In addition to the traditional breeder who turns out show quality or traditional working dogs for either altruism or profit, there is another kind of breeder who caters to a market that requires highly intelligent and even-tempered dogs for modern purposes. Breeding Racing Dogs Kennel owner Maria Beck (Clarke, Wright, and Jones 250) is the owner of the Lightning Ridge Kennel in Kansas City, Kansas. It is from here that she not only breeds and trains champion greyhounds, but is the only known African American woman kennel owner in the business.
Of greyhounds, she shares: “The animals are so graceful. The excitement of seeing them race took my heart and I realized that it was what I wanted to do. ” Breeding Police or Military Dogs Dogs also contributed greatly to their human counterparts during wartime. In World War II, the American Kennel Club and a group called “Dogs for Defense” got together some quality dogs for donation to the Quartermaster corps. German Shepherds, Belgian Sheep Dogs, Doberman Pinschers, Farm Collies and Giant Schnauzers were trained in the new K-9 Corps between 1942 and 1945.
These dogs would later end up saving the lives of thousands of men in combat by acting as sentries, “partners” and friends to the military or civilian guard on patrol as well as being scouts, messengers and mine-detection dogs. (“Dogs and People: The History and Psychology of a Relationship”) The K-9 program remains in place up to present time with dogs employed in police work of drug and bomb detection as well as search and recovery.
“We look for high-energy dogs that have a high fetch drive, mostly bird dogs, like labradors and golden retrievers,” says Steven Buzzard of the West Virginia Division of Corrections (Clayton 64). Breeding seeing eye dogs The high trainability of certain dog breeds have also made them suitable for other jobs outside of the military and police force. Helen Docherty (“PUPPY LOVE; Ena Will” 30) is just one of the volunteer “walkers” who work with dogs at the Guide Dog for the Blind Association in the United Kingdom.
Dogs like German shepherds, Labrador retrievers and Golden retrievers in addition to the occasional Boxer and mixed breeds are trained to guide the blind and keep them company. Helen describes her experience as: “You just have to remember that this dog came for a purpose and it will go on to do what it has been trained to do. The comforting thing is at least you’ve played a part in preparing the dog for the fabulous job in life it is meant for, with a blind person. ” Breeding for purebreds
Purebred dogs (“Dog”) are the products of “inbreeding” or “line breeding” which just keeps dog mating within just one family bloodline. Inbreeding means that bitches are mated with litter-mates, while line bred dogs are those that are the product or mating between a bitch and its close cousins, grand sire, and so on. These dogs are usually bred to conform to the standards of a certain breed and whose bloodline and lineage (also called pedigree) has been recorded for a prescribed period of time.
Kennel Clubs usually keep track of the lineage of registered individual purebreds in order to preserve breed standards. Breeding aimed to diversify gene pool. Some breeders focus mainly on the appearance of their dogs without much regard for its pedigree. Mating dogs that are unrelated to each other through assortative mating, breeders try to solidify positive traits. This is also done when a breeder tries to acquire a lacking trait for his stock by mating one of his dogs with another who displays the desirable trait. Breeding hunting dogs
There are also breeders who cater to buyers who need dogs for more specific and utilitarian purposes. Hunting and retrieval dogs are just one of the specialized breeds that enjoy a “niche” market. So does sporting dogs such as the retrievers, pointers, spaniels and setters. These dogs are especially useful for their ability to track air scents. Ground scent hunters belong to the hound group made up of beagles, foxhounds and bloodhounds. Olden England saw a great demand for this particular kind of breed for their fox hunts and point to point chases.
Other dogs that are held in high regard by hunters are the visual hunter greyhound dogs and terriers, which were valuable in hunting burrowing prey. Breeding sheep dogs There were also breeders who specialized in working dogs that are used as herders or guides. This included collies, the German Shepherd and the massive St. Bernard. Ladies who wanted companionship proved to be another market for the breeders. Toy and lap dogs such as the Pekingese and the Pomeranian were elevated to “status symbols” and cuddly playthings. Other companions were the non-sporting dogs the Boston terrier, the bulldog, the chowchow and the Dalmatian.