Sunday, 26 February 2012

Pedigree Dogs Exposed - Three Years On


In the old days, productions used to send out tx cards, as they are known (tx stands for transmission)  via post. These days, they are emailed, saving money and trees.

Here's the one for tomorrow's broadcast. Please feel free to forward on - or print off and burn, as you see fit. 

The dog on the tx card above is my flatcoat Freddie, in 1988 when he was about a year old.  Fred was the inspiration for Pedigree Dogs Exposed - not because he died horribly young of some awful inherited disease - but because he didn't. Fred was by my side for a pretty amazing 15 years. Here he is just a few months before he died in 2003, in the long grass on Hampstead Heath in London, having just retrieved the tennis ball between his paws.


It was after Freddie died that I found out how incredibly lucky I had been - because over 50 per cent of flatcoats develop cancer by the eight of eight.  

If I had lost this amazing dog a day sooner, I would have felt cheated. If I'd lost him seven years earlier, I would have been devastated.  So I thought I'd start to research why so many flatcoats die prematurely of cancer. That research led me to other breeds and... well, you know the rest.

Flatcoats will always be the breed that is special to me. They represent both the best and worst of pedigree breeding - the worst because of their terrible cancer burden; the best because - at their best -  they are smart and beautiful and brilliant retrievers: the connosseur's gundog.

I still have a flatcoat in my life - Maisie, a rescue. This is my favourite picture of her - out picking-up on a wet day a couple of years ago (she is 10 now).  I know it doesn't look much, but I love it because this is the real, working Maisie - absolutely intent on the job in hand, her face flecked with white from previous retrieves through brambles.




The day this picture was taken, a pheasant fell the other side of a live electric fence. I didn't know it was live when I sent Maisie to pick up the bird. She yelped as she went through it, got the bird then barely hesitated as she approached the wires on the way back. Dead pheasant in her mouth, she came back through the fence, gave a muffled yelp as she was hit again, but didn't drop the bird until she got back to me. 

Now she was bred to do that and it's special. And, in truth, I have a high expectation of Maisie not succumbing to cancer just yet because her breeder, who breeds working flatcoats, does not breed for fashion, but instead to preserve the breed's unique working talents.

This is what made many of our purebred dogs the amazing dogs they are and yet today, too often, you hear breeders denigrate the working dogs for being ugly.

They're wrong. The beauty is in utility, not frippery.

285 comments:

  1. Great to see some photos of fit and functional dogs who were bred to work. It does get a bit depressing looking at endless photos of show dogs who are neither healthy nor functional. I was sent this link today , some dogs from my breeding who are owned by two falconers Steve and Angela Gouldthorpe, beautiful photos. It cheered me up no end to see these photos after some of the stupid stuff I have read on the internet today. The dogs are just part of their website at Chateau de Mugnier
    http://chateau-de-mugnier.com/P%26D_the_Dalriach_Pack.html

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    1. How dare you say that show dogs are neither healthy nor functional! A great many dogs that attend shows are also very healthy functional dogs. My dogs go out to shows and also during the season regularly pick up and they have all lived well in to their teens.

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    2. Yes How Dare you say that mine are shown and are extreamly health and can still do what they were bred to do back when the breed was created in the 1200's track up a river, work the banks etc and all of them can easily get up a river bank with NO assistance (but obviously not hunt they do this for fun) which is more than many of your so called healthier x breeds and designer dogs can do Perhaps Ms Harrison would have better served the public by looking at the health of these so called designer dogs and the ones bred on the puppy farm I agree that some pure bred (not pedigree which is a lineage)have problems infact I even supported the last section of the programme on a site on facebook (about pugs and bull dogs) and promtly had my post removed However DONT YOU DARE lump us all together I am a responsible breeder, tell all my buyers all the potential problems, give them a life time of support and have taken dogs back that people could not keep and also taken them back whilst they go through family problems just to help them out

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    3. Its not always about that, certain dogs are generally more healthy than others because they're bred for function without drastically changing their image, take Labradors, they would do the same in and out of the ring, but if they're closely inbred they will still be more likely to get skin and joint problems, however its great your a breeder that does screen properly and doesn't promote inbreeding, its good, we need more breeders to do this, but not only that we need a better regulating body that encourages breeders like you to promote healthy working breeds. For example, I had a beautiful basset hound, pure bred with good lineage, however everyone told me he was a crossbreed, and didn't believe he was a basset, as he looked more like the old-type hunting bassets, with longer legs and more defined ears and less folds of skin so he could actually see, he was an excellent tracker and so I took him to a local dog show to register him and they refused to enter him, even though I brought his pedigree and other documentation, because they said to me he looked "wrong" his legs were too long, and they actually told me he was a "deformed" dog. Although I doubt the dog that actually won that show was able to hunt and track for a full day, he would probably go longer if I didn't get tired! what we really need is support of breeders like you, and for the kennel club to encourage those which look more like the "traditional" breed that can still do its purpose.

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    4. if you have nothing to hide why are you mouthing off?

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  2. It's nice to hear that your working breeder breeds for healthy dogs, but you must admit that is by far the norm for most working type breeders. It's only now that some working type breeders are actually taking the time to do health tests on their dogs, but the great majority only do the bare minimum. Just because a breeder is primarily breeding for working drive does not mean they are breeding for healthy dogs. I've seen working Cockers with terrible conformation, but off the charts working drive that were off the field by 6 years because their broken bodies couldn't take it anymore though their little hearts wanted nothing more than to work. I've also met plenty of working type Cockers that are just as afflicted by health problems as any other poorly bred/backyard bred show type Cocker. It's not just about breeding strictly for utility, it's about breeding for the complete package - health, conformation, temperament, AND working drive, which I have seen in both show and working type Cockers produced by responsible and dedicated breeders.

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  3. Love it! -- Rod Russell, Orlando, Florida USA

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  4. Jemima I remember you said in a interview that it was over forty percent of them got cancer. Did the rate go up since that interview?

    http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/extras/extra_videos/pedigreedogs/default.htm

    "The beauty is in utility, not frippery."
    I totally agree with you there, I love dogs no matter what. Weather size or shape or coat they are all a beauty in my eyes. (:

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  5. Working lines alone are not the key to health. Although working gundogs are not bred just for looks they are often bred purely for working ability...this seems ok (after all who wants a working dog dead at 5years old when it takes 2years plus to train them)until you realise that some working dogs, namely those that trial, have a very short career. Some say a spaniel will have achieved it's best in trials by 3years old.....then it is retired to stud! Few working breeders are health testing my breed (english springer); the show guys are streets ahead. The non-testers say 'well if it can win a trial there can't be much wrong with it' oh lordy! I try to explain carrier status but I might as well talk to the dogs!
    Anyway, thanks for the pics of your lovely flatcoats :)
    BTW; do you think the flatcoat can be 'saved' from cancer? Outcross? But to what? The Goldie has higher than average cancer rates too and the labrador has too many disease to wantt o risk introdcing. Curly coats?
    Vicky Payne

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    1. Agree. There are two routes to reducing cancer in a breed. (1) The science route: understanding the causes and breeding, treating, or changing the environment to change those causes. (2) The pedigree route: is keeping records of age and cause of death and breeding away from lines with high incidence and early mortality. The science route is only beginning to be available and may not pay off for many years. The pedigree route has been available for a century or more. In my book, failure to use the pedigree to track mortality and select for health by giving preference to healthy and long-lived bloodlines. Much as I love working dogs, there isn't enough work for the number of dogs in the world . . . and the lap dog's 'work' isn't going to select for healthy lines. By some accounts, the Peke was deliberately bred to have short, bowed legs so it couldn't wander.

      Look forward to seeing the revisit. Hope it does as much as the original to stir up debate, and provoke change in the moribund world of the KC.

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    2. Vicky---most owners of dogs that work but not trial will choose a proven mate...both in work and age.

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  6. Cancer doesn't recognise field or show ring, young or old.So please do not go down that route with such an emotive subject.

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    1. Genetics do affect one's likelihood of being afflicted with cancer, though. So it is possible for certain bloodlines of dog to have higher rates of cancer than others, and for humans to alter the rate of cancer in a bloodline by breeding it out or breeding healthy genes back in.

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    2. Sorry but I have to disagree. I have had two Golden Retrievers from the same breeder. She did all the relevent tests with hips and eyes, but kept the cancer in her line quiet. I lost both my dogs to cancer, one at ten and the other seven. Dogs from this line are still being lost to cancer, or suffering from auto-immune disease.

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    3. Trust me, after doing a biology degree and studying cancers in my last year (and also having a love for dogs), I found out that cancer would be as prevalent in us as it is in dogs if we were as inbred as them, and their are less of them than there are of us. its amazing I know, but if you look at the science of it you cant ignore the facts, they are their in black and white, cancer works by mutation of cells, but the risk of the likelihood of having this mutation in cells can be carried through gene pools, in humans too, consider cervical cancer in women, if your mother had it, you have an increased risk of having it, so why could it not work this way with other cancers and with dogs? you clearly need to read up on the subject before saying equally damning things about a sensitive subject.

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  7. We need to be a bit careful here. Working dogs and show dogs are both bred to very narrow and often esoteric criteria and neither set of criteria necessarily focuses on producing good tempered,biddable and long lived family pets.
    Let’s take the ultimate workers Border Collies/Working Sheepdogs. Highly intelligent, keen to please, robust dogs that make wonderful companions or nasty, snappy, destructive dogs prone to arthritis in middle age? --- I’d say they could be either!
    The right collie from the right breeding put with the right family with the right lifestyle and you have a match made in heaven. Another strain, another family, a less active lifestyle and disaster. I’ve had more bites from “funny farm dogs” than from all other breeds combined.
    Even health is not guaranteed by working lines. Working dogs have to be fit when they do their job but they have quite a short working life. Do we really know what happens to these dogs in middle/old age? Anecdotal evidence from working strain collie owners attending training classes tells me they actually tend to develop age related disease earlier than many other dogs.
    The bottom line is that choosing a working strain or a working breed is no short cut to finding a dog fit for the function most dogs fulfil in the modern world—companion or family pet.
    Kevin/Convict225

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    1. Excellent programme Jemima. Think Kevin's point is crucial - it's the mix of breeding, owners, lifestyle/exercise and training. We've got Finnish Lapphunds that are wonderful, friendly & outgoing but they get loads of outdoors runs & walks and we both work from home so lots of company too. Our oldest was one of the first to be tested for PRA (progressive retinal atrophy) as all Lapphunds now are - sadly too late and he's developing late onset night blindness. The youngest has a mother brought in from abroad to widen the gene pool. I only hope the Finnish Lapphund continues to be bred for temperament rather than for any standard based on looks. The world of breeders can be really intimidating and I'm glad that my other half has a degree in zoology and has worked in kennels so knew to ask all the right questions and how to find an open and honest breeder as it's a very difficult process to buy a dog. Thanks, Lissa

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  8. In Sweden the University of Agricultural Science (SLU) and Uppsala University (UU) have started a scienseproject on FCR trying to find what does FCR developing cancer!

    http://hunddna.slu.se/projekt/Flat%20coated%20retrieverprojektet.html Use google translate...

    Scientists BELIEVE that the breed's narrow gene pool is responsible for many of the breed diseases (all types of cancer, allergies etc.). Therefore it is important to avoid line breeding (fancier word for inbreeding) and avoid using young dogs when breeding. Instead we must use all the healthy and long-living dogs we have available whatever with or without titles...

    If we continue as we do today, we have no FCR at all left in 50 years from now...

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  9. I agree with the last response Jemima. You really can't pick up on cancer in a particular group of dogs and say they have a prevalence to cancer. There still isn't a definite cure for cancer in people so don't make huge statements about canines. All sorts ot reasons can effect cancer showing up in people and dogs. You can't just point at a working dogs and state that he/she is likely to get cancer. You aren't a vet but have this "thing" about people breeding unhealthy dogs for profit without considering the health of the dogs. I do so wish you would go away and get onto the bandwagon about puppy farmers. Just like the RSPCA you have a big shout but in reality you still don't have the guts to take on all and sundry for these poor dogs. I signed up to your company for regular emails on the progress of lack of it after the first PDE so please explain to me WHY I have as yet received absolutely nothing from you. You are simply a loud voice going nowhere. As for responsibility, fancy sending your dog into a possible live electric wire----- you really must be mad !!!

