Friday, 11 March 2016

EXCLUSIVE: Crufts winner Bert Easdon breeds crossbreeds

Isn't it just great when you discover that a top show breeder is willing to embrace genetic diversity?

There was I thinking that the breeder of the winner of the Crufts 2016 Toy Group would be a dyed-in-the-wool purist. But no! Here are just some of the ads placed by Peke breeder Bert Easdon and his partner Philip Martin, of the famous Yakee kennel, on the internet site Pets4Homes in the past two years.

Of course, they breed purebred dogs too. Lots of 'em!

Given that their 70-acre country estate in Dumfriesshire, which they bought for £975,000 in 2002, is rather remote, they even kindly offer to save you the journey to collect your puppy.

How do I know it's them?  Well, helpfully, there's this...Same basket... same blanket.. same stuffed toys. Plus although the contact details have been removed from these ads because the pups have been sold, the name listed when the ads are live is Philip Martin, Bert's partner.

Click to enlarge

Now I'm genuinely pro-crossbreeding when it's done well. I have no inherent objection to people making money out of dogs as long as their dogs are carefully bred and well-raised/kept. Maybe, although they don't mention it, all their stock is fully health-tested. Maybe pimping your puppies in cutesy-pie wicker baskets surrounded by soft toys is just fair-enough marketing these days. And while I am not a fan of breeding kennels, maybe these ones are exemplary and all those dogs get to run about their 70 acres every day.

I hope so.

Last night, the TV coverage of Crufts on More4 had a repellent piece of pro-purebred propaganda which said it was a myth that crossbreeds were healthier and implied there was no reputable crossbreeding - singling out the Cavachon as one designer cross being flogged on the internet by people with no morals for loadsamoney. The item also blamed the rise in the popularity of the designer dog for a 70 per cent increase in imported puppy-farmed pups from eastern Europe. (The reality is that many if not most of those imports are purebred pups - French Bulldogs, Pugs etc)

Here's (some of) the offending footage (NB: may not be available in every country).


  1. Replies
    1. Bwa ha ha!!! "You know what you're's a known quantity". Sure is and to live with that you would need the Textbook of Veterinary Internal medicine 6th ed, Ettinger SJ, Feldman EC, eds. Elsevier Saunders's definitive textbook of small animal medicine.

      I'm not speechless at all. I'm just not sure where to start!

      It's just all so deliciously full of twisted irony and loads of pure wackiness to be true. If it wasn't so foul and little real live animals weren't involved it would be all be outrageously funny as well.

      Im rather sad Clare Balding is embroiled, maybe this is what happens when you imprint on a boxer as a toddler instead of your mother! Actually I take that back nothing sad about it at all, her complicity with the very worst in the racing industry is also not to be taken lightly. Charitable deeds aside, even those associated with the racing industry it's an area of animal welfare she seems completely and utterly unable to recognise so inured is she to the intrinsic, sanctioned cruelty involved. Much like any number of qualzucht pedigree dog breeders. Just as well perhaps that they don't get to hide behind an OBE.

      Her Crufts tweet on Thursday; "French Bulldog "I'm not grumpy , just thoughtful" maybe says it all.

      Anyway putting aside Mrs Balding's cognitive dissonance for one moment I watched the Toy Group and it's exactly as Jemima described, if anything far worse.

      I wouldn't like to look in Mr A or Mr P Easdon & Martin's basement. Seriously I wouldn't. I am its true inclined to hope someone does and very soon, though. Not only given "Bertie's" alarmingly odd demeanour, but given here the revelation that puppy mill on the side could be a very realistic possibility out on that isolated patch of Dumfriesshire.

      Yakee Ooh Aah Cantona, might as well have no legs as far as the good the ones he has afford him. He was carried when ever the distance exceeded a meter or two and immediately began panting when his feet touched ground. He only managed a few steps rolling from side to side when asked to display that "magnificent" handicap of a body. All kudos to him he did also manage to find the shortest route on any given stretch and in his straight run even managed to turn back before Bert did. I think a very clever little dog who knows exactly how to conserve what little ability he still has.

