider genetic pool. To exclude them from registration is a truly retrograde act in light of today's scientific knowledge. Red setters, by their name, should be red, but they should also be setters. R/W setters likewise. Dog exhibiting is traditional. Simple ownership is not. Breed purpose should not be lost in spite of colour, whether correct or not. Keep the pool, just exhibit the selected "standard" specimens. At the end of the day "good livestock" is the desired outcome.

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  12. Proof (if any was required) that many pure bred breeders are working on puerile facade issues as their requirement for breeding/showing/advertising, and not physiological quality of scientific sense. Remember that time in the recent past when coloured Border Collies were put down? Now they are the best dogs in many litters. WHEN will breeders breed to type (ie what they were bred for, and doing it well) and not just what some judge thinks is fun this week? Are prebred dog breeders getting further and further out on a rotting limb?

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  13. Reminds me of the split between "coloured" and "white" Bull Terriers.

    The whole temperament by colour thing can't be right, if it were then everyone who raised animals would have noticed and agreed by now. Instead, we are thinking "could this new theory be right?" Chuck the theory, watch litters of moggy kittens, and breeds of dogs with different colours in the same litter.

    Jack Russell Terriers are mostly white, are they bold or nervous? Black IGs aren't any less nervous than tan or pied ones, are they? If pied coloured dogs are so nervous, why are so many pit bulls pied? And many pitbulls are tan too. And every colour can be found in pit bulls, because, what won won, no theory involved.

    Better results might be found stereotyping the owners, let's do a quiz:
    1. People who like dogs with black coats are.........
    2. People who like dogs with white coats are.........
    3. People who like dogs with tan coats are.............
    4. People who like dogs with tricolour coats are....
    5. People who like dogs with pied coats are...........

    Or let's get a little cozier with the truth,
    6. People who only like dogs with certain colour coats are.....
    7. People who like dogs no matter what the colour are............

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    1. I'll offer my answers to 6 and 7..,

      6 = fussy, shallow, egotistical morons who choose a dog like they choose an accessory.
      7 = genuine dog lovers who favour health and temperament over looks.

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    2. Actually It is considered that red animals are more highly strung. It was mentioned on a documentary about animals in the womb a few years ago.
      Black and tan dogs are more prone to allergic reactions.

      Lack of Pigments cells ( excessive white patches) can affect hearing and eyesight as they are not only used by the body for " making a pretty coat color" they have other functions.

      So yes colour could possibly affect temperament. But mostly it would be subtle

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    3. Red hair is said to cause a temper. But orange tabby/ ginger/ marmalade coloured kittens are just as nice as their litter mate of a different colour.

      It might be shown that colour changes are changes in chemistry of the animal, but I have yet to read where scientists have shown that this affects behavior or disposition. It seems to me, that it is regular people reading small news excerpts about fetal pigment development, and guessing that this might affect the animal later.

      People, don't you think that if there was ANY truth to colour determining any mental or emotional functions in people or animals, that groups from the Nazis to the eugenicist to each "power for MY colour" group would have published this at decades long length?

      I know some people reading this, have breeds where every puppy is the same colour, but some readers surely have litters of various colours. Can any of them say that the the red puppies are......., the black puppies are......, the white puppies are.....

      Doesn't anyone here breed retrievers who can be black, chocolate, or yellow, all in the same litter? Are they different?

      LOOK, WATCH, OBSERVE, and think. Don't rely on some guess made by reading a science blog. Remember what happened to dogs because people formed a paradigm based on assumptions?

      Not all science is good science. But this isn't science, it is a reader's guess made from reading a news clip about one finding with no mention on any scientific correlation between colour and disposition in litter mates.

      Delete
    4. 16:21 who is guessing what? There is very little scientific information on dog colour coats and resulting behaviour but there is SOME at least.
      If you google 'The Genetics of the Dog' and colour coat and behaviour, Ruvinsky reviews the evidence to date. James Serpell circa '96 did a little on this too. Surely the issue is related to culling pied dogs from the gene pool because human beings don't find them attractive? It's an appalling issue really, but if there is some evidence that pied dogs have overall greater levels of seratonin due to their pigmentation, then it would be foolish to ignore this. The fact that foxes became pied when they were bred for tameness also is pivotal.

      Delete
    5. Even if serotonin levels are affected by colour, that doesn't mean that these changes of serotonin levels, of this type and range, will affected the behavior of dogs. It might or it might not.

      Some people believe that the position of the Earth, when and where you were born, will affect you for your whole life. Other people think that astrology is nonsense. There is a study which finds that people born in the summer are (as a group) healthier than those born in the winter. Does this mean that all of astrology is correct?

      Has their been any study of PEOPLE interacting with various coloured puppies? If you paint one white puppy to look like a panda bear, will people ah! and aw! over it, affecting its biochemistry?

      Isn't there something about how, when the whole litter is the same colour so the breeder puts different coloured collars on them, people looking at the litter unconsciously pick puppies wearing certain colours first?

      There was something noticed in banding birds. A researcher put different coloured plastic bands on the legs of birds so he could study them through binoculars. His notes showed that, repeatedly, female birds chose males with leg bands of some colours over those with leg bands of other colours. So even IF colour driven blood levels of serotonin would correlate with behavior, you would have to rule out the observer's bias.

      It just reads too much like astrology to me. Personality is too complex to be divided by birth sign or colour.

      Delete
    6. Seriously, biochemistry reads too muck like astrology to you!?

      Well let's see. We can measure levels of serotonin and understand it's chemical composition, the uptake in mammals and it's neurochemical effects. However, behaviour is influenced by literally thousands of genes that govern the endocrine system. Nobody has mentioned that colour effects PERSONALITY. We are talking about aspects of behaviour in an animal. Namely MSH and agouti protein interactions affecting the uptake of serotonin.

      'isn't the something about how, when the whole litter is the same colour.....'

      I don't know. Is there!? How about coming up with some evidence to support these quotes?

      As a side note. The apparent line of site of the stars that are light years apart has absolutely nothin whatsoever to do with anything on earth, it's merely coincidence. Astrology belongs in the same category as alchemy!

      Jeez.....

      Delete
    7. The point remains: nobody has cited ANY study linking coat colour to behavior.

      The foxes did get floppy ears, slightly curled tails, and white patterns, but if they had 6 toed feet, missing teeth, and half length tail, it still wouldn't prove anything.

      Correlation is NOT causation.

      Delete
    8. Biochemistry doesn't read like astrology to me, but the idea that you can know a dogs behavior from its colour does.

      Delete
    9. Nobody said correlation IS causation either! The discussion has centred around linkages. The reason being that culling black and white dogs is plain stupid for whatever reason when there is no scientific evidence either way!

      Delete
    10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20176091
      'The results suggested that Jindo dogs of fawn coat colour exhibited a significantly lower intensity of fearful and submissive reactivity than those of white coat colour. In addition, fawn Jindo dogs produced scent-marking behaviour significantly more frequently. The results of the present study may provide useful information for scientific researchers, potential owners and breeders of Jindo dogs.'

      http://www.fleetfiretimbers.com/fft/Articles/DogColorReview2007.pdf
      'In some breeds only a single coat colour or a very limited
      range of coat colours are allowed within the standard.
      Pollinger et al. (2005) used an example of two breeds which
      separated relatively recently on the basis of brown (German
      Longhair) vs. black (Large Munsterlander) coat colour. Using
      a set of microsatellite markers on CFA11, they showed that
      there was a region spanning approximately 20 cM that was
      affected by this selection. Hence, any other genes in this
      region would also be under inadvertent selection pressure
      because of the selection for coat colour.'

      http://companionanimalsolutions.com/blogs/the-genetics-of-behavior-what-color-is-your-dog/
      'researchers just this past year showed quite clearly that, in Labradors, occurrence of problem behaviors like barking, chewing, and digging, were related to coat color: gold dogs showed significantly higher levels of these behaviors, even after numerous environmental factors were removed. This supports a 2001 study, in which researchers at Cornell University’s Veterinary Hospital showed that chocolate-colored Labradors were less likely to present with behavior problems than other Labradors, and that gold/yellow Labradors were significantly more likely to be reported with aggression problems.'

      http://www.dur.ac.uk/greger.larson/DEADlab/Publications_files/2013%20Coat%20Colour%20SCDB.pdf
      'The overall impression is that the coat colour variability encouraged and maintained by humans in domestic plants and animals is the result of a
      selection pressure that is diametrically opposed to the one nature
      imparts on wild progenitors.'
      'The extensive number of coat colour variants present even in those animals domesticated in the past 150 years including Syrian hamsters and Chinchillas also suggests that once in captivity, coat colour variants
      appear rapidly. The fact that some of the foxes in Belyaev’s experiment
      that were not bred for tameness also expressed piebald coats
      suggests that coat colour variants can appear before the application
      of a strong behavioural selection pressure'

      Reviewing a very simple Google search, one could come to the conclusion that there is a possible link to certain types of behaviour and coat colour in some types of dogs but that there is also evidence to suggest that the lpeiotropic nature of inheritance and epigentics make this a very subjective link and not a cause.

      However, the problem remains. Culling dogs for aesthetic reasons is tantamount to animal cruelty. Surely?

      Delete
    11. Culling for colour is unneeded and unkind, except where it would be an unkindness to sell the puppy do to problems PROVEN to be found associated with a colour in that breed. The Merle White gene (which in its heterozygous form is seen as blue or red merle) can be been born with a broad range of problems.

      And the Jindo comenter above is correct about genetic linkage, but in one breed, red might be linked to a faulty behavior gene, while in a different breed it is not, but black is.

      It can be found in the same breed or the same litter too, because genes tend to be inherited along with the genes nearest to them. So if in Sally's dog's, the pied gene is near a faulty gene, her white puppies will usually end up with the faulty gene. If in the same breed, Robert's red dogs have a faulty gene nearby the red gene, his red dogs will suffer from it.

      If Robert and Sally breed their dogs together, some puppies will get either fault, some puppies will be free of both faults, but some puppies will have both faults.

      But if it was the same faulty gene, then it would no longer be colour linked.

      But while associated genes might cause a breeder to witness different behaviors in puppies with one coat color, but not in puppies of another colour, it has nothing to do with the colour itself, but with genes near the colour gene, (the colour gene can be a "marker" for the faulty gene, not the faulty gene itself).

      However, the discussion on the biochemistry of colour is different. It says that pigments are like hormones, and that therefor individuals with different hormones and hormone levels are born with basic differences, some saddled with hormones not desired in their environment, other born with a lack of hormones which they might need in other environments.

      While some people claim that there is an association between colour and biochemistry, nobody has shown that those levels affect behavior or personality. Although many people have tried to jump to this conclusion, there is no evidence.

      In dogs there are two pigments: red and black. White is an area without either pigment. Every colour in dogs is a variation of this basic two colour system: cream colour is less pigment, dilutes have intermittent pigment production in the hair shaft, etc.

      The basic dog colour appears to be black and tan. Both pigments had to be there from before dogs split off from wolves, maybe back as far as the split off of canines from other carnivores. And you can often see the underlying black & tan pttern on a wolf including dots above the eyes and on the chest, but instead of black & tan, it is greyish & cream.

      I still put the idea of colour=behavior in the same class as astrology.

      Delete
    12. "Culling dogs for aesthetic reasons is tantamount to animal cruelty. Surely?"
      Only if culling means killing as opposed to the more usual modeern version of 'removing from breeding population'.

      Certainly when dogs were viewed entirely as domestic livestock in the same way as cattle, sheep and pigs, any with unwanted characteristics/surplus to requirements were killed, especially in breeds with large litters where reducing litter size made for less strain on the bitch and less work for the breeder.

      When I bred and showed rabbits, I did reduce large litters, to enalbe a reasonable litter size (6) to be reared well, and i did this on purely aesthetic grounds on day of birth as they were a marked breed.

      I did rear a full litters as even if there were no show worthy offspring they were reared and used for the table. In owher words dual purpose, meat and fun of competion, and future breeding stock.

      Now that many people often view Rabbits as purely a pet animal, this may sound shocking, as it would to most people if we used guinea Pigs for the table, which is what they were originally domesticated for, ditto Rabbits.

      No-one bats an eyelid that chickens are eaten, yet many are shown and kept as pets also.

      So many people who post on this blog are opposed to showing, and selection for aesthetic reasons? Surely they don't believe that is their only reason for owning dogs? It is because they also enjoy the companionship of dogs.

      If it was purely the competitve side, or the genetic interest, they could easily satisfy this by breeding small livestock like Rabbits/Cavies/Pigeons/Poultry etc. They are cheaper to keep, some species can double as food, many generations can be more quickly produced to satisfy ones breeding and genetic interests.

