Friday, 30 March 2012

UKC leads the way in the US with breed standard revisions



Well this is interesting.... The United Kennel Club (UKC) - the only serious rival to the American Kennel Club (AKC) in America - has taken the bull by the horns and revised six of its breed standards, with six more to be added next month. The reason? It is alarmed by "the paths of exaggeration that many breeds have taken" and feels a "moral duty" to do something to address the problem.

As opposed, that is, to sticking fingers in its ears and singing la-la-la in the hope that it can continue to breed dogs to standards that clearly - in some cases - encourages dogs that will suffer from health and welfare problems. Yep, I am referring to Dennis "NEVER!!" Sprung and the other diehards at the American Kennel Club.

I met UKC President Wayne Cavanaugh in the US at the Purebred Paradox conference last year, and was impressed by his contribution to the workshop that followed the conference. He clearly got that there was a problem in some breeds and seemed keen to be involved in helping to put things right.

There is much about the UKC that I like - including that it long ago accepted the registration of the LUA Dalmatians; that professional handlers are not allowed at its conformation shows; and that 60 per cent of its events are performance-related - not just the usual agility, obedience and field/hunting trials but other events that 'ordinary' dog owners can participate in, such as Dock Jumping and Terrier Racing.

I hear two main criticisms of the UKC. The first that it is a commercial registry and that it does not contribute to canine research in the way that the AKC does; the second that it sometimes talks a better game than it walks.  But it's doing well - with registrations on the rise (while the AKC's are dropping)
and it clearly appeals to many for being a lot less stuffy than the AKC - and increasingly, for representing  - as its tagline says - "real dogs for real people".

So far, the UKC has changed six breed standards, which come into effect on May 1st, 2012 - the Alaskan Klee Kai, Barbet, Basset Hound, the German Shepherd, Peke and Shar-pei.

Some highlights:

BASSET HOUND
Old standard
General appearance:  A short-legged, long-bodied, well-balanced hound of considerable substance, Any good hound color is acceptable. The coat is short, close and smooth, and a certain amount of loose skin is desirable.

New standard
General appearance: A short-legged, long-bodied, well-balanced hound of considerable substance. Legs are short, but with enough length to afford proper movement at all times. Bone is heavy in relation to the size of the dog, but movement is not compromised and is not clumsy. Any good hound color is acceptable. The coat is short, close and smoth, and a certain amount of loose skin is desirable. There must be adequate clearance between the lowest part of the chest and ground to allow the dog to move freely over all types of terrain.


This is a working hound and therefore must be strong, active, and capable of great endurance in the field.


Working dogs are not to be penalized under any conditions for scars or vlemishes that are due to hunting injuries.


Serious fault: dewlap so exaggerated or excessive as to appear "sloppy", which would be a detriment in the field. Excessive wrinkles. Overweight.

The new standard does, however, still allow for the third eyelid being visible ("although not excessively") and it does also still specify a lozenge-shaped eye - which may be incompatible with the new disqualifying fault of "entropionism/ectropionism".

GERMAN SHEPHERD

Old standard
...From the pasterns to the elbows, the forelegs are straight and strong with oval-shaped bones. The pasterns are strong and supple, sloping at about 25 degrees. 

New standard
...From the pasterns to the elbows, the forelegs are straight and strong with oval-shaped bones. The pasterns are strong and supple, sloping no more than 25 degrees.

Serious Faults: Pasterns slanted more than 25 degrees. Pasterns so long and weak that proper movement is compromised.

Old standard
....The croup is long and sloping.

New standard
...The croup is long and slightly sloping.

Serious Faults: Any measure of a roached back. Shelly appearance.

Old standard
 ...The rear pastern is short and strong. Powerful hindquarters are necessary to enable the effortless movement that is an essential feature of this breed.

New standard
...The rear pastern is short and strong, and should remain upright and functional. Powerful hindquarters are necessary to enable the effortless movement that is an essential feature of this breed. Rear pasterns should remain upright and functional.

Serious Faults: Over-angulated rear, with anything exaggerated beyond a mild slope. Rear pasterns so long and weak that proper movement is compromised.

