Breeding Landrace Dogs- preliminary thoughts.

I have some ideas about breeding landrace types. I have written other posts about it, but think I will write a new one pretty soon. I have found that dog breeders are a stubborn bunch as far as learning new points of view are concerned. I don’t know who my readers are, and some may dump me for these opinions, but I know I have the best references to support them all.

Techichi type dogs are a landrace type. The breeding is entirely different than at the AKC. The only thing an AKC breeding approach to breeding a techichi -or other landrace dog- would do would be to concentrate some techichi genes, if it is even possible without inbreeding.  BUT remember, techichi types have retained their phenotype even when crossbred extensively, so it doesn’t matter. Dog incest is not needed in landrace breeds, though it is the principle principle of the AKC breeding- in order to concentrate wanted genes.

The lab-tested dogs don’t have a lot of native genes, just enough to give the phenotype, I guess. The dogs are still popular in Tucson especially, and are 99.x% bred in Mexican neighborhood private homes, without benefit of any knowledge of breeding except to put two “Chihuahuas” together. (Or sometimes a chi/dachshund or chi-pom). The pups are given away to family and sold through putting cardboard boxes with “Chihuahua Pups” and phone numbers written on them- at the major intersections in the Mexican neighborhoods. The pups only rarely get advertised in any print media. This is backyard breeding at its best. No AKC involved, no AKC dogs involved, either.

Where I got my start in learning about landrace dogs was from three blogs, in particular. Have any of you readers ever read Retrieverman.net? (Scottie Westfall) The blog used to be about dogs, so look at posts about 4 years old for that, but I love the point of view on dog politics in particular. It is now called Natural History because Scottie’s passions are so wide ranging.

or Border Wars? (Christopher Landaur) who has complied the most authentic information on Qualzucht INbreeding EVER and is so passionate his emotion pours out of every paragraph. If you can stand to look and read, you will learn about dog incest in a very scientific and accurate way. Not many people could have written this- it is top drawer information by someone who actually understands the genetics involved, AND he explains it to laymen well with lots of graphics and graphic pix.

or the Desert Windhounds blog (Jess Ruffner)  about the crossbred salukis and afghans and how the Afghanis actually bred those dogs. (She says in her ABOUT ME “If you have found your way here from somewhere the ‘reputable’ breeders hang out, the first, and most important, thing you need to know is that I am an Evil Crossbreeder™, and I don’t show my own dogs. I have some…strange…views about ‘breeds’ and dogs as biological, not mythological, entities. If these are deal-breakers for your worldview, you should turn back now.”)  She is cynical, but accurate and painfully honest. What she knows and does about crossbreeding the Afghan family of dogs has made her an outcast at the AKC, but a hero to people who want to keep genetic diversity and return inbred breeds to landrace status.

Landrace dogs are the future of dog breeding.

Those three guys’ opinions reflect  the most important voices in the future of dog breeding at the moment.  You can read their references to find where they learned their info, and I did. I spent 100’s of hours finding the best dog blogs and hundreds of hours reading these three, and their references, once I found them.  I am a dogged (wink) researcher and these three are the best dog info blogs I’ve found, so far. Their posts are hard hitting and very anti-establishment (read anti- AKC, HUAC, ASPCA, etc. ) and very pro-fact. They are all friends with each other, so finding one meant finding the other two. (I also met Fiesta Cranberry through those blogs’ comments sections- a most delightful person I wish I could meet in person.)

Anyway, this isn’t the actual post on landrace breeding, I don’t even define it here,  it is just an info pointer to get anyone who wants to learn about breeding landrace dogs going. I am introducing the words, to let you get used to them, if it is a new concept to you. If you want to read ahead on me, look it up in my previous posts  OR, go to those three blogs and get completely overwhelmed if you love to bathe in information- as I do.

Hairless Dogs: The Naked Truth

Hairless Dogs The Naked Truth, a book by

Amy Fernandez and Kelly Rhae

Self-Published, 1999 available at Amazon

Although I have mentioned this book a couple of times before, I have never reviewed it.This review is actually a summary of my opinions on the whole subject.

The Hairless Gene comes from Mexico.

I absolutely love the history section from pp 43-58. This is a very cohesive history of the original Mexican hairless dogs, with excellent illustrations. I have followed up on as many of their references as I could, which has been a lot of fun. Fernandez and Rhae conclusively demonstrate through historical references alone, that no naked dogs were ever documented before the return of Cortez from the New World. After that, references abound of naked dogs under dozens of local “breed” names.

They proved that are no Chinese hairless dogs, there are no African or Turkish hairless dogs -before the Conquest.

Since the publication of the book, the origin of the hairless allele on the FoxI3 gene known as Hh was definitively found by Swiss scientists to have first occurred in Mexico 3 thousand years ago or so. It only occurred once and the Peruvian dogs share the same mutation.

