Native American Dog Breeding vs the Eugenics Movement in Breeding Dogs

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If one inquires academia about “native American dogs”, the response is that there are no more nAds. They were overwhelmed by Euro dogs. They died of diseases the Euro-dogs brought in. Though I can’t find the actual sources that make those claims, they seem to be dogma.
(nAd: native American dog is not a breed name thus only “American” is capitalized)

nAds may not have been breeds as we think of them today, but they did come in distinct types or landraces that looked very much alike and were close to the wolf archetype in the prick ears and relaxed tails. They came in sizes roughly equivalent to foxes, coyotes and small wolves. No odd mutations marked the common dogs of the Americas, they retained the general shape of the wolf, though the particulars varied. The Harvard scholar , Grover Allen, who studied the entirety of nAd literature at the turn of the 20th century called the common dogs, Common Dogs. And that is because they were common, and found all over North America. This is the dog depicted in many artworks by 19th century Euro-artists who painted all aspects of the lives of various tribes.

These dogs all shared a phenotype, the general phenotype of the wolf. None of them shared the same “genotypes” with each other, because they were very outcrossed. There must have been times when dog populations got a bit inbred compared to free ranging wolves, due to a lack of fresh blood within a group, but these times rarely lasted and new dog blood was always welcomed.

The concept of sharing a genotype to be a true example of a breed or type of dog arose pearl dog croppedlout of the Eugenics Movement as it was quickly applied to dogs. The most elite of the Victorian era, the royalty, and to some extent, the nobility had kept a closed registry on themselves for many generations previous to the expression of the Eugenics movement by Sir Francis Galton, an unfortunate relative of Charles Darwin and quite inbred, himself. That is, the Eurostocracy bred from within themselves, a small, elite group of people who sought to contain the power of European thrones amongst the smallest group of people possible. This narrowing of purity in the royal bloodlines actually arose out of the idea of keeping royal power intact.

francis galtonSir Francis Galton, Father of the Eugenics Movement cousin of Charles Darwin

Generation after generation of these royals and nobles had married cousins and by Victoria’s age, the results of such inbreeding for many generations had begun to manifest in deadly ways. Deeply buried recessives started to couple up more and more often resulting in genetically based problems such as hemophilia and the “Hapsburg jaw”. The absolute worst of these genetic problems piled up in Carlito, the son of Phillip of Spain (ca 1700). Phillip himself was handsome and healthy in appearance, but his bloodline was so messed up, he could not produce a healthy, fit heir to the throne. Carlito was a dwarf, with diminished mental capacity and the most exaggerated of the Hapsburg jaws. He was also an emotional tantrum throwing mess who could not entertain a real concept of rulership.

carlito of spainCarlito of Spain.d. ca 1700 the first real monstrosity of Hapsburg inbreeding.
Charles II was moderately more inbred than the average among the offspring from brother-sister matings.

About the time the royals were figuring out that they needed new healthy blood and began to marry non-relatives or at least, distant relatives, Darwin published his theory of evolution. He was clueless that genetics was the basis of how evolution happened, let alone how genes worked, though he got the basic principles right.

So a big piece of the puzzle was still missing when Darwin’s so-called genius of a cousin, Francis Galton, seized upon his cousin’s work with a bunch of half-baked ideas about how to breed “better” people using the principle of “survival of the fittest”. He called his new theory of people-breeding, “eugenics”. He was still embracing the idea that royals should breed to royals as much as possible and nobles should try to upgrade their own bloodlines with royal blood, even if it was not legally recognized. He also thought that the unfit should be culled and prevented from breeding.

Well, these ideas soon ran into problems when applied to people, so the Galtonites who had focused on controlling the breeding behaviors of humans were soon recognized for what they were and disparaged, if not made illegal.

Strangely enough, while these ideas of pure breeding the best people and culling the others was soon squashed, those same principles were embraced by the dog breeding elite who were, of course, all influenced by the aristocratic Galton’s ideas. The idea of purebreeding elite dogs out of rough country stock dogs was the very expression of eugenics and dog breeding was the ultimate manipulation of “purebred” dogs and the “closed registry” was the ultimate expression of the principles of eugenics.
On the other hand, nAds were generally so outcrossed, weird genes hardly ever doubled up and became manifest, and though this seems to have happened many times, the general tendency was for the odd dog’s genes to melt back in to the general population within a generation or two. Although there were exceptions, this was the dominant tendency and so nAds tended to remain generally wolflike from large to small dogs.

Although purebred dogs can be said to share “genotypes”, this is an entirely new concept in dog breeding in the last 150 years. This word is a cleaned up way to say, “overly inbred” However, even people who disparage the closed registry policies of kennel clubs, if they have AKC dogs, they believe the genotype should be maintained as an intrinsic part of the breed.

