Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Canine Alliance In - ad- equacy

This made me really laugh today... The Canine Alliance, remember, was set-up to try to stop the vet-checks at champ shows for dogs in the high-profile breeds. 



But of course all this ad makes you think is: crikey, the eyes of the Basset Hound in the bottom pic confirms why it needs to be singled out for special attention and, quick, let's add the breed in the top pic to the list of high-profile breeds that need to be checked because its eyes are a mess, too.

This landed in my inbox as I was on my way back this afternoon from Brussels and the Eurogroup for Animals AGM where I presented on the problems caused by selective breeding in dogs. Bassets featured in that, too, I'm sure the CA will be delighted to hear.

79 comments:

  1. They really have missed the point haven't they! Neither of these dogs has perfect eye conformation. All this suggests to me is that if judges won't penalise this in the non high profile breeds then vets will have to check all BOB winners. At least that would be 'fair'. Having said that we don't know if the dog in the top picture is a winner or has been constantly marked don due to his eyelid conformation.
    VP

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    1. "They really have missed the point haven't they! Neither of these dogs has perfect eye conformation."

      They haven't missed the point! That's exactly what they're saying - that NEITHER has 'perfect' eyes, so why is only one of them being checked. Is that so difficult to understand?

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    2. THEY (the Canine Alliance ) haven't missed the point. That is exactly what they, and others are pointing out . They haven't been against the vet checks for HPB , but they objected to the manner in which it was launched and incorrectly carried out at Crufts . Their point is you cannot have just 15 High profile breeds. If you are going to do it properly it needs to be random checks by properly informed breed vets , across the board.

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    3. The CA has not been calling for vet checks to be applied to all BOB winners but rather for them to be removed from the 15high profile breeds as their solution to he 'unfairness' so I stand by my comment that they have 'missed the point'. If judges could accept that vertain conformation features cause pain and suffering and should not be given awards then none of this would be needed. I assume the top pic is an ESS (american type?)....if this dog won BOB the judge should be removed from all judging lists immediatley as no ESS should have eyelids like that no mater what the rest of it looks like.
      VP

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    4. Start getting checked by "breed" vets and you get automatic passes with the excuse "it's a breed feature". That is something which defeats the whole purpose of vet checks.

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    5. I agree Anonymous. The vet checks need to cover all breeds and they need to be done by GP vets...not by vets with a special interest in any one breed.
      VP

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  2. Is that the point they're making??? That neither dogs have good eyes ?? I thought the general consensus is that all breeds should have bob checked or prior to showing have a health certificate not that they want dodgy eyes allowed.

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    1. That's exactly the point they're making, Anonymous. They can't understand why one BoB (none of the others shown, note) with poor eyes can be disqualified whilst the BoB of another breed with equally poor eyes can keep its award. To be seen to be fair the rules must apply to all or none. Just like Life in general; rules must apply equally to all.

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    2. Quite agree with you there, Mary. How true these words are! In real life, rules do apply to all alike, at least biological rules. Ectropion causes discomfort when present in a small degree and downright misery when pronounced. That rule applies to every dog that suffers from it.
      Ergo: both dogs be banned from showing.

      Mary, you and I are of one mind on the matter. How comforting!

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  3. Stop thinking about how show dog breeders have ruined the health of dogs and created misery. Stop thinking about the abuse.

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  4. Simplest answer to this one - add another breed to the list of High Profile Breeds. Not sure what the top dog is, a show bred English springer? Or persuade/train/direct judges not to put up any dog, whatever breed, with loose eyes

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  5. Akin to shooting oneself in the ass. However, a perfect testimony of their disparate views of normal.

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  6. YOU presented on problems caused by "selective breeding" ...?? really?/ what are your credentials? Are you


    A.a geneticists?
    B.a dog breeder?
    C.a sensationalist "journalist" who rescues dogs..?

    Brussels must be scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel .
    Did they pay you for you 'expertise"?

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    1. Just because she may not have a PhD in genetics doesn't mean her ideas are immediately junk. If your friend tells you that it will be 60 degrees Fahrenheit today with high winds, would you tell them to shut up because they're only a high school drop-out who works at McDonald's? You wouldn't because they most likely got their information from a PhD in climatology who constantly monitors weather (aka television weather report).

      Similarly, just because JH may not have a PhD in genetics doesn't mean she can't cite authoritative sources on the subjects she is speaking on and draw valid conclusions from their evidence. Your argument is entirely an ad hominem fallacy.

