Sunday 1 June 2014

Ronnie Irving - voice of America? Voice of reason?

The prevailing view amongst the Fancy re the recent HBO Sports piece on purebred dogs was that it was a hatchet job. (Watch it here).

The AKC - so terrified of outside scrutiny that it filmed HBO interviewing its representatives - released out-takes which it claimed showed that HBO had twisted the interview but which in fact just showed the AKC reps looking shifty and unable to answer a direct question. (See that here).

Now former KC Chairman, who writes a column for Dog News in the US, has waded into the fray - but instead of bunkering down with the Fancy over those horrid media types with an agenda, Ronnie says the AKC must do more.

He writes:
"All of that rhetoric is just fine and is likely to impress those of the dog fancy who are already convinced that the anti purebred lobby is made of nothing but crazy animal righters. It is found to give a warm feeling to the fancy and is undoubtedly a very effective way of 'preaching to the converted' - that is to those of us who have already committed ourselves to taking part in the sport of purebred dogs and are already convinced that dog shows can be used as  positive lever for change in the interests of canine health and welfare. But does it pass muster with the rest of the world consisting of ordinary members of the general public or even with people who own dogs as pets?"
Ronnie goes on to not just accuse the AKC of rhetoric, but of complacency. He thinks the AKC is:

• wrong to have issued such a vehement statement against the introduction of vet-checks in the UK
• wrong to refuse to oversee the rewriting of breed breed standards that encourage exaggerations, and • wrong in doing nothing to remind judges of their duty to put up sound dogs.

Both the UK and the FCI have moved with the times, says Ronnie, and yet the AKC hasn't, leaving it very vulnerable to charges that it is not doing enough. The HBO piece he suggests, was a car wreck waiting to happen.

Read the whole thing here... it starts on Page 18 of Dog News - this edition of which boasts a cover picture which I reproduce here because it makes me laugh... as if a man proudly gazing off into the distance holding a ponced-up poodle called Pearl is somehow noble.

Related post: AKC sticks knife in - to itself


  1. Christ that picture is hideous.....again, another great example of a picture capturing exactly what is wrong with Dogdom....

    Good for Ronnie......they have been rolled the ball. They need to pick this up and run with it. I am sure that more people will get on the campaign once people start to speak up.

    The AKC seem utterly clueless both in how they are actually perceived (bunch of amateurs) by the dog savvy people and that their days are numbed.....

  2. I think Ronnie is to be applauded for having the courage of his own convictions. It's very difficult to stand up to the status quo in any organisation even if you are a prominent member of it.
    Surely if more people ( the "pet owners") are aware of the issues with dog breeding the demand for health over appearance will prevail ?

  3. Gasp Dog News is a tour de force of suffering. Did you see Mickey the dilute French bulldog on page 16 with the severe push back and stenotic nares. Don't think I've ever seen such "push back", poor Mickey the whole profile looks like it will be concave.

    And what's happening to the Rottweilers head its looking more and more like a bulldog with the German Shepherds ataxic angulation? Soon it wont be able to give birth naturaly and have breathing dofficulties, well on its way to ruination as an animal.

    On the "noble" poodle combination pictured on the cover, I recently saw a standard poodle being thrown out of the ring by a judge. It hardly got into the ring in seconds it was asked to leave.

    It so happens that I had been watching this dog with its handler outside the ring before the great flop which was its three second showing.

    The dog was terrified and in pain. The handler dressed in a shiny black zoot suit with velvet lapels had the dog strung up on a table by the neck far too tightly. He had one hand clamped firmly over the dogs muzzle while he pulled at it with various instruments of torture to get its coat so absolutely "perfect". The dog couldn't pant and it was very very hot indoors and dusty with hair powder. The minute the dog resisted through its body he would shake the muzzle sideways hard. The dogs eyes were rolling back in its head. I was screaming inside.

    This treatment continued without a break until the dogs were called into the ring. heavens only onkws how much torture it had endured before it actualy arrived.
    This dog was called up first for closer inspection. The minute the judge (a foreign judge from Sweden) bent down and reached out with his cupped hands to the dogs head it threw itself backwards violently falling to the ground. He sent them both straight out the ring!

    Now this judge hadn't seen what had happened outside the ring and more than likely made the completely incorrect call that it was a "fearful nervous type", an instant disqualification in Sweden at any rate.


