We are unashamedly fussy!
For a start breeders have to have actually bred the dogs they are selling, they should have reared them in the home and agree to give support to owners for the entire pup's life. Plus, breeders also have to have done all the health tests we recommend - and they also need to have been successful in those tests.
We also get them to sign a form to say all the above is true - and should they be stupid enough to make a false claim Trading Standards can take action.
It is a neat little system and it's been working very well for many years both online and in the mag (http://www.perfectpup.co.uk ). We'd like more people to come up to our very high standards, but if they can't - we don't want their adverts.
Oh, and did I mention, we don't charge for this service. To encourage good practise the adverts are free of charge.
We've had a clash with a breeder who doesn't want to do the tests.
Our breeder is a KC Accredited Breeder. She can't see why we are asking for her to do tests the KC doesn't.
Here's what she said...
"You're just a magazine - they're the Kennel Club - you can't tell me what to do!" .
Julia who runs the section was ready for her. It says on the one of the Welsh Corgi Club websites... http://www.welshcorgileague.com/thepembroke.html
From information taken from the Welsh Corgi League’s Health Survey conducted over a number of years and results of the Kennel Club Health Survey carried out in 2004. Cancer was the most common cause of health issues. Other conditions we know exist in the breed are Von Willibrands Disease, which is a blood clotting disorder and Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) a progressive disease of the spinal cord causing weakness in the hind limbs.
And as there is a DNA test available for Von Willibrands Disease we think responsible breeders should test for it, even if the KC do not. (It is apparently autosomal incomplete dominant with variable expression. In other words, dogs with the gene could live unaffected lives and the owners could be oblivious.)
While they're at it, we would like breeders to consider doing the available DNA tests for SCID (females are carriers, males affected are very soon dead) and DM (no cases in the UK so far, we hear), but we're only insisting on Von Willibrands and our breeder is adamant that she would not be going to do that test because the KC don't think it is needed.
Our Julia asked if the breeder would sign something to say that her lines had never had any cases and that she was prepared to guarantee that her pups would be clear. She said no her dogs were all fine but she wouldn't sign. And that was as far as we were prepared to go, too.
Also on the email today we heard of a Champion stud dog in another breed with a very high hip score that is still being widely used at stud. (Nearer three x the breed average than double!)
As a result of these two emails, I'm feeling a bit testy today.
I really don't see what more we can do to highlight health issues. I have to keep reminding myself there are very good breeders out there, these folk today really don't do the other's reputations any favours though!
And the KC, well, if they are only going to recommend Animal Health Trust DNA tests they are really letting dogs down. There are lots of other labs out there and clear signposting of which tests are worth doing would be a great help to people who look to them for advice
We're just a magazine after all!
We're still going to be fussier than the KC. Looking forward to the day when they catch up!