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    2. Dear fraidy-cat (‘faid to post as yourself)

      Your logical fallacy resides in the fact you only added quotes and an adjective for the third statement.
      I would reword that list somewhat:
      A. snooty “PhD” in genetics”.
      B. A closed-minded “dog breeder” within a closed registry system or
      C. A sensationalist “journalist” who rescues dogs.

      Or: How about leaving out ALL the adjectives for ALL three and say:
      A.a geneticist?
      B.a dog breeder?
      C.a journalist?
      All three of the above should know something about genetics, and genetic scientists like Tosso Leeb of Bern Switzerland are involved in delineating qualzucht among dog breeds. (Qualzucht literally means “torture breeding”) and both dogs above show the continuum of loose eyelids- a serious genetic fault- one is qualzucht in the making, the other one is an example of full blown qualzucht, even if a bunch of the “Fancy” breed for it and think it is great.

      Which group knows nothing about genetics? - except maybe how to get a double merle! Group “B”, the dog “breeders”, unfortunately.

      In my opinion, Jemima Harris is a superb investigative journalist whose every statement of fact has exposed the Fancy Delusion that dog breeders know ANYTHING about genetics or breeding, or care about the soundness of their breeds over some kind of idealized form of qualzucht. I am so amazed at what one person, can do upon realizing the desperate situation almost all purebred dogs are in!

      And, she hasn’t even touched the situation that a lot of these breeds with over 1,000 current members contain the complete genetic profiles of 4 to 20 individuals, when population genetics suggests that any number of breeds with less than 100 genetic individuals (ie the Chinese Crested- which was founded with less than 50 individuals and the Icelandic Shepherd which now has an effective complete genetic profile of 2-4 dogs at most) which in turn means ANY Icelandic to Icelandic breeding is the equivalent of a sister/brother mating or a father/daughter or mother/son breeding!

      I suggest purebreeders look up genetic drift and population genetics. In fact Carol Beuchart has some excellent articles in her blog and is willing to help any purebreeder understand these things. (http://www.carolbeuchat.com/2012/05/do-we-really-need-new-basenjis/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CarolBeuchatBlog+%28Carol+Beuchat+-+Dog+Photography%29)

      That one is a biggie but I doubt few members of closed registries have a clue about what it means. It seems unknown among dog fanciers, even though it is understood in many other domestic and wild- species.

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    3. @Kate Awesome rebuttal with substance...hear, hear. But likely to elevate over the rudimentary consciousness of most fanciers.

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    4. Kate, thank you very much for the interesting articles. They back up Jemima's arguments perfectly from the scientific point of view. Let's hope people will actually bother to read them.

      Gloria

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  7. What breed is the dog on top?

    I would point out that
    a) Neither has good eyes, but
    b) The eyes on the bottom appear much worse.

    Neither point is the one that Alliance was trying to make...

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  8. Wonder if your invite to that meeting is due to your link with the RSPCA or should I say the fact that you never actually critize them in any way, but are another pawn for them to bash the Kennel Club and Dog Show world with? the HSUS one last year and now this one, both funded by them what are the odds!!! dont worry I know you wont allow this post but you will know realise people have noticed.

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    1. point made and taken good investigative journalism..

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    2. OK, now call me fussy, but investigative journalism requires some, you know, investigation - and for it to be "good" requires that the facts relayed have some basis in fact.

      So let's take this one step at a time:

      1) I have no links with the RSPCA.
      2) It takes all of a simple google click to discover that the RSPCA co-sponsored the HSUS conference last year. No special skills needed
      3) The RSPCA did not fund the Eurogroup for Animals AGM. The RSPCA is a member organisation of Eurogroup, but so are some 40 others, including Dogs Trust and Cats Protection League from the UK. Ergo baseless conspiracy theory.
      4) I'm not sure it's the done thing to praise your own posts.

      Jemima

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    3. @Anon BUSTED

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  9. What an AD !! The CA was going to save the pedigree dog world and the sport of showing ,,,,,,,,god help those poors dogs because the CA is a cluless inept body that everyone is trying hard to ignore !! They are in the meantime ignoring the truth that is staring them straight in the eyes, THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE for the dogs health problems AND the General Public knows it at last !! Well done JH

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  10. What is the alternative to non-selective dog breeding? IS your idea that in season bitches should just be let out to pick their own mate, or are you advocating the RSPCA stance that all pedigree dog breeding should be stopped?

    Surely what we need is to be even more selective with breeding, to ensure only healthy, health tested dogs are bred from and that only physically and mentally sound dogs are used to produce the next generations? None selective dog breeding is the route taken by the puppy farms and back yard breeders, if you discount the criteria of proximity of the stud dog. In my experience neither a desirable model for breeding healthy dogs.