  4. ....continued

    The handler was extremely angry and threw the dog back onto the table and grabbed its nose and held it down. This was all too much for me to bear so I stepped closer getting ready for a fight. At the same time the what I assumed were the owners stepped forward, a young well heeled couple grasping the obligatory matching Louis Vuitton clutch bags and glass of complementary Perrier. They looked dumb struck and questioning. They couldn't work out why their investment wasn't in the ring.

    At this time he let go of the dogs jaws red faced and sweaty he explained to them that the dog was frightened because it had never seen a white man before (judge) and this was why it had reacted that way and been disqualified. I don't speak Japanese but my minder and driver for the day does being Japanese, he had been whispering translations into my ear all day at my request.

    I decided to step into their personal space at that point.

    The dog exhausted had fallen sideways on the table and was lying there panting like its life depended on it its eyes squinting closed. The seas parted in abrupt silence. This is less to do with my magnificent presence and more to do with the fact that a strange gaijin "white alien" had suddenly stepped into the fray.

    I spoke to the dog in a soothing way for a few moments then reached down and gently stroked its sides then nestling its head in my hands I rubbed its lower jaw lightly with my thumb looking into its eyes. Soft as a baby. I looked up at the handler and scowling blue murder instructing in a low voice (I didn't want to frighten the animal even more than what it had been already) my companion to tell the owners in Japanese that the dog had been abused by the handler and that's why it had been hand shy in the ring. Then I left them to it, heading over to the ridgebacks hoping for a better experience.

    The simple fact is dogs don't like this aggressive constant grooming to make it look like a wooden marionette, it hurts its uncomfortable and they have to endure hours and hours of it strung up like a lamb for slaughter. They have to live an unnatural life, mostly caged to keep them dry clean and to prevent damage to the coat, some aren't even allowed into the sunlight in case the coat gets sun burnt or tinged, cant chew chewies or even eat on their own. The Yorkie has to be hand fed balls of food popped down its throat so it's hair isn't soiled, it may not play outside for the same reasons. I wouldn't be surprised if it was hand held hair parted to kakha......etc etc etc

    Some call this pampering I call it a living nightmare.

    These are the "lucky" show dogs, the pets get an even worse deal as the coat becomes an impossible task to maintain in most ordinary circumstances.

    Dogs have the right to live a normal life.

    1. Dogs hate being bathed , dried and clipped. at worst it is torture for them at best they are bored stiff for hours.
      It is cruel to have a breed that MUST be clipped , Some dogs just will not tolerate it and end up either a matted mess or sedated at the vet once a year.
      The coats on the show bred lhasa , american cocker , even english cocker are too thick to be easily kept tidy by brushing alone.( its not so much the length but the thickness of the thick you can't even parten the hair to see the skin)
      Breeds like tibetan terriers are beyond a joke and you get breeders telling the owners they must not clip the dog as it will ruin them. so they bring their dog along to the groomers a few times a year and demand you remove the matts with your magic wand.

    2. Please, drop the poodle hate because of the coat. I would be more concerned about that dog's COI rather than the way it has been groomed. Not all dogs hate to be washed and groomed. Some are indifferent. Some even enjoy the attention and the warm water. And all dogs need washing and grooming to some degree. Many dogs hate having their toenails trimmed. Should we breed dogs with mutated feet with no toenails just so they do not have to put up with something they don't like once a month or so, or amputate their toes at birth? Some people would say that teaching dogs to obey commands or using them for assistance or work is slavery, or that any dog by virtue of not looking and behaving like a wolf is a man-made abomination. It's the start of a slippery slope.

      Someone saw a poodle being abused at a show: could have happened to any dog regardless of what its coat was like. It could have happened to a dog at an agility course, or on a shoot. I know of an instance during a pheasant shoot when someone beat the crap out of his dog for disobeying him or doing something wrong, and the other people there stood up for the dog and told him it wasn't acceptable. It's the fault of the person who abused the dog, not the dog or its breed or the venue. And if that bald chap is happy standing there with his poodle, or wearing ladies' clothes, or any other thing that's his business and nobody else's, then criticising him for that reeks of intolerance and bigotry.

    3. Why the heck do you interpret it as breed hate against poodles!? You know, THAT reeks of bigotry and intolerance....I think it's clear that there is no animosity to animals on this blog whatsoever. Shame if you can't see through the anecdote about a poodle at a dog show being a reference to the general nonsense that dogs have to tolerate from some humans....

