Why would you crossbreed a gundog with a sheepdog? It is not the first time I am asked this, with regard to my dog Akiro (see comments).
Akiro is a mix between a Nova Scotia Duck tolling Retriever, the gundog, and an Australian Shepard (his sheepdog component).
What reason should there be not to cross these breeds?
It is called crossbreeding, an evil word for skilled breeders. To them it is crossing a pug with a beagle. Results in a longer nose. When I showed pictures of so-called retro-pugs to breeders at the Crufts at Birmingham. At first I heard: those are mongos! What they meant was mongrels. That is a derogative name for cross-breeded dogs. More like bastards, those pugs in the pictures, who had at least something similar to a nose or should get one in the near future.
The same applies to crossing the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever with an Australian Shepard, since both gene pools are rather contaminated. Due to inbreeding, mostly on the side of the Toller. Both breeds, Toller and Aussi, carry rotten generic diseases – like epilepsy, hip and elbow displasia, autoimmune diseases. The average life expectancy of a Duck Tolling Retriever is no more than 8 years!
The Toller is a highly-specialized gundog, as his cumbrous name implies. The owner throws sticks from the lakeside, to attract ducks with the conspicuous mass of the dog‘s hair (sounds funny, but the Red Indians did this already, having copied it from the foxes). When the duck are close enough, the hunter shoots them and the Toller retrieves them from the lake.
So: theoretically you will get the best of both worlds when crossing a Toller with an Aussi: the genetic mix is supposed to be first class. But it gets critical, when you use those dogs for further breeding. You have to be extremely careful – because of the recessive genes.
BUT – BUT – BUT – what has this to do with pedigree dogs? Nothing but mongrels! Bastards!! That‘s the common outcry from Duck-Tolling-Retriever-breeder associations from all over the world towards Alexander Däuber. He dared to mate his Toller bitch with an Australian Shepard! His aim was to create a new generation of Tollers from this first litter in many scientifically monitored cross-breedings. But: bad boy Däuber, clueless Däuber, traitor Däuber! „He is about to change the Toller as we know him, completely and FOREVER!“.
Back to the question: Why would you cross a gundog with a sheepdog? Why not, if it makes him more healthy and longer-living? The argument, that you just do not cross a gundog with a sheepdog does not convince me as a dog lover. Yes, Akiro loves to run after the squirrels in the park. But I can call him back with a short whistle any time. At home he will take care of his family and barks when somebody rings the doorbell. Best of both worlds! Both features are not extremely distinctive.
And we should not forget: a Toller has much more hearding instinct than is usually expected – see here.
So, why not cross a gundog with a sheepdog, to get a more healthy dog that will live longer. There you are!
Categories: English Version