Friday, 22 August 2008

Pedigree dogs exposed day 4

I thought I was angry at the KC. Then I read Terrierman, one of the best bloggers in America.

It's probably just as well there's an ocean between him and Clarges Street!

I'd heard that Ms Kisko had discounted all sorts of health probs to get to her 90% of pedigree dogs are healthy figure that she trotted out on every media interview she did.

It would seem that when in a tight corner saying something to get you out of it can come back to haunt you. Although Terrierman seems to have other ideas of how to bring home the suffering of our dogs.

I'd like to make it very clear I would not wish the same pain and suffering of eye problems, hip or knee surgery on anyone - even Ms Kisko although she must believe they'd not be very debilitating or else why did she discount them from her figures?

Click here for a link - really they need to face the probems and react. This is just making them look not bumbling but something a whole lot more sinister.


Anonymous said...

That is one angry man! I can see his point though if she has made comments like that trivialising (sp?)the pain of such conditions never mind the implications of long term medication. Best she don't go across the Atlantic any time soon.
Mutthouse xx

Chapstaff said...

Well said Terrierman. You deserve a medal. The KC really shot themselves in the foot with the chosen PR company didn't they. As usual, like with the Accredited Breeders Act it was done in a rush, in a panic.

I'd call Caroline Kisko an uncaring bitch if it didn't give female dogs a bad name.

I reckon Mark Evans, chief vet for the RSPCA, along with our Beverley & a few other intelligent, caring people could turn the KC round.
Something drastic needs to happen soon.

Manda Scott said...

Interesting, isn't it....

If the KC are going to keep pushing their '90% are healthy' line then, apart from ignoring hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, atopy and a variety of inherited cancers, they presumably also believe that every single walking example of the bulldog, pug and peke are 'healthy'...

Which goes a long way to explaining the current state of british dogs.

All that said, we do need to work with them, not against them - and it seems to me there are two areas that need urgent attention.

1 - the re-writing of breed standards away from extremes and back towards a physiognomy that supports health, rather than supporting chronic ill-health.

2 - an immediate drive towards increased genetic diversity in every single breed. Malcolm Willis said in Dogs Today that the Coefficient of Inbreeding shouldn't be greater than 10%. A genetics populations expert speaking at a recent breed congress, said we should be aiming for 2-3%. That'll take time, but we need the education to start now - this isn't about winning arguments, particularly, it's about changing the atmosphere.
Breeders tend to think that 'if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you always got' - which is NOT the case in dog breeding. If we keep reducing genetic diversity at the current rate, we're heading for mass extinction - this is *not* an exaggeration.

so we need education at breed level of breeders and the lay public to stop believing that 'line breeding' is useful.

to that end, the KC could easily publish on line databases of pedigrees for each breed *together with* software that allows the calculation of CoI in any anticipated mating. They could publish the results of all tests done and refuse to register litters from dogs that fail those tests.

Finally, they could instigate the '7 year rule' where stud dogs may only be used when over 7 years old and then only to limited numbers of bitches.

it'd be a start

go for it, Beverley. You can make this happen!

Manda Scott

Fiona said...

The programme will have helped thousands of people to make up their own minds about the world of dog breeding. Perhaps then people will start being more pro-active when considering buying a pedigree puppy and ask about the medical history of the puppy's parents. Legislation would be the ideal but this takes time:(

I would love to know: are any breeders breeding back to any of our island breeds orginal form? I know, of course, that you would eventually end up with a cousin of the wolf but what that be such a bad thing?

Beverley Cuddy said...

There is a wonderful lady in Wales breeding Beardies the way they used to be - Brambledale is her kennel name. She has asked the KC to consider her case but has been refused - she has sourced working Beardies not KC reg. Fascinating.

Skidge said...

Along the lines of the issues highlighted on the programme, I had heard in the Beardie world that currently they find "brown" beardies less acceptable on the show circuit, so some breeders are trying to breed the colour out.

Brown beardies are beautiful!! I found this out as I was after Beardie no2 and to find a brown one was so difficult. My lovely breeder who bred our puppy, told me about this, which is a real shame as she agreed Browns were so striking.

And the brown would make you less aware of the mud they collect...... :-)

Manda Scott said...

Beverley - how are the KC not considering the lady who breeds Brambledales? And has she managed to find working beardies with good temperaments? I'd be very, very happy - my ageing, much loved lurcher is 1/4 *working* beardie but I'd been told that finding one with a decent non-aggressive temperament was almost impossible. If she's done it, she's done the world a favour.



Beverley Cuddy said...

Dr Lynne Sharpe (nee Evans) has kept great records and the photos I've seen are wonderful - she's got dogs with much more manageable coats - very reminiscent of how the breed looked as they arrived into the show ring back in the 1950s.

She wrote very sensible and reasoned letters to the KC asking for these working Beardies to be included - but they declined - so she's carrying on regardless.

There are pockets of people working Beardies still. Most of the brighter conventional Beardies I have owned have still had great natural working ability, and from the pet people I've heard from who have Lynne's Beardies temperament doesn't seem to be a problem with them either.

I was always told teh way Beardies work is different than Borders and that their purpose was more to drove ong distances bringing the sheep/cattle to market often long distances away from the hills. They'd be expected to catch their won dinner as well as work unsupervised when needed.

One of my old Beardies when I was kid was super bright, he would catch rabbits without a problem if he felt like it but he'd also dig up carrots and watch the berries ripen and then eat those, too. He could open any door and was such a character. I think that was the kind of qualities that made the Beardies worthwhile for the farmers - dogs that could think for themselves, but were tremendously loyal and fun to have around. That dog had such a sense of humour. Making me smile remembering him now.