    4. A lot of dogs like being brushed but i've not met one who liked soap.
      & some breeds can go through life perfectly happily without ever seeing a bath .
      & anyway a 20 minute wash for a moderate coated breed is nothing compared to the 4 hours it can take to groom a large heavily coated breed. NO dog wants to stand still for hours under a drier every few weeks.
      5 minutes to clip the nails is not the same either ( & I very rarely clip my dogs nails because I WALK them)

      But my point was not the dogs who tolerate the grooming , It is the dogs who do not tolerate it but have to be done to prevent them matting badly that are of concern.

      I have known a lhasa who came for grooming every couple of weeks and the more she came the more she hated it , having a dog scream through its gentle bath in distress because it hates it so much is not fun & it has maybe 15 years of bathing & clipping to put up with. which obviously has to be done for its welfare , but if it had been a jack russell it could have been left alone instead of forced to go through something it hates.

      & by the way I love poodles.I adore the little apricot one I know but she does hate being groomed.

    5. RiverP, that tale is so sad, the poor Poo, to be treated literally, in public, as an inanimate object is shocking. What the dog has to suffer when the handler has him behind closed doors is really worrying. Do you know if his owners removed him from the handler. You were much more respectful than I would have been because he would have been in no doubt how cross I was with him and his treatment of the poo. It emphasises the lunatic fringe attitude towards dogs in an attempt to justify one's existence by winning a crummy card. Shocking, heart breaking and really, really worrying. The poor dog.

    6. Yes quite @ 2 June 2014 16:14

      I don't hate poodles they do its true have some of the most chronic problems as far as genetic diversity goes but I don't hate them at all.

      The poodle, most poodles in fact are extremely intelligent wonderful lively happy dogs. I have known personally three wonderful charming black standard poodles. In fact I have often thought a cuddle of these would suit me very much, unfortunately only five would do so I have in fact been living a life of modest restraint as far as poodles go especially the big ones.

      The dogs I knew lived an enviable life outside of the show world, their coat was kept naturally, they could play, run, swim and do exactly what they liked on a rather awesome small farm and country Inn.

      Once a year during the hottest months they were fully clipped out which made them a little embarrassed but none the worse for wear. In fact once or twice it was I who did the clipping. After the clip for treat I would take them down to the dam to chase ducks and get all muddy.

      Its not a difficult coat just a good brushing and its ready to go.

      This is not the same thing as what show dogs have to endure at all.

      In fact I was just looking up "acceptable show clips for poodles" when I came across this little gem (;

      On the issue of nail clipping (and coat) I also agree with 2 June 2014 18:27 a dog should be wearing down its nails living a normal active life.

      There will always be dogs that need their nails done, I've never had one but some older dogs or poorly dogs might or little puppies that might be lacerating their mums teats. They don't like it all and it's often difficult to see where the quick ends if the nail is dark.

      A little tip if you have a garden or space make sure there is some concrete area where they often run from as this will naturally keep the nails in tip top order. But all the activities a dog should be doing like digging and jumping around the countryside will keep them just right. In fact if they are being walked enough in cities the same should apply.

  5. Is this the same Ronnie that you asked if he would have a baby with his daughter when you shoved a microphone in his face for PDE ? The daughter who was dead when you asked?Just wondering. My my how the worm turns

    1. Jan, how many times do we need to re-visit this one, I wonder?

      I of course did not know that Ronnie had lost his daughter and if I had, the question would have been different.

      As it was, the question wasn't planned. It was in response to Ronnie saying he thought parent/offspring mating were acceptable.

      Why do you think the taboo exists in humans? Why do you think young male wolves are chucked out of the pack? And why do you think it shouldn't apply to dogs?

      Genetics is genetics, Jan. Inbreeding is BAD.

      Is there some nuance to this? Yep. Generation-after-generation line breeding more pernicious than a one off parent/offspring mating in an otherwise outbred pedigree. And, yep, there are *some* very inbred populations that seem to do OK. But if dog breeders don't change the way they breed, many breeds simply won't be here in 50 years time; maybe less.

    2. And while I'm here, what *is* it with the "how the worm turns" comment? This is not about personalities or who did what when, Jan. I thought Ronnie was wrong to support this level of inbreeding in 2007; and I think he's right to call out the AKC on this one now. The real world doesn't consist of comedy goodies or baddies. I am sure that there's even quite a lot that you and I would agree on.

      So how about giving us your thoughts on what you think of Ronnie's article? Do you think he makes any good points? And if you don't agree with him, why not?


