Marianne Schlutter gave us a copy of her lecture on Saturday Night. She said it is translated from Danish by Google. So please enjoy this is what we heard as the lecture. The drawings were really helpful to show the ideal dog. look at 1 and 2. 3 and 4 are in response to correct tail placement, the added tail shows too high.
Dear Dog Friends,
I am very honored to replace Ole Staunskjær as judge and very
happy for your concern for my trip and that my husband got the opportunity
to participate in this journey together with me.
That said, I’m thinking, what you need me for. It’s not
for fun that you spend money on getting me right from Scandinavia to
So I will talk about my breeding principles and how I think and then
maybe you can understand my judgments better when put in context with
my thoughts here.
Our race, the Danish-Swedish farm dog is one of the national races
in my home country. In example, it is a type of dog that I have known,
and even had as a child, at a time when they were “everywhere’.
As living conditions improved up through the 60 and 70’s. It became
more and more common with “real breed dogs” and the little
farm dog mostly called “old fox terrier”, lived a parallel
life along with all the other dogs “without papers” until
persistent dog people in the Danish Canine Club became aware of this
glorious cultural/natural treasure, that walked across Denmark and southern
Sweden. At that time my husband and I had a Collie-kennel, but we thought
we would have 1 small dog and it was “an old fox terrier, which
was subsequently approved as a Danish-Swedish farm dog and as it turned
out, largely lived up to standard and all the good farm dog
characteristics. Since then, meaning the last 24 years, we have worked
with this breed and pedigree more than 300 puppies.
This of course, provides experience and knowledge you gradually develop
your ability to see the puppies as potential future breeding stock/show.
Year by year with generations of breeding work and ups and downs. One
thing is what we can see at a particular time, but a guarantee that
it lasts all the way, does not exist. It’s a task of great responsibility
to work with life, but also very joyous and affirmative.
The biggest challenge is to work with yourselves. It’s like when
we go to dog training, who makes mistakes, we do so in reality it is
us who go to dog training.
Once the ups and downs appear, we must be able to handle both and keep
the broad ideas and common sense.
If a disease or defect in your breeding show up, do not panic and trash
a lot of dogs. Learn about succession and the severity of the disorder.
Get the sick puppy/dog out of breeding. Give your club or people
who want to use the father of the breeding the information that your
dog is the father of 1 or x number of puppies with this or that disorder.
Likewise with the bitch. And do not repeat the combination of these
If it happens again with either male or female, there will be 1 or
more pups with this disorder, I’d set a stop to this dog’s breeding
career. Or to put it in other words, if the error rate gets too high… In
this way you have handled the problem seriously, and you’ve taken
the consequences. But you have not overreacted and deprived the breed
a lot of nice, pretty, healthy, functioning farm dogs, because you immediately
took the parents out of breeding. And it is very important that we don’t
remove the parents and siblings every time a defect/disease occurs
removing the parents and their siblings we would end up with much too
few dogs to engage in breeding and everything would grind to a halt.
As medical science can discover/investigate more and more things in
humans as well as our pets, then it’s tempting immediately to
suggest investigations of everything. It may be necessary to use such
methods if a serious problem occur, but so far our breed is healthy
by virtue of its broad gene pool and we see only a few cases of a wide
range of diseases. Fortunately it is so, and therefore we, in Denmark,
have chosen, so far, not to make HD x-rays. As a general requirement
for x-ray photography does not connect with the very few dogs with
clinical symptoms of HD. We do not want to call the breed unhealthy.
But if there will be problems, we will probably handle it using an
I distinguish between errors compared to standard and errors compared
to the dog’s ability to function.
An underhung jaw is wrong for the standard, but in most cases, the
dog function just as well, the jaw being correct or not.
About how the ears are placed; ears work Ok if they stand straight
up or are closed down, but here, according to the standard, it is the “expression” that
completely change “Angles” = the way the legs bones are
joined in continuation of each other. Good angles = the way, that enables
the animal maximum movement with the least
possible effort. It is essential for an animal that must move quickly
and catch rats and mice it is therefore important both in relation
to standard and in relation to functional ability.