      I can understand this to some extent with breeds with extreme features, but what is wrong with someone prefering a Red coloured breed, or a prick eared one, large, small, long, double or short coated, breeds with differing behaioural charateristics, feisty terriers, sociable hunting breeds like gundogs and most hounds, protective breeds etc.

      Lets face it most breeds are no longer used for work, and most members of breeds 'like my own' that are primarily bred for work, no longer do so, as our populations become more urbanised.

      I enjoy showing my dogs in competition, they enjoy it too. Human beings are competitive, that is why we have highly paid sprtsmen and women, people will show animals plants baked goods etc etc.

      Livestock and Pets of course have to have a quality of life, free from discomfort caused by extremes in conformation, and be well cared for.

      There are well over 200 breeds recognised by the UK Kennel club alone, most of them are not extreme in conformation.

      I along with many posters here do wonder why the breeds and animals with extreme conformation are so popular though.

      If there was no demand, then the supply would be affected. why are lots of French bulldogs being imported/trafficked from abroad?

      The people being vilified for breeding such animals would have to stop, or only keep them for themselves, as no-one would want them.

      Delete
    13. There is nothing wrong with preferring certain types, colours, shapes or coats in dogs over others. It's just that some people value the dog as being a companionable friend as opposed to anything else. What he looks like isn't particularly important. That is, unless his looks cause him discomfort, unnecessary grooming and forbid him vpfrom rolling in mud in case he dirties his coat.

      The show world sucks.

      Delete
    14. "The Show World Sucks"

      Now why can't you simply say that it's not for you????

      Just because you would not find it a passtime to yoru liking why condemn all thsoe who do?

      Are you really saying that for a dog to stay clean for even a day every week is onerous.

      Grooming is good for a dogs coat and skin and should be done at least that often. Also allows you to notice any lumps and bumps that might need looking into.

      As most of us liek to LIVE with our dogs, we do actually prefer them clean, as they share our homes, and most share our furnishings and often our beds.

      Even someone I knew with Afghan hounds allowed her dogs to be dogs all week, get muddy and romp in enclosed fields (away from roads), They got bathed on Friday night to be fit to show at the wekend.

      I have a freind with Tibetan Terriers, who often bring half the leaves and mud back from mutual long walks.

      Personally I would not want that level of grooming work, though I fill my Dyson daily from my double coated 6 dogs. Mine get bathed a couple of times a year, and groomed as and when, normally weekly, yet I still manage to enjoy and do reasonabley well at shows, with three of the 6 being champions. One of them will never be, and is actually mismarked (white front feet to the pasterns), it isn't very obvious, but can be seen in some lights.

      She was out of a litter sired overseas and kept for the new bloodlines to expand the gene pool. Yes I have kept a better daughter (though she still had the white on the feet but a smaller amount that has blended in).

      I will have to watch for this fault in future generations and work to minimise it. The genes can still be utilised for breeding but preferably the puppies with correct colour shown and bred on from.

      I woudl think in the case of the Mastiffs, that the Piebalds could be useful for breeding as the gene pool is small, regardless of whether the colour finds favour in the ring.

      In this day and age unlike the past people want their breeding and show dogs to be one and the same, as few people can keep or want to keep large numbers, so prefer to keep the standard colours if they enjoy exhibiting, and mismarks find pet homes easily with those who don't mind or like the fact they are unusual..

      Delete
  14. "The breeders of the past were much more responsible. They were put down at birth. Many breeds are put down at birth when they are not correct."

    And the fancy wonders why it has an image problem.

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    1. Well, its all relative, despite me being disgusted at such ethics myself, I do see how they can reason inside their own mind, why it is okay. Its the same line of reasoning for why we put down old dogs and cats that pee everywhere, or put down pups for being born without two legs. Hunters kill for the thrill and trophies. Others are farmed for fur alone. We kill literally hundreds of millions of animals for meat, be it fish or chickens

      It could be further shown through humans. In the case of tribesman, burying a twin cause it is a "demon", or modern people having an abortion because the fetus is found to be flawed with a pricey disorder. War casualties are a standard, yet we hold it as acceptable if it gains us something, like freedom or conquest. Even more deadly than any war though are actually vehicular accidents by statistics the world over! But no one ever thinks that cars should be banned, at least compared to something like pedophile pictures or violent video games.

      At some point we all think killing is acceptable, the only difference is degrees. Even most vegans have no trouble farming and killing plants for consumption. And no one ever thinks, myself included, of the millions of microorganisms we kill naturally with each sweat drop, step to the ground, and inhaling of air. Killing is perhaps the most natural thing we can do aside from sex or other activity that aids continued species progress.

      In that man's mind, that killing is totally justified for whatever reason, be it the costs, the incorrectness, or his own apathy for something different from what he prefers.

      Delete
  15. The culling part of this post reminded me of something in my own breed, the Papillon--which MUST be pied to be showable. My dog's breeder sent me reprints of a bunch of articles from the American Pap club newsletter from the 1950's and 60's. In almost every article, they mention killing off puppies who don't meet certain color traits. "Every ethical and responsible breeder immediately culls puppies born with white markings on the face or ears." "If the puppy has a liver nose, you should of course euthanize it." I just can't IMAGINE hundreds of breeders routinely drowning (etc.) puppies for the crime of having a white spot on an ear!!! Even if a white spot is considered an absolute horror for the gene pool, why not simply say"don't breed them"? Or "neuter them"?

    I heard that the German government used to (or still does?) control GSD breeding. They had (or have) some kind of actual law where you could only register a limited number of puppies from each litter--around 5, I think. The others had to be destroyed, or you would be fined and not be allowed to ever breed GSDs again. Has anybody else heard of this, or know if it is still going on?

    I spent about 9 months in Brazil (and speak fluent Portuguese), and had the chance to visit some Criollo farms. Those are the small horses known as "polo ponies." The studs I visited had the most GORGEOUS groups of horses living on thousands of acres or beautiful pasture. Every mare looked like a "super model" of their breed. The breeding managers told me that they bred hundreds of foals a year, then killed 95-98% of them as yearlings. They only allowed the absolute best to continue living, then sold those for over $100,000 each. I asked why they didn't at least geld the other colts and sell them as pleasure horses, and they said they wanted to keep the market prices inflated, and selling so many foals would flood the market and prevent people from buying the high-priced horses. I can't believe how cruel people are...

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  16. And they "love" horses SKY, I would have throttled them verebally. It is exactly this mind set that has crept into dog breeding, whether to breed for profit, or exaggeration, or disability it is the same, utterly immoral and inhuman mentality. Very, very sad. The poor mares, they must be distraught to lose their foals, horses are so gentle and caring and make the most loyal mothers. What a thing to do to them.

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  17. As well as mastiff, Jemima mentioned two other breeds , Gordon and Irish Setters, in which piebald dogs were excluded from the breed standard and the show ring from the 1880s onwards. Interesting that the piebald dogs in each of those three breeds followed a different path from that time onwards. The black and white or tricolour Gordons disappeared from the show ring, but a few continued to turn up in Gordon litters, can be registered and a few KC registered ones have run in field trials. The last time I saw a black and white Gordon at a field trial was only four or five years ago, and currently there is a brown Gordon running in trials. Red and White Irish Setters pretty well disappeared from the show ring and the registrations until the 1970s , when a revival started in Ireland which resulted in the red and whites becoming a separate breed from the red Irish Setters, with their own classes at dog shows - but handicapped by a small gene pool as the price of recognition and survival. They share the same ancestry as the working and field trial reds, but can only be bred to a red through a permitted outcross programme, which has happened. The mastiffs sadly came out worst, with the piebalds excluded from the breed standard, from registration and the show ring.

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  18. surely this is a matter for members of the mastiff clubs rather than a petition if it bothers people that much why dont they join the clubs and vote off the officers

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    1. No. It's a matter for animal welfare actually. The principles at hand affect everyone. The mentality at work here is what needs to be addressed.

      Delete
  19. Entomology is the study of insects; the word you are trying for is "etymology", the study or word origins.

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  20. Those are nice looking mastiffs! I like the colour too.

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  21. If the dog is good, then the colour of the coat isn't important.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AMEN! As long as the color is not harmful, regarding risk to eyes, ears, etc.

      Delete
    2. Yes U.C.C.,

      I no longer even think of Merle White as a colour, but as a genetic handicap.

      Delete
  22. Rottweilers,Labs,and Dobermans seem to still commonly be born with white on them,in fact it was considered acceptable with Rottweilers in the first breed standards. They just seem to get more and more picky on what makes a true purebred.

    I like pie bald dogs,and even though I don't really care if a dog like a Rottweiler has white on them,a good dog should still be bred even if it had a white spot on the chest or foot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Lab standard still allows a small white spot on the chest (I have a choco pup with a white star). But the St John's dogs from which the Lab (and goldie) were bred commonly had large white patches on the chest and white paws. Strong selection for solid colors occurred early in breed history. I tend to think, but have no inside information, that the reason this selection was not absolute was a famous early dog named Bolo, who belonged Lady Howe, one of the founders of the breed club. Bolo had white spots on his pads. How can you vigorously select against a feature which distinguishes your best dog?

      Delete
    2. Yes. Let's not forget that the popularity of dog breeding helped spur on the eugenics movement in the 20th century. Selecting for strong, solid colours back in the day should be totally rejected in the light of the knowledge and awareness we are supposed to have in the 21st century. There is no logic to this.......it's shallow aesthetics judged in beauty pageants and it's proving tragic forthe health and future of such a lot of dogs.

      Delete
    3. spots of white on the chest or toes are due to modifying genes and environmental factors . The pigment cells in the embryo start at the spine and work their way to the extremities, so sometimes they don't fully cover the dog leaving white ties , tail tip etc
      Trying to breed such white marks out is a waste of time , it would be much easier to just allow dyeing for shows.

      Delete
  23. seriously.... who cares if a dog is "against conformational colors"..... piebald mastiffs are pretty too and they shouldn't ban it. The modern dog has expanded in color and sizes nowadays true, but its for the good. As long as the dog's healthy and because of it's (unlike the largely sloped GSD's) physical condition or color, should be allowed not banned.

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  24. The black and white Gordon looks a bit like a French Spaniel. Someone is now breeding French Spaniels in the UK and sadly their goal is to get them recognised by the KC.

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  25. Great website on colour genetics: http://www.doggenetics.co.uk/

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  26. I read an article in the AKC gazette years back about Belgian sheepdogs. In the US, the four Belgians are recognized as separate breeds: Sheepdog (black, aka Groenendael), Tervuren, Malinois, and Lakenois. No crossbreeding is permitted - though some fanciers do want to make that possible.

    Occasionally, a sable pup will occur in a Sheepdog litter. The puppy will be registrable, but of course not welcome in the show ring. The article had a sidebar about one such dog, a really beautiful animal who had earned titles in obedience, herding, tracking, and agility. What a shame that no breeder would ever allow this trainable, intelligent dog to contribute to the gene pool!

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  27. It's too bad this post was rapidly followed by two posts relating to the much-discussed problems of British bulldogs. I think color discrimination ... in all breeds ... has done far more damage to pedigree dogs as a whole than the cultivation of freakishness in a few breeds. Deserves greater prominence.

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    Replies
    1. It would be interesting to see the state of genetic diversity in those breeds (e.g. Whippet and Afghan Hound), where any colour is acceptable, compared with breeds where only certain colours are allowed.

      I can make an educated guess that the more colour restrictions there are, the greater the loss of genetic diversity within the breed.

      That's not to say the Whippet doesn't have health problems; it does. The Whippet gene pool has been severely restricted by the over-use of popular sires. The show people aren't all to blame for this either, two dogs in the working lines, Sooty Sam and Strike While the Irons Hot, saturate the gene pool. It's extremely difficult to find a dog from working lines without one of these dogs, similarly it's exceptionally difficult to find a dog from show lines without Hillsdown Fergal in its pedigree. What was once a robust, healthy breed has been degraded by popular sires.

      At Crufts last year, I was told the KC were taking steps to minimse popular sires, but I haven't seen any initiative so far and nearly a year has gone by.

      Delete
  28. It’s not unfair to presume that before the advent of dog shows (ca 1860) any big sturdy dog may be commonly called a ‘Mastiff’ . To claim specific characteristics (a/o patched coat colors) , shown up by illustrations dating from those pre-days , as decisive part of the present Mastiff breed seems to be rather irrational as there’s no single historical (pedigreed) track which may link patched , so-called , Mastiffs of the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century to present-day ‘patched’ Mastiffs .

    Presently , each dog breed has a standard in order to distinguish it from other breeds . The very short-lived Mastiff standard of 1880 which mentioned – ‘pieds admissible’ was drawn up by MB Wynn , a breeder whose stock counted a number of solid fawn & brindle colored Mastiffs but showing up the white blaze annex white on chest , lower part of legs , &c . Only in order to procure ‘carte blanche’ to his own stock , he added ‘pieds admissible’ which nowadays is taken out of context , namely to claim a standard change for admission of color-wise overall patched Mastiffs , almost comparable to the color patterns of the Harlequin Great Dane .