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    1. The RSPCA doesnt have a "stance that all pedigree dog breeding should be stopped" and never has had. They simply work for the protection and welfare of animals, regardless of whether they have pedigrees or not

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    2. Anon 19:43: You give an either or argument, yet neither are valid. You miss the point that selective dog breeding means choosing the healthiest dogs with the best temperaments and that are still capable of their original function. They are then mated to dogs as unrelated as possible to them; if this means outcrossing to another breed in order to increase the gene pool, then that will probably happen. The last 40-years have proven that a closed registry equals unhealthy dogs. We all know that inbreeding causes serious health issues; the only people who seem to have a problem with accepting this are pedigree dog breeders.

      You all complain about the backyard breeders breeding designer cross-breeds, but if you'd got your act together sooner and stopped inbreeding, the general public wouldn't be looking for cross-breeds.

      However, I can appreciate that the KC haven't and still don't support (reward) you in breeding low COIs - if dogs with the high COIs are still winning top awards in the show ring, whereas low COI dogs barely get a look-in, then show breeders don't have a leg to stand-on. They can't win in their hobby and other show people won't buy their puppies. There is the option of breeding similar-looking, but unrelated, dogs and I know some reputable breeders are starting to do this and still win (but not necessarily challenge certificates).

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    3. The problem is that health testing is one thing, and taking consequences based on the results of such testing an entirely different thing. Unfortunately, many "reputable breeders" use health tests as a fig leaf rather than a base for selection.

      It is not the breeders who health thest who are reputable. It is those who do not breed dogs they know to be unhealthy or to be carriers of a recessive detrimental allele. When somebody does all the health tests and then still breeds, say, a dog with grade C hips, that person is not a reputable breeder - and no amount of health testing will change that.

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  11. Margaret Carter22 June 2012 00:00

    That poster is one of the best arguments for dog breeding legislation I have ever seen.

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    1. Whilst I want to see a huge improvement in the health of dogs, I do not want legislation. Legislation ends-up being a fiasco; just look at the current dangerous dogs legislation. Also, the police are overwhelmed as it is - I'd far rather they focused their efforts on murders and other serious crime.

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    2. Margaret, you really want to bring in the government? I worked for British Leyland, and take an interest in railways. After what governments of both colours have done to both the above, do I want them near my dogs? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

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  12. Without looking a the other comments, the first dog is a Springer Spaniel.

    That said, it doesn't matter what breed it is, those eyes could never do the job for which the breed was intended. They would collect too much debris. When you lose the original purpose of the breed, you lose other things too, like reliable temperament.

    Give me a working dog any day

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  13. Let's go right back to basics and throw the red herrings.

    The vet checks for the famous 15 aren't a comprehensive health testing scheme and were never meant to be. These checks have one very specific purpose. They are just about making sure that judges don't reward individual dogs that are "typey" but overtly health compromised.

    As such the checks are much more about power than anything else. The KC asserting it's power over breed standards and reigning in the power of exhibitors and judges to shape their breeds as they see fit. That's what the CA have got so upset about... being told what do!

    The fact that there are health compromised breeds not listed among the famous 15 is neither here nor there. If judges in those breeds are not routinely rewarding overtly unhealthy dogs then they don't need to be on the HPB list.

    The CA talk about the need for much more comprehensive health testing. I agree, but that's a very different issue and a red herring in the context of the current vet check row.

    Kevin Colwill

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    1. If they don't like being told what to do maybe they should have made more effort in correcting the problems rather than accepting the problems with the excuse "it's part of the breed".

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  14. Working dogs? I was once owned by a border collie who'd rescued himself from a farm where he was about to be shot, a bullet being cheaper than a vet to cure his distemper. That the kind of selective breeding you want?
    The show ring has its fads and fancies; mostly harmless, but in a few breeds making dogs suffer. The KC's efforts to promote, through the show-ring, healthy breeding in those 'special measures' breeds have been labelled cack-handed: but doing nothing is not an option; the question to be answered, both by showing's detractors and by the CA, is how else to end that suffering? I don't hear a convincing answer from either side.
    Whatever her motives, JH has exposed serious wrongs. That puts the onus on all dog-lovers to put them right, and the kind of sniping seen in this poster doesn't help.

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  15. Yes, and if it is a Springer, then their argument is moot - for it isn't a breed where you routinely see problem eyes - and actually, without a bit more proof, I'm unwilling to accept that is a dog that won a BOB anyway.

    The health checks were introduced in the HPBs precisely because health and welfare problems have become insitutionalised in these particular breeds and despite criticism judges were continuing to put up dogs with obvious issues.

