Read about various happenings through our "Tibbie-years".

Read about various happenings through our "Tibbie-years".
I'll also mention ailments and othet not-so-nice things.

I have worked with Tibbies for around 40 years, and of course, looking back, not all aspects of the experience has been joyful, although without a doubt the absolute majority of that time has been extremely good and worth remembering. As we use the alphabet in the naming of litters, we have been through A to Z four times - and is well under way the fifth time.
Good things are easy to tell, not so good things can be a trifle painful to relieve. But I am a vehement defender of that "information" is only valid if it contains both the good side and the not so good side, if we, the Tibbie-community, really want to reduce risk and ensure a healthy, vibrant race, although I naturally accept and respect that not everybody has the same opinion when it comes to temper, size, weight, coat, teeth and all the other details we use to evaluate our loved ones.

Those first years
In those first, tentative years with the Tibbies I did get quite a few puppies with overshot and undershot, rather large ones sometimes, as well as other "beauty deficiencies". I have also experienced Hernia, Lack of Testicles, Cherry Eyes, and Distichia. This last one can be a painful experience for the dog, especially if it has developed fully. A single, soft strand of hair doesn't bother the dog much but nevertheless it is important to use a dog affected, with another one that may have the same ailment along its lines. Cherry Eyes is clearly visible and reasonably easy to operate for a trained and experienced vet, but the price for an operation at a specialist can be prohibitive. Overshot has never bothered the dog any as far as we have been able to see. Of course such dogs are sold with a contract saying the dog cannot breed. Lack of Testicles are treated the same way as far as a sale is concerned, not permitted to breed under the auspices of the Danish Kennel Club. It is therefore, simply a question of informing all involved and to register that in the genes on such a such a bloodline, the ailment may occur.
The worst things I have experienced have been two cases of cleft lip, one of them with cleft palate, one case of open belly and one where a little of the intestine had not entered before the belly closed - this also had open fontanel. These were allowed to sleep.

I have experienced a few, serious cases of joint problems and a case of entropion (inward folding eyelids ). This is a serious condition and appeared in my second A and D-litters, In those litters I had several joint-problems, but the A and F-litters also gave Overshot, Distichia, Cherry Eyes, Lack of Testicles, not all of them necessarily bothering the dog much, except for entropion. Some of these illnesses has shown itself later as well, but only rarely. An example was a puppy in my third P-litter with Cherry Eyes. Hernia is still quite common in Tibbies. I have never had anything but very small and insignificant hernias and I always guarantee that if the dog owner want to have the hernia surgically removed, then I will pay for the operation and it has to be carried out by my vet. I have yet to pay for any operation, although some vets do recommend surgery until they hear about the guarantee, then the question tend to fall by the wayside. I have however, sold one puppy at a slightly lower than normal price, because an operation was thought to be best.

A problem? Or not...
From Germany we have learned that HD quite often appear in Tibbies. From this we should be able to deduce that the same is true in Denmark? We rarely diagnose our dogs for this, since small dogs almost never have any problem with HD (Hip Dysplacia). Our Pierre had HD, but never showed signs of being plagued by the condition, to the contrary, he had excellent movement, ran and jumped like a deer all his life, until he wa put to rest for totally different reasons.

Blood to Blood Breeding
I am naturally familiar with the many good words spoken about the advantages with blood to blood breeding, as one with this method ensures a particular type of result. Genes are doubled or tripled or even more, in those instances where a breeder has been using the same stock for years.

Problems do show itself when using this method though, because one does not only double up on favourable genes but also on those not so favourable. And that is what I learned, the hard way, as I, when starting up as a breeder, decided to breed blood to blood. It was in litters breed blood to blood I experienced Cherry Eyes, Lack of Testicles, Overshot, faults in the development of long, tubular bones, distichias, hernia, back problems and, worst of all, temperaments that I do not want myself and therefore cannot justify delivering dogs with it to others. It was my second A and D litters, so many years ago. And I did not use those lines in breed at all.

All of this can of course be had without direct blood to blood breeding, but normally it will not be as prominent as for example being present in several if not all individuals in one litter. Bear in mind though that all breeds are the result of a more or lesser degree of inbreeding, thus the possibility is always there. And the only "remedy" is to obtain proper, honest and correct information if you want to avoid to the extent possible any negative results from a particular mating.

Another way to line-breed is to use the most winning dogs at a particular time in history. A difficult method to hinder but a sure way to create showstars as well as limiting the number of genes available, and almost being sure that future generations of breeders will have problems. The present state of German Shepherds unenviable reputation as the worlds most inbred race, are the victim of this method, with among other things Hip Dysplacia (HD), as a major problem. But the breed is nevertheless not near extinction, is it?