Sunday, 2 September 2012

Colour bars

The posting of a picture of a particular Bulldog on one of the show forums provoked a strong reaction recently.  “Dreadful!” remarked one commentator. “We must stop this!” said another.

The problem? The Bulldog was a colour not permitted in the breed in the UK.

The old saying “a good horse is never a bad colour” doesn’t apply to pedigree dogs.  There are very strict rules about what colours specific breeds can be. In some instances, it makes sense because some colours are associated with health problems. Or it might be due to a sneaky cross to another breed. Very often, though, it's just irrational doggie racism. And there can be dire consequences for pups that pop out the wrong colour or pattern, although fewer are put to sleep these days as vets are less likely to agree to euthanize an otherwise-healthy pup. To be fair, breeders are less-inclined to cull on these grounds today, too, although I believe it still happens.

The permitted colours for Flatcoated Retrievers are black and liver, but occasionally a yellow one is born. This isn’t due to an illicit liaison with a Golden Retriever – the yellow gene is a legacy from earlier times when retrievers were just retrievers and came in several colourways. In fact, all Golden Retrievers descend from a yellow Flatcoat and the gene – although rare -  is still there in Flatcoats, often lying hidden for generations until a dog is mated to another dog that also carries the colour recessively.

In the old days, yellow Flatcoats were “bucketed” at birth; these days they are more likely to be placed in a pet home and neutered.  But old attitudes die hard. There is, currently, huge disapproval  within the Flatcoat community that an American breeder is breeding from yellow Flatties. Worse, he is breeding them not just to other Flatcoats but to American Cockers to produce an attractive, smaller retriever which he dubs a Chatham Hill Retriever, or “Chattie”. Of course I’m cool with thoughtful crossing, as long as it is done with as much due consideration as practised by the best purebred dog breeders and, having exchanged several emails with this breeder over the past two years, I think he should be supported, not slammed.

I can also muster no moral objection to the idea of breeding from a non-permitted colour, while appreciating that most core breeders won’t want anything to do with it.  But this poor chap has received many anonymous, abusive emails from Flatcoat breeders from those that believe that what he is doing is evil – and no matter that he can boast a great health record for the 100 or so pups he has bred in the past eight years. There hasn’t been a single case of hip dysplasia, or PRA (an eye problem seen in American Cockers). And neither has there been a single case of cancer so far – a problem that plagues around 50 per cent of purebred Flatcoats.  Now it’s early days in their breeding programme, but I find this much more interesting than the fact that they’re cross-breeding or using non-permitted colours.

The problem, of course, is the hallowed breed standard which dictates what colours are and aren’t allowed. But some breed standards were drawn up at a time when the inheritance of coat colour was poorly understood.  Indeed, coat colour genetics is still a bit of a minefield because the genes that code for colour often interact. Some, for instance, might mask or modify the presence of another. For instance, golden retrievers often carry the gene that codes for brindle.  

The reason you never see a goldie with a brindle coat, though, is because another gene masks it. Cross a golden retriever with another breed, though, and the brindling sometimes appears, as in a gorgeous rescue dog, Jacob, that my rescue recently rehomed.
Goldie x Jacob
 There’s a huge fuss at the moment about brindle Salukis – with the purists claiming that these dogs must be mutts and very likely a cross with a greyhound, lurcher or other sighthound. Worse, there’s even dark talk that brindle originally came from Bulldogs and that brindle Salukis may have totally the wrong shaped bones as a result. This is truly unfounded scaremongering but it has convinced many to lobby against the colour.

A report commissioned by the American Saluki Club last year concluded that there have always been brindle salukis in the Middle East/Asia – and that it is likely that the nucleus of imported Salukis that formed the founding stock of the breed in the UK (and subsequently to other Western countries) also included brindle. It is hard to be sure because colour wasn’t always recorded accurately in those days. It is true, however, that there are no known brindle salukis in the current KC registered stock. 

The controversy ignited when a UK-bred dog exported to Australia threw brindle pups – and in 2010 a brindle descendant of this line won a big show in the US under American Kennel Club rules. The colour is not disallowed in the AKC breed standard; whereas in the UK brindle is listed as “highly undesirable – effectively kyboshing any chance of one ever appearing in the showring.  However, the American champ’s line has been bred from and so more brindle salukis are being born.  There are also breeders keen to expand the Saluki gene pool who are importing the occasional desert-bred brindle Salukis from their country of origin. Tigger here, for instance, is owned by American biologist and Saluki breeder, Dr John Burchard. She came from central Asia and is indubitably all Saluki. 
Tigger... brindle Saluki
“I believe the Kennel Club standard should allow all colours, including brindle, since all colours are to be found in Salukis in the countries of origin” says Sir Terence Clark, who has made a long study of Salukis in the region. He thinks this even though he concedes it is possible that brindle may be due to crossbreeding further back in the Saluki's long history. “At what stage does a Saluki become a Saluki?” he asks. “Historically, the Saluki has undoubtedly been crossed with other breeds and after three or four generations of back-breeding, it is impossible to tell. As the custodians of the breed in the region would say, if it looks like a Saluki and runs like a Saluki… it is a Saluki!”
It won’t be a surprise to hear that in these days of increased awareness of the need for genetic diversity that I agree with him. But there are many who will disagree vehemently and the battle looks set to rage for a long time yet.

The situation gets even more complicated with the knowledge that some genes that code for colour are associated with health problems.  Too much white, particularly on the dog’s head, is linked to an increased risk of deafness – although this does seem to vary from breed to breed.  The reason white dogs suffer is because pigment plays a role in the development of the auditory system.

The Dalmatian has a high rate of deafness as it is, essentially, a white dog - and large patches of colour which could help reduce the deafness, are considered a fault. A Dalmatian pup born with a patch on its ear is considerably less likely to be deaf – and yet these are not used for breeding (and they used to be culled).

In Boxers, breeders often breed for a “flashy brindle” – a brindle dog with white feet often extending some way up the legs, white on the tummy and chest, white on the face and possibly a white collar as well.. Breeding for them, though, increases the risk that some dogs in the litter will be born white with, again, an increased risk of deafness. Boxers breeders used to cull these white pups. Fortunately, there is now a demand from the pet market for white Boxers, so far fewer are put to sleep.

There’s a condition called Colour Dilution Alopecia (CDA)  - or “blue dog syndrome” - that can lead to hairloss and skin problems. It’s caused by a gene that dilutes the base colours black or brown to produce blue and lilac dogs.  The highest risk is in blue dogs (in reality a slate grey) with a black base colour and short-coated dogs are more likely to suffer than long-haired.

If two merle dogs are bred together, there is a risk that the pups will be born deaf or with severe eye abnormalities  - including no eyes.  And yet merle is incredibly popular in breeds such as the Sheltie, Rough Collie and Australian Shepherd with some breeders even willing to risk merle-to-merle matings to ensure all the pups are merle, a strategy that almost inevitably results in some pups in the litter being deaf or blind. 

Conversely, there’s a huge battle to try to prevent the registration of working-line Bearded Collies which carry the merle gene.  There is very little consistency of thought or practice across the breeds with some colours that are associated with health problems actively selected for, and others  that cause no problems at all being frowned upon.        

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a Elisa, a Finnish breeder fighting a colour bar in German Pinschers. She is among a small group of breeders hoping to persuade the breed clubs that chocolate/tan (a colourway often seen in Dobermanns and Dachshunds) should also be acceptable in German Pinschers – a breed known these days for being all-tan (technically “red”) or black and tan
It turns out that there were chocolate/tan dogs originally in the breed but it was bred out. This was partly by chance and partly because it was considered a colour associated with health issues – wrongly in this case as it happens.  As a result, the chocolate/tan was removed from the German Pinscher standard in the 1970s. But now some chocolate/tan pups have been born in Sweden – from a rare line of German Pinschers.

Elisa believes they should be registered and bred-on, particularly because the breed is struggling with a very small gene pool. But the resistance remains even though the claim that the colour causes health problems has been disproved. At heart, it is fuelled by traditional breeders simply thinking the colourway is ugly – an attitude that is hard to counter.

And there’s a crazy colour bar in Newfoundlands. The breed has three accepted colours: solid black, solid brown and black-and-white (known as Landseer) and one banned colour: brown and white. The way the colour genes work in Newfies means that all four colourways are possible and there is absolutely no health risk in brown and white.  And yet it is not allowed. It is completely illogical.

Similar stories are to be found in many other breeds. White German Shepherds were once thought to be at higher risk of health issues and even though that’s not true, the colour is still not considered acceptable despite a white dog being one of the founding dogs for the breed.  Instead, aficionados have had to create a whole new breed – the Swiss Shepherd Dog.  They are recognised in Switzerland and other countries, but still not in the UK.

I do think it’s time to reassess what is and isn’t acceptable in terms of colour  and to challenge hard where there is no sense to it – particularly if a colour does not come with any health risks.  It too often smacks of the kind of overt discrimination that led to whites-only public transport, restaurants and schools. That, thank goodness, is a thing of the past.

Of course, it’s not racism in the sense that it is any psychological insult to the dog – but it still leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth.
Further reading:
With many thanks to coat colour expert Liisa Sarakontu for her considerable help in compiling this article

This article first appeared in the August 2012 issue of Dogs Today Magazine.


  1. I'm pleased to say that there are impermissible colors in my breed, Greyhounds. For some time predominant white parti-color was fashionable in the show ring, but that seems to have given way to a preference to large, slab-sided over-angulated dogs with giraffe-like necks.
    In the racing world, the conventional wisdom among old dogmen for years was that blue (grey) Greyhounds did not run well, so consequently there were few blue Greyhounds running on the track. That myth has largely fallen by the wayside and now more blues are appearing in the starting boxes. Blue is still rare enough to be much sought after by Greyhound adopters, and a Greyhound adoption group can be well assured that a blue Greyhound coming in to its program will go to a home quickly.

    1. John P, is that you? ;)

      I hope you meant to say that there are no impermissible colors in Greyhounds. While certain colors in Greyhounds are rare, the Greyhound standard says that color is immaterial, and so far as I know there isn't anyone in the performance Greyhound world breeding for or against certain colors/patterns at this time.

  2. The breed I own (Pembroke Welsh Corgis) seems to only have color faults that are associated with health problems: mostly white is a very serious fault in the US standard. So is mismark with white in impermissable places; a white blaze is preferred, but a half-white head is a such a serious color fault that all go to pet homes. Bluies (which in Pem is the dilute you mention, not the merle seen in Cardigans) are also a serious color fault. It seems to be some sort of odd recessive since it will show up suddenly in lines where it was never seen; since the dogs can't be shown, they are generally sent to pet homes and the breedings are not (from what I have seen) permitted.

    Now, it seems that excessive whites on Pems may NOT be associated with deafness; I believe that since they are a herding dog (pastoral in the UK standard) and so many other herders have the type of excessive white that IS associated with deafness, the lots-of-white look was discouraged out of experience with other breeds.

    Otherwise, you see some variation of red, sable, and tri with either a black or red head. Sables vary from just black tipping to heavy sable markings and is most likely genetically just about the same as red. I am not aware of other colors showing up. I don't believe they exist in the gene pool at all. Of course dogs with flashy white are more inclined to win in the show ring and so you see lots of white collars and blazes, but I have seen red dogs with almost no white do well enough.

    In some dogs color restrictions make sense. In the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, black is a dominant color and since there are no black dogs in the gene pool and have not been for a long time, a black pup is obviously a sign that the dog is not purebred. There is a very dark brown that approaches black, but it is genetically brown.

    In other cases, though, the color restrictions seem to just be silly and serve to further reduce already small gene pools. The prejudice against brindling that you mention is a perfect example of this. It is true, though, that if a brindle mixed-breed dog shows up in rescue, most people think it must have some pit bull in there somewhere.

  3. Fawn Dobermans are also at risk for developing (carrying?) CDA. I believe fawns and blues are still not allowed by the FCI standard, but they're allowed in the AKC. Albino Dobermans are considered right out, as one might expect.

    Granted, people who deliberately breed Albinos (also referred to occasionally as "Z factored" because of the Z in the AKC registration number) say that they're white, not albino, and perfectly fine.

  4. The UK Saluki that was exported to Australia *is* brindle; his name is Hadiyyah Samir of Gorewater. He is the result of an unholy union between a show line Saluki sire and a coursing line Saluki bitch. The brindle comes down through his dam, who is e/e and thus looks cream, not brindle. e/e dogs cannot produce black pigment in their hair. (Note that I am on record as stating that brindle is most definitely an acceptable Saluki pattern. I really give not a sh!t whether this dog got his stripes from a Greyhound ancestor or alien DNA.) His brindle daughter who took BOB at the Saluki Nationals is Baghdad Be Still My Heart. She looks just like him.

    There is a big problem in the UK with Saluki crosses in rescue and with Salukis being stolen to be used for crosses. Do not think that I am making light of these problems. BUT, if you have even a shallow surface knowledge of the players involved in the UK part of the brindle Saluki equation, you can easily see that there is a hefty dose of class prejudice going on. And the cognitive dissonance in relation to the 'Salukis have been pure for six thousand years,' and 'Western Salukis are the only really pure ones left,' and 'If there's a single cross in there the progeny will be impure FOREVER', is really, really amusing.

    I have had some conversations about this issue that have literally made my jaw drop. No, seriously, Salukis have been pure for thousands of years because some Arab guy traced his own family tree back to the biblical Noah. Someone actually told me this. I even scrutinized Google Earth very carefully for the gigantic wall between Iran and Afghanistan that certainly must be there to keep the brindle out of the fertile crescent. Didn't find it.

