Friday 20 December 2013

KC admits: ABS breeders in Frenchie cruelty case "never inspected"

Today the Kennel Club has finally admitted that breeders Sue and Sarah Stacey - who had been members of the Assured Breeder Scheme since 2008 - had never been inspected. The mother and daughter breeders were found guilty of cruelty and banned from keeping dogs for 10 years.

See the story here and here:

In its defence, the KC says the Staceys had only registered four puppies in that time so were very low volume breeders.

Nevertheless, the RSPCA found 13 dogs in a poor state on the premises when they went in, following a tip-off, in January.  One had to be PTS.

Lower-volume does not automatically mean lower-risk. And while there may be fewer dogs suffering, it is no comfort to those individual dogs having to endure conditions like this.

There is some better news, however. As predicted, it would seem that the KC is about to announce improvements to the Assured Breeder Scheme - including that every breeder will have to be inspected before they can advertise puppies as an Assured Breeder.

The statement in full from the Kennel Club:
"We are deeply concerned by the incident with the French bulldog breeder, who was immediately removed from the Assured Breeder Scheme when the matter was brought to our attention. To our knowledge this was an isolated incident and processes are being put in place to ensure that it remains so, as the Assured Breeder Scheme is the only scheme in the country where puppy buyers can find breeders who are inspected and monitored to ensure that their pups’ health and welfare come first and foremost and therefore has an important role to play in improving dog health in this country. 
"Most importantly the Kennel Club was recently granted UKAS accreditation to certify Kennel Club Assured Breeders, which means that the government’s only accreditation body is satisfied that it is a robust and impartial assessor of those on the scheme. Whilst all breeders who breed two or more litters the previous 12 months are currently inspected prior to acceptance, in addition to random spot checks and the follow up of complaints, the launch of UKAS certification to Assured Breeders in the near future will mean that every member will be inspected prior to any puppies being registered within the scheme, even if they are low volume breeders, as in this case. 
 "Of course a number of other processes are in place to ensure the quality of Assured Breeders, which include proof that the required health tests for the breed have been undertaken and feedback from puppy buying customers, which will continue. In this incident the breeder was low volume and to our knowledge had sold just four puppies since 2008 and so had not been inspected and there had been no negative feedback from puppy buyers. The increased inspections that will begin when UKAS certification is officially launched will help to make the scheme even more robust and immediate action will always be taken if somebody is found to be acting against scheme rules."
Watch this space...


  1. Yardy yardy yah! No solution profferred for how it is going to work, several of the sentences above "to their knowledge it is an isolated case" but they haven't checked a lot of the breeders so how do they know, they can't possibly. Just like we can't say someone is a nice person, a dog lover if we haven't ever met them and looked into their eyes. We can only assess somebody's intention by their deeds, for instance Black Retriever X Rescue does more than could possibly be expected by any one body, never mind directed by just one's person's determintation to make wrongs right. If they can right a wrong then I'm certain the KC, with all of their resources, can too. Currently the KC have no eyes into which we can look, their actions found wanting.

    One way that the KC could ensure that feed back sheets are returned from an assured/accredited breeder is to print onto the sheet advising the new owner that the sheet has to be completed before the puppy can be transferred into their ownership. The breeder would encourage them to return the form too because they are proud of their puppies and their upbringing. I'm pretty sure that because people have sought a puppy from an assured breeder they will transfer ownership and will be happy to complete the form. By doing this the KC will get a better overview, and if the breeder receives an agreed number of good recommendations then they could be star rated, so they become not just an assured KC breeder but awarded, one, two or three star. Maybe a bit simplistic on my part but sometimes less is more - no? I'm positive others will come up with much ways to improve the system and maybe these ideas could be offered to the KC for their consideration?

    1. I am proud of my pyuppies, I have a breed that is uncommon and people seeking them have to do their homework, yet only half ever transfer ownership even though they have sought a KC reg puppy with parents with full health testing. I ask them to complete the feedback, most keep in regular touch with me, yet of 36 puppies only 8 forms retuned. One of the non returners I have gone over and above normal service, looking after their older pup due to a home emergency, ownership still in my name and ditto feedback form not returned even now.

  2. Hi Georgina,

    You said about what I was going to say, but I was going to say "blah blah blah....... lots of big words without much meat behind them" And I feel a bit harsher towards lack of strong moral leadership.

  3. I wonder if they will reverse the changes made at the start of December of making Toy Poodle eye tests "recommended" rather than a requirement. Makes the

    "..which include proof that the required health tests for the breed have been undertaken.." a bit of a joke. If a breed club doesn't like a health check it simply makes it not a requirement.

  4. Somebody should make it a big headline "KC Assured Breeder for 5 years was NEVER inspected" photos of appalling neglect!

    Oh, right it has been in the news.

  5. The kc needs to use more direct language to tell breeders to swab the poopdeck more often.

  6. What is the point of checking NEW breeders to make sure they don't have too many more dogs than what they can properly care for? The whole point should be to make sure they don't keep too many puppies as the years go by. Is the kc checking for professional kennels? Or are they checking to make sure the breeder doesn't also have Puggles and Doodles? What are they checking the assured breeders for?

  7. One live 24/7 puppy cam is more assuring to me than all of the kc saying someone is an Assured Breeder. Much better than one initial inspection and spot checks.

  8. So, if they were high volume breeders, the KC would have spotted them?

    Like if they had over 200 giant dogs?

    But where are the rules? How many Collies can my friend have in her house? How many Maltese litters can I have if I move out of my parent's house and live in a lorry?

    1. why does it not surprise me that you still live with your parents?

    2. The point is that there needs to be a number for how many litters a breeder can care for at one time and still be an assure breeder. Like maybe one litter at a time? And how many dogs can an assured breeder have? Like maybe: a number such that she can walk all of them in no more than 4 outings. Or "as many as can be walked around a city block, plus two dogs more".

      My wording could be improved, but the idea is that it is as easy to care for one pack of 100 hounds where they can be exercised loose, as it is to have two huge dogs that try to fight living in the same city home with you and your family.

      I say this more to help dog breeders than dogs. People often see dogs through a deep rosy tint. Wolf packs aren't a bunch of friends living together - they are one adult pair, the spring time born puppies, and the young adult puppies from the spring before that. Come the next spring the pair will have a third litter, and chase away the young adults from their first litter. They are wolves, many dogs are fully domesticated breeds who can live with grown offspring, grown grandpuppies, friends, and even other dogs they don't like much - as well as cats, sheep, hamsters, etc.

      But some dog breeds are LESS domesticated than wolves. Once they get about 6 weeks old, the mother wants the little attention stealers out of her home where they won't be usurping her central position. And the father dog never liked the little 'rodents' anyway.

      Sometimes parent dogs would rather kill their mostly grown pups than have them around next breeding season. Bar Harbor reported huge problems trying to raise whole litters of terriers together, they killed each other.

      I'm just saying, new breeders don't understand the problems and pitfalls they will most likely encounter. People in the KC should already understand what a new breeder will encounter, and have compassion for their breeders who are struggling to maintain dogs, and provide wise guidelines, and reasonable limits.

  9. One of thing that troubles me about the KC stating that these "ladies" had only registered 4 puppies during the period from 2008 to 2013. But I would question just how many puppies were bred, unregistered, and offloaded on a site such as Pets4Homes, at a reduced price selling as ped pups, unregistered. But trying to use the excuse that they were "very low volume breeders" doesn't hang because the purchasers of those puppies have been duped because they were clearly not "Assured Inspected" breeders. But again the dogs are what matters, the poor dog who had to be pts, I can't imagine what agony and what state she/he was in to reach that ending. Poor dog. I expect the KC will all have a jolly good, happy, comfortable Christmas.
    I urge people to give some thought to how the KC can make this potentially good scheme function safely and efficiently. I am sure ideas will be presented to the KC for them to consider, maybe tweak, and hopefully the final plan will be best for the dogs, their breeders and new owners.

    1. You asked for helpful suggestions?

      Okay. IMO, the KC is trying to enter the 20th century.

      It is like they are trying to mimic the success the German kennel club had with it's inspection scheme. It DID work for them, though recent GSD aren't what they were, and their inspection scheme was coupled with performance events and limits on the number of puppies per litter, as well as a ridiculously high government tax on dogs. And even they had problems and had to impose breed bans.

      The KC needs to enter the 21st century. It needs to scrap their whole system, and design a system a hundred year jump ahead of where they are, because they have been that far outdated. They have not kept up with society. They are like a delivery company with a monopoly that is just now beginning to think about switching from horses to horseless carriages.

      They need to completely start a new system, a paradigm shift.

    2. Thank Georgina, but "word salad" is term for speech made by people after certain types of stroke.

    3. It is the perfect description for a lot of KC utterances.


    4. It just isn't that easy to inspect people's homes. And while none of us might want to believe that an inspector would let crap go unnoticed if someone dropped their drawers, or greased their palm.........

      And we would all hope that inspectors would not judge competitors' homes more harshly than others.........

      But as the number of homes needing inspection rises, so does the need for more inspectors, and more supervisors to inspect the inspectors, and so on.

      Physically going to peoples' house takes time, and requires people with good people skills who are totally honest - two traits that don't always go together, as honesty can be more abrasive than people pleasing. How is the club going to afford such people, who drive their own car, to go out to peoples' homes and be impartial?

    5. Oh anon 20 08 I didn't know that so please accept my apologies if it offended you, but it is a good description for the nonsense above. Sorry again. G

    6. Hi Georgina, I'm not offended at all.

    7. Hi, I'm 1903, I though about it awhile and maybe I came across too strong? I really looked up to the KC, so it was a bit of a Santa Claus moment when I realized that I knew more about the things that I consider important than the institution I looked up to does. A lonely moment.