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    1. I hope that you have been reported to the RSPCA for hurting your dog. The evidence is here in your own words. Let's see what happens shall we? Or will your buddies support you?

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    2. "You really can't pick up on cancer in a particular group of dogs and say they have a prevalence to cancer"

      If you have the data to back it up, why not?

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    3. What a pathetic small minded response!

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    4. Having looked at and analysed a scientific project with data for a breed of dog with a high prevalence to a specific cancer, I can scientifically prove your statement wrong. If a specific type of cancer is of prevalence in a certain breed then how can you state it as not being breed related, plus the disease was easily tracked back to a single dog through breeding lines. And interestingly this large sample of dogs in this particular breed all had a single common ancestor. Cancer can have genetic linkage and so if this disposition is bred into a breed, this breed can have a high prevalence. So in response to your comment, it is very uneducated.

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    5. Cancer can work the same way in people, read up on cancers and you will find that some do have more prevalence in humans (as well as in dogs) for example take cervical cancer in women, this has a higher risk if your mother/grandmother had it, i know its because of the actual virus that causes it but still, you cant say it doesn't work that way in dogs because it doesn't work that way in humans because it DOES work that way in humans, go read a biology book, in my GCSE biology mock they ask you to name three things that increase the risk of cancer, funnily enough one of the answers was genetic predisposition.

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  10. Maisie has a lot of show lines in her pedigree, her breeder is a show judge. She would be most unhappy to think Maisie was sent to pick up through an electric fence with out anyone checking whether the fence was on or not and then allowing her to come back that way. I don't know of any shooting person who works dogs who would let the dog go through the fence with out first checking whether it was live or not.
    Polly

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    1. I'm guessing from your lack of knowledge in this response that you don't hunt your dogs. My dogs would go out wherever the bird goes down, period. Do you really think that it's possible to check all fences and fields for objects of "danger" without disturbing the very birds you are suppose to be hunting?

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  11. It was a rough shoot, Polly. The fence should have been off, but wasn't. There was no way back except through the fence. Tried to stop her but as I'm sure you yourself know, it can be hard when they are on their way back and she is very determined. And I just missed getting to the fence in time to throw a jacket over.

    I hope that her breeder would appreciate more that Maisie has had an incredibly happy and fulfilled life with me after a point in her life at which she had a very uncertain future.

    But, hey, keep chipping away.

    Jemima

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    1. Your reply seems very flippant for one who professes a love of dogs. 'Hey, keep chipping away and I'll keep electrocuting my dog cos after all she is incredibly happy, so she can cope!'
      By the way how did your dog's health tests turn out - care to share them?

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    2. You have an evil turn of phrase, madam making accusations as you have about breed clubs. You must get around a lot to be able to say as much about so many clubs or have you made a sweeping generalisation?

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  12. Brilliant follow up programme to show that small movements have been made by the kennel club but not enough to create change for these poor animals. The UK is a huge dog loving country, is there not more that can be done to harness this people power and get things to speed up and moved on?or perhaps history stands in our way? I hope you will do another programme in 2014!

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  13. Well Jemima, I've just viewed the film on BBC4. I'd first of all like to congratulate you on your work. I was pleased that the Boxer situation was highlighted, and especially the "naming and shaming" of those breeders. The levels of inbreeding practiced by them and by others on their popular sires has been the ruin of the breed in the UK in my opinion. They are not the only breeders flooding the puppy market with their dodgy stud dogs' DNA either.

    Thank you as well for the visual presentation of the Pug being operated on. I can only hope that the reality of those pictures will hit home and people will wise up to the animals' suffering.

    However, I would say that on the whole, the film was probably too kind and didn't hit as hard as the first one. There was possibly too much time spent reviewing what was said the first time round - time which could have been given to many of the issues you have raised on this blog, such as hammering home the popular sire issue. Of course one has to find a balance between new material and doing a round-up of what has gone on in between times. Just from the point of view of the Kennel Club's reaction, I feel they will more easily shrug this film off because of its much gentler tone, even though there were serious issues laid at their door.

    People have criticised you for taking a "tabloid" or "sensationalist" approach. Having viewed this second film, and in light of Prof Sir Patrick Bateson's comments that these points had been raised before by them but to no avail, I realise that the tabloid approach has sadly become necessary to catch the attention of the public and actually kickstart any resistance to the status quo.

    Margaret Carter mentioned it was like a cult. It sure is, and it attracts a great deal of powerful weirdos. I hope that the general public has now been made sufficiently aware of that. Now to tackle the issue of the vultures circling over the KC's carcass. Badly-bred dogs need neither be purebred nor KC registered to cause heartache to unsuspecting puppy buyers. Time to broaden the scope to bad breeders in general. Time to educate.

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    1. This was indeed an eye opener and a good follow up. I was horrified at much of what I saw. I did feel however it was lacking in balance. 10 years ago many Boxer problems were heart related / CDM. Now this is much reduced, due in no small part to the sterling work of Walker Miller and other dedicated Boxer people. I would have liked to see more mention of the good work 'some' of the breeders do, not just the bad...some balance please.

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  14. I was taught about the dangers of in-breeding 50 years ago when, at the age of 14 I took a "care of animals" course. The veterinary surgeon who lectured us emphasised it week after week, especially the breathing problems experienced by brachycephalic dogs. He said then that the cause of the problem was breeder greed and the KC. I repeat, this was 50 years ago and matters have, incredibly, deteriorated rather than improved. Gill

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  15. Just wanted to say Jemima what a brilliant episode PDE2 was. A massive number of vet students will have watched it tonight, so we'll all be discussing it tomorrow.

    We are taught about a lot of the health problems in different breeds and current treatments. We have noticed a lot of frustrated vets having to treat problems that shouldn't be there in the first place, especially in dogs they specifically advised not to be bred from, but subsequently were.

    I did feel very sorry for Sheila Crispin actually, as she seemed visibly upset at the picture of the show winning bulldog.

    I wish this country would adopt the same policies that some of the Scandinavian countries have in place. They have a much better idea of things.

    We love your blog, and hope you continue with your campaign until we can one day join in.

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  16. In some cases I can totally see your points with regards to some breeds, but as a breeder myself, I really wish that you would produce a balanced program that shows the hard work that SOME breeders put into their breeding.

    It would also be more productive if you concentrated and put more effort into producing a program to inform the public and expose puppy farming as these are the people/scum that are producing the problems and not giving a damn about it. Now that's an area where you can do some good!!!

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    1. Annie Macfarlane28 February 2012 07:35

      What about Julie Evans? What about the Boxer breeder who used the stud dog that allegedly produces juvenile kidney disease? These people are good breeders! IMO this was a very balanced programme and much kinder to the KC and bad dog breeders than it could have been. I feel that Jemima has taken on board the outcry from "good" dog breeders that the original PDE created.

      All the people that criticise what Jemima's films portray are guilty of saying "concentrate on puppy farming". What you guys don't seem to get is that there is a huge problem in the world of show dog breeding...and the cause of it is those that are in powerful positions within breed clubs...who are no better than glorified puppy farmers.

      Did it look as if the "powerful" breeders in Boxers gave a damn about the juvenile kidney disease they were continuing to spread around the breed? Did they put forward blood tests for examination? No, they didn't! We all know that puppy farming is a terrible industry and there are many people out there fighting against it...but this is something completely different. These people are the ones that other, newer breeders, look up to. They have the power to make change and help make their breed healthy...and they choose not to! They are no better that the people/scum that you say are producing the problems and not giving a damn about it.

      Please open your eyes....the evidence is all around you!

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    2. I don't quite understand people saying that Jemima should focus only on puppy farmers. I completely agree that puppy farmers are scum, but that isn't the point of PDE2. Even if you consider the issues in PDE2 to be less important, they still should be discussed. It will not hurt anyone but the irresponsible to have these problems brought up. Educated buyers appreciate good breeders, and this show does nothing that will change that.

      Lilly J

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    3. Really? Seems that she is dammed if she shows literally ANYTHING negative about dog breeders of show dogs. Evidently her presenting the information on the Cavi breeder who is no longer breeding as a protest against their health problems, and the Dal breeder who is producing LUA free puppies, is not worthy of merit here?

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  17. Just watched it Jemima. These are completely my thoughts as I haven't read any comments by others yet. I also want to say I did like your post very much. Seeing dogs that are representitive of the breed, doing the job they were bred for is sheer delight.

    PDE Three Years On appeared to me to be more balanced than the original and less sensationalised (although possibly I've become more hardened during the last three years!). I was also pleased to see the references made to the efforts taken by the KC and these did not appear to be followed by a caveat on most occasions. It's gratifying to see credit being given when it's due.
    You will know I am an ardent supporter of purebred dog breeding and showing and therefore speak mostly from the side of the 'opposition' but even I can see that some aspects are undefendable. There can be little substantive argument in deliberatly breeding a dog that requires two hours of invasive restructuring surgery in order to breathe comfortably.

    However, once again it is a great pity that the inference was that all the problems seen in 'pedigree' dogs are soley due to dogs being bred by show breeders and for the show ring. Cavaliers and pugs are two breeds favoured by casual breeders. Cavaliers are also darlings of puppy farmers. If these problems exist in dogs bred with care and thought by show breeders and arise in most cases very unwittingly, one can only presume that this is only the tip of the iceberg as far as the wider breed population is concerned. I must also say there is no such thing as a 'Crufts champion' (referred to with the pug) Also as far as Fiona being the first 'mongrel' to compete at Crufts, this is only possibly the case in recent years as certainly in the early days many dogs competed with far shorter known pedigrees than 14 generations and often outcrosses to other breeds were suspected, if not always openly admitted.

    Though I felt that many of the new points you made were fair, I just wish that you had painted a broader picture than simply dogs being bred for the show ring. Certainly there are problems here but they are by no means confined to show bred dogs and are probably far, far worse in dogs bred casually with no thought at all other than to make money. This is the wider concern. At least there is a means of identifying, sourcing and tackling problems in show dogs. There is nothing at all preventing the general public from breeding casually without knowledge or care any dogs, of any description, in any way they chose and there is no way at all of telling here how bad the situation is. There is also no real means of preventing it. That surely has to be the major concern.

    What a pity that yet again, a basically good documentary making valid points had to focus on such a small minority of breeders and those who arguably are trying to do the very best they can for dogs.

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    1. Well said!

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    2. Couldn't agree more. Jemima fails to show that the majority of breeders actually care very much about the health and welfare of their chosen breed. Please do not tar us all with the same brush.

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    3. "Surely that has to be the major concern."

      Pointing out what is going on in pedigree dogs does not diminish the concern regarding pet breeders though does it?

      There is nothing wrong with looking at all that participate in poor breeding practices, including those in the show world. Or do you disagree?

      Kary

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    4. Caring is not enough. Caring means you mean well and feel bad if it doesn't go well.

      Responsible means you actually do better. Unfortunately, the deck is often stacked against you in terms of a) lack of open information b) goals incompatible with health or welfare and c) irresponsible club leadership. At that point, you really have to ask yourself if there's really any point in continuing to be complicit in a hopeless game and be prepared to walk away.

      The responsible Cavalier King Charles' Spaniel breeder will stop. Just stop. As will bulldog, pug, Pekingese breeders -- the breeds are far too compromised to lead a normal lifespan in good health. They need to either go extinct or be delisted so they can be reconstructed with a larger, healthier breed base.

      The most important changes that need to happen are above the pay-grade (pay? Dogs? Ha!) of the individual breeder. They need to happen at the breed club level and responsible breeders need to make it happen.


