I've been so immersed in finishing the latest issue and attempting to get ready for Christmas that I've scarcely had time to sleep, never mind blog.
Here's a few thoughts and happenings that I've wanted to blog about but have been stymied until now.
What happens now that the pressure to change in time for the BBC decision is off, will the KC still have the zeal to try to change all 209 breed standards? (Of course it is only changing words on a page, inspiring breeders to breed to the standard and judges to judge to it is an entirely different challenge. And in most cases it's just adding a passage that basically passes the buck to the judge to police the health of the breed.)
But the 'worry' breeds plus a few more are being treated like naughty schoolboys and some of the breed people don't like it one little bit.
The KC suddenly playing the strict head teacher has met its first major obstacle. The Bulldog people. I suspect they feel they've little to lose as they are probably already seen as the naughtiest in the class, although the Peke people gave them a waddle for their money.
A few weeks ago, when I was talking to the other KC baddies - the German Shepherd United Front, the chap I was talking to had said that Bulldog people had broken away and I forgot to ask him to explain as we diverged into lots of other interesting avenues.
So how will the KC deal with the Bulldog breakaway? Do they let them walk..? (Sorry my warped sense of humour wants to substitute the word stagger!)
And if they lead will others follow?
Will we end up with what the BBC wanted and for the breeds that really needed to change not being at Crufts, but for completely different reasons?
And when will we at last get the inbreeding reform which would be very much more meaningful than this bickering over words which I doubt will result in any physical improvements. I'm not asking for a flashy ban on incest necessarily - that will have hardly any affect. I want the coefficient of inbreeding to be displayed on registration certificates, for the KC pedigree database to be searchable by anyone and for COIs on test matings to be calculated by the KC system. I want breed average COIs to be obviously displayed and targets put in place so that good breeders can be clear on what they need to do. And we need to limit the number of times a sire is used.
Is it just me or is there anyone really confident that the KC will hit these buttons?
Almost pointless for me to mention that all the above are already features of the Swedish KC registration system and have been for some years.
Wouldn't inbreeding reform have been a better place to start? Who could argue with this? Work up to the nuggety moulding the misshapen breeds back into a more logical form issue after you've stopped the shrinking gene pool problem. Taking each breed separately and devising a plan rather than just changing the breed standard wording in isolation might be a more successful strategy.
In my own breed, I just discovered a litter that had a COI of 38% over 10 generations - out of just over 500 possible relations in the pedigree only 121 were unique - all the rest were repetitions - 65 dogs appearing up to eight times! What's the worst COI in your breed? Do write in! Professor Balding says we should be aiming for 3% or less and over 20% shouldn't be registered at all. But this 38% produced a Champion... so that line will be bred on from.
What's the most inbred Champion in Britain today? Let's have a little festive inbreeding quiz!
Guess that's the one upside of incest, less relies to buy pressies for.