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posted in Member Introductions read more

@DebraDownSouth:

But in fact they seem only to do Fanconi because even noob buyers have learned to ask for that.

Well, aside from the other BS, which is already addressed, this is a pretty crappy thing to claim. She had done the original Fanconi Linked Marker Test for a bunch of dogs, saw problems with the way that was being applied, and when the direct test came out, she had every single dog done, because Fanconi DOES affect quality of life, and IS specifically, directly heritable AND found in statistically significant numbers.
She runs a farm. And we are talking about pariah-type village dogs which existed for all of evolutionary history without "titles" or any particular skill except survival. You guys seem to think you have something really refined that human beings caused to happen and that your influence should better what nature built. You are hobbyists practicing a craft.

Whatever judgments you have about the quality of life, or the desires of a dog that evolved to live eating critters and bugs and sleeping on dirt up until about three seconds ago in their evolutionary timespan, there is nothing wrong with the way her dogs live, or any difference in opinion about what dogs "deserve". Our dogs live in our house, eat the same grassfed animals that we do, and sleep in our bed. It's an incredibly privileged existence in canine-kind. You are speaking from a place of incredible, nearly unbelievable privilege for you AND your dogs.
Her kennels are safe, clean, roomy, sheltered, dogs are well-fed, adore her, are well-socialized, have neighboring farm kids over playing with them every single day, have no interest in killing cats, chickens, or other dogs, don't exhibit any stereotypic behaviors of any kind that you see in understimulated animals, eat very decent kibble, and most of the time are wait-listed.

I read these forums and see alllllllllll these stories about crazy behavioral issues, biting, aggression especially, completely unmanaged prey drive in dogs that have zero impulse control. Scout is focused, game, and precise in her intentions. She's incredibly good-natured, as is every single one of Sarah's dogs. When I went to her property that first time, I truly did expect to see a "puppy mill". That's not the experience I had. Her dogs are balanced, sweet, joyful, clever. Not bored, aggressive, mal-socialized commodities. They are in good physical condition and structurally correct. I am sure Pat is embarrassed that she complimented her.
They're happy, healthy, much-better-than-average pets, which is precisely what a whole lot of people want in a dog.

And again with the money thing, what is that? What an incredibly privileged place to be, where money is no object. I have hobbies, but the hobbies I have have to pay for themselves, or I couldn't afford to continue preserving those skills for future generations. It's the same with Sarah's dogs. She is not living high on the hog with the money they bring in, the money they bring in feeds them, pays for medical and sanitation, and if there's anything left, maintains acreage for them to naturally course the local rabbits and for growing grass-fed raw bones for them to chew. She charges as much for them as she can to provide excellent everything, but when you explain to people that the puppy will cost an extra hundred dollars if it's tested for something that only happens in 6% of the population, and then their choice will be to go buy a completely unsocialized, Fanconi-affected mess of a kid-biter, she makes the concession to practical testing for directly-impactful stuff because she wants people to have access to good dogs, the best they can. She loves them, they love her, she's with them all day long, and they all spend time as house dogs and bed dogs, just like others have crate dogs and house dogs and bed dogs in rotation.

Believe me, I absolutely understand where you are coming from, and why you are judgmental about this stuff… I was, too.

posted in Member Introductions read more

@tanza:

500.00 for a pet store puppy…. dream on... Basenjis in pet stores from puppy millers are 1500.00 if they are a dime.... and pet stores, clean? Your kidding, right? Puppies are taken from their dams/littermates as young as 4 weeks and shipped off... full of worms, typically sick, not socialized. Once those pups reach 12 wks and are unsold, then you might find prices of 500.00 as they need to dump them because soon they will not be cute any longer.

Right, which is why we should certainly combat substandard practices in our licensed, regulated breeders, and create a transparency of source, etc. Because guess what? If you shut down the "pet store" source, those substandard ****holes just sell their puppies to retailers masquerading as "rescues", an industry in which there is ZEEEEERO requirement for paper trail, health or stability of the dog, or any even remotely slime-pit-bottom standard for care.

I do not want the only choice in America to be gray-market hell-hole puppies or gold-plated tanza pups. There aren't enough "twice a decade" breeders around to supply America with puppies, and there are so few random-source dogs being born now that we're importing them from overseas to fill the demand.
So by all means, improve the commercial dog breeding industry. You might call Sarah a commercial dog breeder, by your "twice a decade" standards. And her prices are more within reach of most of America, these days. Would I love it if someone working a very blue-collar-job saved for years for one of your precious babies? Sure. But realistically, that's not going to happen, and I would absolutely send people to her, in a heartbeat.

