Discussions that special breeding of show-quality dogs leads to degeneration of breeds, has been taking place as long as dog-shows are held. Some specialists insist upon concentrating on working qualities in the breeding programs. Others divide breeds into show and working groups; if you would like a working dog, then you should buy a puppy from the working line, if you prefer a show quality Ė you should find a suitable breeder that breeds dogs for shows.
Several years ago a Greyhound male coming from racing bloodlines was shown at the largest Russian Dog Show. We could not understand what this dog of racing origin was doing in the show ring. The owners of this male were really surprised that he has got only a "very good". They were sure if they imported a greyhound from the UK, from a very famous racing kennel and out of famous racing dogs, it will be a guarantee of success in the ring. They were not informed beforehand by their local advisors that the kennel was famous for their racing achievements and that show quality dogs are different in their conformation, appearance and temperament from their racing relatives.
The owners of the locally bred greyhounds understood that the quality of their dogs were very different from the imported ones and also the registration costs for shows increased after the default, so from now on if the owners of Russian-bred greyhounds attended the shows they attended them as spectators without showing their dogs. In England it goes without saying that a future buyer is well aware of the division of the Greyhound Breed representatives into coursing, racing and show lines and he understands pretty well what kind of dog he is looking for.
We know that first Dog shows took place in England 150 years ago. At the beginning only the passionate hunters were taking part in these shows with their Setters, Pointers, Greyhounds from the best working lines. But the situation has changed long time ago. Priority in the estimation of dogs was removed to adding more elegance, style and switching to soundness of dogs and general balance in proportions. Naturally, the owners of field favorites were often disappointed by the fact that their dogs lost to their rivals while they easily won in the coursing fields and even to those who never participated in the coursing events.
Besides that at the end of XIX, most of hunting breeds in England became pure sporting, not hunting a wild game. But as it is known that every kind of sport is a fancy. And sporting rules, subjective of sporting judges and sporting squabbles donít suit everybody. No wonder that when dog-owners and breeders got the chance of a new way of spending their free time (new hobby), they preferred that one. On the other hand, the show judges are also subjective.
The set up of Greyhound racing events also added to further division of our breed. Then people who wished to earn some money on racing became Greyhound-owners. They were not overwhelmed by the Beauty of the breed, itís history and characteristics. Money was their primary concern.
The case is somewhat different in Germany and some other European countries. Dogs of many breeds must be examined for the working qualities to be allowed in the breeding programs. For many breeds examinations of hips and elbows are also obligatory. So breeding in German as well as in some middle European countries is breeding for beauty, health and performance.
In this case people in the leaderships of these breeds seek for keeping of overproduction and commerce of dog-breeding. (We know that many German breeds such as German Shepard, Rottweiler, Doberman, Dachshund are the most popular all over the world). I think that these steps have been undertaken to prove their value because fashion often leads to degradation of a breed.
Acting this way you often get dogs which are mediocre from both sides. It is clear that itís difficult but possible to get dogs with excellent conformation and performance at the same in popular breeds, but in non-commercial breeds such as greyhound this idea is an utopia.
Dog-breeding in the Soviet Union was centralized. Own opinions of dogís owner were left out of account. Breeding programs were made by the Dog Clubís leaders.
I think that it isnít worth making an ideal plan of dog breeding. It is worth breeding excellent dogs.