    If that's happening in Springers too, then they should be added to the HPBs. But I don't think it is.

    Actually, the CA should have chosen a Great Dane for the top pic. You see some truly awful eyes in the show-ring and in my view they should be on the HPB list as a result.

    Jemima

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    1. You are completely correct Jemima these type of eyes are not common place in show bred ESS

      If they were they should and would be faulted thereby discouraging breeders from producing stock with such eyes. Our standard calls for eyes not showing haw.

      I support that there should be a more transparent and fair way of conducting health tests than the current regime but feel this poster is a bad example of showing this feeling

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  16. The CA have frequently stated that they are against treating some breeds differantly from other breeds. I suspect they think the vet checks could not be extended to all best of breed winners at a large show, and by pointing out the differance they hope to end all vet checks. But I agree with their stated aims. So why not have all winners subject to vet checks before going into the group ring? I show a non HPB and would have no objection to having a vet go over them. Obviously it will take time, but if group judging needs to be started later then so be it. I would also like it if the KC took a stronger line and removed the CC from a dog that failed the vet checks.

    John

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    1. I think that the Canine Alliance is the best thing that has happened in a long time.An organization that is not afraid to tackle issues head on. If some of you will take off your prejudiced heads and start reading, you will see that their aims are very sound on tackling health issues and include trying to get the KC to stop registering puppy farmed dogs which would of course reduce KC income! They are certainly NOT trying to end all vet checks!

      Here is an extract from an piece from the German KC the full text of which can be read on the Canine Aliance Website

      In Germany we always believed that the suitability for breeding purposes has to be assessed separately from dog shows which are "beauty contests". This is in sharp contrast to the UK where dogs can be bred from and get registered by the Kennel Club without the need for any tests or qualifications. We strongly believe that our system is more beneficial for the future health of purebred dogs, rather than picking fifteen dogs out of twenty thousand which can only have a very limited input on the gene pool of these breeds.”

      Here is part

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    2. John, thank you! Having been involved with horses before dogs, I was puzzled why so many were horrified by vet checks. All the big shows vet-check. Three-day eventers and endurance horses get checked at several times and can be pulled by the vet in mid-competition. People who love their dogs should be glad that a vet gives them a going-over to make sure they are sound and free of obvious problems.

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    3. Jo, in spite of having qualzucht laws in germany the issues common in the UK show circuit are replicated in Germany. It is an international problem. Public awareness in Germany of the problems however is not as great as in the UK.

      Although in German http://www.wdr.de/tv/diestory/sendungsbeitraege/2011/0822/hunde.jsp#pbild1 may be an interesting view.

      To be fair progress has been made in the UK but people need not be complacent and need not just to continue to improve but also to show willingness to improve. This is where things fall flat at the moment. Denial to the public that the problems exist in the first place does far more harm. If people admitted the problems existed and demonstrated a plan for correction most people would be supportive.

      Mark

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    4. I agree with John (I also show a non HP breed).

      If time was too much of an issue, why not test a random sample of BoB winners each show?

      Personally I would go for testing HP breeds at every show and an additional number of random non HP breeds (as many as time permits).

      The CA needs to realise that their position is strongly opposed by many exhibitors of less messed around breeds. The state some breeds have got into is just to acceptable.

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  17. Yup I agree, no single (or 15) breeds should be picked out, all breeds should be subject to the checks until the judges stop rewarding dogs with such obvious things as eyes like that
    and if all the dogs in a breed have problems as bad as this then the judge should be able to refuse to award a first place on grounds of health

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  18. The whole point of pedigree dog showing and breeding is creating dog breeds with phenotypes that are distinctly different from each other. Which in some cases, unfortunately, creates a breed predisposition for certain diseases such as conjunctivitis.

    Creating and maintaining such unequal phenotypes with little, if any functional base, but strong differences in disease susceptibility and then arguing that what has deliberately been created inequal should be treated equally is more than a little hypocritical.

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  19. Sorry guys but a good few people are still comparing apples and bananas here.

    I'll restate - the vet checks in the 15 HPB's are not about health per se. Their only purpose is to keep the judges from doing their own thing and ignoring revised KC breed standards and guidelines. It really is that simple.

    The CA, an organisation created by senior judges, want to take us back to the situation where the judge in the ring has the final say. They were convinced the vet check row would follow the template of last year's coat testing row and end with a suspension of the checks.

    When the KC AGM didn't play ball they were left without much of a plan B.

    It costs them nothing to call for checks across the board simply because they know that vet checking every BOB at a big all breed show is totally impractical.