  5. I understand color restrictions to a degree - look for instance at how the "merle" color popped up suddenly in American Cocker Spaniels - but for breeds with limited gene pools I can't understand it.

    1. All breeds have limited gene pools. That's how they've been created.

    2. Merle has been known in American Cockers for 30 years - often registered as roan which is a horrible, risky way to register this color pattern. Rusty Butch, b. in 1979, is reported to be the source. The recognition of this needs to be addressed as registering merles as roans poses as HEALTH risk in this breed, especially as the buff colors do not show the merle they might have on board. This is ALSO how merle 'crops' up, when a buff (hiding merle) line is bred then to a darker colored line.

      Here is a list of KNOWN merle Cockers - many registered as roan. -


    3. Merle suddenly appeared in American Cockers out of nowhere, most likely because another breed was quietly slipped in to produce the color. English Cockers NEVER come in merle. No spaniel breed (besides American Cockers) ever comes in merle, and off the top of my head I can't think of any gun dog breed that comes in merle.

    4. I always thought "roan" was another name for I wrong?

  6. This is a great post. The stupidest colour policy I have seen so far is in Australian Cattle Dogs - they actually breed FOR deafness! Research has been done that proved ACD's with body patches (more solid colour) are free from inherited deafness, and yet the body patches are "unwanted" in the breed standard. So sad for an otherwise very nice working dog, which at first doesn't seem to be bred for "beauty".

  7. The Deaf Dog Network regularly receives requests from breeders to rehome deaf puppies that breeders have created through irresponsible matings. They are the lucky ones - most of them are considered 'rejects' and are culled.

    1. I know of a breeder who, some time ago, bred a litter of mostly deaf whippets (yes they were white)these were homed thoughtfully with deaf owners with very satisfactory outcomes!

  8. My breed, standard poodles, though accepting "all solid colours", does operate a colour bar against parti-coloureds. Random patches to my eye do nothing for their wearers' looks, so I guess the reasons are aesthetic - not aware of any health issues. Occasionally parti breeding does throw up a real beauty, like the one in Crufts' Discover Dogs section a few years ago with a lovely mottled pattern along the back - great shame that couldn't be shown. There is now a club for those who agree:-

    Black or white coats win most shows, having a stiffer texture (think of Jimi Hendrix) than e.g. apricots, which tend to be too floppy. To encourage the rest, poodle shows often have separate "other colours" classes. You might think the quest for colour would lead to inbreeding, but apparently not: KC's breed average CoI was 4.1% last I saw. Yes we breed for beauty; including graceful, capable-looking movement: I see no conflict there.

  9. I wish there was a breed bred just for health, of body and mind ;)

  10. Although I believe any coat colour is permissible, blue or black Whippets rarely win in the show ring, which is why these colours tend to be found only in working lines. The current vogue in show Whippets is for brindles and fawns.

    I have a blue Whippet (working sire, show dam), who so far hasn't suffered from dilute alopecia. We occasionally see his blue sister and she too seems to be okay. I was unaware of this condition until about a year after we had him.

    It's not just in the show ring that colour prejudices rule - Greyhound charities always have trouble rehoming black dogs. Big, black, males are the first to be PTS because they're the hardest to rehome. As Greyhounds are bred to win races, not for coat colour, there's a discrepancy between what the racing breeders want and what the pet buying public want. I was unaware of this prejudice when I had my Greyhound, although sadly I knew that I didn't want a black dog...

    1. "Big, black, males are the first to be PTS because they're the hardest to rehome. As Greyhounds are bred to win races, not for coat colour, there's a discrepancy between what the racing breeders want and what the pet buying public want. I was unaware of this prejudice when I had my Greyhound, although sadly I knew that I didn't want a black dog..."

      To be fair, you were completely aware of this prejudice because you had it yourself ...

    2. I can never understand this prejudice with black male dogs. Everybody I know agrees with me that a black dog with a lovely shiny coat, bursting with health is very beautiful. There is nothing like rescuing a black dog that has gone through a hard life and see it transform into a beautiful animal. Black dog prejudice is just wrong!

    3. Anon 13:41: No I wasn't aware of the prejudice - all I was aware of was my personal preference. How was I to know that many other people share this preference?

  11. There are lots of breeders breeding for a healthy animal Ania it's just that Jemima chooses to focus solely on the negative!

    1. I don't think that's true. Jemima has never said that all pedigree dog breeders are out to ruin pedigree dogs. She has highlighted the stumbling blocks that many breeders come across in their attempts to breed healthy dogs.

      I do think there are plenty of breeders who consider themselves to be reputable, who will still breed dogs with high COIs and don't health test because it's not mandated.

      There are also plenty of breeders who genuinely care about the longterm health of their breed and who are seen as troublemakers within their breed club.

      I find breed forums provide a fascinating insight into the mentality of many so-called reputable breeders. Actions speak louder than words, and although they may socialise their puppies and ask prospective buyers all the right questions, winning in the show ring takes precedence over breeding for genetic diversity.

    2. Anon @ 12:31; I do think that's a bit of exaggeration.

      However, I would like to see Jemima do some focus on breeds that are breeding for both show AND working ability and see if there are some big differences in results.

      Here in the US, the Brittany club is proud that they have large numbers of dogs that have dual titles with champions in field and show, and you can get a capable personal gun dog from show lines.

      Also here in the States, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club has taken huge pains to right a standard that does not allow for extremes, and gives actual measurements for certain body proportions rather than some vague words like "not ponderous" or "athletic." As a result they have avoided the massiveness that has crept into their labrador retriever cousins. My dad's personal gun dog is a Chessie from a top show kennel and he says she's in a tie for the best hunting dog he ever owned, and he's 70 and used to field trial pointers.

      So there are show breeders out there who focus on true soundness and ability. It might be nice for a change of pace to show what CAN be done so that the breeders who just keep harping on form might see that you can get both, if you are careful.

      I am not saying the Brittany and the Chessie are free of inherited health problems, but they are free of the conformation extremes which make daily life uncomfortable for the dogs.

      Of course, there are still a fair number of people who hunt with dogs here in the States. My understanding is things are much more limited in the UK. So there is a larger call to breed dogs with hunting instinct.

    3. Anonymous3 September 2012 12:31, you're quite right. Jemima has deliberately and consistently sent the message that pedigree dogs are automatially badly bred and unhealthy, otherwise the programmes would be called "Bad Breeding Exposed". There's never been any focus on what good breeders do to minimise the risk of genetic abnormalities - there was a vague mention of hipscoring as an aside during PDE3 but it was easy to miss. The over-riding message is to avoid a breeder who can tell you anything about your pup's ancestry and go for a totally random-bred litter.

    4. That's just rubbish. Any person with half a brain realised that what Jemima was doing was highlighting the problems in pedigree dogs due to breeding for exaggerated conformation and looks. If you fall into that category then of course you are going to be upset. To everybody else it just made sense to prove what was going on. It seems all the anti hide behind anonymous tags too. Why not be open and let us see who you are?

  12. I'd be very interested to hear from a geneticist regarding outcrossing to another breed; at what point can the genes from an outcross no longer be detected by a genetic test? We know that the great-great grandparents contribute only 1/16th of the genetic make-up of a dog. Would the genes from an outcross to another breed be considered dilute enough by the time it came to the great-great grandchildren?

    I think part of the resistance by breeders to do outcrosses to another breed, is that they can't show the resulting offspring for several generations. Apart from one dog used for subsequent breeding, the whole litter would have to be petted out. Perhaps if the KC allowed dogs from out-crosses to another breed to be shown at dog shows, as part of the initiative to increase genetic diversity, the prejudice against outcrosses would be reduced? I don't show, but I do regularly hear the overwhelming outrage against outcrossing from the Whippet show community; this is frequently coupled with stubborn resistance against accepting health problems. This is interesting, because up until the 1970s a dog that looked like a Whippet and was considered a Whippet by judges, could still be bred from and its offspring registered.

    1. Im interested in this not sure you can "dilute" genes at all, they are either present or not. Its the likelihood that the genes in question are still present many generations on

  13. Talking about brindle salukis leads to all kinds of crazy.

    That's been my experience.

    Golden retrievers are all kinds of different colors. The e/e masking just hides it.

    1. That and black Salukis. The Saluki wars are epic in their pettiness and hyperbole, in my opinion.

    2. Endlessly entertaining, though.

    3. Indeed. I follow it as an outsider because it distracts me from the other kinds of insanity in my own breed.

      The funnniest part about it is that brindle is common to ALL of the other drop eared sighthounds, including the Afghan Hound, which is not exactly a separate gene pool from the Saluki. AND it's present in the native LGDs in the same region. Even if brindle Salukis are "crossed with something else" (*gasp!*), why anyone would assume it was Greyhounds from Europe instead of the neighbor's brindle Afghan/Tazy is beyond me.

  14. It should be said that at the request of breed clubs, the Kennel Club now refuses to register the progeny of merle x merle matings for several breeds. The same breed clubs also refuse to recognise colours such as sable merle (sable x merle) as the merling may not be visually apparent and could inadvertantly lead to double merles being bred with possibly associated problems. This is not 'prejudice', it is minimising risk.

    It is not only in the show world though that colour 'prejudice' exists. When did you last see a red and white border collie herding sheep for instance? There is usually an underlying reason why certain coat colours have historically not been permitted, such as nearly white collies being indistinguishable from the sheep they herd at a distance!

    Other domesticated animals also have permissable colours written into their breed standards, including horses and cattle. You might think that this would be irrelevant in a draught or meat animal but in fact it is regarded as of critical importance as a hallmark feature of the breed.

    And I really have to call this statement into question:
    "challenge hard where there is no sense to it – particularly if a colour does not come with any health risks. "
    Surely from someone who is so keen to protect the health of dogs this should read "challenge hard if a colour does not come with any health risks". The fact that a possible new colour does not have associated health risks should be a must, not a bonus if it is to be considered.

    1. It is not only in the show world though that colour 'prejudice' exists. When did you last see a red and white border collie herding sheep for instance? There is usually an underlying reason why certain coat colours have historically not been permitted, such as nearly white collies being indistinguishable from the sheep they herd at a distance!


      just have to say that this is not true at all! candy coloured BCs are rarely seen in working lines because they are recesive genes, if the breeders are not looking at colour at all, and focaseing on working ability ONLY, then this greatly dimishes the chances of these colours showing up. when they do and you get 1 or 2 other colours in a litter(which happens) and if there are lets say 10 puppies, there is only a 10-20% chance that one of those pups is going to be the ones good enough to carry on the line. it DOES happen, but it quite simpley does not come up very often purely by chance, NOT because they are selected against. the only places you see lots of candy coloured BCs ANYWHERE is with breeders who breed FOR the colours.

      also while there has abosolutly been predjudace against mostly white BCs from old timers, the reasons are not valid. these days many of the aboslute best working BCs are mostly white..and the matching the sheep thing simpley does not hold water...what about black sheep, brown sheep, black and white sheep etc..? they dont count? lol

  15. Jemima says that 'White German Shepherds were once thought to be at higher risk of health issues and even though that’s not true, the colour is still not considered acceptable despite a white dog being one of the founding dogs for the breed'.

    It’s not the colour that makes UK GSD folk perceive that white German Shepherds are at higher risk for health issues - it’s the way they were bred in the UK to persistently throw white. I.e. lines of inbreeding to the old epilepsy carrying bloodlines. This is why, not because of the colour.

  16. Take any white GSD pedigree you like Jemima and send it to Chris Hazel, the GSD League breed health co-ordinator, and you might be surprised at how many lines go back to epilepsy.

  17. I have a breed which allows all colours and patterns. Yet, neither dilute, brindle nor merle has ever been a part of the breed. Fairly recently some merle dogs have appeared in the US. This has made the breed club react and put out this statement:

    "SHCA's Policy Statement on Merle Siberian Huskies
    The Board of Directors of the Siberian Husky Club of America, Inc. recognizes that the Breed Standard for Siberian Huskies states “All colors from black to pure white are allowed. A variety of markings on the head is common, including many striking patterns not found in other breeds.” However it is our strong belief that “merle” markings (and the genetic health issues that are associated with the merle gene) are not genetically possible in the purebred Siberian Husky gene pool. Therefore, it is our belief that a Siberian Husky exhibiting merle patterning is the result of impure breeding. As such, the Siberian Husky Club of America, Inc strongly discourages anyone from purchasing or breeding a merle Siberian Husky. "

    is this wrong by the breed club?

    I for one agree with them.

    Merle is caused by a dominant gene, as such it would have been seen through the years if it really belonged in the breed. I see no reason to welcome a troublesome (from a health perspective) colour like the merle in my breed.

    That said it is probably more likely than not that other crosses has happened through the years. Those I do not care about. I don't care if my dogs should happen to have a fraction of some Alaska Husky in there, or Greeland dog. I know for sure they have some Malemute way back as that i recorded in the early stud books, long before they were a registered breed.

  18. About 4% of Labradors carry the brindle gene (Kbr) . . . the rest have the K gene which produces solid colouring. So you do get litters where around half (depending on probability) of the pups are brindle, though not very often. People expect solid colours in a Labrador. Brindle pups inevitably raise questions about whether some dog got through the fence and brindle adults will often be taken as crossbreeds. If I go back to breeding, I'll make sure to get the bitch colour typed (a genetic test is available and reasonably cheap), and if she carries Kbr, I'll be sure the dog doesn't. Personally, I have nothing against brindles. But who wants to have to answer questions about cross breeding and have puppy buyers be looked down on by the ignorant for having mutts. It's not like the Labrador gene pool is narrow.