      1. Jemima's recommendations of the Kennel Club taking action to prevent the breed as a whole from losing diversity through the popular sire effect is the absolute minimum that should be done. It's feasible, will guard against the situation where a whole breed is blighted by one chance mutation in a popular sire (such as the basenji) and given considerable evidence that the vast increase in atopy and cancer is related simply to a narrow gene pool, widening it will yield real benefits to all owners.

      2. A central repository of all health data available with an emphasis on whole litter information, good, bad or ugly. That is how we learn what we are actually doing. It is not optional. Breeders who don't submit information don't get to keep registering their dogs.

      3. This information is used to measure outcomes and periodically, 'breed value' indicies for the highest priority problems. It measures the likeliness of a particular animal to pass on a certain characteristic to its get compared to the breed average. A score of 100 is average, greater than 100 is more likely than the average of the breed and less so. Puppies get a breed average that's the numerical average of their parents' to begin with. No breedings that will result puppies getting a worse than average breed value will be permitted. It makes it easy for a breeder to select a particular dog or bitch for qualities that it is likely to improve (or not). Systems like this have been used both in animal husbandry. In dog breeding, it's been used by some breed clubs in Germany and has led to big improvements in hip dysplasia in German Shepherd dogs and the late onset condition of progressive retinal atrophy in the Jagdterrier.

      4. Intelligent standards that emphasise sound temperament and health over appearance. Most dogs are going to the pet market either right away or after they retire from show careers. A sound mind and body are NOT optional. These standards must be actually enforced.

      5. The very best, though hardest thing for breeders to do, would be to have an open registry. Dogs are registered in the breed as adults provided they meet appearance, health and temperament standards and parentage is of secondary importance. That requires a big change in mindset and may be a bridge too far for many breed clubs.

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    5. To Julia,

      I think there are three reasons Jemima has focused on show dog breeders.

      1. Most breeds have been completely captured by the show/pet market. The market for actual working dogs is far smaller and tends to sell to its own. Anyone deliberately breeding pets is supposedly a backyard breeder and looking at them doesn't send the message that there is a problem. 'Oh, it's just irresponsible breeders'.

      2. Show breeders represent themselves as 'improvers' of the breed and dog shows claim to highlight and reward the 'best' examples of the breed. If the best dogs are sickly, what hope the rest? She comes down particularly hard on breeds where producing dogs to win rosettes is structurally incompatible with a good life.

      3. There are indeed wider problems than the show circuit. However, like it or not, show breeders run most breed clubs. If changes that affect *all* dogs within the breed, pet or not, are to be implemented, it needs to come from show breeders, particularly the prominent ones recognising this responsibility and making changes.

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    6. An excellent post from Julia. It's a shame you missed the opportunity (as I know has been suggested to you many times in the years since PDE1) of pointing out that the majority of pedigree dogs bred are either produced by puppy farmers in the UK and Ireland and transported hundreds of miles at too young an age to pet shops and agencies, or from random bitch owners who fancy having a litter 'for fun' and whose vet has told them that their bitch is healthy enough, but makes no mention of the genetic tests needed if they're to go about it responsibly.

      Once again show breeders are generally lambasted, even though they're the ones whose animals are hip-scored, eye tested, BAER tested etc etc - why was no mention made of this?

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    7. Julia - the best post written on here. Once again a missed opportunity to acknowledge what some breeders are doing to improve their breed and to also inform the guillable general public that a good percentage of these popular breeds and the thousands of designer dogs are bred by people who have not done one health test. I can understand there probably wasn't time to spend on this issue but just a couple of comments just to make people aware that people should buy puppies from health checked parents and that designer cross breeds aren't any more healthy than pure breeds would have made a huge difference. Maybe if less of the original PDE was shown that would have given you the time to touch on this very important issue.

      Delete
    8. Secondthoughtsoptional,
      Demonising 'show breeders' and then expecting them to be held up as good examples for others to follow is a peculiar tactic and one the RSPCA has also chosen to adopt. Puppy farmers and BYB certainly don't give two hoots what goes on in the show ring and neither do most people breeding 'pets'. Breed clubs may be run by powerful people in the world of dogs shows but this is the extent of their reach in most cases. They have virtually no effect in a wider world. The celebrity culture has more impact than which breed wins Crufts and more dogs are bred by people who have nothing to do with the show ring and are unregulated in any form, than by those that show. Cosiderably more. They are told by their vet that their bitch is healthy when she has her vaccinations and this is all they need to know. Their cumalative potential for contributing to a catastrophe is huge, especially as many 'pet' dogs are now advertised for stud so are not only being used once or twice.

      I refute your claim that most show breeders have been captured by the pet market. As the majority only breed one or two litters per year compared to 30+ churned out by even small scale licensed breeders (not puppy farmers)they are plainly not intending to corner the market. I would also point out that many are actually breeding fewer puppies as in the current financial climate it is becoming harder to find good homes - something commercially minded breeders care nothing about.

      It is naive to believe that changing the practices of the show world will improve the lot of puppies bred by back yard breeders, puppy farmers and 'just one litter' breeders. The overwhelming majority of show breeders accept there are problems and are doing their utmost to rectify them. Can the same be said for general dog breeders? I think not.

      Delete
  18. Funny Vet Student I am a member of several pet forums and I am so fed up having to reply to pet owners who have mated their pets because the Vet had told them their pet was healthy enough to carry a litter Aaargh. Have a nosey on some pet forums as obviously the Vets givin out that advice have no idea of health problems in different breeds

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    1. What vets say and what owners hear are two very different things!

      I can't know about every genetic disease in every dog, or even what is a good or poor example of every breed so I always refer people who ask about breeding to a) the relevant breed club, b) the book of the bitch, c) kennel club assured breeder requirements/ recommendations for their breed, d) a credit card company in case they need a midnight caesar or suffer fading puppy. I don't wish to scare them off but I do need them to go into breeding as fully informed as possible. Often the 'newbies' take more care in producing their litters than the 'I've done it my way for 50years' experienced breeders.
      VP

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  19. Well done jemima

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  20. I got my first dog, a Westie, in 1993, when he was 18 months old, sold on with his "papers" when the breeder no longer wanted him. He was a generally healthy dog until he reached 6 years old, then he developed bladder stones and had joint and skin problems. I had "lifecover" with his insurance policy, and I estimate that I claimed several thousands of pounds to cover his treatments. I got accustomed to other Westie owners telling me about their pets health problems and we would swap dog health tips. He lived to be 12 years old, and he seemed to be one one medication or another for the final year of his life. I'll never have another "pure" breed dog ... I have no trust in breeders.

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  21. Great show. Very, very well done. Unfortunately, some of the comments here show that some people don't get it, in fact they are not even on the same planet as it. Pedigrees are inbred on purpose. If we use the term "inbred" about a person, it's meant as an insult. The idea of breeding siblings and parents is absolutely insane, if you hope to produce healthy animals. Some of these breeders are clearly demented, especially in their comments about "puppy farms", where people do by accident what these "breeders" are doing ON PURPOSE! Several of the breeds featured on your show need to have the Dalmatian treatment and should be crossed out to similar breeds. "Pedigree", the word now sounds like a sick joke to me and in future I'll think of it as meaning "inferior inbred mutant". I'm so angry.

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    1. so non pedigree dogs you feel are healthier? Where is your evidence to support this? I meet lots of somethingapoos with various health concerns and temperament issues, casually bred by backyard breeders in search of making a quick buck.

      There are a great many good pedigree dog breeders out there that do not breed dogs that are "inbred" that carry out ALL health tests for the breed and care very greatly about the puppies they occasionally produce. Puppies that are bred with thought and reared with love.

      Delete
    2. Since when did pedigree mean inbred? Pedigree in dogs simply means of know origin due to the documentation of its ancestors. Yes there are PUREBRED dogs out there who are inbred. Its a shame the documentary didn't look at why Cesky Terriers have such COIs!

      Delete
    3. Before you get angry, go and read about ALL aspects of breeding. Don't take and tiny less than 1% look at the breeding of dogs, as shown on the Propaganda Dogs Exposed, and think you're totally learned and informed. It shows such a narrow minded and naive attitude to flippantly say something like that. There are bad people and customs in dog breeding, but it's outweighed by people trying to improve their chosen breeds.

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  22. Loved your documentary and the very important issues it raised, as well as the lack of real teeth of the Kennel Club. Please, if you get a chance, turn your concern to the unspoken pedigree which only recently was accepted as a 'breed' by the Kennel CLub despite being the only dog mentioned in the Bible - the greyhound. I had a wry, and bitter smile, at the public outrage that would have been caused by the Rhodie breeder admitting puppies who were not breed standard are killed. Well thousands of greyhound puppies are killed every year as they are not meeting their 'standard' yet people still think a 'night at the dogs' is fun. Many are mutilated and dumped after failing to meet the grade. Until the BBC and other media, who promote the sport, take a serious stance on this very desperate abuse of one particular breed I don't believe they should dish it out to other pedigree dog owners. Sorry to rant, but if you love dogs you love dogs, regardless of what they are being bred for and they ALL deserve the same attention!

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    1. The Greyhound (pedigree be it shown or not) has been recognised from the starts of the KC so to make such claims are stupid the Racing greyhound is a different breed as its owners breeders and trainers treat them as little more than livestock used for one running season only, for this person to imply they are a problem caused by teh KC is stupid one and a downright lie!

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    2. Annie Macfarlane28 February 2012 07:44

      I absolutely agree with you anon. The treatment of racing greyhounds is appalling and this needs to change. This is another area where dogs are bred for financial gain...and if they don't make the grade they are disposed of. As a nation we are supposed to be dog lovers. Of late, I haven't seen much proof of that with what is being allowed to continue in racing, puppy farms, dog showing, field trials etc.,

      Sadly, dogs were made to do our bidding and are paying a huge price for being less than perfect.

      Very sad. Very sad indeed.

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    3. Anon 06:21: Racing greyhounds race until they are 5-years-old (so more than one season), and are then retired. Many are retired earlier if they are injured or are considered too slow.

      There are many charities (such as the Retired Greyhound Trust) funded by monies from the Racing Greyhound industry, who find new homes for retired dogs. I have one. She is a wonderful pet.

      Of course, many thousands are still ill-treated; most of them Ireland, but Ireland has a terrible animal welfare reputation anyway.

      Whether you like the industry or not, the dogs are at least bred for function, which has meant the eradication of hip dysplasia in the breed. However, their feet, designed for running on sand, are prone to injury. They are also prone to bone cancer, but that too may be partially contributed to injury.

      The more I read about dogs, the more I become convinced that function is of paramount importance - if you don't selectively breed for something, e.g. good eyesight, that has been demonstrated over many generations by dogs that work, you will eventually lose it.

      Delete
    4. Fran says "Of course, many thousands are still ill-treated; most of them Ireland, but Ireland has a terrible animal welfare reputation anyway. " Yet Ms Harrison helps to keep this apppaling Irish situation in play by Exporting their problem over here, or can she really justify her black dog charity or not addressing the casue of the problem but just diverting it.....now that woudl make great TV viewing......wonder if More4 would do a TV prog on it ?

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    5. I often feel sad to see all greyhound owners and breeders condemned for treating their dogs badly. Like show dogs , its not all black and white, there are good and bad owners/breeders in racing greyhounds, just as there are in show dogs. You can find men who really love their greyhounds, look after them and their puppiesextremely well, know how to maintain them in peak condition, pay for quality food, good veterinary care and visits to chiropractors, and even keep the old ones on after their racing days are over.
      Not fair to blanket them all as "appalling" just because some of them are

      Delete
  23. Well you should have just re-ran your original broadcast from 2008. Yes you highlighted some of the developments within the KC but like so many people have said you failed on so many levels to give a balanced argument. I understand that its hard to give a balanced argument when one of the parties doesn't wish to take part. But there are so many other issues that you could have raised....What about back yard breeders who put any two dogs together, neither of whom have been health tested? I am new showing but all of the "show" breeders in my chosen breed have nothing but care and bettering of the breed in mind. So much so that foundations have been set up to fund DNA profiling of the recessive PRA gene. Puppy farming...how many dogs with these health problems come from puppy farms? You also failed to point out that like the independent board the KC have legislative power over dog breeders. Yes, they can be the pioneers of change but without legal powers they like another registration body can not force people to behave in a certain manner. I actually think your closing statement regards have a government body who controls all aspects of dog ownership is fantastic. Maybe your next film can look into the possibilities of that and the effects it would have on Back Yard Breeders and Puppy Farming as well as dogs in the show ring?