    The actual Mastiff standard is mainly based upon the OEMC standard of 1883 and has been changed only in a confined way , definitely more emphasising upon soundness & health . One only may guess after the reason why ‘pieds admissible’ was dropped but it may be clear that standard was co-inspired by the characteristics of the then best show Mastiffs . None of them were patched in colors , even more … the KC Stud Books of the 1880s mentioned no single show Mastiff of that hue . So , why that color pattern should have been implemented in the standard if it was completely not on display at shows or even not mentioned in the then canine journals ?

    That (also) in Mastiffs the ‘patched’ ones weren’t standardly allowed by a belief that solid colours were somehow ‘stronger’ and ‘more pure’ is rather a lame presumption as black Mastiffs or blue brindle Mastiffs (both solid colors) were also not allowed by that standard .

    That ‘patched’ Mastiffs were culled because of their colors might be true and can never be apologized . On the other hand , there’s absolutely nothing wrong if they were/are sold off to pet homes .

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  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  30. Our Pied Mastiffs here in America are registered as though they were Fawn, Brindle or Apricot and have been registered so (if at all ) since 1884, and continued after 1929. Pied Mastiffs in the UK may be registered as "Colour Not KC Recognized" as of 2011 but still not registered as Pied.

    When Mastiff enthusiasts research pedigrees 150 years from now to validate the existence of our Pied Mastiffs, again - as in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century, there will be none to be found in records...yet here they are.

    Pied Mastiffs are documented in Art and Literature before the organization of dog shows and Kennel Clubs, and they certainly are in existence today. Is it reasonable to believe that they did not exist between the 1880's and recent years based on inaccurate registration documents?

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    1. Quote – ‘Is it reasonable to believe that they did not exist between the 1880's and recent years based on inaccurate registration? I think it is , but it doesn’t take away the fact that since the 1880s until quite recent years ‘patched’ Mastiffs never played any role of ‘public’ canine interest . Were all those past generations of breed fanciers wrong ? And is in our present generation that part which promotes the ‘patched’ ones right ?

      What’s puzzling me is that , standard-wise , colour ‘mismarks’ are historically quite ‘openly’ documented & even discussed , as par example the blue brindle variant , the white blaze , the Dudley (brownish) face/muzzle (shown by a/o breed progenitor ch Crown Prince) , &c , whereas there are to be found about no substantial references , written or illustrative , about ‘patched’ ones after , let’s say , the early decades of the nineteenth century .

      Why was there no openness re ‘patched coat colours’ similar to other cases of standard colour mismarks , ie the blue brindles , white blazes & brownish faces ? All of them , ALTHOUGH BEING COLOUR-WISE STANDARDLY MISMARKED , definitely presented to the Victorian show dog public ? And , not to forget , a number of them having contributed to quality breeding in Mastiffs .

      Delete
    2. Rectification 1st alinea - Quote – ‘Is it reasonable to believe that they did not exist between the 1880's and recent years based on inaccurate registration? I think it is NOT ,

      Delete
  31. Si & Jen Willshire3 March 2014 at 10:55

    We think past generations of breed fanciers were wrong to exclude pieds from the breed standard as it was done for the wrong reasons - however good those intentions were at the time. Victorian breeders could not explain the rare occurrences of pieds (as per genetics of today) so they were put down to being the results of inbreeding or crossbreeding. We now know (and can prove!) they are not. They also excluded pieds to differentiate the Mastiff from other breeds, but this does not make the pied colouring less valid to the Mastiff. Once pieds were omitted from the breed standard there was no openness with regards to them; they were either kept hidden or bucketed. Despite past decisions, we are now in a more enlightened and less ignorant genetic age!
    Today most breeders are aware of the need to preserve genetic diversity within their breeds, especially breeds that come from a small genetic base like the modern Mastiff. It is right and fair for modern breed enthusiasts to wish to not be forced to exclude a Mastiff from the gene-pool simply because of its coat colour. It is an unnecessary rule that should not be mandated by breed clubs or registries. The recessive piebald gene is now identifiable through DNA testing, so even if the colouring must be faulted in the breed, there is no need for purebred Mastiffs with pieds coats to be excluded from breeding. If a pied Mastiff is bred to a standard coloured Mastiff that does not carry the piebald gene, no pieds will be produced and all the resulting offspring will meet the standard in terms of colour. Why then should pieds not be registrable in this day and age whilst all their standard coloured siblings can be?
    We know pieds were present in the lines that were used to revive the breed after the wars. We have photographic evidence of a Heatherbelle pied Mastiff even though there is no Kennel Club record of her. Heatherbelle Mastiffs are behind practically every Mastiff alive today and were so important to the revival effort they were even granted Old English Mastiff Club (OEMC) prefixes.
    We know of a pied Mastiff named Dior that was registered during the brief period in the 1990’s when the UK Kennel Club permitted the registration of non-standard colours in the Mastiff. Dior was bred and produced all fawns in her litter, including “one of the best bitches bred in the last five years” according to a breed specialist judge. Dior’s offspring are still living and showing in the Netherlands today. Obviously, breeding her did no harm to the breed and it can be said that she, as a pied, has made a positive contribution to the breed.

    We know of many pieds born in Australia, America and Europe though none could or can be registered as pieds. This is the real reason we have no records of them. Despite our best efforts to register our own pieds as pieds we are not permitted to do this, not even on their Limited Registration applications! Is it any wonder we know so little about them?

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    1. Even during multiple decades before the OEMC breed standard of 1883 (which didn’t included ‘patched’ as standard colour) there wasn’t any substantial ‘public’ knowledge regarding Harlequin-like ‘patched’ Mastiffs . So I presume that standard didn’t change that much the common attitude envers such specific colour versions . And it’s still question if genetic breed diversity may be substantially enhanced by using ‘patched’ Mastiffs bred from standardly coloured parents belonging to that same ‘small genetic base’ .

      The breeding use of a purebred but ‘patched’ Mastiff of excellent quality is , imo , certainly worthy to be weighed in mind , and in se quite comparable to the use of those of similar quality but showing up other specific ‘cosmetic’ breed faults as p ex heavy coats , poorly coloured masks/ears , &c . And , you’re right , it’s of common interest that also non-standard colours are correctly registered , thus clearly specified .

      The Mastiff standard , just like any other canine standard , includes aesthetic components which only form the finishing touch of much more important components , ie breed-wise correct structure , biomechanics & temperament . And therefore the ‘magnitude’ of those aesthetics may easily become subject to rather rash underestimation . In case of a Harlequin-like ‘patched’ coat it influences the whole perception of a breed , for so long identified with its standard colours !

      There’s nothing wrong with standard modifications which may enhance soundness & health and in this respect it also seems fair to state that an eventual standard modification re admissible coat colours (aka purely cosmetic components) shouldn’t contribute to such main goals but only causing even more ‘phenotypical’ breed diversity as it’s already the case .

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  32. Si & Jen Willshire3 March 2014 at 10:55

    (cont)
    Whether modern breed fanciers want to admit it or not, pieds have always been present in the breed. They are mentioned and/or depicted in some our earliest accounts of canines and natural history publications such as The Beauties of Natural History, History of Quadrupeds, the 1792 edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Dogs of the British Islands, The British Sportsman’s Dictionary, and The History of the Mastiff. They have been captured in art by the master artists such as Van Dyck, Gilpin, and Landseer. All of Thomas Bewick’s depictions of the Mastiff published between 1780 and 1797 have white on their faces, necks, ribs, flanks, legs and sterns. As do Reinagle’s depictions of the Mastiff in 1820 and Thomas Bell’s depictions in 1837. In the second edition of John Bignall’s works published in 1810, the Mastiff he presents distinctly shows a white blaze up his face: A marking which is common to pieds or pied gene carriers.
    In his 1867 edition of The Dog, 'Stonehenge' writes on the Mastiff:
    'Colour red or fawn with black muzzle, or brindled, or black; or black, red, or fawn with white.'
    Prior to his publishing of “The History of the Mastiff” in 1886, M.B. Wynn wrote, ‘A True Type of the British Mastiff’ which was adopted by the Mastiff Breeding Club in 1873 as the Standard of Points in Breeding Mastiffs. It was here that Wynn stated, “The purest fawns have descended from the most decided brindled and from time to time the white face especially has and will occur and generally in the finest specimens and those which most closely resemble the paintings of their progenitors".
    In his Book, The History of the Mastiff, Wynn writes in The Points of the English Mastiff under Colour: 'Pieds are admissible and equal for purity'.
    No one before Wynn had ever done a more comprehensive study on the breed and it was his breed standard that formed the basis of the modern Mastiff’s breed standard. Although it was known that Wynn had a great love for his pied bitch, Peeress, we don’t believe it’s fair to assume he only included pieds in the standard because of this. He does after all mention his favourite colours in the breed as being the all blacks and smokey fawns. We believe Wynn stated that pieds are admissible and equal for purity because he had an in-depth understanding of the breed and was well aware that they did occasionally occur in the breed just as they do now.
    In The American Book of The Dog published in Chicago in 1891, William Wade augments Wynn's 1873 & 1880 standard regarding pieds, 8 years after the OEMC omitted pieds.
    On pages 586-587 Wade states, "I give the standard set forth by the original Mastiff Club of England, in preference to that prepared by the present Old English Mastiff Club, as it is simpler, being free from much technicality, and therefore more readily comprehended by the layman. In all essentials the two are substantially the same”.
    For colour Wade wrote:
    Color - Fawn, with black ears and muzzle, or good brindles equal pieds are admissible and equal for purity – award no points for colour.

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  33. The mentioned olden time references definitely represent a large scala of different ‘patched’ patterns and levels of white , ie from a white blaze , chest or tail end to those presenting a predominantly white coat annex dark patches , let’s say Harlequin-like . And , of course , one’s free to have a personal opinion and consider them all being ‘pied’ . So I presume that in a sheer theoretical case of a standard colour adoption of ‘pied’ , none of them to be subordinated , iow standardly excluded .

    What says the present-day KC Mastiff standard about colour ? - ‘Apricot, fawn or brindle. In any case, muzzle, ears and nose should be black with black around eye rims, and extending upwards between them. Excessive white on body, chest or feet is unacceptable - .’

    Now once again sheer theoretically , if ‘pied’ , in the non-excluding sense of the hereabove mentioned large scale of different ‘forms of white’ , should be implemented it not only augments the ‘basic’ colours from 3 to 4 , it also may have repercussions upon the rest of the breed’ colour points . If excessive white on body, chest or feet (as shown up a/o by present-day Harlequin-like ‘patched ones) should become ‘acceptable’ , then it’s quite reasonable to presume that it also should count for the apricots , fawns & brindles , that in order to avoid ‘breeding discrimination’ amongst respective ‘basic’ colours . Secondly , if it should become allowed that p ex those Harlequin ‘patched’ ones , &c , do NOT need to present - ‘muzzle, ears and nose should be black with black around eye rims, and extending upwards between them’ - because they are … ‘pied’ , then again it’s quite reasonable to presume that this ‘standard freedom’ also should count for the apricots , fawns & brindles , that in order to avoid another ‘breeding discrimination’ amongst respective ‘basic’ colours . So a possible scenario which may lead to overall more & more white into the Mastiff breed .

    One may see that these present KC standard colour points are no loose features but mutually closely connected to each other . If one changes one part , it irrefutably influences the other parts .

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  34. Unaware about the source thereto it indeed sounds nice in the context of the ‘pied’ case , BUT it may need some straightening .

    The standards authored by MB Wynn of 1873 & 1880 were NOT standing alone in that period of time as the then canine authority Stonehenge aka Dr John Walsh , one of the first dog judges and author of important canine works , has published four standard between 1859 and 1882 . None of them mentioned the word ‘pied(s)’ ! On the contrary , the main stream being that the rather casual presence of considerable white into the breed is indeed noticed but considered as not desirable .

    And it’s not unfair to presume that , time-wise , those Stonehenge standards were followed up by a considerable part of the breed fancy compared to the rather restricted number of followers of MB Wynn whose quite extensive stock never could put any substantial stamp upon the show scene being by far outclassed by a/o the ch Rajah line including The Shah , The Emperor , &c .

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  35. Re - Retrieverman 28 December 2013 18:57
    ‘At one time, there was a solid black strain that is now, sadly, gone extinct .’ - There indeed are some historical references about a Mastiff being black but that there should have been a solid black strain is new to me . Could you please specify this matter ?

    ‘It's funny that people go nuts over color. ‘ – Is that so ? Or is it just funny to ridiculise people who defend a long breed tradition in standard colours ? This breed is indeed a composite of several different dogs . But what’s the point ? Do trace back any other dog breed and the same may be said of them . Does it mean that presently each breed standard in the canine world should include all colours of its ancient progenitor kind of breeds ?