Old standard 
Correct gait is an essential feature of the German Shepherd Dog. When trotting, it moves with a long, efficient stride that is driven by a powerful forward thrust from the hindquarters. The rear leg, moving forward, swings under the foreleg and touches down in front of the point where the forefoot left an imprint. The result of this “over-reaching” is that one rear leg passes outside its corresponding front leg and the other passes inside its corresponding front leg. This is a breed characteristic and should not be penalized as long as the body is straight in relationship to the direction of movement. As the rear leg moves backward, the body is propelled forward. The front and rear feet remain close to the ground throughout. When trotting, the back remains firm and level. As the speed of the trot increases, there is a tendency to single track. Correct movement must be evaluated from front and rear as well as the side. 

Serious Faults: Any fault that affects correct movement is a serious fault.

New standard
Absolute soundness of movement is paramount.

Correct gait is an essential feature of the German Shepherd Dog. When trotting, it moves with a long, effortless, efficient stride that is driven by a powerful forward thrust from the hindquarters. The rear leg, moving forward, swings under the foreleg and touches down in front of the point where the forefoot left an imprint. The result is that one rear leg passes outside its corresponding front leg and the other passes inside its corresponding front leg. This is a breed characteristic and should not be penalized as long as the body is straight in relationship to the direction of movement. As the rear leg moves backward, the body is propelled forward. The front and rear feet remain close to the ground throughout. When trotting, the back remains firm and level with no superfluous vertical movement. Hocks should be strong and straight, turning neither in nor out as the dog moves. There should be no visible “wobble” to the hock. Neither front nor rear pasterns should strike the ground; this is an unacceptable exaggeration and an indication of incorrect movement. As the speed of the trot increases, there is a tendency to single track. Correct movement and soundness must be evaluated from front and rear as well as the side.

Serious Faults: Any fault that affects correct movement.

PEKINGESE
Quite a few changes here, including the addition of:

Absolute soundness and proper muscle tone is a must. Excessive coat is unnecessary. Head properties should remain free of exaggeration so as to not compromise breathing and/or obstruct normal vision.


And..

It should be free of respiratory distress caused from excessive face/nose wrinkles or insufficient nostrils and able to move freely and soundly. In proportion it is slightly longer than tall.

Old standard
MUZZLE - Short and wide, with a firm underjaw. There is a wrinkle, either continuous or broken, that extends from the cheeks to the bridge of the nose in an inverted ‘V’. The wrinkle should not obscure either the eyes or the nose. The black lips meet evenly and fully cover the teeth.

Serious Faults: Heavy wrinkles that hang over the nose. Teeth or tongue showing when the mouth is closed.

New standard
MUZZLE - Must be evident and allow for comfortable breathing. Proportionately short, in comparison to the size of the dog, and wide, with a firm underjaw. There is a wrinkle, preferably broken, that extends from the cheeks to the bridge of the nose in an inverted ‘V’, without being excessive or affecting the dog’s breathing. The wrinkle should not obscure either the eyes or the nose. The black lips meet evenly and fully cover the teeth.

Eliminating Faults: Heavy wrinkles that affect breathing and/or obstruct normal vision. Muzzle so short as to affect breathing.

The breed standard changes are not perfect, by any means:

 Inexplicably, the new GSD standard adds as a disqualification: "nose not predominantly black".   (Could someone in GSDs enlighten me to whether this is anything more than a cosmetic issue?)

The new Shar-pei standard has added "excessive wrinkling on the head in adults" as an eliminating fault, but the standard still calls for small, deepset eyes and "extremely small" ears - both of which can cause problems. (The UK breed standard, in comparison, while still demanding very small ears, asks for medium-sized eyes, and while the UKC standard refers to a "hippopotamus"  muzzle,  the KC breed standard asks only that the muzzle is "slightly" padded.

And, actually, if the UKC really wanted to lead the way, it would encourage the breeding of the traditional, and almost wrinkle-free "bonemouth" Shar-pei rather than the Westernised "meatmouth" with its excessive wrinkling.

