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Do you have questions about breeding theories?
Or do you need tips on how to rear your pups?

Maybe 500m dog's are becoming a thing of the past page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 

Daryl Barrett
Australia
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Posts 446
Dogs 0 / Races 0

13 Jan 2018 05:23


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Fair point Bruce,as long as you can lay the bet's off somewhat,& also try to buy business by "rolling" the price out for the dog's with little chance of winning.


Ross Farmer
Australia
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Posts 95
Dogs 0 / Races 1

14 Jan 2018 00:38


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This topic has digressed into culture, lures, chasing, and motivators, as well as differences of opinion giving rise to a few personal shots.

I would go back to basic principles.

Attributes like speed, endurance and behaviour are driven by a balance of both breeding and environment. The importance of each is one of those unwinnable debates. But it is obvious that both should be optimised.

The issue is how, which is there is probably such diversity of opinion.

My observations are that:
1. Breeding efforts may be too focused on speed at the expense of stamina
2. There have been negligible advances in training methods that have a fact-based or scientific basis
3. Basic stimuli for training have been reduced (sight, scent, taste) limiting reward based training, without proven alternatives (The diversity of new lures is indicative of experimentation, not an evidence-based approach)

So how can these be better addressed?

In business, improvements are driven by competition, but the industry is effectively a government oligopoly that seems to be averse to development of improvements and best practices that are supported by properly funded research and development.

Operating to fact-based improvement and practices would also better support the industry in other ways, such as addressing emotionally-based arguments of opponents.

The industry operators (State public authorities) have the funding for this, and have unilaterally fallen short in taking on such responsibilities. (Throw in acquiescence to political masters rather than taking a stance against industry opponents).

All this highlights the unsuitability of the current industry model.

But that is another topic.


Michael Geraghty
Australia
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Posts 3358
Dogs 13 / Races 15

14 Jan 2018 02:12


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Some people insist that breeding is one, if not THE biggest problem as to why we have so many dogs not being able to run 500m.
Ok, it's a debate that is much bigger than that, but for arguments sake, let's concentrate on breeding.

Following are stats from VIC on winning sires and broods.

So, for those so vehemently certain that breeding is the cause, please highlight WHO, using the below table, the speedy squib sires and broods are.

You now have the stats to PROVE your argument.

PLEASE NAME THE CULPRITS.

Courtesy of Fastrack.
EXTERNAL LINK
Winning Sires and Brood Bitches for Metropolitan tracks 1/1/2018 - 31/12/2018
Dog Name Total Pups Active Sex First Second Third Total
FERNANDO BALE 28 S 13 5 7 25
FABREGAS 10 S 3 0 0 3
BARCIA BALE 24 S 2 4 5 11
KINLOCH BRAE 8 S 2 2 3 7
KIOWA MON MANNY 7 S 2 2 2 6
JARVIS BALE 9 S 2 2 1 5
BELLA INFRARED 6 S 2 2 0 4
BEKIM BALE 9 S 2 1 1 4
WALK HARD 5 S 2 1 1 4
TALK'S CHEAP 2 S 2 1 0 3
NOLEN 7 S 2 0 1 3
KC AND ALL 8 S 1 3 3 7
DAVID BALE 4 S 1 2 0 3
DESTINI FIREBALL 3 S 1 1 2 4
OAKS ROAD 6 S 1 1 2 4
SPRING GUN 9 S 1 1 2 4
HIGH EARNER 3 S 1 1 0 2
MAGIC SPRITE 5 S 1 1 0 2
PREMIER FANTASY 2 S 1 1 0 2
DYNA TRON 4 S 1 0 1 2
SEARLE BALE 6 BB 3 1 3 7
NICKI FIELDS 3 BB 3 0 0 3
DIRTY ANGEL 4 BB 2 1 1 4
IRMA BALE 3 BB 2 1 1 4
TEARS SIAM 2 BB 2 0 0 2
WIKENA 1 BB 2 0 0 2
OSHKOSH FAYOLA 4 BB 1 2 1 4
PRUE BALE 3 BB 1 1 2 4
CAROL ALLEN 6 BB 1 1 1 3
FULL NOISE TURBO 3 BB 1 1 1 3
GANGBUSTERS 2 BB 1 1 1 3
SWEET SHADOW 4 BB 1 1 1 3
ASTON ELITE 1 BB 1 1 0 2
CLOAK OF GOLD 2 BB 1 1 0 2
PURCELL BALE 3 BB 1 1 0 2
SHALL SHE 1 BB 1 1 0 2
TONNELI BALE 3 BB 1 1 0 2
LANKAN FLASH 1 BB 1 0 1 2
MEPUNGA LANA 3 BB 1 0 1 2
QUEEN OF BLACK 1 BB 1 0 1 2