    On the other hand, the disqualification of chocolate points (b/b e/e) . . . which commonly come out of some breedings of accepted colours . . . is pretty stupid. Those outside the dog fancy have no trouble identify the breed and often make remarks like "what pretty eyes".

    As for flatcoats, the gene pool is pretty narrow BECAUSE of the colour bars imposed when the breed was split off from the golden retriever. Personally, I think the split was a mistake. It would be good if the flatcoat and golden were merged into one breed and two or more colours were permitted (I don't know if you'd get chocolates, or even some brindles).

  19. Jemima, what about Chatham Retrievers do you feel should be supported? What I see on their website is someone with a bunch of colored dogs ... miniaturizing them. They acknowledge that the breeds they are using are working breeds, but the only photos I see are of either the dogs or the owners laying on the couch, or using a chuck-it to throw a ball for the dogs. How can the owners of that kennel be preserving the working ability in either breed if they're not working their dogs? Maybe I'm missing something? Thanks.

    1. I agree with you about preserving the working ability of dogs. However, most pet owners want dogs either as pets, where the dog will receive far less exercise on a day-to-day basis than it would if worked, or for an activity that no dog was originally bred for, such as agility, flyball or heelwork to music.

      Many people use border collies for the above activities and whilst they are absolutely fantastic dogs, judging by the number of crazy collies I regularly see at agility, I'm not convinced they are suited to a pet owning lifestyle, no matter how much they may excel at such activities or be easy to train. Border collies were originally bred to herd sheep - they need to work all day everyday, yet I know very few owners who allow their BCs to do herding work for fun.

      There appears to be a crisis between preserving breeds and moving forward creating new breeds that are more suited to the modern lifestyle. I also think more work could be done at breeding a dog that excels at agility etc, that is also not frustrated at being unable to fulfil its original function and is happy with the exercise quota of a pet.

      There are plenty of owners with gundog breeds who are attracted to the temperament and trainability of the breed, but are unable or unwilling to provide the dog with the massive amount of exercise and mental stimulation required.

      I realise that many of the toy breeds are bred as companion dogs, but not everybody wants such a small dog.

    2. Anonymous (not sure why...),

      If people don't want to own a working breed, and just want a pet, then that's what they should get. They can go to any shelter or rescue and find all kinds of designer dogs for less. However, when you're a breeder, and you're taking the future of the breed (or in this case, two breeds) in your hands, it is your responsibility to preserve the dogs as they are, not cross-breed them and change them into something society thinks they want. If you've been watching Jemima's blog, you can see how the evolution of dogs has changed the dogs for the worst over the years.

      As far as "crazy collies," those aren't the working bred dogs. What rancher wants a crazy dog? Those are the ones that get shot. They need dogs who will work all day, and keep their heads about them when they come in and deal with the kids at night. Sure, "agility bred" border collies -- different story. Bred for speed and whatever else agility people breed for ... but again, you're getting away from breeding for working ability.

      So are you telling me there aren't enough pet breeds and rescue dogs around and that it's ok for someone to take two working breeds, cross them without any regard to their working ability, and dumb them down to create a new pet breed? I think those that want to start a new pet breed should start with two pet breeds and leave the working dogs alone. Those that want a pet should go buy a pet, not an imitation bred to look like one but with no working ability included.

    3. If you could question the founders of many of the breeds you see today as to why they made this particular breed. the Ingredients are shaped by Temperament, Bid-ability and Looks. All three had to apply to someone's personal preference before they said...hey this is the right formula. So you can glean using common sense a few things from how our ancestors did things.... They used a hell of a lot less science than we do now and they were Playing GOD by mixing and matching and then trying to repeat the results time and again once they decided on the first three variables.

      There are many recreationist breeds out there that were required as a result of poor stock or extinction. If you can really call it extinction. Since the basic formulation for any particular "STYLE" of dog is still scattered among all the variations of dog breeds that existed and still exist today. Who's to say that if we apply the same care with a bit more science behind it today that we still can't create a new style (breed) of dog. If you strip away the red tape and all the current arrogance of the dog fancy today you'll realize that pure bred dogs are the results of design. They are all in fact designer dogs that were accepted as a standard based upon some long deceased human's perspective of what they felt was their ideal dog.

      And all the people who favor one breed over another... are now the dog fancy groupies and fanboys of these hard working and long deceased individuals. Yup I said it.

      To say otherwise based on long standing references to breed standards is to continue to deny that dogs didn't just appear in the many forms we see them in today. The forms we see today still evolved from the many original ideas of yesterday. They were created and therefore all man made.

      Here's the thing with rescue dogs......unless its in a burning building or drowning...its not being rescued. You're taking a risk that what you're about to plop down an adoption fee for was the result of a mother and father with known good health records and proper socialization. You're basically taking a gamble instead of betting on a sure thing. That's the baseline of the whole arguement on .... ahem.... "rescue" dogs.

      Now as for Pet dogs.... The Pet Market is the driving force behind all the dog breeds we know. The pet Market is the reason the many breeds we see today are still around. Its a matter of choice. And lets face it. Out of an entire litter of pups, the majority are going to homes of people who find something romantically admirable about the many fabricated stories behind each breed. They've identified with the romanticized vision of the now established breed clubs. The Pet market also needs to deliver on a much higher demand from a public that wants a longer living healthier dog as a return on their investment. Or they can continue to take a risk on the purest of bloodlines from a very long practice of line breeding and in the case of the UK INBREEDING, as its been exposed ;-) The public seems to have made its choice. And the educated public is leaning more and more towards carefully bred mixed breeds.

    4. " You're basically taking a gamble instead of betting on a sure thing. That's the baseline of the whole arguement on .... ahem.... "rescue" dogs."

      Umm, what?

      For one thing, many "rescue" dogs (using your own quotes which are completely unneeded) are adults, have lived with a foster family and so their general temperament and issues are well known. I believe it is in fact much less of a gamble than buying a puppy. WYSIWYG, etc. There are no guarantees with puppies. You can get a puppy with issues from 2 healthy, social, not closely related dogs. I know this because I have one. I luff him like a pig luffs mud, but he is a dingus. His parents and all his littermates are great dogs, hes been well socialized and trained, and yet he is wired weird and has all kinds of issues. Its not a slam on breeders, its just a fact.

      For another, looking down your nose with disdain at the work many people do in the name of "rescue" just makes you look like, well lets just say "butthole." There are dogs out there who need to be rehomed, and there are people who work tirelessly to care for train and place them. If they want to call themselves Rescuers so what.

    5. Rescue dogs aren't always in a foster home environment...the majority are from a shelter environment. And sorry, but there are buttholes in the rescue scene as well. We can all have opinions.

      I certainly don't look down my nose at the rescue scene. But, employees are mostly underpaid and the system is under funded. You are taking a risk. Unless there is disclosure beforehand about the parents or the history of previous owners. And there seldom're taking a bigger risk knowing fewer variable than you are offered with a breeder with a focus on doing things proper for their stock of dogs. And with breeders you can do more homework on them, their dogs and their previous litters. View and meet the parents and siblings and even speak with other owners of previous litters.

      Caveat Emptor.... Applies here towards rescues as well as breeders. Its literally a two way street.

      Also Beth.... I have had as I call them... formerly homeless dogs that I provided a home for. Trained, socialized and then rehomed. So its not like I'm a butthole talking about things without having walked the walk. At least I would try to know more about you before labeling you one.

      At the moment I only know your name here on a blog. And I don't feel you're a Butthole... just passionate about your dogs. Well, so am I.

    6. "I certainly don't look down my nose at the rescue scene."

      One would certainly have a hard time ascertaining that from your previous comment.

    7. My thoughts are why try and make a new breed when there are so many out there that can fulfill that purpose? Is it so that you are gaining fame as developing the new breed? Rescue dogs come in all shapes and rescue is to remove from danger...and that is not necessarily a fire etc., We are finding more and more that its the designer dogs ending up in rescue because people want to jump on the bandwagon of producing a new breed and be able to charge extortionate amounts for the puppies. You are taking no more chances with a rescue/shelter dog than you are with a puppy of any breed. We are not god and he moves in mysterious ways. Puppies born to very healthy parents can have serious health issues and combining 2 breeds with health issues to create a new breed is just loading the gun for future generations. Of course that's just my opinion and I'm always delighted to be proved wrong when animal suffering or health is involved.

  20. A nice piece on colour which does discuss some of the colour related health problems. I only have a few things to add; allowing 'new' colours is often followed by a rush to breed them as rare increasing health, conformation and temperament faults. Much of the predudice about chocolate labradors in the gundog world came about through people breeding just for colour (thankfully not so much the case now) and there is concern the 'new' silver labrador being bred in america is either a) a cross (some look very like weimaraners and people who want a quiet family lab don't want a weim!) or b) a colour dilution of chocolate (with the discussed colour dilution alopecia risks).

    As a vet I am obviously very pleased that pups of unrecognised colours are no longer culled, and that they can be registered with the UK kennel club (albeit as unrecognised colours) but I wouldn't necessarily agree with every breed allowing every colour, and that's simply because I like there being distinct breeds! If there are no guidelines to what shape, size and colour a dog breed is then we rapidly lose breeds. Some would argue that is a good thing!

    Breeds can accept new's not so long ago that labradors were only black or yellow. In my own breed we are seeing yellow and white ESS. As yet these haven't been great specimins but in time, if they crop up more often and can hold their own in the field maybe we'll have to think about making them a recognised colour. For now the risk that it's a colour dilute liver or the result of outside blood keeps these yellow and white dogs as curiosities.

  21. Just to clarify the position on Dalmatians with patches and deafness. Deafness in Dalmatians is caused when the *inner* ear is unpigmented. On occasion a patch that engulfs the outer ear does not reach the inner ear and the Dal may be deaf in the patched ear. OTOH, patches anywhere on the body are associated with greater pigmentation and somewhat less deafness. Breeding only Dals with bilateral hearing will result in more patched puppies and breeding from patches will improve hearing stats.

    Inadmissible colours in the Dal include brindle, lemon (dilute liver) and blue (dilute black) Also inadmissible are tricolours in which black and liver spots appear, with the liver usually on the head, chest and legs, rather like a Doberman's colouring. I am not sure why the dilute colours and brindle were not favoured, but the story of why the tricolour, once the most popular spotting pattern, was barred is interesting. Breeders at the end of the 19th C thought that black and liver Dals should not be interbred (purity, again). They decided that tri's were the result of careless breeding that mixed the two colours.

    We can't have careless breeders exhibiting in the show ring, now, can we?

    Even though the practice of keeping black and liver Dals apart in breeding programs has long since been discarded as useless and damaging to the quality of liver spotting, the prejudice against tricolours remains.

  22. So how come in over 100 yrs no brindle ever appeared in any litter of proven parentage.... and even most coursing folk agree that brindle in uk 'saluki' is a sign of something else?????
    Is it snobbish to want to choose a line & breeder carefully to avoid health & temperament issues and to be able to see pictures & meet relatives from previous generations so you can see where certain characteristics come from???? If there is any 'snobishness' from show breeders it might have a small part to do with the fact that show saluki people put their hands in their pockets in a very big way to fund Saluki Welfare which deals with dozens and dozens of coursing bred salukis every year who have been cast off by their owners/breeders.. many also personally re-home salukis and saluki crosses who live happily alongside their show bred pets.
    And not being facetious, but the true middle eastern breeders were very careful about the purity of their lines, they did a wonderful job of producing world class horses, why should their salukis have been any different??

    1. In Salukis? Well, there's Aini in Germany. Imported from Iran, certainly accepted as a purebred Saluki, founder of several respected bloodlines. A brindle herself and produced brindles.

    2. :::Sigh::: Here they come.

      It might surprise you, but there are a lot of Saluki people in the rest of the world, you know, that place outside the UK, who don't consider the Saluki to be a British dog. Look up the 'Middle East.' You might even want to look up the older definition of the 'Middle East' while you're at it, the one that was in use when the Saluki was first brought to the UK, which encompasses Iran (Persia) and some points even *farther* East. There is no wall keeps the stripes just in Afghan hound territory.

      As for litters in the last hundred years, there are dogs that have been imported from Iran into Europe that have been critiqued and registered as Salukis and ARE BRINDLE. There are three or four separate lines of brindle Salukis now, that HAVE NO RELATION WHATSOEVER TO THE UK BRINDLES.

      And therein lies the problem. If you want to exclude brindle because of questionable 'purity', you will also be excluding brindle dogs that have no relation to those 'questionable' dogs. IOW, the UK wants to tell the rest of the world that just because they have a problem with pedigree fraud, (and oh, yes, there was plenty of opportunity to contest the registration of Hadiyyah Samir of Gorewater AT THE TIME), that brindle cannot be an accepted Saluki pattern.

      Nevermind that the Saluki community wants us to accept that Salukis as a 'breed' are at least six thousand years old, that the drop-eared sighthounds on Egyptian monuments are Salukis, and that somehow, in the cradle of civilization and the most likely origin point for the dog itself, the Fertile Crescent, THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A BRINDLE SALUKI EVAH! Nevermind that Salukis in the country of origin ARE NOT BRED WITHIN A CLOSED REGISTRY, nevermind that 'Saluki country' is bounded on all sides by countries where there are brindle drop-eared sighthounds, and nevermind that the Saluki was originally called the Persian Greyhound (EVEN BY THE BRITISH) and there are indeed brindle Salukis in Iran (formerly Persia), which happens to be next door to Afghanistan, home of brindle dogs. Nevermind that there are plenty of old (pre-British co-option of the Saluki) depictions of brindle drop-eared sighthounds, feathered ones even.

