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Do you think mixed color breeding, as a whole, carries with it destructive consequences pertaining to the long term direction of the breed? [280 votes total]

 
Yes (162) 58%
No (103) 37%
It's inconsequential (15) 5%

 
Post Info  Comment
Posted By: Scot Billings

Posted On: 6 days ago
Views: 752
 
Color Code
It was stated: "...Color Code (which has been changed to *suggested* recommendations for breeding)..."

If the Color Code that is on the GDCA site is still current it reads "Color Classifications being well founded, the Great Dane Club of America, Inc. considers it an inadvisable practice to mix color strains and it is the club's policy to adhere only to the following breedings:". I don't consider "it is the club's policy" as being a suggested recommendation unless my dictionary is obsolete.
Posted By: Mary Anne

Posted On: 6 days ago
Views: 880
 
Laura Kiaulenas and MCB

Just to clarify.....

I knew Laura K. and her pedigrees quite well. She was my first mentor and my original Danes, BIS Ch. BMW Bull Lea and Ch. BMW Calypso, came from Laura.

Although Laura is often cited as an example of the success of mixed color breeding, to the best of my knowledge, her bitches were involved in only 2 MCBs in a breeding career which spanned over 30 years.

One was to a famous Dinro champion, circa 1960's. This cross is behind Ch. BMW Ruffian. Only a couple of the offspring were ever registered with AKC and this was done much later, only after these dogs were grown and had proven their worth. I don't think any were ever sold to the public. I am certain Laura's stud dogs were never made available to the public.

The second MCB was much later, to "Fridge". I'm not aware that any of these offspring were sold to the public or offered at public stud, although Sandy Hann may have better information on that than me.

The point is that although it's true that Laura did MCBs, even for her, it was a very rare exception, involved truly exceptional fawn stud dogs and the puppies and their offspring were maintained under her ownership and/or control so as not to create problems for other breeders or the gene pool. She was very cognizant of which dogs might carry for fawn and took this into account explicitly when she planned breedings.

That's not what we are seeing in today's MCB breeders. So if MCB advocates wish to point to Laura as a positive example, they should follow the rest of her example and keep all the dogs which result from their MCBs.

Posted By: Carolyn

Posted On: 6 days ago
Views: 883
 
Original reason for cross color breeding
For years the justification for breeding black (bitches) to fawn (dogs) has been *to increase the quality of the blacks*. Fawns produced from such breedings were considered pets and sold as such. With the silent acceptance of the GDCA in this practice.........since it directly conflicted with the Color Code (which has been changed to *suggested* recommendations for breeding).........the practice has now evolved to breeding fawns (bitches) to blacks, fawns (bitches) to blues and not only keeping the blacks produced from these matings, but also keeping the fawns. These fawns are not only being advertised and sold as show potential (and being given recognition at GDCA event), but also being incorporated into breeding programs. Isnt that defeating the purpose of what was the original reason for breeding blacks to fawns?
Carolyn McNamara
Posted By: Adam Protos

Posted On: 6 days ago
Views: 1012
 
Color, value, and rescue
Hi Mary:

I think that may be just the point. The influx of dogs in rescue is one of the symptoms of mixed color breeding. As you said, most of the dogs in rescue ARE mismarks, either the product of harlequin breeding or mixed color breeding. It is unlikely that this is just coincidence. If there was no correlation here, we would be seeing more of the six accepted colors appearing in rescue. This lends pretty compelling evidence to the connection between color, value, and rescue.

As many on this poll have already pointed out, people can breed their dogs however they see fit. But given the current situation, why would we want to promote breedings, through breed culture and policy, which have a high likelihood for producing more mismarks? The very mismarks which constitute the main body of the rescue population. Why would we intentionally increase the odds of producing these disqualifying and undesirable byproducts?

It is my feeling that even pets are supposed to be good representitves of the breed according to the Standard. They are still supposed to look like Great Danes. This is a goal that we and our breedings should be striving for. Deviance from this principle undermines the credability of the whole concept of pure bred dogs. This is not to demean the individual puppies, but rather speaking from the viewpoint of minimizing a growing problem.

You also have to take into account that mixed color breeding injects lurking recessives into the gene pool which have the high probability of creating automatic disqualifications for people who had nothing to do with the actual cross color breeding. When this is compounded with the historical track record of mixed color breeding, it doesn't seem like much sustainable good can come of it.

As an aside, using the exceptional work of the late Laura Kiaulenas and the BMW bloodline to justify mixed color breeding as a policy for the breed, seems like a huge stretch. More often than not, mixed color breeding today appears to be an act of desperation. Maybe I'm a relative newcomer, but it seems that really skilled breeders should be able to produce outstanding Danes while working within the Code of Ethics. This would encourage more substantive results without the destructive consequences of MCB. This point becomes more important when you consider that all GDCA members voluntarily decided to accept the Code of Ethics. Is this honorable, to publicly contridict your committment? What kind of breed culture does this encourage?

Are we to believe that the breeders are not capable of producing good specimens while working within the Code of Ethics? They might not be able to do it in one generation, but it is possible, just look at many of the outstanding pure color bred dogs throughout our breed's history. This is why many think of mixed color breeding as a short-cut to winning, which I'm not sure is a very justifiable reason for producing increased numbers of mismarked pets. This is especially true since these gains seem to be so short-lived.

When show breeders start flooding the pet market with mismarks just for the sake of winning, the line between them and the backyard breeders becomes slimmer and slimmer. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not placing blame solely on the owner of the bitch, all of those involved in the breedings of these dogs are responsible (i.e., the owner of the stud dog).

What people in leadership positions do does matter, and has a trickle down effect which sets a poor precedent that only enhances the market for the irresponsible breeder. This increased number of pets also makes it harder for ethical breeders to find good homes for their puppies. As someone else already commented, the world is not a bottomless well of permanent, loving homes. In the long term, the aesthetic and rescue consequences of mixed color breeding appear to be synonymous with diminished returns.
Posted By: Mary

Posted On: 7 days ago
Views: 1048
 
Mismarks and rescue
Almost all Danes in rescue are mismarks of some variety no matter the color or the pedigree of the parents. So back to my earlier statement, they are not in rescue because of their color.

If, however, it is felt that mismarked Danes have a lower or no monetary value, that (lack of)value was placed on them by their breeder, and that breeder did a huge disservice to the breed.

Mary Barnett Reed
Posted By: Mary Anne

Posted On: 7 days ago
Views: 1138
 
Linking Mismarks and Rescue
Tom:

I agree comletely with your comment that the lesser value of mismarks tends to result in less optimal placement than puppies of showable colors.

The poll question, however, was about negative consequences of MCB for the future of the breed, so I think the potential for producing puppies with a higher probability of ending up in rescue is perfectly in line with the original question.

The connection between mixed color breeding --> mismarks --> less desirable buyers --> rescue is often indirect. However, I believe it exists, for exactly the same reason as it does in the harl family. Mismarks have low monetary value and are often given away or sold with "puppies back" deals so the breeder can get rid of them. This tends to put them and their eventual offspring in less than ideal homes and/or with less than ideal breeders responsible for them. Or worse yet, an obligation to breed them. Even though the first generation pups from fawn x black should be acceptable colors (assuming color pure parents), all bets are off in the second and later generations. That's where the mismark problem comes in.

Those who do MCBs (often reputable breeders who serve as examples to others) need to understand that in doing these breedings, they serve as the fountain which feeds the gene pool of dogs which carry for undesirable colors. Such dogs tend to: (1) be purchased by BYBs or those just a step above them; (2) are later bred by these owners, who by virtue of ignorance, breed them to mates which are inappropriate choices for producing acceptable colors. Thus, these puppies have fewer prospects for good homes than puppies of acceptable colors and pure color bred pedigrees. This sets up situations ripe for rescue.

Obviously, BYBs do things far worse than producing mismarks. We will probably never be able to educate them. But I think there's a chance to enlighten GDCA and affiliate club members and others who regard themselves as responsible breeders concerning their potential role in contributing to the breeding stock of BYBs and rescue situations.

Again the connection to rescue is indirect, but if good people believe their actions place dogs in peril of bad situations later down the road, maybe a few will be more cautious, especially as it relates to selling unaltered pets.
Posted By: Tom

Posted On: 7 days ago
Views: 1190
 
Two different subjects here
But I think that the breeders who sold those poor non-show colored pups, many times sold them to less than excellent homes just to liquidate them. The pups were never correctly valued from the beginning so they were sold to anyone they could get to buy.
But you're right............the poll question is not about rescue.

That is a different but also serious issue. Actually, it seems there was a poll about rescue in the past.
Posted By: Kim E

Posted On: 7 days ago
Views: 1152
 
Danes In Rescue
I agree. I looked at one of the ad sites today called nextdaypets and there were nearly 400 ads of Great Dane pups and litters for sale! That is just one site of many just like it. I looked at a few of the web pages of these so called breeders. Breeding anything and everything. These types of places are the reason for Rescues and as Mary stated, people give up their animals daily for all kinds of reasons and color is probably never at the top of the list. The people that turn them in to rescue bought them knowing full well what color they were.

