Tuesday, 15 March 2011

RSPCA slams Crufts coverage for "misleading the public"

Strong words from RSPCA Chief Exec Mark Watts this morning in an Open Letter to the Kennel Club. Here in full:

Open letter to Kennel Club chief executive Rosemary Smart.

I am writing to express the RSPCA’s grave concern about the coverage of Crufts on More 4 during which interviewees and presenters repeatedly gave the message that pedigree dogs, including those shown at Crufts, are happy and healthy.

This is misleading to the public and extremely disappointing as we had hoped the coverage would be open and honest about the serious health and welfare issues that continue to affect many pedigree dogs, without glossing over the issues. After all, this is one of the biggest challenges facing dog welfare in the UK today.

Many pedigree dogs remain vulnerable to unnecessary disease, disability, pain or behavioural problems because they’re bred primarily for how they look rather than with health, welfare or temperament in mind.

Indeed, footage of some of the dogs at Crufts this year demonstrated the exaggerated features that we are so concerned about.  As just one example, during the judging of the Working Group the commentators said that a dog was free from exaggerations.  The dog in question clearly had extremely folded skin and drooping eyelids, which can lead to suffering.

Three reports on the welfare problems associated with dog breeding have been published in the UK in the last two years, and the conclusions of each are very clear – urgent action is needed to safeguard the welfare of pedigree dogs.

Although some progress has been made by the dog world, it has not been nearly enough and the problems are far from being solved. Both experts and the various reports on this issue recognise that it will take decades before the problems really begin to be resolved – and only then if sufficient effort is made by everyone in the dog world.

It is extremely misleading to suggest not only that the problems have been solved after only two years, but that pedigree dogs are happy and healthy.

Yours sincerely

Mark Watts
Chief Executive
Wilberforce Way
West Sussex
RH13 9RS

Have asked the KC for a response - will publish when I get it.

[Added 27 March]

The KC response:

'The Kennel Club is extremely disappointed at the stance and tone adopted by the RSPCA before, during and after Crufts show.  Had the society actually attended dfs Crufts or consulted the Kennel Club, they might have been more aware of the initiatives and investment being made by breeders and the Kennel Club so as to ensure the future health of dogs. They would also have seen with their own eyes the thousands of healthy dogs enjoying a day out with their owners. It is events such as dfs Crufts that give us all an opportunity to move breeds forward by rewarding healthy dogs in the show ring.  It is also a chance to educate people about how to buy a healthy puppy from a responsible breeder. We are heartened by the general positivity surrounding this year's event and the fact that so many charities, veterinary organisations and geneticists were on hand to help the Kennel Club to get their messages across. Of course we are well aware that there are issues which remain to be addressed in the world of pedigree dogs – responsible breeders and the Kennel Club have these well in hand and it is of course accepted that they will take time to be resolved.

Kennel Club Chairman Ronnie Irving said "I have asked for an urgent meeting with the Chairman of the RSPCA to update her and the RSPCA Chief Executive on all of the current KC and breeder initiatives.  I wish also to give them the opportunity to offer their suggestions as to what positive moves they think that we and dog breeders should be taking that we are not currently taking. As a breeder of Border Terriers I very much deplore the sweeping nature of the RSPCA's statements over the week of Crufts, and I will look forward to discussing those in detail with the RSPCA Chairman."'

Quite what Ronnie being a breeder of Border Terriers has to do with it, I'm not sure. Most everyone would agree that, Spike's Disease and the odd auto-immune issue aside,  the Border Terrier is a characterful, sound, long-lived little dog.  I saw lots of happy, healthy-looking ones at Crufts.

I have to say that I'm not sure that the RSPCA got this letter quite right. But the two points they made - that the Crufts commentary very often sounded like KC spin and that it is inappropriate to make exaggerated claims regarding health when some breeds are clearly very far from sound - are valid. 

I look forward to hearing the outcome of the meeting between the KC and the RSPCA.


  1. what a bizarre and poorly written letter.....did this really come from the c.e. of the rspca?

    perhaps if the rspca is so concerned about dog health, they should have maintained a presence at crufts.

  2. If they were concerned about the welfare of dogs they should look at puppy farmers and the reports of retired racing greyhounds being exported to China
    quite frankly they should be spending their money on animal welfare not on glass offices from money people donated to care for animals

  3. So, non-pedigree dogs are born in the cabbage patch? Gene-free? Never ill? Get real RSPCA

  4. Oh Yawn yawn yawn .......do put a sock in it Jemima .....this letter and your increasingly desperate attempts to maintain your image as the self appointed saviour of the pedigree dog world are getting beyond tedious ...why SHOULD the KC respond to you ...WHO are you ? ...