      No, nevermind all that, because the UK has a problem with pedigree fraud and therefore no brindle Salukis anywhere in the world can be 'pure.'

    3. Speaking of 'purity', regarding Arabian horses and also Salukis, you may wish to read "Purity of Blood in the Arabian Horse," by Kees Mol. 'Pedigree' does not have the same meaning regarding animals (and people) in the Middle East, as 'pedigree' under the Victorian Toilet Science of the Closed Registry. That article is available in the Society for the Perpetuation of the Desert Bred Saluki newsletter, volume 7, issue 2, btw. Or you can read this for an idea of how the Arabs viewed genealogy, which is not only, well, a genealogy, but also a social and political construct.

      If you are like me, and accept that the Saluki is a landrace which occurs over a very, very large geographical area, bred by many people under many different systems of 'what is a Saluki', and that landraces by definition are 'open' to new blood, then you accept that there are brindle Salukis in the Eastern portion of the range. Salukis like Derafsch, or Nazee, or the male brindle Saluki owned by an acquaintance of mine, who came from Iran, was just accepted by the Swedish KC, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the 'impure' brindle Salukis in the UK.

      Because the British KC has a problem with pedigree fraud regarding longdogs, the Saluki people there think that no brindle Salukis anywhere should ever be registered, to contribute to the gene pool. And they think that by making brindle a DQ in the ring, they can somehow keep the Saluki 'pure', which is laughable because you do not have a 'breed' that is six thousand years old and 'pure!' It's not genetically feasible.

      But here's the kicker, and why the fooferaw about brindle Salukis and purity is so very, very laughable. The brindle dog Derafsch, imported from Iran and registered by the German KC, has plenty on NON-BRINDLE descendants. I own one myself. And since she is AKC registered, I can export her offspring to the UK and they cannot refuse to register them, and because she is not brindle and won't produce brindle offspring, her puppies could not be excluded from the ring. But they will still carry genes from their brindle ancestor, just not the genes that SHOWS that horrible impurity, the brindle gene itself. They are still 'impure.'

      Simply Fizzy, the dam of Hadiyyah Samir of Gorewater, was cream colored, e/e hiding brindle. She was shown. You can bet that there are plenty of people who appreciate the irony of this. It's unlikely that any of them live in the UK, though.

      Saluki Welfare is absolutely irrelevant regarding the issue of the brindle pattern in Salukis. Period. In other words, just because the UK has a problem with pedigree fraud, and Saluki crosses in rescue, does not mean they get to decide whether brindle is a 'proper' Saluki pattern, whether it has ever existed in any Salukis anywhere, at any time, and whether the rest of the world accepts brindle or not. To put it bluntly, it's not just about YOU.

    4. If they're that bothered about Saluki purity, why don't they get any new stock DNA tested?

    5. Fran, the way to go about defeating registration fraud would be to require DNA proof of parentage.

      DNA proof of breed is considerably more iffy. Even Mars, who markets a 'purebred' test, admits that it is only good for about three or four generations. Any farther back than that and any 'outside' blood is so diluted that it doesn't cause issues with the subject dog clustering with the other 'purebreds.' IOW, by the time the dog looks like a purebred, it'll more than likely test like a purebred. Further, they recommend their test only for use with North American dogs, which should tell you something right there; the DNA profile of a given breed may vary, a little or a lot, depending on the country or region the dog comes from.

      You may be interested in Mars work on the backcross Dals and the Chinook cross-breeding project, googling will get you the papers.

      There have been people who call for DNA testing of country of origin Salukis before admitting them for registration. The reason why this wouldn't be feasible as a test of 'purity' are outlined above.

    6. Jess: That's very interesting about the DNA test. If it only takes a few generations for the DNA to be so similar to a purebred, then why are breeders so hung-up on not outcrossing? Why is the KC not opening up all breeds to regular outcrossing to increase and maintain genetic diversity?

      It would be helpful if the KC would easily allow outcrossing, so that breeders concerned with genetic diversity could do so without penalty. I would be so very interested to see how those dogs further down the line, then did in the show ring. If they did well, it would encourage other breeders to follow suit.

      I would be very interested to hear a breeder's perspective, preferably one already open to outcrossing. All I've heard so far is concern that the temperament and conformation of the dog will be lost.

  23. Anonymous, I´m not sure whay you are talking about. Are you?
    Ever wondered why no brindle pups appeared, or rather were not admitted to, in a belief system where "brindle" was another word for "a sign of something else"? The pups that did appear, perhaps disappeared quickly and quietly. Fat chance of a successful show breeder announcing the arrival of brindle pups in their litters given that background, don´t you think?

    No, it´s not in any way snobbish to want to know the relatives and the family of your pup to be able to guess where the good things came from. It´s the only use there is for a pedigree, after all. The snobbery is in ideas about "purity". The snobbery is in the often perfectly arbitrary rejection of a dog because of the colouring of its fur. The snobbery is in not realizing that a dog of unknown ancestry may have just as much of those good qualities as any twenty-generations pedigree.

  24. Mind you dont get splinters in your finger Ms Harrison, after all it is a risk when scraping the bottom of the barrel for such outdated subject like this, get some balance in your life and look for some truth and not your tired old pot boiler stories of ifs, buts, possible, maybes. Perhaps it use to work to scaremonger to get you inches in the national press but as Ms Cuddy is the only one who prints your words, do you really now have to play the same tired out record?

    1. I don't think it matters who PRINTS the words Anon... just look at the amount of people that read and respond to the blog. That alone is enough.

    2. think your find Dogs Today number have fallen to record low in the past 6 months, but that suits the content too

  25. Jemima, the fact that the "Chatham Hill" folks are using yellows isn't even remotely the biggest reason the flatcoat community is pitching a fit -- I doubt it's even in the top ten.

    In fact I was having a discussion recently with a few very active and respected members of the "flatcoat community" with regards to my own efforts to open the gene pool and end the high rate of soft-tissue sarcoma in the breed. Based on those discussions I guarandamnteeya that if accepting yellow flats with open arms -- which actually many people do already -- would end the cancer issue, the majority of FCR breeders would say not "can we do this" but "the sooner the better."

    I personally don't have a problem with the ethical breeding to produce cross-breds, except that in my experience very few such breeders of these so-called "hybrids" bother to do all the genetic testing good breeders can and must do.

    Such breeders tend to have not a breeding plan to produce healthier dogs but a marketing plan to sell them to people who don't know any better. Caveat emptor.

    1. Thanks for posting, Gina. I would be very interested in hearing more about your efforts to "open the flatcoat gene pool and end the high rate of soft-tissue sarcoma in the breed".

      I am sure you're right in saying that flatcoat breeders are more accepting of yellow these days - but not to breed from. Using yellow flatties would not, of course, broaden the gene pool in any useful sense (other than if a yellow dog was the sole survivor of a line that would otherwise be lost).

      I have grilled the Chatham Hill gang fairly closely over the past couple of years. In answer to another commenter, I would much prefer that they were crossing Flatcoats to working Cockers, not American Cockers. But they of course are producing mainly for the pet market. Nothing wrong in that as they are bred responsibly. After all, the pet market is also the main market for flatcoat breeders.


    2. Chatham Hill breeds from UNTESTED stock, stock with absolutely no merit, and tries to outcross to a breed that s already riddled with health and temperament problems to begin with. Perhaps if they used the much healthier English Cocker, and proved the worth of their breeding stock through proper health tests and conformation or working titles, then MAYBE I would have an ounce of respect for what they are doing.

      They say that they are trying to save the FCR, but I see nothing but greeders trying to take advantage of ignorant pet buyers.

    3. To Anonymous -above-,

      Actually Chatham Hill Breeds from the stock that the stone throwing bunch supplied us with. Let me quote Bill Clinton...

      "it takes a set of Brass ones to blame someone else for something you did".

      So let me say... Considering we're the newbies... the work we did to locate and add the stock we have now is all thanks to the work of the breeders we got our dogs from. Thank you so much. The fact that we have a good diverse bunch is due to our homework and the relationships we built with other breeders.

      What we're not doing is line breeding or inbreeding.

      We are trying to maintain an equal number of Studs and Dams. We welcome interbreeding and using the Yellow FCR.

      We don't exceed 4 litters per female before we retire them and we don't oversaturate any demographic with an over abundance of pups from a single Stud. Something we find is rare in many of the stone throwing bunch.

      And we have participated in a national study for researching a new drug to treat soft-tissue sarcoma. One of our dogs which we later found out was mis-diagnosed. participated in the national study. We later found all symptoms went away and that our bitch was on a placebo the entire time during the study. So our choices provided prior to the participation was to either perform a disfiguring operation on our dog's face removing literally half of it or putting her down. We went with the study and were surprised to realize the misdiagnosis was actually very common, just as it is in humans. And had we not went into the research program and instead opted for the prior choice we would be faced with a dog crippled by us or dead.

      We have yet to see the given statistics reflected in our results. As such I can't understand why any other breeder simply won't exercise the basic rule of no linebreeding or inbreeding??? If they started to do this simple thing in their ongoing programs then perhaps I would take their advice and/or criticisms with at least a grain of salt. But, when all they have to show for decades of doing things their..ahem...proper way... the results are less than stellar. Do you blame Chatham Hill or the educated public for starting to look at the situation and shaking their heads at the fancy?

      And really now...who's to say we don't have a mix of Boykin, English and American or field type spaniels in the mix? If the question is they're not proven... What??? I don't see things your way. In today's modern times...the dog has one thing to prove....that it's going to live a long and relatively problem free life.

      We have working dogs that hunt with their owners, we even have dogs that surf on the ocean waves. We have service dogs, we have therapy dogs, we have Canine Good Citizens and we're widespread.

      If you find a breed that isn't associated with its own set of problems, please let me know. I'd love to hear of it. We all would. Until then, its very easy to throw stones, associate stereotypes and basically be prejudiced against someone you never met, never spoke to or ever took the time to just pick up the phone. Its not like we're hiding.

      Sometimes its a good thing to remain a freethinking individual and make decisions on your own, instead of jumping on the bandwagon and joining the rest of the close minded.

    4. I own both pure and cross bred dogs and I personally prefer and wish to continue to have the choice of both, however it is essential if purebred breeds are to survive that the reckless breeding practices stop. Whilst there does need to be some type of breed standard outlining some characteristics of individual breeds some current standards actively encourage unnecessary exagerations which are detrimental to health and movement of these animals and I feel very saddened if the only way forward is only breeding crossbreeds (please be assured that I love both) I very much adore and appreciate what my individual dogs (each different breeds) have to offer and can instinctively do..... What a sad state of affairs it is for mans/woman's loyal best friends :-(

    5. Dear Anonymous -above- If you research the history behind the pure breeds you love. You'll discover they were created by mixing breeds. Essentially they are mix breeds with papers. Think about it.

    6. And somehow Chatham Hill again manages to avoid answering any of the questions that everyone asks to prove the validity of their program. What tests of health and working ability or conformation do you do on your breeding dogs? How are you helping the FCR breed when no one wants to associate with your untested and poor quality stock? As always, I expect you to skirt around these questions as you do in every other comment section or forum where you've tried to defend your ridiculous breeding program. If your only intent is to get money by breeding PETS for the already over-saturated PET MARKET then just say so.

    7. If the proof is in the results, then clearly Chatham Hill Dogs is doing something that is more beneficial than most. The person here trying to bait these people clearly never read their blog. They seem pretty upfront and honest. I like them. And I am a representation of the public majority they side with. Love em. Just love them.

    8. Chatham hill gang the rudeness is not necessary and please do not assume I am ignorant to the history of dogs............... I need the predictably of the purebred dog as my dogs are required to work I simply cannot move my 1000 plus sheep around with a Yorkshire terrier x as I cannot expect my collie to point pheasant like my gsp does and I own the proof that my lab x as adorable as he is is just not quite up to either task of his breeding, my dogs serve a working purpose as well as being my pets and I am startled that you appear to be discriminating against the purebred dog, my issue is not with a breed it's with the irresponsible, wreckless breeding practices. I am dismayed that those who ellege to care for dogs wish to out the current established breeds And appear to be in favour of purebred Dog extinction, I wonder Chatham hill gang does your view also apply to other species the cow for example should we cross breed the friesian with the British blue or the shire horse with a Shetland pony............. Words fail me!

    9. No one? That's a stretch. it's more like, In the beginning the people with a good conscience were either bullied or overshadowed by the veterans in this game, who felt they were the final word, into just following or getting out of the way.

      By choosing to march to the beat of a different drum we lead ourselves down a better path. And we've discovered we like what we're seeing a lot better. We've upset a few loud veteran personalities that liked their old tune better. I like ours... So do apparently millions of others.

      If you have something to prove...then do it. Stick to your guns and do something, then when you've had a few years to cycle your results and replicate positives...share it with us. Until then, I'm not asking you what you do or how you do it. You can answer your own questions about yourself and if you're confident you really are doing something then I'll be happy to hear about it.