Kim Eastwood
Posted By: Mary Barnett Reed

Posted On: 7 days ago
Views: 1198
 
color breeding
A better way to have made my point would have been to say that Danes are not in rescue 'because' of their color, whether the parents are fawn/brindle/black or any of the variations of harlequin breeding. People do not surrender their Danes 'because' of their color. There are dozens of reasons, but color itself is not one of them.

Mary Barnett Reed
Posted By: Scot Billings

Posted On: 8 days ago
Views: 1235
 
MCB & rescue
"I can honestly say, as the new GDCA rescue chairperson, that Danes in rescue are not a result of mixed color (fawn to black, etc.) breeding."

I hope that I am misreading the above sentence since it sounded to me like you are saying that NONE of the rescue Danes are a result of Fawn/Black Mixed Color Breeding.
Posted By: Mary Barnett Reed

Posted On: 8 days ago
Views: 1356
 
mixed color breeding problem??
I can honestly say, as the new GDCA rescue chairperson, that Danes in rescue are not a result of mixed color (fawn to black, etc.) breeding. Agreeing with Eric, by far and away the biggest number of dogs in rescue are mismarks from Harle breeding. The statistics are the same, year after year after year. BYB's and puppy mills think they can make so much money breeding that elusive perfectly marked Harlequin, and most of the litter ends up as pets.
But that does not mean that all of us who breed fawns and brindles do not end up with pets, no matter what the pedigree is.
I think people are making two different discussions out of one topic here.
And also, please sign your posts, it lends so much more credibilty to them, and to you.

Mary Barnett Reed
GDCA Rescue Chairperson
Posted By: Eric

Posted On: 8 days ago
Views: 1492
 
Easy, Tiger
Actually, Sandy, when you use words like "crock" and "BS," I would expect your opinions to a little more informed.

You're contradicting yourself when you say:

"There is a good reason that fawns and brindles are not flooding the rescues. It is because the BYBer who has no brain is breeding them to merles or what the heck ever they can find in the local dog park and fawns and brindles are not what is born in those matings."

So, the backyard breeders aren't pure color breeding? Then does the BYB mainly exist through mixed color breedings? I wonder why that could be? Aren't you pretty much saying here that mixed color breeding is a huge problem flooding the pet market and the rescues? A problem that is fueled, in part, by the poor example and decrepit breed culture set in place by some of our own breed leadership for the pursuit of short term gains? Good, because I thought I was getting at the same thing.

The main constituent of the dogs in rescue are not blacks or derivatives of fawns as you imply. In fact most of the Danes in rescue, according to recent numbers published by the Great Dane Club of America, are overwhelmingly the derivatives of harlequin breeding:

http://www.gdca.org/health/merlegene.htm

Harlequin breeding currently produces by far and away the most mismarks in our breed, which constitue the majority of rescue animals. So, I think it's obvious that there is some correlation between mismarks and rescue. Mixed color breeding can only fuel this fire.

It's not that pure color breedings don't produce pets, it's just that their percentages are better because you're not dealing with the lurking and disqualifying color variance. That goes for all the colors. It's not about homes for more "fawn pets", it's about credible breeders of all colors having access to more loving, permanent homes. It's about a better image and set of circumstances for all Great Danes.

In answer to "anonymous", sooty fawns are not a mismark, nor are ones with white on the chest or toes. This is a fault, not a disqualification. I think it's pretty telling that some of those arguing for mixed color breeding haven't taken some very basic steps to understand fundamental concepts in the Standard. You may be better served to stop typing and start reading (the Standard and Code of Ethics, that is). Good luck.
Posted By: anonymous

Posted On: 8 days ago
Views: 1513
 
I disagree
So I guess if ALL mis marked puppies are culled then that leaves more homes for fawn pets??Do fawn people cull their sooty ones or ones with too much white?I mean after all thats a mis mark.I no mask doesnt matter they just paint them on.zI forgot sooty ones can be peroxided.What about dark brindles?They are a mis marked pet?
Posted By: Sandy

Posted On: 8 days ago
Views: 1528
 
I agree to disagree
"Mismarked puppies are discards from day one. Many are left uncropped, keeping the investment in these puppies minimal. These puppy undesirables are not cherished the same, and in many instances, the standards for their placement may not be as high."

That is the biggest crock I have heard yet on this discussion. If you have the mentality not to treat a mismark just as any other puppy in the litter then you should breed gerbils or something else. That statement is as ridiculous as if I were to say that you don't treat pet fawns or brindles that don't make the show cut with any care. COME ON. You can't be serious to think that a breeder would not care enough to use the same criteria in finding a pet home because of color.
There is a good reason that fawns and brindles are not flooding the rescues.. It is because the BYBer who has no brain is breeding them to merles or what the heck ever they can find in the local dog park and fawns and brindles are not what is born in those matings.. Mainly blacks fill the rescues and come from those precious fawns you seem to think are placed so much more carefully. There are many other things in your message that you didn't think through very well but I have no more patience for this kind of BS.
Posted By: Eric

Posted On: 8 days ago
Views: 1538
 
I disagree
I think the alarming rate increase we have seen of mismarks in the rescue has an absolute correlation to the increase in mixed color breeding across the spectrum of Great Danes. There are only so many quality pet homes available in a given area. When you do breedings that have a high percentage of pets just based on color, this desirable segment of the pet market becomes saturated and many less ideal situations become the only option. While this has an affect on everyone breeding Danes, the most direct effect is on the color segment, since they're producing the largest number of color based pets.

Like it or not, no matter how careful you are, some pet animals are going to be bred, so the more pets you're producing, the bigger the potential problem you have on your hands. When it then becomes time to sell the puppies from the pet and the breeders sell the puppies to people who know less than they do, the whole degenerating situation picks up momentum, feeding on itself. So, while "ethical" breeders are not the whole problem, they are absolutely part of the equation.

Also, I'm not sure that a mixed color bred litter can be ethically bred by a GDCA member. After all, it is in direct conflict with the "Code of Ethics." It doesn't speak very highly of their character when they flagrantly break a rule they voluntarily chose to accept. Were they just on the take? Did they just want to be GDCA members, but not have to play by the rules? Probably. I have to say, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Maybe if we were to send a clearer message as a breed it would lessen the market off which these mixed color breeders thrive. Unfortunately, something like that would probably have to start at the top, and I don't see that happening with many of those who have established themselves in positions of organizational power.

It is no coincidence that the rescues are not overflowing with fawns and brindles, and I believe this is due is to a value system difference. Mismarked puppies are discards from day one. Many are left uncropped even by "reputable" breeders, keeping the investment in these puppies minimal. Because of this reduced value and investment, these puppy undesirables are not cherished the same, and in many instances, the standards for their placement may not be as high. Combine this with the saturation of the Dane pet market, and you have a very real issue on your hands.

We also mustn't forget the "harlequin problem." Years ago many of the undesirable variations of harlequin breeding were culled. Now they all need pet homes, and I'm not sure that the world is a bottomless well of loving, permanent homes. I think to deny the correlation that these events coupled with a rise in mixed color breeding have had an impact on the influx seen in rescue is, at best, naive.

All of this also says nothing of the consequences it has on the aesthetic health of our breed. Mixed color breedings are almost always outcrosses which inject dangerous color recessives into the gene pool which can haunt credible breeders for generations.

And where are the gains? The people that mix color breed have been using the same tired justifications for years. Overwhelmingly, their dogs are no better for it, and the gains certainly aren't long term, that's why it has to be done again and again. It certainly doesn't say much for their skills as breeders. They have, however, polluted the gene pool and produced a larger number of pets just based on color which has, in turn, put a strain on our breed resources as a whole. So, anybody can breed their dogs however they want, this is America after all. I'm just not sure it should be encouraged.
Posted By: Karen

Posted On: 9 days ago
Views: 1551
 
Mismarks in Rescue
A responsible breeder who has a litter with a mismark puppy does not have that puppy end up in rescue or even in a home that breeds that mismark. Cross color breeding among reputable breeders are NOT responsible for dogs in rescue, no matter the color. Take a look at petfinder for a day or 2. Search the net for mountaintopdanes and you will see this is where the rescue dogs are coming from. Ignorant people with zero knowledge of the breed, breeding mismarks to mismarks and selling them to people just like themselves.
Odd colored Danes in Rescue have absolutely nothing to do with this topic. That reputable breeders cross color here or there has no influence on these people. They don't care, they have never been to the GDCA website, a dog show, or even talked to a real breeder.
That rescues are full of mismarks has nothing to do with this topic. A quick look around the net proves this message to be true.
AKC is in part responsible. They encourage people to sell dogs on full registration for their own gain without a care or knowledge of the quality of the dogs.
If you look at board minutes for the past few months you will see one sentence each month that says. The board discussed ways to get breeders to utilize the full registration option when selling puppies.
Next thing you know AKC will be paying BYBers to encourage pet owners to have a few litters.
Posted By: Sue

Posted On: 9 days ago
Views: 1556
 
Mismarks
The main reason breeders should strive to reduce the number of mismarked puppies is a purely practical one.