    3. bestuvall - are there no depths you will not sink to?

      you keep trying to distract from the actual issues of canine welfare that are being discussed here with petty and inappropriate digs at people, that have noting to do with the actual discussion.

      You do realise that we can see right through your insecurity and defensiveness don't you? Fear!

      Why not give us your point of view on the actual issues rather than lashing out wildly.....

    4. Bestuvall, even though the comment "would you have a baby with your daughter" is a bit taboo in the circumstance with Mr. Irvine's deceased daughter; Jemima holds a big point. It is not okay to be inbreeding dogs. It compromises future line’s health. Do you really want dog breeding to be a “children of Chernobyl” type of thing?

    5. i do not sink to the depths of putting out a "documentary" where I compare dog breeders to Nazis and ask people if they would commit incest with their own daughter. That is sinking lower than a snake. It would have been very easy to investigate that comment and let it land on the cutting room floor. Many clips did not make it into the program I would be pretty sure of that. But when you have an agenda nothing is sacred. If the reporting had truly been investigative and not pandering to the sensational you would have known about Mr Irvings daughter and removed the offensive comment. There were plenty of ways to get to your point without that. As for incest in animals etc.. humans are not animals.. or haven't you and yours here noticed.? Dogs will happily breed with any relative if allowed and in pure bred dogs it is rare even without stupid "laws" to try to control it because careful breeders control what they do instead of allowing animals to breed at will.
      I ask you to breed your own healthy dogs. Crossbreed and interbreed and create the dogs you wish for people to own. What is so difficult about that? Legislation does nothing to improve the health of dogs and opens up the black market for all sorts of problems.Surely Jemima you can see that in your rescue work. Selecting certain photos out of real time to attempt to prove a point is wrong. If you want to beat them at their own game you must stop trying to force the issue and create your own registry breeding programs and sell the dogs to people who will carry on your traditions in the manner in which you see the future of your own breeding program.
      If this is not about "personalities" why do you publish the names and shame wall of people you disagree with? This is all about who did what when. Mr Irving made one statement . He did not "support" a level of inbreeding. He made a comment in response to a badly timed question with no chance to elaborate or expand on his views regarding the subject.
      Fear?/ Surely you jest. if i were fearful I would not be here would I anon taking crap from people like you who have probably never bred a litter of anything in your lifetime and probably never will ( if we are lucky).
      Have at it people with you rambling posts and your talk of petitions. Let the adults do the real work
      Those that can.. do.. those that can't teach those that can do neither preach on blogs

    6. Oh my! 'Humans are not animals...'

      What the feck do you think we actually are then? Robots!? genetics are genetics bestuvall....denial is a very dangerous place to be...

      Pick up a text book or two on evolutionary biology and learn a thing or two. Better still, why don't you actually read this very excellent blog and learn a thing or two here rather than attack people who make very valid points based on actual evidence?

      You make a lot of inaccurate assumptions about people on here whom you know nothing about. You're right when you say let the adults do the real work...because we can't trust the likes of you!

    7. And here's a bet the dishonourable Andrew Brace top UK judge goes on to work from "within". Hypocrites simple.

      They don't care where they get noticed as long as they are.

      As far as being "more effective from within", I would disagree. One fantastic example is the work of the antiapartheid movement in the UK and the Netherlands (I was very active in that org) that brought about in many cases total boycotts of South Africa the isolation that ultimately played a major role in bringing down that regime.

      Far as I can see Ronnie Irving is just hopping on the merry bandwagon. He should concentrate on the KCs troubles if he wants to be taken seriously.

    8. Sound words, and really R.I. should look behind him before he thinks he can right the AKC. Because whilst ever we see the abuse of pedigree dogs bred to KC standards then he is not squeaky clean. He could have acted more proactively, he could have stopped a lot of the practices, he can't say he couldn't, because he was "in charge". So his "shift" as KC Chairman was pretty futile and then when Steve Dean bumbled along, halleluha, a vet, surely he will do something positive, be seen to stop it, explain why it has to stop, do something positive, but no, he too has hidden behind his Border Terriers, let them do the barking, and just carry on, raking in his salary, watching the clock, hoping nothing disastrous happens on his "shift" until he decides he's had enough and walks off into the sunset. "Job done" - I'm off, dogs? what dogs? "Oh well, they are somebody else's problem now." Infuriating that these people seem to have no shame, or self pride.