      Had I been the type who browsed a dog book, tossed it aside saying "Aaaa they're just advertising what they get a cut from" and went out and let the children pick a puppy, then said "the breeder was screwy, she kept telling me about shows her dogs won, dummy couldn't see I was interested in how good the dog would be with kids" - then I wouldn't be critical of the club. I am disappointed and angry because I believed the club was made up of dog lovers like I am, and who worked to make dogs a better part of our society.

      I still mean everything I wrote, but I realized the club isn't just a building with non-caring workers, I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but I want progress and to share my viewpoint. Sorry if I worded my viewpoint too strongly.

    8. Personally 1903 0028 I don't think you came across as too strong. I thought your idea may be worth thought by the KC, it was and is valid. I had forgotten the time until you mentioned it. The wailing was from people whose breeds were being strongly monitored and limited breeding only allowed. Puppies scored for behaviour etc and it was very distressing, just like the Dangerous Dogs Act. In principal a good idea in practice alarming. So if the KC ignore that bit of the German system and go for the well thought out bits of it and embrace the desired points then why not. The KC employ professional people to run these schemes and it is up to those people to ensure that it is implemented soundly but outside input from dog lovers who have experience can only be of benefit for them surely.

    9. Hi Georgina,

      Thank you for the reply. I worry some, dog clubs started out with the idea that they could line dogs up in a ring, feel them over, trot them around a little and know which ones were better and which ones weren't.

      Silly idea really, isn't it? How could anyone really believe that anyone could pick out the best herding or hunting dog that way? You certainly can't pick out which dog will be best with children that way, or which is easiest to house-train. Everyone understands that! - but wait, loads and loads of people believed it.

      And as generations of show dogs proved to not be better at the work they were bred for compared to unregistered farmers' dogs and actual hunting dogs, some people could not acknowledge it.

      Unbelievable isn't it, over a hundred years has passed, the deterioration in form and function in many breeds all over the world is so clear a bright child could see it, and many people do see it.

      But the people who continue with this silly idea are the very ones who are unable to see it. I guess that would have to be it wouldn't it? I mean if they could see how silly the premise behind their hobby was, then they'd choose a new hobby.

    10. Hi Anon 1743, when I started showing some 40 years ago it was a lot more innocent, social, there were very many more dogs per class upwards of 30 and a win or placement in such a class was worthwhile. People bred a litter for a new puppy to bring on, and for that alone, because then, puppies were not so easy to home in my breed so making money was not an option. It was a smaller world, but of course, I was a lot younger and maybe a bit rose tinted specatally too!! Today I agree with you, it is ust a beauty pageant, concentration on glamour, overly long necks, and trimming, oh the trimming is horrible, unbelievable. There is a total blindness by the breeders and the KC about correct construction and the infamous "fit for purpose" ethos has disappeared. In my breed, perpendicular from the withers to the ground, horribly weak, over angulated hocks, and the feet, goodness don't get me started on the feet!. It is unbelievable when one compares even a few years back to current construction and presentation and they could be different breeds in some cases.. Tabletop Labradors we call them, too short on the length, and overweight, such that one can balance a cup on their backs in some cases. Not the working bred Labs I see who are trim, fit, lovely feet, good neck and shoulders. The heads maybe a bit snipey, but their eyes are beautiful, clear and bright and not inset and dribbly. Their nostril flares are a joy to see. Yes, regretabbly they are blind to their dogs in so many ways but dogs have become big money spinners and it is the money that drives the dog world these days, there is a lack of morality and honesty and it will be the demise of dog showing. I did it for 40 years to my shame because of what it represents today, shameful. They won't change hobbies unless they can find something that pays better than the exploitation of dogs. Sadly.

    11. Hi Georgina,

      I'm glad you escaped the cult. Don't feel bad, many people never see what a weird subculture they are in.

    12. Hi Georgina,

      I believe the KC could cast off half of the disdain some people feel about dog shows if they would just admit that they are like beauty pageants for dogs.

      What bothers me is the discord in my own mind that I feel when I hear announcers on TV/telly rattle on about how fine show dogs are and how they are pets that sleep on the bed at night vs what I know for fact from knowing dog show people, how they house their dogs, why they have dogs, and what is obviously wrong with many of the breeds.

      The discord is terrible. How do other people react when bulldogs waddle out and snort around a ring, while people rattle on about how these dogs bravely fought bulls, and how every feature they have has a function necessary for fighting bulls? (They are a dwarf version of the type, the dwarfism they suffer from even has a name, and they have double genes for it).

      And how do other people feel when they see a beautiful dog in the ring, but know how many other has-been or never-made-it dogs languish back at the breeders home? Then some babbling announcer sticks his foot in his mouth saying how all show dogs are pets who sleep on the bed with their people. Hmmm, tell me how a breeder with 15 large dogs has them all sleep on her bed at night when she can't have more than two of them run loose at the same time because they fight so bad!

      This isn't just one breeder, this is the norm in many breeds. The dogs live in cages or crates because they fight, not squabble, fight like they want to kill, fight like wolves from different packs/families.

      Many show dogs live with their hair rolled up like a woman's head in old fashion curlers. You think the breeder in going to let them pull on each others curlers? You talk to the breeders about coat maintenance.

      Why not just call them beauty pageants for dogs? That's more honest isn't it?

      And it doesn't offend people who enter their dogs in sports or use them at a task. Who understands what it feels like to spend 20 years (most of your adult life) breeding dogs to be good at hunting trails (or herding sheep) then have to listen to some show club say the show ring dogs are judged according how they could do the work they were originally bred for? What an insult it is for a person with working collies who sheepdog their whole life, to have to listen as somebody says the show ring collies are chosen for the form which best works sheep! That's the best collie!

      Wouldn't it be better to call dog shows beauty pageants, who choose some breeds for their squat cuteness, others for their silky long coats, some for their appealing expression?

    13. Response to Georgina @19:31 I don't know why but you said "beauty pageant, concentration on glamour, overly long necks, and trimming, oh the trimming is horrible, unbelievable." And it just reminded me of how grooming also serves to hide a dog's faults. My below topic doesn't have anything to do with JH's OP but it it sort of related to your post.

      I couldn't help but think of this video
      In this video this Lhasa Apso Ethel apparently had been used a few times for competition, but she is a little bit short in neck, a little tubby, her back legs are a little straight, she is a bit big for a Lhasa, and she is a little bit square. She has a great head and nice tail carriage. As I watched the video I could not help but think "I hope by competition she doesn't mean she was in the conformation ring. It seems that her fault outweigh her good points so WHY in the heck is she involved in conformation events?

    14. This comment has been removed by the author.

    15. Oops I double posted! Removed the double which is why it says I removed my comment.

    16. Hi Anon 1603, there will have to be much more restraint with dog breeding because of the gene shrinkage so in some ways the problem with exaggeration will sort itself out. Mother nature and all that. The breeds will have to be cross bred with other breeds in an attempt to keep some types going into the future. So instead of cockers, field, sussex, clumber etc etc they will just become spaniels, goldies, flatties,labs, etc will become retrieving breeds, the toys intermingled, the giant breeds etc etc. Hopefully this would remove the gross exaggeration and cruel breeding practices will diminish. But whilst ever people can make money from dogs there will be misconduct by people, triggered by greed. Dog showing/beauty parades have become a total nonsense, very much more concentrated because less people can afford the hobby and those that do churn out the puppies from their bloodlines, use their friend's dogs who they awarded a prize too and so it goes on. These small circles have done so much damage to pedigree dogs. There is one gundog breed that I am aware of that was on the endangered list but because a number of puppies have been registered it I understand that it has now come off the list. But I believe that the puppies are all from one bloodline that is dominating the breed, so what sort of unintelligent thought process has gone into that decision? it is almost elitist in some breeds, and that is not good for any breed. And I agree that someone who runs collies all day to do the job they were bred for and love, to be told by some dog showing nitwit that it isn't typical because it doesn't match the show ring ones is just plain laughable. Probably collies are not a good example as they seem quite robust apart from epilepsy which I believe is or was a real problem. It is more the gundgos where there is a really noticeable difference in shapes, coats, heads. Try taking a working setter into a show and you'd be totally ignored. Yet when one sees a working bred setter working, wow, the beauty, unbelievable and the stamina unbelievable. Show setters would struggle over the terrain the workers work over. Coats tangled on heather, feet sore because of flat feet, poor angulation back and front possibly resulting in exhaustion. I don't know what the answers are I truly don't, I do worry about the future of dog breeds, I worry about who is in control of these dogs and I worry about the authority in the UK which is supposed to be caretaker and protector of dogs, the last two don't inspire me with confidence, sadly. Have a good Christmas.

    17. Could call the next expose` "Tarting up your dog".

    18. Hi Georgina, Merry Christmas to you, and Happy Bark At Reindeer Night to your dogs.

      I think the KC needs to lead the way in phasing out conformation shows, while promoting competitive games with dogs, and creative performances with dogs, while expanding traditional type events by making them more user friendly, with more levels but the beginning levels very easy to encourage novice pet owners to take that first step and train and enter their dog in some event, ANY event that they and their dog are able to do passably, just to get started.

      For example: many people who live in cities or towns, and have no sheep, have herding dogs. They can't really be expected to rent sheep and a field to train their dogs just for sheep herding trails - although people in America are said to rent sheep for that.

      Instead have herding trails with balls instead of sheep. Of course, continue the regular sheep herding trails! But add ball herding for herding dogs that don't have sheep.

    19. Hi Georgina, Merry Christmas to you, and Happy Don't Bite Santa Night to your dogs,

      Yes the gene puddles will have to be reunited back into the gene pools they once were. The trick is to do it the right way. Do it the wrong way, and you'll have a few generations of fresh blood, better health, and less extremism, but then the dogs will be right back in inbred puddles again.

      For example: the English Setter. If what I have been lead to believe is correct, at first every English castle and every English estate had their own 'breed' of English setter. (And some of them each had genetic diseases they were known for). You could recognize which estate an English setter was from by looking at it.

