Friday, 16 March 2012

Get a grip

There are time when I feel like I've fallen into some strange parallel universe and today is one of them.

Six dogs fail a health check at Crufts and were not awarded Best of Breed as a result. More breeds pass than fail the vet check but no matter, the show world goes into meltdown.

Everyone knew the vet checks were happening and most approved of them in principle. Sure, maybe they haven't got them quite right yet but instead of this triggering some sensible discussion about how to improve them, there is uproar.

Five thousand people join a new Facebook site demanding retribution. Over 300 turn up at a meeting; new dog-something is formed; a reporter of the evening's proceedings describes the way in which the vet-checks were conducted "quite sickening and an utter disgrace" because...wait for it...one of the vets used a pen torch to look at the dogs' eyes.

Another (or perhaps the same) vet is accused of being rude to the owner and refusing to allow the Peke a drink of water after they had "rushed" from the ring to the examination room.

Now how likely - really - is that given how much scrutiny these poor vets were under?

On the other side of the Atlantic, too, there is hysteria. Just look at this blog:

"This is a very, very slippery slope and as dog fanciers, we’re standing at the edge of it. I keep thinking of Martin Niemoller’s quote which I’ve shortened and paraphrased to save space: When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent because I wasn’t a communist. When they came for the trade unionists, I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist. When they came for the Jews,I remained silent because I wasn’t a Jew. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out. Now substitute a breed in any of those sentences above: When they came for the American Staffordshire Terrier, I didn’t say anything because I didn’t own an Am Staff. When they came for the Peke, I didn’t say anything because I didn’t own a Peke. You see where this is going."


Come off it.


Even the president of the American Kennel Club, Dennis Sprung, has joined in the fray:

"... the AKC will NEVER allow any such practice to occur. Our Parent Clubs own their respective standard and we support them 100 percent. Furthermore a Judges' decision is final and we respect that as well. The situation is a very disappointing one here from the point of view of breeders, exhibitors and judges and fanciers from around the world. In summary while our PCs have a right to be upset and concerned I will never allow this wrongful practice in America. Never!!! Dennis"
That will be the AKC that has leeched over 70 per cent of its registrations in recent years, yes?


It's been brewing since Pedigree Dogs Exposed, of course - the rising tide of resentment that outsiders have dared turn their attention to dog showing and found that not all is well. And this week it boiled over into a protest that is just not going to wash with anyone outside of the dog world (and I hope with not that many within it).

And here's the nub of it. There are healthy pedigree dogs and there are sick ones. There are good breeders and bad breeders. But it's the self-serving, intellectually-wanting system that is sick to the core.

It's evident in the denial; in this bonkers over-reaction; in the loopy legal threats I have to endure every day because I dare post photos of dogs who are not right;  in the intimidation of those in their breeds who try to challenge the status quo; in the face-judging and the who-you-know backhanders;  in the shoving under the carpet diseases that are killing dogs, and in the baying for the blood of anyone who dares stand up and say things could be better.

Here is the resume of the meeting on the new Facebook site. Elsewhere on the site, they're already bitching about the name of the new organisation and its strapline.  And just look who they have advising them on the legal front - the solicitor who acted for serial killer Fred West and was subsequently suspended for a year for professional misconduct.

Way to go.


98 comments:

  1. Keep fighting the good fight, Jemima. Time for dog fanciers to start actually caring about DOGS, real, living, breathing (some albeit not well) animals, not just showpieces.

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    1. I have read the threads on this blog and on Exhibitors Choice, it seems to me that their aims are in no way different but the manner in which they are going about it are. The newly formed CA want openness and fairness and ALL dogs who are considered by a judge the best of their breed checking by the vet at a show. Health testing for the members of CA are a top priority and I wonder how you think that is bad! It was these people JH targetted not the puppy farmers so why are you so against them wanting improvements in the way the dogs are vetted? I sincerely hope that this group do move on to other matters when the vet check issue is resolved and do try to encourage the KC to stop registering dogs from puppy farms and will only register puppies from health tested parents. They are well intentioned and if you are true dog lovers you should support their efforts not criticise them before you see what they can achieve.

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  2. I've been reading the new Exhibitors Choice and Voice Facebook page, out of which the new Canine Alliance has been formed. Maybe reading between the lines, I wonder about some of the people leading this protest which is apparently just about the vet checks at Crufts. Do they have other anti KC agendas? And is this just a convenient front for a much broader assault on the KC by a few people who have had issues with the KC since long before this started ? While the majority of their supporters follow like sheep and donate money without really knowing what they are getting into, or where this is going. They would be better advised to sit back, watch and wait before jumping too quickly into something that could well turn into something rather dirtier than they thought. And why is Our Dogs staying so quiet? Some interesting things going on, and its not just about vet checks at Crufts!

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  3. I do not know whether to laugh or cry, these people are fighting desperately to avoid having to breed healthy dogs!

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    1. Where does it state they are avoiding breeding healthy dogs? From what I can read they are asking for a level playing field where all dogs are vet checked not just 15. Also read many comments about dogs being health checked before breeding.

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    2. Kicking and screaming like disgruntled children..quite plain to see.
      'Where does it state they are avoiding breeding healthy dogs?'
      By their very breeding practices that are encouraging unhealthy offspring..their actions are what is of issue..their vocal reaction is but fodder of denial..it's the re-activeness of guilt..a human thing..no one particularly enjoys being found at fault and it seems easier to deny via aggregation than to accept, rationalize and recourse for right and betterment.

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  4. "There are time when I feel like I've fallen into some strange parallel universe "

    Welcome to the bizarre world of dog showing.

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  5. Jemima, the huffing and puffing is classic "King Baby" syndrome where a narcissist demands to be treated like a king, and when he/she is not, they cry like a baby denied their bottle. Waaaaaaahhhhhh!

    Remember, dog shows are not really about dogs -- they are about people with a cloying need for ribbons who will spend massive sums of money and time in order to get some 50-cent piece of nylon made in a sweat shop in China. Each his own, of course, but let's be clear that dog shows are NOT about dogs but about human ego!

