Pit Bull Informational Pages
by Diane Jessup 

STEWARDSHIP OF THE BREED
Each Of Us Matters

 

 

What Is A
Breed Steward?

The dictionary definition is "someone who manages property or other affairs for someone else". When stewarding a breed, you manage the breed FOR the breed - not for yourself. THIS is the absolute difference between someone who is "in the dogs" for themselves, and those rare and important individuals who put the welfare of the breed before their own goals.

 

Every pure breed or working strain of animal around today is here because people stewarded it through the decades or centuries to us. Some animals have been well served by their stewards - others, not so much. Take for example, the American bred German shepherd, now a virtual cripple and no longer useful for the work for which it was developed. Or the show bulldog; perhaps the most extreme example of poor stewardship. In the case of the show bulldog, people most certainly put their own desire for show points over the welfare of the animal.

Today there are societies in place for the preservation of "heritage" breeds. As agribusiness focuses on only one or two super-producer breeds of chickens, cows and pigs, many important breeds are dying out.

WHY STEWARD PIT BULLS?: Pit bulls are one of the oldest breeds of dogs. Long before many of today's modern show breeds existed, the "main" groups of dogs, sled dogs, greyhounds, mastiffs/bulldogs, flock dogs and hounds were breeding pure to type. The "American" pit bull represents the purest of the bulldog blood surviving today. (If you doubt this, consider every breed whose fans attempt to state they are the "original" bull baiting dog is a direct cross off the purebred American pit bull!) Many pit bulls have pedigrees which reach back into the mid 1800's - far older than most "Best of Show" winners at Westminster!

The blood of the pit bull - and thus the purest of working bulldogs - has been used to make and improve dozens of breeds. The genes of the American pit bull may, in the future, be used again to shore up other breeds needing a "shot in the arm".

Besides that, the "real" American pit bull is a medium sized, short haired, people friendly breed with an amazing sense of humor and fewer health issues than the average breed. They are proving useful for detection work, are useful in the eradication of destructive wild hogs and have along and storied history of service to man.

HOW DO I STEWARD THE BREED?: Stewardship is much more than just breeding litters. Much, much more. In fact, sometimes it means knowing when not to produce pups for resale. Overpopulation is responsible for all the problems our pit bulls face today.

It takes time to come to understand a breed, its history, its role in the future, and the challenges it faces in the present. To this end, I would like to present a series of articles by TRUE breed stewards (of a variety of breeds) so you can learn from those who have "walked the walk".

Please note how similar the challenges are that face our dogs. In many cases you can simply change the breed name and our breed would fit right into the article. Reading - and understanding - these articles will take you down the road to being the breed steward our breed is so desperately in need of!


Articles 1 & 2

Article number one is perhaps the single best thing ever written on the breeding of dogs. For anyone considering breeding a litter, this is MUST READ material. I advise printing it out - it is 50 pages of "gold".

Article # 1 "Planned Breeding" by Lloyd C. Brackett

Article #2 "Ignorance is Expensive" by Virginia McCoy, who was chosen by Lloyd Brackett to take over his line of German shepherd dogs. How I would have loved to have known both of these folks!


Many more articles to come! Check back soon!

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