Even if you don't support the goal of preserving specific approved colors of Great Danes, it's obvious that we have a serious problem finding loving, permanent homes for our puppies. And that unshowable colors make up the vast majority of Danes in rescue.
This can't be coincidence.
Posted By: Mary Anne

Posted On: 9 days ago
Views: 1666
 
Don't Shoot The Messenger
When a person belittles a dog for it's unorthodox color you should remember.. that underneath that coat is a Dane and an owner who loves them. The "color" may not be to the standard and beneath some people, but they exist and their owner's need help.

Hi Dee:

I'm not sure who your comments were directed to, but I want to make it very clear that my remarks on the question of mixed color breeding were in no way intended to “belittle any dog for its unorthodox color”. Anyone who knows me will tell you I spend dozens of hours every month working with novice owners and breeders answering all sorts of questions. I don’t think I’ve ever criticized anyone for the dog they purchased or a dog they already own. The comments against mixed color breeding on this poll are directed toward the BREEDERS who produce these mismarks, not the mismarked dogs or their owners. The two are absolutely different.

What I have suggested on this website and others is that, AS BREEDERS, we have a responsibility to the future of the breed to do what we can to reduce the number of Great Dane puppies born of colors unacceptable under the present GDCA standard. One part of that is education. That is, making sure those breeding or contemplating breeding Great Danes realize: (1) that adherence to the GCDA Breeder’s Color Code serves to minimize the production of puppies outside the 6 currently acceptable colors; (2) that if a breeder feels it absolutely necessary to do a mixed color breeding, it’s their obligation to use all available methods to minimize the impact on future generations. In practical terms, that means two things:

A. The partners in these breedings (stud dog and bitch owner) employ available genetic tests to determine in advance of the breeding the color genotype of the dog(s) involved; and then do their best to apply this information to select mates which minimize the possibility of producing offspring outside the 6 approved colors. The puppies resulting from these breedings should be tested prior to sale so the prospective buyer knows whether their puppy carries for fawn, blue, brindle or harlequin and for mask gene.

B. That dogs considered mismarks are not registered with AKC or other registry and are not sold unless spayed or neutered. It is not enough to sell these dogs on limited registration since this does not stop them from being bred. It only prevents the offspring from being registered with AKC.

Mismarked dogs make wonderful pets. Their owners should be helped with any and all information that knowledgeable dog experts can provide. They just shouldn’t be encouraged to breed them.
Posted By: Scot Billings

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 1741
 
Merle is NOT cross color
Why does the conversation regarding Mixed Color Breeding seem to suddenly changes to the assumed prejudice to Merles? Merle has nothing to do with mixed color since the Merle & the Mantle were accepted for breeding to Harles since they are were considered a part of the Harle. They were not accepted for conformation but now the Mantle is accepted. When speaking of cross (mixed) color breeding it would be better if items that are obviously not part of the subject were left out of the discussion.
Posted By: Dee King

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 1763
 
Stick A Fork In Me....
I think sometimes a person can forget where they came from, and their first Dane..

Maybe you didn't start with a Brindle Mantle Merle.. but I'm also sure your first Dane wasn't a top 20 dog either.

I never have nor will I ever.. advocate cross color breeding done "willy nilly." I was talking about judicious breeding done by a breeder that was trying to carry on with what they had and not loose the good traits..just to satisfy the color purist. I thought that was understood for this discussion.

When a person belittles a dog for it's unorthodox color you should remember.. that underneath that coat is a Dane and an owner who loves them. The "color" may not be to the standard and beneath some people, but they exist and their owner's need help.

I used to be guilty of this also. Once upon a time you very seldom saw a Merle because they were "bucketed." I too looked down on them until I realized that many of these dogs made perfectly good pets..if they came from ethical breeders.

Many times these "funny" colored Danes are the start of a lifelong love of the breed and many people then go on to buy a "show dog."

Everbody has to start somewhere. My Mum also wrote in my High School yearbook. Something to the effect..."No matter where you end up in life never forget where you started."

Stick a fork in me now..I'm so done.

Dee
Posted By: John

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 1885
 
Food for thought
You could make the same argument with many more examples for pure color breeding, so I'm not sure that's the best take on it. It seems to me that those people you named had far more in common by way of their skill as breeders than by the fact that they mixed color bred. They're by far the exception rather than the rule when it comes to mixed color breeding. We shouldn't be constructing our breed's culture based on exceptions.

At the end of the day everyone will do what they deem to be best in relation to their own knowledge and abilities. Based on those decisions, some will make long term contributions and some will go the other way. Please try to be critically thoughtful, informed, and mindful of our breed's future, which is what this whole discussion is really about. With that I will close....good luck breeding.
Posted By: Jon C

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 1933
 
Stepping forward
"What it is about are the pitfalls of mixed color breeding and the additional discards it is bound to produce. The fact that all of the problems created by mixed color breeding cannot be sorted out in the whelping box is underscored by your story."


I said this before and I'll say it again...

I still don't understand how you can compare an ethically bred litter to what was posted?

Its like comparing a Mercedes to a Yugo. Cars, yes, but 4 wheels, engine and transmission is all they have in common.

God knows the breeders are probably not even aware that there is such thing as the "Color Code" much less the GDCA or even how to spell conformation correctly. I am quite certain though that they spend less time worrying about mudding the gene pool for future breeders interested in improving the breed.

People keep quoting “short term gains”, but would Harls be where they are today if is wasn’t for Laura K.? Would Blacks be where they are today if it wasn’t for Council P. and Carolyn M.? Maybe, Maybe, not. We will really never know. Just food for thought
Posted By: Mary Anne

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 1968
 
Certain Dane Oriented Websites
When I was a teenager, my mother wrote a short admonition in the back of my high school yearbook.

It said, "Show me your friends and I'll show you your future".

And so it goes in our hobby pursuits as well. Those who seek out highly successful and generous mentors will find success of their own.

Those who obtain most of their information from website mavens, often just a baby step ahead of their "mentees" and those who don't exert the mental effort to acquire a clear understanding of the fundamentals of animal husbandry, structure and genetics seem to spend years making mistakes, wasting money and energy, becoming frustrated and disenchanted... and in the end, not very far ahead of where they started.
Posted By: John

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 1970
 
Surely not
Of course not Dee, I'm not that simplistic. What I was meaning was that those puppies carried recessives as a result of their mixed color breeding which were not obvious from physical inspection. This is why blue masked fawns and blue brindles are possible from breeding a solid colored dog and bitch together which are not pure color bred. But I think you knew what I meant.
Posted By: Dee King

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 1944
 
One More Then I'm Done.
John...

Please tell me that you did not mean to suggest that because my Danes at that time seemed to be prone for Bloat.. it was because they were cross color bred?

If so.. good news for all the "pure color" bred Danes out there. Not to worry.

Dee
 
Posted By: Karen

Posted On: 9 days ago
Views: 1553
 
Mismarks in Rescue
A responsible breeder who has a litter with a mismark puppy does not have that puppy end up in rescue or even in a home that breeds that mismark. Cross color breeding among reputable breeders are NOT responsible for dogs in rescue, no matter the color. Take a look at petfinder for a day or 2. Search the net for mountaintopdanes and you will see this is where the rescue dogs are coming from. Ignorant people with zero knowledge of the breed, breeding mismarks to mismarks and selling them to people just like themselves.
Odd colored Danes in Rescue have absolutely nothing to do with this topic. That reputable breeders cross color here or there has no influence on these people. They don't care, they have never been to the GDCA website, a dog show, or even talked to a real breeder.
That rescues are full of mismarks has nothing to do with this topic. A quick look around the net proves this message to be true.
AKC is in part responsible. They encourage people to sell dogs on full registration for their own gain without a care or knowledge of the quality of the dogs.
If you look at board minutes for the past few months you will see one sentence each month that says. The board discussed ways to get breeders to utilize the full registration option when selling puppies.
Next thing you know AKC will be paying BYBers to encourage pet owners to have a few litters.


 
Posted By: Sue

Posted On: 9 days ago
Views: 1558
 
Mismarks

The main reason breeders should strive to reduce the number of mismarked puppies is a purely practical one.

Even if you don't support the goal of preserving specific approved colors of Great Danes, it's obvious that we have a serious problem finding loving, permanent homes for our puppies. And that unshowable colors make up the vast majority of Danes in rescue.