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  24. Excellent update, so pleased to see this follow up and hoping for further updates on progress. I wonder if/when a new break away group from the KC will form that concentrates on healthy happy animals rather than increasingly diseased sufferers. Here's hoping.

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  25. Well done! And to those commenting on her doing something for puppy farms she just has done, do you think they will be as willing to breed pugs,cavy's or boxer now?do you think the uniformed public will be so keen to own a pedigree dog? please think outside the box and see the bigger picture.

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    1. I know cavaliers have been getting for harder to sell for a while now , even before PDE 1 word does get around that most have heart disease. and now SM and episodic falling. The prices have certainly dropped

      Delete
  26. Thoroughly agree with earlier post. This should have been titled Pedigree Dogs Exposed - 3 Years Ago....

    Why, after 3 years of research and opportunity, did the BBC and yourself choose to show about 75% of old footage and a few new clips highlighting the tiny minority of badly bred dogs and unethical breeders??? The KC is far from perfect, but lets realise they have started to input changes, dogs ARE getting healthier when bred by the responsible people who should be publicly CHAMPIONED by shows like this, encouraging potential dog owners to go for the best the breed has to offer!!!!!! I thought the show was a crude way of the BBC clawing back some of the millions of viewers who are going to switch on MORE4 in just over a week to watch Crufts! They had massive pressure from a licence paying public to drop the show as the very worst parts of dog breeding, but none of the best parts, were highlighted in a massively one sided debate - a claim held up by Ofcom. The trouble is, people like my friend who I watched the show with, that are a journalists dream come true, who after seeing the vile remarks from the terrible Ridgeback breeder, started ranting that 'All pedigrees are wrong as all breeders do is just put down healthy pups all the time' what a load of tosh. You should've waited until you had some decent new footage, took up the opportunity to speak to people from both sides of the health fence, which you were offered, and came out with something of proper interest.

    From Emmett, West Midlands.

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    1. Well done and thank you for the balanced update Jemima.

      QUOTE

      "You should've waited until you had some decent new footage, took up the opportunity to speak to people from both sides of the health fence, which you were offered, and came out with something of proper interest."

      So.....seeing a pug have half its face drilled out in order to breathe STILL isn't enough to convince people that this breed needs help?

      As far as speaking to people on both sides, which bit of the lovely caring boxer breeder did you miss? Which bit of the interview with wonderful Julie Evans dalmatian breeder did you miss?

      Lets remind ourselves WHO refused to be interviewed.

      Delete
    2. I saw the Boxer breeder, and not once have I mentioned that she was good??!! What post are you reading???!! And I totally agree that the Pug was in bad shape - if you have read my post and concluded that I think all the dogs shown in that program were well bred and all breeders ethical - then frankly you must be mental. I can tell you now, and this is FACT, that there were responsible and worthy people from certain breeds that were offering to interview and give evidence 'from the other side' who were refused by the film makers. I saw a mention on the show that the KC refused to comment, but that is not at all what I am talking about.

      I believe all breeds can be improved, and would love to see it happen, but it's a shame that all the public are being exposed to are dinosaur rogue breeders and showers that have no care for the dogs they are making money from.

      Delete
    3. Quick point - Just realised when you said the Boxer breeder you must have meant the old chap, not the woman using her stud that shouldn't breed. Thought you were being sarcastic.

      There are people from every breed trying to breed for health and a good quality of pet life, but this isn't shown in the light it deserves.

      Delete
  27. There was, in fact, just 11 minutes used from the original film, with 48 minutes of new material.

    Jemima

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    1. Perhaps there was just 11 minutes from the original film, however in the main and with regard to Crufts images you chose to use "Old" footage taken pre 2008, this was very evident to those that know and attend these events, "Pedigree" the pet food company were the main sponsor of Crufts up until the airing of the 1st PDE and the footage used showed all the "Pedigree" branding...No longer there sadly. Quite a number of employees of the company were made redundant on the back of your sensationalist program making and I for one have a great deal of sympathy for them, you have single handedly Jemima ruined peoples lives and with all due respect to the intentions of the program done absolutely nothing to aid in the welfare of dogs, on the subject of GREED spoken of ina few of these posts...has anyone considered the fact that this program has certainly lined YOUR pockets? No I guess not, the BBC and YOU have a lot to answer for. sadly neither YOU or the BBC give a stuff...after all its US who pay your wages!!!!! I BET THIS DOESNT GET PUBLISHED ON YOUR BLOG

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    2. This is what you do when you can't defend against the accusations. You attack the person.

      Delete
  28. On the whole I have to agree with most of the comments and points made in the program, however I am very disappointed that there was no expose of the tragedy that surrounded the Crufts group winning Akita which was bred and sold by the self appointed "King" of the breed in the UK, The Kennel club have not taken any action against this breeder. This poor dog was put through a number of entropion operations and continued to be shown both here and abroad before being sold to Russian buyers who had no idea of the poor animals history of this horrendous condition.
    Whilst the kennel club can in some way give themselves and PDE a pat on the back for taking steps to address health problems, the Kennel Club will continue to be seen as a closed shop and very inward thinking for as long as they can take action against breeders and exhibitors who speak harshly to one another and may upset someone but Take no action at all against a breeder who deliberately chases trophys with a dog who is so badly affected by this hideous condition, more over then sells the dog like a second hand car to the highest bidder. Come on Jemima lets hear the full truth, we know you have been made aware of this story we know it has been spoken of across the world of dogs, "good and responsible" breeders who do have the best interests of their chosen breeds have been tarred with the sticky brush whilst breeders such as Matthew Bostock of Ruthdales Akitas walk around apparently untouchable....let us know what you know and expose the truly bad!

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    1. Annie Macfarlane28 February 2012 16:05

      Agreed! I also think that professional handlers should have a modicum of social responsibility. They should refuse to handle dogs that they know have had surgery which is against the KC Rules. Nobody can tell me that the handler didn't know....despite their protestations that they didn't! If everybody else knew then they did too! I thought this breeder was banned from showing and I'm disgusted to find that he hasn't! Like the Boxer breeder who is ignoring the juvenile kidney disease that her stud dog may have passed on to 800 offspring....these are the people that let the honest folks down.

      Delete
  29. Regarding the puppyfarmer / show breeder debate. The fact is the puppyfarm & backyard breeder dogs are decended from the same stock as the show dogs. You will find many adverts boasting of famous kennels and champions but no health tests.

    Doing an expose of puppyfarmers breeding sick dogs would not work as they dont care about their reputations or what others think of them
    The show breeders paint themselves as caring gaurdians of the breed so pointing out that individuals have dodgy breeding practices behing closed doors will have an impact, pointing that out to a puppyfarmer will not.

    Buyers will always go to puppyfarmers even if you tell them not to , Peer pressure from other breeders is the only thing that will make a difference to breeding practices and the state of dogs so I'm afraid show people are going to have to take this burden

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    1. Annie Macfarlane28 February 2012 16:06

      If those at the top of the game don't get it right, you can't even begin to think that the pond life are going to do any better!

      Delete
  30. Good morning, everyone. I've 'subscribed' to "PDE - The Blog" as invited to on the front page here, but does Jemima's actual campaign for regulation go by a different name, please? Thank you.

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  31. If that is fact, then that baffles me. It was like watching the same show all over again. We saw the King Charles last time, we saw the Dalmation, and half of the expert's quotes seemed the same. The amount of focus on those 2 poor CKCS's was massive, and I really feel for those poor dogs, dogs which should have been mercifully PTS ages ago.

    Would it not be better to focus on where breeding SHOULD go with relation to pedigree dogs? Look at the work that is being done, speak to responsible breeders etc. I like the fact you included the Mate Select scene from the KC, which I think is a useful tool, and you were definitely right to focus on the great work from the Dalmation breeder. I am a Bulldog enthusiast, and if someone said to me there was a Bully who 3 or 4 gens ago had a cross in him, and he could better the breed by eliminating a problem, without compromising what we love about the breed, I'd take your hand off! But instead what we had was people with letters after their name saying 'they're inbred, they're mutants blah blah blah' and did I hear one lady say 'God didn't envision a Labrador, a Dalmation, a Bulldog (or whatever breeds she used as an example)' well what a totally ridiculous thing to include in a SCIENTIFIC study????!!!?! haha, if this God did put these creatures on Earth, along with us, didn't he start by making just 2 of each specie?? My God, we're all inbred mutant freaks..... BBCiPlayer isn't working at the moment, so if I have misquoted her I apologise!

    Emmett again, still in West Midlands

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    1. I find it amusing and bemusing that someone is envoking Noah's Ark principles to justify inbreeding. WTF next?

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    2. If you watch the show you'll see it wasn't me that stated it! It was the lady on there referring to 'gods will' when creating dogs!

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  32. Re. juvenile kidney disease in boxers. There is a DNA test for renal dysplasia (Juvenile Renal Dysplasia). I know some boxer breeders have tested their dogs. Don't know if it's the same disease as the one mentioned above, though.

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    1. Yes, there is a JRD DNA test, but since only 2-5% of the dogs who test positive actually develop JRD. Further they claim JRD to be a dominant disease, so both parents should be cleared by this test. So it would be a killer for the genepool. I have read that the university in Uppsala in co-operation with the Broad Institute are working on a (hopefully more accurate) JRD test in Boxers.

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    2. Thanks for the clarification.

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  33. May I suggest "Designer Crossbreed Scam Exposed" as the title for your next programme?

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  34. The interview you requested from me because the BBC told you that you must have a balance view never took place and having seen last nights programme it is clear that only those prepared to tow the party line were interviewed as there certainly wasn't a balance view. I am saddened that you felt the need to rehash your first programme and failed dismally at explaining all the good work that has occured over the past three years. I was explecting much more and I wonder if that is reflected by the BBC who chose to show it on BBC4

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    1. And here it comes.. Proof is in the pudding as they say. Why aren't the new healthier bulldogs as shown by the breeder in the Kennel Clubs "Dogs, A healthy future" winning at shows? Even the breeder there, a person who obviously really cares about bulldogs says it's unlikely in the near term. Is this being biased? The video was, after all being produced and edited by the KC itself?

      Delete
  35. What I found strange was the fact Jemimma you had a foreign Pug being operated on!!!! How many times have you been posting that the KC and their standards are needing to be more like other countries?? So what happened to the Pug Standard on the one that was being operated on abroad??

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    1. I do not recall Jemima ever saying that any pug breed standard abroad was better, apart from a blog about the MPRV, a group who have broken away from the German KC,and are not recognised and accepted by said kennel club......

      Delete
    2. Annie Macfarlane29 February 2012 19:28

      I think that Jemima explained quite clearly the work that has been done over the last 3+ years, the new initiatives put forward by the KC. They are all very welcome. The sad fact is though that none of them are working...that's evident. Sometimes you have to "review" in order to provide sufficient evidence that very little has changed. All the initiatives in the world are worthless - if they're not used. I actually thought Jemima was very kind; and had clearly taken on board the criticism following the original PDE in 2008. You can report positivity - when the situation is so dire! Please try and see that people really care about the unjust suffering that is being caused to dogs...and owners...who watch their beloved pets crippled or gasping for breath...because somebody choose to breed them that way... We're not trying to be difficult...we're just trying to ensure that these breeds can somehow have a healthier future, with no suffering. That is their birthright! Please stop playing god with innocent creatures! If you think it's OK to breed dogs that can't mate normally or give birth naturally then I fear for the future.