  6. How extraordinarily tasteless to imply Jemima had known Ronnie had lost his daughter when she was doing her job asking matter of fact question about incest.

    Back to the real world. Im not sure about Ronnie in the context of this blog entry, it sounds suspiciously like some kind of glory hunting.

    I would like to think people have the capacity to change for the better but in this instance Im wondering if there isn't more of the mercenary motive behind it all.

    Maybe fishing for a job across the Atlantic? Heavens knows the AKC could do with some help after the shell shocked performance on the HBO Sports piece.

    It might be better to wait on this one, though even by the AKC standards.

    How very dare he suddenly accuse the AKC of not doing enough, blatant hypocrisy.

    For all the half measures he may have been forced into setting in motion the job of safe guarding the welfare of animals in the world of dog showing under the KC is far far from over. It's just the very begining in fact.

    1. River P.. Ronnie is now a free agent (well -ish) so is able to speak his mind more than he did. And, actually, he spoke out about exaggerations before PDE was broadcast (although after our interview...) in the May 2008 issue of the Kennel Club Gazette. He didn't go so far as to actually name the breeds (and the KC refused to name them when I asked - such was the climate at the time) but some of it was a clear dig at GSDs.

      He has also been critical of the AKC before in the same column.

      No, Ronnie doesn't have mercenary motives. He might be paid a small amount for his column in Dog News (but I bet not much), and expressing views like he has is a very good way of making him unwelcome with the core Fancy in the US.

      Ronnie's own breed is Border Terriers. They're not in bad shape genetically and they are conformationally sound, moderate dogs. I have no doubt that he winces when he sees the more exaggerated breeds.

      As I've said before, I always quite liked Ronnie.And he's not stupid. And he's seen for himself what happens with small gene pools (his other breed is the Dandie Dinmont - not in good shape at all).

      He's still protective of the Fancy, which is understandable - he's totally steeped in it. But I think he's seen the light and I am hoping he will use his position to encourage more change. It is always more effective from within.


    2. Ooo Jemina that must have been an uncomfortable discovery, I was unaware of Ronnie's daughter and I winced when I read that.

      Perhaps now that Ronnie is no longer in the institution he will be able to help make positive changes within the pedigree dog world (there is no sign of any shortage) as it certainly won't be easy to swim against the tide

    3. One day I might post the rushes from that interview - they make interesting viewing/listening. I didn't find out until after PDE aired that Ronnie had lost his daughter. I can't imagine much that would be more awful, but would I have edited to remove the question? I don't think I would because I had asked the question in good faith and because the answer was revealing and pertinent to the film.

    4. I judge you not Jemima, but by the same token feel for Ronnie and his families loss, nothing could be more devastating than losing a child. However a very valid question in direct relation to the topic with its place in the programme. I'm sure with prior knowledge the question would have been worded differently or asked to someone different.

      I would very much like to see that the rushes in fact I'm sure all of the filming that couldn't be fitted into the programme is interesting. That part of the programme however was possibly one of the most poignant for me at the time, as breeders of pedigree sheep incest matings are frowned upon not based upon solely upon the moral grounds but because that spells disaster and significant faults are soon evident in the offspring - small testicles being one of them and the problems associated with that are obvious!! So I have always been curious about the practice of line and inbreeding in domestic animals, I just can't fathom it?

      Are there really so very few of us that aren't in denial?

    5. PED The Uncut Version, the directors cut etc, YES! Plus updates.

      On "Ronnies" breed preferance the Border terrier I've just in fact written an urgent post on "Country Life" concerning Borders, I will include it here. It's seems he's not the only ex KC chairman who had/has a soft spot for the breed Steven Dean also kept them.

      By the way isn't time The kennel Club had a woman chairperson! It would be sexist to say they would do a better job but it's worth a try, not so?

      On the Border terrier I dont thin all is well and the KC standard needs changing, here follows the post I wrote on Country Life. The breed is/has become very popular so its very pertinent more so than ever:

      Quoting myself here "Yes stripping is extremely painful no matter how surreptitiously you do it. Believe me it will notice.

      It can wreck a dogs character turning it into a snarling biting psychotic victim of mans folly. Some dogs stoically accept it which to my mind is even more of a betrayal of a little dogs big heart.

      It should be outlawed in my long considered opinion and experience of the practise.