They believe the genotype is everything! This is entirely racist thinking intimately connected to the true identity of the dog in question. Native American dogs are not about genotypes! They are about phenotypes. Genotypes are an aspect of Galtonian thinking. Phenotypes can sustain a large variation in genotype, yet all look similar.

adopt a shep huskyA belief that genotypes must match is behind the claim that nAds are extinct. This is an idea based on a eugenics theory that to be a true Native American Dog, your genes must match the genes of dogs who were here before the Conquest to a high degree even if a dog looks like a typical nAd. As I said before, this whole idea of requiring matching genes to be declared an aNd is pure eugenics theory put into practice.

I know that practically 100% of the American Indian Nations had dogs and loved dogs. One thing about dog people is that many fancy the different looking dog, so when Euro dogs arrived, they were probably embraced by any native who could get one. No doubt the new dogs, most with dropped ears, bred freely with the native stock. I would even guess the Euro-type dogs spread out more quickly than the Euro peoples, being that the entire continent was a vast intertwined network of trade and trading routes. I even think that grandfather of a breed, the St John’s Water Dog, could have arisen from an early mix of native and Eurodogs. Crosses with Eurodogs probably contributed to a lot of American hound breeding, too.

Eurodogs is my word for European created dog breeds.
My Pearl and the Wolf PackThere are many examples of dogs that look like the old native American common dogs still showing up in animal pounds across the nation. They are practically always called “husky/shepherd mixes” by the pounds. I am sure that some are husky shepherd crosses and that a few are other crosses that create a similar phenotype. The funny thing is, that if you took two such mixes and bred them, the offspring would retain the same phenotype as the parents, though there will be variations in tail set and ear set and/or size, coat length, texture and color, or the spitz tail can show up now and then. No matter what shows up, breeding the next generation from unrelated dogs with the husky/shepherd phenotype will produce more husky/shepherd lookalikes. It is a surefire formula to produce dogs that look more like wolves than any but a few brand new breeds of dogs. They can look very wolfy, but it is easy to see that are not wolves.

Get the Eugenics out of Dog Breeding!

Let’s take a look at the bio-social movement of eugenics as applied to breeding registered kennel club dogs.

In order to relate to what I am saying, first you must understand that the individual dog breed clubs and kennel clubs of America have used principles of eugenics as a foundation for all their other breeding choices in picking two dogs to breed to get registered AKC pups.

Many dog breeds’ looks have changed over time. Usually not for the better and that trend is still in full force, today, though registered dog entries into kennel clubs have dropped to levels seen in the 1950’s from its high point in the 80’s-90’s. It looks like a lot of dog people do not want AKC dogs because total numbers of dogs in households have increased over the same period.

Eugenics generally has a bad name and it is for several good reasons. First, the Wikipedia definition:

“Eugenics is the applied science of the bio-social movement which advocates practices that improve the genetic composition of a population, usually a human population.[2][3] It is a social philosophy advocating the improvement of human hereditary traits through the promotion of higher reproduction of more desired people and traits, and reduced reproduction of less desired people and traits.’[4]

Lets just take the word “human” out of the equation and substitute “dog”. Then we get:
“Eugenics is the applied science of the bio-social movement which advocates practices that improve the genetic composition of a population, usually a dog population. It is (also) social philosophy advocating the improvement of canine hereditary traits through the promotion of reproduction of more desired dogs and traits, and reduced reproduction of less desired dogs and traits.” This is the philosophy of all kennel clubs today- although the UKC is a little less so.

The half-baked ideas of a man with some ‘street cred’ amongst the gentry became popular in the 1850s. Because he was vaguely related to Charles Darwin and was aristocratic, these concepts became very widespread among upper class and well educated people starting in the 1850’s. First off, eugenics explained their own superior position in life. It was their “breeding” that was superior. And the higher one’s rank in society, the better the breeding. And of course, the same was true of their dogs especially, though other domesticated animals got experimented on to “refine” the “breeding”. They, themselves already were examples of fine breeding

This is racist, or course, with whites at the top and blacks at the bottom and is still the true foundation of racism- that one’s breeding is superior to another’s. Fear of mixing blood created the anti-miscegenation laws among people. Many dog breeds’ looks have changed over time. Usually not for the better and that trend is still in full force, today, though registered dog entries into kennel clubs have dropped to levels seen in the 1950’s from its high point in the 80’s-90’s. It looks like a lot of dog people do not want AKC dogs because total numbers of dogs in households have increased over the same period. laws where they were enacted widely across the United States. And besides the less evolved ape-people, there were the poor and misbegotten. Some people advocated the second part of the equation as well, in the form of forced sterilization, even in the US. But when the Nazis became big time followers of Galton’s ideas, the majority of Europe and the US immediately put a stop to doing these kinds of things to humans. And since then, eugenics has had a very bad name and has been completely discredited by science. Only a few, creepy people (who do not believe in science?) still believe in its precepts any more.