      Delete
  36. This was, for me, nothing to do with the Kennel Club, this just highlighted what I already know. Most breeders no matter what breed, breed for money. I have found FB interesting reading people's comments about this program like in some way it had nothing to do with them. Yet hang on one moment, basically this program was about health testing and breeders breeding dogs with no health tests that over time lead to very detrimental effects on the breed and in some cases utter ruination.

    In the UK, Europe, Russia, America – the Cane Corso should be hip scored before breeding. Yet in the UK I know of one other breeder than myself that actively breeds who does it?

    Why is the Cane Corso in such a state in the UK – breeders... why is say the Caviller King Charles Spaniel in the state its in – breeders.... or a breed club run by the breeders.

    If there is a breed Club for the Corso in the UK how do we stop the same thing happening, I know there is no way on this earth that I will stand and allow people to set rules for their own gain.

    I am surprised knowing people who breed dogs the way I do that there are still breeds of dogs out there with 4 legs and still standing. Over the past 9 or so years I have sat back and watched breeders lie about health, temperament, colour, genes, eyes, tails, testicles you name it if they can sell it they will lie about it. They have in bred with lines with know defects, they have sold puppies and then abandoned the owners afterwards. I have watched a litter die due to breeding for profit. So what was pedigree dogs exposed about.... GREED.

    So if your one of the people up in arms about this program.... sit back and take a look at your own dog and really think long and hard about have you contributed to the demise of the Cane Corso in this country or have tried every effort to safeguard it?

    And thats all I have to say about that.....

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    1. Not always greed sometimes it is power and a certain look wins, many are in denial about their breed lines - and they see the genetic faults in their breed lines as a slight on themselves. Some people state that the changes are natural selection – obs they don’t understand genetics!
      judges don’t help and many cliques exist.

      one of the problem is we have is the KC, judges and the breed clubs, health committees are all run by the same people.

      Delete
    2. Power and most definitely greed, in fact I would say that the majority of these so called dog loving breeders are just plain greedy; breed a so called champion dog (with all its faults and problems) and then make as much money from it as you can with the likes of Crufts and other high profile dog shows aiding and abetting them in their crimes, sorry greed.

      Delete
    3. Greed, glory - for me its all one in the same.

      Delete
    4. Annie Macfarlane29 February 2012 19:33

      In some ways I disagree! I really do think that the people interviewed genuinely feel that they are doing the very best for their dogs...and for the breed. It's a way of life. When you see the same dogs each week all year round, you tend to lose perspective on what is right and what is wrong. Those on the outside looking in can see that it is just plain wrong! When you are on the inside it's not as clear-cut. There is so much to lose.It is very sad.

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  37. Has the earlier post commenting on the "powerful people" portrayed in the segment on Boxers been removed? Any comments?

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  38. Lazy journalism, done by an incompetent, blinkered individual.

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    1. I think that your comment applies to you as well, She is not having a go at everyone, just the select few that not care about a dogs health, Can we take it that your a breeder?

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    2. Takes one to know one. ;)

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  39. The KC have a live Q&A on their website at the moment, but they are censoring comments and only publishing those they want to answer. I asked them what they are doing about popular sires and it hasn't been posted. I also wanted to know why, out of the four CKCS litters currently being advertised on Champdogs, why only one is from SM tested parents (and that one isn't the Assured Breeder!).

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    1. To be fair, there is a delay of over an hour to see your Q and A. Both mine got answered. Also, they extended it by an hour and a half.

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  40. Congratulations on another excellent, hard hitting film. Sometimes I have wondered if the campaigner on dog health and welfare issues wasnt taking over from the professional journalist and film maker, but you manage to combine both beautifully in this film. If anything, this is even better than the last one

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  41. Excellent film. Pity about the anonymous cowards posting insults instead of questioning themselves. Shame on you if you contribute to this national disgrace!

    The question is, what can we do to help? I would willingly contribute.

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    1. Well said, Emmet. I did ask earlier today (02:01 AM -- http://pedigreedogsexposed.blogspot.com/2012/02/pedigree-dogs-exposed-three-years-on.html?showComment=1330423305342#c4651889674443542519) whether Jemima's campaign itself goes under a different name, but no one's come back to me on this yet.

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    2. I totally agree, well put!

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    3. Annie Macfarlane29 February 2012 19:37

      Jeremy, I don't think there is a campaign per se. Jemima has her blog her and posts regularly. I wonder if there will be a campaign of some sort now that we realise how bad things are? Sorry your comment was missed but I just wanted to confirm that for you.

      I'm sure if there is a campaign in the future we will all know about it...and I, for one, will be there supporting it wholeheartedly. I have said for a long time now that health and welfare should be removed from the KC. The conflict of interest is completely untenable and, like Jemima pointed out, it's the dogs that are coming off worst.

      Delete
  42. I have just watched the programme on Catchup and would like to say well done for continuing to highlight the health problems suffered in many pedigree breeds these days. Having had dogs all my life both pedigree and mutt I can say that breeding is irrelevant to me, all I want is a healthy happy waggy dog and so my present dachshund/terrier cross is an RSPCA rescue dog. I support you in your efforts to educate the blinkered masses who seem only to prize a dog with a title.

    Can I suggest that it would be good to be able to "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" individual comments, helpful for the non techno savvy oldies like me, which is why I am anonymous! ValC

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  43. The UK Kennel Club's response amazes me. the KC claims it is powerless to do anything about the genetic problems and washes its hands of responsibility. It blames the lack of regulation of dog breeding. Excuse me, KC, but you ARE a regulator of dog breeding in the UK. You, KC, have the power to regulate registrations of litters, and you have the power to regulate breed standards. But, KC refuses to acknowledge that its breed standards are a part of the problem. It wants us to believe that the mutants are all due to the non-KC puppy farmers. Finally, KC actually calls upon Parliament to take control. I never, ever, have heard of an organization like the KC actually wanting government to force it to do the right thing. -- Rod Russell, Orlando, Florida USA

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    1. I totally agree with you! What on earth are the KC doing here? It is their bizarre breed requirements that have caused all this suffering. I own two rescue mongrels, one from Battersea and one from the RSPCA. Milo is now nearly 14 and a collie/alsation/whatever and Chip is a Staffie/Jack Russell....they are truly beautiful, healthy, happy loyal companions. But they will never win Crufts....so what!!
      As a nation, WE NEED TO GET BACK TO LOVING MONGRELS!! I am sorry but I love dogs and don't give a stuff about 'the breeders' as they have caused all this suffering just to make themselves money. The RSPCA Vet was right when he said that pedigrees are Mutants....Is there any kind of petition going on this massively worthy cause?

      Delete
    2. Would that be the same EX RSPCA vet who has been put at arms length by the BVA/RCVS, who Prof Crispin commented on his ability to make tabliod statements with out evidence and who has broken the RSPCA's own rules on chopping up animals for public entertainment for his latest Channel 4 show? well if it is ....there are better and smarter vets to listen too

      Delete
  44. I would like to say a very well done to you and your team for a great program, a bit painful to watch at times but it needed to be said and it needed to stick in peoples minds. I feel that all we and pedigree dogs can hope for is a u turn by the kennel club, but as i have said in my own blog its not going to happen any time soon. I myself feel like i'm at a constant battle with the Kennel club, as a Shar Pei owner (non wrinkle no health issues, i knew what i was buying, mainly cause of your first show 3 years ago before i got her.) i feel a constant battle with them for them to recognise them as a non vicious breed and to let me show her off in obediance, HTM and GCDS, I got no where so started by own blog. All the best and if I can help you highlight anything then let me know.

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    1. the following from the "one woman and her dog" blog 12 Feb 2012 "Going to Crufts this year again and looking forward to seeing the international HTM freestyle competition again and I think it will be really nice not to see Richard Curtis competing as I feel that it is really predictable that he is going win, but he is the King of the HTM, world shame about his teaching skills though. This year I would really like to see the Shar Pei represented properly as last year I didn't see one in any ring not even in Discover Dogs. I am a little confused as to why this is but I do have and inkling as to why this is. Shar Pei have been put on this list of dogs that may be under restrictions or a total ban in the UK as they have a bad reputation of attacks on people and as I have said before I do know of 2 Shar Pei that have been put down as they have turned, so maybe this is the Kennel Clubs way of discouraging people in to having them, but you would never have thought this with so on the amount of dogs for sale at lower price that I brought mine. I did try out for a display team this year for Crufts but surprise, surprise we never got in even though she was perfect and when I asked for feedback as to why we never got in they told me that in not so many worlds that i'm not a team player but I handle her really well.

      So i'm really hoping this year to see my breed represented properly by owners who know loads about them and love the not matter how many wrinkles they have.
      Posted by One Woman and Her Dog at 17:53 0 comments


      Well guess I was ata differenct show last year then as I saw Shar Pei in the breed rings, discover dogs too, think a trip to spec savers for this lady blogger might be needed before the 8 March

      Delete
    2. Thank you for the comment it made me chuckle or lol as the kids call it. I went on the Saturday so missed them in the show ring. They do have different clubs displaying on different days so maybe I missed it but i did make an effort to try and find one.

      The point of my blog post was to highlight how hard I find it to get my breed represented in a good way - by means of the original shar pei, not the one with a mass of wrinkles. Also to highlight what trainers think of my breed and we tried twice to get in a display team and failed, she was perfect for the first trial and rubbish for the second, as i feel that I am unfairly judged as they are percived as vicious and am mearly trying to change this.

      Strange as well as i Booked to get my eyes tested today ready for the 10th March.

      Delete
    3. if yo cant even work out what group your breed is in and what day they are shown..............should you really be be allowd in such a large space as the NEC on your own?

      Delete
    4. Annie Macfarlane29 February 2012 19:46

      the lady wasn't there to show...she was there for the obedience trials....geezo!! You really need to get a life! To the lady poster...am I right in thinking that you have a traditional Shar Pei? I understand there are very few in the UK. I didn't realise they were on a restricted list...never heard that. I will have a look at your blog and contact you for more information. I am very interested in the traditional shar pei, due to the terrible health problems in the meat mouth type. I'd like to learn more about your bloodlines, where you bought your dog etc., If you don't mind. I'm not looking to purchase a tradi Shar Pei but interested in getting more info on your dog etc., Thank you.

      Delete
  45. Just a small correction . Fiona isnt the first "crossbred " dog to be shown at Crufts in recent years. There is an Irish Water Spaniel who is actually an Irish Water Spaniel/Barbet 2nd generation cross who has quietly been shown in the UK including Crufts for four or five years ( I think he was there last year in the Gamekeeper classes). And from the late 1970s Harlequin of Knockalla, from an IRWS/Irish Setter cross, first generation, was shown at Crufts too

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    1. and lets not forget all those boxers who had short tails from Corgis, or the cross types between BSD, or the poodles , infact lets forget it all it might disprove Jemima's inbreed belief she knows all there is about dogs!

      Delete
    2. Hey Anon - please point me to the article/video clip and/or quote that says that Jemima "knows all there is about dogs?" It's rubbish and you know it.

      Delete
    3. Annie Macfarlane29 February 2012 19:04

      Anon 0207...you may be aware that the Boxer cross corgi was not a success because the bobtail is actually a lethal or semi-lethal gene and the bobtail doesnt breed "true". Another example of how breeding for looks is a no no. Bruce Cattanach came under fierce attack from those in power for doing this....but I believe he truly wanted to try and make a natural bobtail boxer. Perhaps we could all learn from his work. He has certainly made a difference in this documentary. Problems happen when you breed for looks and not genetic diversity.....simples!

      Delete
    4. Actually it's two descendants of an IWS v Barbet cross that have been shown in the UK, as you say a 2nd generation, but also a third generation over from Holland. The 2nd generation also won a gundog working test. A fourth generation has recently been born in Germany. The original cross was done to try and stem the endemic levels of cancer in the IWS breed as a result of its tiny gene pool. The person who has really moved this on lost 3 of his first 5 IWS by the age of 6 from cancer. The cross that he used has recently died aged 11.
      I am truly excited about the KC's announcement regarding the vulnerable native breeds and the possibility of outcrossing.
      Congratulations Jemima on another excellent documentary.