Winning Sires and Brood Bitches for Victorian tracks 1/1/2018 - 31/12/2018
Dog Name Total Pups Active Sex First Second Third Total
BARCIA BALE 257 S 70 51 56 177
FERNANDO BALE 110 S 34 32 32 98
FABREGAS 121 S 23 27 25 75
COSMIC RUMBLE 133 S 22 27 30 79
KINLOCH BRAE 56 S 19 14 12 45
MAGIC SPRITE 92 S 18 21 12 51
SPRING GUN 72 S 16 13 15 44
BANJO BOY 76 S 14 11 14 39
BELLA INFRARED 40 S 13 7 8 28
MY BRO FABIO 49 S 11 14 12 37
DJAYS OCTANE 53 S 11 13 11 35
DYNA DOUBLE ONE 32 S 11 10 6 27
JARVIS BALE 30 S 10 7 3 20
HIGH EARNER 20 S 10 5 2 17
EL GRAND SENOR 46 S 9 8 8 25
NOLEN 49 S 8 12 8 28
COLLISION 55 S 8 11 12 31
LOCHINVAR MARLOW 42 S 8 5 6 19
KIOWA MON MANNY 29 S 7 11 10 28
KC AND ALL 21 S 7 6 8 21
CAROL ALLEN 10 BB 6 3 1 10
NICKI FIELDS 7 BB 6 2 0 8
MISS BEL AIR 9 BB 5 2 2 9
RUBY HA HA 6 BB 5 1 2 8
XYLIA ALLEN 6 BB 5 1 2 8
DESTINI GOLD 7 BB 5 1 0 6
DR. MINDY 4 BB 5 0 0 5
MAGIC DIVA 4 BB 5 0 0 5
ASTON ELLE 6 BB 4 2 2 8
GO RUBBER NOSE 5 BB 4 1 1 6
READY TO RIOT 4 BB 4 0 0 4
CAILYN BALE 7 BB 3 4 2 9
DELFINA BALE 5 BB 3 4 0 7
KOKODA SPIRIT 8 BB 3 3 4 10
PURCELL BALE 7 BB 3 3 1 7
IRMA BALE 4 BB 3 1 3 7
SEARLE BALE 6 BB 3 1 3 7
BORN ALI 4 BB 3 1 1 5
ELLA'S CRUISING 4 BB 3 1 1 5
SHALL SHE ROCK 4 BB 3 1 0 4

Winning Sires and Brood Bitches for Metropolitan tracks 1/1/2017 - 31/12/2017
Dog Name Total Pups Active Sex First Second Third Total
BARCIA BALE 249 S 197 168 158 523
COSMIC RUMBLE 106 S 88 85 82 255
FABREGAS 97 S 65 66 51 182
FERNANDO BALE 51 S 65 48 46 159
DJAYS OCTANE 42 S 41 46 38 125
MAGIC SPRITE 62 S 41 35 36 112
SPRING GUN 59 S 33 42 47 122
NOLEN 33 S 29 19 17 65
OAKS ROAD 22 S 28 27 28 83
BANJO BOY 23 S 26 14 11 51
TURANZA BALE 21 S 25 18 23 66
WALK HARD 10 S 25 14 13 52
DYNA TRON 29 S 24 19 29 72
KINLOCH BRAE 53 S 23 38 40 101
SH AVATAR 18 S 23 16 28 67
BELLA INFRARED 35 S 22 32 26 80
BLACK MAGIC OPAL 13 S 21 10 11 42
COLLISION 64 S 20 46 43 109
LOCHINVAR MARLOW 28 S 20 26 13 59
DAVID BALE 8 S 19 15 12 46
DIRTY ANGEL 6 BB 21 11 13 45
UCME TYPHOON 10 BB 19 18 10 47
CAROL ALLEN 9 BB 18 13 19 50
ASTON ELLE 8 BB 16 6 7 29
EASY BABY 6 BB 16 5 7 28
FULL NOISE TURBO 8 BB 15 16 15 46
OUTLANDISH 4 BB 15 10 8 33
SHIMAGUNI 6 BB 13 5 11 29
COME ON LUANN 7 BB 13 4 5 22
FANCY JAFFA 2 BB 13 2 1 16
QUEEN OF CYPRUS 9 BB 12 11 10 33
SEARLE BALE 7 BB 12 8 7 27
FINLANDIA 6 BB 10 14 18 42
OSHKOSH FAYOLA 6 BB 10 14 16 40
BORN ON LAVA 6 BB 10 12 7 29
EMA'S PRINCESS 4 BB 10 11 7 28
PANDORA BALE 3 BB 10 11 5 26
PURCELL BALE 6 BB 10 5 10 25
PAH LEEZE 7 BB 9 14 16 39
LANGI BALE 8 BB 9 11 10 30