Except with dogs. Dogs became the subjects of eugenics experiments immediately upon Galton voicing them. People realized they could change rough local landraces and curs of various types into sleek looking dogs with more and more exaggerated features such as long hair, wrinkles, shape of the skull, etc. The standard is a breeding standard to which club members must refer. So they did what could never be done with people. They closed the studbooks of their own breed clubs and no dog that was not a descendent of a dog “registered” in their stud books could enter their exclusive breed clubs. The 1850’s began an intense period of people creating breeds from scratch or taking working stock and refining its looks. Breed clubs only went on looks to create a dog a champion. They did not go on health or refraining from exaggeration. In fact, these manipulators of dog flesh delighted in the odd and grotesque. A breed would be created by the club, then the club would proceed to exaggerate the distinguishing features of the breed in further generations.

Many dog breeds’ looks have changed over time. Usually not for the better and that trend is still in full force, today, though registered dog entries into kennel clubs have dropped to levels seen in the 1950’s from its high point in the 80’s-90’s. It looks like a lot of dog people do not want AKC dogs because total numbers of dogs in households have increased over the same period.

The other trend of breeding working dogs for looks created a split in the two types, the natural and the artificial breed. Landrace terriers, collies or spaniels that became the originators of the registered version of a given breed, in their show dog forms were soon criticized for not being able to do what the landrace animals did. The often lost their function as part of being bred for looks. And that is still the complaint, today.

The general concept of AKC breeding is to “fix” the traits they like in a breed of dog by breeding the good example to another good example. The ideal is to get rid of those uncouth dominant genes and keep the refined recessives. Elimination of the dominant form of a trait will cause future generation bred to another recessive of the same kind, to “breed true” and guarantee all future dogs with those recessive traits will look the same in that trait. This kind of gene elimination has had bad side affects in often lowering the general health of the breed. There are things we don’t understand tied to those dominant genes. Sometimes the piling up of certain genes will clearly affect the dog’s physical soundness and health.

Even when some recessives line up in a certain dog and another trait is not liked, the dog is not bred. But what is good for a certain breeding program may not be good for the breed if its genes are not kept in circulation in the entire gene pool of a breed. Because the group of breed-founding dogs tends to be of very few genetically distinct individuals when the books are closed, the breed immediately starts losing genes of those founders.

Inbreeding is the method of choice to fix a trait in a dog. Take the dog with the preferred trait and get as many pups as possible from it which you then breed to each other to spread the new founding dogs’ gene pattern into the entire pool. One way to do this is by picking stud dogs that are winning for their looks in the ring and breeding them to as many females as possible, no matter how close the blood lines.

Well, dogs have wonderfully plastic genes and they can take quite a bit of strong inbreeding at first- if you get rid of the culls. If a bad genetic trait shows up that say, cripples the dog, it will be killed. By breeding the best examples to each other, no matter the relationship, many breeds of dogs have huge numbers of fixed traits and if bred to another dog of the same breed will produce dogs that look like the parents.

When AKC breeders get unfortunate examples of inbreeding, they cull their own litters- usually with a secret sense of shame that their dogs need so much culling. It is mainly for this reason that breeders of AKC registered dogs control the new owner’s breeding rights, for life. When novices get two beautiful registered dogs and the breeding rights are not controlled, the owners of the dogs might breed them -and if they do, it is still likely there will be culls. Novice AKC owners are at risk of having a dog with recessive genes that are detrimental, but may not have the determination to cull.

This is why dog breeding is a mystery and dog breeders insist only someone who knows the breed (themselves) should breed. A purebred dog breeder must cull, though it is not popular to talk about why, because the general public might wise up at the manifest results of ongoing inbreeding. Even though dogs can quickly be refined to a pretty good “Type” by intense inbreeding and culling, eventually all the dogs in a closed registry will share more and more recessive genes in common. Recessives genes have a kicker. Though you can get all your breed looking consistent, when the gene pool of a breed begins to be shared by all, detrimental recessive genes have a much better chance or meeting up.

