24: Implications of a Man-made Toy Dog(Part 2)

The Pomeranian has been painstakingly developed to be a totally different in size and construction from its original ancestors to become a toy dog.  Accordingly, I am in perfect agreement with the AKC and the KC with regards to its classification of the Pomeranian in the TOY Group.  The FCI, however, classifies them under the Spitz Group based on its origins.  This, I do not agree with because as explained earlier, the construction of the Pomeranian has been man-made to be no longer the same as its original ancestors…and therefore, a totally different animal.

A few years back, all our shows in the Philippines would group the Pomeranians under TOYS.  Today, most of our shows continue to classify them as TOYS, but for our monthly mother club PCCI shows, which are the bigger, the pomeranians are classified under SPITZ.  Such classification, I fear, has affected the breed evolution in many FCI countries…. and I am guarding my breeding program against this!

A dog is judged in the breed according to its breed standard.  As a dog wins in the breed and graduates to compete in the Group, the judge would always put in mind how that dog would fit in to the Group…what that Group stands for.  The Pomeranian as a TOY dog must be small, pretty…simply a nice toy; though movement is important as well, foremost it must be a toy first.  With the Pomeranian in the  SPITZ  group, it  has to compete with the fabulous moving Siberian Huskies…they do not have to be a small, pretty toys…they should move. Though I am a movement freak, breed type should come first and foremost.  With movement as the focus, it would seem to me that its former grouping as a small pretty toy is being  played second fiddle, thus, sacrificing the breed type which has been so painfully infused over the years.

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My brother Benjamin and I  used to own the best of the best of the Japanese Hadleighs, since we were Kazu Igarashi’s biggest client in the late 70s.   At that time, he has not developed his Taiwan market, so we really did not have competition when we bought these dogs..   They were the most beautiful Pomeranians I saw in my life. They had countless Best in Shows.   Breed type, I do not think, any Pomeranian can compare.  But that was many many many years ago.

Today, we see a totally different Japanese Hadleigh Pomeranian.  They still have those fabulous beautiful faces.  An exaggerated tall up on leg Pomeranian that has been bred to have that side movement comparable to the Siberian Huskies.  I suppose, this is what the English would call, “overdone.”   I have not been to Japan for many years and I have only seen pictures in magazines and books…and listen what some judges tell me.  I am told, that their focus is on the headpiece and side-movement.  Coming and going seem to have been forgotten.  They no longer do the kind of winning they used to do.  I wonder if all this has anything to do with the Pomeranian Breed being classified under the SPITZ Group.

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Since the Pomeranian continue to be classified as TOY in the AKC grouping, it only seems to me to be consistent that their breed standard allows all colors.  You want your toys to be in different colors and since the Pomeranian is a TOY dog, then hurrah to have all these colors.

Accordingly, over the years, you see the resurrection of the almost dead colors like the partis, brindles, whites, chocolates, blues…You have American champions in most of these colors, many of which need a fast tract development compared to their orange and red  counterpart.

Then, more recently, the growing controversy on the merles.  The attacks has been so severe that a lynch mob who has convinced a big strata of the APC membership to kill the merles …try to have the merles disallowed from registering with the AKC…try to impose a marking in the pedigree name to tickler a merle gene Pomeranian, something like the classic novel Scarlett Letter where a woman of ill repute was branded in the face to raise the red flag against her…try to have the merles disallowed from being allowed in the show ring….in short, have the rules changed!

First, they say that the general health of the Pomeranian is threatened if the merles are allowed.  This is a self serving and ill-informed statement causing people to be confused.  Sheltland Sheepdogs, and other breeds have merles too and with judicious responsible breeding, they have managed to keep their breed healthy. You will always have irresponsible breeders in all breeds and it only makes it emphatic that you should get your stock only  from reputable breeders.

Second, they say that the origins of the Pomeranians does not have merles and that the merle gene is in not in the historic background of Pomeranians.  Accordingly, it is not a purebred Pomeranian.  It has even been alleged that some 30 years ago, somebody cheated mixing the Sheltie merle to the Pomeranian.  It is all an allegation and it is a pity that they did not have DNA then, and it is impossible to trace the dead cadavers of those merle Pomeranians to their earlier ancestors.  But the point of the matter is, it has been allowed and it is too late in the ball game to disallow them.  Furthermore, it has been so many generations since then.

I recall many pure breeds had to be crossed with other breeds for some reasons…

…for example, the American Shetland Sheepdogs are not identical as the English Shetland Sheepdogs because the Americans wanted the Shelties to look more like a miniature Collie; thus, they did a cross once making them more glamorous and attractive to what it is today.

…another example, the English Pekingese, because of its limited gene pool was mixed with the Shih Tzu to give it the hybrid vigor that it was losing and which was not available in the limited stock available.

The American Shetland Sheepdog and the English Pekingese are certainly considered purebred dogs and no one would dare say otherwise.  I wonder why they cannot say the same for the merle Pomeranians….considering that it has been years and years ago.

……….and, considering this is a man-made dog, why not allow this man-made color???

In the final analysis, I see this all as JEALOUSY.  I overheard one top breeder/exhibitor saying that he is totally amazed how these pet merle breeders could sell their puppies at the same prices of his show prospect puppies…. and after all the work that he did, how can these merle breeders get away with it!  I wonder if this is just plain jealousy.

I would like to pose this challenge to anti-merle Pomeranian people.  If you really believe that merles are trash, why are you so afraid for it to be competing with their supposedly superior orange relatives?  Afraid they would win?  I can only say that if these merles are not good enough, they should self destruct in the ring and you need not lift a finger against it.  But since we have worked so hard to improve on them, no matter what is said about them, can we ask you guys to allow us to show you what we have done?...in the ring, of course!

Pictured above are our merle pups: Melinda, Michelle, Lorelei, Cassanova; below is Canton Blue Calico as a puppy and at 9 1/2 months. 

 

 May 5, 2009

Comments

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Superb article sir...clearly highlights the basic movement dillema faced in the FCI shows..almost every judge demands more and more reach thus poms quite different from the actual standard win...as you mentioned breed type is lost so is the small quick stepping action.

This site definitely has all the info I needed concerning this subject
and didn't know who to ask.

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