    ‘I think most of the fancy breed of the mastiff in England was to breed a canine lion to paraphrase Sydenham Edwards, who wrote, "What the Lion is to the Cat the Mastiff is to the Dog, the noblest of the family; he stands alone, and all others sink before him." – Notwithstanding being a Mastiff adept , I may consider this sheerly a flowery Victorian slogan comparable to the well-known phrase – ‘the Great Dane is the Apollo amongst dogs’ . Both ‘accolades’ are highly subjective generalisations which in se may create expectations too high thereby unnessesarily degradings the respective true values of other breeds . Throughout (pedigreed) history and even present-day the number of standardly poor Mastiffs outclasses the really good ones , that in respect to looks/movement as well as temperament . Humility is a virtue , also in the world of dogs .

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  36. Re - Jemima Harrison 28 December 2013 18:51
    Quote – ‘As for the "dam unknown" case - it is an interesting one. There's little doubt that the dam *was* a Mastiff - just that the dog originally listed as the dam was apparently with someone else at the time and definitely did not have puppies. Jengren Mr Milligan did well in the showring and went on to sire Ch. Lady Lavinia who became the record winning Mastiff in the UK, hence the significance. I am unsure why the case was not resolvable... anyone know? ‘ -

    Mastiff Jengren Mr Milligan aka ‘Spike’ was originally KC registered as born the 6th January ’99 and only pup out of Jengren Wilma (Taboo ex ch (Meps) Dignified John daughter Jengren Nightingale) sired by ch Jengren Pluto . The KC Stud Book Z2 mentions a Jengren litter born the 5th January ’99 , thus one day before the KC registered date of birth regarding Mr Milligan ; that Jengren litter born 5th Jan ’99 was out of Jengren Seconda (ch Jengren Pluto ex ch (Meps) Dignified John’ daughter Jengren Night Shades sired by ch Jengren Pluto’ sire Craigavon Taboo and contained 7 pups , a/o ‘Mr’ Beau & ‘Mr’ Wonderfull .

    Now , just a guess - Or were it simply 8 pups including ‘Mr’ Milligan ? And was all the rest a mess up of things caused by ‘unfulfilled’ verbal agreements about compensation re Mrs Davies’ care for Mrs Green’ Jengren Wilma , p ex payment of the monetary value of one puppy in case the latter shouldn’t produce any offspring ?

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  37. Quote – ‘Of course, piebald/parti-colour dogs remain an integral and valued part of other breeds but it should be remembered that the late 1800s/early 1900s was a time when much of the (white) world was being swept up in unapologetic and unfettered racism; when any hint of "mongrelisation" was viewed with revulsion.’

    Well , it ALSO should remembered that the late 1800s/early 1900s were a time when the Mastiff breed , once so popular amongst the non-sporting large breeds (the 1860s & early 1870s) , became firmly eclipsed by piebald/parti-colour large breeds as the St Bernard & the Great Dane INCLUDING the Harlequin variant , that not only in show entries but also in number of breedings . So it seems that the match between pied colouring vis-a-vis those latter breeds was not only ‘accepted’ but even in vogue , because of a/o its perceptual obviousness , a given completely absent in the then Mastiff ‘world’ .

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  38. Quote – ‘And that's because at the time "piebald" didn't just refer to a colour - it was a term widely used to describe mongrels (etymology HERE). – Well , according to the same source , ie the ‘Online etymology dictionary’ , the word Mastiff is perhaps influenced by Old French mestif ‘mongrel' .In that view , piebald & Mastiff may well suit each other !

    Now seriously , it may make clear that if one ferrets out some postulation quite long enough , one may find elements to ‘upholster’ a ramshackle theory about a Victorian breed fancy which should have standardly banned the ‘patched’ colour because of suspicion(s) re mongrelism . No one may know for sure , but thé reason to 1883 standardly pass over any level of ‘white’ in standard colours (fawn or apricot or brindle) COULD have been that Mastiffs without any white were to be considered as one of the highly esteemed ‘know how’ results of first-class breeding practices .

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  39. I just saw a video of a Crufts show - the Mastiffs. I am so very moved as to sign up on this forum and make what I expect to be my first, and last post.

    The recent Crufts show reminds me of exactly why I breed Bandogges. A number of dogs had arguable structural faults, but none so great I think as one INT CH Gustav of the Cheese Hill, owned and shown by Mr. Alex Mertens. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=zta9AilQ4Q8#t=1174)

    I shall in no way malign Mr. Mertens. First, I don't know him, and secondly, he is likely no more than an unknowing victim. The fact that a cow hocked dog gains Champion status says more about the club than the owner. While it is surely only reasonable to expect that an owner such as Mr. Mertens should be somewhat the expert on dog structure, (being that he breeds and sells dogs for profit), it is the judges that the club has chosen that set the true standard, based upon what they allow and do not allow in the ring - what they fault and what they ignore. We could revile Mr. Mertens for his cow hocked Champion, except of course that his crippled dog has indeed been duly validated as a Champion. So then, what does this say about the club, about the efficacy of the Champion status the club's judges confer...?

    What it says seems obvious, your club for me and mine is little more than a joke. They need not only better standards, but better judges - people who actually comprehend dog physiology - structure, what constitutes good and bad structure, and why it most assuredly matters. Surely there are those who will say, that mildly cow hocked Mastiffs have always been allowed. If this is true, however, surely that is not good reason to allow objectively crippled dogs in the ring, but really just further testimony to the club's ineptitude at maintaining and protecting their breed.

    Throughout the animal kingdom, certain physical attributes remain consistently important. A breed standard, a judge, or 20 judges with a blind eye to structure - these do not make correct physical structure somehow unimportant. Cow hocked cows are culled from herds and not bred. Cow hocked deer do not exist in areas where wolves remain prevalent because they are the ones most easily caught and eaten. Cow hocked lions are invariably very skinny lions, unable to catch prey. Cow hocked horses are not found on race tracks. Cow hocked dogs cannot run, jump and live properly happy dog lives full of physical activity.

    Perhaps INT CH Gustav of the Cheese Hill spends his days reclined in comfort on big soft pillows (perhaps eating cheese?), called upon only to walk across show rings - surely his under developed, fat-filled muscles would suggest similar. I mean I really have to wonder what that beast's BMI is. Good Lord he looks soft - not a hard muscle on him. Read a few books about Mastiffs and you'll learn they were once hunting and guard dogs - those called upon not only to run, but to run down DEER. Very fast, agile creatures deer.

    Clearly INT CH Gustav of the Cheese Hill is of a different, more modern kind. Of course, we could rephrase that to be more correct, couldn't we? Clearly INT CH Gustav of the Cheese Hill is an EXCELLENT EXAMPLE of the noble English Mastiff breed - having been altogether destroyed by it's modern day fanciers. What a shame.

    The reader should also be informed, it is indeed rare to see a dog with hip dysplasia that is not also cow hocked. I'd dearly love to see INT CH Gustav of the Cheese Hill's hip scores. If poor, would he be stripped of his Champion status? I wonder. Be sure Mr. Mertens doesn't respond with hip evaluations taken from a less than five year old dog. I'd like to see those scores then, however, and I'd like to know how the club responds to failed hip scores of their Champions.

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    1. My # 5 March 16.15 ended with – ‘Throughout (pedigreed) history and even present-day the number of standardly poor Mastiffs outclasses the really good ones , that in respect to looks/movement as well as temperament . Humility is a virtue , also in the world of dogs .’ - So , I’m well aware about the quality & the lack thereof in Mastiffs . And , of course , you’re right about structural faults and I completely agree that unsound Mastiffs should NOT be made up (become champion) because it definitely ‘hurts’ the breed as a whole . Concerning judging a lot has to be done , firstly to not only read but also ‘follow’ the revised standard which definitely more emphasises upon soundness & wellfare .

      You’re free to consider the OEMC or MA (both based in Britain) a joke and to make them responsible for the faults in the breed , that even outside Britain (as the Mastiff you mentioned was bred in Germany) . But do realise those clubs (or any other breed club) is supported by only volunteers who put much of their time & energy in structuring that club into the future , ie presenting seminars about health issues , standard interpretation , newsletters , code of ethics , &c . It yet is 1) club-wise impossible to ‘direct’ , even not to say force , every breed fancier in the country & 2) it’s up to each one involved to take own responsibility in regard to the breed’ well-being . Or a prime example of the play of benefits vs drawbacks when having the opportunity to live in democracy !

      Now , re your quote – ‘Read a few books about Mastiffs and you'll learn they were once hunting and guard dogs - those called upon not only to run, but to run down DEER. Very fast, agile creatures deer.’ – I already did since the early 1980s . Now , this ‘scenery’ might have applied to olden time dogs/hounds of varied phenotypes (then all commonly called ‘Mastiffs’) bred for mainly or even only function . And be sure , also in those days there may have been crippled ones , and therefore ‘marginalized’ thereto . Even then there must have been ‘ways’ of selection to end up with the ‘usable’ ones .

      Thereabove , everyone may understand that breeding only for function may be a lot easier than breeding for function AND type as laid down in the standard , a given which , throughout pedigreed history , has led to a systematic of ‘give and take’. There has been modern breeders who mainly focused upon function while actually overlooking definite demands of type , but also those who mainly were busy with (exaggerating) type while neglecting attributes for function and finally you had/have those who try to find a balance between both function (incl health) and type and it were/are the latter who have to carry the ‘load’ of future expectations , ie breeding functional , healthy & typical Mastiffs !

      Re – ‘Noble English breed- having been altogether destroyed by it's modern day fanciers.’ – Trust me on this , the (pedigreed) Mastiff breed has always had a lot of poor specimens , and if one looks at ancient illustrations it’s quite easy to notice structural deficiencies . And re those able to run down FAST , AGILE deer , I may think they phenotypically didn’t correspond to the modern breed type as laid down in its standard .

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    2. I'm not sure why essentially agreeing with me takes five paragraphs of text, but okay, kudos, we essentially agree here. Thanks. Be advised you have some very rare longer essays from me on this page as I had a minimal period of free time I chose to throw to the wind here. Regardless of what I find below, you won't get nearly the length of responses from me, as there's chores to see to.

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  40. Marcel, In our previous discussions with you on the issue of the piebald coat colour in Mastiffs, we informed you that our pied Mastiffs had been colour tested by Vetgen Laboratories in America and confirmed to be piebalds. To be really specific they are piebalds with ticking. Ticked piebald Mastiffs can be found in Australia, Europe and America. To say that our dogs are white patched or patched Harlequin type is incorrect and unnecessary.
    We don’t believe any Mastiff should be disqualified from its breed or denied registration based on a cosmetic feature. If we are going to disqualify the dogs let it be for more important reasons...like traits that are a detriment to good health and the ability for the dog to perform as a hound and guard.

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    1. I’ve no problem if Vetgen confirmed that your Mastiffs thereto were confirmed to be piebalds with ticking . But , as you may know , I wasn’t describing your dogs but the whole spectrum of Mastiffs displaying undesirable levels of white , that in olden times references & present-day . So I see no problem to graphically , iow simply , describe them as patched if there’s some pattern of patches . By the way , your Victorian favourite MB Wynn , connoisseur par excellence of white in Mastiffs , has quite regularly used patched/patches in his well-known booklet dd 1886 , so what’s the problem here ? No more using the olden time breed vocabulary (but still referring to the then Mastiff types showing up excess of white) and only accepting the present-day epiphets used by firms of genetic research ? Do also notice I’m not referring to Harlequin but to Harlequin-LIKE .

      You’re free to believe whatever you want but as indicated in 4 March 10.23 , the eventual standard implementation of ‘pied’ may make a judgmental hodgepodge of present-day colour points as there should be no righteous reason to discriminate the actual standard colours (fawn , apricot or brindle) , ie to correspond to stringent colour points whereas pieds should be ‘made free’ in that context .