    What's transparent about all of this now, is that so many dog show folks appear to be TERRIFIED of people photographing their dogs at shows, or having their putative breeding stock actually evaluated for health.

    Proud of their dogs? Not at all!

    If dog owners and the Kennel Club are proud of these creations, then they should not FEAR the camera or veterinary evidence of success (or failure), but welcome it.

    The fact that they are NOT proud, however, tells you quite a lot -- it shows a certain level of mens rea or scienter -- the kind of thing a court might consider if animal abuse charges were ever filed against the Kennel Club or a dog breeder.

    And I think that may be coming. Let's be clear here, that what has gone on, and is going on with some breeds is institutionalized animal abuse leading to permanent pain and serious lifetime discomfort by some animals. If some hooligan stuffed caulk up the nose of his dog so it could not breathe, most people would be up in arms. But is intentionally breeding a dog so that it cannot draw a decent breath any different?

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    1. Goodness, that is the most generalized comment I've seen for a while.

      Yes, some people who show are in it just for themselves, and don't care about the welfare of their dogs, and continue to breed dogs that suffer due to poor health. But you seam to forget that there are also breeders who breed non-exaggerated health tested dogs and who put the health and welfare of their dogs first.

      Your tarring every person who breeds or shows dogs with the same brush.

      I, for one, ALWAYS put my dogs (and their health) first, before dog shows. Yes, I do own one of the 15, and yes my breed did pass the vet check (that does not mean to say that there are no problems at all in the breed and i'll fully admit that).I did go to Crufts this year and I did show, and I had absolutely no problem with people taking photo's of my dogs, certainly not "terrified".

      But It's not just me who thinks like that, there are so many people who put their dogs first, who are committed to breeding healthy dogs and it's just a small percent who don't and who make a bad name for everyone.

      Personally, I think the vet checks were a good idea but defiantly should be for ALL BOB winners, not just 15. Other dogs who did not happen to be one of the "high profile" breeds could have had any of the problems that would have failed it but would go through to the group unquestioned just because it was not one of 15 breeds.

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    2. "Your tarring every person who breeds or shows dogs with the same brush."

      Could easily be avoided if this level of outrage was expressed to those who breed and show successfully what to most people's eyes are obviously unhealthy dogs. By not doing so you actually support them.

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    3. People will only do as they want to do,no matter how much you express your opinion towards them. Typing such a sweeping statement actually makes you very small minded. Lets just say for instance that you drive a car, therefore you are countable for the drunk drivers. Happy with that?
      No amount of your expressed outrage at a drunk driver changes who the drunk driver is. Should you stop driving your car for fear of being tarred with the same brush?

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    4. "Could easily be avoided if this level of outrage was expressed to those who breed and show successfully what to most people's eyes are obviously unhealthy dogs"

      So, if a dog has passed various health checks and has certificates for eyes, hips, Neg VWd etc, if a photo shows them looking -in someones opinion - un-healthy then that person knows better than trained vets?

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    5. "most peoples eyes" have not a clue about dogs.. as for the ever pedantic if it don't dig it ain't a dog. Mr Burns.. No one is a bigger "King Baby" than he is..there will never be a "to each his own" for him.. if so he would stop ragging his old saw about dog shows..
      showing dogs is a hobby.. just like any hobby..
      instead of accusing dog show people of mens rea.. he should consider ipse dixit

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    6. Let's rephrase it as the industry as a whole then..where there are the goods with the bads..the good folks should be vehemently pissed at those others. Sorry to all you good folk involved in a overall 'suspect' club. I am all for separating the good show people from the 'not so good' people. Who you are and where you stand?..sort it out amoung yourselves and bring your industry into favorable light. Strip the human emotion factor away and do what is best for the dogs and breeds from a health perspective first..Use a simplified decision tree..if it's right proceed..if not, redirect.

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  6. I use to use a dog-version of that "When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out"-quote when talking about "dangerous breeds" being banned. But for this?

    We don't want the eradicate the BREEDS, only make people breed for a healthier version of the breeds! What is it people don't get?

    Makes me think of a video I saw about bulldog breeders on YouTube ("BCC News Report") where they say they are "absolutely devastated" because they are no longer allowed to breed exaggerated, diseased animals.

    They way they talk about it, you'd think their housed burned down with all their family members and dogs inside.
    "It would be the worst thing imaginable."
    But no, all it is, is that people want them to stop breeding unhealthy, exaggerated animals.

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  7. Wow, an emotion shared, that's how most of us breeders felt after watching PDE! All the care, time , money and effort we put into breeding healthy happy dogs trashed in one fell swoop by a one sided, bitter, attention seeking programme.

    You and the posters here seem to have overlooked the reason for the group and the newly formed alliance - the Crufts checks were simply the catalyst - the incredibly misguided and badly conducted regulation and the way it was carried through, The root cause being several years of ludicrous decisions and lack of leadership from the KC, accompanied by lies, non existent communication and complete failure to understand the feelings and wishes of the vast majority of those involved with dogs. We want the chance to demonstrate the health of our dogs, but we want the courtesy of knowing what the goal posts are and acknowledgment that our opinions and wishes count.

    We don't want to be told one thing, another to happen, and then the powers that be to issue little white lies (sometimes big ones) to justify their slip ups. Does it seem unreasonable to want to have some sort of system for dialogue with the ruling body of our
    sport (for want of a better word)?

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    1. Plenty of breeders were glad that the program got made. Good breeders have no reason to feel trashed by the program because it didn't trash them.

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    2. Well said Anonymous Mar 16, 2012 03:52 PM

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    3. name two

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    4. We can all see more than two what about the nine breeders whose dogs passed the vet inspection for example?

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    5. Anon asked: "Does it seem unreasonable to want to have some sort of system for dialogue with the ruling body of our sport (for want of a better word)?"

