Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Why a bandog and not a GSD, rottie, or mal. What's so spectacular about bandog’s that sets them apart?

Q10. Why a bandog and not a GSD, rottie, or mal. What's so spectacular about bandog’s that sets them apart?

Ancient GR: A10. There is nothing so spectacular about bandog’s that would set them apart from the mentioned breeds really. It is a common mistake to judge "breeds”...A nice alternative question would be: What does a good Rottie/Presa/.... (insert molosser breed name) do better than a good bandog?

DanUK: Again, broken record, but agreed with the aforementioned answer and also see the answer to question three. It is possible to expound upon the answer to address some of the breeds highlighted however:

GSD: Bred in huge numbers, but whilst these numbers also extend to probably (along with Mals) the largest number of working dogs too, there are a large number of poor dogs out there and it can be hard to find what you want because ironically, even amongst good working GSD's, not all are alike. E.g. Czech dogs are very distinct from British dogs, DDR vs. West German, Russian, South African, US (show) GSD's all vary considerably in average size, coat/colouration and the aspects of temperament emphasised. Many folks find GSD’s to have low stimulus thresholds, particularly toward strangers, which along with coat can be just two of the reasons why many people dislike the breed. As a child I had a neighbour that loved GSD’s with a passion but had a huge number of nice, stable, well-bred (on paper) dogs fall to pieces and being euthanized, then arrived at one which whilst healthy as any dog was frankly a liability of a dog in the type of society that was developing; v. low stimulus threshold, actively aggressive and highly territorial, rank-driven and reliable responded with aggression to any threat perceived or otherwise.

Rotti: Good dogs can be real wreckers of a protection dog. Again, rank driven and actively aggressive in response to any sort of challenging stimuli. Whilst many folks have worked to change the general disposition of the Rotti, especially amongst the show crowd who tend to be ill equipped to handle such dogs, the Rotti fails to appeal overall, to many people. Another couple of criticisms levied toward the Rotti by many folks are that their rank-derived aggression ultimately makes them big, rough curs (in the theoretical scenario that without equipment, you can overcome their fight drive) and also the construction of the modern dogs is overdone with some being fat and cobby in contrast to the original foundation dogs such as an Arno vom Felsengarten, Aramis z Ol-Ze CS Aramis or a Bari v Erlenhof. When presented with a good example of the best the Rotti has to offer, I'm sure most Bandogge folks would be more than willing to take on such a dog for operational purposes, though may still have reservations about such a dog in a family protection context.

Mal: In general, very active dogs, even the ones those aren't neurotic as many people describe them. Generally very small dogs in comparison to Bandogge's (especially male to male) and of course long-coated. Spitz / fox like looks also don't appeal to all groups and is quite distinct from the often chiseled appearance of the Bandogge / mastiff type dogs. Good ones generally have a real need to work and to do so quite extensively. Whilst this can be great fun, it does not always fit in to the modern lifestyle requirements/choices of many people. Whilst it is personally a lesser point to me, many folks would again cite size as a factor where the intended application is CQB, especially within the confines of the home environment. Whilst it is true that such a breed can better fit in to a home, especially a small apartment, many people inherently believe that dogs this small are vulnerable to potentially high assailants without the prospect of backup available to them as is the case in Police / Military work. This is more often perceived outside of areas like N. America which do not exercise stringent gun control. In Europe you are far more likely to encounter violent, high/intoxicated assailant(s), that themselves are armed, when their prospective victims are not. Whilst such scenarios clearly depict a scenario in which a dog of any breed is liable to be lost, many folks inherently perceive that the Bandogge/Presa/Rotti type breeds will do considerably more damage in a shorter period of time, screening their handlers from harm for longer so that help may be sought whilst the dog either overcomes the aggressor or eventually succumbs to a mortal wound(s).

Whilst herders regularly do have personality and character, many folks prefer the nature of the Bull/mastiff breeds which are regularly described as being clown-like when in repose and amongst their pack. This is a sentiment seldom used to describe herders and other breeds, except perhaps some of the terriers.

Presa: This is an interesting breed and one further complicated by the whole Presa / Dogo Canario issue that sees two distinct breeds, but in many countries both Presa's and Dogo's registered as Dogo's for legal purposes, thus creating two distinct populations within the same breed classification officially.

