One of the biggest, baddest problems the Kennel Club and breeders need to tackle is the issue of popular sires ie. top-winning dogs being studded to the genetic oblivion of the breed.
Today, the Kennel Club took a (small) step in the right direction by making some litter data available via Mate Select (its new online facility that allows you to look up co-efficients of inbreeding and health-test results for individual dogs registered in the UK).
At the moment it is limited to dogs that have health-tested progeny - meaning that there is no data at all for dogs of breeds that do not participate in any KC-endorsed health scheme (and there are lots of them). But I was able to spend a happy couple of hours on the site this morning trawling for high and low lights (yep, this is how sad my life has become).
Here are a few snippets:
• Vbos the Kentuckian (Jet) the Flattie that won Crufts this year, has had:
69 puppies from 9 litters (real restraint given he was a top winner before Crufts and is 9 years old).
• Hungergunn Bear It'n Mind (Yogi) - the Vizsla that won Crufts in 2010 - has had... wait for it....:
577 puppies from 89 litters. (Absolutely outrageous in my view.. this is blatant profiteering at the expense of the breed which only registers around 1400 pups a year. Yogi hasn't just flooded the Vizsla gene pool, he has positively drowned it.)
• Araki Fabulous Willy - the Tibetan Terrier than won Crufts in 2007 and who died in December 2008, aged just 7 years old:
266 puppies from 49 litters (again, a lot for a breed that only registers around 1500 pups a year)
• Beauella Radzinski (Rollo), the Cavalier that was featured in Pedigree Dogs Exposed winning the 2008 Cavalier Championship Show in Feb 2008:
140 puppies from 40 litters
Now this last one was a bit of a surprise as when we last checked - in August 2008 just before Pedigree Dogs Exposed aired - Rollo had had 34 litters. This figure means that even after the kerfuffle we caused by challenging owner Beverley Costello regarding her breeding from the dog after he had been diagnosed with syringomyelia (SM) and the diagnosing vet had told her he should never be bred from, six more litters were registered before the KC pulled the plug on her. (Not, I hasten to add, for breeding from a dog with SM... Costello lost her KC registration rights for not responding to formal requests for information from the Kennel Club regarding the case).