      No it doesn't seem at all unreasonable. And thank you for posting this because although aware that there are those disgruntled with the KC as regards the lack of transparency, fairness etc etc, I was not perhaps aware of the strength of feeling out there in this respect..

      If the EV+C group want to be taken seriously, however, it needs to find a way to discourage some of the comments being posted there. I understand that emotions are running high, but some of the comments - about vet Alison Skipper for instance - are a disgrace.

      There are some sensible suggestions and comments there too, of course, and they are good to see, but at the moment they're being swamped by a great deal of unpleasantness.

      There also needs to be real effort to convince sceptics that this group really is standing up for the health of pedigree dogs. Because from out here it doesn't look like that at all. Just saying that you want a level field (ie all BOBs health-tested) doesn't wash when you don't explicitly say that you welcome independent scrutiny and when you're carrying messages of support from the likes of Dennis Sprung saying vet checks would never be introduced in the US.

      Jemima





      The nastiness in the dog show world has become so normalised in some quarters that I don't think people are aware of just how bad it looks to outsiders.

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    6. I need to set the record straight regarding KC vet checks. Any organisation who sets their own rules must abide by them and the KC did not do so at Crufts. A summary of the aims of the new CA group are published elsewhere on this blog. It can be seem that the group fully supports health testing and is asking the KC to test ALL Best of breeds and yet you still criticise and doubt their commitment. Are you the only person or blog in the world that cares for dogs? Why can you not accept that there are breeders who have similar aims and want to improve the health of pedigree dogs? My family had PET dogs before I was born and I still own pedigree dogs who are healthy animals are you trying to deny my right to chose to own a pedigree dog from a reputable breeder who health tests their dogs, or are you trying to drive them away from breeding so that all that will remain are the puppy farms and back street breeders?

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    7. The problem is that many of these breeders think that their dogs are natural looking, healthy and don't suffer - they have been around for years. these breeds were bred to do a purpose and were relatively healthy, but because of fashion and breeders breeding to win and not for health reasons many breeds are becoming nothing less than circus freak show exhibits.
      if you stick your head above the parapet you get ostracised and called a traitor and think that if there is a fault in their line that you are personally criticising them.
      many so called champions only get their title due to cliques putting up each other even when the dog in question does not meet breed standard or has an obvious fault or health problem.

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  8. Why don't most dog breeders pay tax on the vast amount of money they make selling pups.
    Oh sorry most breeders will tell you they don't make money.
    They tend to say it costs them a lot to show their dogs.
    That is a hobby.
    My hobby costs me money.
    Healthy dogs are what Joe public as most of the dog breeders call us want.
    Assured breeders scheme is a laugh.How many premises get checked by the kennel club.
    Keep up the good work Jemima.

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    1. Now this I just have to reply to, A dog of any breed costs money, you purchase said dog, at the correct age you take said dog to have it's health checks done, sometimes costing £100's, you then pay a stud fee to use a suitable and health checked male. Travel costs to and from etc. The care involved through pregnancy, vets visits, IF the bitch needs a C section, sometimes costing way into the £1000 mark. Extra heating, anything needed for new born puppies, they may need to be bottle fed etc. These pups then need weaning, a good breeder can spend £100's weaning puppies correctly! Vet checks for puppies, a good breeder also pays for letters as confirmation of these vet checks for puppy buyers. KC reg fee's, injections, microchips, the list really is endless. Some actually keep records for the Tax man!!!!!
      So you tell me what money is made IF WE ARE TALKING ABOUT A REPUTABLE BREEDER?????

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    2. you have to make over 75k to pay VAT

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  9. are you going after the American Kennel club Jemima or is it just English dogs your trying to help

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    1. Oh yes, Jemima, come for the AKC. I would love to see you try that. I think though we in the States would want to know your credentials first and what qualifies you to speak on any dogs health.

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    2. Ha! Because those of us in the good ol' USA are so much more sophisticated? Please! This issue has been bubbling under the surface for decades - the Atlantic Monthly had a scathing critique of the AKC in the 90's. Meanwhile the AKC is becoming less and less relevant. It could use some shaking up.

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  10. I have known a UK breeder who put a dog she knew to have a late-onset dominant, deadly problem out for stud.

    She still sits on the health committee of that particular breed club and pays lip service to healthy dogs.

    This KC decision is refreshingly different from what the breed club (or, rather, the breeders' club) does.

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  11. Oh gosh! Imagine the breeder distress at not having had the vets only lightly scrutinise the dogs in show ring alongside the judges, as obviously many had hoped and apparently even expected -- assuming all would pass a meaningless exam. The horror of finding they actually instead acted like proper vets and EXAMINED THE DOGS CAREFULLY!! Using a terrible 'instrument' such as a small torch -- the same thing vets and doctors regularly use for a basic eye exam.

    What an utter shocker for these people then to find sometimes vets do not agree with how judges interpret good health in 15 forlorn, damaged breeds that internationally feature on 'serious problem' lists.

    I have watched breeders do exactly as Rathunter says -- fight for their right NOT to breed healthy dogs and not have anyone take a close and proper look at their sloppy, dog-damaging breeding practice -- for way too long. Time to do something for the dogs and truly good breeders, not for these trophy-hunters and puppy-sellers that bully decent breeders for daring to try and make health, real health, a focus.

    This new organisation may be laughable (and what fun it would have been to have watched 300 breeders furiously twisting their knickers at that meeting, but it IS perfect, just perfect and I personally am delighted to see it there. What an own goal!! Wonderful to see breeders out themselves on Facebook by name! That these people are so self absorbed to see they have publicly announced they are against dog health...! It will make a general public campaign FOR THE DOGS, for legislation to make these people do something for these and other breeds and breed responsibly, a million times easier.

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    1. Have you read any of the conversations being discussed by this new organisation???? I think you will see that they are in agreement of vet checks, breeding healthy dogs as long as it is on a level playing field. Not just toward 15 breeds but for ALL breeds!

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    2. the agreement was that the vets would only look at the dog the same way a judge would..isn't that correct Jemima?