In regards to PRA, late onset is age 4 or 5 with the majority being 6 to 9. The DNA test we have has been determined that it is over 50% of the Basenjis with PRA is cause by this gene. You claim that their Basenjis are "screened" for PRA? Is that by a board certified Ophth? Way before the elder age that other eye problems would present themselves.

Yes, yes, and no, but nice try.
What you are missing, is that not all retinal degeneration is PRA. So yes, half of the PRA that is PRA is that form of PRA. But according to the BCA:
– 25% of older (>8y/o) basenjis showed retinal changes
-- Most of those were characterized as "suspicious", rather than "affected"
-- They are careful and crystal-clear about stating that not all of those changes are inherited eye disease, that similar changes may be acquired or due to other disease
-- Mode of inheritance is currently unknown
-- Both false positive and false negative results are common

So again, it's not the quick fix you want it to be. I know it feels good to think you can draw simple lines around any of these issues and congratulate yourself for your choices, but none of this is that simple.

In Dogos, deafness is a real issue. It's a complex polygenetic problem with some seemingly random expression. For years the community had to rely on subjective vet certification to declare a dog to be either bilaterally normal, unilaterally affected, or bilaterally deaf.
When the BAER test came out, there was a huge rush to get everyone's dogs tested with an OBjective test. People were SHOCKED at the results. Dogs that were thought to be unilats and crucified for being bred turned out to be normal, some big names turned out bilaterally deaf, tons of dogs with normal vet statements turned out to be affected in one or both ears.
We couldn't fault people for doing the best they could, with the subjective testing that was available. We couldn't fault vets for doing their best with the training they had and the understanding of how deafness presents, phenotypically. We couldn't fault people for having faith in the subjective test results, because it was the very best we had. But it sure was crappy to see how people treated each other, and then how few people were willing to forgive and forget. Now we have a tool that tells us whether a dog is deaf, but we still don't know how to control the pigmentation that's some kind of random co-factor. And people are still making hard choices about whether to breed a unilat if it otherwise has something, or everything worth preserving.
There are very few hard lines we can draw with any of this stuff.

posted in Member Introductions read more

@DebraDownSouth:

Please show me research that supports your continued claim that CHD is environmental. "co-factored with polygenetic" is still genetic. In fact you talk about Baker, but you see to pick and choose and misconstrue facts. They said, as I keep saying.. environment (including diet) influences the expression or PROGRESSION of the disease but NOT if a dog has chd.

Re-read the section you quoted. See this?

The disease has a heritability of between 0.25 and 0.48. This means that 25 to 48 percent of the variability in hip dysplasia development is due to additive genetic factors. We may interpret this to mean that both genetic and environmental influences impact the progression of the disease.

That is what "heritability" means. Also what "additive genetic factors" means. A dog can be dysplastic because of injury. You do not have to have a gene for osteoarthritis to have arthritic hips. Repetitive or acute stress will also do it. Just like some retinal degeneration is due to a specific gene for PRA, and some retinal degeneration is due to simple aging.
Not only that, but CHD is not a "simple genetic" heritability. It's polygenetic, and we really have no idea (yet), which genes are doing what, where. So if you have a breed with a large gene pool and a serious problem of an actually statistically significant number of actual dogs being actually reduced in mobility, experiencing discomfort or actual failure at middle- or young ages, then sure, it certainly does make sense to take a hard, slash and burn tactic with OFA ratings. But if you are working with a small, closed gene pool with a limited audience and a nearly non-existent number of hip complaints, then it's really not the simple choice you guys are making it out to be.

But let us even say that diet might help cause or prevent it (which old studies thought though new ones disproving it)… until we have a goodly number of dogs tested in the breed, the breeder testing is doing the breed and their puppies the best possible action. Yeah, I'd be willing to pay my part of that astronomical cost.. what a few hundred dollars most places in the US?

YES. Sure, 100% on board with you, there. For example, I paid about a thousand dollars just in testing as part of his purchase price for hips, a BAER test, and a couple other things for my old man, because those are things that made a difference in his breed. I might make very similar choices in other circumstances, at other times. But you know what? Some day I might buy a mixed feist-type mutt from the neighbor kid for $50 if I wanted a scrappy, burrowing dog for the work we're doing. I would have been incredibly judgmental about that kind of thing, even ten years ago.