      Then someone (Llewellin?) gathered up one English setter from one estate, and another from a different estate etc, and created the English setter (today known as the field type English setter). But what happened to the genes in all the dogs who WEREN'T included in the Llewellin setter?

      Then someone (Laverack?) took some of the Llewellin setters to create the show type English setter. (Except for looking up the spelling of the names, I'm repeating history from memory - learned long ago, so if some other historic information has come to light, anyone is welcome to chime in with more facts).

      That is one way to do it. But we no longer use field work or even farmer/ horse breeder culture to select which dogs to breed, the MAIN way of selection is dog shows.

      So either we give up dog shows as a way to choose breeding stock, or we have a different way to blend the gene puddles that won't result in an immediate re-narrowing of the fresh gene pool, or both.

      We want to keep the diversity of genes, but not in separate dogs because we want less extreme type in any given dog, more genetic diversity in every dog, while preserving the amount of different genes in the total gene pool of the new blended breed, so that all dogs, for many many generation to come, can easily find unrelated mates.

      Did I explain my idea in an understandable way, or do I need to rephrase it better?

    20. Hi Georgina,
      Re: 2106

      By "collie" I was going back to before the Border Collie was thought of completely split of from Show/ Scottish/ Royal/ Rough and Smooth Collies. The name "collie" is still grumbled over like a piece of land claimed by 2 countries. One county might official own the land, but others believe their claim is greater. And you know how long land spats can go on. There still is an ongoing spat over who rightly owns the "collie" name - not a legal spat, but one of legitimacy.

      If the show collies had been called "Scottish Collies" then the people with working collies wouldn't have felt so put out, but as is, their dogs had no official name left to them. Before they became a show breed, I heard one show breeder call a Border Collie "I don't know what it is, some kind of farm collie".

      But even now, the Border Collie people have to have that prefix to the word "collie" which they can historically claim is rightfully theirs. If both types had a prefix then there would be nothing to feel resentful about.

      Which brings up another factor in blending gene puddles. What about when one breed has a genetic disease? Remember the high rates of collie eye disease there was? Not my breed - anyone know if that problem has been licked?

    21. One way to smoothly blend the Spaniels, would be to continue (for now) to SHOW them as separate Spaniels, but to allow them to be bred as one breed. One breed, several very different show varieties. That way, if someone had a 3/4 Clumber Spaniel 1/4 English Springer Spaniel, if it just looked like a less extreme Clumber Spaniel, it could be shown with the Clumbers. No guarantee it would win.

      Another way would be to leave the purebred Spaniel breeds as they are, but open a registry book for "Spaniels", write a standard with little detail, and judge the cross-bred Spaniels on gait. You could call then "International Spaniels" to leave room for newer Spaniel breeds.

      One could have some field test that the crossbred Spaniels needed before being allowed in the International Spaniel breed show ring. They could be bred without a field degree, but each individual International Spaniel would have to have that field test before being shown.

      Or just phase out dog shows by saying that shows won't be open to dogs born after the end of 2014. Dogs born January 1st 2014 or later can be entered in events, but not shows.

    22. Hi Everyone, Santa hasn't been yet, but the dogs are listening out!! Cross breeding, intermingling of genes, if it becomes the norm, will have to be undertaken with great care, intelligence, knowledge and honesty. The German system earlier referred to had a system whereby bitches and dogs had to be graded before breeding, health tests, temperament, movement, and if I am correct conformation. Assuming I am correct that conformation was the least damaging to a dog's wellbeing and happy lifestyle I guess I would agree. Taking that as read then conformation is the least important point. Ensuring that the dog was as genetically "clean" as possible, it could move, it could be a dog, it was friendly and loveable, make it a much more desirable pet/worker/showdog (urgh). I think there should be much more emphasis at dog shows on movement whereby a dog is given the dignity of being able to run a few paces and breathe at the same time and for some breeds that is a luxury but a necessities i.e. bulldogs, boxers, pugs etc etc. Dog shows will not cease, people will always be competitive, show offs, dishonest and greedy. They just can't help themselves. The ideas of diluting one breed by a quarter is a good idea but all dogs of whatever breeds will have to be hip scored, eye tested and properly assessed so that there can be a long future for "typey" dogs and not just a short sighted quick fix. Breed standards will have to be torn up and the idea of trialling herding dogs with balls, gundogs and hounds with scent, etc is a brilliant idea and think of the fun the dogs would have, just like the flyball dogs. It is all a bit simplistic but in essence they are ideas that could be developed and the conformation would be automatic because if a dog can't move, see, hear to be able to shuffle balls around then he can't compete so wouldn't go into a desired for breeding "net". It would sort of be breeding by natural selection as opposed to using a big winning dog because it's coat is dripping on the floor, it can poddle around the ring and stand still for as long as the judge can be bothered to assess it and it is in the public domain as highly desirable. Thankfully PDE will be the needle on our Christmas tree who will tickle the KC on our dogs' behalf and keep future generations of dogs safe.

    23. Sorry Daniela only picked up your reply. My description long necks etc was related to the gundog breed I showed for 40 years so apologies for misleading you. There is a gross exaggeration of all points in most breeds, coats are probably the least problem in so far as they can be cut off to relieve the dog unlike say a squashed, tight nostril nose. Yorkies, maltese, shih tzus, poodles etc whose top nots are so tight they find it impossible to close their eyes, not allowed to run freely in case their precious coats are damaged, what a horrible life for the dogs who look so silly but are dogs who want to roll, sniff, paddle. Not being able to participate in these " fun for dogs activities" means their lives are empty and to be denied that is a form of cruelty. G

  10. I speak English, I read English. Will somebody please tell me what is being said in the above quote?

    I understand that they are deeply concerned about the Assured Breeders of French Bulldogs who can't own dogs for 10 years now.

    And that they are now inspecting even low volume new breeders.(I would call owning 3 or fewer dogs "low volume").

    But exactly what does the rest of the statement promise? Can someone translate it into plain English or just simply write what improvements are being promised? Or is it a bunch of word salad?

  11. Anon 1818, word salad good description, better than I could have thought up even though I'm English! Has anybody else noted the second sentence and the totally ridiculous statement? Aka bearing in mind that the KC has totally exclusivity in the dog world in the UK, no competition whatsoever when it says the ABS is the only scheme in this country where puppy buyers "can find breeders who are inspected and monitored to ensure their pup's health and welfare are first and foremost and therefore has an important role to play in improving dog health in this Country". Well it would be wouldn't it, there is only one KC! So no argument there. They have just been granted UKAS clearance. I registered my concern with UKAS, details on earlier PDE blog if you wish to register too, because the AB scheme has failed. How they can repeat the above publicly when the stats that were drawn together on PDE clearly show otherwise is astonishingly arrogant. They clearly think that that we, Joe Public, are dimwits and that by publishing this on Friday, by Monday it will all be forgotten.. Maybe aye maybe no, but the arrogance is breathtaking. If they couldn't inspect prior to this exposure, how suddenly can they inspect now, or perhaps they always could inspect but couldn't be bothered, nobody monitors them, they don't have to account to anybody, the gravy boat flows ever forward unimpeded. Forgive me for being angry but I have tried to stop seeing the look of despair and resignation in those FB's faces, but I can't, that someone could operate for 5 years without ever being inspected is just dreadful. If you can think of ways or methods of helping the KC to sort this mess out I'm sure it would be received well by them. Often practical dog owners have competent practical solutions gained from experience of what is best for the dog.

    1. Plans to improve the ABS have been in the pipeline for a while - I don't think this is in response to my blog (although it might have sped things up a bit). It isn't just me who think the ABS has been a joke - it's many breeders, too, and this has put the KC under quite a bit of pressure.

      I'll wait to see the detail in whatever announcement is forthcoming. But if the KC is genuinely going to inspect at the point of entry, that is quite a big step forward.

      Still a lot to do in terms of ensuring the health tests are meaningful - and as far as I'm aware, there are no plans to limit inbreeding for ABS breeders.


  12. And bearing your words in mind it is nonetheless astonishing that they are still paddling the same boat and encouraging new owners to use ABS approved breeders. When in reality it is totally misleading and some may say dishonest. I think awareness by the KC that PDE is watching will have had an effect, they realise that PDE is about the dog, for the dog with it's welfare and health of paramount importance, not the ego of the editor, which the KC could be accused of, ego nursing their own image. The lady referring to the German system which I recall being implemented and accompanied by a lot of wailing may be how the KC could move ABS forward, maybe not all of the ideas but there will be some valid ones I am sure. Cherry pick it could be advantageous. One of the main problems the KC will have to overcome is that it NEEDS to run this sort of scheme and to do it, THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE TO DIP INTO THEIR PURSE to achieve it. And if it is a "loss leader" so be it if it helps dogs, breeders and new owners.

    1. May I disagree? I think they can do it cheaply, and make money in the long run.

      Shoppers are more and more getting use to doing their own research. The KC could have a site (like youtube but more organized), where Transparent Breeders post videos of their kennels or of where their dogs sleep and eat. Like a web page the people who direct sell puppies in the US often have.

      The club could have guidelines for what a breeder should film, and what a person shopping for a puppy should look for. For example: a breeder should start with an introductory video showing the place where the dogs will be raised, and introducing her dogs. Comments could be made, the person inspected, and told how many litters she can have.

      Then the breeder should update, add to, her videos, by self inspection videos at least once in the summer and once in the winter, and all Transparent Breeders will then have a live puppy cam over every litter they have.

      Shoppers should be able to logon and view litters they are interested in. It would be possible to have the breeders' name and contact information optional - but making a bridge between breeder and buyer is the point of it. It could be made so that shoppers must be registered to browse the puppy cams, or optionally they could be left open.

      There should be a place for information, like will the breeder ship puppies, which puppies are sold, etc.