    Tell you what ... give us a straight and clear answer as to what you think the future of pedigree dogs should be ......

  5. Not long to wait, Yvonnne. What I think needs to be done to sort out the whole darn mess is the subject of my June column for Dogs Today.

  6. Would help if anyone worth there salt bought dogs today!

  7. Yes, you're right. The poor quality of ownership is another huge issue.

  8. Jemima, quite true! One of my pet aversions is how some refer - even in writing - his/her dogs as "my babies", "little people"...

    Have raised children and dogs - never messed their respective species! ;)

  9. Blah! Blah! Blah! why dont you change the record Jemima your sad little fantasy world were all pedigree dogs are sick cripples..you wont be happy until everyone owns a Labradoole no doubt, but of course they are so healthy arent they?? with worse hip scores than Labradores!!! funny how you manage to pick all these statistics and information about certain breeds being 'unhealthy' when you have never spoken to the breeders concerened, never done any genuine research on these breeds just made it up as you go along. with your ridiculous claims of crossbreeds being healthier which is a load of unreseached rubbish, you have opened the door for people who to breed crossbreeds who havent a clue what they are doing and if anything are creating dogs that are less healthy with suspect temepraments and creating a whole new generation of untested unhealthy dogs such as mixing a shar pei with a basset, a alaskan malamute with a basset, a labradour with a basset need I go on?? all of these crossbreeds you can see on the 'free ad puppy sites' I hope you are proud of yourself as you have created these montsters and new industry for indicriminate breeding, that is going unchecked I hope you are so proud of yourself you stupid woman, get a life.

  10. Actually, Labradoodles have a slightly better mean hip score in the UK than Labradors - 14 as opposed to 15 for Labradors.

    All published data (and the refs are given on my "Hybrid Vigour - Fact of Ficton" blogpost) has found that the average crossbred lives longer than the average purebred and, overall, the data shows that they suffer from fewer health problems.

    Yes, the designer dog market is a problem. But it is just as bad, if not worse, in the USA where PDE has had marginal impact, so I believe it would have happened anyway. Indeed, it was already happening well before PDE.


  11. I think the anti-PDE trolls ought to familiarize themselves with something called the Streisand Effect.

    You can bet that more than a few people come here for no reason to read the trollish comments.

  12. PDE Blog Comments Drinking Game:

    Take a drink every time a commenter...
    - accuses Jemima of being involved with PETA
    - accuses Jemima of wanting to ban all pet animals
    - "but you should really be fighting puppy mills!"
    - "You obviously don't know anything about the breed."
    - "As a [breed] owner/breeder, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the breed."
    - "But what about all those OTHER breeds with obvious health problems? Why do you pick on MY breed??"
    - "Get a life"
    - ad hominem insult based entirely on Jemima's gender
    - accuses Jemima of not doing research, despite Jemima having linked, within the post or rest of the blog, to LOTS of primary research materials.
    - complains that Jemima never has anything positive to say about the KC: double points if a post on the same page IS actually about something positive.

  13. Jemima Harrison said...

    "Actually, Labradoodles have a slightly better mean hip score in the UK than Labradors - 14 as opposed to 15 for Labradors."

    Can we all cite sources for information such as this stated as fact. i.e who keeps & publishes such information, sample size etc.

    It is just not good practice.

  14. BVA/KC hip scheme. Latest figures:



  15. Thanks for the link.

  16. Hmmm 70893 Labradors compared to 603 Labradoodles - not really a great comparison is it? It sounds a little like the quote from the RSPCA saying 60% of dogs have health problems... when they asked only 850 odd people with dogs - not really a true figure is it?!

    It's such a shame the RSPCA can't put their efforts together and work with the KC rather than fighting - after all they are supposed to want the best for dogs?! All this energy could be much better well spent, but then they do still have the KC Charitable Trust giving their local shelters donations to help them survive!