    I think many of us, me included, have seriously underestimated the Kennel Club's bravery. Think about the implications for one moment. In the first instance they've accepted that judges have been a big part of the problem. They've then gone on to create a formal structure that brings in independent outside scrutiny to review what's gone on in the ring. That's a massive step and one which has put them at odds with Kennel Clubs around the world.

    I do believe in comprehensive health testing across the board but that really is a different issue. The precedent the KC has set with the vet checks is both brave and important. We throw it away at our peril.

    Kevin Colwill

    Kevin Colwill

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    1. Kevin, As always a sane voice. One thing, though - the KC is not in any way at odds with our KC, nor with the Finnish KC, and I imagine a number of others. The general opinion of the recent Stockholm conference where people from 20 countries and a number of KC:s were represented along with vets such as Bruce Fogle and many others, veterinary schools, animal insurance companies and geneticists was, I think, that there was great need for decisive action against twisted conformation.

      Another thing - just from listening to Steve Dean, he doesn`t impress me as the kind of person likely to back off in the face of opposition.

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    2. Spot on Kevin

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  20. Dalriach, "The RSPCA doesnt have a "stance that all pedigree dog breeding should be stopped" and never has had. They simply work for the protection and welfare of animals, regardless of whether they have pedigrees or not"

    I am afraid you are mistaken, several RSPCA people have made statements both in writing and on TV that one of the organisations aims is to stop pedigree dogs being bred. It may not be in their mission statement, but it is certainly at their roots.

    Fran, with the begining of your post we are coming from the same place. I see no alternative to breeding healthy dogs other than by rigorous selection, although I don't go as far as you by advocating outcrossing to other breeds. But what I wanted to know is how Non-selective breeding, as apparently advocated by JH at the conference, is going to help anything at all. Am I missing something? What is she meaning by Selective and what as it's alternative? Is this going to be another of those things that the Puppy Farms leap on with glee - banner headlines in their ads-"We are Non-selective so can guarantee healthy dogs", just as they did after PDE with the "We don't show so our dogs are healthy"?

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  21. Sure you missed something. Nowhere have I said I advocate non-selective breeding. I talked on the health and welfare problems caused by selective breeding. Now I certainly think we can learn something from the way selection works in nature (eg. mates having to prove their worth/fitness to breed, a degree of mate choice and inbreeding avoidance) but that's not to throw selective breeding out of the window. In fact the opposite. I'm arguing for just as much selection - just slightly different selection criteria. It's a big challenge to have pedigree dogs and have them as healthy as they can possibly be, but the reason on I bat on is because I know it's possible. We have the tools.

    Re the RSPCA, I've never heard anyone say that "one of the organisation's aims is to stop pedigree dogs being bred" - and I am pretty sure I would know about if they had (as I would be horrified) - so I'd be grateful if you provide the references/sources of this.

    Jemima

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  22. I have never read or heard anything to suggest the RSPCA's aim is to to stop pedigree dogs being bred. I have seen a lot of ill informed garbage posted on the internet as part of the hate campaign against the RSPCA, usually by the same people who accuse Jemima of being anti pedigree dogs, anti dog shows and a supporter of animal rights.
    Please quote your sources for claiming the RSPCA's aim is to stop the breeding of pedigree dogs

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  23. I have heard at least 3 of the RSPCA staff interviewed or commenting on TV programmes make this comment over the last 10 or so years. I am afraid I did not note either the names nor the dates of the programmes. I did record one of them so will see if i can find an old video tape for the reference.

    From your comment " I presented on the problems caused by selective breeding in dogs" I presumed you we advocating against it, which is why I was extremely puzzled. Perhaps the problem was in the wording?

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  24. I want to add a cautionary note about health testing, too. As unraveling the genome becomes easier and easier, we will soon likely find marker genes for all sorts of things, but we can't breed away from everything. If we found the genes that are more likely to cause, say, late-onset kidney failure (in 13 year old dogs), we might not want to breed away from it because a) there are so many other causes of renal failure and b) everyone has to die of something, and things that have late onset (or cause minor problems) might want to be kept in to maintain diversity.

    Similarly, not all genes that are necessary for a disease automatically cause a disease. For instance, in Corgis, around half are "at risk" for DM and most of the rest are carriers. Yet the disease only presents in the low single digits of dogs. Obviously something else is at play. When a gene is widely present and is necessary for disease, yet most of the dogs who have the gene DON'T have the disease, the "cure" is worse than the problem.

    We see that often in humans, as well--- a genetic mutation is necessary or more common in people who come down with one chronic illness or another, yet the huge majority of people with that gene never get the disease.

    Indeed, some genes that cause one set of problems protect against another set.