The Dogo Canario is a much more laid-back, show-orientated (built) breed that has not had working aspects/qualities stressed in the majority of cases. In N. America there are exceptions such as in the case of Red Star which has foundation stock that comprises of both Presa and Dogo type dogs that could be viewed as akin to the so-called Hybrid American Bulldogs to arrive at a larger, bullier type that incorporates a blend of qualities from both types emphasised through breeding determined through specific testing and selection. Another such example would be found in Germany through the dogs produced by Arne and Stefan B, some of which found their way to Red Star and vice versa.

Whilst the true Presa Canario may share a lot of similarities to Bandogges, especially in regard to overall type (e.g. Kaso de Irema Curto, J7's Loco etc.) the breed does have a notably different temperament, some of which may be attributable to the heavy Marjero influence (which in turn was actively removed from the Dogo Canario). In the extreme examples, some Presa's are very much like a Dutch Shepherd in a mastiff body, whilst others equally possess the kind of fight and defensive drive required, but have particularly high stimulus threshold due to the huge confidence they have in their own abilities, a trait shared with good Rott's, Bandogge's and AB's. Presa's can be a lot more hot-headed than Bandogges, regularly exhibit much higher dog/animal aggression (despite no presence of APBT within six or more generations) and likewise can have much more dominance / rank than is found within Bandogges, but less than is found within say the harder Rott's. In short, they are very much the Latino manifestation of the Bandogge concept, aloof with strangers, affable, affectionate and laid-back with family and incredibly hostile/violent toward aggressors, with long memory and on-going dislike of those that have threatened them in the past.

AB: Probably the best breed to contrast the Bandogge too has not been mentioned, which is the AB. The good AB has all of the same qualities as the Bandogge as relates to temperament, being approximately the same size and such like. The main differences again come down to selection; not only are there a number of types (Bully/Johnson, Hybrid, Performance) but there are also very distinct lines / programs that much the same as the Bandogge, represent a unique interpretation of the AB as relates to a particular breeder/group; LeClerc/Koura, BBK, Stover, True-Grit, Universal, Kershner, SureGrip, White Lightening, J.R.'s AB's, Hines, Scott, Dorsey, Souza, Boyd and so forth. On the whole however, most Bandogge fanciers could probably find themselves appreciative of a good AB and could find one from a program that largely mirrors their own wants/needs.

The remaining distinctions as to why they might not want an AB would likely revolve around the fact that Catch-work is a much more prominent aspect of the breed (and as such part of the temperament/drive profile than is generally sought in modern Bandogge's) and lastly, quite frankly colour. The AB is still predominantly a white breed in colouration and many Bandogge folks have a great dislike of (solid or near) White colouration and the added health considerations it can offer to a breeding program. Besides which, whilst white can prove useful for hunters/farmers in a catch dog context, it is probably the least conducive colouration to an urban/suburban guard dog beyond the initial deterrent factor. Buckskin and Red dogs are surprisingly hard to spot in the dark, Black and Blue (grey) dogs likewise, whilst (dark) Brindles are probably the best concealed of the lot in actuality, and probably why so much emphasis was put upon producing brindles originally in the British Bull and mastiff programs that would produce dogs such as Burton's Thornywood Terror. White dogs do not afford the degree of concealment within the home that some people would prefer and would assert detracts from the element of surprise that a dog can utilise in combating an assailant that is possessed of a firearm for example. However, the effectiveness of dogs in such situations against persons armed with projectile weapons such as firearms is an entire topic for debate in and of itself, so remains left to that and in so doing allows this series of questions to be closed-out.

Katrina Hartwell AU: I don't know if they are at all spectacular, they are just another dog. I find a greater difference between individuals in a breed than there is between breeds. Having said that I haven't seen or owned a dog of any of these breeds above that I would want around my children. I know there are ones about, I just haven't seen them. I haven’t seen one I would like to take hunting yet either. If I took a GSD or Mal home somebody would shoot it and scalp it. Public opinion is slewed against GSD and Rotts here, My Bandog’s look to most like a (very) ugly Labrador crossed with some type of pig dog rather than a blood thirsty black and tan monster.

MaTi US: Looks. I'm not breed prejudice in any way. Breed prejudice keeps the Bandogs outta Schutzhund clubs. When an awesome Bandog comes into a Sch. club they want it to go because it makes 200 yrs of German engineering look bad.

When I go out on the field with Chu (APBT), the LAST thing the German Judge wants to see is my little 200yr old American fighting dog performing the exact same tasks that his 200yr old German war/police dog performs... Ooooooooohhhh don't it hurt???

Even worse when my Pit is workin outta BOND vs. some innate/genetic predisposition to have a double-jointed neck, and believe balls fall out of the sky.

Everybody should be allowed to play.
If we play FAIR we can also play HARD.