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    3. for legislation to make these people do something for these and other breeds and breed responsibly, a million times easier.

      yes because "legislation" has worked so well for all of you in the UK can I mention the DDA.. working oh so well..DUHHHHHHHHH

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  12. I'm just a pet owner, although I do think the KC targeted the wrong people for health testing. As far as I can see its the puppy farmers and back yard breeders that breed the majority of unhealthy dogs, yet the KC let anyone register their litters. Health testing should be mandatory prior to mating, on both parents, and only those resulting pups are permitted for KC registration. Simple problem solved, more assurance for the buyer and discouragement for bad breeders !

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    1. I have to agree with this one, the KC need to step up and sort this in a fair way. They made their own rules, they register the millions of puppies produced by the puppy farmers. Stop thinking of your bank balance KC and unless health tested ( relevant for that breed ) DO NOT REGISTER THE OFF SPRING

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    2. I have owned 30 dogs of a particular breed all show bred ( there are not many non show breeders in this breed) and only one of them was from health tested parents ( and they ignored the results when it suited them)

      When i was a child I admired the Top show breeders , I wanted to breed and show dogs , how romantic !
      But over the years i've seen their true colours, selling sick dogs ,lying, keeping their dogs in bad conditions ( though a few of the champions would be spruced up and placed on the sofa for visitors)

      It is not PDE or animals rights groups that have turned me against the show scene , It is the breeders themselves and the fact they pretend to be the best and others defend their actions no matter how awful just incase that person judges their dogs one day or they need a stud.

      At least the puppyfarmers are what they are.

      If you buy a sick dog from a puppyfarm breeders will be calling for their blood , If you buy a sick dog from a top breeder you will be called a liar and threatened.

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    3. Well why if the breed and breeders were so bad did you go on to buy 30?? that makes you as bad as the one who did not health test the dam and sire as surely by about number 10 of your terribly sickly breed you would of learnt your leason surely?

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  13. To counter the Nazi analogy...I just finished reading the novel "The Help," and as I was reading, it all seemed so familiar somehow...I finally realized that the reaction of many in the show community to all that is going on with PDE, the Crufts vet checks, etc. has quite a bit in common with the reaction of the white folks in the Southern U.S. when black people began to demand equal rights. I guess it's hard when you've done things your way and flown under the radar for a long time, and then you are suddenly exposed and judged for what you have been doing, and for how unjust it is, and for how it has hurt others. Change is not going to come easily--they are going to fight it every step of the way, but it is coming regardless. In large part thanks to Jemima's efforts!!

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    1. Stop comparing this to racism! A breed and race are two totally different things.

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    2. Not my point. I'm just saying the similarities are there...a group of folks has been in charge and done things their way, another group has suffered for it, the first group did not care about the suffering of the second group, and now they have been exposed and things are changing. Except in this case the group that is suffering happens to be canines rather than people... :(

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    3. David Bolton (St Helier Jersey)18 March 2012 14:50

      Jemima loves using the Nazi analogy, remember her lie that the KC wad formed out of the Eugenics movement.
      Difficult since the KC was formed in 1873 and the Eugenics movement formed at the start of the 20th century.
      Is it not a fact Jemima that you have a thing about Nazis.
      After all your grandmother was a Nazi collaborator in the Channel Islands during the second world war. We have a name for people like that (and their families) "Jerrybags". So Jemima Jerrybags have you the mettle to publish this post.

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    4. Satisfied David Bolton? Half my extended family were wiped out by the Nazis in Lodz, Poland, and the analogies that "pure bred dogs" with pure bloodlines and the breeders desire to keep them pure is Naziesque policy has merit in my eyes. Wouldn't want any of those mongrel jews contaminating the aryan race or any mongrel dog contaminating the bloodline of my pedigree aristocrat would we? Ha!

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  14. Jemima, I challenge you to PROVE that any of the dogs in the pictures you have put here are un-healthy. Anyone can take a picture of a dog and then make any claim they want. Back YOUR claims up with PROOF.

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  15. Sarah Villiers17 March 2012 01:33

    You have such good intentions, but instead of gaining support from within showing, you alienate the many excellent breeders who also show their dogs. Were the vets really independent? I did hear that two of the vet exams took over 15 minutes each which seems very harsh if a dog was not allowed to take a drink for that time. There is as much hot air from your 'side' as there is from theirs. The post above 04.29 has the right idea, and apparently the meeting was in favour of mandatory health tests. It is not what was done but the way it was done which seems to have triggered the issue. Whichever way it turns out, no-one in showing or breeding of any value will listen to you when you discredit yourself by referring to the solicitor's work. Very unnecessary in a discussion about dogs?

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    1. A healthy dog should be able to last 15 minutes without a drink !

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    2. re the above comment, the dog in question had just done several laps round the ring & had to stand for photos.....then was rushed away & had to walk some distance for the vet examination so well over 15 minutes infact.

      if this is about the health of dogs....it's abit of a contradiction that a dog is refused the basic right...water!!!!

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    3. Are you actually stating that is too much to ask that a healthy dog of any breed should be able to make several laps in the ring, pose for photos and walk some distance to a vet examination, without having a drink of water? I daresay the whole process took more that 15 minutes, but we are not really talking about several hours without water in extremely hot conditions, are we?

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    4. I've just been out for two hours walking with my dog and he still hasnt had a drink.

      Do they provide water while the dogs are waiting for ages in large classes ?

      I am not surprised it was the peke that needed the water. it was probably gasping and the owner tried to cover it by saying it was thirsty. I very much doubt it walked to the vet exam either

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    5. There was no mad pressure to race from ring to exam room. The bloodhound BOB handler stopped and talked to people for at least five minutes before she went off for the vet check. If the Peke was in so much need of a drink after "several laps in the ring and posing for photos", they could have gone via the benches for a drink.

      Jemima

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    6. Again NOT TRUE Jemima, I watched the shar-pei BOB, he even missed the photos as he was ushered out of the ring and had to run from the ring for a vet check not able to stop and then run straight to the group, please stop posting untruths.

