Vickie sent…rare dogs set paws downPosted: March 19, 2009 Filed under: Apso Aficionados 5 Comments
This article brings up an interesting conundrum. I’m curious what the rest of you think.
A side road… Yesterday I listened to a NPR podcast regarding the current state of affairs with newspapers. With changing times, newspapers are in the process of re-inventing themselves. Most newspapers now have a companion edition online with reporters using blog entries for up-to-the-minute news stories. There was a comment about how, unfortunately, the people that often comment on news stories reduce what could be a good discussion into yet another flame war. The comments on the story above brought this to mind.
These comments are directed as much at the “comments” following the article, as the article itself:
First off, Beautiful Dog, the White Snow Lion Tibetan Mastiff, regardless of who “recognizes” it as a “breed”, or not.
Secondly, if the PETA people had their way, there would be NO dogs, eventually, for us to love and cherish, as our companions, assistants and friends.
If it weren’t for ethical breeders devoted to preserving, improving and continuing the diverse canine races, many races would die out completely and the rest would eventuallly meld into a feral, generic dog with no distinguishing features.
Common sense legislation that targets mass-market puppy mills and truly unscrupulous breeders and pet shops that sell these unfortunate puppies to the uneducated and unsuspecting public , while preserving and protecting the rights of genuine dog breeders and caring owners, would go a long way towards ending the pet overpopulation problem. Instead, current legislation, even here in the rural counties of NM, seems like it aims to elilminate pet ownership alltogether, while ignoring the obvious avenues.
My heart breaks at the millions of unwanted dogs and cats that are destroyed each year in shelters, but my heart also breaks to think of the millions of equally unwanted baby humans who are dismembered and decapitated daily by abortion. At least the dogs and cats are “put to sleep”, the “lucky” ones, anyway.
We have a long way to go as human beings. Laws and attitudes that “throw the baby out with the bath water” so to speak, won’t help us get there.
I have a problem with the fact she’s calling them “snow lions” and “Tibetan Mastiffs” in what appears to be a clever marketing ploy. From everything I’ve ever read/seen/researched, white is not now and was not a recognized color as early as 1930 when the British developed a standard (… and this coming on the heels of the Youngblood expedition to Tibet in 1903. It is believed the TM was introduced to the Western world as early as the late 1800s.)
The breeder goes on to quote show puppy prices despite the fact the only place they can be shown is … China. “Chinese Mastiff” … I could live with that.
I think she does grave disservice to the breed by glossing over the fact that that the TM is a true guardian breed and very few families are capable of handling such a dog. Additionally, most of the folks I know that own (and/or breed) one of the “Tibetan” breeds have an affinity for Tibet, its people and the culture … something which doesn’t come through in this article.
Can someone offer something on genetics? Just because this breeder plans on creating white mastiffs through her newly acquired dogs, doesn’t mean that every litter will produce totally snow white pups…as Vickie points out, simply because white has never been the dominant, natural color of the Tibetan mastiff…? Could these pups be born white and then change in color as they age?
No, the potential white puppies won’t turn color as they mature. White is recessive, not dominant. A white dog is created by the spotting gene – the very gene that creates Pete’s pretty parti-color pattern. The spotting gene expresses itself anywhere from a single small white spot on the chest to the entire dog – like the Samoyed, West Highland White Terrier, Maltese and this ‘snow lion’.
Rather than creating color, the spotting gene prevents color from being expressed by prohibiting the production of melanin (which produces pigment). Using Little’s Letter, the epistatis of spotting gene is noted with S (solid color/no spots), Si (irish spotting like Spirit), Sp (parti-color like Tequila) and Sw (extreme white spotting like Drepung). The spotting gene (which has two alleles, just like every other gene) is one of the most variable in expression, further aided by modifier genes. (Be sure to scroll down on each dog’s page for more photos.)
Taking Pete’s litter as an example, his sire Kenzo was sired by Sprite, a black dog with a large white apron. His dam was Spirit, a gold bitch with a large white shawl. Kenzo is most likely Si_Sp or Si_Sw. Spirit is either S_Sp or S_Si. Of the resulting four puppies, two were ‘white’, Pete is parti-color and Moon’s pattern is like her dam’s – a large white shawl.
Molecular research continues and may shed further light on the genetics behind ‘white’.
I agree with Vickie, that they should be called Chinese Mastiffs, IF they are a recgonized breed in China-I wouldn’t know that. In the rest of the world the standard states what color they have to be, white not being acceptable. I think that the biggest crime here is the ignorance of the people, have the researched the breed? or is this just another “designer breed”. If it is a truly recgonized breed in China (US is not the only country that can say a breed is an actual breed) than these women should be setting up a breeding program to start the process of proving the lines through 3 generations of the breed and than apply to AKC for rare breed status. Loring the naive public into purchasing a “white” mastiff is wrong. Tell the truth, its a mix breed-a beautiful mutt and maybe a lovable mutt (though I doubt that knowing some Tibetan Mastiffs personally) Just don’t lie, outrworld has enough liers in it.