    So if, for instance, breeders moved away from a gene that greatly increased the risk of cancer in dogs under the age of 6, then I would applaud that (assuming that the correlation between the gene and disease was high). But if they bred aggressively away from a gene that was linked to cancer in geriatric dogs, I would question the further narrowing of the gene pool.

    Increased genetic testing will prove to be a double-edged sword unless the buying public is better educated in how to actually interpret the tests.

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  25. "Their only purpose is to keep the judges from doing their own thing and ignoring revised KC breed standards and guidelines. It really is that simple."

    ...if the rationale behind the vet checks was aimed at judges then why were they not conducted in the same conditions the judges were working in at Crufts ( i.e 2 mins per dog, no torches, no 'enhanced' lighting and taking into account breed specific standards which currently allows haw to show in some breeds ) .... are you truly saying that some our most experienced judges such as Ferelith Somerfiled and Zena Thorne Andrews were 'ignoring revised breed standards'......?


    the fact that subsequent Vet checks have been modified is obvious given that dogs which previously failed at Crufts have passed at subsequent Champ shows - and very few dogs now fail ....and just watch the Kc use this as proof that entire breeds are 'healthy' - but of course it's all a complete nonsense - testing only a tiny proportion cannot possibly have any impact on the health of entire breeds and equally it cannot 'educate' judges if they are not allowed the same 20-30 mins per dog as vets are and are not supposed to penalise haw showing if it is part of a breed standard ( and is not penalised in other non high profile breeds ) ....that's what this poster is about - the sheer illogicality and futility of the present vet testing regime - if the Kc truly wanted to make a difference to breed health then they would refuse to register dogs from unhealth tested parents ....but of course we all know that will never happen !!

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    1. Bijou, you are pessimistic. Last litter we sold, buyers were asking for certificates. My wife, a stickler for health tests, handed them a sheaf of papers; sale made. People who take the trouble to do their homework are the kind we want our pups to share their lives with, breeders will be foolish to deny them such homes. Market pressure will force breeders' hands, if the KC don't.

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    2. "...and are not supposed to penalise haw showing if it is part of a breed standard..."

      Well, therein lies the problem.

      If YOUR eyelids didn't close properly and you went to a doctor and he said "Well, based on your genetics it's totally normal, and if your eyes are red and irritated all the time so what? I don't treat 'normal" conditions even if they cause you discomfort" I'll bet you'd be angry and look for another doctor.

      The entire point is that judges have not only accepted but rewarded conditions that actively cause dogs discomfort (not potentially cause, but actively cause) by their very nature, if they are part of "the standard."

      And the feeling of many people, including many who own, breed, show, or compete with pedigree dogs, is that those breeds who reward disability have their heads so far in the sand that someone else unfortunately has to come in with the shovel.

      Believe me, I (and most everyone here) has other things to do on a lovely Sunday besides consider the structure of some hound's eyes.

      But many of us, at some point or other, looked at a particular breed or breeds and became so horrified by what now passes as an "ideal" example of the breed that we feel the need to speak up.

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    3. Beth - if obvious haw is to be penalised then the first step is surely to change present breed standards that currently allow this - it's surely illogical for the KC to instruct vets to fail dogs for showing haw whilst at the same time instructing judges to use breed standards which allow this when making their assessments !!!.

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    4. Bijou, since judges are often breeders, and vice-versa, you argument does not stand up the way it might if the two had nothing to do with each other. The CLUB, not the KC, writes the standard.

      Moreover, judges most decidedly determine how the standard is interpreted. Many of the standards are vague. For instance, I see my Corgis as having loose skin. It happens to not be written into the standard, but they do have it. Fact is, if a standard calls for skin folding, a judge can choose to reward modest folding and penalize severe, or can reward folding with a "more is better" attitude. Which has happened in the at-risk breeds, with various traits.

      Having said that, I appreciate your respectful tone and desire for dialogue.

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    5. ahh but it's the Kc not the clubs that ratify them !!....and it's those very same Kc approved breed standard's that say things like "Acceptable to have some haw showing " ....if vets are now saying that ANY haw is an elimination point then where does this fit in with the KC's own instructions to judges and breeders ??? ?


      ...if only tight eyes are acceptable then this must be clearly stated ..and breeders allowed enough time to breed for it...it si manifestly unfair to penalise breeders and judges when they are simply complying with the KC's own directives.

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    6. Bijou, the vet checks have never penalised for exposed haw without accompanying issues eg conjunctivitis. I've checked with the KC and they confirm that this has always been the case and that they have not moderated the checks.

      So if dogs that have previously failed have now passed (I didn't know that, actually) then it should be because there is no accompanying soreness/inflammation.