Most of the hideous genetic problems facing purebred dogs today are from bad recessives meeting up. Most of the recessives were in the wolf gene pool long before man tamed dog. But because wolves almost always breed with unrelated wolves, the recessives have astronomical chances of meeting up, and when they do, the animal usually can’t live a wolf’s life. All dogs get their genes from the wolf gene pool and recycle them forever except for the rare mutation here and there. But when you take a gene pool of less than 100 genetically distinct founders and close it to new blood forever, even the largest gene pool is going to share a lot of recessives working their ways to the surface. Nowadays in several breeds, every breeding with another dog of the same breed is closer genetically than a sister/brother mating, there were so few founding members of the breeds.

And where did these kennel and breed clubs get these ideas? From eugenics, of course.

I have many other articles in this blog that explain how to breed dogs before the kennel clubs came along and it is not hard to do

Principles of Breeding Techichi Dogs

Musings on Landrace Dogs
Almost all dogs are purebred, designer mixes, or mutts, and the kennel clubs only deal with the purebred ones. These dogs all have a high CoI, that is, a high amount of inbreeding. The results of 100 years of this inbreeding has resulted in more and more sickly breeds, just as what happened when European royalty engaged in inbreeding for generations. Spain ended up with a king who was retarded, an emotional mess, dwarfed, with the huge Hapsburg jaw that prevented him from comfortable eating. And that was the end of that line in Spain.
I am not a dog breeder. I am not encouraging anyone to breed dogs and I encourage people to adopt dogs from pounds, but I do feel this is an important issue for any intelligent dog owner to consider. If it has no other result than increasing pressure on the kennel clubs to open up their registries to out- crosses, I will be happy.
About the time royalty started bringing in fresh blood to their lines, the kennel club in England was developing the closed registry, which resulted in all the dogs in a breed being related to most of the same founding fathers. The royalty changed their breeding practices when the results of inbreeding became plain when the recessives for genetic diseases started showing up in their children. The kennel clubs have reached the same point, but do not want to recognize how terrible a closed registry is, so they go on breeding unhealthy dogs.
Since the kennel clubs engage in terrible breeding practices, there is no well-known model of healthy breeding practices among dogs. However, every other domestic animal has developed and uses good to excellent breeding practices, based on genetics and the principle of out-crossing. The are distinct breeds in every other kind of domestic animal from chicken to goat, including sheep, horses, and cattle. How do they keep each breed distinct, yet healthy? They out-cross within lines of the breed as much as possible and when they do get into some genetic problems in certain lines, out-crossing to another breed is used because type can be restored in just 3-4 generations. The kennel clubs, with a very few exceptions, do not register out-crossed dogs or previously unregistered dogs of the same breed. They may on the point of change, however.
There is a dog world outside AKC dogs. Working dogs are not usually registered, border collies and non-kennel club Russell terriers, are available and a couple of other ‘breeds’, but more and more ‘breeds’ are falling into the ‘kennel club’ trap only it’s the UKC, which the AKC snubs for registering ‘mutt’s.
Landrace dogs.
Well, let’s take working Border Collies as a prime example of how to breed an non-AKC dog. What do working border collies do? They herd, usually sheep. The farmer knows how to breed sheep to keep them healthy strong and working, and they bred dogs the same way. The result is that working collies are not as fancy looking as purebred Border Collies; they vary more in shape ear and tail sets, because those traits don’t matter. What matters is breeding good worker to good workers, smart dogs to smart dogs. Line breeding or inbreeding are only used in extremely particular circumstances, because it is better to avoid it, yet the collies are easy recognizable as Border Collies by anyone who knows the breed. Border Collies are indisputably a prime example of a landrace dog.
We must look back in history before there were any kennel clubs to remember how “breeds” of dogs were maintained. Dogs had to be useful to be kept, so many regions tended to have a type of useful dog. A very early type was the coursing hound typified by the modern varieties of Saluki, Afghan, and the greyhound. These guys share a similar body structure with long legs. The amount of hair, the size and shape of the ears might vary, but they could all run and catch game, and loved to do so. they were indeed useful dogs, so each region of the Middle East had its own variety of courser. Local dogs shared a gene pool, but new members were allowed, so it was an open gene pool, much like the Border Collies.
Each landrace type of dog was a local dog, suited to the environment in which they lived and bred. In the New World, it was the same way. The northern dogs tended to retain their wolfie look, though they were thoroughly domesticated. They were pullers and beasts of burden, though it is probable there were good hunters among them too. Although it is probable inbreeding happened and more distant line breeding, there are so often culls in the first generation, let alone the second generation, that soon, there were fewer puppies from those inbred dogs, and more culls, so that usually, the more heterogeneous dogs survived and were healthy.
Landrace breeding today, would be easy. Let many members of each generation of a landrace dog breed to an unrelated dog of the same type, rather than just a few breeders breeding to other inbred dogs – and making a profession of it, Today, that could be limited to one litter before neutering. This kind of breeding every generation keeps the dogs healthy, typey, yet heterogeneous. It could encourage the right kind of backyard breeding of landrace dogs for many dog lovers, rather than an small group of elite AKC breeders. It is the AKC dogs that are the targets of puppy farms and the large breeders-for-profit.
Perhaps you have already jumped ahead and wondered about breeding the Techichi to continue its landrace character? The Techichi is a desert dog, and a house dog, often they are good at catching moving things and noticing anything minutely different in its territory. Being intensively loyal, to boot, they have a lot of fans. Well, there is already Techichi breeding going on in Tucson, right now. These deer type Chihuahuas were never part of a registry, yet everyone recognizes the type immediately. Various people have Techichi type dogs they want to breed and they agree to a mating for it and have puppies.
James Watson, a primary founder/breeder of the earliest Chihuahuas, came out west in 1877 to get the small dogs in Tucson and El Paso, and Ida Garrett and many other people followed suit. They were then called Arizona dogs, It was Watson’s fancy that he called them Chihuahuas; he admitted he never found one in Chihuahua, only the US!
That original stock is still being bred in Tucson today, but never by kennels or puppy farms. Big Chihuahua are just not appealing to those types. Only a small percent of these dogs end up in the pound or a shelter, but there is usually at least one. Over the last 6 months I have collected pictures of 25 or so of these dogs and display them on the Gallery page.
You must admit, they have a very strong type and size, in common, yet have never been inbred.
Qualzucht