      Delete
  46. Coming from the perspective of a veterinary student who in a couple of years is going to have to deal with all the issues caused by the breeding of greatly over-exaggerated features and inbreeding/close interbreeding relating disorders, I am pleased you have successfully highlighted this as a major issue within the many species specific canine populations. You have achieved exactly what i imagine you aimed to achieve by making the public aware that there is a huge problem. You and anyone else can point there finger at whoever they like but they cant deflect away from the fact there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Anyone can argue that breeders and the kennel club aren't to blame but they surely cannot argue that they are the answer to these problems (maybe highlighting they are not people you want to upset!). Without less pressure to achieve certain standards then there will never be an incentive to purely breed for health. Obviously everyone (we can hope) has health at there uppermost priority. Hopefully by reinforcing that there has been and still very much is a big issue that needs to be dealt with further we can only hope the relevant parties participate in solving the issue. Having done some background reading I appreciate that positive changes are happening, so lets hope this will begin to impact the health and welfare of our companions and that more positive impact and cooperation of breeding parties will make a successful impact in the near future. I think that many people on here for some reason are deflecting from the real issue and pointing blame at other parties but are neglecting to accept the fact that you have addressed a very real issue that needs a solution, so maybe people could start posting solutions instead of complaints!!

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    1. I suggest if you are abou tto set out your working life as a vet soon, and you already have this fixed view show dogs and pedigree dogs = bad, then I think you need to stay in education longer. Most long term dedicated breeders have a string working partnership with their vets they trust each others judgements and respect each others knowledge, to find a vet student is so blinked from the start is sad and I feel you should start to learn real life lessons, take the time go to Crufts next week (the KC invite vets students to attend) and see for yourself, talk to people who know about breeds and breeding, the vets and other canine experts who are there from the AHT and yes even that nasty ld Kennel Club you feel are to blame for so much......go talk.....go listen.......go learn........then make a balnce view possible for you and your future clainets and their pets.

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    2. I dont think that you have got the correct gist of my comment. I know very well that there are a lot of healthy breeds and many breeds have no dispositions or health problems at all. I can appreciate this especially having owned a pedigree whippet until the age of 14 and hes still going strong with no health complaints! and we also have a very healthy pedigree working labrador. Both were bought from respectable kennel club registered breeders. But i don't think you can deny that there is a problem is some breeds, can you? I have spent a year doing a project on pedigree dogs and have spoken to several vets and breeders and done lots of reading around the issue, so i feel I have a fairly informed understanding of the issue, not that i'm denying I have more to learn!! I am going to crufts next week and I am only in my first year so I still have a good time in education. Interestingly I have also been to the AHT several times to see there good work. I suggest you re-read what I have written, then you can surely see that I have supported the fact the Kennel club has made progress and that people, instead of pointing blame, should come up with solutions. I can't see why you have responded so negativity and angrily to my comment, but i feel a little bit hurt. Maybe you should think about what you say before you write it. best wishes.

      Delete
  47. Great documentary. You named names, and I'm sure there are more than a few within the fancy who are absolutely livid. Maybe this will launch another conspiracy-theory laden Facebook group?

    Dr. Cattanach has done the boxer a great service, and I'm glad you were able to work with him on this project.

    BTW, I had no idea that a pug could accumulate that much gunk under its facial folds!

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    1. Gunk can be placed there, with jemimas track record how do we know it wasnt

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    2. The gunk on the nose roll,may well have been there,but ,as it was cleaned away,the skin under neath was claen,not flaky and definatly not sore,which would in dicate that it was as bad as made out,if left un cleaned it can and will ,cause problems,but that looked to me as it was normally cleaned away

      Delete
  48. CelebratePedigreeDogs28 February 2012 20:00

    I think you would make a good breeder....you clearly have a vision. All good breeders go into each mating with a vision of what they hope to accomplish, and make choices based not only on test results but gut instincts about which combinations will work.

    Here's the catch: no matter how much you plan, test, calculate and predict, breeding dogs (and I reckon cows, pigs and budgies) has a way of slapping you in the face, humiliating you, and making you cry....but fortunately not in the majority.

    My point is, when you make blanketed statements, such as the one closing this blogpost

    ''And, in truth, I have a high expectation of Maisie not succumbing to cancer just yet because her breeder, who breeds working flatcoats, does not breed for fashion, but instead to preserve the breed's unique working talents.''

    it makes me cringe, because you have never had to put your money where your proverbial mouth is. Walk a mile in the shoes of one of the devoted and conciencious breeders that you are crucifying, and then tell me what's what.

    Until then, your just a journalist with an axe to grind and a bottomless ego to fill.

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    1. Actually Jemima is right. Because Maisie is working bred, there is a pretty good chance she will be less prone to health and genetic problems than a show bred retriever, although no guarantee that she will be. Working gundog breeders are less likely to breed closely related dogs, in working gundog culture there is a stronger traditional ethos against close matings. They dont need to breed working gundogs who are clones of each other in appearance, and no ideal type as there is in the show ring. So less likelihood of recessive gene problems pairing up. Working dogs tend to have their first litters later than show dogs (they will be be proven and fully trained dogs ), so more time to identify health problems before the first mating. And any health problems that impair their mobility, drive, stamina etc are likely to mean that they will be retired early to pet homes or even put down, and not bred from.
      I have had both show and working dogs (setters and springers), and while the working ones havent been entirely free from health problems, they have certainly had fewer

      Delete
    2. So you are saying that Jemima does not need to health test her dogs?

      Delete
    3. Certainly not. Show and working dogs of the same breed all have the potential for carrying genes for defects known to be present in that breed. But less inbred dogs will be affected less frequently by recessive gene conditions. If one breeds from a dog for the first time at a later age ( working dogs may often be five or six by the time they have their first litter) ,any health problems are likely to have been recognised by then. And a dog whose capacity to work is limited by a health condition will have been retired or gone to a pet home, so wont be bred from. In working gundogs, one cant fool oneself that a dog is healthy and OK to breed from, if it cant work 100% because of a health problem.
      It used be common in working gundog breeders to find then saying they didnt need to health test their dogs because if they had bad hips or anything else, they wouldnt be able to do the job, nowadays that has changed, we know that even working gundogs can have hips that are only held in the sockets by muscle, and more working gundog people are testing their dogs, even if they are less likely to find problems

      Delete
    4. CelebratePedigreeDogs29 February 2012 09:39

      dalriach, very convincing argument, and im sure that most people who don't really know anything about breeding animals would succumb to your logic.

      fact is, regardless of what ''tags'' we put on our dogs (show, working, performance) recessive genes don't care.

      the same traits that we value in working dogs (ie fitness, stamina, drive, athleticism...) are the same we want and MUST HAVE in dogs who we intend to show at conformation events.

      what saddens me about this whole issue is that just like pde1, prospective puppy buyers are left clueless about where to go to find a puppy. Some are commenting that mongrels and rescues are the best option, but naively they too can and will inherit disease.

      pde is built on a reasonable premise: that there are health issues in dog breeding that must be addressed. where it goes terribly wrong is when it attacks the dog showing world, which accounts for a miniscule portion of the puppies advertised for sale on epupz, pets4homes, etc. it uses scaremongering and sensationalism to make ratings.

      Delete
    5. "Some are commenting that mongrels and rescues are the best option, but naively they too can and will inherit disease."

      You've missed the point if you believe the comments about acquiring rescues is due to the idea that these dogs will not inherit disease. Most are well aware any dog can.

      Kary

      Delete
    6. Not to mention that it's a strawman since no one has every claimed that mongrels are immune from diseases, just that they are on average healthier than purebreeds.

      Delete
    7. Annie Macfarlane29 February 2012 19:59

      Anon 1.39: You're not trying to tell us that the bulldog and pug are being bred with the same value as working dogs MUST HAVE....fitness, stamina, drive and athleticism are you? You're barking up the proverbial wrong tree there...in addition to many dogs I have witnessed gracing the show ring.

      To give your comments a more balanced perspective...I would ask you to walk a mile in the shoes of somebody who lives with a crippled dog who gasps for breath every day of their lives. A dog that can drop through overheating on a somewhat warm day... You're really not getting the point here. Nobody is saying that all pedigree dogs are beyond repair...indeed some breeds still have good health....mainly in the gundog group I suspect! What we are discussing is the breeding for exaggerations that make them suffer terribly on a daily basis....and I am sure the breeders who breed these dogs still feel the same way as you have described above.... It doesnt make it right though.

      The RSPCA were asked yesterday if the Animal Welfare Act 2006 could prosecute breeders that knowingly breed for such exaggerations knowing that the puppies will suffer horribly. The answer is that the Animal Welfare Act only comes into play when the puppies are actually born. I would like to think though that this could be investigated further....because...in my opinion there is clear contravention going on at the moment.

      Delete
  49. Hi after watching your program last night,I have the grandson to the boxer mentioned,i have since been in touch with the kennel club to see where i go from here,as it stated on the program,that they need more people to come forward with blood samples,up to now,kennel club have no idea what to do,so put me in touch with health screening in the boxer,they didnt know what to do,so told me to get in touch with boxer breed council,trie that to no avail,manged to get in touch with Dr Bruce M Cattanach,who then told e ,there is no test for the diagnosis of the gene carrier,and i can only get him tested to see if his are working ,so need heklp as what to do now please

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  50. I am currently a cat-owner, but we hope to get a dog at some point in the future. This programme convinced me that it will be a mongrel rescue dog all the way - I want nothing to do with such a wierd, abusive industry. Sorry to those of you who are responsible pedigree dog breeders, but until all of you are putting the welfare of dogs first, and have stopped producing such deformed animals, you will all be affected by this issue. This is an animal rights issue and raises serious ethical concerns.

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    1. So tell us what welfare of dogs did the person who allowed a mongrel rescue to be born into the world show?

      Delete
    2. Please forgive me but, I think it's great that you wish to purchase an unwanted dog but it seems to me that you have not done on of the most crucial part of dog ownership - research! It would be unwise to assume that all cross bred dogs come with a guarantee of perfect health they do not. Whilst I admire you for wanting to rescue a dog this may already have issues that could prove costly and frustrating to remedy and it's origins will be unknown in terms of its temperament. Do not disregard all purebred dogs, there are some breeds with serious problems that need immediate action but there are many that do not and there are over 200 to choose from, do your research contact breeders and talk to them and other professionals such as vets, dog trainers etc, maybe volunteer at your local rescue centre but get at much information as you can that way you can make an informed choice and the get the right dog for you.

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    3. As you are referring to someone thinking that all cross bred dogs come with a guarantee of perfect health I have scoured the post you are responding to for that suggestion.

      It is not there.

      Why have you made up the assumption they believe this?

      Kary

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    4. What a pity you missed my point.

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    5. Personally, if looking for a dog I would look for a rescue. There are far too many loving dogs waiting for a home, many who are fine with cats. There are many specific breed rescues if you are looking for a specific breed. You also need to be aware that different rescues have different policies. Some say no flats, others it may not be problem for example. If you look around I am sure you can find one which you can work with. A decent rescue will also help match a dog with your circumstances. Good luck.

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    6. The point here is not that a pure bred dog is preferable to a cross bred or rescue dog they are all worthy of decent forever homes, all I am saying is check out what breed/breeds one may be committing to and any associated requirements that may come with it, I am not suggesting the person who made this post is un or misinformed but sadly it seems to me that all to many new owners are and as the owner of two beautiful dogs (one cross and one pure bred) would recommend some foundational proven research rather than word of mouth. Best of luck in finding your new best friend

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  51. I watched the programme last night with interest. Can I ask, do you recommend that all pedigree dog owners put their dogs through the kennel club health schemes? Is this something you would do if you owned a pedigree dog. Sorry for the questions but I am unsure if you back the health schemes they run or not as the programm left me a little confused and worried. As a possible buyer of a puppy I would like to now this.