With the exception of a recently found recessive hairless gene in a rat terrier in the USA, ALL hairless dogs have the Hh gene that goes back to Mexico. All hairy dogs have an hh allele on that spot called the FOX13 gene where the mutation occurred. Only dogs with the H mutation are hairless. The HH gene is lethal and the hh is the original coated, unmutated dog that can never have hairless pups-unless bred to a hairless dog.

The Genetics of Hairless Dogs.

This book was the first book I read to even mention the genetics of hairless dogs and it describes the nature of a lethal dominant gene, as the H gene is, when expressed as HH. Pups with HH are not born. The Hh gene gives restricted hair and tooth development. There are Hh hairless dogs with varying amounts of hair from none, to a full, but thin, single coat in some Chinese Cresteds. The hairy dogs can have double and/or single coats, though I think the single coat was more common in the tropics.

The Lethal Gene.

The nature of all lethal genes is about a dominant mutation, which with one copy, will give an unusual trait ie hairlessness, bob tails and ridgebacks, all of which are examples in dogs. The reason they are lethal is that two copies of the gene give such an extreme version of the trait, that the animals do not live- if ever born. Thus double dominant genes give bobtails and ridgebacks with external spinal cords and no anuses, for instance. No hairless puppies are believed to survive the double naked HH whammy. The teeth and skin probably do not develop at all, making the embryos nonviable from almost the beginning.

Can there be a “Breed” of Naked Dogs? Absolutely not!!!

Now, I have to stop right there and point out that ALL the hairless breeders started out developing naked breeds of dogs. They get two hairless dogs and breed them together. Even today, all they talk up, is the hairless variety even though up to 50% of a hairless litter can have hairy dogs. Yet, please note, no hairy dog can have the hairless gene, because it has 2 recessive hh alleles.

What Amy and Kelly never taught us, nor even seemed to figure out for themselves, is that the coated dogs are the breed.

The coated dogs are the breed.

The coated dogs are the breed. There is no such thing as a hairless “breed”. There is only a hairless genetic variation on a coated breed. Thus, the hairless trait can be introduced into any “breed” or landrace of ancient dogs and was.

  H h
H HH Hh
h Hh hh

H is dominant, h is recessive. Above are all the possible combinations. The HH are not born, the Hh are the hairless and the hh are hairy.

Think about it. The only way to get a hairless dog was to breed a hairless dog, so one had to get a hairless dog to begin with. Then, there will ALWAYS be hairy puppies from hairless dogs in a predetermined ratio although not in every litter.  One practice is to breed hairless to hairless, but that always resulted in smaller litters as the HH pups perished, yet hairy pups still happened because each parent has an h allele. When the odds are that two hh alleles meet up, the dog has hair, so there is no way to get rid of the hairy pups. The reason should be obvious to dog breeders, yet they are so notoriously in denial about so much, they have lost the ability to reason through a situation. The answer to the naked breed thing is that there is no naked breed, there is only an Hh gene added to whatever the mix (or Breed) happens to be.

I will not review the rest of the book, which is a detailed account of how the three registered hairless breeds were developed, the Xoloitzquintle, the Peruvian Inca Orchid, and the Chinese Crested. All three breeds mistakenly only valued the hairless variety, thus the breeds themselves have never been promoted. In the Chinese Crested, the breed is the powder puff; the naked crested dogs are a variation on the basic breed. Seems like the Peruvian breed used a hound model on which to put the hairless gene. The Xolo actually seems to be based on a common type of Mexican dog, a very handsome balanced animal with upright ears and a low curved tail.

Naked dog breeders need to face the reality of how the Hh gene works and develop the actual breed, then use some good dogs to produce the naked variation. However current AKC beliefs in eugenics style closed gene pool breeding, is refusing to admit the truth about how Hh genes work. The crested breeders have so much hair in their hairless dogs, they have to shave some of them for shows. They bemoan it, but have no clue on how to fix it- and. the AKC wouldn’t let them, if they did know how!

So here I am, back at my anti-AKC stance on the breeding of dogs.

Future note.

I would like to see the “Itzquintle” become a Mexican landrace breed, of which some are used to perpetuate the Naked allele. I think the Peruvian dogs are a hodge-podge, a very inconsistent “breed” that I would never invest in. I would like to see the Chinese Cresteds fold up, go away and learn how to breed a good dog and recognize the limits of certain genes. The powder puff version of the dog is so hairy it is almost Qualzucht by itself. The hairy Cresties should not be bred at all. Crestie breeders need to learn some genetics and realize the creators of their “breed”, were Sorcerer’s apprentices who did not know what they were doing- then or now, and thus produced a Qualzucht breed. Look up “Qualzucht” It is German for “torture breeding”.

I do recommend that people look at this book; it reveals the true origins of the AKC Chihuahua as well, and indirectly bolsters the techichi theory, although you need to follow the sources to get the complete picture.