      Unfortunately it is done on many terrier breeds as the standards calls for hard or wiry coats. Unfortunately its not something they are born with, so they pluck it from the live hair follicle hoping it grows thicker shafts as a result. In show dogs this coat wins over a softer coat so its positively encouraged practise. Even if a dogs coat did just fall out or "blow" its not convieniantly "blowing" in time for a dog show so its ripped out in advance to grow back in time for the event.

      The standard for the breed under the AKC as described in Country Life is not perfect and needs changing to make this practise the outdated barbaric thing it is unacceptable.

      When a coat is apparently "blown" they will tell you it just comes out?? This is not the case it is still attached to live nerve endings, otherwise a simple brushing would remove it like with any other dog moulting. This doesn't even happen with Borders they don't moult once a year.

      The borders coat is the same as any other dogs, they are a dog breed not a species with thick hair shafts like a wild pig might have.

      The standard calls for something unnatural, akin to cropped tails and ear mutilation.

      Border terriers are perfectly able to live with a clipped coat don't let anyone convince you otherwise. And don't be blinded by the pain you are causing by sending the little dog off to a grooming parlour for them to do the dirty for you.

      It is a lovely little dog and doesn't deserve this treatment.

      If you love your merry Border terrier dont torture it, its pure vanity of the worst kind.

    6. Correction: Steven Dean is the incumbent chairperson of the KC and still keeps Border terriers.

    7. By the way stripping is done from four weeks of age, that is a small puppy with soft tender skin. A puppy displaying a thicker hair shaft is going to be a more promising prospect, more show worthy.

      I bought a Sealyham many many years ago which had been hand stripped before she came home to me, she was only three months old when I got her but had been stripped as a six week old pup.

      One of the complicating issues in this is its not only a showing problem. Working Borders what's left of them that haven't been been crossed are treated in the same way. They make useful crosses in fact.

      Its not an us versus them type issue so it tends to be swept under the carpet by everyone leaving suffering dogs as a result.

      It's a travesty promoted and accepted!

  7. Hopefully, if it has knifed itself then it isn't entitled to resuscitation is it? I've just gone through the magazine and some of the breeds shown are a travesty. I thought that ear cropping had been banned years ago, it is so cruel. The dog that stood out for me as being an absolute caricature was the brown Doberman bitch, her physic is just plain weird but her ears are horrendous. I can't imagine how she moves with such a build. No, sorry, AKC is definitely not for resus.

  8. " wrong in doing nothing to remind judges of their duty to put up sound dogs." see now you are just wrong here.. The AKC holds judges seminars on a regular basis for any judge who wants to attend for any breed. At these seminars soundness and health are routinely discussed. You can go to you tube and pull up numerous AKC seminars for judges and breeders on type ,breeding, puppy rearing pedigrees and and more. Try it
    The AKC has weekly podcasts on health issues in breeds and all dogs. Easy to sign up and listen to experts talk about disease in dogs soundness and health.
    you could try that as well as can all of your readers.

  9. "Thank You for Supporting Pet Cancer Awareness Month

    As Pet Cancer Awareness Month (PCAM) wraps up for 2014 we would like to thank you for the strides we have made in canine cancer research. Since 1995 the AKC Canine Health Foundation has awarded 188 oncology grants and funded nearly $10.7 million in canine cancer research. This would not be possible without your support.

    The scientific results that you made possible have helped move veterinary medicine forward. These advancements show real progress in the understanding and treatment of canine cancer and are helping all dogs live longer, healthier lives.

    If you missed any of the podcasts, webinars or other resources, many can be found our website or on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

    We would also like to thank the many supporters who submitted photos of their Canine Cancer Superheroes. These inspiring stories not only help us appreciate the role research and new treatments play in maintaining quality of life for canine cancer patients, but they also help us understand the urgency of the work we do.

    Thank you again for your continued support."

    so what did you dear readers do today to help animals? Where was your $$ spent? That damn AKC .. what are they thinking?

  10. That's great, Jan. But let's face it - it's the equivalent to the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association funding research into lung cancer.


    1. It appears that you think that only pure bred dogs get cancer or that the AKC causes cancer. Can you really be saying that? This research helps ALL dogs.. not just pure breds. You spoke at the HSUS conference. How much money have they given to research to help animals. . oh wait I forgot they are against research using animals.. even the research that helps animals. much less humans.
      Who cares who gives the money as long as the research is on going to help dogs.? Are you implying that the research done is somehow jaded or false.. or paid for and skewed? Shame on you.

