Monday, 23 April 2012

JH enters dog show with Great Dane


Found this while having a clear-out - the first and only time I entered a dog show - in the mid-70s by the look of it. I lived in Cheshire then, and reckon I was about 14 when this picture was taken.

It was, of course, just a companion dog show and I entered Dougal, one of our Danes,  in the Dog with the Longest Tail class.  The judge was comic actor Jimmy Edwards - who I hated because he pulled Dougal's tail to get a laugh from the crowd.

Dougal looks like a gawky teenager here - perhaps about 14 months old.  He was not the sharpest stick in the box. And neither he, nor our other Dane, Brig(adier), lived very long. Loved 'em both, though, and while they could get up the stairs, they slept on my (single) bed with two Siamese cats, Anna and Tao - old-fashioned ones with apple-shaped heads, not like the scary narrow-headed Siamese too often seen today. (Another victim, unfortunately, of the show-ring.)

Yes, yes, Pedigree Cats Exposed is a project, too.

22 comments:

  1. The RSPCA will be after you know after all the length of a tail is a thing risk the welfare of a breed for by letting it be too long ot too short, and the RSPCA do think dog shows are cruel, yet the say nothing about the anuual slaughter that is the Grand National?

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  2. Fun to see. :)

    And... is Pedigree Cats Exposed SERIOUSLY a project?
    That would be interesting, if it's true.

    I did see a program like that here in Sweden, in 2007. It brought up the Siamese, Persian, Sphynx, Scottish Fold, etc. There certainly are many cat breeds created only for "fun looks" that can cause problems (curled ears, folded ears, no tails, short legs, etc.), but I think the Sphynx's appearance in that program was kind of undeserved...

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  3. I have a sweet little female cat named Fatima. Love her to bits. She actually is a purebred snowshoe cat - a new and very rare cat breed in the US. However I didn't get her from a breeder, she just happen to walk up on my front door step, and after that she never left.
    She is a perfect cuddler.

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  4. Pedigree cats have many issues too....heart problems in maine coons, kidney problems in persians, cartiledge problems in scottish folds, skin problems in sphynx, spinal problems in japanese bob and manx.....
    Just as in the pedigree dog world there are many superb breeders trying hard to combat the problems and cats are 'lucky' in that they just aren't as geneically plastic as the dog so aren't as mutatable BUT there are problems out there and some breeders who fail to address them.

    What we really want is puppy farms exposed on prime time itv (betwen a couple of soaps?)!
    vp

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    1. Not quite as plastic, Vicky, but still malleable.

      Here's a YouTube film documenting the changes in Persians.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuYvjqLywMw

      How anyone can think the modern brachycephalic Persian is beautiful is quite beyond me.

      Royal Canin makes a kibble for their "special bracycephalic jaw":

      http://www.royalcanin.co.uk/products/products/cat-products/feline-breed-nutrition/persian-30

      "Almond 11, a kibble specially designed to make it easier for your Persian cat to grasp with the underside of the tongue."

      Jemima

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    2. I know a persian cat breeder who admits they dont like the short face but that is what wins so that is what they breed.

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    3. Wow, my only contact with cats are strays that I spay/neuter here in Istanbul, and our own adopted street cat. Looking at the video, our street cat looks identical to the Persians of the 1800's--in other words, like a healthy, normal-skulled, long-haired cat.

      I'm appalled that companies now have to make special food for human-bred mutants to be able to eat it. Ugh!

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  5. I'm not sure how the modern Siamese cats having slinkier, more elongated bodies to other cats can be compared at all to debilitating exaggerations in dogs that hinder the dog's mobility or cause conditions like ectropion. As far as I'm aware, Siamese cats are just as able-bodied and unhindered as other cats. I have heard people who prefer the old-fashioned sort (which incidentally you can still get, called 'traditional Siamese' or Thai cats) claim the modern variety is unhealthy, but I have never managed to find any actual evidence for this. I for one happen to like the modern ones -- probably because I'm not really a cat person and they look more like lionesses than proper cats. There are breeds of cats with far more deleterious mutations than the Siamese, such as the Manx (tailless), Sphynx (hairless), and the other one with no legs.