  17. Met a charming lady on my way to Crufts on Saturday on the train, she works for the Guide Dogs for the Blind, training new guide dogs, I asked her about labradoodles, she said it was recognised as the biggest mistake the Guide dogs had ever done, they did not work as well, were harder to train and unreliable, had poor temperaments, their coats were more problems for owner to look after than a normal Lab or Goldie, they also found more ear and skin problems in the numbers they had, in short a big mistake that they were happy to finish with, shame that so many think Hybrid vigour is a big thing to beat the world of pedigree dogs with, when they don’t have any proof to make such claims. Interesting point the lady in question was off to look at the PBGV and the Rhodesian Ridgeback, to which would be their new family pet, her husband’s family having had the latter for many years all being long lived very healthy and happy and well tempered, this despite what was put in PDE!!

  18. The most common Guide Dog bred today (by Guide Dogs) is a labrador/golden retriever x. The breakdown (direct from Guide Dogs in response to a question I asked about six weeks ago) is as follows:

    47% are Labrador/Golden retriever crosses
    31% are Labradors
    9% are Golden retrievers
    7% are German Shepherds
    3% are Golden retriever/German Shepherd and 3% are other breeds and crosses (including Labrador cross poodles and flat coat retrievers)


  19. Anon wrote: "Hmmm 70893 Labradors compared to 603 Labradoodles - not really a great comparison is it?"

    Labradors are the most popular dog in the UK with around 40,000 registrations per annum and they have been hip-scored since the 1960s. The number of labradoodles bred is unknown (but definitely nowhere near that figure) and they have been officially hip-scored for less than five years. Additionally, while labradors are often routinely hip-scored (by, yep, good breeders) labradoodles are more likely to be hip-scored because of a suspected problem, so the fact that their mean hip score is the same as the lab's is pretty good. Finally, more than 600 dogs is a large enough sample to be representative for a breed.

    Anon also wrote: "It sounds a little like the quote from the RSPCA saying 60% of dogs have health problems... when they asked only 850 odd people with dogs - not really a true figure is it?!"

    I think you re failing to understand the concept/significance of a randomised survey. A telephone survey of 850 people done by a professional survey company (as it was) is sufficient to be able to draw some conclusions.

    My main irritation with the RSPCA survey is that it failed to ask if the dogs were purebred or cross/mixed breeds. They have said they will next time if they repeat it.


  20. The guide dogs info. is interesting because it suggests that things are not anything like as simple as x-bred vs. pedigree but that which breeds you pick to cross is critical.

    Lab X Golden makes sense because you're starting with two breeds of similar shape rather than trying something horribly drastic like trying to "fix" the pug's flat face at a stroke.

  21. The what??
    The "poor quality of ownership"?.. surely you jest? However I fear that a sense of humour is not on your agenda..

  22. The what??
    The "poor quality of ownership"?.. surely you jest? However I fear that a sense of humour is not on your agenda..

    No, that was acatually a rather clever response by Jemima to the previous rather ambiguous comment. Credit where it's due!

  23. It would be a very simple matter not only to quell all the criticisms against KC & its' registered pedigree dogs but to have themselves (KC) held on high.

    KC is the only breeds registration club in the whole of Europe which does not have mandatory fit for purpose & breeding tests for every working dog breed, this includes breeds such as Dax not just (as some people think) protection breeds.

    The fit for purpose & breeding test in most countries include tests for hereditary disorders the specific breed is susceptible to, in all breeds susceptible to HD a HD test is mandatory throughout Europe as are conformation tests, all imposed by the breed registration club (KC here). I could go on & on but suffice to conclude, if a dog fails to pass the stringent tests then the breed registration club will not permit the dog to be registered as fit for breeding.

    As far as KC breed registration club is concerned its a simple case of, breed, give us the reg fee and that’s all we need, if the new owner of the pup also pays another reg fee then that’s twice as good for us (I think both fees amount to £24 per pup).

    KC is a 'not for profit' private members club, it has no obligation at all to make its books public, as it has never made its books public it has to be assumed it has no willingness to do so, unlike RSPCA, Salvation Army & other charities. So if you or me were the KC and you had revenues of £10m, you could use £8m of that for salaries, £2m for running costs/marketing etc and you'd have nothing left over, nice little earner at worst.

    The Kennel Club charitable trust is a separate entity entirely, some people get confused about the charitable trust and just assume that is the KC, Im sure the salaried hierarchy have smug smiles about that common misconception.

    As an non theoretical example of European breed registration standards I just did a google search for the results of the German Dobermann fit for breeding test (ZTP) of 2001, these are all Dobermanns in Germany which were entered for that test in 2001(some non German dogs were entered).