    2. Inbreeding is one of the main causes of cancer, so, yes.

      There is also the problem of biased research, highlighted in Ben Goldacres book 'Bad Pharma', where the results of the research are fudged so they're in line with the wishes of the funding body. Meaning, if the research found that inbreeding/line-breeding caused cancer, then these results either wouldn't be published, or the link would be weakened, or...

      Bias in research is suprisingly common. Here's a review of the protective effect of spaying on mammary tumours; the primary health benefit recounted as a reason to spay.

      "13 reports in English-language peer-reviewed journals addressed the association between neutering/age at neutering and mammary tumours. Nine were judged to have a high risk of bias. The remaining four were classified as having a moderate risk of bias... Due to the limited evidence available and the risk of bias in the published results, the evidence that neutering reduces the risk of mammary neoplasia, and the evidence that age at neutering has an effect, are judged to be weak and are not a sound basis for firm recommendations."

    3. Nice post Fran.

      Jemima have you read Pukka's Promise yet!? I'm still waiting for your review! :)

      Some good stuff in there regarding inbreeding, the 'science' behind spaying and neutering and basically Ted's commitment to honouring the dog as a companion and not an ideal. Peer reviewed literature aswell.


    4. Fran, in that peer review, the term "bias" is not about "conflict of interest" type of bias.

    5. yes we would all be so much better off if the AKC had just kept that money.. and not funded any research. honestly I have no idea what is wrong with people who can take a well meaning program that may save the lives of dogs ( and even YOUR dog) and twist it around to somehow make it seem something rotten and criminal.. and evidently cruel. shame on all of you .

    6. bestuvall you have a real problem about understanding the written word, your statements above are incomprehensible. Nobody is ignoring the validity of what you are saying but when they respond you think it is in a negative response. They've READ what you say and they have answered with another opinion slant. It is as simple as that, cool down and relax. We are all heated about the indignities, the cruelty, the dishonesty within the purebred dog world but if we all responded in the way you are doing all discussion would stop immediately. It is an open forum, for dog loving concerned people from all across the World, and the fact we all have different view points and experience is what could become a sound platform from which reparation of current breeding practices may well benefit. No? Again I apologise for appearing to be sanctimonious but like you I and the other contributors love our dogs and want the best for them now and the future.

    7. Let's change the example. Say the AKC was funding research into brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS), a common breathing problem in brachycephalic breeds. From one point of view, their donation is laudible, but if there were no brachycephalic breeds, there would be no BOAS, and the research would be unnecessary.

      I'm sure there are many causes of cancer, but if the main one is found to be down to linebreeding/inbreeding, how likely is the AKC to change its policy on registering litters of dogs with a high COI? Will it ban matings from related dogs? Bearing in mind that even matings between first cousins, if done often enough, will cause problems. If their research is to find out the genetic root of health problems so they can implement better breeding strategies, I would be the first to applaud them. However, going on their track record, I doubt this is the case.

    8. Crossbreeds get cancer too. But the issue is as you say, Fran. The AKC is not looking at the cases of cancer in this sense. It is funding research aimed at treatment/cure.

      And that's great. But here's the thing:

      Scotties - 20 times the rate of bladder cancer
      Flatcoats - 50 per cent dead of cancer by 8/9
      Bernese - ditto but younger
      Irish Water Spaniels - yep, the same
      Giant breeds - riddled with osteosarcoma

      These cancers, so much higher than the ambient rate in dogs - are a direct result of the current breeding paradigm...of inbreeding dogs in small gene pools/ breeding dogs that are too big/grow too fast etc.

      So... open up those gene pools, increase genetic diversity, and breed for smaller/slower-growing dogs.

      This will lower the rate of cancer in many breeds.

    9. Yes, it's a bit like chasing the tail of the dog that chases it's tail. In reality there would be no need to invest huge sums of money for cancer research when the easiest and cheapest way to resolve cancer (in the main in pedigree dogs) is for the KCs internationally to take control of the gross deformities by addressing the breeding programmes. And, of course, there was a discussion some time ago about spreading the damage by cross breeding i.e. instead of holding back the tide in it's entirety, it could spread inherited problems across a wider genetic pool which then completely damages the dog population overall. Somebody with more intelligence and knowledge than I will come into the forum who could then advise on the best breeding policy and the safest way forward for our dogs. It seems to me that there has been so much damage done that it may be irreversible, and that we lose dogs slowly over decades because the breeds highlighted above are so sick that perhaps they shouldn't be used in the genetic pool at all? Don't forget that I an a dunderhead thus my comments are from "the side of the road, not the middle"!!