Winning Sires and Brood Bitches for Victorian tracks 1/1/2017 - 31/12/2017
Dog Name Total Pups Active Sex First Second Third Total
BARCIA BALE 789 S 1712 1453 1338 4503
COSMIC RUMBLE 436 S 970 849 912 2731
FABREGAS 405 S 898 833 796 2527
MAGIC SPRITE 359 S 673 614 626 1913
SPRING GUN 238 S 408 462 488 1358
COLLISION 237 S 382 481 451 1314
FERNANDO BALE 159 S 336 241 230 807
DYNA TRON 144 S 332 308 379 1019
KINLOCH BRAE 206 S 329 370 348 1047
BANJO BOY 140 S 329 287 278 894
LOCHINVAR MARLOW 154 S 323 335 297 955
EL GRAND SENOR 170 S 321 298 283 902
NOLEN 147 S 312 291 296 899
COSMIC CHIEF 173 S 269 363 345 977
DJAYS OCTANE 128 S 236 275 273 784
OAKS ROAD 92 S 204 203 188 595
SWIFT FANCY 99 S 202 199 194 595
TURANZA BALE 58 S 188 131 118 437
BEKIM BALE 163 S 181 232 255 668
BELLA INFRARED 96 S 181 180 156 517
ASTON ELLE 20 BB 78 20 24 122
PURCELL BALE 12 BB 70 34 33 137
CAROL ALLEN 13 BB 67 58 46 171
EASY BABY 8 BB 63 27 20 110
MEPUNGA NICKY 13 BB 58 48 27 133
UCME TYPHOON 13 BB 54 43 34 131
MISS MEEHAN 12 BB 52 38 38 128
TIGGERLONG PETAL 11 BB 47 42 37 126
DESALLE BALE 12 BB 47 36 46 129
LEKTRA ANGIE 14 BB 47 33 42 122
PROVEN IMPALA 10 BB 47 33 30 110
NICKI FIELDS 8 BB 47 14 13 74
FULL NOISE TURBO 10 BB 46 43 33 122
DELFINA BALE 13 BB 45 46 54 145
ZIPPING CATRA 10 BB 44 28 22 94
SILVER FRESCO 9 BB 44 25 30 99
YARRAMUNDI FLASH 11 BB 44 14 19 77
OUR LISA 16 BB 43 49 42 134
ELITE FAIRY 11 BB 43 43 28 114
WHERE'S DEMONICA 18 BB 43 33 24 100


Bruce Teague
Australia
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Posts 278
Dogs 0 / Races 0

14 Jan 2018 07:07


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Ross,

It is and it isn't ("another topic").

Basically, racing is a collection of bureaucracies theoretically controlled by visionary and perceptive management boards which might normally sponsor modernisation, innovation and progress in a changing world. But they don't. Boards are at the mercy of bureaucrats who feed them what they need to know. All kow tow to whatever the Minister of the day thinks.

Clearly, the "current industry model" fails to deal with, or even identify, any shortcomings whether short or long term. Hence the recent childish approaches to breeding downturns or, in the same vein, to the total absence of studies or trends concerning any loss of stamina etc. By inference, it is denying that there are real problems. A bit of fine tuning will do if someone complains.

Some proof is available in NSW where an "outsider" and newcomer in interim chief Paul Newson commissioned two more outsider groups to examine live baiting and track design. No such action has ever occurred in Australian greyhounds previously. The existing system always coped on its own. We know best! But it doesn't. Worse, any outsiders' conclusions are usually rejected and the speakers abused. Participants know best!

So I see a direct connection between the lack of competence in industry management and organisational structure, on one hand, and the absence of genuine progress, including research and development, on the other. The Minister knows best!

Were there to be a response from above to these thoughts (there will not be) it would point out that income has been rising and we are doing a bit better than last year. It would not mention that any such rise has been artificial - ie due to extra races, inflation, community access to handheld devices, mug gamblers in pubs, dissatisfaction with the trots, occasional shifts in state-sponsored commission splits, and so on.

In any event, competition has not driven internal improvements at all in any area, possibly excepting drug oversight. The opposite is true as the gambling market has moved strongly in favour of non-racing services, while breeding numbers are in a long term decline (not just recently). Some external services have improved - medicines, feeds, transport, veterinary, etc - but all those are outside the reach and control of management.