This video, “Pedigreed Dogs Exposed” is an extremely important expose of serious health problems with purebred dogs registered with kennel clubs in England and the Americas.

This page will present the arguments for recognizing these problems and the larger, philosophical issue of qualzucht, a German word literally meaning “torture breeding” but referring to enshrining dangerous and unhealthy conditions in breeds, such as the extreme flat faces in the current pugs and bulldogs. which cause the animals an inability to regulate their body temperature.

At this years Crufts, the ultra-most chichi dog show ever, 15 breeds were put on a list to be monitored for dangerous conditions as of March 1, 2012: Basset Hound, Bloodhound, Bulldog, Chow Chow, Clumber Spaniel, Dogue De Bordeaux, German Shepherd Dog, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Pekingese, Shar Pei, St Bernard, French Bulldog, Pug and Chinese Crested. Several dogs were publicly flunked.

The Chinese Crested, as a slightly transformed techichi, is on this list and so the relevant issues such as lethal dominants will be discussed in these pages.

probably a ‘Techichi’ dog

deer type 1

The Techichi dog is an antidote to the kind of inbreeding found in almost every kennel club breed. These dogs are usually bred by their owners and are almost always bred to unrelated dogs. This is the opposite of inbreeding or pure breeding and it has some advantages and disadvantages which are discussed on other pages.

Active again.

My Mexican hairless dog RuthieMy Mexican hairless dog Ruthie

After much dithering about getting some kind of interactive scene going with my dog blog, I quit thinking about wikis, and decided to rework this blog and include only hairless dog material. Since I have two other basic dog interests that easily resolve into two other blogs, the first one will be on small dogs, specifically the Chihuahua-like 10 pound dogs so common in the American Southwest from El Paso to Tucson to San Diego. Since I like long blog names, this one will be called, “Is there a techichi on your couch?” and it will go on my techichi.org domain. The third blog will collect my posts on the non-akc breeding of dogs, so I am hoping to be provocative by calling it, “Confessions of a Backyard Breeder”. It will go on my domain native-american-dogs.com.

Also, I have a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TechichiDogs.

The sub-name is native American dogs. I did not capitalize the N because I am not claiming that the domain is about North American pre-contact tribal dogs, though I gather what information I can about the subject, it is more about the dogs we have around today, especially the ones that LOOK like the old tribal lines of dogs.

deer type 1However the most popular responses to my Facebook page are from people who have techichis on their couches –  those 10 pound chi-like dogs- which do throw occasional 4-5 pound pups. These bigger dogs are still called “Chihuahuas” because they look like over-sized versions of the AKC version, but think about it, no 5 pound AKC chi ever had pups that grew to 10 pounds, yet that is the most common size of this type of dog and they far outnumber the registered version.

 

 

Native American Dogs

http://www.techichi.org is my current blog. Please visit and look at the techichi slideshow gallery. I am not posting over here any more, so come visit my new blog!!!

Wherein I first push the idea of deer chihuahuas as possible direct descendents of the old techichis since there has been a virtually unbroken historical record of them from the conquest to today. Any apparent gap in their history is due to the lack of translation between Spanish and English during the late 19th to early 20th century.