Originally the naked gene was bred into in all sizes of dogs. Until very recently there was a line of naked Chihuahuas (techichi types) in Tucson. Apparently, at the beginning of the development of the Xoloitzquintle breed by the AKC-bbased Xolo club,  techichi-sized dogs were not allowed in at first. Now they are, but a lot of genetic material got lost in Tucson before the club made that change. I have  three sources for that info, two local one-time breeder/owners of naked Chihuahuas and Pat Kennedy, once the sec’y of the Xolo club in the early years -and my Great Aunt, as well. I interviewed her about the early days of the Xolo club at a family reunion, about when she was active in the beginnings of the Xolo breed. She knew a lot about the Tucson scene in the 1950’s when there were lots of naked techichi types.

After thoughts: Qualzucht and naked dogs

After having owned 3 naked dogs, I have come to realize that I totally love the hairy dogs of the breed and would have one any time,  I would not ever own another naked dog. I think it is a weird kind of cultural appropriation to keep breeding these dogs as pets. The original breeders, Aztec ancestors, considered the naked dog sacred to one of their Energy Streams, (I hate the word “gods” in English; it has the wrong connotations for Aztec thought) called Xolotl, the dog-like, twin-like other half of the Quetzalcoatl Energy. The dogs need special care; most have bad dentition, even when bred from hairy dogs with good dentition. The skin itself is extremely vulnerable to all kinds of conditions, all its life- which too often ends with skin cancer.

Tosso Lieb, the Swiss scientist who traced the age and geography of the naked gene has long since reached the conclusion that breeding for nakedness is Qaulzucht, a kind of torture breeding in which humans make their dogs endure an unnatural condition of breeding which distorts the animal. Flat faces, are an especially egregious form of Qualzucht as it affects the internal temperature control and breathing of the dogs with the trait. Just because dogs produce genetic sports- especially when inbred, does not mean man needs to make dogs into an animal that gets bred for the weird trait.

There is not one word of the genetic struggles of the Chinese Crested breed to maintain its baldness in the proper places, in this book, nor of the ethics of breeding weird genes into dogs. They are proud members of AKC-think, not independent scientists who really examined the trait. Just to have a different looking dog, is an ego trip for the owners- it always has been, and naked dogs are no exception- witness the mass killings of hairy pups for decades. If they didn’t have the weird trait, they were worthless dogs.

On the other hand techichi dogs, although small, only have the one weird gene for smallness, which when bred to an extreme is Qualzucht, but in the ordinary 10-20 pound size produces devoted and quite long lived house pets who are a bit high strung about company, but are calm and easy to live with, in general.  In the old days, here in the northern deserts,  the smallness was a trait that allowed even the poorest people to be able to feed their dogs, who also were good at getting and eating rodents. So, even though their smallness does impose some weirdness, like the big eyes, the techichi type is hardy and long lived with no discomfort or special treatment. A good little dog.

My Favorite Premises and Plans for Techichi Dogs.

Techichi Dogs

MY Premise: The techichi type little dog is alive and well and has retained its original phenotype, even though taking on many Eurodog genes. It is the parental stock of the AKC chihuahua, not the reverse.

  1. This phenotype averages 10 pounds as opposed to the akc chi artificially held at 4 pounds,
  2. The dogs look like little deer with large eyes, upright ears and at least average length legs, usually short hair, though hairless and long haired occur and always have, long before the Southwest became part of the USA.
  3. If you have one that looks like this, get it tested at the Mars Lab. There is a fantastic comment somewhere on this site from a vet at that project who says many techichi types are turning up with some native genes.
  4. Let’s separate these guys from the AKC chis by calling them Techichis. Remember,  the more techichi-sized dogs are tested and the more native genes show up, the more different native genes may be noted, so techichis will probably end up having some of the native genetic spectrum, but not quite the same from dog to dog.
  5. I have a Facebook page where you can post photos of your techichi types and comment.
  6. There are a lot of techichis that need rescuing from shelters. Many are put there because they turn out to be 10 pounds instead of 5, because they were called “Chihuahuas” when they were sold and raised false expectations of tiny adult size in the new owners.
  7. You can spread the word about techichis as opposed to Chihuahuas by sharing your Techichi posts on your Timeline.
  8. Let’s not get too technical, all techichi types are the type they are BECAUSE they have always been out-crossed to unrelated dogs. If your dog looks like a techichi, but does not test like one, let us know.
  9. I think that the techichi should be recognized by its phenotype, whether or not it has native genes. Whatever its genes are, they will probably breed true to type- should they be bred-which is not politically cool at all right now.
  10. Maybe we could call our dogs that have been tested “Techichis” and the ones with the proper phenotype, “techichi types”. After all, until genetics came along, all the earlier people had to go by was phenotype.
  11. This little guy already is far more common than the AKC sub-type. Maybe several hundred times more common, though that is a guess based on my experience, not actual counting,
  12. Let’s get this sweetie of a dog out from behind the false “Chihuahua” label.

