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Sharpeigirl

AKC Standereds ruining breeds?

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I was told bye a GSD "Dog Show Snob" that Zeus was a cur of a shepherd, due to his back being straight, and not slanted. I'm like well at least he does have hip problems, and he can walk & run normally. Do you guys think that the AKC is actually damageing some breeds more then they're supposused to be helping??? I know when I look at Zeus I see a well built dog, with a nice shape. I'm clueless to the dog show way, but I do think it'd be nice to see the straight normal backs in the show ring.

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This has come up a few times in debates on purebred vs. mix and there are some strong feeling on either side.

I am in the same boat as you. I have a gorgeous GSD that basically doesn't meet any of the AKC/CKC standards; too big, no slant. He wouldn't win an AKC/CKC dog show in a million years, but he's a big, healthy (no displaysia) boy that can walk and run normally.

I firmly believe that the AKC/CKC has taken/is taking the GSD breed down a bad road. Pick up a dog magazine and look at the breeder ads and you'll see comments like: "GSD, like the ones you remember from your childhood" or "GSD's, the way they used to be". Clearly even the breeders are recognizing this fact.

The issue, in my opinion, is that AKC/CKC standards are more concerned about the look of the dog, the right pose, than they are about the actual ability of the dog.

German standards, on the other hand, firmly require that the GSD be able to "do" as well as show. In Germany, GSD's must be Schutzhund certified in order to show/breed. This ensures the dog has the right temperment and physical ability.

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Yikes. :o What a rude person. I am not a fan of the sloped back at all. I wouldnt be surprised if her "perfect" dog has never herded anything in its life.
I dont really respect the AKC much either. If I were to buy a dog for a working purpose, I would not be concerned with conformation titles.

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Just to clarify, it is not the AKC that adopts breed standards. It is the Breed Club that writes and makes the standards and submits them to the AKC. The AKC just abides by them to judge the breed standard.

If you want to change the standard, you have to change the Breed Club.

For example (as this is my only experience) the Belgian Sheepdog Club of America writes the breed standard for all Belgian Sheepdogs. This is the standard that the AKC uses. It is voted on and the majority rules within the breed clubs.

Another example, is in the US (AKC) the Belgian Sheepdog, Belgian Tevuren and Belgian Malinois are considered separate breeds with different standards and that is because of the individual clubs.

In Canada, the Sheepdog, Terv, Malinois and Laekenois are considered one breed with one standard for conformation, ability, performance and temperment. Here in the US it is not so.

You will always find "Dog Show Snobs" ..... if you love your dog the way he/she is that is really all that counts wouldn't you think. There will always be rude people you encounter wherever you go and snobs wherever you go!

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Eric it is the breeders of GSD who are taking the GSD breed down the wrong path, not the AKC.

It is the breeders who produce bad dogs, with bad hips, too much slope (in the case of the GSD), too little slope etc.

Jeff, many many conformation dogs are also working dogs. Breeders/ Handlers these days are really trying to do what their dogs were bred to do.

Even the best breeding of two dogs can produce less than good dogs for conformation/showability, but that doesn't mean they are not wonderful companions and pets.

Kira's pups are the product of the #1 Belgian Sheepdog in this country in 2000 and 2001 (based on show points) and he loves herding and being a guardian. To me, he meets and exceeds the standard of the Belgian that the AKC uses.

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This is something I've never been able to understand, why does the AKC use a different breed standard than the country of origin? Why do breed clubs decide that in their country each breed of dog doesn't have to look excatly like in other countries?

Take the dobermann for excample, the FCI breed standard is quite different on aspects that really do matter, it affects the movements and total structure, I like to see dobermanns in america that look like the europian dogs and are also able to work. Why doesn't the AKC (or in this matter the breed clubs) make it a rule that a working type dog isn't able to become a champion if it doesn't pass a working test? It can get all the show points it wants but it wont become a champion if it can't at least show an inclination of being able to do some work, this would maby have helped the GSD in america as the breed there has a very unhealthy sway in the back.