Secondly, I push the idea of recognizing, recreating and/or devolving the “common dog” lines of the far west, where they still appear in phenotype, if not genotype.

Thirdly, I might get around to an exhaustive summary of known pre-conquest dog types of the Americas, just so the info is online in one convenient place.

Mystery of my Hairless Chihuahua- Solved!

I first started a blog of the same name in 2009, but on a different carrier.  I had recently come into a 3 month old, “Mexican Hairless Chihuahua”. I had known about these dogs for decades because my family took a vacation in Mexico the summer of 1955-56. We were driving down the Western side of Mexico to Mexico City, then returning through the inland route through Chihuahua. We spent a night in Mazatlan and saw some naked dogs on the streets. They were unique enough to remember when I encountered the name Mexican Hairless for this breed of dogs through looking at Diego Rivera’s mural at San Francisco State College. This enormous mural resides in the Diego Rivera Theater on that college’s campus. It must be 20’ high, by 50’ high. No photo I found goes all the way down the left hand side to the very corner, where the dogs are. I googled the dogs at some point and spent a few hours reading about them. I was intrigued and had vague wish to get one someday.

Diego-Rivera-Mural-SFstate

A year or two later, I saw an ad in a local online free classified ad including dogs. I wanted a small dog to replace my deceased “deer Chihuahua”, so I occasionally looked at dog ads. One day there was an ad that offered a “hairless Chihuahua” for $100. It was right in my own far SW-side neighborhood, so I went over there.

There were two of these pups both the solid gray/black color. One had longer legs, she had beautiful proportions. She looked like a deer, a deer Chihuahua without hair. Just when I got there, the breeder arrived and was extremely upset. She had been negotiating with animal control to get or keep a license for a kennel and had been refused. She had just come back from losing an appeal. At this moment, Animal control was coming out to get all except the legal number of dogs. She had only a 48 hours to remove the dogs. I quickly realized that if this dog went to animal control, it would have been grabbed up by the hairless rescue people, as they had priority for the hairless dogs that arrive at the pound- or the humane society. I had managed to see this dog before she was taken beyond my ability to get her from this back yard breeder – or puppy farm.  I felt like I had just short-circuited a series of shakeups before she was rehomed. As she was very high strung and insecure, I have always been glad she only had two homes, her breeder and ours.

i1035 FW1.1Now that I had her, I googled hairless Chihuahuas and hairless dogs, including Xoloitzquintles. I got a book, “Hairless dogs: the Naked Truth”. There were many directions to follow up on after reading that book.

First, I followed the gene itself and learned that it had been analyzed by a renowned scientist in Switzerland. Tosso Lieb who determined it was a semi-dominant gene that had appeared as a mutation in Mexico, at least 3 thousand years ago. This effectively cancelled any claims that any  hairless dogs were from China. Or Africa. Still, I was shocked, because the Chinese Crested’s descriptions on the AKC site that same day, said they were from China and were vermin killers who went with Chinese on boats to prevent the plague by killing rats in the 14 hundreds- except back then no one knew rats carried the plague, and other errors were also made. So that opened a skeptical side in me that needs to cut through the myths and another ??? about the AKC.

I was doing research on Chihuahuas too. I have several books on the origins of the breed. I was reading histories that mention naked dogs when the Spaniards arrived. I found an old book on kindle wherein  the author, Allan Glover of Harvard, writing at the beginning of the 20th century analyzed the literature and art of dogs in the history of America and got a very realistic map of what kind of native dogs lived where.

dog map 001

Native American Dog map

But the more I got information on Chihuahuas from the breed founders’ own words and overlaid them on the maps PFerd III made based on Glover’s work  I saw the Chihuahua breed founders were getting dogs from the area renowned for Techichi dogs, 10 pound dogs from far northern Mexico and Southwestern US from Texas to California, who all lived in the desert. So of course I had to pay more attention to techichi dogs -as well as all the other 10 pound small dogs occurring in every corner of North America. It was just the southwestern ones that were called Techichi, which was a Nahuatl disparaging word for the little dogs of the Chichimeca, barbarians of their far north.

300px-Uto-Aztecan_langs

I already knew that Itzquintle was the Nahautl word for their own dogs. I took an introductory course in Nahuatl on You Tube twice, because it came in two versions. I began to put the Itzquintle on the map Pferd III had made wherever there were Uto-Aztecan languages, of which Nahuatl was a major branch. This language family covers most of the America west of the Mississippi, except coastal California and the far north. Itzquintles were the common dog of the Nahuatl related tribes in America and mostly had short hair. They probably weren’t called Iztquintles locally no matter how close the language was to ancient Nahuatl, but since Mexico City was always the center of the Americas, whatever it was called at the time, it is convenient to use the classic Nahuatl terms to refer to the larger collective of the Uto-Aztecan language base.