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    7. That may have happened with the Shar-pei but it did not happen with the Bloodhound.

      The dog was handled by Sue Emrys-Jones and she chatted with a couple of different people after the dog won - including the news editor of Dog World - before she headed off to the vet exam.

      It sounds like the haste in the case of the Shar-pei may have been to make the Group in time.

      Jemima

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  16. And what about the good breeders? off to the gallows with them too? Is it the end of dog breeding you want full stop?

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  17. Anyone want to bet on how long it's going to take the KC to cancel the whole vet check nonsense? I'm thinking it will be less than 60 days. Sure hope there weren't any vets planning on retiring from the profits of this LOL

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    1. the vets were not remunerated, afaik

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  18. Is that mumbo jumbo meant to represent the minutes of the meeting? Rumour, speculation and no clear agenda. "Deeply flawed", let them argue that one with the BVA.

    The more this tiny proportion of the dog world continues to resist change and acknowledge problems, the more the likelihood that legislation is implemented.

    H

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  19. http://time4dogs.blogspot.com/2012/03/crufts-no-good-deed-goes-unpunished.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Time4Dogs+%28Time+4+Dogs%29

    wow ..

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  20. What good is a brief exam by a general vet going to do? Most genetic diseases are not so easily seen. How many defective hearts is this going to rule out? Did they have a vet there who can BAER test for deaf dogs? What if a vet gets in there who has an agenda against ALL purebred dogs no matter how healthy or not they are. It shouldn't be all Best of Breed dogs either - how about a detailed exam for each dog tailored to its breed? This was only about the KC trying to pacify the squeaky wheels. None of you screaming about how horrible purebreds are ever listen to us when we try to tell you HOW a lot of us are health testing and culling and making healthier dogs. Not everybody wants a crossbred or a mixed breed dog.

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  21. That is some list of demands by the Exhibitors Choice and Voice! And not one word about what they want to do to help their dogs live better lives.
    However, I do like the idea that they are singling themselves off from and in opposition to the main stream of the The Kennel Club. That is a good place for them to be.

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  22. I've never been tempted to add to this blog before but this thread has made me do it. I feel I'm sort of watching both sides from the sidelines. I don't breed dogs but have shown a few dogs in a small way for a very long time and am also involved in rescue. Of course there are, and have always been, the big egotistical breeders, those who are in it for money etc., but on the whole those I have met are nothing like the stereotype of the people the more rabid of the anti showing lobby portray. Being a member of the facebook group I've also watched the various various threads where some are arguing points. That happens when something new is formed and is'nt exactly surprising. The point you seem to be missing is that most are happy to accept health checks and many actually call for the KC to tighten up on the criteria for registration and AB status. But the KC went about it the wrong way in their usual fashion. This new group is being portrayed here as a bunch of reactionaries who are trying to stop attempts by the KC to improve things when it's actually the opposite. The KC need to be held to account and this could be a chance to do it. I don't own a breed which suffers from exaggeration or a long list of hereditary faults and hold no brief for those who continue to breed animals with the same, but I do wish we could get away from the continual carping about dog shows and get down to the real issue of the breeding including the hundreds of thousands of puppies bred by those who would'nt know a breed standard if they saw it and who have'nt even heard of health checks. It would be so nice if we could all pull together, but sadly it seems not. Very sad, but while this sort of stuff is written the gulf will remain.

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  23. These breeders are fighting to be allowed to breed unhealthy dogs - The statement made that none of the vets had advanced ophthalmology qualifications is stupid t say the least. Any general vet requires enough knowledge to know if your dog needs to be referred to a specialist in the first place and should referral be required take appropriate action to refer you (I speak from experience). This works in much the same way as your GP referring you to a specialist for a given condition.
    Furthermore what is the problem with an eye exam or any other exam if your dog is healthy?

    I note the 1st thing they want to do is stop all vet checks for the 15 high profile breeds why is that I wonder? Suspicious to say the least. I agree that you may want to introduce vet checks for all breeds and personally have no issue at all with it.

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    1. I am a 100% behind this post! If one breed has to be checked, then they all should. Its only fair.

      Delete
    2. Ah anaoymous, I see you are a secret member of the Canine Alliance. Thats is what they are calling for and they will probably get it which will be total overkill. Dorethea gets it below; Its not about health checks is about extreme characteristics that impair the dog. Most breeds have no problem with this but now tha CA will put pressure occross all breeds. Be careful what you wish for.

      Carol

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    3. No Carol I am not a member of the Canine alliance at all. I in no way support it.
      I simply want what you appear to want which is a healthy dog that has a normal life expectancy and does not have exaggerated features.
      If vet checks for all breeds are required in order to achieve health checks or the 15 breeds which are already affected, so that the alliance cannot claim victimisation then so be it.
      Also health checks now in those breeds which are currently not part of the 15 high profile breeds may prevent future problems?

      Delete
  24. I have just re-read the initial aims of the CA and can't for the life of me see why they have provoked such a negative response. I'm also still puzzling the obsession with equating dog shows with everything negative with pedigree dogs. It could even be these days those who simply show rather than also breed dogs are in the ascendancy if you take showing at all levels. Please lets concentrate on the actual breeding of unhealthy dogs by everyone who does it rather than stooping to the level of 'Nazi' taunts.

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  25. So health testing is too expensive but they can afford to travel to this meeting and donate all that money.

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  26. Am I right in thinking that all the KC would have to do to please everyone would be to a) declare this year's show a shambles and strip all winners of awards and titles across all breeds null and void because, as argued here, all breeds should have been vet checked, and b) institute a requirement for vet checks for all dogs for any KC shows in the future? And finally c) progress the discussion with breeders, geneticists and vets regarding which breed standard requirements are causing suffering and adjust them accordingly?

    It sounds good to me.