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  41. Sorry, found something that simply must be responded to... No idea what Marcel post Jen Willshire is responding to. Having quickly scanned above, just no way I'm going to read the miles of minutia focused gibberish. However, if somebody claiming to know one wit about dogs has said that a pied dog of any breed or type is just some form of Harlequin, that's an idiot.
    Having bred pied dogs at a professional level for 20+ years, I'll tell you, Harlequin and pied are NOT the same color, very much NOT the same gene, as anyone breeding Harlequins knows, as anyone breeding pieds knows. Go ahead and tell a Harlequin Great Dane breeder he has pied dogs, and see how many free beers that gets you at the pub. Next some moron will be arguing that because Pacific Islanders, American Indians and Australian Aborigines all have similar skin tones that they are in fact the same people. So much for cultural anthropology, and so much for genetic science as well.
    If Willshire can produce DNA testing proving she has a pied colored English, than it is clearly a pied colored English Mastiff, and standards barring the same BE DAMNED!!!
    Any standard that purports to protect a breed by barring a color naturally and legitimately found within the breed only obviously does not protect the breed at all.
    You can argue for millenia WHY current English Mastiff standards do not allow white based dogs. My own bet is that during the 1800s, perhaps the last remaining properly bred, non-shrunken bulldogs in England were too easily confused with them by more ignorant fanciers, so in order to make room for IGNORANCE to more easily rule the registries, perhaps they barred the color so that less adebt judges not be confused between the two (purely a speculation on my part). However, surely it doesn't matter. If modern genetic science is able to demonstrate that those having written and accepted the standard barring pied Mastiffs were WRONG and pied Mastiffs do exist, than why would any idiot claiming to love the breed wish a policy that shrinks the gene pool and raises COI...?!
    You cannot claim to be protecting a genotype by barring a phenotype naturally found within it. If you and your wife have blond hair and she births a black haired child, do you bar it from having your last name, do you hide it, give it away to the neighbors, kill it - or do you simply accept that maybe there's a bit more to you and your wife's genes than what you had realized previously?

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  42. continued...

    I'll tell you Mr. Wynants (you may want to sit down, take a couple deep breaths and pour yourself a drink before reading this, friend), but I am a professional Bandogge breeder - regularly having bred English Mastiffs to various other breeds of dogs, and sold them all over the world. Want to know who many of my customers have been...? ENGLISH MASTIFF BREEDERS - English Mastiff breeders who NEVER show you such dogs on their websites, but quietly fold them into their certified pedigrees as puppies from this litter or that, no one the wiser, all in an effort to REPAIR this suffering breed. And further still, I have seen my customers get Champion designations on the progeny of such dogs as well.

    Understand the real world ramifications of that Mr. Wynants? It means that dogs you herald as "purebred" and "proper" have undivulged blood in them from things like Labradors, Pitbulls and Bullmastiffs - even a few mixed breed dogs of entirely UNKNOWN origin that had phenotypes close enough to that of the English Mastiff (along with superior structural qualities) to be worth breeding.

    Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, you, with ardent argument favoring MUTTS over DNA verified purebred English Mastiffs because of a color prejudice, all based on a crudely written standard created over 100 years before DNA testing, by people FAMOUS for destroying once fine breeds of dogs.

    You need only look at the picture at the top of this page, to know how altogether foolish your arguments are.

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    1. Re – ‘Harlequin and pied are NOT the same color’ , - well , both Harlequin-LIKE & pied show up many variations in ‘patchwork’ , thus generally equal in perception for the layman thereto , the one who only looks at the ‘visual’ phenotype or do we all need to study genetics in order to identify all the specific differences , hidden for the eye ?

      And you certainly can prove that the genepool shrinks and raises COI without the use of the proportionately few existing piebalds , those bred from standard coloured parentage who also produced standard coloured littermates ?

      Concerning your cross-breeding with Mastiffs and selling offspring to Mastiff breeders , you’re telling nothing new . Cross-breeding , that mainly on the sly , has happened throughout history . Not any club can avoid it . And it indeed has produced KC registered Mastiffs who are within the present-day genepool of standard coloured Mastiffs AND , of course , of their ‘patched’ fellows . Finally , I do consider your interesting judgment about my posts as only a one man’ opinion .

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    2. "...do we all need to study genetics in order to identify all the specific differences , hidden for the eye ?"

      Study them, no, certainly not - at least not the layman. Acknowledge what they teach us and adopt a more correct vocabulary as a result, absolutely. The gene for pied is sometimes the same gene for white, sometimes not, depending upon the breed, depending upon the mathematics of distribution; the gene for Harlequin is an entirely different gene. To continue on with incorrect semantics when these are known facts is a demonstration of ignorance - not a sin, surely allowed and forgiven the layman, but then again, layman of good conscience do not make 20,000 word arguments posturing expertise. As such, a gentleman makes a choice, to know what he's talking about in an up-to-date fashion, mindful of modern genetics, and knowledgeably eschewing the arguments of olden times as incorrect and no longer relevant, or to not pretend at expertise, but choose instead to rest comfortably on the laurels of out-dated and objectively incorrect information. I fault neither kind, only the one who doesn't know his rightful place, these being those in need of correction, lest misinformation be promulgated throughout the land. No offense intended. You've humbly insinuated your relative ignorance of genetic science where applicable within this topic, you have now been informed, and are no doubt honorable enough to feel no inward need to continue the error. Pied and Harlequin are different - a thing not known during the composition of most more popular older texts on dogs.

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  43. Quote # 9 March 16.38 - ‘It means that dogs you herald as "purebred" and "proper" – Well , can you provide an example thereof in my posts here ? No ? Than it’s , pure & simple , a case of deception . By the way , what’s your opinion about health screening by testing for eventual diseases as p ex dysplasia in hips & elbows , cystinuria , PRA , seizure disorders , bone cancer , &c ? Is such kind of health testing an integral part of your long breeding practices ? Thx in advance .

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  44. "And you certainly can prove that the genepool shrinks and raises COI without the use of the proportionately few existing piebalds , those bred from standard coloured parentage who also produced standard coloured littermates?" Actually, because genes travel in both pairs and associative groups, recessive genes, such as those for piebald, give a rare opportunity of access to far older - even surely in some cases ancient genes than what can be isolated and used for cultivation elsewhere.

    Oddly, in ancient times when a typically dark colored animal produced white progeny it was heralded as something akin to miraculous in most ancient cultures, and valued far above the more common. Then as the keeping of animals for hobby and status based upon possession arose, replacing in ignorant hubris the more learned comprehension of utility and function, there came a simpleton's - a consumer's desire for uniformity of product, a uniformity even far more uniform than that typically found in family distributions, thus minimizing gene pools, and pushing once more dominant genes far recessive through inbreeding.

    Now in modern times, advances in biology - namely genetic science, apprehended since WWII have altogether exposed that more consumer oriented thinking of animals to be objectively of great harm to animals.

    I cast no aspersions in using such a sensational example, but it's a good one: The scientists associated with and funded by Adolf Hitler were of this type, thus their "scientific" belief in a master race. Had they been successful, Germany would today be a country of primarily blond haired, blue eyed Down Syndrome victims, with the alleles for countless other diseases otherwise recessive in the human genome brought forward to commonality. These, however, would have been invisible to the naked eye until a more advanced and statistically observable corruption of the broader population. Before these would be less subtle, today very well known and objective scientific signs of inbreeding depression. Among those entirely known and predictable degenerations of species would have been incomplete development of higher density areas of cartilage, poor formation of joints, scoliosis, arthritis, rheumatism - oddly enough, the very same medical basis of structural faults we see across many breeds of dogs; these having been bred along the same "traditional" breeding protocols entirely devoid of any fundamental understanding of genetic science, based entirely upon an ignorant and damnable consumer mentality of same, same, sameness promoted by any marketing body wishing to promote a mass produced product, such as a kennel club.

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  45. "And it indeed has produced KC registered Mastiffs who are within the present-day genepool of standard coloured Mastiffs AND , of course , of their ‘patched’ fellows ."

    This is the casting of an aspersion that is bother counter productive, and in conflict with your own previous admission that pied colored Mastiffs do legitimately come from purebred Mastiffs, as proven most absolutely by the genetic testing of at least one such dog posted to this page. It is a logical fallacy, seeking to re-direct the reader's attention to a previous incorrect premise already thoroughly defrocked. Pied Mastiffs exist. 100% purebred pied Mastiffs exist. You know it, I know it, you know I know you know it, we ALL know it, so quit with the childish games trying to cast the aspersion of undivulged outcross breedings being the source of pieds. Corrective information you yourself acknowledge on this page defines your own position as a narrowly simple one. Your thesis if I may: Yes, purebred pied Mastiffs exist, but should not be recognized and thus summarily protected by the standards and the clubs from which they spring, as the color importance to more consumer minded human fanciers is more important than the broader genetic diversity that actually constitutes the breed, and is objectively good for the breed from any biological perspective.

    Your position so summed up (and do feel free to correct it as necessary), is one common to any market driven organization, thus making club mission statements using statements like, "preserving the breed," or "protecting the breed," entirely insincere marketing verbiage.

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  46. "Finally , I do consider your interesting judgment about my posts as only a one man’ opinion ."

    That is because you read and cite books made out-dated by more than 50 years of thoroughly published and re-published advances in medical science, and cannot count yourself among the more informed group of practitioners. I am in no way "one man" in my correct qualitative understanding of the current state of the breed, just as you also are not alone in your widespread, popular ignorance. On this page, our respective arguments define us to be representative of two broader groups: You represent a somewhat less than concise, but certainly determined commitment to an objectively incorrect dogma I shall term here, "the problem," and I represent that group with more modern and superior comprehension only rightly labeled, "the solution." Further, I do not fault you for that ignorance, as you humbly acknowledge it yourself from the start with your comment about genetics and their inherent mystery to the common man. I am encouraged by that acknowledgement, as you seem to be one who, if we added a more correct understanding to your demonstrated passion, might turn out to be part of the solution after all... as long as you don't prove yourself the ass with your next posts, but do instead adopt into your position the new knowledge and corrective information that has been given. There is surely no sin in ignorance, only the dogged commitment to the same.

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  47. Re your four posts dd 10 March , 1) thx for making me have a jolly good laugh , 2) I only can repeat to consider it once more as the simple opinion of one man . And , notwithstanding your , may I call it , rather self-satisfied übermensch-like walkie talks , I see no single reason to change my particular ideas about ‘patched’ Mastiffs , such as stated in my former posts . In the mean while , please (if it’s possible for you) try a little to understand that people are entitled to have different opinions .

    Re quote # 9 March 16.38 - ‘It means that dogs you herald as "purebred" and "proper" – Well , can you provide an example thereof in my posts here ? No ? Then it’s , pure & simple , a case of deception . By the way , what’s your opinion about health screening by testing for eventual diseases as p ex dysplasia in hips & elbows , cystinuria , PRA , seizure disorders , bone cancer , &c ? Is such kind of health testing an integral part of your long breeding practices ? Thx in advance .

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  48. Regarding your last, sorry, you asked previously and I drove right over it. Yes, we do test, hips, elbows, and heart and get full genetic profiles of outside breeders, and do spot testing on dogs of established bloodlines, but testing is no panacea, and with working dogs you have to question the point of certain tests. I mean, regarding cystinuria, no working dog lacking lysine, ornithine, and arginine is going to develop properly, or pass advanced temperament and courage testing. And out of any 10 dogs with good hips and elbows at three years, five or more might easily have not-so-good hips and elbows at five years, having been actually worked over those years. You have to remember that while genes in particular for "bad hips" and "bad elbows" do exist, and testing does divulge those who are symptomatic from day one, that's where the legitimacy of the tests end. The phenotype of good hips and elbows - or most any phenotype is NOT purely a matter of genetics, but of the demonstrated genes' relationship with environmental factors. Objectively GREAT hips and elbows very commonly don't remain great when hit with the environmental stressors of gainful employment. Dogs that had good hips and elbows at three years can be dysplastic by five. Hip and elbow scores don't say a dog with fully developed and correct joints won't become dysplastic, but only that thus far, it hasn't. So for working dogs it becomes much more a matter of established traits within established bloodlines. You have a dog who is a fantastic catch dog up to 10 years of age, as were 18 out of 30 siblings, as were both parents, as were all four grand parents, as were all eight great grand parents. NONE experienced any form of structural difficulty. NONE acquired cancer or any form of inherited disease. ALL died of old age or some legitimate work related external injury. What are you testing for at that point...?

    Non-working dogs need to be tested far more often, because non-working dogs don't typically get anything but tested on paper and x-ray - never proven. And then, you may have a dog that has good hips and elbows on paper, that when put to the task develops bad hips or elbows after the second season hunting, so in reality, hip and elbow scores from a biological perspective really only say, "nope, no bad hips or elbows YET" and with non-working dogs, nothing else is ever known, how the dog WOULD HAVE responded to performance duties cannot even be intelligently speculated at, because the only relationship his genes have ever had with environment is the environment of the sofa, and never more than a leisurely jog across the lawn.

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  49. Next, no, you did not use the words "purebred" and "proper" but with plenty use of insinuation you implied the same. You're making argument to prevent purebred dogs into a registry that you freely acknowledge is littered with impurity. It is a position that works very much against its own logical goal, to maintain pure strains. Based upon what you've written above, it seems that you would be happier having a faun Pitbull secretly folded into a certified Mastiff pedigree, than a DNA verified purebred pied. One must wonder, if found alone on a desert island with a chimpanzee and a simply gorgeous Mexican girl, which Marcel Wynants might choose to procreate with. I mean really Marcel, you acknowledge the certified bloodlines of the clubs are NOT legitimate, but want to ban a certain color of DNA verified purebred for not being legitimate???

