Kennel Blindness (Part 2)

Written by Ojie Okosun on . Posted in Maintenance

Blaming the fact that your dog is not looking good (physically) or winning shows on bad judging, politics or anything except the possibility that there may be something wrong with your dog.

Kennel blind people always have an excuse for why their dog didn’t win a show, competition etc. Also why their dogs do not meet with the breed standard.

While some of their reasoning may be legitimate, consistently losing under a variety of judges usually means a dog does not fit the standard in one or more important aspects.

Suggestion: If your dog is not looking good, ask several knowledgeable people to evaluate your dog. Tell them to be honest and listen with an open mind. It might be a dietary problem, lack of ample exercise or he might not be a pure breed (standard of his supposed breed) like you expect.

RISK FACTORS

Kennel blindness is more apt to be a problem for the following:

  • Breeders who do not have an ‘eye’ for a dog. Some breeders are simply not born with an ‘eye’ for a dog. Despite having read and studied their breed’s standard, they are incapable of correctly evaluating structure and movement.

  • Ignorant breeders who are carried away by a dog’s temperament and personality. Many kennel blind people think all puppies are cute. These owners usually decide to breed their dog, not to improve the breed, but because they love his personality and want more puppies just like him. In our opinion, we always tell our clients that most times (99%) puppies look gorgeous when they are born but what becomes of them as they develop and loose their puppy fat? Most times, some of these dogs grow up not to be what the buyer expected. This is sad and disappointing.

  • Breeders who have produced quality dogs in the past but are now struggling to stay on top may be more prone to over-looking faults in their dogs.

  • Breeders working with small numbers of dogs may be prone to kennel blindness as there might never be room for them to truly evaluate their dogs in comparison to each other. They see their dogs as all nice and a true quality of the breed standard without the need for research. Because small breeders have less to choose from, they may not want to open their eyes to problems in their breeding program. To them, all their dogs are perfect. From here you hear things like: My dog is taller, his dog looks like a GSD instead of a Rottweiler, those puppies are too expensive, Paul´s cheaper and they are the same, John´s dog is better than Michael´s bla, bla, bla. The story never ends. Working with a limited number of dogs should be an advantage in breeding when you know, understand and respect the breed standards. Who suffers this? The potential buyers. Such breeders get them confused and they may end up making the wrong decision with choice of puppies/dogs.

  • Breeders whose every waking moment revolves around dogs may be greatly affected by this. Such breeders will NEVER take NO for an answer. They will object to creative ideas, tips suggestions etc. Making dog breeding a “live or die” situation can affect objectivity. It totally blinds the breeder from the truth. In Part 1, we did say that no-one can ever have the perfect breed of dog because dog standard can always be improved on in the right direction. This is what we aim at REVOLUTION KENNEL.

CHARACTERISTICS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT KENNEL BLIND

They are truly objective and rarely satisfied with their own dogs, criticizing them more than others would. Regardless of time and effort already spent, they are ready to remove from their program dogs that do not pan out, even to the point of starting over with new foundation stock. This is when buyers have to be careful when buying adult/adolescent dogs.

Good breeders are NEVER in a hurry to have Adults dogs to enhance fast mating and breeding. This is the new trend in our country. Most people want READY-MADE dogs (Adults), most times so they don’t have to pass through the stress of puppy transition to adolescent then adulthood. These impatient breeders want a dog they can start breeding immediately with.

Kennel Blind breeders would rather buyer finished products from other Kennel´s therefore, taking another man´s glory. Breeding as we always say is not for the weak. It is tasking at the same time, rewarding.

On the other hand, a good breeder would rather settle for a nice puppy out of a good Pedigree/bloodline, raise this puppy with so much love and care to see that this puppy comes out good. You can see potentials in a good puppy especially when you know his/her pedigree/bloodline.

Food for thought: What breeder will honestly sell you a full grown adult that is outstanding or the best in his kennel? Why would he be selling of the best female or male in his breeding program? Most times, adults are sold for different reasons like: aggression, infertility, incorrect bite and other faults. Only a few breeders sell good adults because of decongestion, relocation etc. Either way, it has to be for a reason.

Breeders who are not Kennel Blind have an ‘eye’ for a dog and can appreciate a beautiful one regardless of who bred or owns it.

TIPS FOR CURING KENNEL BLINDNESS 

If caught in time, kennel blindness can be cured before it has a lasting, detrimental effect on your breeding program. Following are some tips.

Avoid over-emphasizing a certain feature in your breeding program to the detriment of overall correctness.

Although most breeders try to emphasize the excellence of the whole dog, it is human nature to over-emphasize certain features. In fact, the importance we give to a particular trait in our dogs is how we express our “breeding personality” and create what we feel comes close to our ideal. One breeder may be a stickler for fronts and another for toplines, the other for heads. The danger here is that by focusing on just one feature we can become “blind” to other faults that may be creeping into the breeding program.
To assess your kennel blindness level, ask someone whose opinion you respect to objectively evaluate your dogs.

Some of the best people to ask are knowledgeable breeders who are not kennel blind themselves. Be sure this person really understands the breed standard and request that they honestly critique the virtues and faults in your dogs. Ask more than one qualified person and compare their evaluations with your own. Personal research (online, books, article etc) would also help.
If you are falling short of your objectives, it is most important to admit it to yourself.

As difficult as it is to admit failure, the realization that our dogs do not possess certain virtues can be the first step in devising a plan to obtain what we really want.

At REVOLUTION KENNEL we speak quality and we are very objective in our breeding. We have been to a few International Shows including:

  • the World Dog Shows (2010, 2011),
  • IFR Rottweiler Show,
  • ADRK Shows in Germany

with the sole aim to learn more on breed standard/improvement. Moreso, discussing with breeders alike have greatly contributed to our breeding success and we will love to share this with you and also learn more from you.

Thank you for your time.

Revolution Kennel Team

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Ojie Okosun

Ojie Okosun

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