But there is also the fact that the breeders will breed what the judges reward...

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[size=2][quote name='JudyHoffman']Eric it is the breeders of GSD who are taking the GSD breed down the wrong path, not the AKC.

It is the breeders who produce bad dogs, with bad hips, too much slope (in the case of the GSD), too little slope etc.

Jeff, many many conformation dogs are also working dogs. Breeders/ Handlers these days are really trying to do what their dogs were bred to do.

Even the best breeding of two dogs can produce less than good dogs for conformation/showability, but that doesn't mean they are not wonderful companions and pets.

Kira's pups are the product of the #1 Belgian Sheepdog in this country in 2000 and 2001 (based on show points) and he loves herding and being a guardian. To me, he meets and exceeds the standard of the Belgian that the AKC uses.[/quote][/size]

Thank you Judy.

The Breed Standard is there for a reason, it is the written representative of the perfect dog. When bred to the standard the dog "should" be able to perform it's particular breed function/job.

However there are flaws in the whole theory.

Conformation "Show" breeders get carried away with the newest "hip" look and tend to concentrate on one particular trait... ie. the excessive slope in the GSD and lose site (become kennel blind) to the other traits in the breed.

Judges also tend to become "handler blind" and think that just because a dog is being shown by ""big name handler"" that the dog is the ultimate representative of the breed.

Another BIG problem is in almost every breed, breeders differ in their interpretation of the breed standard and because of this you get a variety of type.

Hunters don't usually enter their dogs in Conformation events since that is not their main concern and most of them can't stand the snobbery that goes on in the "show" ring, but that doesn't mean that Hunting clubs don't have problems in their lines either.

And last but not least, Show breeders don't usually compete their dogs in performance events. This is however changing fast, with the exception of Hunting/Sporting breeds.

I firmly believe that the best representatives of the breed can win in the show ring and then in the evening go out and herd that livestock, hunt that game or do whatever the breed was bred to do.


:angel:

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[size=2][quote name='zheelah']This is something I've never been able to understand, why does the AKC use a different breed standard than the country of origin? Why do breed clubs decide that in their country each breed of dog doesn't have to look excatly like in other countries?

Take the dobermann for excample, the FCI breed standard is quite different on aspects that really do matter, it affects the movements and total structure, I like to see dobermanns in america that look like the europian dogs and are also able to work. Why doesn't the AKC (or in this matter the breed clubs) make it a rule that a working type dog isn't able to become a champion if it doesn't pass a working test? It can get all the show points it wants but it wont become a champion if it can't at least show an inclination of being able to do some work, this would maby have helped the GSD in america as the breed there has a very unhealthy sway in the back.

But there is also the fact that the breeders will breed what the judges reward...[/quote][/size]

This same thing bugs the crap out of me.

The original standard is there for a reason, and unless a change can "actually" make the dog better at performing it's function why change it.

I would absolutely love to see the AKC institute a policy like that, but the individual breed clubs would have to be the ones to institute it, and their theory is there's already the Versitility Titles/Certificates.

Do remember that the AKC is [b]ONLY[/b] a breed registry club and that the real changes are made through the breed clubs. That is why it is important to be a member of your breed club and adhere to their interpretation of the written standard.

Show puppies, Working puppies, Pet-mill puppies, that puppy in the window are all registerable with the AKC provided that the parents were registered with a breed registry club that requires the parents to be registered.

:angel:

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I too believe tha all dogs, working dogs especially, should be able to perform at least the MINIMUM job standard that they were originally bred for before they can show compete. I believe the breed clubs are ruining some of these breeds, like the shepherds, and the Goldens, by breeding for a specific "look" instead of a combinations of looks, temperament, and viability at their job. I dont like the way they are making the Goldens look today. I had a Golden when I was young. He had a wide square head, medium golden color, big bright eyes, the typical Golden smile. His flanks were left long and fanned, and were slightly lighter than his coat. Same as his forelegs. and of course, the tail.