But it's a start... and a smart PR move by Wayne Cavanaugh - but not just that; for I did truly get the impression that the UKC President feels strongly on this issue. Most of all, of course, it surely puts a lot of pressure on the head-in-the-sand AKC to follow suit... ?

The press release that announced the UKC changes appears to be offline at the moment, so here it is in full.
The United Kennel Club, Inc., is first and foremost a worldwide registry of purebred dogs, but we feel our moral duty to the canine world goes beyond maintaining data. We are alarmed by the paths of exaggeration that many breeds have taken, all of which directly affect the health, function and performance of those breeds. It is an elemental fact that these breed changes have developed unchecked as a result of fads and fancies, as well as a lack of accountability on the part of breeders, owners and judges.
UKC feels something must be done to address this problem, and we are willing to do our part, hoping the canine world will follow suit. Toward that end, we have decided to revise all of our breed standards to reflect that goal. Breed standards are viewed as a blueprint to which dogs are to be bred. UKC believes that breed standards are more than that, and we will be including directives to breeders, judges and owners.
All of our breed standards will now include the following introductory statement: “The goals and purposes of this breed standard include: to furnish guidelines for breeders who wish to maintain the quality of their breed and to improve it; to advance this breed to a state of similarity throughout the world; and to act as a guide for judges. Breeders and judges have the responsibility to avoid any conditions or exaggerations that are detrimental to the health, welfare and soundness of this breed, and must take the responsibility to see that these are not perpetuated. Any departure from the following should be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.”
In addition, each breed standard will be updated to include problems specific to that breed in order to clarify the direction to be taken when they are encountered.
All of these breed standard revisions reflect the foundation of the “UKC Total Dog” philosophy. The exponential growth in “UKC Total Dog” events is living proof that dogs can have the health, temperament and conformation to be excellent representatives of their breed. We understand that breed standards are left to subjective interpretation and are not a panacea on their own; however, combined with UKC Total Dog events and our UKC Judges Education program, they are a natural extension and essential continuation of our commitment to the future of purebred dogs.
The United Kennel Club, Inc., is very serious about this project and encourages all dog breeders, judges and owners to follow suit. As each standard is updated, it will be posted on the UKC website, www.ukcdogs.com, with its effective date.

56 comments:

  1. I agree it's a good start. I am still horrified that someone actually has to write into a standard that the pasterns should not touch the ground. That should just be common sense. So sad that it isn't.

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    1. In the Basset hound I think it should read: a certain amount of loose skin is permissible!!!

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  2. I have always had a ton of respect for the UKC for their emphasis placed on performance. This just further cements that. I dont care for Wayne as a person, but the establishment as a whole-- I love them. Good on the UKC taking a proactive stance on this!

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  3. Good for UKC. Meanwhile, the AKC continues to blaze a path toward irrelevance. Give 'em enough rope!

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  4. Jemima - like the UKC you must be into Gun Ownership too. Way to go.

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    1. Hey troll..do you have a point?

      Not only do I presume trolls are a factor of inbreeding but all the offspung(sic) seemingly are given the same name..anonymous.

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    2. and are you a Nazi Barry you all babble on about freedom of speech but you only agree when they agree with you,

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    3. What a non sequitur!

      I'm for gun ownership, but the stance has nothing to do with dogs.

      Anyway, in my country, we have constitutional protections for gun owners, such that any politician who said he wanted to ban all guns or even all handguns, would be laughed out of town. (See Dennis Kucinich.)

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  5. Ah, the good old American free market at work ;-). Giving potential buyers the choice between AKC- and UKC-bred dogs of these breeds, I know where I would go as an informed consumer. The AKC are mainly in the game for the money anyway, so if this sort of competition gives them enough of a financial pinch, they may actually realise that they have to retract that excessively capitaliaed statement of their chairman's...