      When it comes to disclosure of information. We share with our clients who literally become our friends. And we've sort of learned that the OLD school. Even when faced with the facts, still chose to continue beating the same old tune. Producing the same results even when the methods they use are the root of it. I'm waiting for some of those drummers to stop and announce it's partly their fault for the way things have turned out. When they finally do that... Jemina can do another Documentary with all the praise for them finally having an epiphany.

      I don't breed specifically for the pet market by the way... I breed for my own concerns and people are qualified to have the right to own one of my puppies. That's very educated families with the time to visit us and meet us. Maybe that's an elitist approach? Maybe its a proactive one? In the end.... I don't see my dogs going into a rescue, shelter or forgotten.

      If one of our dogs ever winds up in those systems...we failed.

      When our results start to mirror the negative health statistics... we failed

      When we neglect to qualify a family adopting one of ours... we failed

      However, every time a reputable breeder has a litter of pups in their attempt to recreate the champion glory of their prized bitch and stud, they do it for one or two picks from the resulting litter. The remaining 80 to 90 percent of the litter then become PETS. So can you explain to the rest of the world and the educated consumer how I'm contributing to over saturating the market? When my consumer base is an educated, pre-qualified, financially stable family looking for a companion that will out live the majority of the pure bred dogs coveted by the dog fancy and their groupies?

    10. Anonymous -Above-

      Once Again I'll remind you that you have someone else to thank for mixing breeds to achieve the dogs you require for doing the work you require of them.

      Intelligent design can go either way. For a specific task, or for a long living companion.

      I can't say that if I bred my daughters and sons if the results would pan out over the generations to be a totally positive thing. Perhaps they'll all look similar and act similar. But I wonder what health problems will be amplified and doubled up on.

      I think we have the history of the Kings and Queens of England to use as that baseline. Hemophilia anyone?

      I understand there is a very small remaining segment that requires a working dog. By comparison to the Majority.... it's literally a handful. You would need to produce how many litters to find the few quality biddable dogs to meet your requirements? And then how many are relegated to the rest of us? Do you expect %100 of what you produce to become a working dog? Seriously?

    11. Dear Chatham Hill gang; what genetic tests do your dogs have done? Hip-scoring? Eye-testing for PRA, HC etc etc? Elbow scoring?

      You seem to be producing gundogs; how good are they at gundog work?

    12. Chatham hill, I am one of the very few that produce food to feed our nations and I require dogs as well as the odd human to get help get the job done. I have known very few collies unable definitely not unwilling to do what is asked those that don't are not bred from. The way I see is if you can consistently produce me a dog that meets my working needs I couldn't care a less if it's half monkey , I'd love it if you could join my pack and get my gsp to collect sheep the collie to point game the lab x to get a clue what he's meant to do other than to chase rats and squirrels and the spaniel to stop chewing the gsp's ears come work with my dogs see there capabilities and appreciate them as individuals at this point in time, I cannot endorse deliberate extinction of any animal and the way you persecute the purebred dog because of its breeding is as sickening a racism

    13. Dear Mary,

      Where do you live? OFA? PENN HIP? What DNA tests are you looking for?

      And why are you interested in a GunDog? Are you a Hunter? Or do you like to participate in pretend hunting?

      Just to be fair. Do you even know what significant information the Physical testing will provide Vs the Genetic level testing? How is each relevant to the health status of any dog? How does this apply in human medicine?

      You seem to know terms and questions? How are they relevant? Are you interested in some predictable indicator for future expectations or a measure of current physiology?

      If a physician performed a physical test on your hips and said "Mary, you don't have it now but maybe in the future you might get dysplasia" Vs a geneticist running a screen for this and saying with a %99.999 certainty you would get it. What do you think is the preferred method to seek for a screening that is preventative if you decide to have babies with your soul mate? And what do you think will provide an assessment of just your current state and nothing more?

    14. Dear Anonymous

      "I cannot endorse deliberate extinction of any animal and the way you persecute the purebred dog because of its breeding is as sickening a racism"

      Well, if things continue on as is... There will be lots of books for my children and their children to read about how these dogs used to live longer, have fewer health problems or even used to exist. Deliberate extinction seems to be the process that was put in play the second someone said...lets breed this dog to one of its relatives to maintain this look and feel and instinctive drive.

      Being that you are one of the few...Do you require a hundred dogs to get your job done? What do you do with all the excess?

    15. Chatham hill why do you deliberately ingnore direct questions? I can't help wondering why you bother to breed at all, your stock consist mostly of hunting breeds which appear to have originated from those retched purebreeds. Surely since you have such a point to prove any animal with a sniff of pure breeding would be unsuitable, surely you should be starting from scratch using wolfs, dingos and the like as your foundational stock, would this not be the case because there are no members of the public wishing to part with their money on the unproven.

    16. Dear, Mary....

      Here's where I read some answers to what you're asking about.

      It's in the comments section. They answered with what I would call a very thorough answer. It doe mean you'd have to read it though.

      I did....and I still like em.


      For Mary

    18. Ah I see. You tested a sample when a problem was revealed. Watching the door (but not bolting it) when one of your horses has bolted.

      You still don't mention hip scores, of any testing method. Or DNA tests, which can tell categorically that an individual cannot ever pass a condition to its offspring.

    19. Here's an example of how you could gain the moral high ground. Have all your dogs DNA tested; if you only breed from the clear ones then none of your dogs will ever develop PRA - it really is a preventative.

    20. Well, actually Mary, we test more than just a sample. And I'll remind you.... if the job done prior for all of my foundation dogs was really worthwhile and preventative and assuming the logic behind the process is supposed to create a better dog as a result then really now .. are you questioning Chatham Hill or the breeders who supplied us with these foundation dogs? I haven't released their results either. When you ASSume that things are a certain way because you're not hearing what you want to hear then its obvious you are a controlling freak and a bully. And why does this have to be any of your business if you're really not committed to buying one of my pups

      And what DNA test do you know of that give back results on hips? And Since when does a hip score predict the outcome of a puppy? Or Predict the future for a dog?

      What is your Blood pressure level Mary? How about your Glucose count? How much do you weigh? Are you Caucasion or of African persuasion? What is your dress size? Have you had any cancer in your family history? And do you have Children? Do they have the same father? Are your parents still alive?

      Or is any of this my business?

      Point is...You also aren't one of my clients. knowing what we do now of the way the haters in the world work and skew information to suit their perspectives and/or bolster their statistics to leverage their way of thinking. Its best to keep what is important between us and the client. Its call confidentiality. Something the dog fancy sort of gets, but then the bullies are everywhere. We just don't cave to being bullied. However for the most part... we are up front and honest. Its a far stretch to get that from the fancy, well most of them anyway.

      I wonder if there is a DNA test for Bigotry, Prejudice or Intolerance. If there is one I'll bet I know who should be on that line. ;-)

    21. "If a physician performed a physical test on your hips and said "Mary, you don't have it now but maybe in the future you might get dysplasia" Vs a geneticist running a screen for this and saying with a %99.999 certainty you would get it."

      Chatham Hill gang, you don't seem to understand Hip Dysplasia. Deformed hip joints (dysplasia)is a condition you're born with, not something you develop. having it means that the chances of having pain from the joints is increased, so it's something to be avoided if possible. It is a multi-factorial condition but not one which develops. If a physician said to me "Mary, you don't have hip dysplasia at present" it means that I don't have it, not that I might develop it in the future.

    22. to Mary,

      Being frank and polite.

      It at times just becomes a matter of confidentiality. For example Mary.

      1. How old are you?
      2. Where do you live?
      3. Have you been tested for any STD's and what kind?
      4. How Tall are you?
      5. How much do you weigh?

      Two of the five you might choose to answer , I'm guessing we'll all know which one you might choose to omit. And the other two might be something you share with people closer to you than just an unknown name on a blog.

      When it comes to disclosure... the people I don't know, only need to know just as much as I feel comfortable sharing with them. My Clients, which you are not, pretty much know everything they should know about the background of their puppy. Its really that straight forward.

      If you read my blog there's enough on it to know that we do test and we favor tests at a genetic level. So as for Hemophilia in our Long haired Weims... yes. As for the scores, again when you become a client you'll likely get that information. As for Physical testing, we use those too as a way to ascertain the current condition of a dog and provide insight to cause and effect. For that purpose its spot on. As an indicator its literally a gamble.

      So, having experience with the fancy and how they tend to skew facts and figures to suit their own agenda, its just better to deal directly with people we know after building a rapport with them. Its just the way we choose to do things, since it avoids finger pointing and derogatory epithets from people who tend to run together with a unified mob mentality. Going from experience, you never know what malicious intent is on the other end of the conversation.

      We already have so much information available. You know where we live, our contact information and what we look like. We don't know you. And from experience... this is why we now have surveillance cameras all over our property and are licensed to carry a handgun at all times. Because of people, maybe not you, who have a real hate fueled agenda.

      So if what you have is not enough to take the next step and meet us. Sorry, but then we really don't need to know you.

      See how easy that works.

    23. Mary, you might want to check out the study "Lifelong diet restriction and radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis of the hip joint in dogs." Interesting reading and food for thought.

    24. Mary...we understand it.

      We also understand where it applies with testing. You're Assuming things again. You need to stop filling in the blanks with what you think.

      Hip Dysplasia can be Congenital, But it can also be attributed to other hereditary conditions that develop over time with wear on the joints or a breakdown of surrounding tissues, Obesity, Arthritis etc etc. Many conditions that cannot be determined from a physical test to predict an outcome in the future, yet the fancy seem to use this and tout it as the end all be all answer to add a perceived value to their dogs or their program. When its really a tool of measurement for the condition of the animal at the time of testing.

      You avoided the crux of the question you were presented and skirted around it. The point being that UNTIL there is a genetic test to determine Hip Dysplasia due to non-obvious Congenital defects then there is no certainty. And for the moment there are also no genetic test.

      The physical Testing doesn't predict anything about any projected outcomes. It Only tells you what is the situation in the now. Really simple.

      Perhaps you should get a handle on the differences between a congenital defect and a hereditary defect. The two are often confused for the other. Once the distinction is made then its easy to see the benefits gained from a DNA level screening Vs a Physiological.


    25. Chatham Hill gang;

      Being equally frank and polite, if I was trying to advertise a product to the public I would put all relevent details in the advertisement, because I would be proud of them. You are trying to advertise your product and not doing so (even when the facts are in the public domain, such as hip scores and eye test results) which suggests you feel you have something to hide. That does not make you appear reputable. So no, I have no intention of buying anything from you, because you don't apprear to be trustworthy.

      Yes, it's that easy.

    26. Well Mary there is something to think about....... Now should you be considering asking any more questions abouth health testing or Chatham hills breeding ethics do consider the possibility of getting shot!!!! mmmmm that statement Chatham hill that speaks volumes and none of it was good or advantageous to dogs :-(

    27. Jess15 September 2012 03:36

      Mary, you might want to check out the study "Lifelong diet restriction and radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis of the hip joint in dogs." Interesting reading and food for thought.

      Jess, osteoarthritis and HD are different conditions; one can exist without the other. Dogs with severely dysplastic hips can move perfectly normally, and dogs with normal hips can develop arthritis. Only radiographs can show whether the hips are dysplastic - external physical tests are not enough.

      Chatham Hill Gang clearly doesn't believe the health status of their dogs is anything to be proud about or they would be open about them. The silence speaks volumes.

    28. " I wonder if there is a DNA test for bigotry, prejudice or intolerance. If there is I'll bet I know who should be on that line ;-) "

      Pah, ha, ha, hee, hee that is the best example of pot calling kettle black I have seen/heard in a long while chatham hill

      "we just don't cave to being bullied"........ That's because it is you who does the bullying Chatham hill

      Mary if testing your stock with the current available tests help enable you to make better informed choices on your pairings, or indeed mating at all makes you the afore mentioned - well so be it, but I wonder how many other think so????

    29. Mary, you need to read the study. The dogs were x-rayed multiple times in their first year and yearly thereafter. I find the comments about ligament elasticity especially interesting (especially in light of Bonnie Dalzells comments on this very blog about the connections between movement/loose ligaments/dysplasia and when this becomes a pathology) due to the tendency for some show dog breeders to value 'tremendous reach and drive.'

    30. Mary, Disclosure is not an issue when we know you.

      Unless you prefer we bully you?

      Because, we're just so evil???

      Do you get the mentality we have to deal with? Would you want to disclose what amounts to personal information to total strangers? We'll if your market is dealing with the crowd that uses this in their bartering and dealing... I guess. we just don't deal with that kind of person.

      But I do have Veterinarians, Doctors, Geneticists and lawyers who are our clients. And they don't seem to be as ignorant or pretentious as the dog fancy mafia. It has to be something in the water?

    31. I can see clearly who's being picked on. I think a family like Chatham Hill has the right idea. I much prefer what they're attempting to do better than most of what is out there already. If i were to buy a dog it would likely be from a family like this. I've seen too many disappointments come of many breeders. I think i'd go with a new way of thinking, since the old ways haven't really panned out all too well.

    32. Does any one really give a s*?t that you are cross breeding dogs, it's happening everywhere. The reason people do not look up and listen to your noise is because you are not making a difference to dogs!

      Mary perhaps a quick look over the "gangs" website will reveal the level of hypocrisy here, who purchases your dogs reveals zero about who you are or the practices that you undertake, Mary is advocating transparency which in itself proves there is nothing to hide - what can possibly be wrong with that? I will remind you that these are "dogs" we are talking about they do not have laws or requirements regarding confidentiality, they simply do not care!