Today, they seem to be more streamlined, and the coats are too yellow, almost white. Also, the body coat is much longer than it used to be. They're more like a long haired yellow lab than the goldens I remember on the farm/kennel I worked at. Mine was a purebred, although he bred for the Seeing Eye, and the "rejects" were sold as pets. He was an excellent dog, temperament wise, trainability, a real love of a dog. And he could retrieve anything you threw for him, without any formal training.
Once something was thrown, he would run after it, and soon learned "bring it here". It took maybe three lessons. Same with Free, who is a lab/pointer mix. Not show quality, but can retrieve anything, and points, without training.

I really dont think the dog clubs are doing any justice by these dogs just trying to make them pretty for money and ribbons.

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p.p.s.

the police dog that got stolen by the moron in Chicago (he stole the squad car while the dog was in it. Got about a block after being bitten repeatedly)
Was a Czechoslovakian Shepherd. 100 lbs. Straight backed, sturdy, wide head, strong legs and back, very powerful looking. In my opinion, that's how a shepherd should look. Alert and ready to do it's job, even if that's only walking beside you on a leash or playing ball.

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Here's my big boy. 120 lbs, 29.5 inches tall at the shoulder, wide chested and very muscular . This is what I think GSD's should look like. The GSDs I see at the dog park are all like 4 inches wide with these horrendous slopes.

[img]http://groups.msn.com/_Secure/0WQAbA!kc7lEI*388CBHlkc3gnsLcjAlLfsd3IbSVXflktfPVY3Mencdv0cbrDcMlj4dy2euRqmqzjgOd30Z0zn4CnVD88JeqSSFvHfTp7y6ceiMENKY3kBSU1ekgJbK03W4ja3EplLI/travis_looking.jpg?dc=4675475457406218511[/img]

[img]http://groups.msn.com/_Secure/0WQARA*IciVQI*388CBHlkZ4lOxtSUKCwkAkw6brbVsfpnl3vN1YwuTsUBOrN1QZLQp*L84zZnEIHo4kqT64IPoUXcYU*jZLv9i9TWP3BxVRMosSRV4ps7tHnhwxrQFEi2Biuqff!OIE/travispic_test.jpg?dc=4675475457410095117[/img]

[img]http://groups.msn.com/_Secure/0VgArA5sbfuAI*388CBHlkdM6SJubF590MPIuBxqrgatbvRv4MIo7dOxsRDdVbelCvezVyKj!SnAcIJZxCtKxje!dhdpOsMna1uE5CB9Kqp!c1hth*yWjQgW6ac0bM1yw/travis_side.jpg?dc=4675475457407979447[/img]

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Your dog is quite handsome Eric, but bigger is not always better and the GSD is supposed to have the sloped or crouped rear to be "proper" in type.

The rear is crouped like that for working ability and stamina and movement. I also agree that the breeders are making the croupe or slope way too severe in the GSD breed.

You can see from the pictures that your dog pulls it's weight from the front instead of pushing from the rear, which is what I call rear wheel drive on a dog. Pulling it's own weight from the front can cause serious shoulder and elbow problems later in life, not that that will happen to your big boy, but it's always a possibility.

Not a criticism, just that your dog is not properly built according to the GSD Club Breed Standard and it is not proper of the Working German Lines either.

But he is handsome and quite regal and he looks like a wonderful companion and best friend.

Love those perky ears!

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This is not a criticism at all (because I have no clue), but wouldn't he be considered to be down in his pasterns? I was just looking at his front feet and the way they set to the ground when he is moving. I know NOTHING about GSDs, but Devin (Lhasa) stands on his pasterns as well. Not that that's Devin's only fault (severe HD, bad knees, down in his pasterns, roach backed, walleyed, way undershot jaw... oy, my little show dog, aye?).