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  6. AKC in it for the money?/ really.. The UKC is a privately owned dog registry with all of the profits going to the owners and a money making bushiness.. I have no problem with that but to say the AKC is in it for the money and the UKC is not is disingenuous.
    I have attended many UKC events an they are always fun and family oriented. They register pit bulls.. in fact they started out as a pit bull registry and many pit bull owners still register UKC dogs.
    They are adamant about there stand about gun ownership.. and defend the right to hunt with hounds.. that should be enough to make the HSUS dislike them.
    The UKC is an alternative to the AKC but so far not one that is that popular.
    People forget that the AKC does not own the breed standards like the KC or UKC does.. the individual breed clubs own their standards.

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    1. Same anon as 8.56

      Of course the UKC is in it for the money. As is the AKC - they are just a wee bit smarter about their taxes. Nothing wrong with that. Now, there will be competition between a system that mandates healthy breed standards and one that defends the supposed right of its members to breed crippled dogs as they please. The choice is the informed customer's, and as such, it is obvious to me where I would go.

      As for hunting with hounds, I am not aware that the AKC opposes that - at most, they do so indirectly by condoning the breeding of hounds that would not be able to hunt if their lives depended on it.

      The whole gun thing is an just an irrelevant red herring, so I won't go into that further.

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    2. They are what they are..they are making seemingly positive effort toward the well being of dogs (and may I say ethical breeding practices) whether they are gun-toting sportsmen (have you ever met a true sportsmen..oxymoron), left-wing flower children or some moderation in between..let's not dilute the tonic for all it's good where good is required..let's focus on the ball in play.

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    3. Taken directly from the AKC Website...

      "There is a widely held belief that “AKC” or “AKC papers” guarantee the quality of a dog. This is not the case. AKC is a registry body. A registration certificate identifies the dog as the offspring of a known sire and dam, born on a known date. It in no way indicates the quality or state of health of the dog."

      Hmmm.

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    4. The AKC has NO individual members.a point that most cannot grab here..they have no influence on breed standards as they are owned by the breed clubs. the AKC cannot force breed clubs to change their breed standards which is why Sprung said NEVER.because only the clubs can chance what they have now.
      The UKC has no influence on "ethics" of its registrants..

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    5. Reminds me of the disclaimer people are legally required to add after ads for non-recognized meds:

      "The dogs behind these papers have not been evaluated by the AKC. These papers are not intended to diagnose, prevent or treat any disease."

      Doesn't prevent the people paying for the ads from implying that they work...

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    6. The AKC can't force a club to change their standard, but they do vote to ratify changes to the breed standard proposed by the club. And believe me, when a breed club tries to get their breed into misc. class, and on the road to recognition, there's a whole lot of AKC hoops they have to jump thru. So I don't buy the argument that AKC has no influence whatsover.

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    7. When you say UKC is "not popular," I want to put that in perspective for non-U.S. readers. I spent 27 years in the home-town of UKC (Kalamazoo, MI) and actively competed in UKC shows for many years. My PRT was one of 9 dogs nationally to win UKC's Total Dog Award on their centennial year.

      UKC is a distant second to AKC in registration numbers. However, it still registers more dogs
      than all 85 FCI countries COMBINED. FCI comprises basically every non-English-speaking country that has a dog registry (Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa) and it can't beat the numbers of UKC, much less AKC.

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    8. Serious question: Couldn't the AKC just sack a non-complying breed club and admit another club as the AKC representative for that breed?

      I'm curious as to what their rules say.

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    9. sigh.. there is a "parent' club for all breeds with smaller clubs around the country ..the AKC is a registry fo dogs..and they put out the rules for show dogs.. point schedule etc.. that is all they do.. they do not set breed standards
      It would quite easy for the parent clubs to remove themselves from the AKC and in fact many are starting on that road by holding independent specialties on their own with their own judges.. I see this as the future for dogs show..with the advent of the internet .. it wold be pretty easy for a club to hire someone to keep pedigrees, register dogs for shows. and keep health records.. and approve breeder judges or judges that the club thinks are worthy of judging their dogs. who really needs Best In Show when competing against all other breeds.. Best In Specialty holds a great deal more clout and prestige.. If you win BIS and your dog is the only one in that breed attending.. who cares.. when you win BISS over 100 or 200 dogs of our own breed .. now that is something..also there will be no need for this blog when breeds decide to break away for the behemoths of all bred KC's.. after all what and who would JH write about then.. and who would listen to her.?? Breed clubs need to consider this avenue..