This can't be coincidence.
Posted By: Mary Anne

Posted On: 9 days ago
Views: 1668
 
Don't Shoot The Messenger
When a person belittles a dog for it's unorthodox color you should remember.. that underneath that coat is a Dane and an owner who loves them. The "color" may not be to the standard and beneath some people, but they exist and their owner's need help.

Hi Dee:

I'm not sure who your comments were directed to, but I want to make it very clear that my remarks on the question of mixed color breeding were in no way intended to “belittle any dog for its unorthodox color”. Anyone who knows me will tell you I spend dozens of hours every month working with novice owners and breeders answering all sorts of questions. I don’t think I’ve ever criticized anyone for the dog they purchased or a dog they already own. The comments against mixed color breeding on this poll are directed toward the BREEDERS who produce these mismarks, not the mismarked dogs or their owners. The two are absolutely different.

What I have suggested on this website and others is that, AS BREEDERS, we have a responsibility to the future of the breed to do what we can to reduce the number of Great Dane puppies born of colors unacceptable under the present GDCA standard. One part of that is education. That is, making sure those breeding or contemplating breeding Great Danes realize: (1) that adherence to the GCDA Breeder’s Color Code serves to minimize the production of puppies outside the 6 currently acceptable colors; (2) that if a breeder feels it absolutely necessary to do a mixed color breeding, it’s their obligation to use all available methods to minimize the impact on future generations. In practical terms, that means two things:

A. The partners in these breedings (stud dog and bitch owner) employ available genetic tests to determine in advance of the breeding the color genotype of the dog(s) involved; and then do their best to apply this information to select mates which minimize the possibility of producing offspring outside the 6 approved colors. The puppies resulting from these breedings should be tested prior to sale so the prospective buyer knows whether their puppy carries for fawn, blue, brindle or harlequin and for mask gene.

B. That dogs considered mismarks are not registered with AKC or other registry and are not sold unless spayed or neutered. It is not enough to sell these dogs on limited registration since this does not stop them from being bred. It only prevents the offspring from being registered with AKC.

Mismarked dogs make wonderful pets. Their owners should be helped with any and all information that knowledgeable dog experts can provide. They just shouldn’t be encouraged to breed them.
Posted By: Scot Billings

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 1743
 
Merle is NOT cross color

Why does the conversation regarding Mixed Color Breeding seem to suddenly changes to the assumed prejudice to Merles? Merle has nothing to do with mixed color since the Merle & the Mantle were accepted for breeding to Harles since they are were considered a part of the Harle. They were not accepted for conformation but now the Mantle is accepted. When speaking of cross (mixed) color breeding it would be better if items that are obviously not part of the subject were left out of the discussion.

Posted By: Dee King

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 1765
 
tick A Fork In Me....
I think sometimes a person can forget where they came from, and their first Dane..

Maybe you didn't start with a Brindle Mantle Merle.. but I'm also sure your first Dane wasn't a top 20 dog either.

I never have nor will I ever.. advocate cross color breeding done "willy nilly." I was talking about judicious breeding done by a breeder that was trying to carry on with what they had and not loose the good traits..just to satisfy the color purist. I thought that was understood for this discussion.

When a person belittles a dog for it's unorthodox color you should remember.. that underneath that coat is a Dane and an owner who loves them. The "color" may not be to the standard and beneath some people, but they exist and their owner's need help.

I used to be guilty of this also. Once upon a time you very seldom saw a Merle because they were "bucketed." I too looked down on them until I realized that many of these dogs made perfectly good pets..if they came from ethical breeders.

Many times these "funny" colored Danes are the start of a lifelong love of the breed and many people then go on to buy a "show dog."

Everbody has to start somewhere. My Mum also wrote in my High School yearbook. Something to the effect..."No matter where you end up in life never forget where you started."

Stick a fork in me now..I'm so done.

Dee
Posted By: John

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 1887
 
Food for thought
You could make the same argument with many more examples for pure color breeding, so I'm not sure that's the best take on it. It seems to me that those people you named had far more in common by way of their skill as breeders than by the fact that they mixed color bred. They're by far the exception rather than the rule when it comes to mixed color breeding. We shouldn't be constructing our breed's culture based on exceptions.

At the end of the day everyone will do what they deem to be best in relation to their own knowledge and abilities. Based on those decisions, some will make long term contributions and some will go the other way. Please try to be critically thoughtful, informed, and mindful of our breed's future, which is what this whole discussion is really about. With that I will close....good luck breeding.
Posted By: Jon C

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 1935
 
tepping forward
"What it is about are the pitfalls of mixed color breeding and the additional discards it is bound to produce. The fact that all of the problems created by mixed color breeding cannot be sorted out in the whelping box is underscored by your story."


I said this before and I'll say it again...

I still don't understand how you can compare an ethically bred litter to what was posted?

Its like comparing a Mercedes to a Yugo. Cars, yes, but 4 wheels, engine and transmission is all they have in common.

God knows the breeders are probably not even aware that there is such thing as the "Color Code" much less the GDCA or even how to spell conformation correctly. I am quite certain though that they spend less time worrying about mudding the gene pool for future breeders interested in improving the breed.

People keep quoting “short term gains”, but would Harls be where they are today if is wasn’t for Laura K.? Would Blacks be where they are today if it wasn’t for Council P. and Carolyn M.? Maybe, Maybe, not. We will really never know. Just food for thought
Posted By: Mary Anne

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 1970
 
Certain Dane Oriented Websites
When I was a teenager, my mother wrote a short admonition in the back of my high school yearbook.

It said, "Show me your friends and I'll show you your future".

And so it goes in our hobby pursuits as well. Those who seek out highly successful and generous mentors will find success of their own.

Those who obtain most of their information from website mavens, often just a baby step ahead of their "mentees" and those who don't exert the mental effort to acquire a clear understanding of the fundamentals of animal husbandry, structure and genetics seem to spend years making mistakes, wasting money and energy, becoming frustrated and disenchanted... and in the end, not very far ahead of where they started.
Posted By: John

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 1972
 
Surely not
Of course not Dee, I'm not that simplistic. What I was meaning was that those puppies carried recessives as a result of their mixed color breeding which were not obvious from physical inspection. This is why blue masked fawns and blue brindles are possible from breeding a solid colored dog and bitch together which are not pure color bred. But I think you knew what I meant.
Posted By: Dee King

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 1946
 
One More Then I'm Done.
John...

Please tell me that you did not mean to suggest that because my Danes at that time seemed to be prone for Bloat.. it was because they were cross color bred?

If so.. good news for all the "pure color" bred Danes out there. Not to worry.

Dee
Posted By: John

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 1269
 
Take a step back
This is not about DANESONLINE. What it is about are the pitfalls of mixed color breeding and the additional discards it is bound to produce. The fact that all of the problems created by mixed color breeding cannot be sorted out in the whelping box is underscored by your story.
Posted By: Dee

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 1156
 
Blacks
John...

My Blacks out of that litter did carry for Fawn. The ones that showed up later were the rich Fawn color.. sometimes lacking in the pure colored Fawns.

There was also a very nice Blue bitch pup show up later that went back to that long ago breeding. At the Nationals said puppy bitch went on to WB, BoW..and Best Puppy.

What my Blacks at that time also carried for {that I thought more deadly then color} was..Bloat. A huge reason I quit breeding also, as I feel it is genetic in nature.

While you seem to be above DOL..I don't. Day after day there are some very dedicated people there trying to steer newcomers away from the Millers and the BYBs. To encourage them to go to ethical breeders.

We also try to help the every day Dane person with their questions and concerns about their dogs. Believe it or not these are the "backbone" of the breed. Not all Danes can be show dogs and not all Dane owners own show dogs.

With your vast knowledge you would be welcomed there to help also....

Dee
Posted By: John

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 1127
 
It's about selling out the future
I think it's about the correlation between encouraging mixed color breeding by many of the participants on that very site, while the photo galleries just a few clicks away are overflowing with mismarked pets. It's about the mentality of treating mixed color breeding as acceptable. It's about flooding the pet market so that credible breeders have a hard time finding suitable homes. And all this for what, the short term, ill gotten gains like winning that mixed color breeding serves?

Saying mixed color breeding is not a Pandora's box, does not jive well with those pictures of blue brindles and fawnequins. There certainly are a lot of "odd colored fellows" in those galleries aren't there?

The problem with all of this is that the color question cannot simply be sorted out in the whelping box. For instance, every puppy in Dee's all black litter was carrying the fawn and possibly the blue recessive. Then from your decisions to breed that way you've quite possibly passed the problem to future breeders and generations who had nothing to do with it. On top of that, if you don't mix color breed with pure color bred stock, all bets are really off.

Outcrossing makes perdictability impossible, and injecting the disqualifing element of color into the mix only fuels the fire. I just don't think our breed should be endorsing or turning a blind eye to this.
Posted By: Cindy

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 1055
 
???
What does a bunch of pictures of mismarked pets bought from ignorant BYBers have to do with the sites merit? It is a place where mainly pet owners go and share pictures of their dogs and learn how to feed properly, learn of their mistakes in purchasing a pet, Discuss health issues etc. The pictures that are posted are in no way a promotion of said colors. Despite the bad taste it leaves in your mouth, it has helped many people.
Posted By: Dee King

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 1024
 
Who Is This Dee Person?
Well at least I now know somebody's been reading my messages.