    As to your first paragraph above 10 March 2014 21:52, blatant avoidance and logical fallacy. You were presented with technical information of objective scientific fact. You chose to paint it as a matter of opinion, and then not to answer a word of it. I don't blame you. Every man is entitled to his opinions, but no man is entitled to his own facts, and yours, as stated, argue an out-dated, crudely written standard, written many decades before our more modern understanding of genetics.

    The future reader should note, that the MOMENT Mr. Marcel Wynants was presented technical argument, his own ocean of surety dried right up to puddle sized squeaks of logical fallacy.

    Now Mr. Wynants, your name is linked to an empty Google profile at the moment, rather than a website promoting the dogs you've bred. I wonder if you might have some dogs you'd like to show me. I notice you were happy to jump on board the crucifixion of Alex Mertens' INT CH Gustav of Cheeze Wizz, and I have to wonder what this separatist exclusionary breeding wisdom has resulted in on the ground. So then, do you have any dogs you're proud to show us?

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  50. Quote # 10 March 17.59 – ‘recessive genes, such as those for piebald, give a rare opportunity of access to far older - even surely in some cases ancient genes than what can be isolated and used for cultivation elsewhere.’ – And such a ‘presumption’ may also count for the standard colour ones as those also track down to ancient times , isn't it ? Re linebreeding it indeed also produces negative results which yet need to be countered by wise selection practices (a/o incl the use of health screening/testing re resp genetic diseases/disorders) , that generation by generation , having in mind the well-being of the respective breeds , so not aiming at harmful exaggerations all kind . On the other side , it’s quite obvious that without any linebreeding there wouldn’t be recognizable ‘breeds’ as we know them present-day !

    Quote # 18.12 – ‘pied colored Mastiffs do legitimately come from purebred Mastiffs, as proven most absolutely by the genetic testing’ – Well , taking into account that every single Mastiff tracks down to a genetic pool of different sorts of antique canine species and , later on , of different standardly profiled ‘breeds’ , then , how on earth , it should be possible to genetically single out the Mastiff as a purebred breed ? Based upon which parameters ? In that long-term aspect , all Mastiffs including the patched ones could not be considered as actually purebred . There are sources which claim a dog (p ex a Mastiff) to be purebred if it has an ancestry of a specific number of generations (KC registered under the same breed) but such numbers are , of course , an ‘adapted’ version of being purebred .

    PS – You stated in # 9 March 16.38 – ‘I am a professional Bandogge breeder - regularly having bred English Mastiffs to various other breeds of dogs, and sold them all over the world. Want to know who many of my customers have been...? ENGLISH MASTIFF BREEDERS who NEVER show you such dogs on their websites, but quietly fold them into their certified pedigrees as puppies from this litter or that , &c ‘ – So it may be possible that those puppies (Mastiff/other breeds mixes bred by you , professional breeder of pied dogs for 20+ years) are colour-wise behind the pied colour in some present-day Mastiffs .

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    1. Mr. Wynants (and future readers), I glad that unlike Facebook and similar social media platforms, this one does not allow a poster to go back and erase, or re-edit their comments at a later date. Directly above, within post Marcel Wynants 11 March 2014 17:35, the writer (Mr. Wynants), finally provided with enough rope, has gone off and hanged himself in the public square, for he and his arguments to be rightfully shunned and ridiculed for all time. Jen Willshire in a couple posts below addresses this in part in a much more kindly fashion than I shall here... Mr. Wynants, it is no "presumption" that the genes for piebald coloring within Mastiffs are a) recessive, b) that these recessives for a much more common ancient coloring travel in pairs and groups with other ancient non-color determining genes that are not otherwise demonstrated, but within pieds, c) that the occurrence of pied Mastiffs is the ONLY WAY to capture and cultivate those same more ancient non-color determining genes, and d) that doing so provides the knowledgeable Mastiff breeder a rare opportunity to break the resultant spell of exclusive purebred breeding not balanced by biologically correct outcross breeding: Inbreeding depression, by use of genetic "throwback" dogs (those rare dogs demonstrating those older genes - a throwback to grander times) as a very well established scientific avenue for countering inbreeding depression without the use of outcross.

      So to answer your first MORONIC statement hiding behind a question mark: "And such a ‘presumption’ may also count for the standard colour ones as those also track down to ancient times , isn't it ?" NO, the EXACT OPPOSITE is true, as taught in any high school biology class. The vanity traits repeatedly selected for in non-outcrossed selective breeding of a subspecies BY DEFINITION pushes other genes for less vanity related traits - WORKING TRAITS, those for functionality, structure, health, into recessive groupings that eventually are lost forever in favor of the permanent and consistent dominance of the vanity traits, this constituting a contracting genepool.

      When a gene pool contracts too much, a species or sub-species is threatened with extinction via ever more prevalent characteristics of inbreeding depression, and inherited defective traits being multiplied exponentially. Mathematically this happens slowly at first, with few negative impacts and ever more vanity consistent offspring, promoting the belief in breeders that destructive breeding protocols in common usage are successful. However, when the tipping point is reached, it results in a sudden downhill slide to complete breed failure, in which all new specimens are so negatively impacted as to have killed off the breed, or changed it so negatively as to make it an altogether different breed - hence, Mastiffs, once athletic large game hunters and longer range estate guardians that almost never today demonstrate the ability to perform as originally designed, BUT plenty of consistent vanity points to be had, even for objectively crippled dogs.

      In short, YOUR THINKING on this topic is altogether the well known biological causation of problems in the breed you yourself cite.

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    2. You seem to have a lot of imagination , isn’t it ? The long-term ‘works’ of genetics are extremely complicated (incl a/o mutations all kind) and for the most part still undiscovered . So , a whole lot of 'things' within your former post are purely simplistic and/or exaggerated outcomes of guess work meant to suit your case fabricated in some , let's say , 'poor peptalk' which may impress some people , but certainly not me . Have a nice eve .

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  51. Marcel you would need to ask the Wisdom Panel how their tests are able to determine breed purity, but on the reports we were given it states that their DNA analysis found that the Mastiff was the top matching breed in a pairwise comparison analysis between our pieds and all the purebred dogs (nearly 10,000) in the Wisdom Panel’s data base. Their DNA samples appeared within the Mastiff cluster and remained there even when compared to an out-group.
    We know that some breed fanciers seem to think pieds only present themselves now due to Deer Run kennels. Deer Run was known to have used Saints in their Mastiff breedings and Deer Run dogs are behind almost 99% of all Mastiffs alive today. It should be known though that even in the roughly 1% of Mastiffs that don’t go back to Deer Run dogs we have found a pied a gene carrier. Xantia, the mother of the pied bitch Dior has no Deer Run in her lines and yet she still carries the piebald gene.
    Some breed fanciers choose to ignore the fact the recessive piebald gene has been present in the breed throughout its history, though honouring the breed’s history also honours the breed. You may call them patched dogs but modern science would identify Buffon, Bewick, and Gilpin’s Mastiffs as piebalds. The Heatherbelle pied too fits the scientific definition for piebalds as do many of our other historical pieds. Mantles don’t usually have white bellies and the patchwork of Harlequins is entirely different from the very consistent piebald patchwork. Every purebred pied we know of today has similar markings to each other and all carry the gene for black masks (em)....if bred they will pass black masks onto their offspring. There are those that seem to think pieds don't have black masks but they most certainly do.

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    1. Mr. Wynants (and future readers), I'm glad that unlike Facebook and similar social media platforms, this one does not allow a poster to go back and erase, or re-edit their comments at a later date. Directly above, within post Marcel Wynants 11 March 2014 17:35, the writer (Mr. Wynants), finally provided with enough rope, has gone off and hanged himself in the public square, for he and his arguments to be rightfully shunned and ridiculed for all time. Jen Willshire in a couple posts below addresses this in part in a much more kindly fashion than I shall here... Mr. Wynants, it is no "presumption" that the genes for piebald coloring within Mastiffs are a) recessive, b) that these recessives for a much more common ancient coloring travel in pairs and groups with other ancient non-color determining genes that are not otherwise demonstrated, but within pieds, c) that the occurrence of pied Mastiffs is the ONLY WAY to capture and cultivate those same more ancient non-color determining genes, and d) that doing so provides the knowledgeable Mastiff breeder a rare opportunity to break the resultant spell of exclusive purebred breeding not balanced by biologically correct outcross breeding: Inbreeding depression, by use of genetic "throwback" dogs (those rare dogs demonstrating those older genes - a throwback to grander times) as a very well established scientific avenue for countering inbreeding depression without the use of outcross.

      So to answer your first MORONIC statement hiding behind a question mark: "And such a ‘presumption’ may also count for the standard colour ones as those also track down to ancient times , isn't it ?" NO, the EXACT OPPOSITE is true, as taught in any high school biology class. The vanity traits repeatedly selected for in non-outcrossed selective breeding of a subspecies BY DEFINITION pushes other genes for less vanity related traits - WORKING TRAITS, those for functionality, structure, health, into recessive groupings that eventually are lost forever in favor of the permanent and consistent dominance of the vanity traits, this constituting a contracting genepool.

      When a gene pool contracts too much, a species or sub-species is threatened with extinction via ever more prevalent characteristics of inbreeding depression, and inherited defective traits being multiplied exponentially. Mathematically this happens slowly at first, with few negative impacts and ever more vanity consistent offspring, promoting the belief in breeders that destructive breeding protocols in common usage are successful. However, when the tipping point is reached, it results in a sudden downhill slide to complete breed failure, in which all new specimens are so negatively impacted as to have killed off the breed, or changed it so negatively as to make it an altogether different breed - hence, Mastiffs, once athletic large game hunters and longer range estate guardians that almost never today demonstrate the ability to perform as originally designed, BUT plenty of consistent vanity points to be had, even for objectively crippled dogs.

      In short, YOUR THINKING on this topic is altogether the well known biological causation of problems in the breed you yourself cite.

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    2. Next, your statement "Re linebreeding it indeed also produces negative results which yet need to be countered by wise selection practices (a/o incl the use of health screening/testing re resp genetic diseases/disorders)..." Mr. Wynants, are you really here, making these arguments, actually knowing NOTHING about correct breeding protocols whatsoever...? Selective purebred breeding IS BY DEFINITION line breeding, jst as line breeding IS BY DEFINITION inbreeding. As such your statement atually reads: Inbreeding produces negative results which yet need to be countered by inbreeding.

      Then you go on with mention of screening/testing for genetic diseases/disorders, as if such testing is a panacea of safety and progress within an ever dwindling inbred genepool. Yet we all know (and I only JUST explained to you in my last posts) that a) genetic markers for many diseases certainly do not altogether predict eventual onset of the disease (because there are many as yet unknown multiple alleles for the same and similar diseases), and those without genetic markers (or failed joint scores), often still do demonstrate those failures anyway. You seem to have no comprehension of what the word phenotype actually means!

      Allow me to attempt assisting you AGAIN... The relationship between genotype and environment is a DYNAMIC RELATIONSHIP, Mr. Wynants. It is this relationship that MAKES UP the phenotype, NOT SIMPLY WHAT GENES ARE EXPRESSED AND CAN BE TESTED FOR, but how those genes have responded to environmental factors. You are talking about (and promoting) the further INBRED development of a breed that essentially has no form of environmental exposure to the tasks it was supposedly created for, thus, a phenotype being repeatedly reproduced in an ever dwindling gene pool NOT having responded to the correct FORMATIVE environmental factors designated for that breed. And in YOUR MIND, that's how it should be done - outcross breeding being wrong, even the use of the ever so rare AND NATURALLY CORRECTIVE purebred, verified by DNA testing being wrong.

      It is as if you believe the great, great, great grand children of Olympic Gold Medalists are in fact Olympic Gold Medalists themselves, never having even learned their supposed event, because we can test that they don't YET have cancer or joint malformation or degeneration, and after all, they're the same skin color as SOME of their ancestors.

      You sir, have NO UNDERSTANDING of breeding - either from a correct modern scientific perspective, or even the perspective of those much earlier developers who, having no knowledge of or access to modern science, still were wise enough to create INCREDIBLE breeds of dogs through observance of functionality. If you are a breeder (and I notice you've not provided us any dogs to look at) you are no less than an embarrassment to yourself, except for the fact that you don't know even enough to be embarrassed, but continue on, one objectively ignorant statement after another, believing faithfully in your own pretended expertise.

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    3. Regarding the at least more popular and widespread ignorance of this statement: "On the other side , it’s quite obvious that without any linebreeding there wouldn’t be recognizable ‘breeds’ as we know them present-day !" Pour yourself a drink, or in your case perhaps "hit the bong", close the study door and contemplate this phrase, simply drawing its definition from context: Parallel line development.