Finally, I don't quite buy your #3 point - stimuli. WDA and many other qualified contributors have clearly pointed out that reward-based options are available and proven. Similarly, lots of evidence is now available about new lures, albeit some of it is unpublished (eg from GRV for one). In both cases, the recommendations have been howled down by many participants. They know best!

Major reform is the only way forward.


Ross Farmer
Australia
(Verified User)
Posts 95
Dogs 0 / Races 1

14 Jan 2018 10:01


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Bruce Teague wrote:

Ross,

It is and it isn't ("another topic").

Basically, racing is a collection of bureaucracies theoretically controlled by visionary and perceptive management boards which might normally sponsor modernisation, innovation and progress in a changing world. But they don't. Boards are at the mercy of bureaucrats who feed them what they need to know. All kow tow to whatever the Minister of the day thinks.

Clearly, the "current industry model" fails to deal with, or even identify, any shortcomings whether short or long term. Hence the recent childish approaches to breeding downturns or, in the same vein, to the total absence of studies or trends concerning any loss of stamina etc. By inference, it is denying that there are real problems. A bit of fine tuning will do if someone complains.

Some proof is available in NSW where an "outsider" and newcomer in interim chief Paul Newson commissioned two more outsider groups to examine live baiting and track design. No such action has ever occurred in Australian greyhounds previously. The existing system always coped on its own. We know best! But it doesn't. Worse, any outsiders' conclusions are usually rejected and the speakers abused. Participants know best!

So I see a direct connection between the lack of competence in industry management and organisational structure, on one hand, and the absence of genuine progress, including research and development, on the other. The Minister knows best!

Were there to be a response from above to these thoughts (there will not be) it would point out that income has been rising and we are doing a bit better than last year. It would not mention that any such rise has been artificial - ie due to extra races, inflation, community access to handheld devices, mug gamblers in pubs, dissatisfaction with the trots, occasional shifts in state-sponsored commission splits, and so on.

In any event, competition has not driven internal improvements at all in any area, possibly excepting drug oversight. The opposite is true as the gambling market has moved strongly in favour of non-racing services, while breeding numbers are in a long term decline (not just recently). Some external services have improved - medicines, feeds, transport, veterinary, etc - but all those are outside the reach and control of management.

Finally, I don't quite buy your #3 point - stimuli. WDA and many other qualified contributors have clearly pointed out that reward-based options are available and proven. Similarly, lots of evidence is now available about new lures, albeit some of it is unpublished (eg from GRV for one). In both cases, the recommendations have been howled down by many participants. They know best!

Major reform is the only way forward.

Bruce

At the level I put my points, I believe we are in violent agreement.

Clarifying point 3 - I was pointing out that in the context of rewards being removed, there was no fact-based evidence provided by the industry operators/regulators that supported the solutions we are seeing eg different lures across & within States, or covering all senses (ie sight/sound/smell, and IMO in that order).

I don't blindly accept WDA as a definitive authority on all matters greyhound. Some of their suggestions eg space needs may be applicable to working dogs, but not greyhounds. The same applies to food rewards and prey drive - I take the view that WDA recommendations are not sufficiently greyhound specific, but are good in-principle advice.

I base this largely on my experience with working dogs - 25+ years covering breeding rearing and training heelers, with input/advice from experienced & qualified trainers. Echoing this are the words of a veterinarian friend when I sought advice on my first greyhound. Something along the lines of "Comparing other breeds to greyhounds is like comparing traditional medicine to voodoo".


Ross Farmer
Australia
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Posts 95
Dogs 0 / Races 1

14 Jan 2018 10:45


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Michael,

I may not be getting your point, but the problem with just using recent stats and looking at sires and bitches is that these dogs weren't breeding in the past. In other words, there is no common denominator.

Also, there will be winners regardless of distance, time or grade, so we might find that higher placing numbers for some breeding lines are due to
a) greater numbers having been bred or nominated
b) wins/places being at lower-grade races
c) wins/places being over shorter distances (ie less 500m+ races)
or that wins are generally at slower times than in the past.

If we are looking at there being reduced numbers of 500m+ dogs, then we need to compare current stats to past stats.

My initial thoughts are that, as a starting point, we need to consider comparative measures from past to present such as:
1. Number of nominations by distance (and track?)
2. Number of races by distance (and track?)
3. Number of runners by distance (and track?)
4. Average race times by distance (and track)
5. Average race times by distance from sire and brood bitch to progeny (Is there a connection?)