    The third column in is the HD test & hip score, I don’t understand the rest very much. Anyone who wanted to could contact the German bred registration club and for a fee they could pick out ANY dog in that list and obtain the hip score of every dog in its ancestry as far back as 1976 when mandatory HD testing was introduced into the German breed registration clubs standard fit for breeding test.

    Google search - Dobermann ZTP 2001

    The word “zuchtuntauglich” means unfit for breeding

  24. Pete Shaw I suspect has opinions but little fact to back them up, The kennel Club does and always has published it accounts and for the last 10 plus years they have been online


    Yes it does make money (unlike the AKC which loses money which would not be a good thing for dogs) _ but the KC do GIVE it all back to the good of dogs, look at the facts for once. As for FCI dogs having to pass hunting tests, that is only if they are to claim a Champions title and although it is easier to be a champion abroad, the vast majority of dog be they show ones or not will never take those tests. As for good they are I have friends in Dachs too and the test is not strong in any manner and even the worst of their dogs passed it with ease as it does not test dogs ability to the job of hunting just pre set tasks!!As for the KCCT there is no misconception (unless you are foolish enough to think there is one) just read the reports and be education before you make such foolish comments

  25. I've owned predominantly pure breeds since my first dog with a few first crosses. I have to say that my dogs have been nothing but healthy. That said my dogs are treated as they should, good quality food, proper exercise and proper basic care which sadly many dogs do not get these days and that may well contribute to the general ill health of dogs.
    I also have to say that the doodles are not as healthy as they claim to be, check out the rescue and you will find dogs with poor skin, bad hips, SA and all the illnesses associated with their relevant parent breeds. Hybrid Vigour is a myth. The quality of the next generation is only as good as the quality of their parents and grandparents. Breed from bad stock and you will get bad stock, crossing two breeds does not a healthy puppy make. The doodle cross breeding is based on lies, lies that these dogs have hypoallergenic properties (no dog should ever be advertised in such a misleading way) non shedding (Lie unless they have a very high poodle content so why not get a poodle?) good family dogs (again no dog should ever be advertised as such as their up bringing will determine that) and a multitude of other mistruths.
    If you want a breed that sheds little hair then go for one, don't go for a cross because who knows what you will be bringing into the mix.
    A friend of mine has a good explanation as to why cross breeding is wrong, if you cross two breeds together of different types and temperaments then neurologically there may be a conflict which is why many of them are not quite as desirable temperament wise as some would hope. People should think through the consequences of their actions and not just look at the immediate gain.

  26. There is also a significant welfare issue associated with very many of these 'designer' crossbreeds. The golden retriever x poodle which won Crufts Friends for Life was a clever and beautifully presented dog (a very worthy winner I thought). Unfortunatly there are masses of these crosses which suffer greatly as they have thick coat of one parent combined with the non shedding properties of the other and prospective owners are simply unprepared for the SIGNIFICANT grooming these dogs require almost daily. Any professional groomer can tell horror stories of how these poor animals arrive welded into one solid matted mess. It is not only the genetic issues which are usually not taken into account. The indiscriminate breeding together of two wholly unsuitable breeds perhaps may result in more 'hybrid vigour' but it also is accounting for increasing numbers of abandoned dogs whose owners just cannot cope with the mix they have bought. Too many of these dogs are bred with no thought or knowledge at all, other than to earn some easy money for people who have jumped on the 'doodle' goldtrain. I have no gripe with responsible crosses produced for a specific purpose with great care. However the current situation, where the only goal for most appears to make money and produce the most outlandish names, needs urgent action.
    I think the RSPCA are taking an unbelievably blinkered approach by focussing almost entirely on 'exaggerations' and genetic health of purebred dogs, yet for the most part turning a blind eye to the profound cruelty and misery of puppy farming and seemingly oblivious to the rising welfare problems associated with many designer crossbreeds.
    Their new 'Get Puppy Smart' campaign contains some good advice but there is only a small vague hint about avoiding 'bad breeders' and nothing at all about what to avoid in first crosses.
    The same critisism applies I'm afraid to the 'How to buy a puppy' programme which followed Best in Show. No mention at all of indiscriminate crossbreeding.
    If the RSPCA really wanted to concern itself with the welfare of dogs, there are areas of far greater concern than Crufts promoting the theme of healthy happy dogs!