      Web places like this can make money. They can charge breeders a fee or have approved ads on the site. This shifts some of the work onto the shopper, but gives them more freedom of choice. It allows the breeders to be as responsive or controlling towards the shoppers as they desire.

      I realize this might not be the old KC way, but internet based puppy sales are the future. Of course, this would be optional, breeders would have to choose to be a Transparent Breeder, and they would still be subject to spot checks and complaint follow ups. But breeders could pay for an inspector to drive to them and video their set up and puppies. Or to have a more confidential inspection without the inspector videoing anything.

      As the years go by, shoppers will distrust confidential breeders more. But some breeders don't need to advertise anyway, and they should have the choice of less public inspections (because they won't be confidential if you don't pass).

    2. Of course, all ideas welcome in my view anon 2241. My only twinge with cameras and modern technology is that a person could set up a room, all tickety boo and it looks perfect. Clean, happy puppies, ready for sale. However, the rest of the premises could be disgusting. I know cam corders (sorry technophobe so bear with me) can date and time and what is being viewed is "of the moment" it still isn't reliable overall. Good breeders will always be transparent, boastful even, they are loud and proud of their stock and they want people to buy happy, healthy well reared puppies. And so they should be, I must have been insufferable when I had a very occasional litter for sale, I was inquisitive, I was personal and some might say rude. But I wanted my much loved puppies to get the best homes and if the people withstood my obnoxious approach they clearly wanted one of my puppies. During the whole of their lives their people kept in touch and became friends.

      But even with modern technology I think there is a desirability for premises to be physically checked by an independent body and if the KC regroups itself satisfactorily it is the obvious choice. Your last paragraph is sound sense and hopefully it will finally register with the public that cheap is not always best and that they do have a responsibility to ask and ask again until they are satisfied. And if they have worries about the welfare of the puppies they have a moral duty to inform either the KC or welfare bodies in that area. Otherwise they are condemning not only those puppies but future generations to pain and suffering. The KC has huge wealth, it has traded successfully through the international banking crash, it knows how to keep hold of money, but now it will need to scatter a tiny bit of it and make sure the ABS is a truly good, reliable and honest scheme, aka subsidise the £10 fee.

    3. Hi Georgina,

      I agree, people can cheat with cameras. But people not only cheat in real time by raising debarked dogs in the basement or garage, then showing a cleaned up mom and pups in their living room, but they also cheat in elaborate ways.

      I went with a woman when she bought a puppy, and then returned with her when she wanted to ask the breeder a question. The breeder's phone number wasn't working or was claimed to be a wrong number (I've forgotten the exact details), so we just drove over.

      The breeder and her kennel wasn't really anywhere near there. She hired a saleswoman to rent homes for the weekend and sale the puppies in big cities. That's why she wrote a sales receipt for the puppy then the papers were mailed that day. This might be common.

      I was even offered a job doing this once. An adult female dog and a litter of puppies would have been delivered Friday evening and picked up Sunday night. I declined the offer. One person who did this said that the person who delivered the puppies on Friday had several litters from different breeds. We guessed she was a hired delivery person, if the breeder can't be bothered to sell her own puppies, why would she deliver them herself?

      And phone calls. I noticed something fishy about that. Like if you call a breeder of one breed, and she tells you about "her" litter and gives you her address and a noon time appointment, then you call a different number to see a different breed, and the same voice gives you a different address and the 1PM appointment you requested, and when you visit both addresses neither is the voice on the phone, but they give excuses like "that was my aunt she volunteered to answer the phone for me this weekend so we put her number in the ad" and the other address says the same voice was his wife - what would you guess was happening?

      I don't know, but something fishy often goes on. I can't guess why it would be different in one country from another, if so it would just be a matter of time before tricks of the trade spread.

      But what would a puppy farm with 100 or more female dogs do to sell their puppies? Farms are usually out in the country. Most people live in cities or towns where you can't have that many dogs. It makes more sense to move the litter to a home closer to the people who will buy the puppies.

      A person has also told me that the puppy farm she works for will even transfer the female dogs' papers to the saleswoman, so that she can sign the papers.

      Do you know anyone who has actually answered an ad and driven to a puppy farm with, say over 50, females? And they looked around and went "wow" and dozens of people drove up to look at the puppies? No? Me neither. I don't know one person who answered on ad for puppies and was directed to a huge puppy farm. Yet farms with many many breeding females exist. One might assume internet puppy sales, but there were huge kennels before WW2, and there still are. How do they sale their puppies?

      And is it possible to know the temperament of your bitches when you have that many?

    4. I don't know if this is a problem where you live, but people who have been in prison often have trouble getting work, especially women.

      They might, or might not, like dogs, but many of them try dog breeding because kennel clubs don't do background checks beyond cruelty to animal convictions.

      In the US, some prisons have dogs inside the prisons for the people to work with, so this is work they look for when they get out.

      They might not have a background in dogs, and might not be acquainted with the idea that some of the rules and habits in the world of dogs are valid, but other customs are on the way out and need to change.

      I worry more about new people trying too hard to conform to what they believe is expected, than their trying to milk the system. In the US, many people in quite a number of fields involving dogs, are no longer non-working women who love dogs and want to do something social with them, but people who very much need to earn a living for themselves and their families from breeding or working with dogs. Has the KC altered their programs to deal with the shift in needs of their breeders? Is there even any data on the demographics of their dog breeders?

  13. Someone please explain to the KC the meaning of "transparency", there is a wikipedia entry under "transparency (behavior)".

    Myself, I am somewhere between a dinosaur and a Transparent Person. Maybe an ice age mammal like a mammoth? I shrug my shoulders at the idea that the NSA might listen to my phone calls and read my email (they should get paid extra for the boredom), but I don't facebook my name.

    A truly transparent person uses their real name and writes their true opinions. Most people are not totally transparent, either they use their real name but bite back their words, only writing lukewarm opinions that nobody will disagree with or they give their true opinions but hide their true identity.

    But one thing is true of most people: they want other people to be transparent, and they expect companies, politicians, and dog breeders to be transparent. Dog breeders have been VERY insistent, for several decades now, that the people who buy puppies from them be totally transparent.

    Dog breeders are the first group which I encountered who insisted on transparency. They quit just pocketing the cash and handing over the puppy. They began just wanting to write a list of names and addresses of people who bought one of their puppies. Then it was like adopting a child. Where do you work? How much money do you make? Do you have a full time maid? How old are your children? Do you go out and drink or stay home?

    So it isn't surprising that the tables have turned and people want the dog breeders to be transparent too. When can I see your kennels? What do you have in the bedroom? How many litters have you had, and where did they go to? Have you had children with the puppies, how old were the children, were they supervised while with the puppies? Do you stay home with the puppies or go out partying?

  14. One thing I think the KC should cherry pick from the German system, is the idea of small kennels of 1 to 4 dogs. I met a German who was very proud of their very small kennel, and their kennel name, and who looked up to a "famous" kennel which currently had one dog. But that one dog did very well in events.

  15. I believe that it would be best if the KC moved away from conformation shows - to just say that they aren't very good at it would be a kind understatement.

    Looking at what conformation shows have done to bulldogs, pugs, pekes, basset hounds, spaniels, GSDs, etc, one might say, in the common vernacular "they suck big time".

  16. One idea for the KC would be to focus on encouraging people to be happy with the dog they have even if he isn't perfect. If your son doesn't get the best grades and your daughter can't sing, you don't give up on them and adopt new children.

    They could do this by having many fairly easy events where dogs could work their way up through grades, or continue to compete at a level until they pass. And by having a variety of separate events like various types of fetching, heeling, tricks, swimming, tracking, scenting, herding balls, etc. So that people would always be training their dog for a new event. Because most people have little control over who a judge picks in a breed ring, (except to keep a puppy and hope he wins better) but people do have control over a dogs training. And this is something I think the KC can do well, so long as they don't get too focused on one winner, instead of all the dogs who received passing scores.

  17. One thing I would like to change about dog shows is how mean they are, and how few wins there are. Think if children all took dogs in the ring. Your children. Would you want one child to win and be fussed over but excluded from the other children?

    Or would you want the judge to pick the better half of the dogs, call them "today's winning team" and give them each a ribbon? (They would be single entries like now, but would be a team of winners once the judge picked them to be so).

    That is more like in real life. Most people work with a group of other people. A company hires a bunch of people, and then they are a team.

    People complain about inbreeding and popular sires, but they don't come up with ideas to stop the desire for inbreeding.

    1. "Or would you want the judge to pick the better half of the dogs, call them "today's winning team" and give them each a ribbon?"
      My God, what a ghastly concept! Can you imagine how that would go down in the sporting world? The Olympic Games would award gold medals to half the competitors in an event - how pointless would that be?! It's the sort of idea that has resulted in youngsters being psychologically traumatised when their lives aren't perfect because they've never learned how to cope with failure.

    2. Do you have a better idea for ending inbreeding and gene pool shrinkage due to popular sires? Let's read your ideas!

      We aren't talking about breeding people to win shows, nobody does that. We are talking about dogs.

      The main point here is that the winning dogs aren't really any better than the loosing dogs. It is a bit crazy mad. If dog shows were like the Olympics, it would be like if the Olympics said "Too much bother to build a swimming pool, we know what type of body a swimmer needs, just have the swimming contestants wear their swimsuits into this judging ring, and a person who has been around many swimmers, and knows what type of body a good swimmer has, will judge the contestants and hand out the gold, silver, and bronze medals." So that is what happens and people make as big a fuss over the winners as they would if they had actually swam.

      Then it comes time for the shot-put. And somebody says "I know what type of body a good shot-putter has". So why risk someone pulling a muscle throwing the shot-put? So all the shot-putters go into a ring wearing shorts and shoes, and a person who has seen many shot-putters, looks at them and hands out the medal.

