Seven Different Ways to Heal Dog Genetic HealthBy Jennifer Stoeckl, MAT - Dire Wolf Project CEO, July 2, 2020
Over the last two days, I decided to reread the Dire Wolf Project book for inspiration and motivation. I wrote it with sincere love and devotion to the incredible ideals I have come to cherish about my mother's steadfast, never wavering passion. Today, I want to highlight one of the many fundamental differences between the Dire Wolf Project and every other dog breed club in the world of which I am aware.
In Dr. George A. Padgett's revolutionary work written in 1998, Control of Canine Genetic Diseases, he describes seven different ways to begin to heal the genetic health in purebred dogs.
~ Maintaining a breed-wide health database recording all reported potential genetic health diseases
~ Developing health committees
~ Engaging in open discussions regarding breed health
~ Including restricted registrations on unhealthy dogs
~ Developing a strong support network among owners
~ Teaching apprentice and intern breeders to breed for health without compromise
~ Utilizing test or trial mating to determine where genetic disease is held within the breed.
Unfortunately, it appears there is too much incentive for breeders to remain silent on the real prominence of genetic diseases that plague the dogs they breed and none of the above has been developed in the greater dog breeding world at large. AKC has created the illusion of this with their health foundation, but has yet to actually incorporate most of the above, apart from health committees and allowing individual breeders to restrict registration for any reason at all.
A full ten years before Dr. Padgett wrote his incredible treatise advocating for real change to health in the dog breeding world, a single woman without distinguished credentials or fancy degrees bravely stepped forward to share openly and honestly about the issues she faced surrounding health and longevity in her lines. Striving to secure a healthy future for our beloved furry companions, she developed a new way forward that deliberately went against the entrenched eugenics ideals that have reigned supreme in the canine world for the last one hundred fifty years.
Lois Schwarz, humble as she is, doesn't seek fame and always allocates any profits she may have generated over the years directly back into her many cherished tail-wagging friends. She isn't revered or lauded as a knowledgeable scholar. Instead, she is often vilified and criticized for daring to breed outside of what so many consider the only responsible breeder's path. However, she has single-handedly created a way of breeding that not only promotes health and longevity, but maintains a genetically diverse breed that can span the test of time. Her unwavering convictions have now inspired others to participate with her in this incredible breeding scheme. Having found the old way, nature's way, she continues to generously share her knowledge with all of us each and every day.
Today, I am grateful to be a part of this special dog breed. I am grateful that I have been able to learn what has captures my mother's heart so tightly. I am grateful to be able to share this journey with so many wonderful individuals. I am grateful to have known the love of many amazingly caring dogs. And, most of all, I am so very grateful to be able to be one of the caretakers of the first strongbred dog breed in order to preserve this effort for those who come after; in the hopes that all of the dogs bred throughout the world may one day walk free of the pain and suffering that comes with genetic health issues that can be eliminated when breeders finally end their silence and begin to bravely work together in solidarity.
Thank you for sharing in this journey with us. Your willingness to stay when times get tough and tragedy strikes, to stand up for real and lasting change for the healthfulness of our dogs, and to advocate to others who seem unwilling to hear warms my heart more than you know. Together, we can make a difference. By holding fast to the truth regarding the strongbred dog and teaching others how to breed for health and longevity above all else, we can better the lives of man's best friend.
It takes bravery, conviction, sharing, and devotion to infiltrate the very stubborn purebred eugenics advocates that have kept many of our most cherished dog breeds from living long and healthy lives. The sturdy English Bulldog, the sweet King Charles Spaniel, the brave German Shepherd Dog, the incredible Great Dane and so many other breeds can live full and happy lives free from many of the diseases that currently plague them if the ideals begun by Lois Schwarz and developed into the strongbred dog are utilized.
If you have not read the Dire Wolf Project book that describes in depth the strongbred way of breeding, you can pick up a copy on Amazon. If you have already read the book, thank you and please consider heading over to Amazon and submitting a review.
Blessings and love to you all.
We would like to send you a free gift for spending some time with us at the Dire Wolf Project.
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Jennifer Stoeckl is the co-founder of the Dire Wolf Project, founder of the DireWolf Guardians American Dirus Dog Training Program, and owner/operator of DireWolf Dogs of Vallecito. She lives in the beautiful inland northwest among the Ponderosa pine forests with her pack of American Dirus dogs.