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    1. http://www.traditionalcats.com/education/breed/3siamese.html

      "Through all of my reading I have not found any good reason as to why the Extreme Wedge Siamese was created. The Traditional Siamese and the Classic Siamese are healthy, genetically sound, long lived cats. The Extreme Wedge has displayed a destroyed immune system and genetic predisposition to illness. Only a very few bloodlines of the Extreme Wedge are healthy. Most live to be 2 to 5 years old and sadly die. Multiple testimonials are in my files about kittens born, but who could not survive one day of life. Others tell me the Extreme Wedge has a hyperactive, nervous personality. How anyone can justify doing this to any breed or to any animal is beyond me! "

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    2. The link is very much a biased opinion by someone who simply does not like modern breeds of cat. There is no supporting link given (either a scientific study or a vet's opinion or findings, not just someone's opinion or what they have been told anecdotally) that Modern Siamese live on average 2-5 years or justification of the comment that some kittens die after one day (which is meaningless, as some kittens do die of natural causes after one day regardless of their breed). The name of the breed is Modern Siamese, not 'Extreme Wedge Siamese' -- this is just a spiteful insult made up by someone whose rationality has been dragged down by their emotions. Every breed of domestic animal has been created by man and is inherently 'unnatural' and so to argue that the Modern Siamese is some kind of abomination because it is man-made is nonsensical.

      If Modern Siamese cats do indeed have impaired immune systems as a result of inbreeding (and I can't find any solid evidence that this is so, and I also understand that original faults in the cat that may have come from a small gene pool, such as a kinked tail and cross eyes, have been bred out of the modern version), breeding practices are responsible for this, not the cat's physical shape. The cats' immune systems can be improved by improving breeding practices, and it doesn't mean the breed should be exterminated just for looking how it does. It's perfectly okay not to like a breed of animal without attacking that animal or those who do appreciate it. I don't happen to like the look of English Bull Terriers, but (so far as I'm aware) their physical appearance doesn't cause them medical problems or discomfort. To exclude animals from breeding for cosmetic reasons can be just as bad as selecting for those cosmetic features and excluding the more moderate ones.

      A lot of good things have come from your ideas, and I do think some breeds are getting to a dangerous state and breeders need to be more responsible and think more about what they are doing and the welfare of the animals instead of winning beauty pageants, but I also think it's important not to swing too far the other way. All pets are by definition modified versions of natural animals more suited to occupy human niches, and it's overkill to condemn a breed merely on the basis that you don't like how it looks when there's no evidence that its appearance causes it distress. That's heading towards the extremists' camp where PETA and the likes rave that humans and all domesticated animals they create are abominations and must go extinct.

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  6. Keeping traditional breed shapes means a small gene pool to work with thus increases the instances of inbreeding and inbreeding rates. Responsible breeders check their queens and studs and do not breed with any cats that have any underlying health issues reducing the rate of health problems through breeding. Widening the gene pool also reduces these health risks. Most of the changes of shape come from widening the gene pool not designing the cat.

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  7. I definitely prefer the traditional Siamese to the "new" one. It strikes me that people are now trying to breed Siamese cats to look like old, highly stylized artwork; the cats probably did not really look that way.

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    1. are you saying that the Egyptian cats did not look like that?? why would they bother to make them look any other way? How do you know what cats looked like then?

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    2. Why would ancient Egyptian cats look like the pictures of cats? Are you saying that there really _was_ a jackal-headed god? Or was that just artistic interpretation, such as those below?

      http://www.creatingacolourfullife.co.uk/images/egyptianart.jpg

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  8. Beth says "Siamese cats to look like old, highly stylized artwork; the cats probably did not really look that way." odd isnt how people say that to suit one view but when they make the same claim that dogs in old painting didnt look the same as they do now to support a different view.