By this time I had seen in several places, references that the Techichi dogs came in 3 varieties, Short hair, long hair, and hairless. This made sense to me, when I finally discovered an old woman in her advanced 80’s, another back yard breeder, I suppose, who had kept Mexican Hairless Chihuahuas since the 1950’s. I interviewed her a couple of times though she was in feeble health. She had been part of gatherings of Xolos  in Tucson, in the 50’s, but never joined the newly organizing Xolo club because they didn’t prefer or allow toy sized dogs. That first club died and she never tried to join the second xolo breed club either. Her stock came from the Tucson/Sonora Desert, (where they were known, even if uncommon, and recorded by Easterners since the 1850s).  She insisted the Xoloitzquintle name was an invented breed name by the breed club of the same name, and they had done a lot of refining in the in-club breeding.

She did not have Xoloitzquintles, she had Mexican Hairless, which was always the name, long before the Xoloitzquintle name was formalized. It still refers to the out of club hairless dogs. She told me that she grew up with the hairless dogs which used to be far more common around Tucson. Her grandmother had one. Just about every extended Mexican family had one, back when. This wasn’t much, but combined with all the other strands in this weaving, it was all fitting together, however loosely.

Hairless Chihuahua was  a modern name for the so-called Techichi dogs 9-12 lbs, that used to live in the northern deserts along the border, mostly inside today’s US boundaries. They used to be locally called “perros sin pelo’, or hairless dogs. Only the 9-12 pound range was known in Tucson since my breeder friend was born during the thirties, so I expect that since the techichis were of similar size, we had the same dog. This dog was not known as “techichi” by the locals, that was the Meshica pejorative term, but simply as perros sin pelo, because all the native dogs were 8-12 lbs in the first standard deviation, but had unlimited colors and short hair, long hair or – very little hair.

Thus, I achieved fulfillment in my quest for the truth about the hairless Chihuahua. Indeed! I also learned about the development of the Chihuahua and the Chinese Crested breeds within the AKC, the problems of all the big dog institutions, plus  so much about all the native dogs, that I expanded my blogs to include all these topics.

If you want to see what I have been doing on my new blog, go to  http://www.techichi.org

Mutts All: Breeding against the Acronyms

Hi Folks

This is probably my last post on this blog. My transition to techichi.org is almost complete.The title of the blog, Techichis, Itzquintle and Dingos points to the major conclusion I have reached through the course of researching and writing this blog.

I learned how to blog on this blog.I started on google Blogger, and probably should have kept this blog over there. But moving it was a great learning experience in itself. I never did recover the momentum the Blogger blog built up, but I figured out what topics keep me thinking, researching, and writing-

When I started researching the title name of this blog, I didn’t even know dogblogs existed, let alone that there are some really smart people out there dog-blogging. Some of these people were doing the research I was interested in and they became excellent resources for me to use. Sure saved me a lot of researching and thinking, especially on dog genetics issues.

I eventually learned enough to figure out who to agree with and thus, my personal Philosophy of Dog was born. I learned how to sort out various Philosophies of Dogs and who held them, thus I came to a fairly cohesive personal view of Dog Politics.

In Dog Politics, the big guys are the AKC, the ASPCA, HSUS, PETA who are all out there to make money and provide their top administrations with high dollar jobs and highfalutin connections. The former likes to register their own gated community’s births  and the last three are the operators of all the major kill units in the dog world and still behave as though stray dogs are a plague and abused dogs make up most of the pet owning population. The kill shelters mostly deal with unpopular breeds and mutts. AKC breed clubs usually have a rescue unit to get their breed out of the local pound. they have private foster care systems in place and usually try to find new homes for their rescued breed.

These institutions’ own statistics show that the no kill movement has caused a huge dog recycling industry that operates just under the level of public awareness where “kill”  shelters trade dogs around to different parts of the country to fill local needs. At present, only 2% of all dogs in the US ever end up dead at the hands of the kill shelters run by aspca, hsus and peta and local government agencies.

The main thing ALL the above named institutions agree on, is that regular people should not breed their dogs. At all. Ever. Period. The latter three kind of ignore that the AKC and  other smaller dog registries absolutely OWN the right to breed dogs. No one else should have the right to breed except purebred dog owners in good standing with the AKC and maybe their breed clubs. People who breed their purebred dogs and do not participate in the the AKC are barred from ever changing their minds. Once out, always out. God should forbid you should want to breed mutts or crossbreed AKC dogs with other closely related AKC breeds. Such independence is not tracked, it is heresy.