      Then it is time for skiing. And the judges say "We don't want to go out in the snow! And it takes too long to watch all those people ski." But somebody speaks up and says "But not all skiers look the same to me." They all frown because they don't want to go out in the snow all day, when they could judge them in the ring in less than an hour.

      But somebody speaks up and says " But skiers all have nice coats, we know what the coat of a good skier should look like." Another person suggests that since they are all athletes, they should all move, so it is decided that in the future, the skiers, swimmers, shot-putter, and all others will trot around the ring, as well as standing like they are what they are.

      Then somebody suggest that the judge should feel the contestants, make sure they have good bone structure. And somebody says the judge should feel each athlete in the ring's testicles to make sure he has 2.

    3. Okay, Anon 2212,

      How about this idea: each dog has an arm band number. So put a ball with an identical number in a tumbler and pick the winners like in the lottery. Or cheaper, just have someone from the KC pick the dog's name out of a hat.

      I challenge you to prove that if this was the way which the KC started dog shows, and if "winner by lottery" had been what dog shows did this whole 100 plus years, that today's dogs would be any more inbred, deformed, unfit, suffering from genetic disease, or unable to work!

      Think it through. Tell me how judging dogs in a ring has improved the genetic health, diversity, or working ability of dogs over that past 100 plus years.

    4. Anon 22:12, you haven't been following the PDE blog for long, have you? Did you watch the videos yet?

      The whole point is that the current system of judging dogs has caused inbreeding, and shrinking gene pools (there is a report on this, I forget its name). And dog breeds are getting more and more extreme in type. The health of some of the breeds ought to be a crime.

      The trainability, robustness, comfort, and fitness of breeds in many countries, has been almost ignored in favor of being picked by a judge. Jemima's observation have stood up well. Many many many other people, myself included, have commented on what is happening.

      We are trying to criticize the faults of the current system, and try to offer possible ideas to fix this mess. Many dog photos have been scrutinized, as these dogs are the results of the system, and many times the newer photos don't look good.

    5. Anon 2:12 is sort of right for the wrong reasons, or wrong for the right reasons, or something.

      The issue with declaring single winners at dog shows isn't that the contestants' fee-fees get hurt when they aren't all declared perfect special snowflakes.

      Really, I could not care less. Wherever 2:12 went to school, did they not have the children read "Harrison Bergeron?"

      The problem is both the criteria itself, as has been well-stated above by 01:32, and the tendency to narrow both type and genetic diversity.

      The remedy is called a breed survey. Not *in addition to* pageants. Replacing them.

      At a breed survey, animals who have *already* qualified to be present by passing *mandatory* health checks and, for working breeds, working tests, are presented for evaluation of both structure and temperament.

      A panel of genuine breed experts evaluates the animals and provides public written critiques, possibly gradings, and recommendations for *how* each animal might be employed in a breeding program, if it passes the threshold.

      Takes time and makes the evaluators highly accountable, thus requiring that each be a genuine expert in that one breed. One could not make a dandy side income "judging" all breeds on the weekends.

      A breed survey one week might find that none of the 12 animals presented are breed-worthy, and the next week find that all of them are.

      Participants go home with something that looks a lot more like a homework assignment than a gold star.

      In other words, selecting breeding stock gets treated like a serious, thoughtful project for grown-assed men and women, not a junior high school homecoming queen vote.

      I know exactly who would hate it.

    6. " Wherever 2:12 went to school, did they not have the children read "Harrison Bergeron?""
      Who or what is 'Harrison Bergeron'?

      The reason why breed standards are open to individual interpretation means that more dogs fall within the parameters and yet retain enough differences to not have degenerated into 'a dog'. Thus the gene pool stays as wide as possible whilst still keeping recognisable breed characteristics. It's good that judges (evaluators) interpret standards differently to each other!

      I'm not sure what role 'pageants' play in animal breeding - they must be few and far between. I thought it was competition that people objected to, not a display where there are no winners or losers.

  18. I though about it, and I think the problems of dog neglect from too many dogs and inbreeding from popular sires, can both be helped by the same thing: not choosing a winner.

    Perhaps on an entry level, shows could offer "exhibition only" or "audit" events where creativity counts, like tricks, dancing dogs, or acting skits.

    On regular levels, dogs could get a "pass" or "fail" score. Or, depending on their performance an a, b, c, d, or F.

    This would help keep people from feeling they need to get another, "better" dog. And help keep show breeders from feeling they all have to breed to the same winners, or the family of a winning dog.

  19. I have a question. Does the KC really understand what has happened to purebred dog breeds? Do they see the effects of what is happening to the breeds because of what is happening in the ring today? Do they want to improve?

    Or is it like people who still don't want healthy Dalmatians?

    1. Institutions are not people. They understand nothing. Some individuals in the KC do understand. Others resist understanding. I'd say the KC is not an intelligent institution . . . ie, it's collective IQ is less than the average IQ of its members. This is true of a lot of old institutions.

    2. It's not about IQ. It's about emotional intelligence or empathy. The culture in that organisation is not geared towards continuing improvement or any self awareness. The whole dog show world is built on the weakness of the human ego. Hardly a foundation for ethical practice.

  20. On the plus side, the exposure of these two women might frighten a few people from keeping more puppies. But if they are hoarders, they couldn't really control their situation, and hoarders won't learn from reading about it because it is one of those things where nothing is wrong with their eyes but they can't quite understand what is happening.

    In the US there have been a number of reality TV programs about hoarding. Two series were about people who kept too much clutter, sometimes filling whole rooms. I remember one where the people were getting help dealing with their problem. And there was a series about animal hoarding. Related was a series about people who kept dangerous pets.

    It is an interesting topic to watch because so many of them don't see a problem. Others see the problem, ask for help, but just can't part with stuff like rotted fabric, empty plastic jugs, dead cats, etc. Yet some people seem to wake up, ask for help, and throw the trash out.

    I feel bad for the children. Most of the shows don't show the children, but some do. What is it like to be a child living in that clutter, where your parents won't even move a dead cat laying on the floor, and it just mummifies right there?

  21. Well, well, well, I guess anything can change, all heck freeze over and puppies and kittens rain from the sky, just read gays were getting married in Utah now, kinda gives me hope that dog shows everywhere can change.

  22. Jemima. Thank you for continuing to push the KC and for being the proverbial thorn in their side. Change agents are never popular and it takes guts and courage to put yourself out there and to tirelessly campaign.

    I do feel that there should be some enquiry into this ABS scandal. My profession is accredited via UKAS and we would certainly never be able to be accredited without a three day audit and inspection.

    I would like to see the KC's strategy for putting the corrective actions into place and I would like to know how they are going to implement it. Otherwise, it's just appeasement.

  23. Anon 12:22,

    That is a great point you raised, if the KC is UKAS is accredited, any flubs on the KC's part look bad for everyone else who is UKAS accredited. I'm so glad you commented. The KC needs to try harder to not let everyone else down. Or, as you said, it isn't just trying harder, they need a better plan of action.

  24. Anon 20.28 says the job of inspections would be difficult. No it wouldn't, not at all. We homecheckers (for rescue centres) do it all the time, and without any pay too! It's very simple to inspect for certain things, you get a sense for things unseen or unsaid too, and to report back. You don't have to give a result to an inspection there and then. Crikey, I would do it if the job's going. Easy Peasy.

    1. Easy Peasy. Not if you are inspecting to standards. You need to provide evidence and be able to Audi. It requires trined professionals. That's if you are going to do this properly.

    2. Hi Anon 1850,

      I was thinking about how tricky breeders can be, and how they can cover for their friends in their clique. I was thinking of all the really off-center people I have met looking at litters of puppies for sale. I was thinking of the mistakes myself and my friends have made with silly ideas about how to raise dogs. I was thinking about driving to remote areas with no road signs and how long it takes. I was thinking about how many ways sneaky people could use to fool an inspector who makes announced visits, and very rarely at that.

      But maybe, hopefully, you are correct, and that there are plenty of trained people to do the job. Though I still think breeders can be trickier than adopters, but you probably have many tales of sneaky adopters too. The best of luck to the KC in getting this scheme to work.

      I still like the ideas of online videos and live puppy cams, but I can see that some in person inspections are a good idea. But what can beat a 24/7 puppy cam?

    3. One problem with puppy cams is they would work poorly for house-raised pups.
      My last litter stayed in my bedroom up to six weeks. Just too hot for them outside in Florida's summer. No way I'm putting a puppy cam in my bedroom. I've raised other litters in places like a fenced in carport, with various hidey places, shelters and dog beds. The pups would rarely show up on camera. Or what do you do with pups that have inside shelter and yard access.
      And then there are problems of people living in remote areas where there's no broadband access . . .and people with no tech skills . . . and the problem of how to get the puppy cams posted in ways that they will be watched.

    4. Hi Jennifer,

      The puppy cams would be optional, people could choose to have an inspector come make a short inspection video clip once each winter and once each summer, the breeder could choose if they wanted their inspection video made freely public, have controlled access, or not available, people looking for a puppy could decide for themselves how important, or not, they feel video is, many people buy a puppy just from a photo on the web.

  25. What can beat a 24/7 puppy cam Anon 2020 is a "breeders who can be trickier". All creatures and people who cannot protect themselves or have a voice need respect and due diligence. The KC will pin back their ears, they have no option, and as the longest established Kennel Club in the World, they have a responsibility to spearhead, pathfind, whatever the modern vernacular is is to get it right and if for no other reason than the love of dogs. On the other hand if they can't bothered and want to just concentrate on Crufts and the shallowness of that, then they should liquidate and distribute the funds between welfare societies who can be bothered.

    1. Hi Georgina,

      I agree, now I think the question is: what is the KC at heart?

    2. As it is the season of goodwill anon 1459 I feel I ought to be polite so shall we just refer to the Yellow Brick Road and the TinMan? As JH points out if we stay calm, and she keeps reminding them of their position in the dog world they will come good, but the word is out and more and more questions will be asked of the KC and they will not be able to fluff us off as is shown in the explanation(?) above. The person who said the KC's unprofessional conduct in this matter will make UKAS very unhappy because it reflects badly on them. The Kennel Club, one of their approved members who offers an assured scheme that isn't?