      One dog the Japanese Chin was tripping on its leg and tail feathering , yes stepping on its hair as it tried to run, which for the most of us, dogs included must be extraordinary painful. The only thing the announcers said was that it "didn't seem to be itself"! When Yakee Cantona managed to wag its tail briefly from side to side after taking best Toy there was huge praise as though quite frankly it's not one of the expected traits this "tail wagging" in a dog quite so fucked up.

      If there was ever a communicable STD judge Val Blore it seems was intent on infecting the entire field. In any other dog show when a dog recoils in terror its instantly disqualified, not for Blore though. Its obviously something she's used to as each and every time she bent over she put her face directly into that of the dogs she was clawing, as though she's about to regurgitate a tasty treat directly into their mouth. Some just didn't like that at all, others happily deep throated her.

      So lets get this straight, cross breeding is a terrible thing however just over their shoulders the winner of the toy group the suffering Pekingese, Yukie Cantona Battling to Breath and Run Ooooh Ahhh's owner is happily creating Cavashons and Yorkiepoos in the basement back home?!

      If anyone were to ask I quite fancied Lucy the English Toy Terrier, with ears like candle flames (didn't really see that) and a spark in the eye, with the drive and action behind, wide stance... that I just know would secure a rat in a high speed chase.

  2. Wow... qualzucht AND profit-breeding?? Both ends of the spectrum have been covered by this kennel. Ugh.

  3. This is why the word 'Exposed' appears at the top of your blog. Who would guess that some Crufts winners/breeders are really the bottom of the heap when it comes to profiteering and hypocrisy? Not many of the general public. Hope this goes bloody viral.

    1. Me. I am an ex-vet nurse who volunteers with a branch of the RGT rehoming ex-racing greyhounds. I have long known that show breeders win hands down on complete and utter disregard for the dogs' welfare.

  4. Those "Pug cross Yorkshire Terriers" are not that cross, as they are clearly smooth-faced and 1st gen Yorkies mixes would be bearded. But they aren't that bad for Pug pups...

    1. Yes and the Peke/Yorkies second photo, you dont get that variety in F1 crosses. The one on the right is smooth haired. Rather worrying that he cant remember which is which.

      Who knows maybe by pure mistake he will breed a healthy Pekingese, take it to a show thinking it's Cantona's little me.

      Yes very worrying they're breeding so many breeds and crosses and organising a pretty successful show career campaigning, breeding and caring for the highly demanding Cantona types up and down the country and Ireland at the same time.

      Visitors always only see the facade breeders allow them to see. This is very often an illusion. It would be more confidence inspiring of course if someone said they saw lots of busy staff coming and going, walking, grooming, playing, bonding and cleaning etc etc.

      The reality is they seem to know there is a market for these cross breeds and happy to oblige. If they were so comfortably off they wouldn't need to would they? Pure hobby cross breeders? I doubt it. They probably cant sell enough pedigree Yakee Cantona ooh Aah Legless types to turn a decent profit.

      People just dont have the time in their life to be behind a dog with a brush all day, carefully parting fluff so the dog can defecate and urinate etc. Most also dont consider a crate an ideal place for a dog to live permanently.

  5. What exactly are they doing wrong? As long as the puppies are well cared for in a clean and comfortable environment, and they are bred from healthy parents, who are not being over used for breeding? If one is going to crossbreed from a peke, the Yorkshire terrier is not a bad idea. The puppies should have a less flat face than a peke, fewer breathing problems and less bulging eyes.
    The same with the pug cross yorkies.
    Because they breed a lot of litters doesn't necessarily make them puppy farmers. Wouldn't it be better to know more before passing judgement?

    1. Reputable breeders care about the puppies they produce for life, not just until they've pocketed the cash. They sell on non-breeding contracts so their puppies don't fall into the hands of aspiring puppy millers. They also insist that the puppy returns to them if the owner is ever unable to keep them, rather than being dumped in a shelter or on the streets.
      The more puppies you produce, the harder it is to keep track of them all.

    2. Quite right Crystal. A respectable (I prefer responsible) pet breeder will provide life time rehoming guarantees, and sell their puppies desexed, or with a desexing voucher, redeemable when the puppy is desexed.
      They will breed healthy animals that are suitable for the urban family environment in which most pet dogs live these days
      They'll also screen their dogs for single gene defects to ensure that recessive defects aren't expressed.
      They will handle their puppies appropriately so that at handover the puppies are as confident and resilient as possible
      And with the modern invention of the computer even the largest breeders can keep track of every puppy they breed.
      Numbers don't matter - more dogs provides scope for better breeding - the important thing is how it is done.

