Hard Culling or Genetic Re-Direction
We all know that the prevailing credo in our sport is to “cull hard” in order to succeed in our breeding efforts. Or at least we think we know that this is the best way to do things. But is this really the case? Is it really true that “hard culling” for 100% dead gameness is the “best practice” to create an all-around athlete who is designed to win fights that (statistically) average :45 in duration (at least 75% of the time)? Does anything positive in our breeding programs come about, at all, by the ruthless culling of “all dogs that quit,” regardless of their pedigree and regardless of the other strengths and weaknesses they may have as athletes? Or, in point of fact, does hard culling do nothing but limit our genetic options with the available dogs of the line that we have chosen?
Now then, this opening paragraph should not make idiots automatically a$$ume the polar opposite, either, that I am advocating, “It’s OK to breed any old dog to any old dog, regardless of how shitty it is,” because that is not what I am saying here either. I want to clarify this because there are so many Simple Simons in this sport, and Simple Simons can only run with extremes. And as such they either a$$ume one extreme or the other to be “the law” they must follow or reject. It is extremely hard for simple people to think in degrees, or in various shades of color, and so to make things easier for themselves, Simple Simons paint their world “black or white” to eliminate the chore of thinking from their available options. Thus a dog either “is” or “isn’t” game, there is no *degree* of anything, and so there are no other factors or set of factors to consider which might clutter or confuse their limited minds. Therefore, to such limited fools, a dogman either “breeds curs” or he “does not breed curs,” regardless of the man’s record, win/loss ratio, etc.
But I am hoping most of the people here have an intellect beyond this annoyingly-shallow one I described. I am hoping that you can consider the possibility that “hard culling” is NOT the best breeding principle to follow, while at the same time not committing to the polar-opposite stupidity of a$$uming I am thus giving you a carte blanche “OK” to breed any old piece of shit to any other piece of shit. What I am trying to say is that neither practice is “Best Practice.” What I am trying to say is there are many, many complex factors to wade through when making a breeding decision, and whether a dog might be some degree less than 100% DG is not the only consideration.
My question is, if you are working with an established family of already-proven-game dogs, on average, is “hard culling” the best way to continue to yield the most favorable breeding results in your ongoing effort to manage that family?
* Any dog down from Red Boy, since his daddy quit.Or is Genetic Re-Direction the best way? Is evaluating the sum total of each dog’s overall physical strengths and weaknesses, as well as his pedigree strengths and weaknesses, the best way to reach a competent breeding decision? I ask this, because if every dogman who has ever lived followed the standard black & white directive to a “T” … and they religiously culled “all curs” hard, as some fanciers suggest that they should be, then the following dogs would never have existed:
* Any dog down from BullySon or Eli Jr., since the former quit, the latter turned from a down dog, and the daddy to both of them quit.
* Any dog down from Crenshaw’s Honeybunch, since she quit, her daddy quit, and her mama’s daddy quit.
* Any dog down from Finley’s Bo, since he quit.
* Any dog down from Patrick’s Red Baby, since her mama quit.
* Any dog down from Boyles’ Dirty Mary, since Red Baby’s mama quit.
* Any dog down from Patrick’s Tater, since his daddy quit.
* Any dog down from STP’s GR CH Buck, since his mama quit.
I could go on and on, but are you getting the picture yet? Strictly-speaking, “hard culling” would have eliminated the possibility of every dog on all of our yards from ever existing. And if you want to be really hard in your “selectivity,” then hard culling would include “untested stock” as well, because the dogmatic credo of hardcore idiots is to “Never breed untested stock.” Thus you would have to throw all of the dogs down from Hollingsworth’s stock out the window as well, since Lady In Red was never “fully-tested.”
So I ask, therefore, is anyone ready to stand up and say, “Yes!” that none of these great dogs should have ever existed? Is there anyone who really believes that, if such rigid inflexibility of practice were ruthlessly-followed, that the dog game would be better off? If so, since there *are* some people who in fact follow this practice, can anyone stand up and name any dog that has ever lived who is more important than these dogs I listed above, AND who is a result of at least 4-straight generations of this kind of ruthless culling, top and bottom?
I’ll bet you can’t … I will bet that you can’t name ONE super-important dog, historically, where you can go back 4 straight generations and not show me at least one cur or untested animal.
Sure, you can show me some pedigrees of some “game dogs,” where there is not one cur to be found, but the trouble is the specimen you’re showing me isn’t a world-changing, important dog. Sure again, you can name another super-important dog to add to my list above … but the trouble is he will have a flaw in his pedigree. So you see, ruthless culling for gameness alone can’t possibly be the best way in which to breed dogs or manage a gene pool, otherwise this practice should yield the most favorable and productive results.