    10. But but but is this not the case with almost all show pedigree dog problems? Health issues, due to how they are bred?

      I know this sounds shocking to a lot of people but health testing "kinda" falls into the same pot of paint as cancer reserach in pedigree dogs.

      It was very fasionable to blame diet on all these ills. Im sure it plays a big part in fact, when you think about heart disease in humans due to partialy hydrogenated oils you can easily see how dog food might easily be a silent killer too, but the biggest cause in health problems must be in the way they are bred.

      Research should be done but only on non-pedigree dogs, not even f1 crosses of breeds but genticaly sound landraces of Pariah dog. It makes no sense to do it on dogs who are being intentionaly badly bred none at all. The issues of health and inbreeding are too mixed up confused to make any findings pertinent.

      This is like spending millions on reasearch for diseases in humans that practise incest, when its pretty much clear that if they stopped inbreeding those diseases would almost certainly dissapear.

      Thats not to say these examples cant teach us anything becaue they probably can but it won't help the humans involved or the dogs.

    11. The reason why you see so much research into disease done on purebred dogs is because they ARE genetically impoverished. It is far, far easier to find genes associated with disease if there are relatively few genetic variants in the population that you're looking at. In an out-breeding population like humans, you can look at manymanymanymany humans for manymanymanymany years and find no (or very few) genetic associations with disease. Since purebred dogs are inbreeding populations, you have to look through far fewer genes to find an association.

      25% of Blue-spotted Gooberhounds get osteosarcoma. Let's find a gene association. Since all Gooberhounds descend from a population of ten founders, it will be far easier to find a gene or a group of genes associated with osteosarcoma. Once we find that gene, we then look at humans with osteosarcoma to see if we find the same genes. Dogs and humans are genetically very similar.

      Studies using dogs to find genetic defects that cause disease in humans have been all over the news the last few years. It is very difficult to get funding for these types of studies if the outcome is only predicted to help dogs; far easier if there is a human element.

  11. Bestuvall anyone can talk the talk but so many freaking dogs can't walk the walk especially on a hot day........

    In the grand scheme of things, health has shit all to do with it, but one must be seen to be proactive to the activists.........if health really were at the forefront then breeders and kennel clubs would admit it's all gone a bit wrong and actively seek to rectify some seriously devastating issues FOR DOGS, just have a look at the latest post of the noseless pug and tell me how health seminars are gonna help that poor fecker?

    In today's modern world, when society is striving for ethical acceptance is there really a place for being judgmental based purely on looks.......I mean is there? Really???

  12. I think most of this conversation took place over a century ago. Genetic and Evolutionary understanding have made the (A)KC arguments sound simply foolish.

    1. But sadly I doubt the conversation will take place in 100 years hence.

    2. Im lazily thinking, its very hot here at the moment 35%c in the evening but there should be an acronym for dogs that suffer genetic health problems due to bad breeding practises.

      Maybe just PDS pedigree dog syndrome or BPDS badly bred pedigree... PIDS, Pedigree inbred Dog Syndrome... something like that.

      Might help if it sounded like a word.

      Its just so tedious always typing the same sentence or paragraph.

      Maybe just PDS if it's not taken, that covers everything basically. It's not discriminating against all pedigree dogs just identifying sadly those that have it in bucket loads.

  13. Although the coat type is genetic, the stripping of coats, particularly in some terrier breeds, is due to show culture. The sculpting of how the stripping is done can also hide many show faults, which defeats the whole point of showing - not that that is always a bad thing - but the poor dogs suffer from some types of grooming. I'm not talking about pulling loose dead undercoat, but of stripping and working a coat without regard for the dog whose coat it is.

    The extreme poodle grooming, where dogs are dyed with food coloring and trimmed to look like bison, dragons, or cartoon characters, is not always bad, certainly not like stripping in terriers with wiry coats (which are usually not wiry until after they are stripped, before that the coat is sort of like a poodle - longer under-coat than over-coat.).

    I would rather have terriers shown clipped like pet mini Schnauzers are often done. This looks nice but doesn't hurt the dog, and only has to be done every few months. I thought that Border Terriers were shown more natural, but a breeder/shower said her dogs took days of stripping to get just right. Nice, cute little dogs with not too much extreme of anything.