First off I did not mean or intend to insult Mary Anne..and her views. I'm sorry if it was taken that way.

Racial cleansing was a tad over the top I suppose. As was the comment on DOL.

Who is this Dee person? A person who has owned Danes for over 38 years..maybe longer then some here are old. I did show for awhile and owned a Black bitch champion.. so I know a bit what it is like to show and breed a color dog.

When it came time to breed her many years ago I didn't have a huge choice of studs. Picked a Fawn champion who helped produce a nice litter. All Black.

Prejudice then was such that I could not put pictures of sire and dam on the same page in the Reporter while advertising the litter.

I quit showing and breding Danes about 20 years ago because I always said when it wasn't fun anymore..time to quit. I have since bought all my Danes from reputable breeders and have also rescued.

Everybody here and elsewhere are intitled to their opinions and just because they don't coincide with yours..should not be summarily dismissed.

Dee
 
Post Info  Comment
Posted By: Wayne

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 996
 
Interesting link
Scot,

I know quite a bit about DANESONLINE. If I were you, I would think seriously about having my good name linked with them. Check out the following link:

http://www.gdohosting.com/dolforum/showgallery.php?cat=506

Pretty shocking.....I suppose you can draw your own conclusions from it; about mixed color breeding and other things. While you have a good point about using restraint when naming names specifically, I stand by my assertions in this particular case.
Posted By: Scot Billings

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 1008
 
Bad choice of comparison
Wayne,
It would have been better if you had said "This is not a Mail List." or "This is not a Chat Room.". Danesonline may have a chatroom but they are a Web Host for many, including rokadane.com. They are webmasters for a number of client organizations & some individuals. IMO both that comment & the comment you were answering were both uncalled for & that was all I said. I did not compare the 2. I have known Mary Anne for a while & know her credentials.

All I was stating was that using a specific name for a comparison was uncalled for, especially when you apparently didn't know much about DOL.

If you will look back to the early comments you will find that many of them were "answered" with answers that showed the person had not really read what was previously stated but just went on to state that the original comment was wrong. I don't disagree with the idea you had but only the way it chose specific business names to "compare".
Posted By: Wayne

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 1036
 
My Apologies
Scot,

To begin with, talking about DANESONLINE.COM and drawing a parallel to racial cleansing are NOT the same. These are the very same people who spew unsubstantiated and incorrect information daily on DANESONLINE.COM and other lists. I don't feel that their interjection of sensationalistic nonsense should go unanswered here. We're talking about purebred dogs and real breeding practices.

Further, we don't know anything of Dee's credability, and I cannot stand idly by while she calls someone like Mary Anne Zanetos an uneducated newcomer. That's absurd. Mary Anne does genetic counseling for many people in Great Danes and has a tremendous body of work. How dare they tout such low class garbage on a sophisticated forum like this. Where is Dee's body of work?

Unfortunately, that kind of behavior is indicative of many of the bankrupt posts on places like DANESONLINE. The fact that you have people such as this Dee and the like arguing for mixed color breeding, says a lot. That's exactly why Great Danes are going the way they are, no one wants to recognize substance, investment, and quality and learn from it. It's about time someone stood up to this low class behavior and called it what it is....bankrupt.
Posted By: Sean

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 1024
 
Assumption?
Scot,

I assume Waynes comment was NOT an insult to DaneLinks, rather the opposite.. Stating that Danelinks should be held in higher regard than the one mentioned and every one knows why...

However, you know what they say about assumptions.
Posted By: Scot Billings

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 991
 
Who is this person???
Wayne,
That comment, "This isn't DANESONLINE.COM", is not only uncalled for but it was, & is, unnecessarily insulting. If you have a beef with DOL take it up on DOL. It was as uncalled for as the comment you were "answering".
Posted By: Wayne

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 953
 
Who is this person????
"Also IMO smacks of a sort of "racial purity" issue.. the sort that leads to racial cleansing."


Is this for real? We're talking about the breeding of purebred dogs.

This isn't DANESONLINE.COM
Posted By: Dee

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 861
 
Fawns From Blacks.
"Fawns from Blacks are still considered undesireable."

Maybe to the newcomer or the uneducated. A Fawn is a Fawn...no matter the color of the sire/dam. Bred Fawn will only produce Fawn.

As far as I'm concerned it amounts to more of a "Witch Hunt" searching for the errant color in an ancestor..then looking for more important possible problems. Also IMO smacks of a sort of "racial purity" issue.. the sort that leads to racial cleansing.

Instead of the great search to ferret out the odd color back in the pedigree..why not try to discover how many of those same ancestors died of Bloat or many other disorders I feel are genetic in origin?

Any problem with color can be taken care of in the whelping box. Plain and Simple.

Dee
Posted By: Mary Anne

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 894
 
Learning the Hard Way
"Remember what ? 20 years ago when breeders were crossing harls/fawns? The fawn gene carries forever. Breeding harls is hard enough without dealing with fawnikins in a litter. Especially when your POL turns out to be one. "

Precisely. I think most who tried it concluded the short-term gain from breeding harls to fawns was not worth the long-term problems.

Some black breeders I've talked to are coming to the same conclusion. A few years down the line when they're two or three generations away from their MCBs, they are faced with few breeding choices in their own line of dogs that do not produce an unacceptable percentage of fawns, often maskless fawns or other mismarks.

Of course some might argue that a fawn is a fawn, but just tell that to an educated puppy buyer. If they want a fawn, they will most likely want one from a pure color pedigree. Like it or not, fawns from black litters are still regarded as undesirables, much like mismarks from harl litters.
Posted By: Carol

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 907
 
Double Standard
I think the harl breeders have learned their lesson. Remember what ? 20 years ago when breeders were crossing harls/fawns? The fawn gene carries forever. Breeding harls is hard enough without dealing with fawnikins in a litter. Especially when your POL turns out to be one.
Posted By: Mary Anne

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 954
 
Double Standard
Why is the AOAC breeder being bastardized for crossing the color barrier and not the Stud Owner?

Sean:

That's a valid question.....

I agree we don't hear much criticism of those fawn stud owners who permit their dogs to be used on black bitches. Much of the present leadership of the GDCA does not observe or support enforcement of the breeders' color code.

That being said, there are still many fawn owners who do not permit their males to be used in mixed color breedings. And many who are still very selective of which bitches they breed, even within their own color family.

But let's just clarify one thing. We are talking almost exclusively about black bitches being bred to fawn sires, so this is not really an "AOAC" issue.

As a breeder of harls, I'm not seeing harl or mantle bitches being bred to fawn, black or brindle sires.
Posted By: Sean

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 951
 
Stud dogs
“”To the extent breeders of blacks have bred within their color family, they avoided breeding to the dogs responsible for proliferating DCM is fawns and brindles.””

By the virtue of that statement..

Why is the AOAC breeder being bastardized for crossing the color barrier and not the Stud Owner? Its okay for him to proliferate the problem in his own color but NOT another? Double standard? Carte blanche? As someone else noted AOAC breeders that cross the color barrier are just riding shirt tales, looking for handouts...

We all know many Popular Studs of all colors that have definitely hurt the Breed more than they helped it. Again thats another topic..
Posted By: Mary Anne

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 946
 
SAS and DCM Inheritance
Since DCM and SAS are overwhelmingly thought to be X linked wouldn’t that go against that theory? As 99% of cross color breeding is an AOAC Bitch to a Fawn Brindle Dog? Or are you assuming that the AOAC breeders are just breeding around theses recessives by luck? Just curious....

Hi Sean:

To answer your questions:

1. SAS is NOT thought to be X linked by anyone knowledgeable on the subject. Since the incidence of SAS in both sexes is approximately equal, it's very unlikely SAS is sex-linked. The exact mode of inheritance of SAS is not known, however, there are a few families of fawn/brindles that have persistent problems with SAS so it's obvious it is inherited, but may not be related to a single gene.

2. The vast majority of dilated cardiomyopathy in Great Danes is almost certainly inherited as an x-linked recessive trait. This is supported both by clinical and pedigree research. In fawn/brindle pedigrees, a substantial number of cases trace back to several specific frequently used sires. Many of these males were not only frequently used sires, but also dogs fawn breeders linebred on, so their influence in fawn pedigrees of different breeders in many parts of the country is srtiking.

To the extent breeders of blacks have bred within their color family, they avoided breeding to the dogs responsible for proliferating DCM is fawns and brindles.

Does that make sense?
Posted By: Sean

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 830
 
DCM, ETC.

In order to do that the Fawn dog would have to be Afflicted with DCM not a carrier.

