Breeder: Rhenegade Chows

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Re: Breeder: Rhenegade Chows

Postby 612guy » Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:54 am

This is what 2007 was like on this forum.

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Re: Breeder: Rhenegade Chows

Postby Lynxlover » Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:34 pm

Did Rhenegade ever come back on with all her OFA certificates she had scheduled?

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Breeder: Rhenegade Chows

Postby andomozed » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:06 am

I doubt she will...she has renounced this site stating she would not return

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Re: Breeder: Rhenegade Chows

Postby Lynxlover » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:03 am

Isn't she the one breeding Merle's?

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Breeder: Rhenegade Chows

Postby andomozed » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:39 am

Yes, and she recently added a new Merle puppy to her kennel...it's on her site

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Breeder: Rhenegade Chows

Postby andomozed » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:42 am

Rhenegades has a new litter with 3 or 4 Merle pups

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Re: Breeder: Rhenegade Chows

Postby Lynxlover » Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:06 am

All that grandstanding about breeding for health and then she has the audacity to breed Merle's...

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Breeder: Rhenegade Chows

Postby DrewBear » Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:49 pm

I posted this on another thread (now locked):

The topic of merles has resulted in long flame wars here in years past. I read all of those before I joined the forum and found them disturbing enough that I almost did not join. I certainly do not want to fan flames in this already hot discussion, but I do want to share the very little documented info that I was able to dig up on merles, which is a color pattern not unique to Chows. Although merle is not a recognized color in the official Chow Chow organizations, the quote below assures me that it is possible to breed healthy merles responsibly. (it's also possible to breed them irresponsibly) I can understand if some people disagree with my conclusion. I would appreciate links to more research, but please make sure you understand the scientific terms on genetics before posting additional information. I'm sure everyone agrees that there's a lot of junk on the web.

The merle pattern is inherited in dogs with a heterozygous genotype. One of the homozygotes is solid colored on the torso and the other is white or mostly white. Frequently these white dogs are deaf, and less commonly blind. This is an example where genes involved in pigmentation of hair or skin can also be associated with development of nerves. Most breeders have learned to avoid this problem by never breeding two merle dogs together...most conscientious breeder try to abide by the rule not to breed merle to merle to avoid the mostly white dogs that are often deaf...
Source: http://homepage.usask.ca/~schmutz/merle.html

The article has references to research papers that are not readily available online. The author is a Professor at the University of Saskatchewan. Here's a partial list of her published work: http://www.biomedexperts.com/Profile.bme/1260381/Sheila_M_Schmutz

No one responded with any additional research links. Anyone in this discussion have data to share?
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Re: Breeder: Rhenegade Chows

Postby Lynxlover » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:54 pm

It is not "safe" to do a Merle to solid breeding in chows. People always say it's ok as long as you breed a Merle to a solid. For example, You may think your doing a Merle to red breeding. But in chows the phenotype and genotype don't always match. The dog may look red (phenotype) but in fact be a "disguised" black or Merle or any other color (genotype). That's why there have been instances of two red chows producing a black puppy. One of the parents was likely.. red (phenotype) but black (genotype). The consequences of potentially mating a Merle to a "disguised" Merle is dire. Double Merle's offen suffer from both blindness and deafness. The risk is far too high just to get a "unique" color.

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Re: Breeder: Rhenegade Chows

Postby DrewBear » Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:58 am

Lynxlover wrote:It is not "safe" to do a Merle to solid breeding in chows. People always say it's ok as long as you breed a Merle to a solid. For example, You may think your doing a Merle to red breeding. But in chows the phenotype and genotype don't always match. The dog may look red (phenotype) but in fact be a "disguised" black or Merle or any other color (genotype). That's why there have been instances of two red chows producing a black puppy. One of the parents was likely.. red (phenotype) but black (genotype). The consequences of potentially mating a Merle to a "disguised" Merle is dire. Double Merle's offen suffer from both blindness and deafness. The risk is far too high just to get a "unique" color.

The genotype/phenotype distinction was stated in the quoted article:
The merle pattern is inherited in dogs with a heterozygous genotype.

