Saturday, 21 June 2014

Holler for UK Tollers

UK breed health survey for Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is now live.

This is a breed which has featured quite a bit on this blog - beautiful dogs with very little genetic diversity that often suffer from immune-mediated issues.

This survey  - open to all UK show dogs, working dogs and pet dogs whether KC-registered or not - is hugely important in terms of guiding the Toller's future.

Know anyone with a Toller? Please give 'em this link.


  1. I can't get the link to work. Please would you add that the dogs don't need to be KC registered.

  2. What a brilliant idea from the NSDTR Club! Who is their breed health coordinator? Many breed health coordinators I know are so busy trying to understand an ever-rising number of diseases in their breeds. They can’t seem to spread themselves out enough to be able to address or even understand the requirements for a healthy gene-pool. This club’s breed health coordinator is out to get the big picture which should give a good assessment of the health of the gene-pool. It’ll be so interesting to see what comes from the insight the survey will provide. I’m sure whatever it is, it will only serve to benefit the breed. So good to see this!

    1. "Many breed health co-ordinators I know are so busy trying to understand an ever rising number of diseases in their breeds......"

      Like blind mice. Is it any wonder that the public are having a difficult time finding a healthy pedigree dog. it just gets more and more complicated instead of advancing ever.

      It just makes me absolutely livid the " they should have done their homework" refrain when someone ends up with a crippled mess of a pedigree dog.

      Are dog buyers now meant to be geneticists! Believe me if breeders and breed clubs cant get it right how the hell can buyers?

      The soundest advice and also the most feared of course by pedigree dog breeders is to avoid pedigree dogs full stop. At least until such a time as there is a mass movement to correct breeding practises and the ills of dog showing.

      Thing is I like some pedigree dogs which don't have linebreeding and genetic impoverishment problems. And its unfair to include these.

      So things need clarifying, an authority of sorts needs to be constructed to make things easier and in the long run improve the welfare of pedigree dogs.

      This authority should at least try and compile a list of as absolutely as possible healthy pedigree dog breeds for people to be able to choose from.

      The list wont be long in the beginning but it's vital.

      This list could also become something breeders/clubs could aspire to get onto with their breeds if they are failing now?

      The top 10 most healthy pedigree dogs approach, with input from learned people in their fields, be it genetics or judging. Never mind the top ten most popular or the top ten most rare and expensive but the top ten most healthy pedigree dogs. It wont be a static thing either.

      I think its almost a given breed clubs and the KC are not honestly going to get their house in order in a hurry.

      It will have to be a consumer led revolution.

  3. Let 'em outcross. Problem solved. Sheesh.

    1. Let them eat cake? Please this is a serious matter that could mean the widening of the gene pool leading to healthier dogs.

      Er....yes. Maybe a brief history of the Hapsburgs will help them make that terrifying decision to eat a crust of humble bread instead.

      Charles II of Spain was no mistake.

      Charles' father, Philip IV, was the uncle of his mother, Mariana of Austria; his great-grandfather, Philip II, was also the uncle of his great-grandmother, Anna of Austria; and his grandmother, Maria Anna of Austria, was simultaneously his aunt.

      Sound familiar Toller breeders. Charles had an inbreeding coefficient of 0.25. That's lower than the Tollers average of 26 and yes you guessed it Charles wasn't a pretty sight in fact a deformed complete retard, dying young unable to even sire one more generation.

      He was line-bred, not even particularly inbred compared to many dog breeds.

      Maybe a little self reflection isn't such a bad idea, like the Hapsburgs comparing chins, it could be rather fun?

    2. Not sure where you got your info about the coefficient. Expressed as a percentage, the current UK KC figure for the breed is 1.2%. Your expression of plain 0.25 then 26 would indicate 26%?

    3. Ahhh I will try and find the page again...should always give your source [blush] the figure might be for a specific disease...

      But you get the point? No way a Toller can be much less inbred than Charles was.

  4. Would be more accessible if they made an online version as well.

    >Please be assured that the idea behind this is that in the future , if the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club of UK asks for help from for example the ‘Animal Health Trust’ to develop a possible DNA test for a particular condition, we will have immediate access to the health records of a good number of dogs, with which we can share with such organisations.