    33. Anonymous17 September 2012 12:07 understands the point. The fact that there is concealment of health results which are in the public domain (in the UK at least - dogs can't be hipscored without the owner consenting to the results being published) is enough to cause suspicion that all is not what it seems. To then be threatened with shooting when asking such a simple question - well, no rational person is going to want to buy anything from a person like that.

    34. Transparency hasn't made anything better from the other end of this. I have purchased purebreds and loved them. But, they still had problems. I see on their blog they have had many puppiies, and it seems they have a better success in terms of no problems. I can't say the same after having had 7 purebred dogs. Maybe i should look to a pet breeder?

    35. Oh Man....

      Mr. or Ms. anonymous going on about how the dogs don't care. I agree they don't.

      They also don't care about the trophy for the predominantly obese owners following them out to the field to play lets pretend I'm a hunter and see if this dog can win me a trophy to make me feel like I'm a good one.


      Winning ribbons for the same predominantly obese owner sitting off on the sidelines after they paid someone to prance around the ring and win that ribbon that says I'm the best looking dog here, even if I have health problems. So mr and mrs owner can live a bit vicariously though the dog.

      You're right, the dogs don't care. The ones that care are the owners and the other people in that circle of make believe that they play in. Again really simple. Most people out in the world don't give a $@!% about that ribbon, or trophy. They just want a dog that fits them and won't become a financial burden with health issues down the road. What I haven't heard from anyone throwing stones and/or picking a fight... Is what has your track record been. You want to be transparent? Then volunteer just how many of your own results in this experiment called dog breeding have turned up positive and how many fall into what the statistics are telling.

      Is there a trophy for every dog that lives beyond the given statistics?

      It's easy to throw stones.

      How about sharing your proof positive that what you've done is any better?

      I have 130 reasons since 2004 that say my results are way better than those averages and statistics.

      How about you?

    36. There are many breeders who get things wrong and there are just as many who do all they can to get it right. Transparency allows people to make informed choices about the breed/s behind the chosen dog

      I own a x breed who has been blighted with joint and throat problems, are these hereditary? = who knows! Do they effect his health = sometimes, will he pass these on = not now he's been castrated. I also own a purebred who has a hair ridge across her nose (undesirable) is this hereditary = yes, does it have health implications = no, will she pass this on to her offspring = definitely ....................See how easy that was!!!!

    37. The informed decisions are ours to make based on how we asses the information we gather about our stock of dogs. There's been enough scrutiny of the status quo thus far and what have we to show for it?

      When we feel there is promise in a specimen we can then make arrangements for which one we might want to keep in a breeding program. If after a determine amount of time, between 15 to 24 months, we then assess the specimen with tests both Genetic and Physical to make a decision. We don't weigh in with the public about it. We look over our roadmap and we plot out the best course possible seeing where this fits in to remain with the least amount of COI possible after we have a chosen dog.

      If you wish to castrate or Spay your dogs, thats really your right to do so. I really have to cause to question your decision.

      However there have been many breeders who's transparency is up on their website. The track records reflect horribly against their breeding program or they can choose to display only what they feel is relevant. Yet even the ones with horrible numbers still haven't used any of the information to change their ways. So what good has it done?

      If you have a choice, you can choose to pick from the same old pot behind curtain number one as you've been doing so for so many years or go with what's behind Curtain number 2. Statistically in the law of averages you're better off going with curtain number 2. So says Monty Hall... ;-)

      So yes its really that simple.

    38. My money .... Would be spent on a pet. I'd likely get one from someone like Chatham Hill. They are on my same thinking. I've dumped a lot of money in vet bills on my dog. And my breeders swore up and down about the pure bloodlines and The champion status. I got years of kidney problems, dialysis and mounting bills. I love her to death, but my next dog.... I'd likely find someone like Cjatham Hill. Their customers all have nothing but good things to say. And they all are so friendly. If this is how happy owning one of their dogs makes them... I want that, too.

    39. Mary-

      My Best friend is a Veterinarian,

      My Brother in law is a Medical Doctor,

      My Sister is a Geneticist.

      Literally speaking, I can get the medical assessments I require and I still don't have to volunteer anything into a set of skewed results.

      I'll quote a Veterinarian I trust " There's been over 3 decades of gathered information on hip scores, yet there still hasn't been any significant decline in the number of cases of bad hips. I would say there has been an increase. So the testing hasn't swayed the results in either direction from my perspective, otherwise I wouldn't be doing so many hip joint replacements"

      But sadly, this is okay in the eyes of the fancy Mary, because as I've witnessed first hand, a dog can go through a hip joint replacement and still win a conformation event.

      Yup I said it.

    40. Amazing back and forth. Very surprised it's been relatively civil.

      Dogs deserve better than what's been the norm. I'm willing to bet the success stories will be found in the people who decide that enough is enough. I know if someone has had generations to right a wrong... And after religiously doing it their way for so long and not getting it correct. Maybe it is time to just wake up.

      Or maybe we have already. These breeders are producing a dog that people seem to enjoy. They look nice and the family seems to love their dogs. I actually enjoy their site. It's a joy to see the images, that alone says wonderful things of them. I see so many sites with boring images and no family interaction. I'm not looking for a working dog...I look for a family dog, just like everyone else know. So maybe these guys hit on something. There are far more family like mine then there are hunters. It's likely a good thing they don't target hunters as their audience. There's obviously more dogs and families that want one than there are hunters. Even those pretenders they mention. That makes sense at least. I'm not pretending to be a family.... And I certainly don't require hunting.

      Am I wrong?

    41. Have you read these guys have been threatened? Seems like they had visitors with bad intentions before. I really can't blame them for being armed or having cameras. With all the craziness in the world they have serious reasons to keep themselves protected. With the way some of you are going on... No one should really blame them for being cautious or not trusting people tgey don't know.

    42. Well, we've had some rather derogatory things said to us, about us. Having no idea who these people are. Threats against our family, children and our dogs.

      We used to open our doors to anybody and welcome them in like we would any friends and family. Only to find out later on some people were impersonating curious interested parties only to find out these were the same people leveling threats against us. Allowing them to come into our home and interact with our children, and dogs. Like we were feeding their sociopathic minds.

      Some of them illegally obtained our records without our consent and started leveling accusations that were false. Even attempting to get authorities involved??? The same authorities that stated very clearly that our dogs were in excellent health, taken care of exceptionally well and provided accommodations that were well above the accepted standards. And our Veterinarians all agreed with this conclusion as well. With so many people who are hoarders and not financially able to care for the numerous animal they collect, they instead choose to try and undermine my family. And we care very well for our dogs. We have Veterinary bills that would eclipse most.

      We've since had to make changes. And therefore. Since I have no idea who you are Mary and anonymous strangers... well. that's all we need to say.

      The security countermeasures are for protection. So if you're afraid of being shot I can only assume you stand on the side of the haters in this equation? Since, if you have nothing but good intentions what would there be to fear from us? Now put down that stone. And count to ten. I'm allowed to have my perspective and my own goals. If they don't mesh with yours then in our world, freedom of choice allows you to go anywhere else that makes you feel superior to the people who have what you desire.

      In our situation we don't advertise. We just put ourselves out there and the inquiries come from the curious public. ...

      And this allows us to qualify them. Before we go any further.

      Again a really simple concept. You want trust and information, you need to earn it.

    43. Firstly CH i would like to clarify that whilst I do not agree with all of your views or on times your attitude I have no tolerance for threats and violence and am bewildered that some may find such extremes necessary - however at this time I do find some of your information contradictory and on times perhaps bizarre, That said perhaps one should maintain an open mind. At this point in time I do not feel that all purebred dogs are beyond salvage (some maybe but certainly not all) my love of dogs and my devotion to preserve and improve their health and heritage makes me compelled to want to learn more, wether or not you are the right people to enlighten me remains to be seen but I did find your explanation although brief did go someway to explain things from your perspective - I am keen to know more about the COI of your crossbreeds (as you are the first f1 hybrid breeder I have had contact with who takes this into consideration) i certainly do not dismiss the cross breed he is the best family friend but it seems in the UK they appear to be boshed out willy nilly.

    44. I find them to simply be different. Not bizzare. They don't come across as contradictary. I can gather that they care about their dogs. And I find it just disgusting that people here knowing these dogs came from the very sources they represent are also calling them inferior. There must have been promise in these dogs if they did show them? And it appears they do on occasion. These dogs look happy, healthy and loved. Look at them on the site! They're playing with children. Running and frolicing in an open field or lounging around the home. I'd call it a pretty charmed life. Shame on anyone for pissing all over it.

    45. Joseph Crosse - If you want a family dog then get a dog that was bred to be just that. There are plenty of breeds that lack the size or drive to make perfect family dogs. Or if you want a working breed without so much working drive, how about buying or rescuing a dog that didn't make the cut. There are many working bred dogs that aren't cut for working that are sold to appropriate pet homes. The thing is, there are plenty of responsible breeders of quality purebred dogs that can be sold for the "family pet" market. Why go to some breeder of mongrels who doesn't do health tests and who has a shoddy breeding philosophy? Chatham Hill's idea of targeting the pet market is nothing new. In nearly every litter from working or show stock of responsible purebred breeders, there is going to be some "pet" quality dogs that will go to strictly "pet" homes. If you want just a family pet, then get one from a responsible and reputable source that breeds from quality stock.

      Their website has no real substance to it and is only a front to amuse and attract pet buyers who don't know any better. Anybody can post pictures of dogs playing or posing with people. MOST show or working breeder dogs are first and foremost family pets, but they like to highlight the accomplishments of their dogs by being open and proud about their health tests, conformation, and work tests/trials. Chatham Hill has NO ACCOMPLISHMENTS to put to any of their dogs so of course they have nothing to put on their site except that these are family dogs. They say that they only divulge this information to people they deem trustworthy, but why in the world would you hide basic and necessary information about your breeding stock? Their distrust of the public only makes me more distrustful of their breeding philosophy and practices. If you know you're in the right then be proud and open about it, like breeders of quality dogs are.

    46. ". . .The thing is, there are plenty of responsible breeders of quality purebred dogs that can be sold for the "family pet" market. Why go to some breeder of mongrels who doesn't do health tests and who has a shoddy breeding philosophy?"

      Not anonymous, but another Chatham Hill supporter here.

      First of all, if I want to buy a family pet I have no need or desire or reason to succomb to your prescribed list of pre-approved purebreds.

      I happen to be one who would rather gamble on the purchase of a mutt than a purebred at this point in my life (and EVERY purebred and mutt comes with a large amount of gamble).

      I whelped my own first litter 40 years ago and I have been involved in breed clubs in the past - I'm not anti clubs, nor do I push their ideology. When looking to purchase a pup, frankly, I don't give a rats patootie about accomplishments. I'll look at the dog in front and make a decision from there. A club or group and their ratings do not sway my opinion of breeders and their programs. They do prove a breeder might be more socially oriented than another.

      Secondly I have been to the Chatham Hill site and HAVE studied this breeder from the time before the purebred brigade started their harassment. I know better than to believe your unfounded accusations and assessment of this breeders program. :)

      In making these unfounded accusations you reveal yourself to be just the type of breeder I would avoid and the very reason that I find 'clubs' of breeders as harmful as helpful.


    47. -Anonymous-

      Did we do something to insult you?

      You sound pretty angry. and directing people to get their dogs from a rescue? Or for a reputable breeder? Aren't those breeders the ones with a big Question mark hovering over their heads at the moment?

      I have the same quality stock as those reputable breeders Mr/Ms anonymous. I bought them from the same source. How about that. What a small world we live in. So I guess you're calling the same stock and genes from these reputable breeders garbage? How interesting.

      I got an accomplishment thats worthy of notice.... I got 130 of them...all healthy, cancer free, good hips good vision.... AND NOT line bred or inbred.

      How ya like them apples?

    48. Eh hem...........

      I took a look at Chatham hill website didn't find what I was looking for, wondered off, passed the odd comment above still didn't find what I was looking for, made contact with them and I am satisfied with the response thus far and if I don't like it, well actually I don't have to, I'm free to wonder off elsewhere....................mmmmmm there's a lesson in there somewhere!

    49. Why do you take it as a personal insult when people ask direct questions that you refuse to answer, and point out facts about your breeding program or the blatant lack thereof... The only people who appears angry and defensive are the people of Chatham Hill. You say you have the same quality stock and bought from the same source? Then post their pedigrees and proof of their quality through results of health, conformation, and/or working tests. If you're so proud of the dogs you produce and their accomplishments then why hide them?

    50. Anonymous 04:44 the 'why hide them' question is disingenuous. It has been replied to numerous times and I will state that I believe asking it over and over again is deliberate harassment. I suggest that you read through the responses above for the answer.

      Are you unaware of how it changes your life and perspective to have your family and pets threatened?

      With regard to 'the only people who appear angry and defensive' . . . you are kidding right?


    51. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them. They are a very happy and loving family and their dogs are extremely well behaved. I seriously doubt the person above ever really spoke with them, but if it makes them feel like they've accomplished something by attempting to besmirch them by basically lying then, so be it. Some people stop at nothing to make themselves feel better about their own beliefs by constantly beating a dead horse.

      Chatham Hill has every right to choose who they share information with, especially in today's atmosphere. There is so much we can gather about anyone from sharing a veterinary record. Someone can use it to get your identity or put it out there as their own records or even gain access to other personal information. All they need is enough surrounding information to provide to whomever they ask to fill in the blanks, like the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. A phone number. To basically sit on you asses and complain and bully people for their information is just plain ignorant and stupid.