So what I am getting at, therefore, is that it is my expert opinion (and I’ve bred enough good dogs to qualify as an expert in breeding) that “hard culling” is the prevailing mindset in our sport ONLY because the prevailing mental capacity of its participants is rock-stupid. The simple truth is, most people in our sport are imbeciles, and as such they can only think in terms of “black or white.” This absolute fact is exacerbated by the aura of “machismo” the permeates our sport, precisely because it centers around fighting. A dog who shows any “weakness,” at any point in his life is to be burned at the stake and hanged. It makes no difference how talented, fast, long-winded, stylistically-superior, or how well the dog is bred off of great and pre-potent dogs … a dog is either “game” or “cur” … etc., etc.
This of course is completely stupid, to anyone with any imagination or capacity to think, because the fact of the matter is EVERY dog has some sort of a weakness, and EVERY dog can be made to quit under the right kind of tribulation or circumstance. Therefore, if what I just said here is true (and I assure you that it is), how do we try to breed the best dogs, then?
Our first step in breeding better dogs is to realize that there are infinite degrees of gameness, there are infinite degrees of intelligence, there are infinite degrees of stamina, there are infinite degrees of durability, there are infinite degrees of mouth, etc., etc., etc., and this multi-faceted complexity concerning ALL the traits required to win is simply beyond the comprehension of most of the imbeciles in our sport. And so to “simplify” everything for themselves, the masses of simple-minded fools in our sport just say a dog is “game or cur” as their bottom-line assessment of any dog’s performance, regardless of how long the dog went, or against what odds, or how old it was, etc., etc. … and so these fools just reduce the entire fighting process into either “He stood” or “He scratched.”
And if this isn’t totally-idiotic, absolutely brain-dead, and unimaginative stupidity as a “method of evaluation,” then I don’t know what is.
The fact is, almost every dogman on the planet reduces the myriad of moves, countermoves, punishment taken, punishment received, wonderful savvy displayed, extreme stamina suffered through, level of opposition faced, degree of shock set-in, etc. … all down to the simple-minded question, “Was the dog ‘game or cur’?” … and if this totally short-sighted reduction question doesn’t boil down to an answer of “Yes,” then the dog is viewed as not having any value whatsoever, and it is to be “culled.” And thus literally have hundreds of thousands of legitimately-good to great dogs (and producers) been killed and “culled hard” for not being 100% dead game, under any circumstances, and thus the same stupid story repeated over and over and over again.
And so I ask, has this absolutely stupid practice helped our breed or has it hurt our breed?
Have there been “hard-culled” bitches more important than Honeybunch and Red Baby? I ask because these bitches are directly off of curs. Can you name *one* hard-tested bitch, off of all 100% game lineage for 4 generations, who has been more important than Honeybunch or Red Baby, historically?
Have there been “hard-culled” stud dogs than more important than Bo, Redboy, GR CH Buck, etc.? I ask because these stud dogs are either curs, or directly off of curs, I ask can you name *one* hard-tested stud dog, off of all 100% game lineage for 4 generations, who has been more important historically than Bo, Redboy, GR CH Buck, etc?
I doubt that very much.
Therefore, the question you need to ask yourself is, “Is hard culling really the stamp of someone with ‘high standards,’ or in point of fact is hard culling really the stamp of someone who lacks imagination?” I submit the ruthless culler is the stamp of the latter. I submit that the pathos of “hard culling” is simply the pathos of your typical, stupid, one-way, unimaginative idiot dogman who simply cannot think on anything but the most basic and primitive level, and I submit that such a dogman will never really have much of a breeding record to go with his “hard culling” philosophy.
Again, as relayed in a discussion I was having with BolognaHead on another thread, even in my own yard my “best blood” hasn’t always produced the best dogs. Or, stated in the reverse, many times my weakest-bred dogs (gameness-wise and percentage-wise) have produced my best performers.
And do you know how this is possible? By GENETIC RE-DIRECTION.
It is my absolute opinion, hell it isn’t an opinion it is an empirical fact, that Genetic Re-Direction is the best method for producing winning dogs. Stacking-up piles of dead dogs, and breeding only to the dogs that “don’t quit” is the stupidest way to breed dogs.
However, Genetic Re-Direction can only be achieved when you have a clean-bred family of dogs, and it can only be achieved by an intelligent person with *both* a good eye for a dog AND a solid knowledge of the gene pool he is working with. Right out of the gate, this would eliminate 95% of all dogmen from qualifying as breeding managers. They have neither the bloodline, the eye, nor the intelligence to manage a gene pool effectively. Thus I believe that 95% of all dogmen should not breed dogs, they should just get small yards and “drive the race car,” but not attempt to manufacture one.
But for a person who can think in terms beyond “black or white,” and who has a nice group of clean-bred individual dogs, all of whom are reasonably-game and superior long-distance athletes, then that person is in a position to continually produce a higher-level of animal than his bumbling competitors. Because while his competitors are in the hit-n-miss business of trying to manage “what to expect” out of the mix-bred shit on their yards, that they randomly toss together (based only on “whether the dog will scratch,” and not on a condensed style and streamlined traits) … the intelligent dogman will KNOW what to expect from his linebred dogs, their streamlined style, and he will have a much greater control of how to direct his set gene pool for the following generations.
To Be Continued …