Therefore, errors are not just errors; it’s about what the error
is. If it is both a major malfunction and an undesirable error in the
standard, then it is an error that counts much in the “accounts”
Some errors are therefore worse than other errors. Some errors alter
the expression or appearance so radically that the type disappears.
And something that is more important than adding and enumeration of
errors is what we call “type”;
a dog of the right type is more important for the breed than a dog
of incorrect type, even though it has fewer errors. (That means some
types of errors, not all kinds).
If we forget the type, then the breed look disappear, so we end up
with a collection of small spotted dogs with papers that will be the
only thing they have in common.
Then you can ask: “what would you do if you had a round and delicious
farm dog bitch, but hind-angles are not too good and another dog with
really good angles, but slightly taller and more narrow?” Yes,
I would hope that the other dog was a male and then I’d pair them
with each other and find the puppies in the litter that had the maternal
type and at the same time the father’s better angles. But we
have to have the type, preferably in every litter, because that is
where we see the farm dog.
Us humans, we really want to have something we can weigh and measure
and put upshot lists, but life is more complicated than that. And we’ll
never get everything.
If your dog is healthy and well and well functioning and has minimum
approved for breeding and you want to try getting a litter of puppies,
then read the breed’s standard and compare with your dog. Read
the show critics and write down the things that should be better on your
bitch. Then find the male, who meets the most essential requirements
and do not double faults, as much as possible, then you’re in the
You can not make impeccable breeding, nature is not flawless either,
but we can endeavor to keep the error rate as low as possible over
New breeders are often very nervous about doing anything wrong, and
many experienced breeders will not share their knowledge without making
other loyalty hostages, so everything becomes a matter of who you “side
with” and share knowledge with. Kennels become small kingdoms with
buyers as vassal states. It is fine that breeders support their buyers
and that buyers are loyal to the breeder of the puppy as long as objectivity
and reason do not suffer from it. Some breeders highlight themselves
at the expense of others or make specific systems and theories that are
presented as truths, presented as “truths” for that particular
responsible…..and therefore “the others” who do not
do the same is not so “serious”. All these are man-made
systems that each of you must consider whether to use or become entangled
Back to “type”, a Danish-Swedish farm dog is a ignoble/common
dog, with a round body, it is called “barrel shaped chest”,
good muscle development and chest and a heavy lower line also belongs
to the description of the body, a rather short powerful neck with a
little small triangular head with alert eyes and nimble small ears,
a tail that appears above level and some legs, which are a bit flimsy,
all this combined creates this little farm dog-type-creature that charms
These building features are also mentioned in the “standard”,
but they probably should be more highlighted, as necessary to produce
the right type, that what separates the farm-dog from all other breeds.
Add to this the right farm-dog temperament, that is friendly, searching
your company but who can easily deal with useful tasks on its own.
The farm-dog can function well in all sorts of housing types, as long
as it has its owner or pack and is allowed to be dog together with
other dogs. The farm-dog is very fast to learn tricks and rules, but
it make up solutions by itself unless you direct what happens. I usually
say that the farmdog, in my opinion, is the easiest dog, you can choose,
the breed is healthy, it is easy to train, no grooming and do not take
up much of the couch.... or under the quilt.... or ... if it is pretty,
yes we think it is in its own way, but it is primarily the mental characteristics,
the way the farm dog is functioning, that makes us have the farm dogs.