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    1. All pedigree dogs whether they will be bred from or not should have all the tests for their breed carried out. If these have not been done previously then they should be done ASAP. This will allow the breed club to prove a mode of inheritance and in the case of Flatcoats would show the lines most affected by Cancer.

      Delete
  52. In response to the suggestion I was blaming the KC for greyhounds, I was not. 'Racing greyhounds' were more recently accepted as potentially showable by the KC. Its interesting to me that 'show greyhounds' have a 25% chance of having a condition called greyhound neuropathy which causes death within a year of birth, which is recognised. There is no data on racing greyhounds because they are not monitored. My point would be, a greyhound is a greyhound - why are those bred for purpose, not the same as those bred for show? Surely they should be one and the same in any breed, otherwise why do it. The only category which doesn't suffer is 'working group' because they are one and the same, surely all dogs in show should be 'bred for purpose', not looks?

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    1. The greyhounds bred to race are a far more diverse, more tested group of dogs. If they drop dead early, that line won't be profitable and will be culled. And because there are a lot of dogs of differing genes, the possibility of finding healthier dogs is excellent.
      The very narrow gene pool of those who have only to prance round in the ring allows problems to fester and not having a lot of dogs means that health has to be compromised -- there's no *other* dogs to breed away from the problems with. Crazy system.

      Delete
  53. So there you have it Jemima, once again you have created confusion, and if that is your aim then well done.

    Anonymous Feb 28, 2012 01:07 PM watched your program and believed that his dog may be sick. You have now caused an owner concern. You appeared to be critical of the breeders yet there is no test avaialable?

    Anonymous Feb 28, 2012 01:08 PM watched your program and believes that all pure bred dogs are sick and that they should get a crossbreed.

    BTW where did you get 11 minutes of old material? I suggest you watch again it is far far more than that!


    Lastly, and as a Flatcoat owner I wonder if you can tell me what health tests I should have on my dog?

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    1. Annie Macfarlane29 February 2012 20:05

      Actually, no confusion....the dog very well may be sick so it is good that the owner is having it checked out.

      the documentary made no mention that all crossbreeds or, indeed, all pedigree dogs were healthy or sick...it looked at the system and how it was failing dogs...and that was most certainly clear.

      As a Flatcoat owner I think it is up to you to see what health tests you should be getting for your dog if you are intending to breed....why ask Jemima? It's all there on the breed club website...

      Some people are easily confused! Perhaps try watching the documentary again and ask those questions while you are watching it.

      Delete
  54. I just watch the documentary and i am so grateful to have a mongrel, it would break my heart to think that my dog was suffering from an inherited disease and especially if the breeder knows the risks all in the name of beauty. It is disgusting and they are definitely not dog lovers but selfish, insane and sick people. They are just as bad as dog fighting and i thank you for enlightening me!

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    1. Sadly, Jemima forgot to tell her viewers that a mongrel carries more defects and health problems than a pedigree dog but then why would she bother as she cannot earn money from bashing one dog owner - better to hit out at an established organsation.

      Delete
    2. ^
      Mongrels carry more defects? Somehow I don't trust your information. Cite your sources, friend.

      Delete
    3. The number of defects carried in a population makes no difference if the prevalence rates of affected animals remains low.

      The prevalence rates of affected dogs becomes raised by doubling up on recessive defect alleles, and that happens at a higher rate in purebred populations than it does in mongrels.

      Kary

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    4. anonymous 07:13 go and have a look at the labrddoodle trust website

      Delete
  55. Jemima, do you have any idea when and where those of us in the US can view PDE2?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. well just look back at a jumble of clips of PDE1 on Youtube and you get roughly the same programme as PDE2

      Delete
    2. Just watched it at Terrierman's Daily Dose-
      http://terriermandotcom.blogspot.com/2012/02/pedigree-dogs-exposed-three-year-on.html
      It was great!

      Eileen Parsons
      :Long Beach, WA USA

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    3. It's on Terrierman's Daily Dose blog. http://terriermandotcom.blogspot.com/

      Delete
  56. Jon Burdekin

    The KC is no better than the PCC, A toothless organization unwilling to lead, enforce or change, any right minded person knows inbreeding is WRONG, how these 'responsible' breeders can justify this is beyond me.
    The government must step in now, breeders have known the dangers for over 25 years and have chosen CRUELTY and PROFIT over animal welfare, jogging about a show ring with a mutant on a lead is perverse.
    This program needs airing on BBC1 or BBC2 showing mutants must be banned, breeders who inbreed must be prosecuted and banned from owning dogs FOR LIFE.

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    1. People like you Jon need prosecuting for being such an idiot !

      Delete
    2. And that is the mentality of the 'dog lovers' on here, can't defend inbreeding or these vile practices because real dog lovers are disgusted by this so they trade insults, pathetic.

      Delete
    3. Tell us jonh do you or have you ever owned a dog, if so what research did you do in advance?

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  57. JH I would like you and Vet Student to have a look on this group. Now this group does not cover a large area of the country and it makes me sick just how many Joe Blogs are breeding/ selling their pets willy nilly. This is only one group I am linking to but they are all over the country. To critise Show Breeders stuns me
    https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/Pets.N.Accessories/312684805447175/?notif_t=like

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    1. so if these people started entering shows they would suddenly be better breeders ?
      I know a puppymiller who has started to show ( just to annoy his critics) and actually has some good dogs with show winning pedigree's. Still sells his pups at auction though and breeds litter after litter.

      And the backyard breeders/ puppymills are just using the rejected show stock anyway ( those not good enough for the show breeder to keep) so any problems their dogs have have come from the show stock originally.

      As for things like extreme flat faces and wrinkling in pugs etc , backyard breeders dont care much what the dogs look like and noses lengthen if selection for the flattest faces is not kept up. So any extreme physiology has trickled down from the show breeders.

      Delete
    2. Criticising show breeders does not take criticism away from the Joe Blogs breeding willy nilly. There is room for criticism in every arena.

      Kary

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  58. A lot more balanced than the last programme - and a lot fairer to the KC than I expected, and maybe than they deserved, but I am always in favour of encouragement rather than the big stick, and from the point of view of encouraging people to buy a healthy puppy, wouldn't it be more helpful (to future generations of dogs) to highlight the good things that are being done; to emphasise again and again that it is possible to buy a CKCS or a Pug or a Boxer or indeed any other breed from those that go that little bit further in order to breed healthy specimens?

    Incidentally, just for the record, the Cesky Terrier whose COI you highlighted will be 14 years old on March 7th. Apart from routine vaccinations, he has rarely seen the inside of a vet's surgery (I believe he did once have an ear infection) and is still fit and well. Last year he was accompanied by a son and a grand-son in the Veteran class at Crufts. Perhaps, instead of being so concerned about his COI it would be better to have pointed out that possibly this longevity comes from the fact that his parents and grandparents were all around the 15/16 age mark when they died?

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    1. Sheila, you mention that it is possible to buy a CKCS from those that go a bit further in order to breed healthy specimens.

      There are not genetic tests for MVD and CM/SM. A caring breeder, one that MRIs and has many generations of heart testing behind, can offer a diminished risk but the risk is still high for both conditions.

      Please do not put information out there that might mislead the puppy buyer to believe that they can buy a Cavalier without risk of these two conditions.

      Kary

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    2. I sense a bit of outcome bias. How would the breeder have known that the parents or grandparents would be long lived when the breeding took place? You can selectively inbreed by choosing the most healthy animals to breed from, but you can only actively select for or against traits that you can see or test for at the time of breeding. Any genes that reduces fitness just slightly are not going to be purged by selection, just chance. You might not notice the effect of such low impact genes until they add up over generations. You can't beat inbreeding depression.

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  59. Just been reading a couple of the comments and a lot of them are 'jemima fails again to represent the breeders that care/make an effort etc.'
    For God's sake it's not about stroking your ego if you are a good/responsible breeder, the people buying from you and associated with you will know that and examinations, blood tests, hip scores will also speak for themselves, it's about highlighting a problem and emphasising that more could be done to help.
    IMO The documentaries have both been balanced, sometimes too much, at the end of the day the documentary is attempting to safeguard the future of pedigree dogs and to do that
    harsh truths have to be faced and acknowledged so we can work towards a better future for the dogs.
    Please breeders leave your egos aside, like I said if your responsible your actions will speak for themselves. We all know that most reputable pedigree breeders are not irresponsible, but to give a dramatic example, that's like watching a crime documentary, then complaining "Once again this documentary has failed to highlight that we're not all criminals."
    The problem needs to be tackled, not diluted with 'we're not all like that'. Unless you were specifically named and shamed in the documentary or on the blog, you are not being tarred with the same brush.

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    1. The responsable breeders are making the mistake of seeing themselves as "show breeders" they then get upset at any critism of show dogs and end up defending the bad breeders in an attempt to defend themselves.

      The fact is there are only good breeders and bad breeders, wether you show your dogs or not does not come into it. A puppyfarmer could start entering their dogs in shows , would that suddenly make them acceptable ?

      If you health test your dogs and breed to ansure they are fit and healthy there is no reason to get upset.
      its the same with breeders in the USA opposing puppymill regulation because they are so paranoid that it may affect them ( if we ban puppymills next they will want to ban anyone owning a dog !) The bad guys with infulence in their breeds are very good at using the decent breeders to protect themselves

      Delete
    2. >Unless you were specifically named and shamed in the documentary or on the blog, you are not being tarred with the same brush.
      Tell that to the members of the public who abuse you in the street because your dogs are clearly not mongrels. The message was still put across that "show dogs are mutants and cripples" - no, it's the puppy farmed and BYB puppies that are far more likely to have health problems, and Jemima had an hour of opportunity to put that message across.

      However because neither programme has made any mention of hip-scoring, eye-testing, BAER testing, etc etc the public still has no idea of what to look for in a breeder.

      Delete
    3. I am not sure the puppy farm and BYB puppies are "far more likely to have health problems"...this does not seem to be the case in my breed (collies) here in the U.S. at least.

      Delete
  60. jo siemieniowski29 February 2012 12:14

    Once again Jemima it was a brilliant programme, and the interest that it has generated is still being talked about,i was disgusted about the boxer line that is still producing kidney damage in their offspring ! and pleased that these individuals have been named and shamed. I have just taken on another boxer, but not a puppy, he is from boxer rescue and is two yrs old, i know he will not be from this pair of individual as he is a white deaf boxer ! but my grandaughter has just perchashed a pug, and i will follow his welfare with great interest. Thank you so much for your continued battle with dogs welfare, one point that did come over is that its all about ££££££s and not health or welfare of these breeders who continue to breed these disabled dogs !!

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    1. >he is a white deaf boxer
      And therefore should be considered a disabled dog.

      Delete
  61. shame on you arrogant and small minded a£%@holes who come here on a witch hunt to slander responsible caring breeders.

    All about the £££££??? Are you kidding? The only flow of money for most of us is one way......and that is OUT THE DOOR!

    We do this because we love dogs! Don't lump all of us in the same boat, and certainly don't tell me I'm a bad person because I am a dog breeder.

    You have no idea....really.

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    1. They don't have any idea, because it's on the BBC it must be true is how they see it.
      But those of us with a brain can see right through it.

      Delete
    2. Annie Macfarlane29 February 2012 20:10

      Yeah...we've heard it all before.....watch the scenes again and tell us if you agree that dogs should endure such pain! We will then decide if you are reasonable breeders or dog lovers.

      Delete
    3. If they were enduring pain why for gods sake were they not at a vet being looked after. Sod the cameras surely the dogs should have come first you really know damn all annie macfarlane

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  62. I have been reading all these comments with interest and am disturbed by the dripping vitriol coming mainly from anonymous posters. They haven't even got the courage to sign off with their names so why should we consider anything they say to have any truth or relevance? Faceless and nameless are they one or are they many? If you want to be heard then stand up and be counted?

