A
Breeder's
Parable








Three St. Bernard breeders were on their way home from a Dog Show. As dog breeders often do, they spent much of the drive arguing about which was more important, type or soundness. They took a short cut through a mountain pass, and lost and low on gasoline, then they skidded off the road and found themselves trapped in a ditch. A snowstorm moved in, and the next thing they knew, they were stranded in the van with just a little water, no food, and no gasoline to provide heat. Night was closing in, and the breeders feared they would freeze to death before the road was plowed and anyone found them.

The breeder who had advocated that type was most important said "Let's send my St. Bernard for help--he is the true St. Bernard type". Bounding out of the van, the big-bodied, magnificently coated and headed dog began leaping through the drifts. He made it a quarter mile, and then collapsed, in too much pain to go on from his dysplastic hips.

Watching through the window, the second breeder exclaimed "Ah Ha! See, soundness is most important...my dog is OFA excellent. He will bring us some help!" Letting her dog out of his crate, his strong powerful leaps through the snow were magnificent to see. Unfortunately, he only made it half a mile before freezing to death because his coat was so incorrect.

The third breeder watched this smugly, for she knew her dog had both type and soundness. She released her dog, the "Best of Breed" winner from the Show. On his sturdy limbs and with his perfect coat, her dog was a lovely sight to behold as he powered through the snow tirelessly, for mile after mile, until he finally spotted a forest ranger, and promptly attacked him and ate him, for Breeder number three had forgotten about breeding for temperment.


Author Unknown (to me, anyway).
This is not meant in anyway to reflect poorly on St. Bernards but rather to demonstrate the importance of breeding for the "whole" dog