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    10. The AKC's board of directors pull down 6-figure salaries. And everyone involved in the organization is paid nicely. Not to mention that many judges and handlers receive exorbitant fees, and are making tons of money breeding too. Some are even invested in the commercial breeding operations that the AKC pretends to despise. It's like those sham charities we're always advised to avoid. OF COURSE it's the money.

      The UKC is honest about it and does not pretend to be a non-profit. I've always had respect for the UKC and more so now. The AKC has been a big factor in the extreme pet overpopulation problem in this country and the extreme decline in the quality of dogs, too. I have no respect for the AKC; they are a phony as the "papers" on many of the puppies they register no-questions-asked-just-fork-over-the-dough.

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    11. Yeah, but no. There is actually no "pet overpopulation" problem in the US. The UKC has more emphasis on working dogs than the AKC and follows the closed registry + competitive show model that reduces genetic diversity while simultaneously promoting fads and extremes, rather than actual soundness. This of course comes at the expense of health and working ability.

      Revising the standards is good, but unless you get the judges to actually adhere to the standards, it will do nothing to slow the structural deterioration of show stock.

      On paper, it would be hard to get better than the SV selection process for breeding stock: dogs must have working and conformation titles and health clearances in order to produce litters that can be registered. But look what happened to the GSD.

      So yeah, UKC is less bad than AKC, but that's about as far as it goes.

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    12. Maybe you should visit a few high kill shelters. Not all BREEDS have overpopulation problems but pit bull types, Labs and lab types and mutts of every discription certainly DO. There are not enough homes for all these dogs (who of course produce large litters that rapidly outpace the demand for them). Also about 25% of all dogs in shelters are purebreds. Some are there for a reason and some are there because of bad luck on their part.
      summerhorse

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  7. The AKC may not have total control over the parent clubs of the breeds. But they certainly DO have control over the judges in AKC events. The parent clubs write the standards, which the AKC can influence. But the judges pick the winners in their conformation shows. This ultimately has far stronger influence on the direction a breed takes than any written standard. Saying they can't control what the parent clubs choose is a big cop out.

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    1. Maybe not, but the AKC can refuse to pass the changes that the parent club wants....

      And as repeatedly stated here sometimes the parent club is the breed's worst enemy.

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    2. The AKC has a long history of supporting smaller breed clubs who more closely align with their goals. Both JRTs and Border Collies are a recent example of sanctioning a breed club that did not have the support of the the larger national club (those were against AKC registration, so they found someone else to write the standard).

      The AKC does choose the judges, so they do have some say over the interpretation of that standard.

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  8. Seriously, does a dog really care? Who wants that BIS? fido? No.. The human trying to live vicariously through the dog does. And have you seen the majority of those humans? Most are out of shape and poor representations of the human race, yet they believe they are in the right? Listen... The AKC is powerful. They have the recognition status the dog clubs covet. Therefore if they man up and say enough already... Just like the KC and the UKC.... The clubs will eventually cau-tau and comply. Because in the end all breeders are in the business of selling and marketing their dogs. And the AKC has the name recognition the uneducated public associates with a healthy dog, even though the AKC themselves put a disclaimer to cover their asses. The public already associates that badge from the AKC as somehow being a superior product to a truly healthy dog without papers. So the AKC just like the KC can tip the scale if they choose to do the right thing.

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    1. Any sport/hobby that has anything to do with exhibition of animals/livestock has the same element, the prestige for the owner/exhibitor. This is the same for dog shows, agriculktural shows, cat shows etc. Not that I have heard anyone on this site discuss the wider issues of animal breeding/husbandry etc, whilst you are tucking into your steak dinner, procured from an animal that has it's ration of fat to muscle genetically altered or exaggerated to increase volume of muscle as in Belgian Blue cattle

      Perhaps it is the wronful, but understandable, "humanisation" of the dog that warrants this reaction. The same as the revulsion that invokes disgust that certain cultures see nothing wrong with eating dogs, yet it is socially acceptable , in some cultures to eat beef, pork, chicken etc, all of which have been selectively bred for a purpose and/or function.

