What's A Cobberdog?
IS COBBERDOG JUST ANOTHER NAME FOR A LABRADOODLE?
The Cobberdog Founder clears it up for once and for all
The Australian Cobberdog was recognised in January 2012 as a pure breed in development sprung partly from the root stock of the authentic Australian Labradoodle. It was further developed by carefully selected infusions for very specific reasons and at particular stages of development. Like most pure breeds it is different to the breed/s from which it originated.
"Just as the Skye Terrier, the Scottish Terrier and the West Highland White Terrier, who all came from the same root stock have their own individual identifiable pure breed status and DNA imprint, so has the Australian Cobberdog. A portion of shared background ancestry does not negate individuality"... MDBA CEO Julie Nelson
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?
The Australian Labradoodle became a victim of conflicting and damaging paths taken by numerous breed specific pedigree registries run by either inexperienced, or self serving breeders. These break - away split groups quickly sprang up across the world, in response to the developing Australian Labradoodle's popularity as they were being bred in Australia.
The trouble was that each break away group ran under its own mandates, often at odds with one another and with no central ruling body. Contradictory Breed Standards were even in force, confusion reigned and still does. Nothing has changed. This has reduced the Australian Labradoodle from a promising consistent new breed, to a cross breed which is no longer consistent in its behaviors and character traits. It is important that all individual dogs of a pure breed not only 'look' the same, but that they behave in the same way, consistently across the breed's population.
Selective breeding for specific temperament, traits such as for example seeking intimate and intuitive eye contact with humans, and other of its unique characteristics results in a consistent and predictable healthy, and identifiable pure breed more suited to Therapy and Assistance Dog work and ideally with a thinner, silkier, non shedding and allergy friendly coat for lower maintenance as well as ear hygiene, overall good health and longevity.
A 2018 PROGRESS REPORT FROM THE MDBA
Understand that If you are used to the conventional processes and policies of breed management but you shouldn’t presume that the traditional method is the only one or that it will be a disadvantage rather than an advantage to the breed.
The breed advisory committee operates to protect and promote the breed into the future including soon launching evaluation programs ,judges training schemes and numerous promotional programs. They have some work still to do on the basics – finalising the breed standard and health requirements etc but give them time and you will see surprising progress.
Remember we also have an associated clubs program where breed clubs can set up and have affiliation which are able to participate to go to work in the promotional and event organisation and management for the breed. The breed advisory committee replaces the parent club not all breed clubs.
Part of developing a breed to get it to a breed recognition situation is isolating the gene pool and that for now is the biggest challenge as many breeders are educated by animal rights loonies who have never bred a dog and their obsession with new blood and no line breeding with low COI. Is an obstacle. This makes it more difficult to set type and have lines which breeders can outcross to etc. and work toward breed recognition.
The other major challenge in taking the breed through to recognition is in conveying that the gene pool must be limited and foundation dogs of quality better identified at first and that labradoodles are simply not interchangeable because they may have some ancestors in common with modern Australian Cobberdogs. Every one accepts that a West Highland White, a Skye and a Scottish terrier have ancestors in common, that any breed was at one time something it is not now and that most breeds started out with only a few foundation dogs but we have labradoodle breeders who want to sit on the fence rather than commit.
We need people who are passionate about developing the Australian Cobberdog and being part of the foundation of taking it through to breed recognition – not those who don’t commit and want to hang onto the past [ALD] and keep what we are trying to do in limbo.
The future for the breed is fantastic and exciting and soon you will see strategies being put in place to help in more obvious ways to move the breed forward. There is much work going on in the background as the breed committee had much to cover to set the ground work as they began working.
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 my be differences in the Cobberdogs being bred by 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?