I expect that I am a very small voice, and I know I carry no authority in the dog world whatsoever, but after having thought things through and reading several trusted sources, I have come to the conclusion that dog birth rates are falling everywhere, not just in the AKC. Although it is not well known, it is easily researchable that our politically correct view that no dog should be bred has caused a market shortage. That is, there are fewer dogs being bred in the USA than desired by the market, which in turn, causes other countries, particularly Mexico, to fill up the market with Mexican-bred dogs.

I finally reached the conclusion, that we need to purposefully breed mutts! Why mutts? Because they will tend to increase the heterogeneity of the mutt gene pool which could have several good outcomes. It is a counter to the hereditary problems that keep increasing in a majority of the AKC breeds of dogs. Mutts may all carry their quota of genetic problems, but their frequency drops as the likelihood of fewer bad recessives meeting up, drops.

I think people should develop local landrace dogs if they have one- ie the deer Chihuahuas of the southwest, previously known as Techichis or “short nosed dogs” . The main thing I think mutts should avoid is any extreme in conformation. Not too big. Not too small. But a good variation in size. No dwarfed legs, or flat faces or extremely curly tails. Any variation in coat color should be fine except breeding for merles. A large range of coat texture and lengths can be present, but also avoiding extremes.

I have been thinking a lot about phenotype vs genotype in dog breeds and come to one wild conclusion….

I guess what I am advocating is a kind of deliberate canalisation of dogs based on the basic dog archetypes such as the old travois dogs, Itzquintles, and techichis.

Canalisation????!!!!!!

What the heck is that? Is it kosher to use this word in dogs at all? Can canalisation of a part of a species take a place at the center of the dog gene pool?

Well, if you care to follow me on this topic, I’ll see you over on my new blog where I will soon post something on the potential of a model like this applied to dogs or recognized to be present, perhaps, in some dog landraces already.

http://www.techichi.org/

Summer Spectacular Ballet in Oz.

I reposted  R’man’s post, because it is wonderful account of a rainstorm and a sunset, but also reminds me of a similar piece I wrote many years ago on Live Journal.

And here is my old article:

Summer Spectacular Ballet in Oz

The Emerald City is the home of some of the most avant garde arts in the universe. This weekend we were graced with this summer’s third appearance of Polychrome and all her siblings in their full glory dancing with the storm, the lightning and the rainbow. What a gala event.

We gathered outside, sitting in the plazas and the on the roof tops because this kind of event is too big to be contained in our largest arena. Although we in the Emerald City had the best view, no one in Oz missed the event; it could be seen everywhere.

The Ballet, as one might call it, was in 3 acts. In the first act, Oya made her appearance first, swooping through and sweeping the skies and spaces clean with her broom which creates long eddies and tight vortices dancing along the borders of climactic change. There is a feeling of electricity in the air, the hair stands out from the back of the neck. The winds shift and intensify. We are uncomfortable. A change is coming.

At the beginning of the second act, we hear thunder. Chango, Oya’s second husband, is responding to the lightning charge she gave him so many years ago. He rumbles and dances. Oya gave him Lightning to go with his rumbles, but she kept back the little spark that dictates where the lightning charge goes.

Oya is is always recognized as the choreographer in this dance. Chango may be the star, but Oya always tells him where to go. The Oya Chango duet, the highlight of pyrotechnics, the absolutely awe-inspiring dance of the storm breaks over us. The finale of this act is in the discharge of the energy in wind, rain, and lightning. We, the audience may allow ourselves to get wet or we may use umbrellas to stay kind of dry. We may join in the magnificent performance by dancing and participating like singing or playing instruments. This kind of summer spectacular is too big to just sit there. We can hardly contain the kids from running around outside, their faces up and mouths open.

After some time, the rain diminishes; the lightning and thunder go away. The 3rd act opens. Even while the ground runs with echoes of the rain, the skies open up and the Rainbow’s Children dance on the rainbow. Children love to step into the eddies of the run-off for the spinning, dizziness, it invokes as the sand washes away from their heels. Sometimes they fall over in their experience of moving backward while the water seems to stay still.

The rainbow snatches them up, whirls then around and lets them go. They plunk into the puddles on their butts and splash the water with their hands. The weird little critters that live underground come up choking for air, and children shriek to see their weird crawly forms. (No doubt they will tell darling Professor Wogglebug about them later this year and learn some lessons in how we all live together, from him).

This incredible National summer spectacular rarely happens more than a half dozen times a summer, so it is always a big event and the subject of many months of conversation. We do have some local practice meets in the spring, but the best stuff happens in the summer.

If you would visit Oz for a minute, go out barefoot in the runoff on your home street and splash in the puddles!
Love Glinda