      You can do what I did, I was interested in a puppy and I wanted one of their Chatties... So I gave my deposit. Then I got more information than I even cared to know about. And Possibly more than I'll ever need. And I got a really nice dog.

      I suppose if you want to take a risk... you can buy from one of the reputable breeder's on your list of .... ahem... good ones. ??? Riiiiight.

    52. Anon 16.30 Jeeez, - I don't need to explain myself to you cause I really don't give a shit what you or anyone else think about whether I'm lying. For the record though I did not say I had spoken with Chatham hill (go and read it properly) I feel it's rather pointless explaining anymore because you will misinterpret what I'm saying.

      If I wanted another family pet and I lived in the USA I would most certainly consider a chattie! Is that clear enough for you???

    53. Anonymous19 September 2012 04:44 spews:

      "You say you have the same quality stock and bought from the same source? Then post their pedigrees and proof of their quality through results of health, conformation, and/or working tests. If you're so proud of the dogs you produce and their accomplishments then why hide them?"

      Oh, please. If you crossbreed and are already being harassed then putting up your pedigrees for public consumption is a really good way to get sued. I have better things to do with my money than fight frivolous lawsuits and I'll bet Chatham Hill does, too.

      I breed both crosses and purebreds and I will gladly share my pedigrees with people who have proven to be truly interested in the dogs and what I am doing with them. But I do not post them publicly, because of the aforementioned lawsuits AND the fact that my last was a purebred Saluki litter, and the breeder (NOT owner) of the dam continuously harassed me both publicly and privately until I threatened to report her to my local sheriff. I am not the only one, I see and hear these stories all the time. Anyone who is not part of the in crowd in some breeds is subject to harassment of one kind or another.

      People that I have bought dogs from have been harassed and ostracized because they sold a dog to an Evil Crossbreeder™.

      I have not received death threats myself (I know a breeder of French bulldog crosses that has) but every time I have a litter I get a load of hits on my web site looking for my home address. False reports to animal control are an extremely common form of harassment here in the US.

      The reason why these actions are not considered completely and utterly beyond the pale is because of attitudes like yours, Anonymous19 September 2012 04:44.

    54. Jess it seems to me that there are many differences here in the UK, thank my lucky stars that threats of violence, harassment and being sued are extrem rather than the norm and goes a long way to explain defensiveness. Even I am wondering exactly what would be the point in posting a pedigree when crossbred puppies are being produced. What I do know now is that Chatham hill are taking many more things into consideration than most of those boshing out the designer dog of the moment here in the UK

    55. It is not as different in the UK as you might think. A friend of mine who lives in Scotland had an accidental litter of Salukis and was repeatedly threatened by individuals who claimed they were going to come and take his dogs away.

      The editor of the SGHC Saluki magazine was complicit in publishing an article in which I was libeled.

      I am on an FB group which is mostly people in the UK and there are frequent calls to harass people who advertise cross puppies, by e-mail, or phone, or on FB or message boards.

      Just because you don't hear much about it doesn't mean it's not common behavior with some people. In my experience, most people who are harassed simply keep to themselves, they don't publicize it, and they don't defend themselves. This just reinforces the poor behavior and makes those individuals feel that their harassment is justified.

    56. I find it odd that certain people are so against cross-breeds. Surely if the breeders breed carefully from health-tested stock, have homes lined up for the pups, socialise them well, raise them in the home, breed from good-tempered parents, will take back the pup at any time in its life and give the buyer advice, how is this different from a reputable breeder of pedigree dogs?

      I thought most of the outrage from pedigree breeders around designer cross-breeds, was that the breeders of these dogs were essentially 'backyard' breeders out to make a quick buck?

    57. It seems to me Fran that there are many new designer breeders that have taken advantage of the fallout with the purebred, deceiving the uninformed that the designer of the moment is far superior in every respect........ Not so if your bitch has not been well cared for, the puppies not fed, wormed correctly or well socialised etc, there are some returning their bitch to a dog at almost every season, the registered purebred many have some protection here.... it is not so much the breeding (if your dog does not work) but the breeder, that said i have encountered purebred breeders who are also only doing it for the money - how do the puppy buying public just looking for a nice family pet separate the wood from the trees............

    58. Our perspective, We used to be the customer looking for the perfect dog. And basically what was out there as far as breeders left much to be desired. They were not accessible. They were not concerned with providing help or information. They were more interested in getting you your registration papers with limited status and exchanging the money for their puppy. Then it was very little if any followup. And they always had priorities that were above giving updates to their clientele.

      We had one wonderful experience with the Breeder of our second FCR and soon after our third. She did follow up and keep in touch. Her words were, its your dog not mine, but I'm always going to be a resource for information and questions and any help if you need it. That all ended when the FCR mafia started to threaten her. Soon after we had our first Hybrid litter with OUR dogs.

      She never was a member of any clubs, but she maintained relationships with staunch club supporters in order to keep the available lines open for breeding her studs and bitches to. I believe from the inactivity on her site... that she was phased out of the breeding of her FCR by the bullies who basically cut her off. Her long line of champions and working dogs and service dogs all came to a halt because of ignorance and hatred.

      And these same people who bullied her are the ones who we also had some encounters with in the conformation arena. Can you imagine how it is for Us to be among them with our children and dogs. To deal with the cordial veil while they were talking about us, at times loudly around our kids? And to realize just how close a relationship many of these owners and their handlers have with the judges at these events?

      Kind of makes you more than an underdog. And once you've gone through the shows with the same rotation of judges time and again... do you really think they are impartial and open minded. Maybe when they don't know you. But, once they do...forget it.

      I have a great respect for the history behind many of the pure breeds today. But, I'm also not so shallow as to assume they appeared as is without mankind behind their rapid evolution. And to think that the forms we see today are exactly what the original creators envisioned is foolish. We have photographic records of what many of these working dogs were supposed to look like. Its interesting how so many fancy supporters seem to ignore this glaring fact.

    59. continued....

      I don't mind people saying my dogs are not for them. We all have the right to choose. But, I have had the pleasure of having many of those same people who used to throw stones at us... actually reach out and apologize after they saw just how we do things. Or actually took the time to talk to us.

      You see, we don't just breed hybrids. We also breed pure bred dogs. And following the same methods we employ for our hybrids with a strong attention to COI and avoiding linebreeding as much as possible with such a closely related gene pool like with the FCR, AND..... we still have a better track record than the statistical averages. Far better actually. No cancer, No PRA, No bad hips and one congenital defect corrected with surgery. Far Far better than the track record of our veterans in this fancy.

      So you can say whatever you want about Chatham Hill if it makes you feel better about yourself. But until I hear the same from the stone throwers and their breeding program results. I really don't have to listen. If leading by example is the best approach... the fancy certainly hasn't performed up to their best for a very long time. So it would be with extreme hesitation that anyone with a well researched quest for a dog should go to a purebred dog breeder or take the advice of anyone of the haters posting here. If you you haven't figured it out by now, its the closed minded approach you haters have that puts a sour taste in the mouths of the public majority. And there are a hell of a lot more people like me than there are you in this world. If you want to start convincing us that what you have to offer is better, then you better provide something different than the results you have turned up for the past several decades.

      It comes down to this glaring fact.

      If you want to show that you've improved things then you actually have to have something tangible to show for it. If all you have to show for the moment is a track record of things becoming progressively worse over time then you really haven't proven anything have you? Where as if you look at my track record... I've blown all of you stone throwers out of the water by simply deciding not to listen to you anymore.

      So YES!

      Its really that simple.

    60. Hee hee hee I just gotta laugh at the bit about the photographic evidence.......... My purebred did very nicely for me in the show ring as a puppy but once she matured into a fine athletic type without the level topline etc you know a little more like that of yesteryear well I'm sure you can guess! Chatham hill I questioned you and I don't regret it because if I didn't I wouldn't have been "enlightened" should I need breeding advice I would want people like to turn to.

    61. We are not alone in our proof of concept anymore. We are working with several other breeders who on the same page with us. Our Yellow male has been used by request as a stud. And we now have several breeders from over the pond and different demographics here in the USA that are working with us on the diversity planning. Again as a proof of concept we've certainly made our point. I wonder if in a few more years if we can compare notes with the status quo and all the old school breeders and see if we still fall in line with the statistics they created.

      As it stands right now.... they can't touch our numbers. Not with percentages not with finesse, and judging by the amount of hate...not with class either.

      I do welcome them to try. Perhaps if they continue along the same thinking with a 12% COI average being acceptable and line breeding as just a normal thing, the rest of the world can just accept that pure bred dogs are supposed to live shorter lives each generation, be plagued with ever weakening immune systems and more hereditary defects.

      I honestly can't say I've seen their results in my program. But then again, I don't take their advice either. And clearly that's not working for me. Oh well.


    62. I have only experience breeding with working collies using those that are healthy and do the job best as the basis, on thinking about it I can't think of one of them that had ever had any health issues and our last male dog lived till he was eighteen and had never visited the vet for anything other than vaccinations until the day we said goodbye. I have not as yet bred from my hunting breeds as I always believed those that have been doing it for years must know more than me.............

      A few experimental clicks on the keyboard with some random unrelated stud dogs I found on purebred website and I was able to reduce the potential COI of the hypothetical litter without even leaving my chair, and I still get my purebred........ it does only lead to one conclusion really which begs the question why have we tolerated inbreeding for so long, and why is line breeding still considered acceptable.

    63. While I believe that everybody has a right to do what they want in life and that nobody should be harrassed or threatened...I cannot get my head around the fact that the dogs being bred are crossbreeds and they are being sold to people when millions of puppies are dying each year in shelters right across the USA. I don't live in the US so I am going on what I read. I just cannot condone actively breeding crossbreeds when so many are dying. The people paying a princely sum for these crossbreeds could go down to their local shelter and donate to save a pup and one more dog too that gets the pup's place in the shelter. As a gundog person I cannot see the relevant in breeding FCRs with American Cockers. I've had a look at the website and the puppies are simply gorgeous...and there is no doubt from the photographs that the dogs are very very well cared for....but to me it just seems wrong. I'm sorry but that's just how I feel and even though the dogs are happy....I can never endorse a breeder that breeds deliberate crossbreeds...and then adds a name and professes to be the creator of the breed. It is not a breed. If you are so against pedigree breeds then why profess to be the creator of this one. I do feel it is a business; a business purely to make money. The dogs are cared for and happy but, at the end of the day I cannot justify anybody breeding crossbreeds. We have a puppy farm here in the UK that have created Norfolk Mountain Dogs...Norfolk Setters. Same thing...trying to create a name to sell the puppies.

      The reason that HD is still rife is probably because people make excuses to breed from dogs with high hip scores. I saw it happening all the time when I was involved with my breed. I walked away because that is now a breed ruined. More fuss was caused following the birth of 2 tri coloured puppies in a litter than the fact that dogs were dying young from kidney failure. That's something else I can't get my head around....and hence I left them to get on with it because if you say anything or ask questions you are branded a trouble maker. Crossbreed breeding or pedigree dog breeding...the politics are the same.

    64. It matters not one jot to the dog whether it is pedigree or crossbreed or what the motivation of the breeder is - be it filthy lucre, supplying goods in demand or trying to save a breed. What matters to the dog is the expectation of a healthy life in an appropriate home. It seems to me that Chatham Hill fulfills this and as such should be supported. I run a rescue myself but don't expect everyone to rescue. It isn't for everyone. And when you recognise the terrible mess that has been made of some breeds - as I know you do, Annie - I have to say that I don't understand your default position of pedigree=acceptable; crossbreed=bad with the only possible motivation for the latter being money. There is some terrible crossbreeding as there is terrible pedigree breeding. Surely what matters is good breeding irrespective?

    65. "Surely what matters is good breeding irrespective? "

      Yes, and Chatham Hill's business doesn't fall into that category. I cannot condone the deliberate breeding of any dog, whether pedigree, crossbreed or mongrel, without the parents having passed even the most basic of screening tests to try to minimise the risk of the offspring suffering ill-health. As Chatham Hill's website has stated, this is not done, and so, to me, they are irresponsible and should not be promoted; if they have a healthy life it's more by luck than judgement.

      I now fully expect to be threatened with violence again because I'm not fawning over their boots.

      (And even with glasses and peering at the screen the Captcha images are very difficult to read; I must be half robot!)

    66. Annie Macfarlane 22 September 2012 13:30 spewed:

      "While I believe that everybody has a right to do what they want in life and that nobodyy should be harrassed or threatened…"

      The attitude evinced in the rest of your post contributes directly to the notion that IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO HARASS ANYONE WHO BREEDS CROSSES OR BREEDS FOR THE (HUGE) PET MARKET.

      "I cannot get my head around the fact that the dogs being bred are crossbreeds and they are being sold to people when millions of puppies are dying each year in shelters right across the USA. I don't live in the US so I am going on what I read. I just cannot condone actively breeding crossbreeds when so many are dying."

      And yet YOU SAY NOTHING ABOUT PEOPLE BUYING PUREBRED PUPPIES. The people who buy my cross puppies are NO DIFFERENT than people looking for purebred puppies. They want a dog with a known background, health tested parents, that was raised in a way acceptable to them. They can see from my previous crosses what the pups will likely turn to out to be like, phenotypically. They can see from the parents what the pups temperament will be like.