I agree that calling a breeding bad over not testing for CHD with basenji isn't cricket. It isn't ideal, but not terrible. But try to understand this–- it only takes a few popular studs who have a disorder to make it big. So yep, I won't bash those that don't but I sure applaud those that do.

Precisely. Do I wish that everyone in rural everywhere was willing to pay >$1000 for a dog raised in top-shelf style? Certainly, I do, just like I wish every kid in America had a warm, safe place to sleep every night, plenty of food, and a college education waiting. But I also recognize that there are very few crystal clear lines to be drawn with any of these things, and a single mom who supplements her kids' cheap spaghetti meals with veggies she grows herself is probably doing as well for her kid as a dual-income, dual-parent household who feed nothing but pre-packaged Whole Foods meals with all the nutrition info on the label and send their kid off to a Montessori school.

I am 100%, fully supportive of better efforts and best practices, absolutely. What I am against is this tendency for breed communities to get so incredibly nasty toward anyone who deviates even slightly from the protocol. You are managing a precious, living relic. You should be listening to each other, and open to differences, and willing to talk about tradeoffs and choices and risk-taking.

posted in Member Introductions read more

@DebraDownSouth:

1. When you have 3 vets rate and their agreement is very much similar, it isn't that subjective.
When you have dogs that are not rated with CHD as puppies and who, not matter what they eat or do, are still not dysplastic at a rate over 95 percent as adults, it isn't subjective and it isn't CREATED by diet.
DIET can help with symptoms, but it does not make a dog have CHD.

Yes, that is actually the dictionary definition of subjective. That your three vets all subjectively rate the picture the same does not change the definition of "subjective". It just means that they all agreed the picture looked the same. That has no bearing on whether the presenting vet fudged the positioning, or screwed up the positioning, or whether their training was accurate, and it has no bearing on the actual GENETIC status of the dog, and its ability to pass good or bad hips to its offspring.
When you have a breed that is ~97% clear of CHD, you can't take credit for "good hips". When you have dogs that don't have CHD as puppies and don't develop it as adults, that means you have a breed that natural selection built with fantastic joint structure, and you didn't do anything to screw it up.
You are, specifically, wrong with that last point. As we've already reviewed, according to the Baker Institute and Cornell University, somewhere between half and three-quarters of CHD is environmental. That's not JUST diet, that's exercise, injury, pediatric spay/neuter, etc. Got that? That's not opinion, that's medically established FACT. Dogs with the polygenetics for CHD make up 25-48% of CHD presentations. LESS THAN HALF.
Diet CAN create CHD. So can requiring your puppy buyers castrate prior to puberty. Hell, I'm dysplastic on the right side due to a fall. How often do roughhousing puppies tumble off something? CHD is a complex issue. OFA ratings are one simple piece of the puzzle. Actually, they're more like looking at the picture on the box of the puzzle.

2. Well all have, but fortunately they are the minority. Just because some people cheat doesn't make it bad for all. GOOD breeders test to know if they should breed.

If course it doesn't make it BAD for you to do whatever tests you want. The only BAD thing here is attempting to crucify someone in your community for making different choices, when those choices are ABSOLUTELY supported by the literature and personal experience.

I think you are confusing other orthopedic issues with CHD.

Now, that's funny.
No, I am not confusing "other orthopedic issues with CHD". Not, for example, the way you guys confuse "other retinal issues with PRA".

Early alteration affecting hips: http://news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=10498
Environmental factors, with a collection of links at the bottom: http://www.usdaa.com/article.cfm?newsID=2288

A dog from ofa clear parents can still have or NOT HAVE CHD, no matter what they are fed.

Correct. A "clear" rating from OFA is not a guarantee the offspring will have "clear" hips. Say it with me now: "Because more than half of canine hip dysplasia is environmental, or co-factored".

being overweight wasn't the issue.

Of course "overweight" isn't the issue. You can most certainly be both fat and undernourished. That's actually the case with most of the obese pet dogs I see walking around. If the puppy is fat on excellent food, that is going to turn out a different set of hips than a puppy that is fat but nutritionally deficient, eating Ol' Roy.

<< http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167587710002643

Yep, and also noted that a variety of environmental factors besides rate of growth, such as stair-climbing, DID have a significant impact on expression.

I propose that what everyone should want from a breeder should include health testing.

