View Full Version : Bark magazine article

Cathy Moon
9th August 2008, 02:32 PM
I just read a very interesting article in the Bark magazine. It's issue #48 June 2008, and the article is The Future of Dogs by Alston Chase. Using the Jack Russell terrier as an example, Chase explains the past of this little crossbred dog used for sporting, which was not a 'breed' as we know it today. There was no studbook, no kennel club affiliation; rather it was a type of dog used for specific purposes. Then the article explains what happened to other 'breeds' when the Kennel Club formed in 1873, and what has happened to the Jack Russell since 1974 when the JRT club was formed, and now the Parson Russell breed since acceptance into the kennel club.

To put it mildly, this article gave me a banquet of food for thought. There is nothing I love more than learning about all the dog breeds, and the CKCS breed in books with photographs of past dogs, etc. This article begins to give me a different understanding of dog breeds than I had ever imagined. It makes me want to delve deeper into the actual history of dogs and how the breeds came to be.

There is also a book by Alston Chase:

9th August 2008, 06:36 PM
Now I am going to have to try to find that issue of Bark Magazine. Thanks for posting about it.

Cathy I have been involved in the breeding world from the time I was born, as my grandfather and then my mother bred "farm collies". They are not a recognized purebreed, but purebreeds have been formed from their roots and alongside them. I believe the closest in recognized breeds would be the English Shepherd and the Rough Collie, but in my mind, the Farm Colllie is much superior to both purebreeds. Much the same as the "Border Collie" was in the past, it is a breed that has never had a standard. It is defined by its basic phenotype and behaviour.

I am happy to say that there are still people here in North America continuing this type of Collie with the support of a loose organization, pedigreed, unregistered and from mixed lines as it should be bred. I still follow those breeders.

Because of my background I am not a huge fan of the policies and practices promoted by the breed clubs. I am very much a fan of canine history and tradition. I love the breeds of our history, as they were defined in history for millennia - not by purity but by basic phenotype and function.

I am not a fan of the last hundred years and its insistence on closed stud books and purity and defining the best in a breed by consistency in phenotype. That makes no sense to me. Therefore I do often wonder if the whole apparatus of kennel clubs, registries and closed stud books have had any benefit to the "breeds" at all. I am still looking for evidense of that.

Contrary to all this I happen to love a breed - the Cavalier - that has only ever existed inside the kennel clubs. That means I have to try to learn a system that I often disagree with, and that is what I am trying to do. I may find it too difficult, as I believe my disagreement is in the fundamentals. That might prove to be too much to overcome.

I have a link for a well researched ancient book, now online. It was written in 1911. I think anyone interested in Cavalier history would love this read and the pictures in it.

"Toy Dogs and their Ancestors": http://csl.stanford.edu/~trish/TD_Book-1911.pdf

I also collect internet links and information that speak to the "working dog vs kennel club" battle that you came across. Lots of food for thought here.

Keep in mind most very much take apart some common kennel club practices. I still believe anyone intending on breeding needs to read these perspectives, so I keep them. Four are from the "Terrierman", Patrick Burns, who has a blog archive with many, many more articles worth reading.

Purebred Dog Breeds into the Twenty First Century: http://documents.seppalasleddogs.com/html-documents/pbdb21c.htm

The AKC Embraces the Jack Russell: http://terriermandotcom.blogspot.com/2005/11/akc-embraces-jack-russell.html

Border Collie Owners Battle What Doesn't Work: http://terriermandotcom.blogspot.com/2007/10/akc-by-faith-alone.html

Inbred Thinking: http://terriermandotcom.blogspot.com/2006/05/inbred-thinking.html

Rosettes to Ruin: http://www.stumbleupon.com/demo/?review=1#url=http://www.terrierman.com/rosettestoruin.htm

A Terrible Beauty: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101941212-163404,00.html

Arlene and her three: JP - Alaskan Husky, Rocky - Cavalier Spaniel, Missie - Cavalier x Tibetan Spaniel mix.

Cathy Moon
9th August 2008, 07:16 PM
Part of what piqued my interest in this topic is my concern about cavalier health and future!

Arlene, thanks for the links to this information. I'm looking forward to reading them later tonight. Someone told me at a dog show that there are two types of border collies, the show lines and the working lines. I wasn't sure what they meant until I read this article. Now it's interesting to me that there are other working dogs similar to the JRT.

Cathy Moon
9th August 2008, 07:42 PM
Just in case anyone is upset with my post on this topic, I'd like to add that my reason for posting about the magazine article is an interest in the historical aspect of sporting/working dog 'breeds' before the kennel club started.

I'm not against the kennel club or anything like that. In fact, I would rather go to a 3 or 4 day AKC all breed dog show than to spend a 2 week vacation in Hawaii! (Colin will vouch for me!) :)