Vizsladogs, Ltd.

Why Breed?

Francois Bernier (1997, from Canada) jumped into a "thread" (which is ListServ speak for a discussion) on why one should or should not breed. Here are Francois' comments...

[A note from a previous post...] The only reason, really, to breed is to try and IMPROVE the Breed. Many of us have very real concerns about where this breed is going and why. If you have strong feelings about what Vs should be then I think you are obligated to do your best to breed dogs that are by your definition Better Vs. -- J

Can't help it! I've got to jump in... . As S.M. knows, I have a big problem with the concept of breeding "to improve the breed". I'm not picking on J, here, as this is something that has been said time and time again by a variety of people. Right off the bat, simply looking at what has been done to a number of breeds (the American Cocker, the German Shepherd and the Bulldog come to mind) under the guise of "improving the breed" should make anyone highly suspicious of that particular notion. "Improving the breed" also flatters our own egos by allowing us to delude ourselves that "nature" under *our* guidance will reach some state of "perfection" it cannot otherwise reach! I think this sort of self-centered thinking has been discredited and rightly so. Putting it in short form: when humans set about to "improve" things, they'll likely screw them up! Thirdly, "improving the breed" can, unfortunately, be no more

Than an excuse for people to breed according to their whim or fancy in complete disregard of the breed standard. I'd like someone to tell me when was it decided and who decided that the Vizsla breed, as a breed, needs improvement? I, for one, like this breed just as it is, thank you very much. There is a BIG difference between "improving the breed" and "improving one's breeding stock". I fully agree that I should breed to improve my breeding stock. On the other hand, I don't think the breed as described in the standard needs improvement. My job is to bring my breeding stock to the level of perfection described in the breed standard and to do my best to breed dogs that are better Vizslas not by "my definition" but by the definition of the breed standard.

With regards to the breed as a whole, I don't think it is our role to "improve it". Rather, our role is to maintain and guard the breed. We should all think of ourselves as stewards of the breed, its temporary managers. It is arrogance and folly to think the Vizsla breed is in need of *my* breeding to improve itself! I am a caretaker, no more. If I even leave the breed as I found it, I will be satisfied I have done my job well.

And on this note, I gingerly step down from my *new and improved* soapbox!

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