I propose that what everyone SHOULD want is a gold-plated work of art from an artisan who deigns to breed (but only for themselves!) once a decade, and that to feel really good about themselves, they should have to take a week off work and family and a cross-country journey.
But guess what? That's not what everyone wants.
You know what I want? I want a sold, structurally correct, healthy, well-socialized, drivey, typey, thinking dog. My first dog, my old man, is a European import out of one of the world's top bitches of the year, by a multi-Euro-champion son of a world GrCh legend in our breed. I waited five years for that dog, and he's golden, to me. In Scout's case, she happened to be available because she was filtered out of Sarah's breeding plans because she wasn't conformationally immaculate. We weren't planning on a puppy until the Spring, but after spending a significant amount of time with Sarah and her dogs, I was impressed enough to buy her, and she is really fantastic. I am interested in learning to work with pariah-type dogs, training a falconry dog, doing some varminting, and my husband wanted a smaller pet. I did not need a gold-plated cadillac for these purposes, and choosing an older puppy who had been filtered out as a breeding prospect suited our situation more than waiting two years and paying twice as much for no discernible benefit. Scout needed a home, we wanted a young dog to "test train" for utility purposes, and she's not only a fine utility dog, but growing into her body beautifully. She had all the specific testing I cared about, done before I'd asked for it. That's really ideal for me, and her puppies are really ideal for a whole lot of people who aren't hearing the message you're preaching, through that mire of judgey.

When I was considering buying this dog, I looked everywhere for reasons not to buy her. I looked for a glut of "rescue" basenjis in this area. I looked for complaints from buyers. I looked at these boards, at the INSANE slew of complaints about biting dogs and unstable dogs, and I didn't see her name coming up. In fact, all I did find, was a couple of the same names slinging non-specific insults about how she doesn't use hand-carved white picket fencing.

Why on earth would any responsible breeder not do health testing so that they give their puppies the very best possible chance of being healthy?

They DO. When it matters, and when it has a significant effect on your outcomes. Like Fanconi, for example.

Yes, that to me is the basics of RESPONSIBLE breeding. Would I say a Rottweiler breeder should do Fanconi testing? Of course not. But would I say any Rottie breeder who fails to do hips, heart and elbows is not responsible? Damned straight.

Right… because, Rotties do not have a statistically significant rate of Fanconi, but they DO have statistically significant rates of joint integrity problems. Basenjis DO have a statistically significant rate of Fanconi. They do NOT have a statistically significant rate of CHD. Is it a bad thing to monitor the situation? No. But FFS, don't go around crucifying people who choose to, instead, invest in acreage and grassfed beef for their dogs.

And while I don't think not testing for CHD is HORRIBLE for a basenji breeder, I sure do think that between someone who cares enough to test so they limit their chances of having a dog and producing dogs with it are a big step more toward the responsible caring type of breeder I want to deal with.

Yes! Sure! Freedom of choice! Some people might only want to deal with a breeder that spends every weekend in a fancy RV travelling to dog shows and doing rally-O. Some people might only want to deal with a breeder who does hard, consistent field work with their dogs, but couldn't care less about dog show ribbons. Some people might not care about either, and just want a good, healthy pet. Some people want their puppy tested and vaccinated for everything humankind can possibly manage, and will pay ten thousand dollars for that puppy. Some people want their breeder to grill every friend and relative they have like they're getting a CIA clearance, turn over their IRS records, allow random inspections, and agree that the seller can repossess the dog at any time in the future. Some people want to walk into a pound and pick the first mutt they see with zero known health clearance or foundational handling. Some people buy puppies out of boxes in front of Wal-Mart. Or from a pet store.

Choice.

I vote with my wallet for the breeding practices I want to support, and I strongly encourage everyone else do the same. You are in for a great deal of disappointment in life if you walk around enraged that other people have different priorities.

when more breeders tested they were shocked to see the stats showing they do.. same with basenjis with CHD.