  6. Old news. Yesterdays chip wrapping. Well that would be the case if chips were still wrapped in environmentally sensitive newspaper. Oh for those days! Crossbreeding at the major commercial show breeders is not exactly uncommon.

  7. I agree that these folk aren't doing anything wrong - even the cutsie pie wicker baskets - their cute crossbreds will be healthier and anything with a face crossed with a Pug or Peke will be an improvement, but hiding behind the 'respectability' of show breeding while cashing in on breeding for the pet market is a classic approach among many "hobby" breeders. It's not wrong just hypocritical.
    The comments on the video are nonsense of course and misunderstand the science relating to crossbreeding
    The F1 progeny of two purebred parent from different breeds will be consistent in type and intermediate in characteristics to the mean of the parent breeds and, in the case of cattle (as one of many thousands of examples in plants and animals) where meat production may be the goal, the F1 will gain and extra benefit in growth rate from hybrid vigour.
    In Labradoodles the F1 are predictable in type and temperament EXCEPT for their coat characteritics. This is because the labrador has a short coat which is recessive to long hair.
    To get a "non shedding" F1 (with soft curly or wavy hair and a coat which keeps growing continually and needs regular clipping) predictably, a poodle must be crossed with a dog which is homozygous for long hair - hence the popularity of F1 Goldendoodles and F1 Cavoodles .
    And Liisa S is correct a purebred Yorkie will be homozygous for the "wire" gene which is dominant and so a Yorkie cross should have a beard - although it's possible that this may grow in later.

    1. I think you meant to say the short coat is dominant to long hair, the gene for long hair is recessive.

      Wire hair gene is dominant over straight /smooth hair, wire haired dogs can come either with, or without furnishings (beard) which is Controlled by a separate gene. Yorkies are homozygous for both genes. The Beards typically grow in as the puppy matures rather than being present from birth.

  8. Re the video clip.... Again we see the pedigree being held up as an example of good dogs against bad.
    As if its the pedigree ( a bestowed piece of paper)that makes the difference between good or poor quality dogs.

    Nothing there to promote the PRACTICES or understanding of what makes a dog worthy of breeding. A pedigree will do.

  9. I don't necessarily see the problem with this - as long as the dogs are well cared for.

    Also, thanks to Kate above for explaining some of the finer points of cross-breeding.

  10. In my completely uninformed and obviously utterly worthless opinion* this is all wrong. I loathe the circus which is Crufts and the governing body known as the Kennel Club. It used to be the KC's proud boast that they kept the breeds true and functional. Good grief, some pedigree animals can barely move or breathe! Is it any wonder the mutts known as 'designer dogs' are so popular? People are looking for healthier companions! The fact that the public as a whole is too stupid to look into things properly doesn't mean it's not a good indicator of the failings of the KC to look after the interests of the dogs it's supposed to be protecting. Time to put a stop to this, I think.

    *As an ex vet nurse and student of dog behaviour and social signals

  11. whats the problem here are the fact right? I looked at this house they livein when it was for sale about 6 years ago so thats one piece of wrong info. The kennels are good the dogs are healthy they speak for themselves. Is this a jealousy thing ?? Thye have a fab house are clearly not short of money and here there are people slagging them off for crossbreeding. Arent all pedigree dogs evolved from crossbreeding and experimenting?? Oh wait the days before the internet people just spoke to each other and not smeared stuff all over websites and facebook. Clearly the breeders are campaigning ther dogs well to have got to Crufts and win the toy group why not let them enjoy their glory, if cross breeding is a side line Iam sure there are no rules against it only moral ones in some eyes. I dont know these people Iknow exactly where they stay though.

    1. You're missing the point here. The issue isn't with the crossbreeds so much as the sheer amount of dogs being bred, probably from un-health-tested parents (since there is no mention in their ads of health testing). This sort of mass breeding of different types of dogs is known as a puppy mill, and it's very difficult for these pups to be socialised and well cared for when there's so many of them at a time, and responsible breeders don't usually breed more than one breed at a time, and don't often have more than one litter at a time.

