384 – Hungarian Breeds and Plato’s Theory of Forms | Pure Dog Talk
Hungarian Breeds and Plato’s Theory of Forms
Maria Arechaederra’s passion for Hungarian breeds started early. She was about 10 years old, she said, when “flipping through the AKC breed book one day, I saw a picture of the Kuvasz. And it was like a lightning bolt. Love at first sight.”
Plato and Breeding Philosophy
“To me you have to have a vision everyone understands how to read and dissect a breed standard. But if you don’t have a vision all it is is a bunch of parts. You know how a lot of breeds have an illustrated standard. I think those are great but I believe in being your own illustrator. Not that you’re an artist but in your mind you have to have that vision of what the perfect Pug or the perfect Kuvasz or the perfect Doberman is … when you look at your dogs you have to stack them up against that perfection. You can’t just say I want to fix rears the next generation, I wanna fix ears, you always have to be devoted to that vision.
“Look up Plato’s theory of forms … Plato’s belief was that there was a perfect everything in the realm of the soul, whether that be a chair or a tree or a dog. He said those exist in the realm of the soul and everything we see here on earth is just an imperfect version of that. I always joke that we are striving to build perfection, which is an impossible goal, but damn it, that’s the drive and the fun of it. We’re trying to create perfection.”
“OK the one beautiful thing about an ancient rare breed like the Kuvasz is that it’s survived the perils and tests of times of centuries of world wars. Even in their native Hungary they went from being livestock guards to the Royal dogs of the court of King Matthias of Hungary … he would have them in his Castle because according to legend King Matthias didn’t even trust his closest allies and guards more than he trusted his Kuvasz. So he always had them in the Royal Court and they also were used as napkins believe it or not people would wipe their hands on the white fur…
“To me that showed versatility, that this wasn’t just some kind of a wild animal out with the sheep. It could be even in a Royal Court as a personal guard … I can tell you personally from living with them and raising two children, that there is no greater babysitter than a Kuvasz. When my children were outside with a Kuvasz, I knew all was well with the world.”
“With my love of Hungarian breeds, (I thought) this is a perfect segue. I already know a lot of people in Hungary and I want (an) old age breed … that was a little bit of a misconception on my part, I will say, because what I found is that as cute as they are, they are every bit tough pound for pound herding dogs, with a very short off button. What they’ve done, inadvertently, is made me have to move more. So I guess it’s good for me, but I thought it was gonna be my old lady breed and actually they hike more than my Kuvasz, so I love that. I love them. They’re great dogs. They do like the sound of their own voice, so a lot of people don’t like the barking. They’re very vocal because the Pumi actually uses its voice as part of its herding tools.”
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER — FRANCIS BACON
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