    Having said that I havent managed to work out yet how to create a named account for myself! I would be grateful for some direction as to how to do so, thank you. ValC

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    1. ValC,
      When you go to post, you have a Comment as: or Reply as: and then a scroll bar. I don't know what option is best for you . . . I use Google cause I actively use Google, know my passwords, etc. Play around with those options and I'll bet you come up with something that displays a name for you.
      I wish they'd remove the Anonymous option. It is used so much!

      Delete
  63. A few years ago I went on holiday in Cornwall in a holiday home barn conversion the farmer had converted for extra money, he took us on a tour of the farm and showed us the filthy kennel his workers were kept in his 3 bc's were terrible examples one was cow hocked partially sighted the other totally lame and the other we was told not to go by the mesh as he would have us. If this is what we should be aiming for then no thanks.

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  64. Congratulations to you and everyone else who worked on the film, Jemima. I watched it last night, and was glad to see that there was, in fact, some improvement. Unfortunately, there is still so much that needs to be done, and it's a shame that so many breeders are still in such deep denial.

    In reading these comments on your blog, it's not surprising to me that anyone who criticizes you doesn't have the hootzpah to do so with their identity attached. It makes whatever they are trying to say rather insignificant.

    The one breed that I still find so sad and wished there was more coverage on was the Neapolitan Mastiff. It is shameful what has happened to that breed.

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  65. it says a lot that there used to be black , black and white , liver etc cavalier king charles but the breeders removed those nasty genes from the genepool sharpish and I imagine anyone breeding and selling those colours now would be demonised by the rest of the fancy. But MVD & Sm have tortured generations of dogs for decades and nothing was done until it was too late.

    pity SM and MVD didnt cause the coat colour to change to one of those awful unacceptable colours or it would have been gone years ago

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  66. Anyone have the link to the petition to Channel 4 asking them to drop CRUFTS, starve this mutant show of oxygen and money and they will be forced to change.
    Of the many comments on here defending breeders not one has justified why a father is bred with his daughter/grandaughter.
    It's simply to try and clone what they deem to be a champion whack a hefty price tag on it and to hell with the suffering of the dog, the breed and the new dog owner that has purchased a money pit of vet bills and emotional stress.
    If inbreeding is justified why does every leading vet say it's wrong and perverse?
    Take the example of endangered animals, wildlife parks will fly animals across the world to breed to ensure a healthy genetic pool of animals with no mutations in an effort to preserve these creatures.
    I guess the difference is an endangered snow leopard is not for profit or 'beauty shows' but an effort to preserve a majestic animal that humanity has all but wiped out, a dog like a ridgeback is pure profit and we all heard what happens if ridgeback pups don't conform to breed show standards, they are wiped out.
    DISGUSTING

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    1. Jon if you have all the answers perhap syou can tell us just how many dogs are bred as close as you say, now the KC outlawed first degree matings quite sometime ago but to be honest in over 30 years of being involed in two breeds I have NEVER heard of anyone doing this and yes I do keep an eye on all litter bred here (the KCBRS reports all, but you would know that wouldnt you) total registration for those two breed approx 2,500 per year, so tell me what proof, figures doyou have to make this claim, dont call for action unless you have proof and proof does not mean just beacuse I saw it on a TV programme! As for you call to ban Crufts, tell me have you ever beento the show? no well let me send you a ticket and you might learn just what good these shows are doing and as for Channel4 scraping it broadcast, I think might find that the BBC would want it back at a drop of a hat and now regret loosing it.

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  67. The dogs are the ones that matter. Any person who truly loves dogs will know that everything Jemima does is to ease their suffering! So people that keep blabbing on about how it's not true and how there are some amazing breeders - yes there are but Jemima is helping to put a stop to pedigree dog's suffering. And frankly, if you don't like that you need to really get a life.

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  68. Thank you so much for making these films! It is good seeing this info getting out to the general public, that there are problems in these KCs and it needs to change!

    I do not understand some of the negative comments on here. It is a fact that purebred dogs have numerous health issues from a limited gene pool, line breeding, over breeding of 'top dogs', and the general lack of acknowledging the probem and not promoting health testing of dogs is ruining them.

    I understand people being upset about not talking about puppy farms, but this documentary is not about puppy farms. It is about the people in charge of the breed clubs turning a blind eye to the obvious issues in their beloved breeds.
    Maybe if she had a tv show with numerous episodes she could get into that, but she doesn't :)

    It is sad that it is to the point that to eliminate the issues in so many breeds, they would have to completely stop breeding them. That numerous breeds would go 'extinct' but this is a fact of dogs and history. That breeds without function, or that were unhealthy were not bred anymore.

    It is time that people put the health of their dogs first, and the "pureness" and looks last.

    That if the KCs wants to help their beloved breeds they could start looking into outcrossing. If all you care about is looks you can outcross a dog and get back to the original 'looks' in as little as 3 generations.

    Sorry people, but caring about 'purebreeds' is something that should have died out about 50 years ago...
    That in todays society we still care about blood lines and pureness is sad.

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    1. "I understand people being upset about not talking about puppy farms, but this documentary is not about puppy farms."
      The programmes were called "PEDIGREE Dogs Exposed" not "SHOW Dogs Exposed". By concentrating on such a small section of the subject matter, the public are steered inexorably towards the puppy farmer and backyard breeder.

      Delete
    2. Puppy Farms are only legal in Wales now, and they are strictly licensed due to a change in the breeding legislation several years ago. Granted its not fool proof or perfect, personally I think the farming of dogs for purely commercial gain is no longer acceptable in our society, but at least they are inspected regularly.

      There is absolutely no excuse for breeding from a dog with a known genetic disorder, especially when so much screening is now available. And I'm sorry but line-breeding, or in-breeding which is what it really is, should never be acceptable. It's basic biology that such close breeding will produce problems due to the narrowing of diversity in the gene pool. Why do you think conservation groups are always looking for new genetic material to help isolated or dwindling species? BASIC BIOLOGY - no excuse for it but blind vanity and greed.

      Delete
  69. Admittidly I dont know a lot about breeding but owning a dog with a hard to control case of epilepsy I think its disgusting the anyone would knowingly breed from a dog with a health problem, that goes for pedigrees, cross breeds, mongrels, any dog it just shouldnt be happening NO EXCUSES!

    Yes even with the best will in the world things can go wrong, but face up to it, IGNORING THE PROBLEM WILL NOT MAKE IT GO AWAY!!!

    For those respectable breeders out there that do put health first, well done, you should hold your head up high.

    I think anyone concerned about the health of dogs should be glad these problems are been highlighted, it is the only way to educate people, both breeders and owners, after all if not as many people wanted to buy these dogs there wouldnt be as much call for breeding them!

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  70. The fate of every dog breed is sealed when the stud book is closed, because this ultimately causes in inbreeding. Selection for specific traits, inbreeding, and the loss of genetic material inevitably result in inbreeding depression- loss of fertility, increased illness, shorter life, etc. This problem will NEVER be solved by more genetic testing. Restoring the genetic diversity of the gene pool is the only solution, and this can't be done with a closed stud book. Livestock breeders and wildlife biologists realized this years ago. The health problems of purebred dogs could be solved in a generation by outcrossing to dogs who have not been the object of generations of intensive selection. In a few generations of crosses back into the breed, the healthy offspring will be indistinguishable from the original "purebred" dogs. In fact, dog breeders CANNOT breed healthier dogs from an inbred population. Kennel cubs must open the stud books and breeders must be educated about genetics and realize that "purebred" has no biological meaning. This problem could be solved in a decade or less. The three things that can keep this from happening are ignorance, fear, and ego. (cb)

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    1. Yes, yes and yes.

      "Kennel cubs must open the stud books and breeders must be educated about genetics and realize that 'purebred' has no biological meaning."

      and YES.

      Delete
  71. I've noticed a lot of the people who are calling PDE on places like facebook dont actually test themselves ? they call themselves reputable breeders and say they only breed healthy dogs , but dont heart test , mri scan , check joints etc. seemingly their opinion that their dogs look ok is enough & simply the fact they show makes them better than backyard breeders ( even though anyone can pay to prance around a show ring)

    So come on , if you test boast about it! show us your dogs results and be proud to say you are not the kind of breeder being highlighted on PDE !

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  72. Congratulations on a great documentary once again Jemmima, highlighting a very serious topic. I'm a dog warden/animal welfare officer and what I don't understand is why none of these breeders who have been made aware of the fact that their dogs carry a genetic disorder, and continue to breed from them knowing this may pass to their offspring and therefore cause suffering, have not been prosecuted under section 3 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Maybe it'll just take one brave person to take them on.
    I also think the Breeding legislation in the UK is weak, impractical and unenforceable and until that changes we have no powers to deal with these people. Personally, I think anyone who breeds dogs should be licensed, that way breeders would be subject to annual inspections and everything would be above board.
    The Kennel Clubs breeders assurance scheme is just paperwork, they don't visit the premises where these dogs are being bred, or meet the breeders; and having a KC registered dog is no guarantee of quality these days, they're ten a penny.
    Give me a good mixed-gene mutt anyday, they're healthier and usually more full of character. There are 100's of 1000's of lovely dogs in rescue centres around the country that need homes, and if people do want a specific breed most breed societies have a rescue branch too. I for one am sick of speaking to people who want a certain type of dog just because its in fashion or they've seen a celebrity with it. Believe me people buy dogs like they buy shoes or the latest gadget nowadays, then dump them when they realise its a real, living animal that needs more than food, water and a diamante collar.
    Making the breeding laws stricter, make it more difficult to own a dog and then maybe, just maybe, those who are willing to adhere to the stricter laws will be the ones who really love dogs and will want the best for their health and welfare.

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    1. MissNikki says "The Kennel Clubs breeders assurance scheme is just paperwork, they don't visit the premises where these dogs are being bred" wellin fact they do but as a dog warden /animal welfare officer just how many of those home those poor rescue dogs have you checked? or is that not opart of your job liek thwe RSPCA who only want to publicise problems, and not sort them out, well they wouldnt get money or political power by doing that would they?

      Delete
    2. 'Puppy Farms are only legal in Wales now, and they are strictly licensed due to a change in the breeding legislation several years ago. Granted its not fool proof or perfect, personally I think the farming of dogs for purely commercial gain is no longer acceptable in our society, but at least they are inspected regularly.'

      Totally totally incorrect -what a naive statement.

      Delete
    3. Only 15 per cent of ABS breeders have been visited.

      Every rescue I know does a home-check before rehoming a dog. It's always astonished me that not all breeders do one before selling their pups.

      Jemima

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    4. Whether a breeder has ABS or not people will still go to a breeder if they want a certain breed. If, us, the purchasers of dogs were educated enough to know what questions to ask when looking for a new pup, with regard to health tests, mating lines etc.,and demand to see the backup paperwork, and if not happy walk away. Then breeders not doing all they can for their breed would have no buyers. I think then perhaps we would start to see an improvement.

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  73. Of all the animals in the world, dogs and horses have a special place in the evolution of mankind.

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  74. Well done, my breed the GSD has been ruined by the Show Ring but what can we expect when a business represents an animal, mans greed comes first. We should televise the FCI IPO world Championships not Crufts. I have not renewed my Kennel name with the KC as I do not wish to give them money while they put human interest first. Look at the build and top line of these GSD's in Germany 1936 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJhPWWwAyO8 they are healthier
    My dogs are not related and are working lines and if need be I will cross them with Dutch Herders. Working ability first.

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  75. I am of the opinion that if a breeder is KC Accredited or not that people will buy from a breeder if they are after a certain breed. It is the purchases that need to be educated (which I'm sure your programme helped with) to make sure that when approaching a breeder they ask all the right questions re: health tests, their mating lines etc and have the paperwork to prove it. If then the purchases did not have all his/her boxes ticked they should walk away. I am sure that breeders who are not doing all they can for their breed would soon do so if they had no buyers for their pups.

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