Anyhoo, I'm just curious. Knowledge is power and all that good stuff. :wink:

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Yes, from the picture he is. That is not good for the front shoulders, chest or elbows.

But again, he is loved and adored and that is what matters, but when someone who knows GSD's and knows the standards and the proper structure and movement asks questions about incorrectness, an owner should not get insulted, but smile nicely and say "he is beautiful in my eyes".

I would never ever breed Eric's dog to produce pups. The structure is not correct according to the breed standard. I do not mean to imply that Eric will breed his dog, what I mean is that I would not breed a dog with incorrect structure and movement and with pasterns like his are.

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You bad-mouthing my dog!?

Just kidding. What exactly does this mean, being down on his pasterns? I assume it means his "wrist" is close to the ground? He does have really big and long feet.

As you mention, Travis is purely a companion. We adopted him from the humane society 5 yrs ago not because he was a GSD, but because he was the quietest pup there. I could care less about how well he does or doesn't meet the standard.

I guess that my point is that, at least in my eyes, he seems alot healthier/stronger/more robust than 80% of the purebred GSDs I see at the local dog park.

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and that is all that matters Eric, that you love him and treat him like he is the best, because he is in your eyes.

People that know GSD's (and even some who THINK they do) will note his structure and possibly ask you about him.

It doesn't matter, what matters is that you love him and know that he is the BEST for you!

I have a 7 year old mix, that is the goofiest, fattest, laziest dog in the world, but to me he is the best, even above my purebred Belgians. His temperment is outstanding, his biddability is beyond reproach and he is so much fun to be with and gives the best cuddles ever.

Yes, his structure is lousy and he snores when he is in a deep sleep, but I love him just as he is.

So you see, in the long run it really doesn't matter if you don't show or breed your dog. It's the love bond that makes each of our dogs special to us!

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I think the AKC and CKC are ruining breeds. It wasn't long ago that the border collie breed club was dismayed to hear the AKC was going to recognize their border collie...they protested against this as they knew the border collie would be ruined once recognized by the AKC. The AKC soon would have gotten rid of the "eye" etc.
What breed clubs forget is that to keep a breed healthy you should cross breed every once in awhile...most good working dogs are the product of good crossbreeding programs. When you think about it, you start out with a mongrel, breed and cull until you get a desired look, then inbreed (all purebreeds have been inbreed at some point to hold the desired look)...then you keep the same look for so many generations and viola! you have a purebred dog. There are healthy ways of keeping a purebred, but, I don't feel the AKC or CKC is achieving this...in order to keep a purebred healthy you should not just be breeding for physical conformation...you must also breed for behavior conformation...without the two the breed starts falling apart and suffers from many genetic diseases.

I have a friend who breeds GSD's, the pups are down on their pasturns until they are about a year old. It's really sad watching these pathatic creatures as pups...but, this is what is winning in the show ring. I own Newf's which cannot swim, heck, one of my Newf's almost drowned last week...I HAD TO SAVE HIM, he could not keep afloat. That is not normal for a Newf. they are suffering from many orthopedic diseases even though they are doing the best of health tests and clearances...but, just because my dog clears does not mean a genetic disease is not going to pop up in the next generation. It a law of genetics, that by keeping one genetic disease out of a line and breeding against it...another genetic disease will pop up. Take a look some time at breed specific diseases in breeds bred with extreme looks or physical beauty.
I think that in order to show your purebred you should have to achieve a working title as well. You need to keep physical & behavior conformation true...they go hand in hand. I think another thing breeders should stop doing is breeding for the "look" of the year, or for outlandish freakish looks...it seems for some breeds they over do it on some extreme looks...a great example is the extreme angualtion on the GSD, perfect top line on the Newf, and the big coat of the Newf...extreme pushed in faces, breeding for dwarfism etc.

[b]quote by Rosebud[/b]
[quote]Conformation "Show" breeders get carried away with the newest "hip" look and tend to concentrate on one particular trait... ie. the excessive slope in the GSD and lose site (become kennel blind) to the other traits in the breed. [/quote]
So true.