The fact that you guys are "shocked" that a statistically insignificant percentage of your dogs have hip concerns is… really funny. Your dogs are very, very healthy and will remain that way as long as you aren't inclined to "improve" the breed by continually narrowing your gene pool because you're performing elaborate acts of "reputable breeding theater". 4% (2-3% environmentally co-factored) here, 6% (completely unknown mode of heritability), 15% there... and don't forget, you are working with a closed studbook. This is how genetic bottlenecking occurs, and ALSO how genetic issues "suddenly spring up" and "shock" you, as you get narrower and narrower and narrower.
If your life is centered around the protection and preservation of threatened and critically endangered domestic animals, and you see nothing wrong with the Joe Average owning a purpose-bred dog with excellent foundational handling and better-than-the-Congo health, nutrition, housing, and sanitation, you are going to have a much more practical, working use of the tests and tools we've been discussing. Not to mention a longer-sighted view of what's happening, overall in the maintenance of the national (or even global) gene pool. If your contribution to the future of your breed is "one litter every several years, 90% of which will be sold on a mandatory spay/neuter contract" then, sure. hyper-screen, cull everything, and make one precious choice in your lifetime. You're not going to have any lasting impact, except what you remove from the gene pool.
A professional genetic preservationist makes other choices. My husband's delighted to know her--he's an actual geneticist and having a great time seeing how she applies, in a practical way, the exact same decisionmaking he would in a high-caliber research lab. She is country, but she knows her ****. Her choices are not the choices you would make, but she has excellent foundation for them and has had excellent results. So far as I can tell, her buyers are thrilled and "rescue" isn't burdened with her puppies. She also has a really great eye for a well-built animal, which I very much appreciate. I have known more than a few top-shelf, world-winning dog breeders who could not see half of what she does when she watches an animal move.
Her sale contract and guarantee, by the way, read nearly identically to the contract I signed for my treasure of an old man. She will stand behind them, and I was more than satisfied with the terms.

I see people use what you said to justify buying from byb/pm litters.

Well now, here's something you're REALLY going to hate. I don't shame those people. I would welcome them and encourage them, but I wouldn't try to tell them they got scammed buying a ****ty dog from a ****ty person, because guess what? The vast, overwhelming majority of the time, people are MORE than happy with their purchase… whether it came from a pet store, or the neighbor, or an ignorant wanna-be breeder, or whatever. The vast, overwhelming majority of the time, those dogs live average, happy, loved lives, and their owners walk away from the conversation with you thinking that you are an elitist jerk who just wants to trash anyone who doesn't have gold-plated fancy-person dogs like you.
And guess what? There is room in American hearts and homes for all those dogs from all those sources. No one wants to further abuse or neglect, and I'm thrilled that we have welfare laws in place and agencies to oversee commercial breeders--though the USDA is woefully underfunded for that. But with puppy lemon laws in place, and paper trail requirements to protect both buyer and seller, a "pet store puppy" is often an OK choice for the average Jane who works at Target, has maybe five hundred bucks to spend on a "breed" dog, does not even know the world of the "dog fancy" exists, and who would be instantly shot down, shut out, and class-shamed by any top-shelf breeder she contacted anyway.
Me? I would MUCH rather see those people be able to buy a yorkie out of a pet store from a clean, sanitary, licensed, inspected, legally-bound, paper-trailed professional kennel... OR the next door neighbor... than for her only choice to be a retail "rescue" group brokering yorkies of totally unknown provenance out of some ****hole in Ohio. OR scraped off the streets in Puerto Rico.

Because she will not be buying a dog from tanza, I can tell you THAT much.

Yes, the gold-standard is ideal, for sure. Absolutely. But NONE of these things are black-and-white, and no matter how passionately we feel about any particular one of them, if you want your breeding community to be able to truly function as a "community" with a cohesive intention for the national gene pool, you will really have to take a step back from all the name-calling and slander about who is "reputable" and who is not, absent any actual abuse or neglect. Maybe there's something I missed, but I didn't find any complaints about her dogs, and she's put enough of them out there for enough years that she WOULD be putting a stamp on the breed, if she were doing anything remarkable. I didn't find any personal complaints about her dogs, but I did see a few people who had gotten "back alley" warned against buying dogs from her, who went on to and be thrilled with their purchase. How ****ty is that, that you guys go around sniping someone you don't even know, because you think her fencing looks cheap?

posted in Member Introductions read more

@tanza:

My dogs are not in the house 22/7 nor are my litters raised in a kennel… nor are any of them crated during the day and they are not in wire runs or raised on concrete runs/pea gravel.... so before you throw out comments that indicate that is how I breed/raise puppies, best you find the facts.

Really? You mean the way you keep throwing out crappy comments about Sarah? You mean you don't like it when people who don't know you and have never seen your home make wild speculations about how you might keep your dogs? Huh. Imagine that.

But then I am lucky that I can set up my home in a manner that does not include kennel runs or having to keep them in crates when we are at work…. nor do I want to. I only breed when I am going to keep a puppy in 99% of the cases... and they all live as family pets first, in the house with their humans.