I've often read the claim that "Double Merle's offen suffer from both blindness and deafness.", but where is the data? If you read the linked article, they present data that is not nearly as "dire".
Their study included 40 dogs that were M/M. Twenty-nine of the 40 were Catahoula, a breed with no white markings. Only 2 Catahoula were deaf in both ears and 1 was deaf in one ear. Of the remaining 11 dogs, 4 were deaf in both ears and 3 in one ear. These 11 dogs included 5 Aussies, 3 Collies, 1 Sheltie, 1 Corgi, and 1 Great Dane. Only 1 of the 113 dogs with a M/m genotype was deaf, confirming again that heterozygous merle dogs are not prone to deafness.

Note that the Chow Chow was not one of the breeds involved in the studies. Note also that blindness was not even mentioned. The researchers are the first to admit that there is much they do not know. It's fine to point out the risks that come with the merle color, but let's not overstate the case or imply the risks are greater than they really are.

Remember that the genotype/phenotype issue applies to other health problems common to Chows: hip & elbow dysplasia, entropion, etc. OFA, CERF, etc. health certifications do NOT include genotype analyses. That's why two perfectly healthy Chows (sire/dam) with the full range of OFA/CERF certifications might have heterozygous genotypes for various ailments and could still produce pups with health problems.

The science of genetics is centuries old and yet there is still much that we do not understand. It's not simple.
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Re: Breeder: Rhenegade Chows

Postby Lynxlover » Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:36 pm

Phenotype/genotype was mentioned in the article but not in regards to what I was referring to. I was referring to incomplete penetrance (when some individuals fail to express the trait, even though they carry the allele). If someone bred a Merle to a solid (but that solid carried but didn't express the Merle allele) you could inadvertently breed a litter with double Merle's.

The article you posted, does if fact, briefly mention blindness. "Frequently these white dogs are deaf, and less commonly blind. This is an example where genes involved in pigmentation of hair or skin can also be associated with development of nerves." (http://homepage.usask.ca/~schmutz/merle.html). There are many websites and articles referencing blindness in Merle's. It's common enough to have a name...Merle Ocular Dysgenesis. This refers to vision problems up to and including blindness.

The data you references is not the only data included in your article. The article also mentioned a study involving Australian Shepherds. "All of these Australian Shepherds but one are homozygous M/M. All are reported to be deaf and/or tested as deaf with BAER testing. In fact 27 of 29 of the Aussies we genotyped that were M/M were deaf." After the Australia Shepherd study another study took place involving 40 homozygous dogs. The problem with that, second study, is 29 of those dogs were Catahoula. "Catahoula, a breed with no white markings." Only 3 of the 29 Catahoula tested were deaf. Which is likely influenced by the fact that they have no white markings. The white or lack of pigment is what causes deafness in Merle. Using that particular breed (with no white markings) likely skewed the results.
Just referencing the studies in your article..93% of the homozygous Australian Shepherds were deaf. (If we disregard the Catahoula) 64% of the remaining dogs were deaf (7 out of 11). In my opinion, those results are dire.

I agree there is much we don't know about genetics. I also agree that chows can be carriers of an allele (fail to express it) and then it can be inadvertently passed on to offspring. The huge differences is chows have to have hips, elbows and eyes. There's no way around it. So breeders have to do the best they can with what they have. No chow needs to be Merle! What benefit does the Merle gene bring to the breed? We know it brings risks. Whether those risks are minor (in your opinion) or dire (in my opinion), they are still risks. So why introduce the gene if it contributes nothing to the breed but potentially risks?

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Breeder: Rhenegade Chows

Postby DrewBear » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:30 am

Lynxlover wrote:So breeders have to do the best they can with what they have. No chow needs to be Merle! What benefit does the Merle gene bring to the breed? We know it brings risks. Whether those risks are minor (in your opinion) or dire (in my opinion), they are still risks. So why introduce the gene if it contributes nothing to the breed but potentially risks?