      Mr. Wynants, it is HOW BREEDS WERE BOTH INVENTED AND PRESERVED up till the 1800s. It is the consistent SOURCE of all breeds of dogs up until that point, a point which historically began a broad sweeping degenerative process of multiple subspecies simultaneously when more ignorant, vanity driven breed fanciers formed themselves together into KENNEL CLUBS and began, much as you, pretending at a knowledge of animal husbandry they did not possess.

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    4. Further, Marcel Wynants: "Well , taking into account that every single Mastiff tracks down to a genetic pool of different sorts of antique canine species and , later on , of different standardly profiled ‘breeds’ , then , how on earth , it should be possible to genetically single out the Mastiff as a purebred breed ?"

      In the same way as an Englishman knows full bloody well he's not a Pacific Islander, nor even (praise God on high) a Frenchman.

      Marcel Wynants: "Based upon which parameters ?"

      Phenotype... the biological meaning of the word, not the popular misunderstanding that tends to only evaluate through vanity points.

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    5. Marcel Wynants: "In that long-term aspect , all Mastiffs including the patched ones could not be considered as actually purebred "

      Again, a TOTAL ignorance of the most basic principles of subspecies management on Mr. Wynants' part. As a 10-minute Internet study into commercial livestock management would divulge, it is a biological RULE that any subspecies which is 7/8 that subspecies is a purebred specimen of that subspecies

      (And in formula for those truly conscientious breeders not of the 1800s dramatically ignorant, vanity focused Marcel Wynants type breeders: A+B=C, C+A=D, D+A=A, COI being rendered to ZERO at the initial A+B breeding, and if correctly utilizing three "unrelated" As and three "unrelated" Bs, resulting in triple parallel line development allowing resultant As from the D+A breedings to be bred together also with COI rendered to zero, thus continuously RE-CREATING a breed through sustainable breeding protocols that never need in ANY singular breeding, see COI at 12.5%.)

      Further, this of course need not be followed strictly, as nature is forgiving, and limited inbreeding not just allowable, but even at times beneficial, but you get the point. Exclusive purebred breedings are by definition INBREEDING, each breeding within the subspecies regulatively pushing the superior genes for health and functionality nature tends to prefer into deep recession via VISUAL selective inbreeding, in favor of those sought through vanity, and increasing exponentially the statistical likelihood of those genes not typically favored by nature - those for disease, structural malformation and under development, immune disorders, etc. into the resultant phenotype now ever linked to the vanity genes in subspecies corruption.

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    6. Marcel Wynants: "There are sources which claim a dog (p ex a Mastiff) to be purebred if it has an ancestry of a specific number of generations (KC registered under the same breed) but such numbers are , of course , an ‘adapted’ version of being purebred ."

      Again, biology 101 Mr. Wynants. As in. you really might be better served with my daughter's less than one centimeter thick high school biology text, written concisely in 6th grade American English for our well known "stupider" population, than you are served with antique tomes describing dogs, and dramatically outdated and altogether harmful 1800s pre-yuppie breed standards. A breed is defined by a uniform phenotype, phenotype being defined as BOTH form AND function, with form always defined BY function. A breed is NOT DEFINED as you postulate here, by genotype - that all-inclusive profile of genetic make-up, but by those genes demonstrated in relative consistency which - in relationship to environment, constitute the phenotype. As such, a better understanding, and indeed a better biologically sustainable definition of the word "purebred" would be: Looks very much alike, acts/performs very much alike, regardless of parantage, "purebred" being a term better used to describe successfully breeding to type and function through any means, not necessarily one of breeding family members.

      I shall forgive in advance any grievance of the same, as long as you are an Englishman, or descended from English stock, as it is of course an English cultural axiom that one's lineage determines one's higher qualities - AS IF the far removed descendants of Olympians, never having even learned their great, great, great, great grandparent's sporting events are indeed to be regarded as one in the same with their Olympian grandparents. I mean, honestly no offense intended here, but if you're English or descended from Englishmen, perhaps you really just cannot help but cling to a valuation and self-validation of bloodline over functionality, though I will point out, that your lifespans and teeth have objectively improved since broader outcross breeding began with a more genetically diverse population.

      Point is, YES, some sources do surely claim that to be purebred an organism must have an INBRED ancestry of a specific number of generations. Biologically we know that to be the formula provided above for purebred breeding, A+B=C, C+A=D, D+A=A, this being only THREE generations - and NOT necessarily relatives at all. Arguments otherwise are simply ignorant of genetic science, and by their nature promote breeding protocols which do objectively destroy breeds.

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    7. Mr. Wynants, because actually having dogs to attend to I must now favor doing over teaching, I would tell you this... During this lively debate (if it can even be called that when one representative position lives in full ignorance of a topic, rather than simply a gracious "schooling" of the ignorant) I have taken the time to look closely at one Jen Willshire's Gammonwood Mastiffs. I speak now specifically the pieds described, and verily maligned, minimized, insulted, made victim of repeated insinuation, and cast aspersion on this page by YOU. In comparing these dogs to a) the pre-current Mastiff standards, b) the current Mastiff standards, and c) the actual Mastiff competitors and CHAMPIONS at the most recent Crufts show, it is altogether evident the true most likely source of your separatist, exclusionary and disqualifying remarks: If allowed in the registry, the Gammonwood Mastiffs, if actually judged in a color blind fashion next to the other written standards, and other dogs, quite simply would know SWEEPING victories, EVERY ONE OF THEM being altogether FAR SUPERIOR to EVERY Mastiff at that recent Cruft-crap show, and demonstrating as it were, IN LIVING COLOR, verbatim both the older and newer written Mastiff standards, and also the most farthest reaching ancient English Mastiff traditions for size, form and functionality.

      Have you sat and actually watched the Gammonwood videos Mr. Wynants...??? Do you know enough about dogs - what distinguishes good from common, great from good, to comprehend truly what you seek to exclude from the registries? Are you a madman or simply one who wallows in blind ignorance? Where else have you seen GROUPS of English Mastiffs, full sized, meeting every descriptive in the standards, DNA verified as PURE, running distances in fluid, unhindered motion, jumping easily and repeatedly for joy to heights exceeding a man's head, turning and spinning on their own axis in perfect symmetry and balance, standing proud, squarely centered from every angle, straight toplines, perfectly angulated hocks, correctly aligned stifles, strong pasterns, heavy bone, muscles developed and cut deep as athletes? In particular, look to the standard in body DEFINED, and by force of God and the indomitable nature He created, REASSERTED by the Gammonwood Mastiff Chimes - so aptly named for his SYMPHONY of impossible being, pumping pure the undiluted life's blood of the most historically revered warrior, discerning guardian, and determined hunter ever gifted to the world from ancient times long forgotten till today.

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    8. If you, having observed these dogs, do not have tears in your eyes for what was lost and is now again found, you sir have no business discussing dogs at all. These Gammonwood dogs alone could easily be used as the FLUX, welding back together the broken monstrosity of the modern English Mastiff breed, into its former more glorious self, that modern breeders would not brag at what their dogs once WERE, but indeed what they ARE.

      I am a professional breeder having produced hundreds of puppies in my lifetime, working with multiple various Bandogge, Bulldog and of course resultantly purebred Mastiff breeds. I have owned and evaluated dogs from all over the world - Britain, India, Pakistan, Israel, Serbia and various other eastern European countries, Africa and the United States. From every dog I select for breeding, I seek to breed WORKING DOGS that perform consistently across numerous metrics of physical and temperament UTILITY and HEALTH. From that position I can assure you in some relative, limited authority, I could take those Gammonwood Mastiffs, a handful of others, and FIX your breed in only a few generations, providing "Jokers;" i.e., standardized wild-cards, puppies that could be bred into every known English Mastiff bloodline throughout the world, breaking the COI curse, and dramatically and instantly improving every bloodline in a rapid return to functional breed integrity. The only thing preventing the same? The breeders of "paper champions" ruling the day with biologically ignorant arguments of kennel club fanciers, eloquently epidomized on this very page by one Marcel Wynants, so caught up in old tomes, pedigree comparisons and a few vanity points, as to no longer even be able to tell the good dogs from the bad - or when seeing the bad, at a loss to causation and corrective action required.

      Contrary to being excluded from the registries, the registry powers-that-be should be clamoring to utilize these superior dogs, such as the Gammonwood pieds, paying ANY price for their semen, or puppies, in an effort to leverage these rare genetic throwbacks to more ancient times to revitalize their ailing breed. You cannot claim even the most fundamental understanding of the Mastiff gnome looking at those dogs and believe otherwise.

      Mr. Wynants, the floor is now, and shall remain yours, as I have other things to do, and being you've not paid your tuition for these lessons. Allow me to suggest some reading materials: If Dogs Could Talk by Vilmos Csányi; The Genotype/Phenotype Distinction by Richard Lewontin; Inbreeding and brood stock management by Douglas Tave; Some Practical Solutions to Welfare Problems in Pedigree Dog Breeding by P.D. McGreevy & W.F. Nicholas; and Animal Breeding - Now and in the Future by E. L. Lasley.

      Most are actually only short papers you can find online, 20 minute reads that if accomplished, might cure even your own most profound ignorance of the subjects you most enjoy perpetrating fraudulent expertise in.

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    9. A big effort you made to write those latest posts . You must have a hell of free time ! So can you , p ex , explain a little bit more (perhaps by using as examples some of your own (named) breedings annex outcomes) the following – ‘And in formula … : A+B=C, C+A=D, D+A=A, COI being rendered to ZERO at the initial A+B breeding, and if correctly utilizing three "unrelated" As and three "unrelated" Bs, resulting in triple parallel line development allowing resultant As from the D+A breedings to be bred together also with COI rendered to zero, thus continuously RE-CREATING a breed through sustainable breeding protocols that never need in ANY singular breeding, see COI at 12.5%.’ ?

      Further on , you indeed make some good points about the negs of breeding too close but what’s for me rather disappointing is the way you dogmatically put things only in black and white . Or it’s good , or it’s bad . By lack of time , I restrict myself to only few things here . So , you’re claiming specific things as a/o – ‘that the occurrence of pied Mastiffs is the ONLY WAY to capture and cultivate those same more ancient non-color determining genes’ – , that without any form of substantiation or references thereto .

      A selection of other statements – ‘a throwback to grander times’ - ??? ; ‘those for functionality, structure, health, into recessive groupings that eventually are lost forever in favor of the permanent and consistent dominance of the vanity traits,’ - ??? ; ‘
      ‘However, when the tipping point is reached, it results in a sudden downhill slide to complete breed failure, in which all new specimens are so negatively impacted as to have killed off the breed, or changed it so negatively as to make it an altogether different breed’ - ??? These are only a few examples of your seemingly common attitude to peddle a lot of hyperboles in order to create some impression . But , unfortunately for you , it doesn’t ‘work’ with me . Have a nice day .

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  52. Continued...
    It seems that your main reason for not wanting to recognize pieds is a fear that their acceptance will contaminate the other colours in the breed with excess white. You are forgetting that breeders can now test for pied gene carriers and choose not to breed with them if they so wish. Our goal is to breed sound healthy Mastiffs regardless of their colours so we ourselves would not bother testing. We’re delighted to have any of the breed’s natural colours and feel they are all magnificent. If we did just want to be breed for certain colours though, we certainly have the tools and ability to do this. It should be known though that in the litters we’ve bred from pied gene carriers we have gotten many excellent solid coated pups with not a single spot of white on them. We’ve also gotten pups that did have white on their chests and/or feet or tail tips, (Wynn mentions the white tip tail as being characteristic of the breed), but this was hardly more (and sometimes less) than the residual that occurs on non pied gene carriers. Residual white by the way, has no genetic basis. It occurs in the uterus as the puppy develops...so really to penalize a dog for excessive white is penalizing it for not baking properly.

    Where there is a greater chance of getting more white than modern fanciers might care to have is when a full piebald is bred to a non pied gene carrier or carrier. Apart from white on chest and/or feet or tail tip we’ve also seen a small dash of white occuring on the face. It’s possible too that a whole white blaze up the face can occur but we haven’t seen this yet except for in historical pieds. We didn’t see any white on the faces on Dior’s puppies. She was the European pied bitch that was bred and had 5 fawn puppies. On Ginger’s puppies, the American pied bitch that was bred and had 15 puppies (all fawns and apricots) we did see a little splash of white on the faces of some of the pups (around 5) but this has mostly disappeared now they are grown. In any case we don’t view this negatively; we just recognize it as a mark of a pied heterozygote (Pied gene carrier). Mastiffs having a white blaze or splash of white on their faces have been described and depicted throughout Mastiff history, and were always deemed as being characteristic of the breed....because the piebald coat has always been in the breed! Perhaps the most famous pied heterozygote is the one depicted by Van Dyck with the Children of Charles I, still hanging in the halls of Windsor Castle.

