Percentage Dogs, Not a New Concept
"Calling a spade, a spade."
The concept of calling a spade a spade is certainly a noble principle, albeit not always a popular one. In regards to the idea of % breeding, this technique has been successfully utilized for many different species of animals for quite a few years, most notably in the equine field, as well as in the goat species. Arabian horses, for instance, have had a percentage registry for a long time.
However, in the dog species, it is something new, and to some, it is quite intimidating. Many dog breeders have had no experience whatsoever in breeding any species which utilizes a percentage system, so they are total neophytes in working with this breeding technique. But, it is quite a simple and elegant system, and is also an accurate method for keeping track of the background of an animal.
This is how it works. If one has a purebred dog, let's say, for example, a Corgi, and crosses it with a purebred dog of another breed, for example, a Basset Hound, then the resulting puppies would be 50% Corgi and 50% Basset Hound. If those 50/50 puppies were then bred back to a Corgi, they would then be 75% Corgi, and 25% Basset. If those 75/25 puppies were then bred back again, to another Corgi, they would then be 87 1/2% Corgi, and 12 1/2 % Basset.
One could name the original cross either 50% Corgi, or 50% Basset. The successive generations would probably be called by the breed of which they had the higher percentage, in the above example that would be the Corgi breed. So, they would be 75% Corgi, or 88% Corgi, for example.
Now, from a personal perspective, this writer thinks that such crosses should be made for a specific purpose, not just for the flagrant crossbreeding of dogs. In our own breeding program, we are working on developing, or recreating actually, a wirehaired whippet type dog, but since the wire coat no longer exists in the Whippet breed, (see: Appalachian Greyhounds Introduced by Claybrook ) it must be reintroduced from a different breed. This necessitates crossbreeding. We have used the Longhaired Whippet as a base for this project, with infusions of wirehaired breeds. However, the resulting puppies do contain a certain percentage of Longhaired Whippet, and so they are, in fact, "% Longhaired Whippet". This is 'calling a spade a spade.' Nothing more, nothing less.
It is not our goal to produce "% Longhaired Whippets", per se, as we are working on recreating an extinct breed type. But, it is our desire to be accurate and honest in describing the puppies that are produced along the way toward our goal of what is called an "Appalachian Greyhound", also called by some a "Wirehaired Whippet". Therefore, to be honest, precise, accurate, and exact, we have, in the past, called the foundation dogs "% Longhaired Whippets", because that is what they are. As we have established the Appalachian Greyhound/Wirehaired Whippet, the term "% Longhaired Whippet" is not being utilized for our dogs.
Some other breeders have desired to try some other crosses of Longhaired Whippets to other breeds, for purposes of their own, that fit into their own breeding programs, and that suit their own goals and objectives, such as agility. They have used the Longhaired Whippet also, and so their dogs are % dogs. Once again, this is calling a spade a spade.
The International Longhaired Whippet Club (ILWC) has established, in it's Registry, what is, as far as is known, the very first Percentage Registry subdivision for dogs. This is in an effort to maintain records and keep track of dogs containing a % of Longhaired Whippet, with the goal of disseminating precise and accurate information to anyone who would be interested in knowing the background of such dogs. This is not promoting the crossbreeding of the dogs, it is merely offering a service to maintain records of background parentage for dogs which already exist.
However, for some unfathomable reason, it seems difficult for some doggy people to understand how a % Registry works. But, as explained above, in the Corgi example, it is quite simple and straightforward. The ILWC Registry maintains a separate subdivision, with a separate numbering system, for percentage dogs. The pure Longhaired Whippets are identified with different letters and numbers from the % dogs. The numbering system is explained on the ILWC Registry page: ILWC Registry
There is no possibility for confusion, unless, of course, someone does not look at the registration number. Even dogs that have attained 4 generations of backcrossing to Longhaired Whippets, which causes their percentage to be near to 100%, will not be considered "pure" Longhaired Whippets, and they will always carry the separate number/letter code to indicate that they are percentage dogs. This Registry procedure is not complicated, and is very easy to understand.
And best of all, it is "calling a spade, a spade."
more information contact:
Claybrook Farm -- Michelle Henninger -- Shippensburg, PA 17257
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