That's not "luck", that's a choice. Sarah works at home running a small, beautiful, biodiverse, homestead-type farm, specifically for genetic preservation of critically endangered domestic animals. She spends all day with her animals, while you are at work. Your dogs are a hobby when you have spare time for them. Hers are an integral part of her life.
What you do with your dogs is fine, I'm not knocking it for you and your puppy buyers. There is room for everyone and I firmly believe people should have a world of choice in dogs. But you're acting like your super-privileged Western life, where your few dogs exist as ornaments around your hobby-time schedule is the only humane, or even desirable option. And that you "only breed for yourself" is… what, supposed to be... admirable? So what? We have retailers posing as "rescue" groups importing puppies from second- and third-world nations, more than a quarter million a year at the CDC's last reporting, to fill the demand for pet dogs in this country. Why is it admirable that you hoard your dogs' genetics?

And seriously? I am Bottlenecking the gene pool? How do you figure that? If you research their pedigrees, their breedings are to the same dogs over and over and crossed back on the same lines over and over. They breed at least 2 to 3 litters a year… how is that not "for profit"?

Seriously. You are advocating removing healthy animals from your gene pool for reasons that are absolutely not genetically-linked. You also advocate removing sound animals from your gene pool because they're not the preferred color, even though they are authentic to the actual Congolese dogs and the standard does not prohibit them. That is an absolutely arbitrary choking of your available genetic material, and not wise.
Why not repeat successful breedings? What's wrong with reproducing lovely dogs? What's wrong with line-breeding to strengthen desired traits? Do you think African village dogs had semen flown in from other villages so they could be outcrossed to a dozen different lines? Her dogs are structurally correct, healthy, brainy, drivey, and beautifully socialized. They are great pets.
Do the math, tanza. If it costs you $900 per puppy to raise a puppy, and you sell your puppies for an average of $900, it doesn't matter whether you sell one puppy or ten thousand, you'll still be breaking even. And there you go with another arbitrary standard. Is three litters of papillons with three puppies each, more, or less scumbaggy than one litter of GSDs of fifteen pups?

And anyway, WHO CARES if anyone breeds "for profit"? What's wrong with a skilled practitioner getting paid for fine work? I would MUCH rather see someone turning a profit and be able to reserve money for emergencies and be able to continually reinvest in and improve their program, than see someone living like a martyr, constantly in the red, and sometimes having to cut corners to keep everyone fed. That "professionalism is a dirty word" mantra does NOTHING but feed the anti-dog-breeder rhetoric of the radical animal abolitionists who think you are ALL scum for exploiting your dogs.

I think it is great that they at least DNA test for Fanconi… but what about other testing, take out hips... what about DNA testing for PRA? PRA is long known as a late onset problem in our breed that causes late onset blindness? And Thyroid issues has long been know also as a problem in Basenjis? "IF" there was a DNA test for hips, would you then say it should be done?

WHEN there is a direct DNA test reasonably available, sure, though at the tiny percentage in which it exists in Basenjis, I still wouldn't call someone a scumbag for choosing not to, if in thirty years they'd never had a single complaint about hips. Her older dogs have all been screened for PRA, and none were affected. Considering that "late onset blindness", according to the BTCA is: "…if the dog lives long enough, ... can lead to blindness." and "most changes were characterized as PRA suspicious rather than PRA affected. Not all of those dogs have hereditary eye disease, as retinal changes may be acquired or may be due to other disorders."

"It is not currently known if Basenji PRA is one disease or more than one. Mode of inheritance is presently unknown."

"Basenjis can also have some unusual, but benign, forms of retinal pigmentation that can easily be confused with PRA or retinal degeneration. Both false positives and false negatives are common with Basenji PRA." Early onset symptoms are classified as either "rare" or "extremely rare" by the BTCA.

Got that? From the BTCA's website, you MIGHT see daytime affected symptoms IF THE DOG LIVES LONG ENOUGH. But there's currently no way to know if it's one of several types of PRA or maybe just normal retinal aging that all dogs everywhere experience. This is ANOTHER issue that you are blowing way out of proportion. You have no idea how many forms of PRA exist, or even if all the cases of extremely elderly dogs that have night blindness are "PRA", and false positives and negatives are common. Why EVER would you skewer someone for choosing to wait for further developments before using such a tool as a basis for culling their breeding program?

The intergrity of my gene pool is not in question… and I don't breed year after year after year. Has nothing to do with hatred of anyone it has to do with the breed and improving the breed, not just breeding to sell puppies.

AGAIN, what is wrong with "selling puppies", if those puppies are structurally correct, healthy, happy, typey, well-socialized animals? Should people not be able to buy puppies except scrambling for your precious few hobby cast-offs, once a decade, for which they will have to take time off work and an airplane ride?
And AGAIN with the self-aggrandizing. Improve the breed, huh? You are already selecting against traits exhibited by the Congolese dogs. How ever did they survive for 13,000+ years without you?