    Maggie

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  27. A query specific to the disqualified Clumber. This bitch had passed all the necessary health tests for the breed as well as a working test and appears to be an athletic and non exaggerated example of the breed. As she failed a vet check at Crufts should she not be bred from? Is she not the type of non exaggerated dog that is the very sort that should be used to eventually get away from the overdone, lumbering dogs with bad hips we've seen in the past? Or is the aim that this minority breed should just die out? Puzzling.

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  28. You make such a generalisation of all show breeders...you forget to mention that most of the DNA health tests are done by 'show breeders'

    In my breed, show breeders actually funded the research on a new DNA health test.

    All that is being asked for is a FAIR system, a 20 minute examination is ridiculous & instruments should not have been used when advised the vet would examine the dog as a judge would.

    Why not try tackling the puppy farmers who are constantly breeding dogs with health defects, with their dogs kept in appauling conditions.....instead you tackle show breeders, who have the health & welfare of their dogs as priority and spend their lives trying to improve their particular breed.

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    1. remember that judge about 10 years ago that had dead dogs laying around her house and they where kept in their own filth.

      Of course she was a top judge so everyone said it wasnt her fault , things had just gotten on top of her.
      if she had been breeding outside of the show world she would have been hung ,drawn and quartered instead of welcomed back with open arms

      Delete
  29. Firstly, health testing is not too expensive.......most( I won't say all as I can't back it up) show breeders do it! Hips, eyes, elbows etc, whatever it takes to try and breed healthy dogs. At the beginning of the meeting on thursday evening there was a show of hands to show who was committed to breeding healthy dogs, not one hand stayed down! There was even a mention for PDE, realising that the programme made some valid points that made us sit up and take notice. The majority of people who attended the meeting thought that in PRINCIPLE vet checks were a good idea but the way it was carried out was a complete and utter shambles that has left the kennel club wide open to litigation. When this was pointed out to TKC on the first day they wouldn't even look at finding a solution! The breeders at the meeting objected most strongly to the 'hit list' of 15 breeds and general feeling was that blanket vet checks would be fairer! This group came together so that we could have a voice that TKC would listen to! There was talk if an MOT for all show and breeding digs so that puppies could only be registered with a stamped vet cert! Surely this is a group you should be getting behind instead of slating! It's early days yet and there is lots to sort out but surely you can see that this is a positive step?

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    1. Is anyone going to keep their hands down when asked that question?

      Totally meaningless question to ask in the first place.

      Delete
  30. I breed and show my dogs and I applaud the KC for introducing health checks, OK they didnt get it right at Crufts (should have been all breeds!) BUT they have tried and with some tweeking the system will be improved. I have read the FB site and I like MANY OTHERS joined it NOT to agree with it but just to READ it!! Isn't it ironic that Jemima's comment at the top of this states that the KC has done something positive etc and yet IT IS EXHIBITORS who are now jumping up and down at the poor KC!! I'm sure the vast majority of 'show' people of the 15 breeds have healthy dogs BUT it's the idiots all around the country who breed for MONEY that are the problem. 'Oh I have a pedigree bitch, lets have puppies!' NO KC registration, NO health checks, NO pedigree's etc etc but lets still charge ££££+++ for them!! Board outside a house near me...Pugs £850!! and not a KC registration to be seen! THIS is what the KC and Government should be cracking down on!! and dont start me on Labradoodles...King-Jacks....Chugs... DREADFUL

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  31. I am a Breeder and I show my dogs, I hip & elbow Score all my Dogs, Eye tests and Heart Test. ( I was the first in my breed to do this ) I have NEVER Culled a Puppy that doesnt meet a standard. Every animal deserves and has a right to live. Not all show people are Bad , my dogs are pets first, show dogs second. All my puppies come with a life guarantee, no exceptions. I have no problem what so ever in having any of my dogs checked at shows as long as the vets are specialists in their field or a specialist is there if questions arise. But this should be straight across the Board for all even the puppy farmers should be doing this. We all want healthy , happy dogs. I have watched Pedigree Dogs exposed and I truely Believe that the Ridge Back breeder who culls puppies with no Ridge should be banned for life for ever Owning, showing or Breeding Dogs along with the Cavalier Owner. Such cruelty should not be tollerated under any circumstance ! I have absolutely nothing against Jemima because with that programme she unearthed something that was being hidden by the Powers that be for a Long Time.There is too many bad breeders out there that are giving the good ones a really bad name ! There is a breeder in Saint Bernard's in the UK who is knowily breeding from Epileptic Dogs, she doesnt Care. So many were put done of course after one female had reared her puppies ! and yet she buys and breeds from another one with none epilepsy in his pedigree producing more Epileptic puppies. One of the puppy owners has put videos up on facebook of one of these puppies taking epileptic fits and to make it worse all her siblings are in the showring and will be bred from. The father of these puppies has been sent to Ireland ! These are the people that should be targeted

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  32. Initially I applauded the Kennel club at what seemed to be a very brave decision. But a few things about this issue keep nagging me and I am now more of the opinion that this was more a publicity stunt that a proactive way of influencing health.

    For starters it would appear that both the bulldogge and the pekingese were disqualified due to a scar in the eye, but this wasn't made clear to the viewers on tv or even in the kc's press release. So most people probably assumed that these flat faced dogs suffered from breathing issues. Putting myself in the owners' shoes thats sad, because if these animals were otherwise fit and healthy, and their disqualification was based on something that didn't actually impact their welfare, then the Kennel club commited a disservice.

    It doesn't seem like there was any recourse for the owners of the dogs to challenge the single vet's viewpoint....again putting myself in their shoes that must have been very frustrating. When I moved to a new area I shopped around at several vet surgeries until I found someone I could relate to and felt comfortable with.

    And the bigger picture: is testing one dog of each breed really making an impact on health? what about the bigger end of the wedge who remain unaccountable? surely focusing on the winners after they are declared is only being used to heighten the drama?

    and if the dogs are too unhealthy to be exhibited in their group then why do they get to retain their cc win?

    Some sort of national health exam for all dogs prior to breeding or showing might be the answer. Only then will the people outside the box of the show world be made to answer up.