We don't have all the data to do even this level of analysis. Then we probably should consider whether we consider extraneous factors such as changes in track preparation, weather, potential impact of prohibited substances and so on.

Not a easy job to do properly.


Daryl Barrett
Australia
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Posts 446
Dogs 0 / Races 0

14 Jan 2018 11:02


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Hi Michael,not sure where you are going with these (Victorian stats),these broodbitches had successful racing careers because of thoughtfull breeding,ie,Searle Bale,proven racebitch who was from a very good racebitch who was sired by a strong group race dog,who was sired by a very influential sire himself,who throws plenty of strength into suitable pedigree's.ie, Misty Fields,another good racebitch,from a broodbitch who won races over 600.ie,Irma Bale...again,from a broodbitch who was bred to stay all day,ie Tears Siam,same story.Of these few i have mentioned,there have been mixed results from them as broodbitches,but i will go back to them being strong 500-700m racebitches,again,because of their breeding,hopefully,they can continue to throw those same traits into their pups if the same amount of thouht is put into the sire they are taken to.( As discussed before,there is never any guarantee 's though...we all know that,i still remember my first little "champion",i spoke about in an earlier post,lol.). P.S, there are a few sire's amongst this lot who are renowned for speedy dog's but not real strong,as are a few of the bitches,but i wont blantantly name them,after all,it is only my opinion,& i'm not about to say something that maybe considered slanderous or derogatory.



Steven Martin
Australia
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Posts 6030
Dogs 166 / Races 66

14 Jan 2018 11:14


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Bruce Teague wrote:

while breeding numbers are in a long term decline (not just recently).


Bruce...I've noticed now on numerous occasions that you keep mentioning "Breeding numbers are in a long-term decline".

I think you're misinforming the public by using the word "Decline" in the above quote.

The word "Decline" could mean a number of things. Slump, Downturn, Failure. In this case, the word is over representing or exaggerating your point, making it not true imo.

We all know the story of recent years (2015 to 2017), but breeding numbers from 30 years ago to 2014 are, I'd say, constant or thereabouts...not in decline.

If we take a look back in the 70's, breeding figures got as high as 6000 whelping's. Obviously, things were different back then & a lot more tracks were around or introduced. Average litter sizes were certainly smaller compared to today's average litter sizes (thanks to technology), & the "Hit n miss" from matings were far far greater too.
But there was definitely a "Boom-Period" between 1970 & 1980 which we'll never see again, as the following figures published by the official greyhound breeding bibble, "The Australasia & NZ Studbook", represent.

Year - Whelpings
1965 - 1820
1966 - 1885
1967 - 1991
1968 - 2322
1969 - 2689
1970 - 3255
1971 - 3642
1972 - 3814
1973 - 5002
1974 - 5475
1975 - 6048
1976 - 5982
1977 - 5765
1978 - 5187
1979 - 4682
1980 - 3836
1981 - 3822
1982 - 3743
1983 - 3539
1984 - 3705
1985 - 3385
1986 - 3435

Over the following years between 1987 to 2014, the figures, in my opinion, have leveled to a degree, & not declined as much as you seem to suggest.

Year - Whelpings
1987 - 3190
1988 - 3028
1989 - 3325
1990 - 3349
1991 - 3583
1992 - 3311
1993 - 3420
1994 - 3407
1995 - 3336
1996 - 3067
1997 - 3091
1998 - 3362
1999 - 3202
2000 - 3340
2001 - 3209
2002 - 3148
2003 - 3547
2004 - 3734
2005 - 2952
2006 - 3872
2007 - 2979
2008 - 3322
2009 - 3133
2010 - 3006
2011 - 2814
2012 - 2783
2013 - 2985
2014 - 3029

The average annual whelping's between 1987 to 2014 = 3233.
The average annual whelping's between 2005 to 2014 = 3087.

In summary, the difference is just 145 litters per year or 4.5% of a drop. Not like what we're experiencing now (2015 - 17) which is a DECLINE of 60.0% in whelping's.

Therefore the word "Decline" should be removed when making reference to "Breeding in a long-term", unless referring to the period after 2014, to avoid confusion with the public over these separate periods.



Ross Farmer
Australia
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Posts 95
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14 Jan 2018 12:24


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Relating Steven's data to the topic, one scenario could be that in the past, the greater number of dogs meant 500m+ races could always be filled. With lower numbers,this might be harder, so more nominations have been made to the shorter distances, leading to more of these races being scheduled.

From a breeding perspective, this could have been caused by a focus on speed rather than stamina. Of the dogs bred in smaller numbers, there should always be a proportion of faster dogs that did have more staying power, so at the elite level, times would still improve.