  12. Has Jemmima actually been to their house and seen their dogs? I have and I can tell you these are healthy, well looked after dogs. I bought a Boston Terrier puppy from them nearly 4 years ago. He has never been to a Vet, except for routine vaccinations and yearly check. Bert was happy for me to come to the house to see the pups and both parents. They have nothing to hide. To bring this up on the day Berts dog wins it's group stinks of sabotage and jealousy.

    1. I would not want to go to their house, but their kennels (Although they would of given you the regular commercial breeder spiel of risk of infection. All dogs vaccinated, that should not be an issue) , because it is easy for a commercial breeder to set up an environment in their home for visitors, to make it look like their dogs are family pets. Some commercial breeders even show pups with dogs that are not their parents, but tell you they are and keep a pair of dogs of each breed they do specially for this purpose, because the real Mums having been kenneled all their lives are to nervous to be shown with the pups.
      Unless you have visited their kennels you really cannot vouch for their dogs or the care and socialization of their dogs and pups. Who knows they might be perfect commercial breeders and each dog every day gets loads of individual attention and a lovely walk out, but to do that by employing enough staff would knock out any profit in commercial breeding of dogs and they would not be able to afford to prance around the ring at shows like Crufts with their purebreeds.

    2. Don't forget when Miss Harrison made her wonderful film and slagged off Ped dogs and Breeders the dogs were thrown into kennels and single handedly she started the call for cross breds and mongrels then producedd by back yard rOSEbreeders. She kept her stance with the RSPCA about Ped Dogs and after 3 years where the experts proved them wrong with the RSPCA saying Ped Dogs are better healthwise but go to a reputorable breeder.
      Too late as Backyard breeders had made a major foothold these peoples dogs were never tested, just bred to maake make money. The RSPCA and miss Harrison should stop making these remarks as dogs bred because of their disasterous opinions are still being killed 8 years later. Both need to crawl back under a rock for the sake of peoples pets ans show dogs

    3. If only there was a shred of evidence to back up those claims, Rose Jay.

  13. It's not jealousy, it's hypocrisy.

    Wondering now what kind of contract comes with the designer mixes? Health guarantee? Lifetime take back?

  14. Hi Jemima, is it possible you can reupload the video, since Channel 4 apparently blocked the content? Or can you tell me the date of the episode of Crufts on More 4 so that I can catch it on the online All4? Also, could you provide a transcript of what was said?




  16. Nobody needs to churn out so many litters of pups, where crossbreed or pure-bred. Can we end this nonsense about 'hybrids' and F1s too? A cross between canis familiaris and canis familiaris is not a hybrid and never will be. Different breeds are not different species and all pedigree breeds came from a deliberate breeding programme involving crosses of distinct types, if not actual breeds. The issue with so-called 'designer dogs' for me is that they are being bred by many people to cash in on a trend and purchased without due consideration (or consideration that goes no further than 'crossbreed = healthy' which isn't always the case - mentally or phsyically)I think JH is absolutely right to flag this up, but it is ironic that PDE helped create a demand that has been filled by puppy-farmers!

  17. Can I make a simple request? Please don't tar all show/hobby breeders and exhibitors with the same brush. My schnauzers are family dogs, they are currently passed out asleep on the sofa next to me, my top showman still with his "mud socks" after going mole hunting in the park this morning. They are still fit for function (as the dead squirrel and rat I was presented with this morning can attest) and love to be in the showring. I will not dispute that there are unethical and uncaring breeders and exhibitors out there, but please, please don't lump us all together.

  18. OK I do not care if the dumb public wish to spend their money of a crossbreed, more fool them, when they can go to a number of rescue kennels or breed rescues. BUT I do care about this! WHO is going to "police" these crossbreeds? the KC say a bitch must not have more than four litters in her lifetime. So here is a fact, the bitch has a crossbreed litter one season, on the next she has a pedigree litter and so on and so forth. Eight litters later (maybe more) But only four registered with the KC. The KC must not allow to have crossbreeds on their register, just for this reason alone. I have been on the breed council and this has been brought up many times. As it has been said before which group would bullshit be in?? (bulldog x Shih Tzu) Yes this is how stupid it has become. Also what the non purists seem to forget (or don't care) is the welfare of the bitch. Can you imagine the pain and suffering a bitch goes through when she is mated to a much larger breed of dog, then the ensuing C section when the puppies are larger than the breed of bitch is medically and genetically capable of giving birth to. Or does it not matter? as long as the breeders get what they want? It is time the public knew the truth of what really goes on and what these bitches go through just for money for the breeders and Joe public gets a stupid named breed of "designer" dog!!! I set up a petition against this for the reason I have listed, in twenty four hours over 1200 people had signed it. I am setting about organising another petition against the KC not to allow crossbreeds on the KC register. If anyone is interested in signing the petition it will be on, or I am happy to post the link