So IMO we must rationalize that since these Adult Onset Diseases are more than likely a product of our "breeding window" that is typically smaller than a number of breeds. Or ones choice of a "flavor of the month". Or ones lack of detailed research. Rather than the choice of colors bred???

My opinion is Honesty or lack there of carries the most “destructive consequences” to our breed...
But that’s a whole other topic… VBG

With the advent of Limited Registration AOAC breeders are effectively culling miss-marks from the Gene pool unlike in the past... For example CH Bartholomew Von Overcup is behind MANY Fawns and Brindles today yet he is famous, rather infamous, for what? Besides being an outstanding producer he was half the equation in “Butterscotch”.. I don’t think there are many Fawn/Brindle Breeders today that would give a second thought to the fact that the "chocolate” dilute gene may be in the closet.. Yet they are the same ones concerned with a blue in the pedigree that may be from the same time frame?
Posted By: Scot Billings

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 772
 
DCM with or without MCB
I realize that your question was to Mary Anne but I has found this earlier in relation to a Journal of AVMA article of Dr. Meurs of Ohio State:

If the male carries the DCM (recessive X) gene, he is likely to develop DCM (unless something else kills him first) and he will pass the defective gene onto his female offspring only.

If the female carries only one DCM (recessive X) gene, she will not develop the disease, but she will pass the defective gene onto 50% of her offspring.

If the female carries two DCM (recessive X) genes, she is likely to develop DCM (unless something else kills her first) and she will pass the defective gene onto all of her offspring.
Posted By: Sean

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 762
 
Color and the Heart
“I've seen quite a few instances of dilated cardiomyopathy and subaortic stenosis, both inherited diseases, popping up in mixed color bred blacks whose pure color bred blacks did not have these problems before.”

Okay Mary Ann I have a question for you…


Since DCM and SAS are overwhelmingly thought to be X linked wouldn’t that go against that theory? As 99% of cross color breeding is an AOAC Bitch to a Fawn Brindle Dog? Or are you assuming that the AOAC breeders are just breeding around theses recessives by luck? Just curious....
 
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Posted By: Scot Billings

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 684
 
Health & Color Mixing
It has been asked, multiple times, (paraphrased) 'What health issues are involved in Mix Color Breeding' but Mary Anne had answered the question before it was asked.

"For example, DCM is more prevalent in fawns and brindles compared to blacks or blues, whereas autoimmune thyroid disease is more prevalent among blacks."

Did anyone think of what happens when you mix colors? Enter, stage left, a new malady to overcome. Maybe you think that DCM or Thyroid are not serious, but I don't agree.
Posted By: Mary Anne

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 636
 
Disastrous Consequences
"What do you attribute the sudden causes of butt ugly, nasty temperaments, dropping dead under 2 and 3 in color pure pedigrees that appear from the same types of mating as you described in your example? A fluke? I am not trying to be argumentative here, just trying to understand how the color is responsible for 'everything' that went to hell in the breeding aside from mismarks."

Hi Kim:

This should not be a difficult concept, so I will try to explain in simple terms.

When you do a mixed color breeding (between two Great Danes who are each pure color bred), you are doing the most extreme type of outcross. In doing so, you are sure to get the easy, predictable outcome of the breeding, namely the coat color. But since you are introducing a whole new set of genes to the mix from the "other" color, it may not mix well with what you have from your side of the pedigree. This is the simple explanation of some disastrous litters. Along with whatever characteristics of the fawn side you WANT to introduce, you also get many characteristics which may not be desirable. Chief of those are health problems that have been pretty much bred out of your particular color/line.

I've seen quite a few instances of dilated cardiomyopathy and subaortic stenosis, both inherited diseases, popping up in mixed color bred blacks whose pure color bred blacks did not have these problems before. The source of this is undoubtedly the fawn side of the pedigree. This is just one example, but I'm sure it's one some reading these comments have experienced.

Of course you can argue that disaster litters *can* happen even when you breed within your color family. But it's far more likely to happen when you put together two dogs with absolutely nothing in common in the pedigree, bred by individuals who have been working on diffrent problems in their pedigrees for tens of generations.
Posted By: Kim

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 611
 
Question
Aside from the mix in color, don't ALL of those things happen from time to time in color pure pedigrees also? Even when line-breeding and inbreeding these things can and do happen.
30 plus years of successful line-breeding with multiple CH's and suddenly it all goes south. It is not unheard of.
What do you attribute the sudden causes of butt ugly, nasty temperaments, dropping dead under 2 and 3 in color pure pedigrees that appear from the same types of mating as you described in your example? A fluke? I am not trying to be argumentative here, just trying to understand how the color is responsible for 'everything' that went to hell in the breeding aside from mismarks.
Posted By: anon

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 610
 
Example for Kim
Kim writes: "Can someone give me an example of how a Fawn line was turned to injured because of a Black in the pedigree or how a Black line was turned to crap because of a Fawn in the pedigree? If you can give me some examples of how a Black or a Fawn had a serious health issue that is 'exclusive to color' and caused by a cross color breeding, I would like to hear it. I am all for learning."

I have an example for ya Kim.

Years ago there was a litter sired by a lovely fawn boy that went back to some of the best stuff in the country (champion parents, reputable breeder) and he was pointed. Mother was a blue that went back to same qualities dogs, really great bloodlines-- seen today.

Their temperaments were impeccable, health good etc.

Litter-- 1 black, 2 blues (hey! that fawn carried for blue! but had a "color pure ped" for multiple gens) 2 blue-fawns, and 2 fawns.

All had crappy, shy temperaments.

Three dropped dead at under a year old.

Another died of cancer at a young age.

ALL were butt-ugly. Sorry, lack of better word.

How's that?

Just because you don't know about these "disaster" breedings doesn't mean they don't exist.
Posted By: John

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 620
 
A Good Resource
If you are interested in actually learning some credible information on the topic, I highly recommend Nancy-Carroll Draper's book, "The Great Dane, Dogdom's Apollo."

You know, the Color Code didn't just appear out of thin air, it was thoughtfully constructed by a panel of experts. In fact, it was specifically implemented in response to the increasing incidence of mismarked Danes. Take a look in the files of the Color Research Committee, it's quite educational.

If we want to maintain our colors with consistency and ethics, there is substantial value in the Color Code of Ethics. While everybody can do whatever they wish with their own dogs, that doesn't necessarily mean that their actions should be endorsed by our breed culture or organizations.
Posted By: Kim

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 614
 
What now?
So back to the question that Jon C asked earlier. "Are we just supposed to abandon these colors?"
You say any and all improvements are short lived. I guess I have a hard time dealing with a statement like that. Change the old saying to 'Consistency Never pays Off'? I think history has proved otherwise.
It's a great topic and I have enjoyed all of the opinions.
Posted By: John

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 626
 
Not quite
Kim,

I realize you believe what you say to be true, but your naive opinions are revealing. Many mixed color breeders do in fact continually violate the color code. Study some pedigrees, this isn't fiction, we're not talking about one mixed color breeding here. The gains acquired from these violations are short lived, that's why it has to be done over and over again. And no, the best dog for your bitch is never the one that has the potential to produce pets just based on disqualifying colors. If we were breeding greyhounds or whippets you might have a point, but we're in Great Danes.

While I don't blame all color breeders for the rescue problem, this flooding of the pet market fueled by mixed color breeding does play a definite role.

As the incidence of mixed color breeding increases, so does the incidence of color based pets. So no, blue masked fawns are not the norm, largely because most people have followed the Code of Ethics. This is in fact a good argument for upholding it. All we have to do is look to those who have not upheld it to see why it is so important.

Further, some of these color issues (specifically, blue) are carried by way of recessives, making them very hard to eliminate from your breeding program. So again, I'm not sure you understand the nuances of your position.
Posted By: Kim

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 614
 
Not happening
"When you continue to breed lesser quality color specimens to superior quality fawn animals generation after generation, what you are really doing is exploiting the quality of the fawn.

What you have said here is not happening. I do not know any Black or Blue breeders that are taking their color dogs to fawns 'generation after generation'. It is a conscientious choice made to take your bitch the best dog period! I hardly consider it 'exploiting' the superior fawns. It almost sounds like what some people are really saying is, You can't have what we have, get away from us. We are the elitist.
Blue's in particular have consistently improved in quality over the years and behind them somewhere are Fawns. Look back at the old reporters and take notice of the major changes in this color. The improvements should be celebrated.
I am not dismissing your examples of mismarks coming up but a the same time I will make the claim that it is not happening at a rate to be considered alarming or detrimental. The Blue Brindle, the maskless fawn, the blue fawn are not your everyday common occurance. Those colors are few and far between to show up and they are eliminated from any breeding programs.
I also agree that it is not the reputable breeder who is filling the rescues with odd colors. Spend a day on petfinder and you will see where the ignorance that fills the rescue comes from. These are specimens that not only are off color but don't resemble Great Danes at all. They are over sized mutts registered as Danes and were not brought into the world by anyone who cared.
Posted By: John

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 602
 
New Topic?
Jon, you're off point. First off, you did say they were mismarks, which are by definition disqualifying. Secondly, this poll is about mixed color breeding and its results. These results have a much higher tendency to produce pets just based on color than pure color breeding does. Period. Any brief study in Dane color genetics bears this to be true. The short lived gains of mixed color breeding are impossible to use to justify the trade offs it represents. This is especially true since the problems with mixed color breeding often rear their ugly heads in the whelping boxes of people who had nothing to do with it. Let's not skrit the issue.
Posted By: Jon C

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 607
 
standard
"Light masks and brindles are not a disqualification. Read the Standard, you're misinformed."