But lesser numbers would mean less dogs overall that did have staying power over 500m+.

All conjecture of course, but it appears we don't have provable reasons.

More and better stats might help. Assuming they exist, would they be released (in a format that would permit better analysis)?


Bruce Teague
Australia
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Posts 278
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14 Jan 2018 21:57


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Ross,

Far be it for me to argue with a vet but your last sentence about medicine and voodoo is over the top. We all realise that different dogs have different makeups and capabilities. However, my point was (a) about the reward subject, (b) quoted other qualified people as well as WDA and (c) on several issues, including this one, WDA recommended more study was needed. (The issue of socialisation also overlapped).

While "experienced & qualified trainers" are one of the greatest assets the industry has, I am continually struck by the fact that many use quite different techniques and that on some subjects they do not agree. That is, the generic trainer view is not necessarily reliable. Witness, for example, that some like the hooped lure and some hate it. Or ask why some are more successful than others?

By comparison, the WDA group is made up of people who are, or should be, dedicated to scientifically based evidence and conclusions or recommendations. They also have multi-breed exposure which should provide a perspective which at least warrants serious consideration.

But forget all that - WDA's prime brief was to establish why some trainers adopted illegal practices and - to this day - defended them. WDA clearly spoke to the cultural problem as it was asked to do.


Bruce Teague
Australia
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Posts 278
Dogs 0 / Races 0

14 Jan 2018 22:12


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 (3)

Steven,

In that case we shall have to agree to disagree.

All my recent references have been to the last 15 years or less. However, as you point out, breeding was even higher in the previous period. Not sure why but could "backyard breeding" be involved?

Anyway, if you dissect the figures from the early 2000s onwards there is a clear and consistent decline. No other word is possible.
Perhaps a moving annual average would help you?

The other point I would make is that various state authorities had different approaches to stats. There was often confusion about one and two year licensing, for example. And look at the wild variations in 2005/2006/2007. That seems physically impossible. There are too many cases of years below 3,000 to come to any other conclusion than that a decline is present.


Bruce Teague
Australia
(Verified User)
Posts 278
Dogs 0 / Races 0

14 Jan 2018 23:13


 (0)
 (2)

Ross,
Your potential theme will not really hold water statistically.

Although there has been a modest decline in total numbers, the change is not sufficient to permit conclusions to be drawn about small sections of that total. Likely errors would be very high.

Doubly so because of the multiple influences on the subject - stamina is just one of several.

But absolutely the stats question is a shocker. The entire country - bar Victoria to a significant extent - has been dudded by the unfriendly nonsense pumped out by the Ozchase system and its predecessors. From formguides to race results it has been anti-customer, secretive and a discouragement to punters and others.

Ozchase was generated by WA and NSW to better harmonise race form on the one hand and registry details on the other. I can't speak to the latter but the racing portion is a disgrace. Do you know that at one stage the programmer had deliberately written the code so as to prevent a printout or download showing box numbers. We were obliged to print the results, then manually over-write the boxes, and then manually enter the whole lot into the database. Prehistoric!

Subsequently, we overcame that hassle by culling info from various other sources but even that became a chore as various states altered their files in small ways, thereby hampering any automated approach. Some years back I - and many of my customers - simply stopped betting on NSW or Ozchase racing venues because it just got all too hard. In contrast, for Victoria you can download comma-delimited files for the lot and play with them to your heart's content.

I suspect, but cannot prove, that the source of all this nonsense is the historical secretive attitude of deFax who always wanted to stop "unapproved" people accessing their info. That continued when they were absorbed into first GBOTA and then GRNSW, although the deFax guide is still printed for sale at the track (but still without sectional data).

On all these subjects of the moment, you may appreciate why I have long been calling for two things .....

1. Creation of an expert independent panel to report annually on the State of the Breed, and
2. Creation of a skilled independent national unit to collate and offer racing data of every kind. For a small fee of course.

Who knows? They may even get the Stud Book to talk to the race form.

As for analysing that data - the present mob are not even aware that analysing anything is a good idea. They certainly did not bother to do that about breeding downturns, nor about the true source of their income. Data is available somewhere about where and how hocks get broken but it has never seen the light of day. Such are bureaucracies. Process, not outcomes!



Ian Bradshaw
Australia
(Verified User)
Posts 135
Dogs 6 / Races 0

14 Jan 2018 23:16


 (1)
 (1)

steven martin wrote:

Bruce Teague wrote:

while breeding numbers are in a long term decline (not just recently).


Bruce...I've noticed now on numerous occasions that you keep mentioning "Breeding numbers are in a long-term decline".