  27. meanwhile Mr Shaw.. the American Staffordshire is BANNED in your country..the breed is "fit for function" however your country refuses to see that EVERY breed has a "function" but if that is not acceptable to you and others well then.. Lets just keep them OUT.. the AM Staff is a wonderful breed of dog..
    sometimes "fit for function' means BANNED.. sickening to think of the dogs killed "just because of the way they look"
    where is the Am Staff class at Crufts? oh righty o.. "those dogs are 'wrong'.. disgusting

  28. Anonymous, 19th March complains that the function tests are too easy. The level of difficulty is irrelevant. A champion dog is one that is shown, one that wins, one that is vet-checked to say that "today, this dog appears to be healthy", and one that can perform the tasks it was bred to do. It doesn't mean ratters have to catch and kill a rat, but they have to be seen to be going to ground and getting a good grip of something inanimate. Their breed characteristics have to shine through. It is a bit fakey and a bit simulated, but as the owner of a carriage-dog-in-training, I can tell you that nothing swells your heart more than seeing a Dalmatian naturally gaiting with horse and carriage. The breed comes alive, you finally understand what all that energy is for. If your dog can't do it, or won't do it, or is afraid to do it, then it doesn't really deserve to be a champion of its breed.

  29. Is this guy serious? some dogs suffering from "extremely folded skin" is this even correct termonolgy? so how is a dog in pain from having loose skin? What a clown this guy has made of him self.
    Very, very weak argument here RSPCA and you Jemima for once again being a media scab higlighting stories that dont even rate.

  30. You mentioned that you would post the Kennel Club response. Have I missed it, or do the wheels of the KC turn slowly?

  31. "It is inappropriate to make exaggerated claims regarding health when some breeds are clearly very far from sound"

    I would say it is inappropriate to make exaggerated claims regarding health when the overwhelming majority (if not perhaps quite all)of dogs present at Crufts appeared completely healthy - and happy.

  32. People, please wake up. I always doubt how labrodoodle or "oodles" adapt to the heat when they cannot shed their coat?

    It means that they can never adapt to different weather conditions and environment. As Charles Darwin said "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives, It is the one that is the most adaptable to change."

    People don't know how destructive of outbreeding depression can be. I strongly believe that in the next 10 years, Labrodoodle will be facing an extremely outbreeding depression situation.

    Yes I agree that Labrador has hip problem. But Jemima, if you are concerned with Labradors' hip, why don't you also put your concern on the basic survivability of Labradoodles.

  33. Doris, there are several non-shedding breeds that cope very well with heat - the poodle, among them. The labradoodle coat, as I'm sure you know, is pretty variable, mostly because people are still breeding F1 crosses.

    Could you explain a bit more about what you mean by outbreeding depression in the Labradoodle example? What is it, do you think, about the way Labradoodles are bred that is likely to make them prone to it?

    As far as I'm aware, outbreeding depression has never been documented in dogs (perhaps for the want of no one trying).

    Yes, I think it's very important that good data is gathered on Labradoodles - and why I'm pleased to see that they are beginning to hip score now. I would also agree that there are some very badly-bred ones. But there are now breeders working hard to produce good ones, too - which doesn't make the breed so different to the situation in more established breeds.


  34. Non shedding purebred dogs are dogs that shed less as compared to other dog breeds.
    I think you should read this: http://www.lucythewonderdog.com/non-shedding-dogs.html

    "outbreeding depression has never been documented in dog" does not mean it's not happening.

    Sorry I have already notice Labradoodles breeders are breeding their F3 generations and they promote only F3 generations are non-shedding.

    Hybrid vigor is shown strongest result in F1 and gets weaker after generation to generation. On the contrary, Labradoodle is different because they still shed coat in F1, and F2 generations and then become non-shed until F3. It means that the non-shed coat trait is weak in first generation but the trait increases in power through the further generations. This is, in fact, the characteristic of outbreeding depression.

    I am also pleased that Labradoodles are beginning to hip score and some breeders even do the eye test as well. That's what all dog breeders should do it. But I think no one will like to see another Hybrid Lion or Capra ibex situation.

  35. I'm afraid this doesn't make much sense to me, Doris. There are plenty of low-shedding F1 crosses and it isn't a sign of outbreeding depression for a trait to become cemented three generations down the line.

    I am not sure of the point you are making re the Capra Ibex but you can't compare labradoodles with hybrid lions. The latter are a cross between different species (although the same genus) but of course all breeds of dogs are the same species and are genetically very similar.


