Monday, 20 September 2010

Testing our patience

We are sadly unique among the dog press in that we have a very strict criteria for accepting adverts for litters for sale.
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 ( ). 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...

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!


Anonymous said...

Dont think your that fussy, seen aderts for two of my breed in you mag that are from real puppy farmer who dont test and have had 20+ litters every year, so dont crow about this one, many slip through!!!

Beverley Cuddy said...

Step out of those shadows anonymous - give us the details so we can check it out. I think you're probably getting confused with another dog mag!

What's your breed at the very least? If they don't test we don't run their adverts - simple.

Anonymous said...

I am heartened to read that you are so fussy when it comes to the adverts. It reafirms why I recommend your mag to everyone canine friendly I know.

It never ceases to amaze me those that will not do all they can for their breed yet claim undying love and responsibility in the next breath.

Here here and keep it up.

As for anonymous - if you really had the facts and the truth, you would be singing like a canary. There's this thing called evidence and it's required to prove a fact.

Try 'Your Dog', they're very pally with the kc.

Anonymous said...

Well done Beverley and all the staff at Dogs Today for sticking by your morals. Keep up the good work :)


Anonymous said...

Well done dogs today most only care about money.

I was reading today that Corrine from Big Brother recently purchased an 8 week old Chihuahua. On the way to her home the pup took very ill and she had to rush it to the vets. She wrote she wished she researched more that the pup had went into a coma.

I really wish more magazines; the KC and all other animal welfare organisation would come together and create radio and TV adverts, literature etc to educate people. I wish they would ban backyard breeders and puppy farming and create tougher laws to protect the animals.

Anonymous said...

dogs today is just one big ego trip I remember you in the ring , could spot a healthy sound dog if you bit you!!!

Beverley Cuddy said...

My greatest fan is back I see!

The last time I judged in the UK was DECADES ago. A breed club Champ show if I'm not mistaken, where I was voted for to give my opinion so I'm obviously a terrible judge.
And let me see, I assume you did you not win? And all these years later you're still brooding about it?

Totally rational then your calling our magazine asking breeders to do health tests an ego trip...

Oh dear, how many years ago was it that you didn't win when I judged? If you're who I think you are, you only used to win when your friends judged and there's obviously precious few of those about!

Anonymous said...

Just interested to know why you consider your magazine to require more health testing for various breeds than anyone else?Does that apply to the designer crossbreeds as well or just the KC registered breeds?

Beverley Cuddy said...

Oh cynical anonymous, glass always half full, almost bring me down with your negativity... almost, but not quite!

Why are we more fussy about health testing?
Because we have high standards, because we care about dogs health. Because others standards are far too low.

And I can almost hear you gagging at having to type 'designer crossbreeds' - we do require the breeders to health test. They must do all the tests we advise - for both the breeds involved!

Please do your homework anonymous.

Anonymous said...

so what hip scores do you allow for a Labradoodle, a puggle, a yorkiepoo? do you only take adverts for PBGV with elbows test done, or eye tests for Skyes or whats the lowest hip score you will accept for whippet ? didnt realise you also a member of the RCVS to make such judgements, or is it a case of your just a know it all............with out the qualifications or experience, but then again you have the same level of exerience a journalst too.

Beverley Cuddy said...

Anonymous - if you'd like to buy the magazine you'll find all the answers to your questions! Why are you being so weird about this? Surely what we are doing is a good thing?

It's in the back - Perfect Pup. All criteria is listed! We've spent years researching this subject and compiling the info, it's not something we've just thrown together! Each breed has individual criteria and it keeps changing as DNA become available.

But for those too lazy to pick the mag up...

Labradoodle: Average hip score 14 - we'd want both parents tested and below average for each breed: (Poodle, 14, Labrador 15), current eye test needed for both parents. Von Wilibrands and Seb. adenitis tests.

PBGV: eye test parents and pups.

No tests currently suggested for Skyes or Whippets.

Puggle and Yorkiepoo would have the relevant tests for both parents.


Anonymous said...

"Puggle and Yorkiepoo would have the relevant tests for both parents." andf they are what? as for Hip for labradoodles, what about their parents parents , etc?!?

Beverley Cuddy said...

Oh anonymous you are being tiresome!

We ask that both parents are scored and below average in any breed where hips are a significant issue.

Why pick on just the Labradoodle and insist on multi-generations of hip scoring particularly? We ask the current guardians to test their stock - going back 10 - 20 years into history, you can't influence anyone to get those dogs scored!

And with a Puggle or a Yorkiepoo you'd have the relevant tests for the breeds involved in the mix.

Pug and Beagle, Yorkshire Terrier and Poodle.

I'm sure others are getting bored by your pointless negativity - I know I am!

Anonymous said...

Yes Beverley, anonymous is very tiresome indeed and so far off the field. Why on earth complain about wanting dogs to be as healthy as possible - no I forgot, far better for a dog to be sick but pure. Wonder what is 'their breed' and how compromised they are. The reason insurance is more for pedigrees is not because they're worth more, but because they are more of a risk.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's crazy man. They should really try to do something to fix that.