    1. Anyone breeding for profit is smart enough to use the smaller breed as the sire and the larger as the dam. Not only does this avoid expensive c sections but it also allows for larger litters. I don't think there are any morons doing it the other way around, and if they are they'll soon be out of business due to lack of profits.

      If you're worried about c sections and painful matings are you not concerned that purebred bulldogs and French bulldogs must go through these ?

      If crossbreeds were registered with KC I would think it would be easier to police how many litters the bitch has, as the breeders would no longer be able to breed their crossbreeds "under the counter" so to speak (due to demand for registered X breeds).

  19. I don't have a problem with what Bert Easdon and his partner are breeding and selling, as long as they are well raised healthy puppies from healthy parents living in a good environment. But I do find it slightly odd that they don't use their own names or the Yakee kennel name when selling their puppies.

    1. They'd get in trouble with their breed clubs, KC and social circles at the dog shows I bet.

      Also they may be using the same bitch to breed both X breeds and purebreds and may be over breeding them. It might tarnish their reputation somewhat.

  20. I bought a white pekinese puppy Harry from Bert Easton in February 2008 .I had him
    for 8 years until he died of cancer in November 2015 . He was the sweetest natured
    dog I could have asked for and very easy to train. When I went to collect him with my brother from Berts house . I was greeted by about 8 Pekeneses when I walked in to
    the kitchen. They were all healthy looking and well socialised and obviously
    very well looked after. Harry was brought through from another room with his mother
    and brother.He was 11 weeks old and had had his first lots of jags before I collected him.
    About a year after he died I phoned Bert Easton to enquire about sleeve Pekes. I spoke to his partner Philip,Martin and told him Harry had died. He said they still
    had Harry's Granny, which I was not surprised about. As I had been told when I
    got Harry, that they kept their dogs after they stopped having puppies. This is
    because they love their dogs and don't get rid of them.When they can't make money
    out of them.
    Instead of making these dreadfull accusations about them having a puppy farm
    and not caring for their dogs. Why don't the people who are saying these things
    go and look round their house and grounds and see how the dogs are being cared for. As the house is the size of a large hotel, they are all probably kept inside and
    not in kennels.If I do eventually get another dog ,unlikely a sleeve Peke as they
    are very hard to get in the U.K. Bert Easton and Philip Martin are the 1st breeders
    I would go to ,as they obviously love and care about their dogs. They even sent
    me a card saying how sorry they were to hear about Harry's death.

    1. Thats sad Liz, to lose your dog so early. The years just fly don't they but with cancer the end comes so terribly quickly. You don't think that had anything to do with how Harry was bred, the colour, inbreeding complications ...?

      It is a worry, all those rooms such a big house........two elderly people and dogs, dogs, dogs.

      There is no proof whatsoever that they're involved in anything more than qualzucht, but there's no proof either that there isn't a puppy farm going on back stage either.

      You should've asked for the tour?!

      I knew a beautiful healthy white sleeve pekingese called "Chanel", she didn't have any of the problems the typical heavy show dogs suffer from. Light and silky she could run like the wind, big open nostrils and always ready to play. Delightful little dog, she used to chase leaves down the road with her walker in hot pursuit. Very much loved and it showed. Her walker was employed to be 100% devoted to her every happiness, dedicated just to her. The owners were very often away and they just had Chanel, the one dog.

      The sleeves seem to have less hair, less weight, less brachy, less of everything which is only a good thing in a pekingese.

      Im not sure how these sleeves are bred, or if they're just the odd pup in a litter that is a throw back to the original? They are certainly a big improvement in so many ways.

  21. This article has been written by another dog breeder as jealousy thats all I can see jealous jealous jealous people who think they can destroy people. Disgusting this article was even written!! I've seen it all with my own eyes and know this is jealousy.