      You seem to constantly generalise and perpetuate that the aim of everyone in dog breeding is the same.....to sell puppies....not everyone does that. It is easy to tar everyone with the same brush, rather than trying to get a balanced view from both perspectives - changes in breeding types will take many years, and as a geneticist, diversity, although good, can still create problems as more is learned about tenets of certain genes and gene combinations. You must allow breeders to embrace change and cbreed for a reductionin extreme or exaggerated characteristics that are deemed to be to be detrimental - this will not happen overnight.

      Your comments regarding the shape of etc of exhibitors is offensive and not relevant.

      Your title of "Chatham Hill Gang" says it all - mob rule is alive and well - perhaps you need to reflect and consider reviewing the kind of holier than thou, know all zealots attitude, that you have become, as it is just the same belief that you state, incorrectly, I may add, that you accuse dog breeders to be.

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  9. I really want to see drawings of the breeds with the revised breed standard. Hopefully as soon as possibile.

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  10. Positive.
    Next move; ensure your judges judge to the standard no just what is 'right' in their head (many UK breed standards describe a very different dog to that seen in the ring).
    I also hope having differing registries doesn't shrink gene pools; can dogs be transferred from one to the other or bred out to dogs from 'the other' registry?
    VP

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  11. I hope that I'm not too off base but how I understood the revised breed standard of the Peke may somewhat describe this Peke?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/toddreicher/4081862716/

    or this one

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/szymonir/3621990944/in/photostream/

    or even this one?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/10025736@N06/2951845073/

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    1. Albinism should be a DQ in all breeds. Albino dogs have real issues withstanding direct sunlight. Skin cancer is a big problem with them, too. It should be treated as a genetic condition, not a color.

      I'm particularly upset about albino dobermans. There are people who are using valid criticism of the purebred dog culture to promote this as a legitimate color.

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    2. On second thought, that dog isn't a true albino. Its eyes are brown.

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    3. Albinism is a DQ in I believe ALL UKC breeds.

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  12. Part Three! http://www.gossipdogblog.blogspot.co.uk/

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  13. Liver is not an acceptable color in GSD's.

    That's the only reason I can think of.

    All liver-factored dogs have brown noses.

    http://pics.hoobly.com/full/LMAJOJZSTLP3KXHO5V.jpg

    Jeffrey Bragg suggests that the liver coloration, which prevents black pigment from being expressed, might also have other effects upon the metabolism:

    http://www.seppalakennels.com/articles/random-drift-4.htm

    This certainly got my attention, seeing as most gun dogs have a liver variant or only come in liver. If very few sled dogs have liver factor that is pretty amazing. German short-haired pointers were crossed into many racing lines. German short-hairs in North America can only come in liver and liver and white variants.

    Most working Labradors are yellow with black skin or black. Very few are chocolates or brown-skinned yellows, which have the same liver factor. The genotype that makes the fur yellow prevents black fur from forming on a black-skinned yellow and liver fur from appearing on a brown-skinned yellow. (Yes, other colors and markings are masked by the ee genotype!)

    Here's a photo of a liver factor (liver saddle tan w/mask) GSD: http://pics.hoobly.com/full/LMAJOJZSTLP3KXHO5V.jpg

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    1. Wrong on GSP's....AKC is the only registry in the US that disqualifies black GSP's (which have black noses). UKC and the various hunting organization/registries such as NAVHDA all allow blacks. In fact many black GSP's are shown in UKC. AKC disqualifies them from the ring but they can be registered and entered in AKC events.