I think you're misinforming the public by using the word "Decline" in the above quote.

The word "Decline" could mean a number of things. Slump, Downturn, Failure. In this case, the word is over representing or exaggerating your point, making it not true imo.

We all know the story of recent years (2015 to 2017), but breeding numbers from 30 years ago to 2014 are, I'd say, constant or thereabouts...not in decline.

The average annual whelping's between 1987 to 2014 = 3233.
The average annual whelping's between 2005 to 2014 = 3087.

In summary, the difference is just 145 litters per year or 4.5% of a drop. Not like what we're experiencing now (2015 - 17) which is a DECLINE of 60.0% in whelping's.

Therefore the word "Decline" should be removed when making reference to "Breeding in a long-term", unless referring to the period after 2014, to avoid confusion with the public over these separate periods.

Steven,

I appreciate your time and effort in compiling all your data, plus your enthusiasm and passion for the sport.

However we cannot live in the past.

You object to the word "decline" in breeding post Feb. 2015. To be more realistic I would use the word "collapse".

Breeding figures in the pre Feb 2015 era are fast becoming irrelevant, as the racing stock available from that period decline due to age.

Unless there is dramatic increase in breeding, come January 2020, (yes only 2 years away now) the only racing stock available will be from the post Feb. 2015 depleted breeding era, ie. down 60%.




Ross Farmer
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15 Jan 2018 00:11


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Bruce Teague wrote:

Ross,

Far be it for me to argue with a vet but your last sentence about medicine and voodoo is over the top. We all realise that different dogs have different makeups and capabilities. However, my point was (a) about the reward subject, (b) quoted other qualified people as well as WDA and (c) on several issues, including this one, WDA recommended more study was needed. (The issue of socialisation also overlapped).

While "experienced & qualified trainers" are one of the greatest assets the industry has, I am continually struck by the fact that many use quite different techniques and that on some subjects they do not agree. That is, the generic trainer view is not necessarily reliable. Witness, for example, that some like the hooped lure and some hate it. Or ask why some are more successful than others?

By comparison, the WDA group is made up of people who are, or should be, dedicated to scientifically based evidence and conclusions or recommendations. They also have multi-breed exposure which should provide a perspective which at least warrants serious consideration.

But forget all that - WDA's prime brief was to establish why some trainers adopted illegal practices and - to this day - defended them. WDA clearly spoke to the cultural problem as it was asked to do.

Bruce

Thought it was obvious that the comment by the vet was flippant, but making a valid point. But to explain, it was in the context of him explaining that greyhounds do have significant differences to other dogs that made a specialist greyhound vet a better option in many circumstances.

There are plenty of expert people, and I dealt with several in my cattle dog times. There are also significant differences in their opinions and approaches. It didn't take long to recognise that some 'experts', though qualified, don't have the skills for working dogs, difficult dogs, or high prey drive dogs.

Such differences of approach and opinion also occur in greyhound training. All a function of individual experiences, and not much basis in 'best practices' because none have been developed.

I do acknowledge WDA as an authority, but their background in greyhounds is not solidly based, as demonstrated by some aspects of their report. Same applies to desk vets that were involved with the draft welfare code in Victoria. Acknowledge their qualifications, but in that case the outcome indicated other motivations were at play.

But this is a side issue to my main point on the topic.

I can't see culture change as an important factor in this topic. But it is significant enough to warrant a separate topic.


Bruce Teague
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15 Jan 2018 04:05


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Ross,

Fair enough. But the topic is basically stamina, or the lack of it, and we are still not sure mow much is a function of nature v nurture. There are 45 different opinions on this thread so it's no help at all.

Additionally, my observation on this and many other subjects is that trainers seem to reflect what is in their kennels, or has been. By definition, that is a bias.

So WDA people may not be up to speed on the fine detail of training greyhounds (or any one breed for all we know) but what does that mean? How relevant is that? Is that better or worse than trainer A or B. We are not asking them to train a dog for the Easter Egg. Basically, we asked them to look into the people in charge of the dogs, not the dogs themselves.

To return to the point, how then do we establish whether dogs are getting weaker or not? We cannot ask one trainer, or even 1,000 trainers due to the multiplicity of opinions. How would you weight them? Remember also that, with only the odd exception, trainers as a group are not tuned to statistical analysis. They read formguides but they don't "study" them. They work on impressions of what dog X or Y will do. They don't like talking to "outsiders" like me. The gal on SKY (with a family background in training, especially stayers) biases her tips towards the best gallopers, not the best placed dog. Many love getting box 8 but omit checking whether the dog is reasonably capable of crossing by the first turn. And so on.