Not all farm dogs have all the good qualities, I have dogs who chase
cats or geese, it is not desirable in my world, I also have a bitch
who is too timid, afraid of strangers but not aggressive and therefore
I still let her have puppies. I have no dogs with an urge to “hunt” that
is running after hares and pheasants, etc, which is my limit. A farm
dog must stay on its territory and not rush about. We must as breeders
be objective when we look at our dogs and how they behave, if they are
too strange or hunting enthusiasts, we should perhaps not use them for
breeding or we must find a partner who does not have the same undesirable
properties, so we are trying to breed us out of it. We see it when we
do “mental description of young dogs”, which is an exercise
in which there is a cloth that via a string is pulled forward at a zigzag
path, most of our farm dog looks at it and look at us as though they
say “Yawn, can’t you see it is a cloth”, but, if I
see a farm dog who hurtles off the cloth, then I think it is “terrier
temperament,” which sticks its nose up and it is not surprising,
because behind all our registered dogs is a good deal terrier genes,
that I, as a breeder, over the years quietly grower away. Yes, they
do not disappear into thin air, but when I choose my breeding, I preferably
go on the other side of an eagerly-heatedly-temper. It may be the puppy
that can not tolerate eating together with other puppies without chasing
them away or will not share your company with others without growling
In Denmark we have 2 sets of ethical recommendations for dog breeding,
Danish Kennel Club and the Club has its own set of recommendations,
which overlap and complement each other, which particularly new breeders
can seek answers and support in. Some times we see breeders are making
their own even more restrictive ethical rules, here again we are playing “1
am better than the others,” and it does not benefit the breed.
Because the ethical rules that are already there, they cover the need,
they are thoroughly discussed and carefully adjusted so that not too
many dogs are taken out of breeding for the wrong reasons. The
principle of doing things “twice as good” does not apply
in breeding work, if you exclude twice as many dogs from breeding, so
you end up with the “half” breeding material and forced into
other compromises that gives other problems with “bottlenecks” and “inbreeding
syndromes”. In breeding work, it is important to have a good
broad gene pool to draw on, so inbreeding-rate generally does not become
If all the qualified bitches get a single litter and the highest bitches
get up to 5 litters, then you have both for gene banks and for keeping
of the type. It is very important to have many males “working”....
just one litter with a good puppy and the future is assured. And now
don’t neutralize these dogs, because then the battle is lost
no matter how good the dog is.
Do not double errors. If the bitch has light ears then the male should
have correct ears. I will always breed through the correct individual.
Not with the “opposite” such as large heavy ears. Always
use a dog with the desired accuracy as to rectify an error.
The litter you create should preferably be better than the parents,
if you have a young bitch use a male, where the breeding value is known.
That is, you have seen offspring (and preferably more) of good quality
as proof that his good building passed to his offspring.
Phenotype and genotype are 2 different things. A dog can win all shows
and look gorgeous, still his offspring do not get the same amount of
proper build, “looks” is not enough, the male shall have
the right dominant genes to break through in his offspring... it is here “line
You can breed close (how close can be debated ad infinitum) 1 to 2
times to cement its impact, but like you can cement the desired properties,
one can also cement the unwanted, so be very aware of what the experiment
generates and then make a outcross (pair with an unrelated) to wipe
the slate clean of unwanted patterns and afterwards the entire breeding
project together would have moved closer to “standard’.
I speak of principles, not numbers.
I have tried to speak in ordinary words so you get the meaning.
But I think it is an advantage to work for principles, as simple as
If everything is so intricate and control like that nobody can be bothered
to try as dog breeders, then everything stops, and there will be too
few dogs left to continue the breed.
Therefore it is sensible having ethical recommendations, but as few
rules as possible.
And what good is it all, if too few puppies are being born to continue
Therefore, make sure you understand the Standard and choose the male
who contributes with that, your bitch is missing, and make your puppies,
and assume the responsibility that comes along and enjoy the whole
process and support one another when a problem occur, so the future
holds the Danish/Swedish farm dog too.
All dogs are lovely, but we are here, have chosen to concentrate our
work on the Danish-Swedish farm dog and therefore the “standard” is
the most important paper, which we measure our breeding results up
It says how the farm dog should look like and how it should be. That
our small breed dog is a very versatile dog that can obedience and
agility and rescue dog and walking trails and do circus tricks and
dog dancing etc it just shows how wonderful and versatile a small dog
we have and love to have. So even if the dog is not a show star, it
can always be a star in the family with all its good qualities.
I hope this paper can give you something to reflect on. It is my contribution
to “Farm Dog debate, but also the sum of 24 years of breeding
and my years in Danish / Swedish farm dog club vice-president
and chairman of the Breeding Committee.
Sincerely, Marianne Schlüter