      Agree with your second paragraph. I think the breed standard should be changed re haw and breeders given time to get it right.

      Jemima

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  26. Anonymouse of 23 June 17:59 - a suggestion: firstly, please show your name, and secondly please show your data. Who said what when?

    Selecetive breeding of dogs has been going on for a couple of thousand years. Nobody argues against selective breeding: selective breeding of dogs CREATED the varied types of dog that we work with and live with. The sighthound is not the same dog as the working collie and even if you don´t notice the difference, the sheep do.
    So nobody, I think, has a quarrel with selective breeding. It started long before the present breeds of dog were split up and formalized and has resulted in very great achievements.
    Then again, just as selective breeding can produce good things - it can produce the opposite. It all depends on WHAT you select for, and that in its turn is a matter of WHO does the selecting.
    People working with sheep will (over the centuries) produce fantastic herding dogs. People brought up in a hunters´culture will come up with excellent hunting dogs. People who want good companions will select for that in their breeding choices and people who want to expand on those traits will probably produce some good assistance dogs. Etc.
    Then again, people who value dogs for their success in a narrow competitive conformation trial culture, will select for something else. The results of that selection have in some cases been terrible.
    This is what we are talking about, and trying to change. Pretending that disgust at selection for ectropion is disgust at selective breeding in general is, if you excuse me, pathetic.

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    1. Bodil FYI - mankind first bred dogs around 15,000 years ago (according to Martin Clunes' recent tv programme), under their respective empires the Greek himation and Roman toga sometimes carried toy dogs in their folds. Otherwise absolutely right; if we don't "play god" we're playing the other dude.

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    2. Bodil said "So nobody, I think, has a quarrel with selective breeding."

      In fact there are many quite high-profile people who suggest exactly that; the 'TV vet' Emma Milne, for example, has stated that she believes that bitches should be allowed to choose their own mates! The poor General Public is being seriously misled by many people; even the programmes which, if called "Bad Breeding Exposed" and been less biased and narrow-visioned would have met with almost universal approval from health-conscious reputable breeders, have done a lot of harm.

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    3. Mary, mildly puzzled as to whether Emma Milne (whom I´ve never heard or read, admittedly) may not be quoted out of context here?
      You see, I too, am in favour of a bitch being allowed to choose her mate. THE CONTEXT being that if I have this bitch of a certain breed, and consider her suitable for breeding in the first place, I would choose for her a few possible mates depending on their lineage, their mentality, and their documented health AND - importantly! - what I believed to be the degree of creditability in the owners of the respective dogs. I would go for sane, healthy, kind dogs with a reasonable life expectancy judging by their next of kin and the lowest possible COI in combination with my bitch. Right?
      Now imagine if for some reason known only to the bitch, she will have nothing to do with the dog that I prefer - there´s something about him she simply doesn´t like. On the other hand, she finds another of the males very palatable.

      Why shouldn´t I listen to the bitch? Why should I hold her down for a forced mating?
      Of course the only kind of breeding of dogs that is OK is selective breeding. Of course I´m the one who does the choosing, and decide what I select for. It´s still not the same as forced matings.
      I know that people now are beginning to say that a bitch may actually have a very good reason for refusing one dog and accepting another, reasons that we can´t easily sort out. E g bitch knows from sense of smell that proposed dog is actually genetically not too different from her - same MHC.
      Realizing this is not the same as suggesting dogs should be bred by opening the door to let the bitch out as soon as she comes into season, I think.
      So - what did Emma Milne actually say?

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    4. Bodil said :Realizing this is not the same as suggesting dogs should be bred by opening the door to let the bitch out as soon as she comes into season, I think.
      So - what did Emma Milne actually say?"

      I can't remember word for word, and don't have the dog press to hand, but Emma Milne (who featured in the TV series Vet School and Vets In Practice) was speaking at a meeting of the Advisory Council on the Welfare Issues of Dog Breeding. She was saying that in her view bitches should be allowed to choose their own mate from the dogs they usually associate with, whatever the breed; if your labrador bitch fancies the local jack russell, then that should be the sire of her puppies.

      I totally agree with you that a bitch should never be forced into mating with a particular dog.

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    5. I am checking with Emma.

      Jemima

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    6. She said at a BVA Congress meeting in September 2011 "“I want beautiful, healthy crossbreeds full of hybrid vigour,” she said. “Robust, well-socialised, unique individuals fit for the purpose of living happy lives.”