So, if dogs are getting weaker, how do we uncover the truth? Trainers cannot reason well because they don't have the data. If not by asking WDA, who should we ask? If we do find another group (it has to be more than one person) where will they come from and will their conclusions be respected?

A great many dog vets would have to be excluded because, with the best will in the world, they have conflicts of interest thru attachments to authorities, clubs, trainers, etc. and they are not going to dump on their employer. Who, for instance, is going to point out a chronic weakness in some bones in a given strain unless they are at arm's length from the people trying to make money out of them?

Many of these points will also apply to your "voodoo" vet who is saying he has spent lots of time learning the fine points of the greyhound so he knows better than others. Well, maybe in respect to injuries, illness and the like - but stamina? No chance. He does not have the data for a start. Does he study race form? Unlikely.

The issue is that whether you select WDA or some other group there are extensive investigations and analyses that have to be carried out - just as there has been for socialisation subjects and the like.

And, yes, it is a culture problem but at two levels; both at the top and with participants. Both are demonstrating that they don't like change and that they resent advice which does not fit with their views. That is a sure way to the poorhouse.

Meantime, the last batch of staying races (with only two exceptions) revealed the continuance of mediocre performances amongst the alleged top notchers. The exceptions were a track record in WA and a 41.56 run at Sandown by newcomer Rippin Sam in a small 5th grade field. Let's hope they keep going.




Steven Martin
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15 Jan 2018 04:55


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ian bradshaw wrote:

However we cannot live in the past.


I was using "Facts" to prove a point. Nothing more. Nothing less. Maybe I didn't word it properly or you've miss interpreted it.
ian bradshaw wrote:

You object to the word "decline" in breeding post Feb. 2015. To be more realistic I would use the word "collapse".


Agree. Once again I was making a point.
ian bradshaw wrote:

Breeding figures in the pre Feb 2015 era are fast becoming irrelevant, as the racing stock available from that period decline due to age.


Agree. The figures I presented were once again used to make a point.
ian bradshaw wrote:

Unless there is dramatic increase in breeding, come January 2020, (yes only 2 years away now) the only racing stock available will be from the post Feb. 2015 depleted breeding era, ie. down 60%.


Agree. I've actually been quite vocal in that area for close on 2 & half years now. Most didn't believe me, but that's life.


Ross Farmer
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15 Jan 2018 05:40


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Ross,
Your potential theme will not really hold water statistically.
Although there has been a modest decline in total numbers, the change is not sufficient to permit conclusions to be drawn about small sections of that total. Likely errors would be very high.

Doubly so because of the multiple influences on the subject - stamina is just one of several.

Bruce,

I was posing that argument as one example of many unprovable arguments that can be made when there are no stats or evidence.

Perhaps I need to flag my posts with "just running this one up the flagpole", "Intended to be a ridiculous comment", "Attempt at humour" or "This one is serious".

I consider breeding to be like gambling. The odds are against you. You can consider all the available factors, decide on what you consider best increases your chances, and then make a decision.

And if there was a perfect system, everyone would use it.

Rearing, diet, and training are more controllable.

In the end, I agree with Paul Wheeler, whose approach I would summarise as to optimise all aspects.

It should be recognised that GRV has attempted to gather more stats.

Unfortunately, it does not have the industry knowledge to understand the flaws in the data, and does not sufficiently engage with those with industry insight to get that knowledge, or share the data with the industry.

Nor did it seem to heed the participant responses to the breeding workshops it held in 2016. The connection (or disconnection) between participant input and the breeding decisions that were made has not been explained.


Bruce Teague
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15 Jan 2018 21:54


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Ross,

I think we have about done this to death, although it is hard to see how we have advanced knowledge.

Your post is pretty right - with the emphasis on the last para. "Disconnection" is the name of the game. Theoretically, it is good to see bosses trying to engage with the workers so they can keep up to date. Unfortunately, there are a huge range of these "consultative" groups around the country but there is little evidence they achieve anything. They are there because the protocol is that government-appointed bodies must have them. It's just a rule.

The trick is that there are far more groups able to contribute than just participants and state authorities. Big owners would be one, for example, but there are many right down to the pie seller at the track.

All of which is why I keep repeating - we need ...

1. Creation of an expert independent panel to report annually on the State of the Breed, and
2. Creation of a skilled independent national unit to collate and offer racing data of every kind. For a small fee of course.

In the absence of that professionalism the status quo will apply. Effectively, that mean going backwards.

You admire Paul Wheeler, as most of us do. Yet he has already started to go backwards as a deliberate corporate policy - a 50% cut. What more can I say?

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