If enough of us flow through my website and Facebook page, someone should come along that has the proper temperament and skills -and youthful energy, to get some kind of journalism going on the subject, other webpages, and/or an association going that can reach critical mass in making the techichi type as well known as the Chihuahua. But this is already a very popular dog, even if no one recognizes it -except us.

I am really just an idea person. I got this idea that the oversized chis were the parental stock of the AKC chis and were the original native stock. I demonstrated it with the  history available from various dog books I could buy on Amazon. Now, genetic testing has confirmed native genes in the techichi types. I feel like my idea is validated properly from  two important sources, but I am 75 years old and don’t have the energy to promote this idea beyond posts in this blog, and asking people to share on my Facebook page. Somehow, I don’t think posts about oversized Chihuahuas will go viral, but even a few hundred more techichi people on Facebook is far more attention and knowledge than has ever happened, before.

 

 

 

 

Techichi Type Dogs, Chihuahuas, and Genomes.

Since I last posted, I have learned that two techichi type Chihuahua dogs that I know of, have been tested genetically. So far, they both do have Chihuahua genes. But, these dogs are not the descendents of the AKC Chihuahuas, they are similar to the parental stock.

I hope more people do a genetic test on their techichi dogs- It was around $60, the last time I checked. This website could become a place where we gather that information together, and maybe share the whole genomes, somehow.

The parental stocks of the AKC Chihuahuas were landrace dogs. This meant that outside genes could and did come in, so I suspect the techichi type genomes have a lot of diversity – yet the techichi, deer chi population maintains its original archetype. It is theroretically possible that combinations of other kinds of dogs could give a classic Chihuahua look. Such as the Min Pin. There are lines and mixes of Minpins that look like the deer Chihuahuas, especially when they are black and tan rather than red.

Many native nations had small dogs, the mutation for small dogs happened before the crossing of the Bering Strait, so the Igf1 gene certainly came to the Americas. Even if smallest dogs did not, some small dogs did.

All of the depictions of small dogs in old North American art have the same basic shape, prick ears and a relaxed tail. Coat types and colors varied, but the dog type stayed constant to the original dog shape, that of a wolf. Dropped ears and other features that deviate from the wolf archetype come from inbreeding closed populations. There were virtually no closed populations in most of the Americas before the development of dog breeds in Europe in the 19th Century madness, infected America.

Therefore, I think that any Euro genes that get into the native techichi type population are mostly recessive, so they disappear in the first generation and will only be seen again if two matching recessives meet, which is unlikely in an open population. Therefore I think anyone who has a small dog with prick ears and short hair has a techichi type for breeding purposes, especially if bred to another dog with the deer chi look.

What I am saying is that, in my humble opinion, genes are genes, wherever they come from, and if a small, short  haired longish legged dog with prick ears and a relaxed tail wants to be a techichi type, they already are. Above all, the techichi is a type, a phenotype, if you will. As long as the phenotype remains constant, it does not matter where the genes that give the type come from, one bit.

Having said that, I bet the vast majority of genetically tested big Chihuahuas, deer Chihuahuas, or techichi types will have some genes in common with the AKC Chihuahua, which is an inbred (read small number of diverse genes) descendants of the original native dogs. The true techichi type spectrum of genes will prove to be MUCH greater than the AKC Chihuahua has.

In the world of landrace dogs, forget the inbreeding, forget purity of blood concept- which comes straight out of eugenics, forget even the genetics, go for the phenotype. That is how the old dogs looked, that is how the dogs today look. If they have the phenotype of a techichi type, they are a techichi type (no capital letters) and any breeding with another techichi type will give nothing but techichi types, unless, very rarely, two recessives meet up that change the phenotype- ie short legs.

Let us continue to collect techichi types from shelters and pounds, none of whom will able to breed. Maybe someday it will be respectable to openly breed techichi types, but for now there are plenty of them available for adoption.

still sputtering

I haven’t been able to access this blog for a long time, but I am now somewhat back. No new posts on the actual subject yet, but have to say I am so delighted to see all the folks with techichis! I will monitor comments here more quickly.

I struggled to find a good wiki type program so people could post – and post pictures of their techichis and interact. After trying a lot of things, I decided the closest match for want I want is my Facebook page so please post pix and interact there. You seem like a great bunch of people and so that could work.

As for this blog, I need to organize subjects, edit, and clarify more than add more of the same…Maybe in 2016 with a new computer…

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.

just a note

I am transferring all my dog posts from all over the blogoverse to this blog, so some of them may not be new to you- depending on which of my blogs you read, but I think they will be new to  lot of newer followers of this blog.

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