  36. Jemima Harrison said:
    "Quite what Ronnie ... has to do with it, I'm not sure."

    As Chairman of the KC I would have thought it would have everything to do with him.

    If the RSPCA have editorial issues wth the TV coverage then they should contact More4 not the KC.

  37. Well Hybrid Lion is Asiatic Lion x African Lion and Asiatic Lion is subspecies of Lion.

    Please bear in mind that both Poodle and Labrador are shedding dogs although poodle is low-shed breed. Why does suddenly Poodle x Labrador create non-shed coat trait in F3 generations? If either of the breeds had non-shed gene, then yes you would be right for them to become cemented 3 generations down the line. Unless there is a mutation which created a new gene, however it cannot be applied in this case because most Labrodoodles in F3 generation constantly do not shed their coat.

    Regarding Capra Ibex, it is another case of outbreeding depression when Capra Ibex mated to two other subspecies C. hircus and C. nubiana

  38. Well Hybrid Lion is Asiatic Lion x African Lion and Asiatic Lion is subspecies of Lion.

    Please bear in mind that both Poodle and Labrador are shedding dogs although poodle is low-shed breed. Why does suddenly Poodle x Labrador create non-shed coat trait in F3 generations? If either of the breeds had non-shed gene, then yes you would be right for them to become cemented 3 generations down the line. Unless there is a mutation which created a new gene, however it cannot be applied in this case because most Labrodoodles in F3 generation constantly do not shed their coat.

    Regarding Capra Ibex, it is another case of outbreeding depression when Capra Ibex mated to two other subspecies C. hircus and C. nubiana

  39. WOW. You have gone from bashing pedigree dogs to crossbreeds to mixed breeds to hybrid cats. Unbeleivable and pathetic. Everyone stop arguing and pointing fingers. We need to remember one thing. Dogs live to please and love their human companions unconditionally. It is all of us as a whole that has put " conditions" on mans/womans Best Friends. Ultimately majority of, if not all "Pedigree" dogs were a combination of either inbreeding, cross breeding or mix breeding before " Breed Standards" were even established!?! MAN NOT ANIMAL chose these and wrote these standards. Throughout history man has taken a desired/undesired trait from one breed and mixed with/removed another, or even taken natural deformities(ie: Dwarfism) to establish ultimately the human standard for a breed of dog. We as a society would look at an obese person with layers fatty skin and either think gross how unhealthy. Or feel sad that something or someone did not help this individual sooner. So why is it acceptable in our dogs?! Is smoking healthy? We choose to cause breathing and health issues in ourselves. Dogs did not choose to have impaired breathing because mother nature felt it best to create a dog with no muzzles. We as a societey created this exaggerated feature. ( YES I know some dogs were naturally born with shortend muzzles. Humankind chose to overdo this feature.) ie: Bullies/Shih Tzu/Pekes/Pugs/Bostons.... We feel sorry for the child that is born with/devlops asthma because the parents chose to smoke during pregnacy/or around their children. We are appalled at these parents. Yet man is allowed to create and reproduce breathing impaired breeds due to a manmade standard. REALLY?!? Now to clarify, I am not saying its the Registered Breeders but ALL types of Breeders and individaul Buyers of dogs.(BYBs/puppymills/ Show Breeders/Dog Owners etc...) So in reality we as a Dog Loving Society have contributed to potential Health Concerns in our most favorite companions. If society did not desire these manmade abnormalities maybe ALL breeds would be healthier and have less congential/genetic birth defects. For those naysayers and antagonists on this blog, I KNOW that certain breeds had certain traits bred for certain requirements. ie. hunting,retreiving, herding etc. But now a days alot,not ALL, of Breeders will rehash centuries of DNA coding to accomadate those that say... want an Austraillian Shepherd that is less likely to nip or go crazy from a need to run, just to accomadate those Urban owners with small children and an even smaller backyards. This is what our concern should be. Jeez everyone STOP LAYING BLAME. WE ARE ALL RESPONSIBLE IN SOME WAY. What I am grateful for are those Breeders and People that do acknowledge these excessive concerns and are actually doing somthing about it. Instead of bickering like children. It is NOT Crufts, The KC/AKC/CKC /FCI/UKC etc to blame. Society as whole can share the blame. Because this is definatly NOT something you can blame on the Dog. CHEERS