      Have a good Christmas everyone but don't forget the dogs who are being mistreated and neglected during this time.

  26. I think this incident gives us a lot to think about. How many of us have actually recommended breeders when we haven't visited their properties. I don't think we should be standing in judgement of the KC when I'm sure we've all sang the praises of a breeder we haven't actually met. Of course this scheme needs a lot more policing and hopefully this will be the kick up the bum that the KC needs to do it.

    Also, please let's not forget the rescues that operate in much the same conditions. Only last year at this time there was a rescue disbanding where the dogs were in horrendous condition...and all were taken from dog pounds. What about the working dogs that are having litters in filthy kennels. That happens too!

    The whole area of companion animal care and breeding really does need regulating to stop suffering in many areas. The KC can't be blamed for that. At least we have a scheme that can be developed and policed. Many other countries have nothing or their KC's actually support puppy farming etc.,

    Very sad situation so perhaps in future we should stop recommending breeders until we have actually be there, witnessed the condition of their dogs and their facilities. So very sad for these dogs. Their treatment is unforgiveable. The fact that they are ABs is unforgiveable especially as the KC and their representative who is campaigning against puppy farming, holds the AB up as the gold standard in breeders. At the end of the day though the fact that these people got away with it for so long was down to people failing to report them. This should have been flagged up years ago and perhaps more dogs wouldn't have suffered. We all have to do something to stop this happening....not just blame it on an organisation.

    1. The Kennel Club can be held responsible for not actually doing what they are saying they will. How can an "Assured Breeders Scheme" be assured when they don't carry out checks?

      As for puppy farms, it's politics.. define puppy farm for a start. The Kennel Club will still register dogs from a puppy farm.

      So much of it is because the Kennel Club is, at heart, simply a pedigree registration system. Despite the impression they like to give they are stuck with no powers to push change and the breed clubs effectively tell them what to do.

      It must be incredibly frustrating for them to realize unless they adapt and recognize all dogs as being equal they will be inconsequential as another organisation will replace them. That's partly why politics play such a role in what they do when it should be action which they are unable to do.

    2. You don't think we should stand in judgement of an organisation that recommends ABS to the masses!

      We should excuse them then for giving assured status to the prolific dealer down the road, who sold farmed pups from her garden shed and was selling ABS pups through the front door? I don't think so!

      If KC can't police this scheme then they should scrap it and stop misleading the public.

  27. Isn't the idea of the ABS to hold breeders accountable? If anyone is in a position of responsibility in dogs it has to be the KC. But I am for mercy as well as justice. No prison, how about 10 years where they can't have anything to do with dogs?

  28. Jemima, I think you might have discovered what is going to "pull the keystone out of the KC's Arch". Not that they were found with their hand in the cookie jar, but that they were asleep at the throttle to the ruination (or ruin-the-nation?) of the train.

    What was the KC's turf? Their responsibility? Dogs.

    What did they say they were doing? Improving dogs by having shows to select better better breeding stock. Did that work? No. How long were they asleep at the throttle? The method of selection was unworkable. Although defective or extremely unsuitable dogs can be weeded out of a breed by sight, you never could select the best worker in the ring by show judging methods. How long has this unworkable system of selection of breeding stock been used? From the beginning, over 100 years. Did they know of this? The proof was before their eyes and under their hands in the ring. Were they informed of this? People have been complaining from the beginning, over 100 years. How did they react? Changes were not made, reform was not done, they accepted the Neopolitan Mastiff as a new breed without a plan of action to return the breed to non-suffering normalcy, Jemima pointed out their errors - their response is recorded, small changes were made over the next years, but the system of selecting breeding stock by the show ring is still in use at this time.

    Did the KC have other ways to shape the future of dogs and provide a current acceptable breeding environment? They have the ABS, post and comments.

    Were there other issues concerning dog breeding? Inbreeding, shrinking gene pools, loss of genetic diversity, extinction of some genes and types, lack of regulation on the number of dogs and litters - allowing a few big breeders to control the future of the breed and run puppy farms that produced uncontrolled swamping of the breed's gene pool, lack of realistic guidance for breeders, lack of required health testing, breeds who are bred FOR harmful mutations, ............... I'm just one person who loves dogs, has hung around show rings off and on over the years, tried to help, tried to find out what and why things are the way they are, saw PDE recognized someone else viewed things as I did so decided to follow her boat as she was making better headway with the task than I was. Probably thanks to Jemima, the KC has led the way in making some improvements - but it is still like trying to warm the ocean by throwing buckets of hot water into it.

    What could the KC do to improve their method of selection for breeding stock? Stop having conformation shows. They don't work, the idea behind them is unsound. Stop the conformation shows, phase them out, or at least look at the evidence and admit that dis-evolution (devolution?) has occurred in many purebred breeds, and the other breeds are losing genetic diversity due to breeding for show wins (aka popular sire syndrome), and tell the public that conformation shows don't select the best dogs, just the best show dogs, that other methods must be used to select the best hunting dog, the best herding dog, and the best pet dog.

    1. This Christmas I lost two of my old boys both who went and won well at Conformation Shows, yes those evil things that make dogs so unhealthy, their ages, 16 and 17...............not an ill day in their lives

    2. If a breeder produces 100 puppies per year, always breeding dogs together who both carry the same harmful mutation, 75 puppies will be healthy, it is the other 25% which break hearts too early.

      I am happy to read that your dogs lived a good life span, but sorry to read that you lost them. What breed were they? Was it sudden or were they declining? Would you recommend their breed as one that is fit to enjoy life as well as long lived? My aunt had two little dogs that lived a long life but weren't healthy, we had a giant mutt that lived as long but was healthy and active to an old age, so it might be nice to read the details of someone with different experiences.

    3. Has anyone else found changes in dog shows or canine activities since they started? Even if no club rules change, breeds change, and the types of people just entering the world of dogs changes too.

      Dogs aren't the whole world, society dances or trudges onward, the future become the present, today becomes the past. Clubs can't wallow in the time of their birth like Glocca Morra.

      The clubs will change, or die out taking dogs down with them like the undertow of the sinking Titanic or freeing the breeds to each become independent, or leaving the chaos, yet freedom, of individual interpretation under government regulations.

    4. Now is the time for dog people to speak up, to share their histories and herstories. To give voice to their heart's desires for the future of dog breeding. For people to type out loud about their own lifestyle with dogs, and what they have learned.

      Future decision are swayed by the choir of our words. The baritones want this, the sopranos want that. But the crowed applauds this other. But wait, hear the children listening, giggling delighted to a simple, overlooked song!

      We can all shape how the clubs evolve by working out a clear path for them to follow. (Quote from Mahatma Gandhi: "There goes my people. I must follow them, for I am their leader.").

      Speak out loud in your typing now, because the future become today while you are waiting for the perfect time to share your opinions.

    5. FFS!! I had a miniature long haired dachshund who lived until he was 17. Doesn't mean to say I would encourage anyone else to buy one. That is not the point! Now I that I have some education and awareness I realise that just because we thought he looked cute didn't make it OK to want to own one and encourage people to keep breeding them with the current conformation....

  29. The environment directs selection of species . In domestic dogs, the environment is the community.

    The K.Cs do not see themselves as part of the community, or the community as any part of their charter to breed "better" dogs. As per their own rulings.


  30. Dear Santa,

    Instead of toys, could you bring me and my family something we really need? We've been asking for the same thing last year and the year before, I don't know how long I can live, my brother died at 6 years young, and my sister died when she was only 5.

    This Christmas I want to have a Dr. open my airways so I can breathe normal, something isn't right, but I don't know what, I read that you care about such things.

    My brother wants a dentist to look at his mouth and remove the wry teeth that poke him in his lips and his cheeks and the roof of his mouth when he tries to chew food. He says he knows they are his adult teeth and he might have to spend the rest of his life eating soft food, but he wants them out because his mouth is so sore, also he gets gas from not chewing his food right so bad mommy makes him stay outside sometime, so can you bring a tooth doctor in your sled with you tonight?

    My little brother says he wants to be able to play. He gets winded too bad to play, but he still does, but then he does stupid things because he is turning purple inside. Everyone laughs, he let's then think he is funny, so they don't know and feel sorry for him all the time.

    My baby sister wants long nice legs like a dancer. I know you can't bring them Santa, but could you just fix them up some so she could walk easier and play with the neighbors when they come over?

    My older sister is pregnant and so is scared, she is 11 years. Things aren't exactly right inside her. Mom says she can have a C-section, but that's what she told our aunt, and our aunt went into labor right after mom left the house, and my aunt was near dead before mom got home.

    My Uncle came bye yesterday, he said we should all ask for a man to bring oxygen tents over. I asked Uncle what he wanted for Christmas. He said he wanted a new tail, that's funny because he ain't got no tail!

    I asked Granny what she wanted for Christmas, she said she loves us but to ask Santa not to give her any more little ones because they ain't so little.

    The neighbor lady reads Jemima's blog and told mom that after the Christmas season, if mom would get rid of the rape rack, she'd give us a nice boy beagle, so our family won't have to suffer any more than it already has, so we don't need one of those.

    We will all be listening for your reindeer tonight, we can't wag much but we will be there. If we have bad teeth, and goopy skin rolls, will you still loves us Santa?

    Signed, the Dahg family, Bully Lee, Pug Lee, French Lee, Neo Paul Than, Ma Stiff, Peek Lee.

    P.S. Daddy bumped into something and got a black eye, he said if there was any room left in your sled after all our specialists and oxygen tanks were loaded, he would like a longer nose. The cat says we are all getting rawhide bones like last year?