"No chow needs to be Merle!” is as true as "No chow needs to be short-backed & scrunchy-faced!” They’re both opinions. We all have a right to our opinions, but let’s also talk about some of the supporting science. My main point was to avoid blanket statements without discussing whatever research we have available (admittedly very little).

I won’t get into a line by line debate on the data presented in that one article. People can read it on their own and draw their own conclusions & opinions. I'll just point out that the vibe from the professor who authored that article in no way implied that it would be better to rid the world of merle dogs. Sadly there’s no data specific to Chows, so you do need to make some assumptions that may or may not be valid. But some data is better than no data and even debate on the meaning of such data is better than unsupported claims.

This discussion thread is nearly 7 yrs. old, so let me end with a quote from another old discussion:

And who is to set the criteria for a "good" breeder? Would that be a breeder who has never had more than one puppy in a litter with a genetic health concern? Would it be a breeder who breeds only from stock that is fully certified, and never breeds a dog that has a genetic disease (even if it's a minor form of the disease)? Exactly what parameters would be set to indicate a good breeder from a bad one? I think there are some differences of opinion that will come out on a thread like that...
by IliamnasQuest » Wed Jul 16, 2008
http://forum.chowchow.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11238&hilit=health+certification&start=50#p131979
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Re: Breeder: Rhenegade Chows

Postby ACVillano » Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:50 pm

I am breeder of Poms for 15 years and also an AKC member. I no longer breed and can tell your stories from back in the 80's and 90's of how Blue Eyed Poms got to be registered as AKC or Whites and Merle's as well. These were not "breed" standards but for paper trail purposes were AKC. Before AKC got "better" there was no DNA requirements except as 3 same stud litter. In reality AKC cares less about health and does not require any health/OFA certs. Now a true responsible Registration Organization would be requiring health back ground like OFA as most overseas Registration Organizations do for any breeding to take place. This also greatly increases the cost of Registration along with scaring away the back yard breeders. Let's also keep in mind AKC's policy on reinforcing your line. How does that go again inbreed your 2 best adults keep the best puppy of that litter and kill the rest! I truly believe this has lead to the poor temperament and health in the puppies I see being sold recently.
In all honestly coat, health, longevity is a direct result of what you feed your dog and the environment they live in. A dog that gets minimal exercise lives in a congested city and is fed Purina Dog Chow does not have a chance of living over 7 to 8 years. My oldest Pom lived to 18 years of age. We fed her Solid Gold when everyone was preaching Eukanuba. You know Eukanuba the dog food or "kibble" with Propylene Glycol in it's ingredients and they "supposedly" removed it.
To Merle or Not to Merle. A loaded question but the most popular breed as an AKC standard of Merle's is the Australian Sheppard. Blue eyed preferred except for those with the "white patches of death" in particular locations. An approved breed standard with a list of congenital health defects beyond belief! I am not even touching on what happens with a Merle on Merle breeding.
These Merle's are bred for what breed standard or breed profit? As I rarely see a Merle Aussie in the best of Agility world.
Whites, true ice whites not creams the albinos of the dog world. Back in the day if you had an ice white you had gold! Everyone congenital health defects, short life span and poor temperament.
Whites, Tri Colors, Merle's what got them into AKC was a simple check in a box that closely matched your dog markings. That is it. Not breed standards.
Now add the ability to advertise on AKC's website and all you need is a name and a dollar. Back in the day recommending a breeder locally was considered biased. This was also before the Internet took off. Now in our current day of " opinions matter" where is the breeders review section on AKC website?
I too was brain washed for years that AKC meant quality. If that was true every dog I have seen come in with AKC credentials would not have the 20th century dog plague Guardia.
Truly whether you are buying a $100.00 mutt or a $3000.00 champion from Romania the difference is truly made by the breeder. I read an article recently about socialization and puppies and they want your puppy to experience 100 plus dogs before 16 weeks of age preferably 8 weeks of age at the risk of your puppy not being fully immunized. So in truth your new family member is already programmed from the breeder when you get them. Yes you still can update your new family member but it truly goes back to the breeder! Which is what I have said for years and still believe.


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