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    2. You're right, Scottie. The disqualification for "nose other color than black" effectively eliminates dilutes such as blues and livers. I have yet to see any documented research proving that blue or liver GSDs - or dark-skinned whites, for that matter - are prone to any of the "metabolic disorders" so ominously hinted at in the AKC literature. Obviously the UKC took this stipulation from the AKC standard (although to be fair, the standards of many other countries, including Germany, disallow these colors too).
      "A good dog cannot be a bad color". That has always been a GSD mantra. And almost all GSDs, even the horribly disfigured ones that are so common in both Schutzhund and shows, are good dogs.
      I want all this AKC-inspired craziness to stop! I want to see GSDs return to the reliable, long-lived, beautiful dogs I grew up with. My brothers and I ran these good old Eastern Kentucky hills from daylight til dark when I was growing up in the 1960s and 70s, and my mother never worried - because we had our (backyard-bred)(non-registered)(lever-backed)(black-and-silver) absolutely wonderful GSD with us.

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    3. That red GSD raises more questions than it answers. I doubt that that really is a shepherd. Betcha dollars to donuts it's a cross. It also has long hair, another flaw, but not so serious. Point is not that liver is a flaw, but that I doubt that that color even exists in that breed. Do you have more info?

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    4. Yes, Anon, liver-colored purebred shepherds do exist. You can google and find tons of photos. There are also red or tawny colored shepherds that have no black markings, or just minimal black markings such as mask & ears. Here is a link to a website with good, clear photos of various allowed and disallowed shepherd colors: http://www.jmadesign.com/Frankenhaus/colorgen01.shtml

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    5. * My reply to retrieverman should have said "(level-backed)" instead of (lever-backed), sorry

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    6. Anon,

      Here's another link with better photos: http://www.4gsd.net/colours.html

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    7. Thanks, Kittenz. I guess what I need is some sort of literature search, to turn up when and in what country liver first appeared. Your black and silver was a common and accepted color. Your BYB, unregistered dog was probably better bred and certainly sounder than the dogs that are winning prizes today.

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  14. I am glad that some changes are happening with the breed standards, however many breeders will continue with the old breeding lines.

    I am a firm believer in the work that Pedigree Dogs Exposed has done, and the progress that continues to be made. I have written my own blog regarding this topic which can be read here:
    http://canidaeart.blogspot.com/2012/04/creating-awareness.html

    Keep up the campaigning!

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  15. Hey Jemima, glad to hear that you support the United Kennel Club in America.....an organisation that condones the cropping of ears and docking of tails........way to go......your stance on health of pedigree dogs seems to support ...let's not bother with trying to breed out issues....just let's cut them off and throw them in the bin!!

    Talk about shooting yourself in the foot......well done, you have done tour campaign no end of good, Jemimna....you have just lost my support and I hope others see through your campaign of being selective with information and promoting your own, biased propaganda.

    I am sure you can just cut out this post...hey, that would kind of line with you promoting the UKC and cropped ears...scissors,clamps,scalpels at the ready!!!

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    1. UKC allows cropped OR natural ears in breeds that have traditionally cropped ears.

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    2. The last UKC show I was at had an undocked Standard Poodle, and an undocked German Pincher.

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    3. I do believe that the day is coming - soon - when ear-cropping will be banned in many states. It will take state bans to force the hand of the 800-lb gorillas (the AKC and the AVMA). But the day is coming. If more videos were shown on youtube, of puppies waking up from the ear-crop - they ALWAYS wake up screaming. Always. - and of the ear-crop "failures" from which the dogs' appearance is ruined for life, maybe that day would come sooner.

      Tail docks done soon after birth are not quite so invasive. It'll take a lot longer for those to be eliminated.

      I believe that education is the key, just as education in the form of such terrific journalism as Pedigree Dogs Exposed has been instrumental in getting the UKC (for instance) to begin revising its breed standards.

      Now if education could only get the AKC to revise its GREED standards...

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    4. Well if America taks over 100 years to stop ear cropping what do you expect!!

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  16. A dog who's nose is not black is more vulnerable to cancer causing sun damage.

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    1. Nope. They disqualify the black nose to effectively disqualify livers and blues. Ironically, though, plenty of WHITE GSDs have black noses. And they're not albinos. So does that mean that white GSDs are now eligible for conformation competition at UKC shows?

