Why Create a "new" breed when there are so many unwanted dogs now?
A common question posed to the Dire Wolf Project; fully understanding the answer will give you the deepest reasoning for our passion about the canine species as a whole.
Before you continue….Please keep these facts in mind. The AKC/Westminster has only been around for a little over 200 years. Purebred dog breeding as a vocation has been around for a little over 9,000 years. Please drop the idea that the AKC governs what is a breed and what isn’t, and how many there will be. Also keep in mind this little dog: The Turnspit Dog Breed. Research this “breed” and you will find it in and out of human history. In fact hundreds if not thousands of dog breeds have been created and gone extinct, depending solely on our human need for them. Today, in the here and now, a Turnspit is not needed. But the American Alsatian is. Why create another breed? I won’t quote Lois unless I “quote” Lois– in my own words, this is my understanding of how it all went down…Lois Schwarz used to own and operate a pet emporium, had bred various purebreds and cocka-poo shihpoo types for quite sometime. She was heavily involved in the dog culture and started to notice a trend among the people that would seek her help; either for training or grooming or the desire for a new family companion. She would also be privy to the sad condition of “humane societies” in the 1970’s and 80’s…when breed rescues were sparse. This trend was that the public were seeking and spending money on dogs that were NOT created for family companionship. A good example is the Bouvier De Flandres. They had a surge in popularity in the 70’s. Lots of Bouviers popped up with lots of problems both genetically, and societally. The original Bouvier had half wiry and somewhat easy to upkeep. Many of these 100+lb dogs have nightmare coats to comb, and the stubborn quick to react temperament that makes them hard to brush. (Lois’ prime example is the Cocker Spaniel.) The Bouvier, really, has no place as a companion dog in our American society. It was a spot on breed for what it was developed…drafting and herding ect. Seeing this growing problem being bestowed on purebreds throughout, she started asking the people: What do you want in a dog? Invariably the answer was “I want a big dog that doesn’t bark, doesn’t chew things up, doesn’t run away or jump all over people, and I want a dog that has no health problems. “ Note that hardly anyone answered with how the dog “looked”. She had to prod for that…and for the most part the answer was…”Big and natural looking. Doesn’t need regular clipping. “ Tall order. But she set about, for years and years, on figuring out how to make a “good” dog with no genetic issues, temperament or otherwise. A dog that would come out of the womb not barking, digging, chewing or otherwise be hard to keep. Minimal training needed to be a good housedog. A dog that won’t have to BE trained. It just comes ready to live in the average American household with no fuss no muss. Tall order. At the other end of the spectrum – many breeders of wonderful family dogs such as the Golden retriever, also heard the same cry for an “easier” dog. These breeders, having the best of intentions, have selected Goldens with wonderful temperraments for companionship. Continues coupling of this temperament with focus solely on the friendly Golden, has led to their rise in popularity. It has also ruined the temperament of the breed. I meet so many “crazy” goldens as a groomer/trainer. They would be terrible gundogs. Sure…they look like a Golden, but their brains are much more similar to a toy poodle. It’s a shame. And that is “WHY” the creation of a new breed. Many are just not suited for family companionship – AS AN INSTINCT. Lois developed tests for puppies, she sees the outcome of her theories because she lives with all her breeding dogs. From birth (or early puppyhood if it’s an outcross) she is with them everyday of their lives. Some for four years. She knows what her testing results. Puppies that are loud when moved slightly away from mom will ALWAYS have the same behavioral outcome. But I digress….We do not EVER seek to be recognized by any other breed clubs other than our own. As stated above, the AKC/UKC does not have final authority on purebred dogs. Once a new breed lets a parent breed club have their standards, the original intention and look of the dog is no longer in control of the people who created it. It is now open for the public to gain dogs of similar heritage and breed them for money. We do the same, but we will never allow someone who has not been taught the Dire Wolf Project to take the breed and turn it into something else.