By the way, this is not just a post about this particular kennel and their breeding practices, but it is a post to any/all kennels that breed in this manner. Has nothing to do with what are being charged for a puppy… there are any number of kennels that are not responsible IMO that charge way more then I do for my puppies... and please take into account the area of the country before claiming that our puppy price is outrageous... things are way more expensive on the West Coast compaired to NC... so I don't just look at the price... has way more to do with it than price.

I didn't claim that your prices are "outrageous". I just said they're higher than what a lot of people would be able to pay for a family pet. Which is, of course, fine, since I'm pro-choice like that, but your bizarro contention that her charging less for her dogs means she's a profiteer (about the most bizarre backward logic I've seen yet) was very strange. If people want a good family pet, and don't want to pay for the overhead of costly dog hobby stuff and all the over-screening you do, they should know that there are plenty of choices out there for breeders who won't charge a full month's wages to support your occasional dabbling in hobby breeding. Sarah's been breeding great family pets for several decades, and has it down to an art and science. Her dogs are delightful. She's a pro.

posted in Member Introductions read more

@tanza:

Sorry… find that hard to accept that she/they can raise multi breeds and properly socialize them... You have your opinion, I have mine.. and in my opinion this is not a responsible breeder. So I am able to voice my opinion and hope that others will look up and down the East Coast and talk to other breeders... before deciding on a Basenji pup. I clearly have a picture on how their dogs are whelped/raised... just look at the kennel runs.. again, my opinion and I will continue to put out there my opinion.... sorry but this person is into it for the money.. since they do not do all health testing they can reduce price..... and for the rest of us that do testing... our prices are in line with the rest of the Basenji breeding community...

Right. So from the far side of a computer screen, your completely uninformed opinion means precisely nothing in light of my actual experience with her beautifully socialized dogs. Got that? I have not only handled every single one of her dogs, I own one. In this conversation, I am the actual, hands-on expert about how well-socialized her puppies are. Not you.

Yes, of course she can "reduce price" if she is not wasting money on useless, unnecessary testing for conditions that for all practical purposes do not exist in your breed. That is not a bad thing, since I'm not personally of the opinion that only wealthy people should get to own well-bred, structurally sound, responsibly health-tested, thoroughly socialized dogs. There's a very elitist streak in the upper crust of the dog fancy that says the only choice in dogs should be pound mutts or gold-plated, artisan-crafted works of art with caviar price tags. And just listen to yourself… HOW THE HELL DOES IT MAKE SENSE to claim that she's "in it for the money" and you know this because she takes LESS of her buyers' money than YOU do?

What's wrong with her kennels? They're clean, dry, comfy and secure. Her dogs aren't crated or stuck indoors 22/7, or left unattended all day in a suburban yard. It's not million-dollar fencing, but there's nothing wrong with any of it. Dogs are hard on grass, and I'm glad they don't live on poured concrete or pea gravel. Precisely what sort of flooring do you think your African pariah dogs evolved to stand on? And do you truly, honestly believe that no worthy Basenji existed before your privileged, Western idea of top-shelf dog breeding? Whatever did those ignorant villagers do without you?

Might I remind you, you liked my dog until you found out where she came from? Personally, I'm for the democratization of purpose-bred dogs. I very much appreciate someone who is practical, experienced, and able to raise wonderful dogs for under a thousand bucks. So far, you have done nothing in this thread except insult people you do not know, advocate for irresponsibly bottlenecking your already tiny gene pool, and throw around more slander. You've been wrong on every single count, but at the end of the day, you don't seem to care. Holding on to your pre-conceived hatred for a stranger and insulting me and my dog is more important to you than considering published research and potentially improving the health of your dogs and integrity of your gene pool. It's truly unfortunate.

posted in Member Introductions read more

And, it would be great if you stopped throwing in the snide asides. She has more than one breed, that doesn't stop her from raising her dogs as "family members". I was there the day after one litter was born. Mama was sleeping in their bed with them when she started to labor. Sarah stops by my house to visit, or bring me some eggs from their yard, and every fiber of Scout's being lights up to see her. These dogs are extremely personal to her, and they adore her. So do her terriers. You clearly have a picture in your mind that does not reflect the reality I have personally experienced.

posted in Member Introductions read more

@tanza:

You made you position very clear and also your choice of breeders, I just happen to not agree that breeder is a responsible breeder. And this especially because they breed more than just one breed….