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  53. We’ve had quite more flaming discussions in the near past about Mastiff colour points but I never lost out of view it all goes about different points of view . My stance always is to respect another one’ views even when personally ‘tackled’ in a less than civil way . I’ve given credit to your great overall efforts concerning the Mastiff in toto , incl the really nice CD productions . But it’s just that I PERSONALLY have different opinions re what you call ‘pieds’ . Taking into account the present-day possibilities (test for pied gene carriers) I’ve no substantial problem with breeding from so called pieds if 1) definite quality is there , and if 2) the intention is to breed present-day standard coloured ones .

    As mentioned at multum , I PERSONALLY cannot agree with a ‘pied’ standard adoption because of the eventual repercussions for the standard coloured ones , ie why should it be allowed to have excess of white annex no (sufficient) blacks markings in pieds and still having chance to be qualified as a quality breed representant , whereas there’s no similar chance for standard coloured ones if they do not fullfill those extra colour points .

    PS – In order to reveal the simplicity of an eventual Mastiff standard adoption of only the word ‘pied’ (quite prone to interpretations all kind if not well-defined by specific descriptions) , I here quote the KC standard Harlequin colour in Great Danes which demands the following re – ‘pure white underground with preferably all black patches or all blue patches , having appearance of being torn . Light nails permissible . In harlequins, wall eyes, pink noses , or butterfly noses permissible but not desirable .’

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  54. I'll recognize that you have here become more reasonable here Mr. Wynants, and indeed thank you for it. You do continue on still troubling over that which is in no way troubling, however...

    Today, if a brindle Mastiff is born of two fauns, it is no issue. You also thankfully seem to be coming around to the idea that if faun or brindle are born to pied, this too should not be at issue. Yet, you worry about "too much white" spread across the other colors if pieds were allowed. Looking at the club standards, I admit this does at least make some sense as a thing to worry about. I mean here you have an excellent dog primarily brindle, but because the pieds were allowed and there is more white floating around, said brindle Mastiff has too much white by the current standard. We are, however, speaking in terms of CHANGING the current standard. So then, why could it not be changed in such a manner to REMOVE all color points but for black mask and correct pigment? The result of THAT change...? By default, more point emphasis on legitimate health, fitness, structural and movement characteristics, promoting these same, because therein is where the points would come from.

    Regarding the KC standard Harlequin color in Great Danes, yes, correct description of WHAT Harlequin is; the operative words being "preferably all black patches or all blue patches" (thus rightly omitting tri-colored patches finding their origin primarily in large Asiatic breeds), and "having appearance of being torn." Pied does NOT have appearance of being torn, Mr. Wynants, and pied comes in a diversity of singular color ranges more than just black or blue.

    And of course, if such pied Mastiffs were allowed, points for color other than mask struck from the standards, fitness, health and structural concerns pushed to the forefront... well then Mr. Wynants, perhaps one day you and I could go hunting for some wild hogs together, using the white based pied Mastiffs that can be easily discerned in underbrush, assuring our easy spotting of the quarry, and far better safety to the hunter than trying to use darker colored dogs in the dim light conditions hogs are most commonly hunted in. Similarly, such could then again be used in livestock management, brightly colored assuring they are seen among herds and flocks. Even again as long ranging estate guardians where the poacher is easy to spot, as the fellow with the 200 pound white dog attached to him 700 yards out from the house.

    You see Mr. Wynants, the newer standard omitting the pied did so in a cultural environment where the legitimate use of the pieds was not as common as in previous times. The KC were fanciers, not primarily rural users of the dog - a dog in which the darker color variants are better for stealth, and the whiter variants better for sighting. This omission gave rise in popularity to other white based dogs used instead - perhaps for the worse, perhaps no matter, but either way, robbing the English Mastiff of his duties, and as such his functional purpose, and as such his demand, and as such his resultant decline. A cultural cause, not only one of fundamental biology, for wanting pieds included.

    Hopefully food for thought. Good day.

    Mrs. Willshire, so sorry to have made my posts smack in the middle of yours. A careless accident on my part in posting.

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  55. Mr. Wynants I see you have wisely withdrawn from this debate. The Blasco family has been producing quality dogs for years. I still have yet to see anything from you. Please produce or shut up.

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    1. What makes you believe that I’ve witdrawn from it ? Wishful thinking , perhaps ? Look , in your book PDE might be reserved for breeders only but you’re simply wrong , ie it’s open to everyone who wants to post his/her opinion . For the record , I did about 10 posts on this topic before your buddy entered the scene here and I replied his posts which isn’t uncommon in debates and therefore your - ‘please produce or shut up’ - is actually highly ‘unworldly . In my former posts I’ve said what I wanted to say on this topic , although if new posts here may tickle my attention I shall reply . Have a nice eve .

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  56. Yes everyone is in titled to there own opinions. I just wanted to know you're background. I know the Blasco family background. They have been breeding quality dogs with great structure for years. Yes I know I have already stated this. Do I breed banddogs no do I breed mastiff no. But I do know quality dogs when I see them. These pied posted above are beautiful dogs with great structure. This will be my last post. This is the exact reason I stay clear of the bully boards.

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  57. Mr. Wynants, I have recommended scholarly papers and a book by Vilmos Csányi which more than simply answering your questions, and attesting to the efficacy of my more technical statements, could also provide the the reader the information necessary to develop sustainable breeding protocols. Your position regarding inclusion of pied Mastiffs into the registries is dogmatic, and founded on incorrect reasoning. You further make statements, and hide statements within questions that are altogether ignorant of modern genetic science. This is not a matter of opinion, but a matter of one with objectively true and factual knowledge, simply recognizing the lack thereof in an opposing argument. As a result, some statements I made take a certain fundamental knowledge for granted that for you, Mr. Wynants is sadly not present, and is thus interpreted as "unsupported." This is why I have recommended some reading materials.

    As stated, I have no more time for this. For the dog breeding reader, please know that in my statements I have provided a very abbreviated formula for outcross breeding with improvement of the purebred as a goal. You also should responsibly avail yourself of the recommended reading materials, and not simply go forth an breed, and no breeder should breed (much less be a dog show judge) without a strong understanding of dog physiology, and in particular dog structure.

    Today we see a destruction of once fine breeds of dogs perpetrated by many if not most of the breeders within most popular kennel clubs throughout the world. With Mastiffs this is epidomized by the recent Crufts show cited and linked to above. It is written that the people perish without knowledge, an oh how much more true for the dogs they breed.

    Also please know, that regardless of my sometimes less-than-attractive tone in confronting the publication of objectively false reasoning found in Mr. Wynants' arguments, I do not consider myself an expert, but only a relatively successful breeder of healthy, high performance working dogs. In my own mind, the breeder is to the geneticist, what the mechanic is to the engineer.

    Mr. Thomas, thank you much for your noble defense, and I do hope you're enjoying your dogs. Mrs. Willshire, I hope your pieds are one day included in the registries, and until then I hope you freeze semen. The day may still one day come when kennel clubs are more oriented towards science and on that day, your pieds will be worth their weight in gold.

    Mr. Wynants, again, easily obtained reading materials have been listed. May you not find crow too very distasteful.

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  58. Lots of good thoughts on the pied issue in this thread.
    As many know, I've been at odds with Marcel on various Mastiff topics and have agreed with him on others.
    The breadth of understanding must come from many areas of research, exploration, experience and interaction of ideas.
    The pied issue is no exception. Becoming familiar with the topic must include history and modern science. Perhaps the checkered past of this breed is why I've rarely placed much interest in old pedigrees, but for some they maintain a certainty, at least in print, if not in reality.
    If true, it's disheartening to hear of modern Mastiff breeders resorting to crosses, as a quick fix towards near term rewards. Breeding in, is a lot easier than breeding out. It is unfortunate to know this practice is continuing behind the scenes.
    But if it adds to knowledge of possible pied causation, then better to be aware than to be clueless in the dark.
    Marcel is not a breeder of Mastiffs, but I value his input because of his efforts in other areas of historical acumen, seldom matched by other fanciers in the breed. Having been toe to toe with him on more occasions than I care to mention, I can attest to the heated temperatures that can flare from such debates.
    Perhaps it's a bit presumptuous of me, but I have a difficult time with some who seem to instantly arrive, with a 90 day cure all solution for a giant breed they know little about. Blind deference towards another long term fancier, does not mean one must grovel, or give way to unsupported facts just because of seniority. But there should be a certain amount of regard, regardless of the dogma perceived. I disagreed with Marie Moore and Patty Brill, but I gave them their due respect when in their company.
    I would hope such civility can be employed in future discussions on this, or other Mastiff/pied matters.

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  59. Lots of good thoughts on the pied issue in this thread.
    As many know, I've been at odds with Marcel on various Mastiff topics and have agreed with him on others.
    The breadth of understanding must come from many areas of research, exploration, experience and interaction of ideas.
    The pied issue is no exception. Becoming familiar with the topic must include history and modern science. Perhaps the checkered past of this breed is why I've rarely placed much interest in old pedigrees, but for some they maintain a certainty, at least in print, if not in reality.
    If true, it's disheartening to hear of modern Mastiff breeders resorting to crosses, as a quick fix towards near term rewards. Breeding in, is a lot easier than breeding out. It is unfortunate to know this practice is continuing behind the scenes.
    But if it adds to knowledge of possible pied causation, then better to be aware than to be clueless in the dark.
    Marcel is not a breeder of Mastiffs, but I value his input because of his efforts in other areas of historical acumen, seldom matched by other fanciers in the breed. Having been toe to toe with him on more occasions than I care to mention, I can attest to the heated temperatures that can flare from such debates.
    Perhaps it's a bit presumptuous of me, but I have a difficult time with some who seem to instantly arrive, with a 90 day cure all solution for a giant breed they know little about. Blind deference towards another long term fancier, does not mean one must grovel, or give way to unsupported facts just because of seniority. But there should be a certain amount of regard, regardless of the dogma perceived. I disagreed with Marie Moore and Patty Brill, but I gave them their due respect when in their company.
    I would hope such civility can be employed in future discussions on this, or other Mastiff/pied matters.

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  60. Mr Blasco ... It’s quite a while ago that I visited this site . Your last replies tickle a bit attention . In your post dd 12 March you referred to some sources in order to find answers re questioning your presumptions , and in the mean time you said – ‘I have other things to do, and being you've not paid your tuition for these lessons.’- Since then , you posted two extensive replies incl the sentence – ‘I have recommended scholarly papers and a book by Vilmos Csányi which more than simply answering your questions .

    Now if it’s that ‘more than simply’ , please (for the 3rd time) explain us – ‘And in formula … : A+B=C, C+A=D, D+A=A, COI being rendered to ZERO at the initial A+B breeding, and if correctly utilizing three "unrelated" As and three "unrelated" Bs, resulting in triple parallel line development allowing resultant As from the D+A breedings to be bred together also with COI rendered to zero, thus continuously RE-CREATING a breed through sustainable breeding protocols that never need in ANY singular breeding, see COI at 12.5%.’ – or do you need to be paid for such a ‘more than simple’ matter , Mr Blasco ?

    Your solution for Mastiffs seems to be removing all color points but for black mask & correct pigment . In that case you should exclude pieds lacking mask & correct pigment . Why , Mr Blasco ?

    Mr Blasco , when & where have I stated that patchwork in Mastiffs is the same as Harlequin color in Great Danes ? Re-read my posts and you’ll only find the description Harlequin-LIKE or ALMOST comparable to the color patterns of the Harlequin Great Dane .

    Quotes – ‘I do not consider myself an expert, but only a relatively successful breeder of healthy, high performance working dogs.’& - ‘Yes, we do test, hips, elbows, and heart and get full genetic profiles of outside breeders, and do spot testing on dogs of established bloodlines, -

    Your blascofamily.com homepage mentions – ‘Please enjoy the site. It's admittedly long-winded , ... &c . – Nevertheless this long-windedness , (perhaps I didn’t look up everything) not one single reference to health tests &/or results . Why ... Mr Blasco ?

    Because you consider - ‘testing is no panacea, and with working dogs you have to question the point of certain tests.’ - & - ‘So for working dogs it becomes much more a matter of established traits within established bloodlines. You have a dog who is a fantastic catch dog up to 10 years of age, ... as were both parents, as were all four grand parents, as were all eight great grand parents. NONE experienced any form of structural difficulty. NONE acquired cancer or any form of inherited disease. ALL died of old age or some legitimate work related external injury.’ – That only seems to happen in your ‘ideal dreamworld’ , sir .

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    1. Forget it. Mr Blasco finished you a long time ago.

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  61. A pedigree is what a dog should be
    Conformation is what a dog appears to be
    Performance is what a dog truly is

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