    Santa, I have been good all year, really, I've been too exhausted and out of breath to cause any trouble. All year I've been good! Merry Christmas Santa! Merry Christmas Jemima! Merry Christmas and goodnight to all the reindeer who comment here too.

    Love Bull Lee Dahg.

  31. On the plus side, the USDA, made a change in their regulations this past September (to take effect 60 days later) that regulates pet breeders who sell over the internet in the US.

    Not something many kennels or kennel clubs are cheering over. has a few posts outlining their views, and what the changes might mean, or you can google it and download the exact wording from the USDA itself (United States Department of Agriculture).

    This is a change in Federal regulations, penalties for violations can be stiff. It has nothing to do with any change from any kennel club. NOT a change in club rules, but a change in Federal law. This change can bite hard, if you ignore it.

    This has been one of those long wars, with multiple battles, several near misses, false side tracks that went nowhere (sometimes fortunately). It was exhausting just to read the ups and downs of this war. But the war is over, the dogs won.

    I'm delighted. I'm happy for the USDA. I'm so happy for the dogs. I not only knew this change was needed for the dogs, and the dog breeders and their families, but I've grumbled about its lack, online, for quite some time. But I am also relieved as all get out that this earth-shaking change didn't happen when I was breeding dogs, I don't know how I would have coped.

    It had to happen sometime, so whenever it happened, some people are going to be the ones on the dance floor when the music stops. Like if a country switches from driving on the one side of the road to the other, or chooses one day for everyone to switch to metric system.

    Now, if you have 5 or more breeding females, or sell any dogs (cats, rabbits) except face to face from the location the puppies came from (likely your own home), or make $500 or more in a year, from selling dogs you didn't breed yourself, then you are no longer just a person whose pets have litters, you are running a kennel, and it must be a proper kennel, and it must be inspected and pass USDA regulations.

    Plenty of people have more than 5 breeding females in their home, without being a puppy mill. But "5 or more" includes those people with dozens of breeding females, sometimes hundreds of dogs. The line between pets and a kennel had to be drawn somewhere, and that's where the dividing line was drawn.

    I'm sure many breeders are upset. And more of them are escaping through loopholes, like hunting, working, etc kennels aren't included.

    A step in the right direction. I applaud the USDA. I rejoice as I know dogs would if they could understand.

    1. Sorry, "or" should be "and".

      If you have 4 or fewer breeding females, you seem to assumed to be able to care for your dogs - on the federal level (local laws might be more strict) and under this change (who knows what other rules there might be?). So selling then over the internet shouldn't be a problem.

      If you sell face to face, then there seems to be an assumption that buyers of your puppies are, partially, able to inspect you, so you can get a pass there. There is something in there about puppies born and raised on your own place only, or a max of $500 worth otherwise.

      There seems to be some wobble in how posters and commenters online interpret the wording. "Breeding females" might mean "breedable females" meaning any adult female, even a virgin, who is not spayed, of breedable age, and not so ill that she wouldn't live long enough to whelp.

      Search words that might yield answers to your curiosity include:
      APHIS, AWA, USDA, combined with words like: dogs, kennels, inspection, laws, regulations. The change took effect November 18, 2013.

      Expect some people to be more joyous than a pig in a new mud puddle, and other people angry (or crying) like a young girl in a new dress, pushed in a mud puddle.

    2. Maybe. USDA has far too few inspectors and enforcement is sure to be patchy. The challenges continue . . . as well they should. I have no problem with regulating commercial scale breeders, but it seems a recipe for confusion to regulate them under the Retail Pet Store Rule. Should also be noted that this will mostly regulate sanitation and housing, often in a way that assumes concrete block kennels with industrial-type management. A hobby breeder who keeps five bitches (not all of them breeding) and raises pups in the house could be forced to build block kennels.


  32. Please Jennifer,

    Let's NOT re-open that can of dead worms. The AKC wanted to be allowed to inspect breeders, one of the human orgs wanted to also. No doubt Peta would have volunteered to inspect to their standards also. Normally bids could have been taken to do the job.

    The final version let people who sell puppies face to face from their home to get by without inspections. It exempts people with 4 or fewer breeding females, even if they have 200 males. It exempts working dogs. It has exemptions for bloodlines and "breeding".

    Some local laws allow people to only have 2 of any species, which makes inspections not needed.

    Where would you draw the line between pets and a home kennel?

    4 females can have 8 litters total in a year. That means that at times there will be more than one litter inside your home. Not so messy with Yorkies as Goldies.

    If your dogs have so many puppies that you have to ship sight unseen, and you have more than 4 breeding females, if you still live in Florida, then you must have strong feelings about this?

    Something had to be done. Puppy mill farms were mass producing puppies and shipping them. Nothing is ever a perfect answer, but what do you think the usda should have done?

    1. If you want to regulate breeders, you should regulate breeders as breeders, not as retail pet stores. I am not looking for the line between pets and home kennel...with good breeders there is no hard and fast line. I am more concrened about how 'home kennels' are regulated. I'd hate to see people being forced to move house-raised pups who are given the opportunity to exercise on grass and in natural landscapes into caged dogs.

      Internet sales are very common among well-established breeders of working gun dogs. A kennel with a good name may sell a good fraction of its pups interstate to people who buy on reputation alone, or have bought from them in the past.

      Four females CAN have 8 litters a year, but they can also have zero. In the few times I have had four intact females, two of them were non-breeding . . . puppies being run on, old girls awaiting the right time to be spayed, girls being kept for someone else.

      Sanitation problems look awful, but they are hardly the worst problem facing pedigree dogs. Inbreeding, lack of attention to health and temperament in breeding programs, and lack of socialization for puppies are much more serious problems.

      Puppy mills are another problem, and there are plenty of blogs and discussion groups you can go to for discussion of how best to regulate them . . .or shut them down. I don't think USDA with PITA biting its heels is a good solution.

    2. Puppy farms will still produce puppies in mass and ship them after this ruling goes into effect. Some of them will be raised in cleaner quarters with some minimums imposed...IF the inspectors are given the resources needed to enforce the regulations, which is unlikely.

      The dog world needs MORE good breeders. . . .breeders who put health and temperament above show conformation, and who have learned that you can draw some income by reliable production of quality pups. Laws that force breeders to raise dogs in concrete cages are laws that discourage such breeders.

      FYI, two litters in the house at one time need not be a problem. I'm only doing a litter every couple years now, but when I was keeping more dogs (that was in Australia and I owned a boarding kennel) I had a few double litters, timed for low business seasons so I could work near full-time on puppy care. My bitches get along with each other and they nursed one another's pups . . . I don't see the problem other than whelping boxes taking up a lot of floor space. Much better to be able to take several weeks off to stay at home and mind puppies than to have two periods where you need to rush back to the house a few times a day to clean up and check in.

  33. Aren't the French Bulldogs in the pics suffering from lack of sanitation?

  34. Good, at least it is the start of a structure that may need to be tweeked every now and then. Whilst dogs make money, the people involved will always find loopholes. I guess the people who sell face to face and claim to only have a five bitches will be caught out by a puppy purchaser who is suspicious that all is not well. Anyone who breeds their "pets" twice year is definitely not a pet breeder but is commercial. Not a dog lover, just a commercial trader of goods. And good that there is a limit to the amount of money generated from dogs. I have absolutely no sympathy with breeders in the UK who show their dogs, breed commercially, make huge sums of money pa and refuse to declare it to the tax authorities. For the wellbeing and protection of dogs it is up to all of us to be a lot more aware and ACT to stop it. Good honest breeders are what we need not exploitation of an innocent creature by perpetrators of cruelty and misery. We will get government intervention in the UK because somebody will have to take control.

  35. The new US law is more of a net, than a wall. You really don't want a harsh law that would try to force every dog breeder to suddenly change in a big way. However the outrage about puppy mill farms has been raging for decades.

    I refuse to study it or read it all, I am happy, and I am going to remain blissfully ignorant of the exceptions so I wont rant over anything which can't be changed, so far so good. I am not a lawyer, and might have to slog through it all. I am happy with the change in the big picture, so if the details do have items which I might not agree with, so what? "A step in the right direction" all long journeys are really a string of steps on a path.

    The limit of $500 per year is, I guess, for dogs you sell which you didn't breed and raise yourself. It doesn't stop people from buying and reselling grown dogs, it just makes them go on record as a kennel, and makes their kennels open to inspection. This is one of the nice parts, because people who buy and sell grown dogs that they didn't breed, might well be selling dogs (sometimes stolen) to laboritories or product testing. ("Bunchers" sell to bigger bunchers, who sell dogs into unspeakable things).

    Yes other people might be inconvenienced if they want to sell 2 or 3 dogs, most of those will likely try to wiggle through the net, or sell for less money, instead of getting a kennel license.

    If my memory is correct, it use to be 3 breedable females, but there were other factors too. There have been so many proposed and backed ideas, that it has blurred in my mind how far various ones attained.

    The face to face is good too. Not that shipping a 8 week old puppy across the US, in a crate in the belly of a jet, is going to traumatize him or anything? But it might help keep some of the huge puppy mills from dominating several surround states. Not that they still can't ship, they just now need an inspection and licence, which most of them already have. Hopefully the public will get more into face to face puppy buying, but some breeders have made that so unpleasant a visit, that they have handed repeat shoppers to farm and ship kennels.

    The revision (re-vision, to see something again) helps children. Not every cat lady or dog hoarder is childless, and children can really suffer, at home and at school, if they are raised in a smelly house filled with animals, given the chore of cleaning poop, and grooming dogs, instead of being on the internet or playing with friends - if they have any - (would you let your child go play in a house with 20 big dogs that you don't know? Or to go play in a house where the adults have 20-80 cats, and the litter boxes are always in use?

    The new 'net' of law has plenty of exceptions, and if you don't have an exception which will work for you, it basically just wants dog kennels to admit that they are a kennel and get an inspection.