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    1. The checks were not put in place to test health.

      The vet checks whether the extreme characteristics prevalent in the fifteen breeds impair ther quality of life.

      There is a difference.

      Not all pedigree dogs are extreme.

      Delete
    2. Pupaganda, you seem to be well informed. Have you seen the Vet reports for any of the disqualified dogs? The only one I have seen is that of the clumber which was published on the internet. In that case the owner seemed to be in denial of what exactly was said by the vet. I am rather suspiscious of the rteasons that are being put forward of why the dogs were disqualified, when we dont have any evidence to support it.

      My point is that if an owner is in denial when the certificate is there for us all to see, what chance is there that the other owners are being totally honest when they are not producing the certificates as evidence.

      I am not saying that the owners should be forced to produce the certificates, the health check was, as I understand it, a condidential matter between the vet and the exhibitor, But any speculation as to why the dogs failed, without any evidenece to support it is, in my opinion, pointless!

      Delete
  33. Margaret Carter17 March 2012 14:31

    I always think of it as an Alice in Wonderland World. There is no way of understanding it at all.

    What we really have here is a lot of show breeders defending their right to breed as they please without regards to the welfare implications to the dogs.

    Some standards were tightened up after PDE1. The only trouble is that judges & exhibitors took little notice of the change & still went on breeding the same exaggerated dogs.
    Hence the dismay shown by Professor Sheila Crispin & Professor Bateson in PDE2 when shown the picture of the bulldog that was still winning so well.

    Judges of the fifteen 'at risk' breeds picked their Best of Breed at Crufts. They would have been, in that Judge's opinion, the dog that best measured up to the Standard of that breed.
    The Judge could have withheld the Challenge Certificates if they felt the dog and/or bitch were not of sufficient quality but that did not happen here.

    An independent Vet examined those dogs and found some of them had visible health issues. The vet was not looking at type as defined by the standard of that breed but at a completely different issue, the health & the welfare of that animal.

    The conclusion to most clear thinking people has to be that there is something very wrong in a system where the blueprint of the breed allows features that cause pain or discomfort.

    The KC is very much to be congratulated for taking this step. I hope they stand fast on this, and I suspect they will, because this has become a very public issue. After PDE2 the calls for legislation have increased and they need to show they can & will get breeders to self-regulate and put the welfare of their dogs first.

    These leading Canine Alliance members are dyed-in-the-wool show people who realise that health monitoring is something that will become increasingly common and they see that as a threat to their 'sport.

    There has been all sorts of threats of leaving the KC, starting new registries, joining the FCI.

    These protestors are among the most competitive in the Dog community. The Kennel Club has the monopoly on all competitive dog shows. The showing season is about to start and are these top handlers, breeders and judges really going to give up their weekly fix of exhibiting their dogs, walk away from the Champion Certificates on offer, stop registering their litters with the Kennel Club? I somehow doubt it.

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  34. The show scene has never stopped Margaret. No one imo is trying to stop health first just the way it was done is infuriating. As for your link re a Canine Alliance Member--you sure are showing your journalistic antics now. How low can you go--seems to me to the lowest

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  35. Its interesting, Jemima how you position is shifting. You start by attacking this group amd particularaly one member of its steering committee when you know enough about the others to critise them too; perhaps that will come later, yet a little later at Mar 17, 2012 03:24 AM, (perhaps impressed by how quick the group is growing), you start to backtrack a little. Is this becasue you find your agenda, (attacking the Kennel Club and the show world), a little difficult to follow. You clearly dont know which way to go with this current issue do you?; on the one hand you have breeders at odds with the KC and on the other the KC (the evil empire) that seems to be advocating change. You really dont know which way to jump do you? It will be interseting to watch you shift on this one. One of your problems is that as a campainger you have to work in black and white and cannot accept that there are many shades of grey.

    Carol

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  36. This group cannot survive away from the KC. Just look at the GSD crowd that tried to do it. They have a few of their own shows, but they are rapidly losing attendance, and most of them still attend the KC shows. It just didn't work.

    They too didn't want the KC to influence the exaggerations they choose to breed to, being the german roachy, sloppy hocked monstrosities. They too wanted to free to breed their own distorted version of the GSD.The KC judges unfortunately are still rewarding the slightly less exaggerated versions that still show at the KC.

    Things need to change. This new alliance should work with the KC, but must be committed to change, and not just try and get things back to how they were. They have some very bad apples in there who want to continue to breed exaggerations and diseased lines. I DO agree that the KC could make this all work by implementing mandatory health tests for registration and a complete DEFINITIVE rewrite of breed standards, not the wishy washy attempt at them they made last time. Time to get the big guns out and mean it.

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  37. To the outside world, this will be seen as the show fancy protesting against breed health and providing further proof that it is not capable of self regulation and that strong outside regulatory intervention is desperately needed. Is it too much to ask to put egos aside for one year to favour a new system that ultimately will help breeds to a healthier place? If they want to go outside the KC, let them go and marginalise themselves into 'self destruction land' and leave the scene clear for others to come forward with much healthier versions of the breed.

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  38. I think I've entered a parallel universe where a statement that asks that, if health checks are to take place, they cover all breeds and are done in transparent manner, is taken as 'we don't want health tests'! The KC got it wrong - it was more to do with PR than anything else. If it's going to be done do it properly and fairly, that's all.

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  39. My congratulations to Jemima, who started this witch hunt. How many of the 15 singled-out breeds were featured on her first show? Call PETA, they will probably do something in your honor.

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  40. This is actually quite interesting. I hope these people don't get the idea to come to Sweden for shows because we have every dog checked before you even enter the arena. Every dog. Every time. Last time i showed my Small Münsterlander they even tried out his coughing-reflexes in the vet-check. How often do you do that in the UK? ;)
    We have some road to go here in Sweden too, but at least we're trying. As we speak there are some crosses beeing made in some of our native dogs with small genepools, like the Smålands- and gotlandsstövare. I think they did the outdrossing with Hamiltons or Finnstövare, but I'm not sure. There sure is a lot to think about...