      This kind of ASININE, FRANKLY STOOPID statement ASSUMES THAT ALL DOGS ARE INTERCHANGEABLE. Why get a known cross when there are plenty of mixes of unknown backgrounds in shelters? After all, DOGS ARE ALL THE SAME. PREDICTABILITY doesn't matter.

      Perhaps, Annie, you can remind me why someone would bother with a purebred puppy, then, if they can find a perfectly acceptable animal of unknown background at the shelter, meanwhile avoiding being judged by some unknown idiot on the net because they've done the politically correct thing?

      "The people paying a princely sum for these crossbreeds could go down to their local shelter and donate to save a pup and one more dog too that gets the pup's place in the shelter."

      You have no f@$%ing clue how much I charge for my puppies, crosses or pure.

      The market for purpose bred puppies and the market for shelter dogs has a very small overlap. Many people, including me, who are in the market for a dog, want a specific type and they will look for that type. Dogs are NOT all interchangeable, and that is EXACTLY what you are saying here. I'll ask you again, why do we have breeds then, why should we condone the breeding of purebreds when there are dogs dying in the shelter?

    67. "I've had a look at the website and the puppies are simply gorgeous...and there is no doubt from the photographs that the dogs are very very well cared for....but to me it just seems wrong. I'm sorry but that's just how I feel and even though the dogs are happy....I can never endorse a breeder that breeds deliberate crossbreeds"

      Pull your brain out of your ass and use it. Breeding crosses in a responsible manner is NO DIFFERENT THAN BREEDING PUREBREDS. SELECTIVE BREEDING IS SELECTIVE BREEDING. Leave your 'purebred dog religion' out of it. You sound exactly like someone who is against gay marriage because being gay is 'icky.'

      "…and then adds a name and professes to be the creator of the breed. It is not a breed. If you are so against pedigree breeds then why profess to be the creator of this one."

      Not all cross breeders mislead the public. I call my first crosses Halfghans. It's just a name. It's shorter than Afghan/Saluki crosses. It sound cute. I make no pretense of 'creating a breed.' I don't think Chatham Hill does, either.

      "I do feel it is a business; a business purely to make money. The dogs are cared for and happy but, at the end of the day I cannot justify anybody breeding crossbreeds."

      There is nothing wrong with breeding dogs well as a source of income. There is a HUGE demand for puppies, which is why disreputable breeders still exist in great numbers. I would far rather see someone who will stand behind their puppies breeding and making money than some yutz who disappears as soon as there's a problem. Your assumption that anyone who makes a dime off their dogs is a 'puppy farm' is just as symptomatic of your unthinking moronism as "I can never endorse a breeder that breeds deliberate crossbreeds." Grow up and use your brain, assuming you have one.

      "We have a puppy farm here in the UK that have created Norfolk Mountain Dogs...Norfolk Setters. Same thing...trying to create a name to sell the puppies."

      IF THERE WAS NO MARKET FOR THOSE PUPPIES THEY WOULD NOT SELL. Supply and demand. I've love to see everyone involved in dogs take a course in basic economics because it would shut up some the stupider nonsense I read on a daily basis. Like Annie McFarlanes entire comment. Why do you think some breeds are on the verge of extinction? NO DEMAND. Why do you think some breeds are very numerous? HIGH DEMAND. Where there is demand there will be supply. Period. That supply can be someone who *thinks about what they are doing* like me, or like Chatham Hill, or it can be someone who throws two dogs together to make a buck. Which happens IN PUREBREDS JUST AS OFTEN AS IN CROSSBREEDS.

      SELECTIVE BREEDING IS SELECTIVE BREEDING. ETHICAL BREEDING IS ETHICAL BREEDING. No matter whether the breeder is producing crosses or purebreds. Once the dog world gets that through their thick, non-thinking, moronic skulls, the kind of bullshit harassment that cross-breeders with the balls to try to be part of the 'dog fancy' go through will end. Until then, comments exactly like yours, Annie McFarlane, will give harasses the justification they need to keep on making false calls to animals control, attacking people on mailing lists, telling lies about them, and generally making their lives suck.

      Thank you to the Annie McFarlanes of the world, from an ethical, responsible CROSS-BREEDER.

    68. If I had to rely on my dogs to provide the income for my family we would lose our home and be out on the street, or we would have to change drastically how we do things and quadruple our amount of bitches to breed our dogs nonstop for turning out litters and moving puppies out the door every day. I would have to stop thinking logically and responsibly to only focus on generating puppies to earn a living. So I can live up to the expectations of the haters who think like Mary.

      So again It seems people who don't really know the motivation are making assumptions to make themselves feel justified in throwing stones for their own ideologies. That is some pretty closed minded thinking. And the root of the reasoning behind most of the haters. I suppose they can't get off the thought that somehow if I'm doing something they don't have any control over that I must be driven by money and greed, when in fact their very thinking is driven by their own frustration from not being able to control my outcomes.

      I earn a very good living from my career and thus provide for my family and dogs. As far as calling the dogs a business...I would likely have to report a loss most times and very rarely break even. The dogs pretty much pay for themselves by paying the vet bills, the costs of feeding, the cost of sheltering them and the costs for maintenance of their facilities. Therefore my dogs are a hobby that my real career earnings support.

      We live in a world of outcomes Anne Macfarlane. And if you take the time to review the outcomes that have happened in our past then you can make adjustments to change the outcomes in our future. That requires actually learning something from the previous outcomes. What you seem to project on how I do things is only what you believe. Not what you know. Mary does the same. You really have no idea how we do things at Chatham Hill. And your best guess is only to satisfy yourself. You're still playing make believe in your own head without reviewing the outcomes I've provided.

      Regardless of the way I got there... My outcome has been a better result than what the outcomes have been for you and yours. This is going off the end results. And yet when asked what you've done and if your results are any better....All we get is more of your own filling in the blanks and making ASSumptions without providing the facts of your own outcomes. But yet you continue to throw stones when I can clearly present the results of my outcomes.

      You seem more concerned about the journey taken and less concerned with where we've finally arrived.

    69. Continued...

      As far as creating and naming a dog.... Yes we did that. It wasn't done to market the dog or sell more puppies. We did it based on advice from the creator of the Labra-Doodle. In order to prevent anyone from rushing out to do the same thing and then jumping on the bandwagon to create more of the same and truly over-saturate the world with breeders of the same dog who are driven by monetary gains and no control of the outcome for any breeding program since no one is required to have one. Bascially squashing any effort from people with a mind to exploit this purely for profit. Its what ruined the Labradoodle since they are no more healthy than the breeds that were used to create it in the first place and spawned numerous iterations of doodle's, Oodles, and Poo mixes to meet the demand of the moment.

      They are in pet stores, that required no screening of the buyers, no qualifying except for how much money you had. And soon after, they are in shelters as cast aways. I can't say that outcome was what the creator wanted. However, that's not my outcome with my dogs is it?

      So we trademarked the name. So people can't rush out and make more of the same and go to any hybrid or designer dog registry and attempt to legitimize themselves in the eyes of the consumer. Once you've trademarked that name people can't go on an upstart registry and claim they have the same. Since when you think about it, the Chatham Hill retriever isn't just a mixed breed, its a concept. And our concept is still developing. And perhaps the formula can change. Maybe there is a Different spaniel in the mix or perhaps down the road a Pointer or Saluki or Visla or something else thrown in with an FCR. Just like the creators of your beloved purebreeds. Its not about the mix. Its all about the concept. And in the end its about the outcomes.

      When you're dealing with pure breeds And you really understand just how they were created. Like all the wonderful breeds that went into the creation of the FCR for example. You see why when they first were created they were as genetically diverse as they could possibly be, since they started out as a mixed breeds...As a concept. But when you review where man and his vanity took this, when you follow the journey towards close minded ideologies and then closed registries and look at the outcome. It ain't so impressive is it?

      So what has your outcome been?

      Again, really simple. Now how do you plan to complicate this?

  26. You'll note that the British KC has also excluded 'blue' from their standard.

    "Any colour or combination of colours permissible, other than brindle or blue, which are highly undesirable."

    All of the 'blue' Salukis gene tested thus far have been, genetically, black. IOW, they are a black dog with the black being modified by another gene. Here is an example of a 'blue' Saluki, that is, genetically black. I am rather curious as to what the KC would do, if, for example, an exhibitor whipped out a report from Vetgen, proving his blue Saluki was actually black, when it was dismissed from the ring for being 'blue.' It's an entertaining thought.

  27. I am looking to get a flat coat. But sadly there are not very many rescues that have them in the US. I went to a dog show and was impressed with the flat coats there. I also did take pictures of them (a lot of them didn't even have their trademark wavy hair).

    1. They're not supposed to have wavy hair. They're flat-coated retrievers, not wavy-coated retrievers. :)

  28. Just to clarify, are you saying merles should not be an accepted color in any breed period, due to health risks? Or just that you can understand why it is trying to be banned in some breeds or just to point out the ridiculousness of banning a color which has no health effects?

  29. In my breed the 'blue' is a dilute black, I was part of the supply chain of dna and coat samples to VetGen when they first started looking at coat colour testing many yrs ago.

    The blues in the breed rarely survive out the nest and those that do largely end up with DCA with hair loss in extreme cases from shoulders to rump. UK breeders to do their best to avoid the colour for those reasons not prejudice experience has shown it to be unhealthy obviously they do crop up occassionally. In the USA someone has used the colour as a marketing tool along with claims for an equally rare cream which is shown in many countries but not the USA.

    Any solid colour is permitted to be shown, but in EU there are black n tans showing up which goes back pre war it is thought to a time when crosses were done with toy breeds. In reality any species can have hidden morphs that just need the right pairing to produce a new colour/pattern etc. I am also a herp breeder with one species of snake I've been involved in producing about 30 new colour and pattern morphs in the last 3 yrs with many many more expected. Take a look at royal pythons morphs/designer morphs by the bucket full, mismarked are desirable especially from captive farmed imports. These are females who've mated in the wild caught and held in captivity until they lay then released with eggs incubated for pet trade. Makes for very interesting hatchlings that sell for good money which in turn maintains those involved in regional area's, also maintains the wild population by returning females to breed again.

    1. Actually, the pet trade is one of the leading causes of population decline in reptile species, and many conservation groups note that while the Royal Python isn't "Endangered" yet, the pet trade is drastically reducing the number of wild specimens to the point where they are in danger of extinction in parts of their natural range.

  30. Poodles naturally come in any colour combinations of the following (asides from the solid colours):

    Phantom (Rottie pattern in black or brown)
    Parti (white plus any other solid colour)
    and combinations of the above.

    The AKC bans all of the above non-solid colours. The Kennel Club allows them but says they are 'Highly Undesirable and should be heavily penalised'. The German kennel club allows only black phantom and black parti -- none of the other combinations.

    Here's an article about a lady who showed a parti poodle in the UK and won -- I understand before the breed standard had the 'highly undesirable' comment added to it. As I understand it, this person was treated to all kinds of abuse by the miserable backstabbing old women who control the breed standard.

    Still, apparently the Schnauzer breed standard was rewritten to include white, so there may be hope.

  31. "A scientific report commissioned by the American Saluki Club last year"

    can you say DUHHHHHH?????, nothing scientific about the report that was done by 2 breeders with no scientific background and only one who disagreeded with the results that was a scientist. Where do you get your facts?

  32. I have nothing good to say about merle-to-merle breedings, but I do want to note that a merle-to-merle breeding will NOT necessarily produce all merles (at least not in Shelties--don't know about other breeds, but I assume the genetics are more or less the same) Merle is a modifier of the base color--a merle dog is carrying two color genes PLUS merle. So if two merles are bred, it's possible to get puppies that carry two copies of the mutation (double merle), a single copy of the mutation (merle), or none at all (non-merle black and white, tricolor, or sable dog).

    Once again, I am completely against the practice--but breeding two merles together will not guarantee a litter of merles.

    1. I noticed this part in the text as well. In merle-to-merle breedings about 25% of the puppies will be double merles. 25% would be non-merles and the rest about 50% normal "single merles". The motivation behind merle-to-merle breeding is to produce a double merle dog (not all of them suffer from abnormalities, at least not severe, some even look good enough for show rings), which can then be bred to any coloured dog and produce all merle puppies in the next generation.

      Of course this is a terrible practice, to knowingly risk producing blind and deaf puppies.

  33. I plan to have some Salukis when I retire. I don't care what coat color that they have. As long as they are healthy and have the right temperament.

  34. Dalmatians with patches can be and are bred from, not by all breeders but those who see that patches can improve hearing statistics

  35. I understand that this is a tangential remark to the main theme - but it is in regards to something that is mentioned in almost ANY thread about the topic of intentionally breeding mixed breeds.

    IT IS NOT TRUE THAT PUPPIES ARE DYING IN SHELTERS that would otherwise get homes if mixed breeds weren't bred. In my geographic location there is such an intense shortage of puppies that it is almost impossible to adopt one. People travel from the mid-atlantic states in the U.S. (my area) down to southern states to pull dogs, cart up north and adopt out. Only a small % are puppies (8-16 weeks). Not only that, but the cost to "adopt" a puppy or dog is fairly high - ranging from $350 for adults to $500 for pups. On top of all that - "rescue" groups provide that curious mix of uneducated moralists insisting upon total submission and obsequiousness from those seeking to adopt a pet. Factor all these things together and no wonder my area has seen an EXPLOSION of "pet breeders" who breed litters of mixed puppies and EASILY sell them for $500 American each.

    ONE of the unintended consequences of mass neutering which is successful in any given region - has been to drastically increase the monetary value of ALL puppies.