[quote]Judges also tend to become "handler blind" and think that just because a dog is being shown by ""big name handler"" that the dog is the ultimate representative of the breed[/quote]
This happens more than people think. I have had it happen to me many times. I have handled a Newf in the ring, the judges don't recognize me and I get dumped. The very next day under the exact same judge the breeder takes the very same dog into the ring and takes best of breed :roll:
It was even up against the same dogs. The breeder of my Newf's is very well known in the show world in Canada and State side...she gets championship titles on all of her dogs very quickly...so there fore the judges will place her.

[quote]Hunters don't usually enter their dogs in Conformation events since that is not their main concern and most of them can't stand the snobbery that goes on in the "show" ring, but that doesn't mean that Hunting clubs don't have problems in their lines either.[/quote]
I have a friend who breeds true working hunting Lab's...she has very healthy dogs which do not suffer from genetic diseases. She does not show her Lab's in conformation as she feels it is pointless for a working dog...she is looked down apon by the conformation breeders and it is amazing how they bad mouth her behind her back :o even going as far as to call her a back yard breeder :o she registers her litters, only has pups on demand and sells to people who need and want a working dog which they probably will not find in a conformation show dog...and believe me I know of several people who bought Lab's and Golden's from champion conformation lines which they cannot hunt with...these people were very disappointed...the dogs are really quite screwed up in the head.

There are healthy ways to keep a purebred. But, I think alot of breeders today are being blinded by the show lights.

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Before breeding any dog the pedigrees have to be studied for diseases and genetic issues. There is no way that you can breed a 100% healthy dog and I am doubtful that your friend who breeds labs has no health problems in the lines. If I were to own a lab, I would surely get one from hunting lines vs. show lines.

My herding trainer was very upset about the Border Collies going into the show ring and being accepted by the AKC, but again it is not the AKC that establishes the standards, it is the breed clubs. I've seen him try to work with conformation BC's who couldn't herd a sheep out of a paperbag. You have the BC's that are bred for work and then you have the conformation breeders. It is the conformation breeders that establish the standards, not the working dog BC breeders.

His BC's are quite small, maybe 35 lbs and certainly not pretty like the show BC's, but for working ability, they can't be beat. My agility trainer owns one of his dogs and has been accepted to the Agility World Team for the US. The dog also has all of it's herding titles, at only 4 years of age.

If you inbreed or linebreed to keep working qualities, she has to somewhere be developing health issues.

I do not show in conformation and I agree with many countries in Europe that the working/temperment titles are so much more important than just a show title.

Also, anyone of my dogs could win and finish in the breed ring, I just don't like showing.

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I'll give it a shot Eric. I am fairly new to this structure thing also, only 4 1/2 years now.

The pasterns in canines is the area between the dogs "wrist" and "elbow". The picture of your dog shows him walking and putting his weight on part of his pastern, or that area of his leg. This is considered poor structure in any dog.

Dogs do not walk on the souls of their paws, or pads as most people think. The pads are actually what we humans would call toes. Dogs, like horses, walk on their toes. When they walk on their toes, wrists and pasterns this is a poorly constructed front on a canine. When I had a litter of puppies recently, I watched how the pasterns grew. This told me a lot about the front structure of the puppies. Sometimes the toes will point out to indicate a weak pastern, sometimes they point in (like bow legged people) which also indicate a weak pastern and poor front assembly. It is better as puppies to have the toes pointing out, because the pasterns grow and straighten and straighten out the front assembly of the dog. Toed in, is not as good.

That is what I said that your dog looks like it pulls it's weight from the front, instead of from the rear like he should. His picture showing him walking on part of his pasterns validates that point.

Again, not a criticism of your dog, it's the only example I have.

Please anyone with more experience, please feel free to correct me or add to my comments. I do not like to spread mis-information and I can always learn more about structure in canines.