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    7. Please bodil enlighten me how she would choose?? Would you let her loose with several males and after the carnage of them all killing each other last man standing would get dips?? What of she took a fancy to her dad or brother ?? See unless you did that just took her to the park to pick one YOU are still the one choosing.

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  27. You have to be wacko to be against selective breeding. I don't know anyone who is. The questions are "How do you select? What do you select for? Who does the selection? How do you keep breeders from selecting in a way that gradually erodes the foundation of health?". The Canine Assn (CA already means California and Canada . . . the world doesn't need another CA) approves of shows as mechanisms of selection. Many of us think shows have gone too far on some things and would like to enhance selection using other criteria. I agree with the Canine Association on this poster: singling out a handful of breeds for health testing doesn't make sense. But talking about health problems and codes of ethics hasn't turned around the breeds, and segments of breeds, that are going downhill. Putting some health screening into dog shows is worth a try.

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  28. This ad is only valid if both dogs pictured are winners in the show ring. Both pictures show eye problems, and if the judges are not placing them then is demonstrates that shows can be (as Bateson said in his report) a positive force. However if either is winning then there is a problem. However if they are winning and the vet throws them out it demonstrates the the KC may be onto something.

    Carol

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  29. Heard the latest...

    Alan Hedges (who?- he's a keyboard warrior constantly posting on the Canine Alliances sites and a new columnist, unpaid probably, for the doggy newspaper "Our Dogs") has been so put out by this advert that he's launching a breakaway from the CA.

    He was always a loose cannon rattling around the gun deck of the good ship Canine Alliance so there won't be too many tears shed at his departure.

    Notable facts about the departure are

    1) he's calling his proposed new group "Dog Union" which some of you may know is a rather old school term for a mating! - about sums it up really.

    2) if he succeeds to any extent (unlikely as that may be) it will be by taking real grass roots members from the CA and leaving it as even more a club run by and for those at the top of the show scene.

    Kind regards,

    Gossip Hound

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  30. Is the new Canine Alliance logo supposed to be like an Anarchy symbol?

    So pathetic.

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  31. I'm so tired of dogs being bred with red eye droops, like the ones in the photos. It needs to stop in general.
    - Fang.

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  32. Only Jemima the-mouth-with-no-experience would claim selective breeding is the problem. SMH

    It's what is selected that is the problem, not the selection. And maybe if breeders received more help than just being pissed on by people who've never bred, we all might see faster and better change?

    No, that'll never happen - not when idiots think Jemima (and Jemima herself has so much fun pretending) is an expert, and someone mentions Carol Beuchat - another person with ZERO experience breeding, a photographer who illegally shows up and takes pictures at shows when other vendors pay...yah, that's who I want to listen to!

    At least the CA is filled with breeders who DO want to breed healthy dogs, and are willing to do what it takes. They've already put their money where their mouths are - versus Jemima who only see this as a way to make a quick buck off crapping on those who work so hard.

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    1. Totally agree with you..many breeders are experts at what they do..but that is not to say what they do is proper...just because they do it and therefore have experience. As far as the CA..keep saying it, just maybe it will become believable. It's a breeders alliance, protecting and effort to counter publicize negative outlook by others..has little to do with canines and their well being. This is nothing new, it is just become more open to folks and the elite breeders world is being taken to task..and CA is part of a mostly large 'hissy-fit'.

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    2. Do you people take English as a second language or are you just bloody dumb?

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    3. "...maybe if breeders received more help than just being pissed on by people who've never bred, we all might see faster and better change?"

      Okay, Anon, I'll bite. Two questions:

      1) Who are some of the people that breeders wish they could get help from? If you could ask anybody for advice, whom would you respect enough to take seriously?

      2) What things do breeders know from their breeding experience that the geneticists, "non-breeders," and any others offering advice don't? What would you have them learn so they could be more useful to you?

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    4. So how long has it been.. great example was a video from 1985 where the questions were being raised at crufts. Problems since then were getting worse not better. Why believe things would have been any different when experience shows it's not the case.

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  33. "If you could ask anybody for advice, whom would you respect enough to take seriously?"

    ...someone who has bred dogs across several generations with good health,longevity, temperament, working ability and low Co-efficients of inbreeding whilst still remaining within a single breed's gene pool and retaining essential breed type when assessed against others of the same breed .....in other words, someone who has real PRACTICAL experience of achieving what they are asking other breeders to do !


    "What things do breeders know from their breeding experience that the geneticists, "non-breeders," and any others offering advice don't? What would you have them learn so they could be more useful to you?"

    ..that if you concentrate on one aspect you run the risk of losing other vital criteria - ...for example there is no point in creating dogs with perfect hip scores if they are untouchable because you're not also breeding for temperaments -

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