    This is kind of weird. Why would people need assurance for a health survey?

    1. Quite simple really. A lot of breeders don't want anyone to know just what health issues they have lurking in their breeding stock, past and present, like skeletons in their wardrobes. The assurance is to say that they will only share your information with "reputable" organisations, and therefore it will be safe.

      My understanding of the Data Protection Act 1998 regulations is that no Personally Identifiable Information is allowed to be transferred without the express permission of the owner of that information and in that, it's only the health statistics of non identified that can be passed to organisations like the AHT.

      Much more concerning for those same breeders is the following statement from the opening page "Please be aware that information given within this
      survey may be shared with other Toller owners and the Kennel Club in order to protect the future of the breed."

      Let's just throw all Data Protection out of the window here :)

    2. Incredible that you - a toller owner - is against any survey that would endeavour to find out what illnesses that are affecting the breed!!! I would think rather than slating it you would be putting pen to paper and complete and submit the survey post haste!!!!

      By completing & submitting the form with such a warning given you are giving permission for the information to be shared so therefore no breaking or in your terms no throwing out of the Data Protection Act!

      Obviously if you cared at all about the health of your breed this reporting would not be a problem would it?

  5. They've made this really hard but that's coz they don't understand technology. They've produced this in PDF format, non-editable, so it has to be printed and posted or printed then scanned and emailed. How much easier this could have been for them, if they'd done this with the right technology, to collate all the responses into meaningful data. But then, like most breed clubs, they are a bit stuck in the past!!


    So the UK KC backs banning the game of frisbee for dogs, in case they get injured.

    Do you think they would be open to the banning of breeding exaggerated dogs for form, not function for health reasons too? Thought not.....

    This organisation is a waste of space.....

    1. Is frizbee dangerous? Is it an organised sport? I can see the potential for some quite serious repetitive strain injuries occuring if it is.

      Surely one or two throws is a healthy thing? I didnt know anyone had the authority to ban games you play with your dog? Thats going too far surely. Im sure if people knew it was dangerous they wouldn't not do it too often, a ban sounds rather extreme.

      Why dont they ban the racing industry instead? Dogs are being raced with the same kind of problems including chronic wastage of animal life.

      A race or two though never hurt a dog, it's the gambling and industry as a whole that does.

      World upside down.

    2. ‘The Kennel Club has backed a decision by a country dog show to ban frisbee catching on the grounds that it puts pets in danger of injury.’
      I’m sorry but this is a really, really idiotic knee jerk reaction. Frisbee and ball are fantastic outlets for a dog if played sensibly. Yes, you don’t want to take this activity to extremes by risking injury to a dog, but a dog could get injured doing almost any activity – agility, tracking, off lead hiking etc. It’s a nanny state response which is not addressing the real problems associated with dogs today….
      The really frustrating issue is that Frisbee is a perfectly legal and appropriate activity for a dog, unlike being paraded around a ring covered in hairspray and talcum powder….What they should be banning, is dog shows. That’s if they had any self-awareness and understanding. This activity contributes to appalling breeding practices which have been responsible for driving people to breed dogs for entirely the wrong reasons. Ego and competition.
      The Kennel Club seems to be operated by people who are a bit thick…let’s stop supporting this archaic organisation once and for all. Some of the comments on the Telegraph page suggest that most people seem to agree…

    3. IC so its just the "Country Show" that banned it for that show, which had the KC's endorcement. Was this a planned event at the country show, frisbee?

      Yes there is definately some irony there given that it's the KC with its sanctioned cruelty inficted on so many pedigree dog breeds today. They probaly think it makes good PR given that their reputation can no longer be taken for granted.

      I read dogs also get lacerated mouths from frizbees as the teeth make the edges of the hard plastic quite sharp after a few throws.

      I expect anyone playing frizbee with their dog would notice this and stop playing, get a new frizbee or put some kind of soft rubber around the edge next time.

      Isn't there a safer frizbee model available for dogs?

    4. There are specially designed dog Frisbees but the issue is more about the dog jumping too high, landing dangerously and injuring itself. This is still an over reaction and largely silly given the nature of the serious problems affecting dogs today....

  7. With dog shows being used to select breeding stock, and the popular sires problem which results from this, most breeds will continue to become more inbred as the years pass.