    Yet that is a big step, because some of these home kennels and puppy farms are too crappy to pass inspection until they clean it up. And their competition, and local animal groups, neighbors, family members, meter readers, delivery persons (paper boys), just might turn them in. How else is your sister-in-law going to get you to babysit her kids while she goes away for a week to vacation with her side of the family, if your home is stuffed with dogs? Hint: don't complain about dog laws face to face, it will just give people who know you ideas.

  36. Every time a new dog law is passed, be it a federal, state, county, or city law, some people type out loud, about how the law affects the wrong type of breeder (it affects them).

    Sometimes the poster is correct, but often the situation is murky and many layered. My heart is with people who breed dogs who live in their home, but these are sometimes the best and the worst of breeders.

    The main cruelty/health problem in concrete kennels is that the floor sucks the heat out of you. I wouldn't have believed it until I tried it. On a nice warm day, lay on a cool concrete surface, it can reduce you to a chill in less than an hour. Small dogs have died from falling asleep on a cool floor - hypothermia. Concrete is a heat vampire.

    This can be changed by giving each dog a raised platform or bed.

    But a simple raised platform that is hose-able, and impervious to water, and keeps the sleeping dog off the 'vampire' floor is very good, I have seen a few hard plastic or vinyl type platforms said to work well and be tough, but not inexpensive.

    Ever notice that the dogs in concrete kennels stand all day? That is how they stay alive. Only the bottom of their feet touch the floor, that way they don't become hypothermic.

    One of the big problems with many dogs in the home, is sanitation. It gets crappy, poopy, stinky quickly with a dozen dogs. Mom & Pop just can't always do the work. It gets like the French Bulldog photos. All it takes is one partial stroke that hinders one person, and forces the other spouse to become their caretaker, and the dogs will be left in poop. Or one fender bender, one little whiplash, and who could care for for all the dogs for a month and for the other caretaker too? Or one grandbaby who has to come stay. Big bills, an injured husband, a wife who must go to work. A sick or injured child. The mom & pop home kennel is too vulnerable, they don't have a few months back up resources. I was told that most neglect cases are from home kennels that WERE nice and loving, but something uncontrollable went wrong.

    If things go wrong with a mom & pop kennel where all the dogs can be put into the concrete runs, and a stranger can come in once a day to hoses the poop down the drain, fill the water bowls, and, all without opening a run, feed the dogs, then if mom or pop gets injured or sick, then the other can hire help, ask friends or family, or do it themselves fairly easily.

    That's why think that there are 3 common main levels of breeders: at one extreme the pet owner with only an occasional litter at a time, and not too many pets; at the other extreme are the breeders with proper kennels that a stranger could drop by and keep up in an hour or less per day.

    In between these extremes is the murky grey area. People who are running a kennel out of their home, but because they love their animals they can't see that they have a home kennel - just not always a nice one. Or they know they are doing it for the money, and they feel it would reduce their profit to do it right.

    Also are the people who farm puppies, sometimes in a barn. They might not acknowledge the difference between puppies and a cow. Cattle and horses often spend winters in a barn. In the fall, the stall was lined with straw, and as the straw got messy with pee and poop, more straw was put over it. By spring the straw might be trod down hard packed on the bottom, but still be higher than a half stall door. In the spring, like digging out something in the snow with a shovel, a pitchfork must make a slope to remove the horse or cow.(this being from where heavy snow stays all winter). The manured straw composts all winter, heating the barn, and is useful mulch in the spring garden.

    You really can't do this with dogs and puppy pee pads.

    The difference between cows and puppies is their poop. And it just doesn't work well in the home kennel even if you use straw. Puppies aren't cows. They just can't be kept the same way.

  37. Hi Jennifer,

    I just read your 1047 and 1845 now. Good anticipation of what I'd write next.

    I agree with almost everything you wrote. And I won't even tell you how many dogs I once had at home - I will tell you that it was more work than any intelligent person should ever get themselves into. No I didn't make money. I though if Louis Doberman and parson Jack Russell could do it, so could I. I couldn't find the attitude, the tameness, the trainability, the coat, etc that I wanted all in one dog, so I decided to do it myself. (Warning: Don't try this at home.)

    Long story, I kept lots of puppies, sometimes half a litter, I listened too many people from the show world before I realized you can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear. Almost all the puppies for sell were purebreds. Some adult dogs for sell were crosses of purebreds. The whole non-show bred genome appears wiped out except for a few dogs from Indian reservations or brought up from Mexico. And pit bull types. Plenty of pitties.

    I know about making mistakes. Dog breeding is full of unmarked pitfalls.

    When I say that limits are good for home breeders, who do you think I refer to?

    Myself, those who, unwarned or stubbornly, tromp the path I left, and those who walked that same path before me. We often find the same pitfalls, in the same places. It is as is the path of a trade is like a path through a forest. People who go that route, tend to find the same thing.

    Some err on the too loose side, slop, noise, over doing it.

    Others err on the too tight side, inbreeding (no experimenting, nothing added they can't control), never seeing faults, their errors, lopsided criteria.

    They don't go away for the weekend, leaving the dogs with extra food and bowls of water, then scrape the mess out Sunday night, like the loose breeder would, noooo, they leave the dogs with no food and LESS water, so when they get home Sunday night there is no mess!

    Ever see a plump dog at a show, but it has a tiny waist? (Tiny waste!). Lots of breeders hardly feed their dogs when they travel.

    Breeders cope differently, but they face the same problems.

  38. Anyone who thinks the USDA regulations are a good thing, PLEASE READ THE FULL DOCUMENT. It's a nightmare! Someone above commented to the effect that "I'm not going to read the whole thing, but I think it's great that USDA is doing something". Idiotic thinking. There are 156 pages in the regulation. The thinking is framed in terms of "primary enclosures" which are to be cleaned by prescribed methods. No allowance for keeping dogs in the house and using crates as favored by many dog trainers. Socialization of baby pups by keeping them close to the routines of a normal household, verboten. Emphasis on cleanliness and keeping vermin free could be taken to mean that terriers are not permitted to go for mice and rats and retrievers are not allowed environments in which they can get muddy (God forbid!).
    Because there are some (or many) crappy breeders out there doesn't mean that good breeders should be forced to comply with industrially-oriented regulations. This might be tolerable if there were reason to believe the inspectors would wink at cases transgressions were clearly made in a way that was good for the dog. But with AR extremists on the loose, that's not going to happen.

  39. Most of the USDA regulations are unchanged. SOME of the sentences have been changed. The whole document is not new. Most dog breeders assume that the way they do things is both the right way and the legal way, and are shocked to find out what the law really is.

  40. I don't know if this will help, but I had friends who were inspected - I don't know what group the inspector was from. They had a mob of little dogs who ran about the house, except one mother dogs and her puppies who were in a pen in the house.

    The inspector told them that each dog had to have its own pen, etc. The pens could be stacked, but with little dogs that could be 5 or 6 cages high, and with the dogs jumping at the door of the pens, or one bump, and the cages would topple. So they ordered banks of metal pens on wheels like for a veterinarian's office.

    Quite a long time later when they guessed he wasn't ever going to come back, the inspector returned. The mob of little dogs were still running around the house, they didn't like cages. With the inspector standing right there, one of them ran and got water to pour into the bowls inside the empty cage racks, while the other person filled each cage with a dog.

    The inspector looked around the house for extra unhoused dogs, glanced at a mother dog in the nursery pen, apparently knew the cage racks were clean and had water because he didn't look at them after the dogs were put in them, and they passed inspection and were all legal.

  41. "Crates as favored by many dog trainers", if they are good dog trainers, why are their dogs living in crates?

    1. Exactly. It's a cage! Useful for early training but no adult dogs should be crated or caged. Problem is people have too many dogs and not enough space.

  42. Most pet owners who take their dogs for training, don't actually want trained dogs.

    They really want well behaved dogs or well-bred pet dogs.

    I have had some good dogs who lived to please. Who remembered what was praised, and molded their own behavior accordingly. Who listen to every soft "no" and could be trusted not chew that again, even if I wasn't home. They are loving dogs oriented to others. They look up to people, and trust people to lead them along the correct path.

    But I have had some hard headed dogs, who did everything they could to follow their instincts, even with me standing there. With a dog like that, he is the center of his world, you can be his friend, he likes friends especially friends who feed, walk, praise, and pet him - but never forget, he is the shining star of his own sky. He looks up to the wolf within himself, not to people. Some people go out of their way to buy a dog like this - there's no accounting for taste, not in form or personality.

    Of course you have to communicate well with your puppy. If you punish him for pooping, what can he do? Not poop?

    You have to watch him, (put a leash on him when he is in the house and keep the unhouse-trained puppy with you) see when he starts to sniff the ground seeking a place to relieve himself, or if he circles about to squat, then quickly take the puppy outside and praise him like he is the biggest homerun touchdown king when he drops a load outside. Remember: praise good, because you can only scold a dog AFTER he learns what you want.

    You have to go outside with the puppy when he has to go, like monsters might be lurking under the bushes outside. Or just walk the dog around the block, and pick up after him.

    Once you have that figured out, you can shape a good puppy's behavior with praise and the word "no".

  43. The USDA comments reflect two different methods of improvement.

    One is the paradigm shift. This is where you toss out the old, and start anew. The other way is gradual incremental step-by-step improvement.

    The USDA didn't burn down the courthouse, and start again from a blank page. That doesn't happen in governments very often.

    They updated the regulations, like a person who errs on a post, and then fixes up the weak spots. That is the usual way.

    But clubs can shift. They can wake up and say "We have been heading the wrong way. But we are not lost now, because we see the right path".

    Science shifts all the time. If facts and theory conflict, and a new theory is supported by the facts, science will drop their old theories like used tissue paper.

  44. Unlike governments, clubs have the option of setting up a new system of registration and showing, and running it along side of the original, bringing more people and dogs into the tent, and satisfying critics and reformers.