LABRADOODLE OR COBBERDOG
IS COBBERDOG JUST ANOTHER NAME FOR A LABRADOODLE?
Footnote by Beverley Rutland-Manners:
THE AUSTRALIAN COBBERDOG is protected for the future by registration with just ONE international Registry body - The Master Dog Breeders And Associates (MDBA). And it is crucial to the ultimate success of the breed that this status is maintained. A single breed registry which services all countries across the world makes sense, because it ensures unity of purpose. This results in consistency in breed type, whilst the one database collates and monitors information that keeps abreast of the breed's progress regarding it's hereditary health status and other traits critical to the breed's reliability.
A Pure Breed needs to not only look the same across its population. It also needs to behave in the same way, otherwise what is the benefit of being pure. Pure for what?
Can the Original Recipe Be Repeated or Repaired? by Beverley Rutland-Manners
Most pure breeds have been around for hundreds and even thousands of years. So a little over 30 years is very young in dog breeding terms. Tools such as DNA testing are certainly speeding up the breed development process, but it is expected that for some time to come there will be differences in the Cobberdogs being bred by various breeders who are still selecting for different traits along the way. The important thing is the unity of purpose amongst them all under the guiding influence of the MDBA.
My vision for what I wanted to achieve has never wavered. When I saw some unique characteristics appear in some of my early dogs and puppies, such as a desire for human eye contact, and deep intuition I determined to selectively bred for these traits. I knew I wanted the dogs to be able to behave in a particular way and to work at specific tasks mostly suited towards Assistance Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs and Medical Alert Dogs. I wanted a non-shedding coat which was easier to care for than many other non-shedding breeds. Most of all I wanted the finished result to be predictable so everyone who was seeking unique specific qualities in a dog could be confident in what they were getting. To accomplish this, I carefully selected dogs which had the desirable qualities , and any added "ingredient" or infusion was done with a specific purpose in mind, usually to improve a wanted quality that was disappearing from the available breeding population, or to help weed out an undesirable quality or trait that was creeping in before it corrupted the general population. Very importantly, it was always at a very specific period in the development and for a very specific reason.
Plus, what would be the point in attempting to re-invent the wheel along with all of its disappointments and failures along the way?
Any infusion has to be able to be shown to potentially bring something that will carry the breed closer to the desired outcome for the breed, or it becomes a backward step. Since MDBA recognition, NO infusions are permitted without strict adherence to the MDBA's processes. This mandate also applies to me, which is exactly as it should be.
When Will the Australian Cobberdog Stud Book Close?
Before the Stud Book can be closed there are technical requirements to be met, such as at least 500 individuals of generation F4 or above, to be assessed and judged on the consistency of their physical attributes and behaviours. The breed needs to have a wide genetic base on which to build future generations. The challenge is that fresh bloodlines introduced, must be genetically rich in specific traits unique to the breed. Otherwise there could be no consistency and generations of non-typey dogs would be produced which would at best slow down progress, or even halt it altogether.
The health and width of gene pools can be and often are, impacted by politics, differing views of what is the best path to take to get to the desired goals ( that is assuming that breeders have any goals) differing views of what the desired goal/s should be, and numerous other variables. My own (Beverley's) belief is that the best way forward for the next few years is to regularly back track to individuals who have proven in themselves as well as in their progeny, that they excel not only in health and physical attributes but in emotional ones as well - the Heart and Soul of the breed. Then to weave fresh blood into the tapestry to refresh the bloodlines without losing the gains of past generations.