Right. The difference is that I have actually been there, spent close to a hundred hours on site, talking with her, asking questions, probing her plans, looking at her records, handling her dogs, watching how she handles them and how they respond to her, talking to the vets in the area, talking to other owners, helping with chores and getting an in-depth feel for who she is as a lifelong, dedicated rare-breed preservationist.

On the other hand, you are making judgments from the other side of a computer screen on seemingly arbitrary criteria. Sarah has a name, you don't have to call her "that" or "they". Her name is Sarah and her kennel is Nocturnal. She has raised Basenjis for something like thirty years.
You're right, that the purchase price is just one expense. If you're responsible, like me, you keep an emergency fund set aside. You clearly have plenty of play money, so this may not be a concern for you, but for some of us, keeping an extra $500-1000 in the emergency fund may come in very handy. We have great credit and live debt-free, so while I could put emergency care on credit, I'd rather pay cash for things that matter, and not waste it on things that mostly don't.

Seeing as how 96% of your population doesn't have a problem, how would you know? How about the fact that here in reality, 96% of the time, you have no problem? That is how you know. The same way you know you don't have statistically significant problems with neurological disorders, without demanding every dog be subjected to FMRI. You simply do not have a statistically significant rate either of neurological deficits or CHD.
I have worked extensively with dysplasia prone breeds. Believe me, they know. Yes, it is a problem that dogs may lose joint stability under heavy use; since as we (and Cornell) have already established that up to 3/4ths of all CHD stems from environmental cofactors, simply filtering out four percent of your breeding stock isn't going to fix your problem, if you keep giving your dogs hip dysplasia by the way you feed and work them.

I certainly respect your intentions, but you are using a subjective, observational, non-genetic test as a "quick fix", and thereby unnecessarily narrowing your gene pool. I think it's a fine tool for monitoring your program, but it's not a "quick fix" for breeding good hips, and until a direct, genetic screen becomes available, you should not be using it to cull dogs or to guarantee hip health, or attack other breeders who choose not to use it as a quick fix.

posted in Basenji Training read more

@tanza:

Agreed DebraDownSouth… hopefully people with read the differnce of opinions and come to the right conclusion... I too strongly feel that shock collars are abusive... as is irresponsible breeding. And people should reconize the debate between.... before making a conclusion. There are too many that think something like a shock collar is the "QUICK FIX".. It is not

I agree. The main problem we seem to be having is not that there's a difference of opinion, it's that there seems to be little respect for difference in this space. For example, we discuss the myriad and complex ways different trainers may use e-collars which often do not involve any aversive experience, and tanza refuses to hear anything but "abuse". That's not a reasoned discussion.

posted in Member Introductions read more

Tanza, I can't tell if you are deliberately misunderstanding me, or if I'm not making myself clear, so I'm going to try one more time to lay my position on this out for you, and then be done with it.

There are some things for which we have excellent, effective testing available, which makes a significant difference to the health of your breeding program.

There are some things we have clumsy tests for; millions of dollars in biomedical research later, we have a better understanding of the diseases' heritability and causes of expression. Using these tests is a piece of the puzzle that should be used appropriately, when useful. They're not always useful, and sometimes their use can be detrimental.

One way over-testing for non-issues can be detrimental, is with a condition that MORE THAN HALF OF THE TIME is environmentally caused. Choosing to visually evaluate your dogs' hips is not a bad thing, per se. But it's not a big deal, either. And when you're working with a small gene pool and a closed studbook, without a significant reason for concern, culling your gene pool against something for which you have zero proof of genetic basis (since the test is not genetic), or even any tangible reason for concern on that count is not wise. But then, it's not wise to arbitrarily cull your limited gene pool for color, either, which you guys do.

I certainly didn't say "health testing" in general is a waste of money. I demanded to see the test results I cared about, and was pleased that she had done them before even knowing whether she was keeping Scout for her breeding program, or not.
What I said was that I don't know a lot of people these days with an endless fountain of disposable income for a hobby. Maybe you do. I am making very considered choices with my dog-buying-dollar, and so is Sarah, with her breed-preservation-dollar. Aside from the dogs, she also raises small-scale, free-range heritage ducks, turkeys, cattle, and sheep. She's been specifically working for genetic preservation of critically endangered livestock animals for more than thirty years as a member of the ALBC. She is thoughtful, experienced, practical, and has a great eye for a naturally balanced, functional animal. She does not ask a fortune for her dogs, and the money she does make goes toward an extremely thoughtful, hand-built breeding program.
I'm really disgusted at the tone, here.


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