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    2. White Shepherds are a separate breed in UKC.

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  17. What was wrong with the Lovely Level Toplined GSD ??? We had one when I was young. He would run for Hours. I would love to Put a level Toplined GSD up against the " New Sloped Ones and see who can out work who. I would bet the Level Topline would win anytime !

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  18. Yeah, well, both Wayne and UKC talk a big game in public.

    And then do whatever the hell they want.

    The very best thing about UKC is that when Wayne bought it and attempted an alpha roll on my breed's club, that was the catalyst for the ESC to part with them entirely and found a modern, member-owned, non-profit single-breed registry that supports breed conservation. Buh-bye.

    Wayne's master plan to make fluffy show dogs out of our hideously unimproved working farm dogs has not panned out so good.

    Dog breeders might reflect that an entity that can summarily rewrite a standard for "good" reasons can do so for less-savory motivations as well. Wait until you read a standard written for a breed you own and treasure, by an office drone who has never seen an example of the breed. Good times.

    UKC's "standard" for my breed, written by godknowswho, begins with the phrase "According to legend..." You can't make this shit up. (Although, apparently, they can

    Not that anyone who matters gives a rat's ass what it says. Except the curious statement that the breed is "rather free with its teeth." That seems to be an invitation to BSL. I look forward to the day when I explain that it is only the remnant "UKC-registered" English shepherds who bite willy-nilly.

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  19. Anonymous in the USA here. I'm extremely turned off by AR activists who often have unrealistic and extreme views, but would really like to see the dog show industry kicked in the nuts. I *am* a breeder and I *do* occasionally show, but I'm also a Biologist and believe the status quo elitism and misguided snobbery are extremely harmful to pedigree dogs. The idea that only dog show champions from an increasingly narrow part of the genepool should be bred and that quality, health and function can be determined by running a dog around in a circle and being selected by somebody who may have never seen the breed at work or in a home environment is ludicrous. And yet this is exactly the kind of ignorance that the dog show culture promotes and the human desire to be popular or win a prize most definitely trumps animal welfare and integrity in many cases. So, I'm with ya'll on this cause and hope it eventually comes across the pond to bite the AKC in the butt too.

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  20. I do have to admit that I do have mixed feelings about the UKC approach. Not because the idea in itself appears bad or unreasonable. I am simply worried that they will take a turn similar to the very, very strict German breedings regulations (which are - to my knowledge - amongst the strictest there are regarding conformation and character testing but somehow not necessarily for all breeds health) because their regulations have effectively severely limited the gene pool. Every year there are many more bitches who receive their breeding certification than there are males.
    I have even met breeders who said they would not import dogs from abroad because within their breed club they could not get breeding permission for an imported dog and have or intend to found a new breed club (I think by now they have done that). Their "breeding commissions" that preapprove all matings to ensure health and genetic diversity are as much the root as they are the solution of the problem.
    While I support adjustment of standards care should be taken that this does not create so far unforeseen problems. As long as they regulate by standards I see no problems but I am always concerned where they will end. Especially at the point of determining breed use.
    If I have a doberman pinscher/rottweiler/giant schnauzer/Boxer, is it a protection dog, a family pet, a guide dog, an assistance dog, an SAR dog, a police dog? And how could a standard adequately represent all these uses? Still a worse example: the dalmatian is - what? The guardian of the borders of Dalmatia? The coach dog who was a pretty effective and assertive guardian of horse, stable and carriage? SAR dogs? Family pets? How would a standard in the long run affect these things?
    I have seen Rottweilers complimented by one judge for their "open and friendly temperament" and criticized by others for "lacking aloofness with strangers". This is my real (and basically only) concern with this adjustment of standards. The UKC says putting emphasis on the breed purpose will guarantee healthier breeds (and with the Basset Hound, GSD and Pekingese I can see how it does with the adjustments they made). If they draw the line at an appropriate point I am all for it. But after having been to Germany and seeing what happened there and how they refine a breed I have become more of a libertarian regarding dog breeding than I ever thought possible before...

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