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I used to work with a company where all of the upper management either hunted or golfed.

I was talking with one of the guys who's hunts and he told me that alot of hunting lines, Labs, Chesapeke Bay Retrievers and another breed I can't remember are starting to have alot of genetically related health issues. He told me about this one hunting breeder that breed to a comformation line to try to help eleviate some of the problems. I believe the biggest problem he was referring to was some kind of hearing/vision disorder.

Glad to know your friends lines are still sound.

[quote name='Cassie']
[quote]Hunters don't usually enter their dogs in Conformation events since that is not their main concern and most of them can't stand the snobbery that goes on in the "show" ring, but that doesn't mean that Hunting clubs don't have problems in their lines either.[/quote]

I have a friend who breeds true working hunting Lab's...she has very healthy dogs which do not suffer from genetic diseases. She does not show her Lab's in conformation as she feels it is pointless for a working dog....[/quote]

:angel:

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I will quote Suzanne Clothier, from a seminar of hers I once attended:

"The AKC doesn't ruin breeds. Judges don't ruin breeds. [i]Breeders[/i] ruin breeds."

Just because something is winning, doesn't mean it has to be bred for. The German Shepherds are a great example. The GSD standard does [i]not[/i] call for the extreme rear angulation seen in show dogs, but that look started to win, so it became more and more exaggerated by breeders interested in winning in the show ring. Now, you can still find German Shepherds that do [i]not[/i] have these structural exaggerations. They won't win in the AKC ring, but they are correct, and their are good, responsible breeders who are more interested in producing a sound working dog than one that wins in the ring.

Yes, it would be better if dogs that are actually correct were winning, so that the AKC breed ring could serve it's purpose (selection of breeding stock). One thing that would help is if more people were to show correct dogs. This might be harder in the GSD ring, where the breed has gone so far off track, than in a breed which is just starting to head the wrong direction. But remember, if the correct dogs aren't in the ring, they can't win!

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If they won't win in the AKC ring, then it is the judge who is at fault for letting the breed become extreme.

Not to put Ms Clothier down, put part if not most of the problems with the AKC breed ring are the direct result of the unethical judging practices and the lack of proper breed knowledge of the [b]JUDGES[/b].

Yes, Breeders do play a HUGE part, but the reality is that the ultimate discision is with the judge and a way to many of them judge the wrong end of the lead.

Another point is the existing taboo of breeding dogs that are not finished or did not come from a top ten breeder.

With these three points you have a breed that gets ruined.

Theory:
If a breeder stays true to correct structure and the judge starts putting up exaggerated backs then eventually the breeder with the correct structure will not be the one winning, therefore that breeder will be breeding unfinished dogs and eventually other breeders will look down on them for breeding dogs that are not finished, the pups will be harder to place and less and less breeders will breed to them. In this scenario it all started with the judges lack of knowledge about the correct structure of the breed and the majority of breeders following the uneducated judges [b]OPINION[/b]

[quote name='Sarahstaff']I will quote Suzanne Clothier, from a seminar of hers I once attended:

"The AKC doesn't ruin breeds. Judges don't ruin breeds. [i]Breeders[/i] ruin breeds."

[color=red]They won't win in the AKC ring, but they are correct, and their are good, responsible breeders who are more interested in producing a sound working dog than one that wins in the ring.[/color]
[/quote]

:angel:

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[quote]If they won't win in the AKC ring, then it is the judge who is at fault for letting the breed become extreme.
[/quote]

No, the judge is not at fault. The [i]breeder[/i] is at fault for creating the extreme dogs. The judges cannot [i]make[/i] people breed incorrect dogs. The judge is [i]not[/i] the ultimate decision, the breeder is. The judge may be giving bad advice, but the breeder is the one who follows it.

This doesn't mean that bad judging can't be detrimental to a breed, because it [i]can[/i], but the ultimate responsibility for the breed being "ruined" is the breeders who went along with it.

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