I don’t believe I mentioned anything about it being disqualifying??? We only have 4 disqualifying faults. Your going to sit there and tell me you could finish a “fawn” dog with a brindle stripe running up their flank? Or you really just don't think that would be considered a "miss-mark"? Of course just for men takes care of the light mask issue that so many are keen on. huh?
Posted By: John

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 610
 
You don't know what you're talking about
Light brindles and light masked fawns have nothing in common with mismarks. They are still of the genetic composition of an accepted color. Therefore, they do not contribute to automatic, disqualifing faults down the line. These are variations on permissible colors, not disqualifing colors. Also, they did not come about because of the exploitation of another color.

Light masks and brindles are not a disqualification. Read the Standard, you're misinformed.
Posted By: Jon C

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 607
 
Asking
"You should also go to the rescues that have every possible color combination, and then tell me about the safety of mixed color breeding. "

Huh????

While its true that AOAC dogs dominate our rescues, they seem to be the proverbial money tree with BYB's.

I don't necessarily believe that an ethical breeder contributes to the problems that plaque our rescues with miss-marks. I don't see the Fawn Brindle Breeders here mentioning their Light or non-existent Masks, lightly striped Brindles and sooty/washed out Fawns contributing to the same miss-mark problem after all that’s exactly what they are. Your more than likely going to have a miss-mark at some time no matter what you breed.
Posted By: John

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 553
 
Since you asked...
When you continue to breed lesser quality color specimens to superior quality fawn animals generation after generation, what you are really doing is exploiting the quality of the fawn. I say this because the gains of mixed color breeding have proved short lived. While mixed color breeding was not as common in the past, it is surely not a new thing. So, what actually happens is that these breeders are constantly taking shortcuts to winning on the backs of the fawns, but are unable to retain any of the gains because of their own limited breeding ability. Also many of the best fawn breeders won't allow their dogs to be bred to chronically inferior bitches, further diminishing the supposed advantages of mixed color breeding.

There are also several other problems with mixed color breeding. First, they are almost always outcrosses. This brings all of the risk and uncertainty that an outcross normally does, along with the significant possibility of producing pet puppies just based on disqualifying colors. Have we learned nothing from the rescue situation created by the harlequins?

This idea that mixed color breeding only produces "an odd colored fellow" fifteen generations down the line is simply not true. I would love to tell that to a well known Best In Show breeder who bred her black champion bitch to a black champion male and got a litter composed completely of maskless fawns. She didn't do any mixed color breeding, but still had to pay the consequences with a litter of automatic pets. How about the well known blue breeders who got a litter composed of fifty percent blue brindles. They didn't mix color breed either.

You should also go to the rescues that have every possible color combination, and then tell me about the safety of mixed color breeding. So, while mixed color breeding may have been a shortcut to some wins or personal gratification, it is not an avenue toward respect as a breeder or to sustainable benifits for our breed. Just because a few people in high level leadership positions now openly disrespect the color code, don't try and downplay the consequences of mixed color breeding.
Posted By: Jon C

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 544
 
AOAC
"after 50 years of mixed-color breeding, you still think there are no Black stud dogs good enough to breed to? Doesn't say much for the skill level of the black and blue breeders does it?"


I think it says a lot about some very Popular Sires that essentially closed the door on many AOAC breeders breeding "color Pure" for fear of "doubling" up a number of issues. Are we just supposed to abandon these colors?
Posted By: Kim

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 547
 
Example?
Can someone give me an example of how a Fawn line was turned to injured because of a Black in the pedigree or how a Black line was turned to crap because of a Fawn in the pedigree? If you can give me some examples of how a Black or a Fawn had a serious health issue that is 'exclusive to color' and caused by a cross color breeding, I would like to hear it. I am all for learning.
 
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Posted By: Kim

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 498
 
Give us the facts
"It is the ones that you say "would never be effected" that are Affected because we have to search pedigrees quite a few generations to be sure there are no Blue Masks or Blue Brindles back there because someone didn't care about the "Color Code" & figure that someone else will clean up the mess including the health problems that occured by the Mixed Color Breeding."

My bubble is still intact! :)

Since you are so adamant that crossing colors is detrimental, please share with everyone how health is affected by crossing color? How is it any different then an out-cross with in your own color?
How is conformation 'injured' from cross color breeding?
Posted By: Dee

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 489
 
Cross Color.
Scot..

Are you really trying to say because a Dane has an "odd colored fellow" back in the pedigree.. that there will be more health problems?

Dogs are no more or no less healthy BECAUSE of a cross color breeding back in a pedigree. Common sense should tell you that.

I've said it before and I'll say it again...
I would like to see some Fawn/Brindle people have to experience life in AOAC reality. Owning, showing and breeding. Try it and then come back and tell us all how easy it is.

Dee
Posted By: Scot Billings

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 450
 
Cross Color
"It always seems to me the people who complain about cross color breeding the most are the ones whom would never be effected by it as they have vowed not to go there ever anyway."

It is the ones that you say "would never be effected" that are Affected because we have to search pedigrees quite a few generations to be sure there are no Blue Masks or Blue Brindles back there because someone didn't care about the "Color Code" & figure that someone else will clean up the mess including the health problems that occured by the Mixed Color Breeding. I hate to burst your bubble but we know quite a large number of Black, Blue, & Harle breeders that are interested in pure color because they know of the health & conformation problems that occur because of Mixed Color. They are also the people that are pushing for the Great Dane to be separated into 2 or 3 varieties.
Posted By: Kim

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 454
 
6 of 1, half a dozen the other
"There had to be some reason you chose the Great Dane that you did so why tear down all the work your predecessors have done before you?"

You say 'tear down', I say build upon! Isn't that the goal? End with something better then what you have started? We can appreciate what we have and what work has been done, but moving forward is always the plan.
You can readily find (well, actually it's getting harder).. maybe I should say more 'easily' find a PEDIGREE in Fawn that is strong for good fronts and heads then you can find a pedigree 'consistent' for those traits in color. Yes, you see good dogs in Black and Blue but I find that when looking past the dog before you, there is not the consistency the color needs to truly improve upon desirable traits. It would be more detrimental to type to stick within a color family stictly because of color. If I get an occasional fawn in my Black to Black litters, I won't be crying so long I can see the worth of my choices in the desired traits I sought and in healthy puppies for generations to come.
It always seems to me the people who complain about cross color breeding the most are the ones whom would never be effected by it as they have vowed not to go there ever anyway.
Posted By: Dee

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 465
 
Cross Color
John...

I never said there were NO good Black stud dogs nowadays to breed to. After searching for a friend for many months..a good match {in a Black} was found for her Black bitch.

I AM saying that the Blue/Black breeders don't have the luxury of the huge gene pool that the Fawn/Brindle people have access to. They can pick and choose from many dogs.

If a Fawn stud dog owner doesn't want to use their dog on a Black..that is their choice. Just don't berate the brave souls who understand the dilemma of the Black bitch owner, and are brave enough to accommodate them.

Hooray for the likes of J. Council Parker, Lina Basquette.. among others. They helped to bring the Blacks forward from the back of the bus.

Dee
Posted By: Scot Billings

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 448
 
Mixed Color Breeding
"What mess?? A possible mismark puppy in a litter 15 generations down the line?? That is certainly not what I would consider a mess."

Interesting that you are planning on getting all the features you want from the Stud & the Bitch in the first generation but assuming that the multiple DRASTIC mismarks & the multiple NEW health problems, that didn't show up in the bitch's line up to that point, in the same first generation and/or any generations thereafter is NOT a mess. If that many problems are not a mess I wonder what it takes to consider it a mess?
Posted By: Dee

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 437
 
Cross Color
Sue...

I don't for the life of me understand what your statement "mess that's left for others to clean up"..possibly means.

What mess?? A possible mismark puppy in a litter 15 generations down the line?? That is certainly not what I would consider a mess.

Dee
Posted By: John

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 476
 
P.S.
............after 50 years of mixed-color breeding, you still think there are no Black stud dogs good enough to breed to? Doesn't say much for the skill level of the black and blue breeders does it?
Posted By: John

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 468
 
good one
Dee,
You just made Sue's point.
Posted By: Dee

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 466
 
Cross Color Breding.
To Anon....