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    1. How many average in a class Ellen ? How many vets ? How long does it take ?

      Delete
  41. For example, Stockholm dogshow has about 8000 entries a normal year. Ransäter had around 12000 entries if I'm not mistaken. It takes about 2-3 min per dog (eyes, skin, teeth, anal glands and over all fitness is checked), and you have to pass the vet-check before the judging starts (usually located by the entries where you show your vaccination card). My breed is a small one, so there is on average about 10-20 individuals on bigger shows. But take a breed like saluki - usually there is about 100-150 individuals entering. You can go and see for yourself at this page for example (it's for last years Stockholm dogshow): http://www.skk.se/Global/Dokument/Utstallning/Stockholm-hundmassa/2011/PM-2011.pdf Scroll down to page 8 for information in english.

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    1. Having looked at this I cannot find the cost per entry for a dog. I have found everything else.Are your vets paid for doing these checks?

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    2. The cost depends om the age of the dog in question and when you enter, but the cost per dog is about 250-420 SEK. Yes, the vets get paid - although it isn't much - for doing the checks.

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  42. There is about ten vets in duty during a bigger show that does the checks at the entrances.

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  43. We even took some actions last year and started working on highlighting the most extreme breeds with cues that judges should be aware of isn't sound in some breeds. It's called SRD in Sweden. We are also hosting a health conference this spring in Stockholm: http://www.skk.se/in-english/dog-health-workshop-2012/

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  44. At the alliance meeting puppy farming and backstreet breeders were discussed as anyone in dog breeding knows a high proportion of health problems are caused by these people. Unfortunately these have esculated due to the statements by the RSPCA and JH, along with the KC also refusing in many cases to acknowledging their existance. Yes there are problems with some of the show dogs, however there are far more from these breeders who have increased significantly since the PDE program. Only yesterday I met a puppy Shar Pei which the owners had paid £850 for, I do not know what the going rate is for one from a reputable breeder, this had been bought off the internet, was extremely wrinkly and had already had its eyes tacked, it was not from any recognised breeder, but someone who constantly has puppies. I also met last week who was advised, yes advised not to buy a pedigree puppy, she now has a designer breed who was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia in 6mths and also has eye problems from the other side of the breed. This person has paid far in excess of what would have been paid for a pedigree with all the health tests a good breeder and yes the dreaded word a breeder who shows would have had done. How many times do you phone about and litter ask if they have had the tests required or recommended for that breed to be told Oh its only for the pet market.

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  45. I say let them go their own way, let them breed their dogs until they're far to genetically compromised to do so. I know i wouldn't touch a puppy with a barge pole from any "breeder" who claims to be a part of this new alliance as any breeder who doesn't have their dogs health & welfare at the forefront of their mind is not someone i want to be supporting!

    As for the AKC, i think they have far more issues than us. That Rough Collie winner who was the result of a merle to merle breeding was appalling.

    Also, to the anonymous person who posted at 1.22am about how the alliance discussed puppy farming and BYB's, i'm intrigued to know what you think you could accomplish on that front? Keep blaming that side of breeding and ignore what you're doing to your own dogs i guess? Also according to champdogs the going rate for a Shar Pei is about £850 so i'm sure the people you met were not conned in any way.

    I'm aways amazed at how many people claim to have seen an increase in designer dog litters advertised and/or BYB's advertising dogs since PDE. I've not seen any increase ( and i spend a great deal of time trawling through online puppy sites as a kind of hobby ). Designer dog breeds were popular before 2008 and BYB's have been an issue for many, many years and will always continue to be.

    Louise.

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  46. Why can you people, including you Louise, get your facts straight and correct before you open your moths? Were you at the birth of the canine Alliance? If so you sadly misunderstood the intentions or, which is probably the case, you are just making assumptions. For those genuinely interested in knowing some of the early proposals of the Canine Alliance, they will be published in Dog World this week (Thursday usually, order through your Newsagent)

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  47. Jeebus. If I could collect £4,500 on the door for an event I could forget the kennel bill for a few months, not have to destroy a couple of giant dogs with expensive health problems, spend some more time with the abandoned instead of scraping about fundraising - I want a "new dog - something"!

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  48. In reply to Louise, I agree designer dogs were around before 2008, they have however esculated since with even more bizarre crosses, and even more health problems I can assure you. Not sure what websites you are looking on but one I have followed for many many years has gone from advertising about 2000 dogs daily to over 4000, although it is dropping off a little recently as people are realising that money is not around like it was and the first thing to go is the dog or cat. Most of the adverts are are cross breeds/designer dogs, or the poor old staffie, many under a year seeking new homes. The rescue centres are inundated with them, many with health problems and certainly temperament problems, as the owners are finding they do not have none shedding coats, the kids are allergic to them and so on and so forth. As for the Shar Pei it was purchased from someone I know of, is a prolific breeder with little or no knowledge of the breed but who always has litters, many are ending up in rescue, again I can assure you. My checking of the sites is not a hobby but an almost daily chore, it appears no one is policing these sites to ensure the many false claims. Many of the real puppy farmers who have been around years now have fancy websites which are enabling them to carry on their lucrutive trade but many have changed to designer dogs also,they are easy enough to spot as they use the same terminology that was stated, healthy because they are cross breeds, no close relatives, but do they know what is behind these or even what health checks are applicable to the breeds they are crossing, phone and find out, they will not have a clue.

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  49. Can I just add that it is all well and good both sides of the fence suggesting that only health tested dogs be bred from/progeny registered/shown, however, having read an awful lot of comments about this recently I haven't come across one comment suggesting that simply health testing is not enough! Surely if we are going to make the effort to health test then we should be doing so so that only the healthiest examples are bred from? This in itself is also a problem though, because any breeder who has thought of this has also come to the realisation that in doing this we would be narrowing most gene pools to extremely low levels possibly causing even more problems!

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