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    1. All domestic animals change over time. This does not necessarily mean that the modern breeds are incorrect, or the old breeds are incorrect, but it does mean you should take the breed standard with a pinch of salt and people should perhaps not put so much importance on an animal's ability to win beauty contests as an assessment of its fitness to be bred. Variety is beautiful. All animals deserve to be enjoyed and treated with kindness, whether they are an old-type breed or a more modern one, and I personally don't mind what a breed looks like so long as it is healthy and the way it looks does not interfere with its natural behaviour or cause it pain.

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  9. Annie Macfarlane28 April 2012 17:35

    I certainly would welcome a pedigree cats exposed.....I've been concerned about some breeds of pedigree cats for some time now...and it is very rarely commented upon by journalists or animal welfare organisations. Persian cats can now no longer breathe properly, their coats are profuse and unless the owners are dedicated they easily become tangled and matted. The Munchkin cat.....why was that created? I understand that Siamese cats do suffer from some hereditary health conditions...and wonder what health screening is carried out before breeding....with all pedigree cat breeds! What do breeders screen for?

    As for the EBT....this breed does in fact suffer due to its appearance.....it suffers from serious skin conditions; heart and kidney problems.

    I think compared to cats, dogs have more recorded health screening results....but if that's not the case then can somebody please point me in the direction of published results.

    Another thing that's not discussed as much as puppy farms...is kitten farms....cats are being bred and bred just like dogs.....it's shocking what's going on really...and I think cats get the raw deal compared to dogs....sadly!

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    1. @Annie Got any evidence that it is appearance causing the EBT's suffering
      Mmmmm your opinion I suppose, maybe you would be better putting imo after your posts.
      West Highland Terrier's and Staffs suffer skin conditions to name a couple Soooo Annie enlighten me

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    2. Annie Macfarlane7 May 2012 11:51

      Actually, it's well documented that the appearance of the EBT causes problems. There are high instances of deafness in white dogs; allergies and skin problems....to do with being bred for a certain "type"...and heart and kidney disease. All these problems happen because a dog is bred to be a certain "type". Continually breeding from dogs with these problems ensures that the suffering permeates throughout the whole gene pool.

      May I also add that if I make a comment, I make it under my own name and anybody is free to debate my comments.... When somebody makes a comment under "anonymous" and fails to sign off with their name then I really don't feel that you can justify debate. I like to know who I am debating with....makes it a bit of an even playing field - don't you think? And, of course, we should all end our comments with "IMO" because, quite frankly, that is what they are... Sheesh!

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    3. So What you are saying and sticking to is that EBT's suffer skin conditions due to the way they are bred to type?? LOL You sure make me laugh--NOT
      As for Anon its far easier on this blog to post via anon BUT starnge that you never seem to pick on the anon's who agree with you.
      signed Jean (so it makes you feel better)

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  10. "As for the EBT....this breed does in fact suffer due to its appearance.....it suffers from serious skin conditions; heart and kidney problems." But these defects do not come directly from its appearance. Most breeds have a higher risk of certain medical conditions, but in only a few do these relate to their appearances. The Persian cat you mentioned is an example, whereby the flat-faced appearance of the cat gives rise to difficulties breathing because the shape of the cat's face does not accommodate normal anatomy. The EBT's skin conditions and heart and kidney problems do not come from its appearance, and could be reduced using science and more careful breeding practices while maintaining the overall look of the breed. The Persian cats' quality of life cannot be improved without the standard and trend and people's impression of them changing first.

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    1. Annie Macfarlane7 May 2012 11:54

      I agree....but my take on dogs suffering doesnt just extend to their appearance per se....but more to do with the fact that their overall "type" makes them prone to disease. The EBT suffers deafness due to the white coats; it is known to suffer from other diseases...just like any other breed. Where I am coming from is the fact that unless the breed changes in "type" then the suffering will continue. To continue breeding dogs that may be deaf, blind, heart disease, kidney problems.....is breeding a dog who will suffer for its looks. I hope you understand where I am coming from?

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