If you have a really nice breedable Black bitch, choosing a Fawn stud dig is NOT a shortcut to improving your Black.

It's more that.. you are NOT willng to accept a lesser stud dog {with structure faults} just because it is within your color code. You are NOT willing to loose any of your bitch's quality traits, just because it is within your color code.

As any breeder should, the Black bitch owner does not want to compromise and breed to a lesser Black dog..because that's what the code suggests.

So what to do?? You tell me.

Dee
Posted By: Sue

Posted On: 12 days ago
Views: 450
 
Desrtuctive Consequences...

So by analogy, the person who does a mixed color breeding is using the "communal kitchen" to make a big feast for themself, but leaves the mess for others to clean up.
Posted By: anon

Posted On: 13 days ago
Views: 577
 
Destructive Consequences?
"Destructive" is a term which perhaps too dramatic or emotion-laden, but as Mary Anne points out, there are potentially some negative long term consequences from mixed color breedings that many seem not to be COGNIZANT of.

I guess it also depends on who's perspective one is viewing this from. On an individul level, a breeder of blacks may feel that breeding to a good fawn champion is a shortcut to improving head type or rear end in the black offspring of the fawn sire.

From the perspective of the breed as a whole, producing hundreds of black puppies that carry for fawn does severely limit future choices if one considers it harmful to the breed to produce maskless fawns or colors other than black which carry the blue dilution factor.
Posted By: Sean

Posted On: 13 days ago
Views: 642
 
genes
While you are right in some aspects, IMO blanket statements (like the poll suggests) are not the answer…i.e.. linebreeding, outcrossing, Popular Sires, Health Checked, etc. etc. etc. They all have their pros and cons none of which is the ultimate “recipe for success” …
Posted By: Mary Anne Zanetos

Posted On: Dec 11
Views: 670
 
Population Genetics
Hi Sean:

By that same logic, by producing and maintaining distinct breeds of dogs, all breeders of purebred dogs are contributing to the detriment of the canine species as a whole (since we constantly select from within our breed, thereby restricting the pool of potentially available mating pairs). So I'm not sure the population geneticists' argument is very helpful here.

Compared to other breeds of purebred dogs, e.g. terriers, even the most linebred Great Danes have low COIs. As someone who does genetic counseling for many Great Dane owners, I've not seen any objective evidence that the more linebred, "bloodline" Great Danes have more health problems than outcrossed ones. What linebreeding tends to do is eliminate some problems and concentrate others. I'm not convinced the net effect is less healthy dogs. Assuming you are starting with basically healthy animals, I think it's accurate to say that linebreeding tends to result in a narrower, more predictable set of health issues. It brings into focus the desirable as well as the undesirable genes in our dogs.

While one can argue that the historic ban on breeding outside one's color family in Great Danes has produced a much smaller group of potential breeding pairs, especially within the less common colors (e.g. blues and harls), it's also quite clear that the conscious and unconscious decisions of those who have bred within those color families for generations resulted in marked differences in genetically related health issues within those colors. For example, DCM is more prevalent in fawns and brindles compared to blacks or blues, whereas autoimmune thyroid disease is more prevalent among blacks. To the extent breeders are now choosing to select mates outside their traditional color families (generally black bitch to fawn male) and are often breeding to stud dogs with very limited knowledge of their extended pedigrees, there's a huge potential for introducing problems which had been reduced or eliminated within one's "traditional" color family.

This, plus the production of mismarks in the second, third and later generations following mixed color breedings (e.g. fawn x black) are the main issues breeders have to consider when they choose to breed outside their color family. Of course, undesirable colors are not a health issue, per se, but fawns with no mask, blue brindles or blue masked fawns, etc., tend to become issues for rescue for the same reasons mismarks from the harl family do.
Posted By: Sean

Posted On: Dec 7
Views: 862
 
Crossing Colors and Seas
"And I would like to add to the above that I feel that mixed color breeding affects the short term by the drastic outcross which has a destructive effect to Health & whatever "Bloodline" had been achieved up to that point by the previous breeder(s)."


Because of our closed Stud Books and the fact that we further “fragment” and restrict those limited gene pools due to color preferences. We have the inbreeding effect without really inbreeding. Close COI’s and the short term gains of setting or fixing desired traits are outweighed by its long-term costs. i.e Genetic Bottlenecks that severely hurt the breed as a whole.

With only a few soles trying to bring "new blood" whether through importation or Crossing that Color Barrier. Instead of breeding to the flavor of the month who further reduces the gene Pool.

Whether you like it or not it is needed.

Many believe that we are already in a state in "inbreeding depression" needing Reproductive experts just to have puppies. C-Sections, Lower litter sizes, increased genetic disease, having to help with whelp and rearing, etc.

"Inbreeding was once a valuable tool in shaping today’s breeds. As these have now reached a high degree of homogeneity, it has lost its importance and turned into a fatal and disastrous habit."


Hellmuth Wachtel PHD
 
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Posted By: Dee

Posted On: Dec 4
Views: 1106
 
Cross Color Breedind
Scot...

Forgot to add...
I NEVER meant to generalize that you or Ms. Sabetti had much experience in this vein. You have a perfect right to your objections on this subject.

I just don't believe that you should critize what another breeder decides to do in their breeding program..UNTIL you have been on the "other side of the fence." Hence the old Indian quote.

Dee
Posted By: Dee

Posted On: Dec 4
Views: 1095
 
Cross Color Breeding
Scot...

Since I am not privy to the lists you are on, I could only "guess" that you were a Fawn/Brindle person by your opinion in the topic. You'll have to forgive my ignorance.

As to Ms. Sabetti's statement that you quoted..."Breeding or color mixing other than that set forth can be injurious to the breed in the third, fourth, and even later generation....."
I have issue with that. How would an odd color be injurious in the "grand scheme" of breeding Danes?
A Blue that appears in a Harl litter that they trace back 16 generations to the "odd colored rascal?" Interesting, but NOT injurious. A minor problem that the breeder can decide what course of action to take..while still in the whelping box.

I also think that your statement... "There is no reason to introduce Blacks into Fawn or Brindle", was incorrect. Maybe should have been stated..Fawn/Brindle into Black, to help the Black line.

As a former breeder of Danes {I quit breeding but not owning 20 years ago} I would much rather deal with a color problem in a puppy that can be detected at birth..then the myriad of other health and structure problems that can and do crop up later on.

Dee
Posted By: Scot Billings

Posted On: Dec 4
Views: 1098
 
Guessing etc.
It is interesting that having been on some lists that I am, where my messages signature has "Fawns & Brindles bred to WIN! - (your Heart)" just under my name, you would "guess" that I might be Fawn or Brindle. Also interesting that you might be relating that to the 4 quotes from Rose Sabetti or the 1 part from me. Your assumption that only Fawn/Brindle breeders are in favor of the strict adhereance to the GDCA Color Code (LAW) is not correct. We know many strong "Color Pure Bred" breeders, including some that were the spearhead to separate Great Danes into Color Varieties for showing, are well-known "AOAC" breeders. It might be more effective if errors could be found in Rose's statements than to generalize that neither of us had much experience. My opinions still stand as my opinions until someone can show me the errors of my opinions.
Posted By: Dee

Posted On: Dec 1
Views: 1254
 
Mix Color Breeding.
Scot...

Let me take a guess..I'll bet you are a Fawn or Brindle person.

Please heed the old Injun saying...."Don't judge my actions until you've walked a hundred miles in my mocasins."

Judicious mixing of colors is NOT injurious or destructive to our breed.
Posted By: Scot Billings

Posted On: Dec 1
Views: 1311
 
Mixed Color Breeding
IMO it not only affects the Long Term but the Short Term as well. I would like to quote from Rose Sabetti in her "A BASIC APPROACH TO PURE COLOR BREEDING"

But all we can do is to tell you that "Breeding or color mixing other than that set forth can be injurious to the breed in the third, fourth, and even later generations".

I can see no reason to introduce blacks into a fawn or brindle pedigree. I do admit that the introduction of fawns into the blacks seems to have improved that color in regards to head, etc. but, now that the blacks have improved, why not keep them that way by only breeding to the best black from black that you can find? Don't start throwing in the wrong colors, and downgrading them. Black is beautiful, why not keep it that way?

The color research committee files are full of all sorts of odd colors with pictures that prove unhappy results of the mixed color breeding. My grandchildren use an expression that seems to describe them very well - -e-e-e-yuck!!

Let us hope we never go back to the crazy "quilt" colors. Isn't it much better to be sure that we find in the litterbox what we had planned?

************************
And I would like to add to the above that I feel that mixed color breeding affects the short term by the drastic outcross which has a destructive effect to Health & whatever "Bloodline" had been achieved up to that point by the previous breeder(s). There had to be some reason you chose the Great Dane that you did so why tear down all the work your predecessors have done before you?