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May I ask a question about dog showing (Crufts etc) endangered breeds and irresponsible breeding- pedigree dogs specifically?

(35 Posts)
Slapntickleothewenches Tue 11-Mar-14 11:18:22

Hopefully non inflammatory smile
I have just read the thread about English bulldogs and was quite amazed at the depth of feeling surrounding it.
I have pedigree dogs, albeit working lines that would no more qualify for breed showing at Crufts than fly to the moon and it's been a while since I bought a "proper" pedigree puppy. So......
1. The breed judges follow the KC breed standard. Is it simply personal interpretation that has allowed GSDs to get so low, bulldogs and pugs to be unable to breathe etc? These traits are not specifically in the breed type so is it naive to think that the dogs you see at the top of the game ie- Best in Show, are good examples of breed type? Obvious there's a lot of shit breeding on the way to that pinnacle but taking that out of the equation.
2. Endangered breeds such as the bulldog. Is it ethical to allow the breed to become extinct? The general concensus on the thread was that purchasing an EB puppy was an unethical decision. If that is so then do we just accept that the breed dies out, or worse continues in the hands of unscrupulous breeders?

I'm genuinely interested in a rational discussion, not a lecture on the morals of buying pedigree puppies or suggestions for rescue dogs as I may lose my final shred of sanity if we had another dog

Fottee Tue 11-Mar-14 11:19:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fottee Tue 11-Mar-14 11:19:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Slapntickleothewenches Tue 11-Mar-14 11:24:19

grin fottee
(Though I was aiming for something a little more in depth grin)

Owllady Tue 11-Mar-14 11:30:21

Wrt point 2, I remember not long ago seeing a rescue lady who ran a specific rescue for these blonde dogs (whose name I forget blush) that had dreadful skin and eye problems and spent a lot of time in pain. She said although she loved the dogs she would be quite happy for the breed to die out so they were no longer in pain

I don't know what I feel about the extensive breeding, I think a lot of professional breeders are responsible and the kc guidelines are there to try and ensure that but I will put my hand up and say I don't know enough to form an educated opinion about it

Owllady Tue 11-Mar-14 11:31:00

God that post is neither use nor ornament, sorry blush

Slapntickleothewenches Tue 11-Mar-14 11:55:53

See owllady my gut reaction is that it would be a crime to allow any breed to die out. However our breed is not affected by such severe health problems in either it's show or working forms so it's hard for me to be objective.

tabulahrasa Tue 11-Mar-14 11:58:02

"Is it simply personal interpretation that has allowed GSDs to get so low, bulldogs and pugs to be unable to breathe etc?"

Pretty much...and fashion. If a dog does well at something like crufts, well firstly their offspring are in pretty high demand, but also other breeders start trying to breed for that type as it's what is doing well in the show ring.

Bulldogs...well...I'd like to say that if people started breeding for a healthier dog that would eventually fix it, but, when you have a breed that is often not fit for the purpose of just being a dog, often struggles to mate by itself and often struggles to give birth - it might well be time to go, look enough's enough?

Owllady Tue 11-Mar-14 11:58:36

What kind of dog do you have?
I have the dancing, flyball, agility type mongrel collie x
Crufts just serves to make me feel inadequate wink

mrslaughan Tue 11-Mar-14 11:58:50

Isn't the thing about bulldogs, that they have been breed selectively to the extreme? They were once a breed with a purpose (not sure what, not my breed) but due to "fashion" they have moved to the extreme?
Isn't this where the KC could say due to the health and well being of the breed we are not going to consider dogs with health issues due to the selective breeding, we want to see, and examples of healthy fit dogs, that would fulfil the original purpose of the breed?

TBH I don't know how many breeders think about this though and approach it in a thoughtful intelligent way. The breed I have, traditionally is a draughting breed, so traditionally should be powerful through the shoulders, but still athletic. What I see happening is with some breeders the dogs getting very fine - hound like in their confirmation, which to my mind is wrong. But I don't know if they are really thinking about that when they are breeding.....the whole subject is fraught and people are very defensive, so it is hard to have a sensible discussion about it.

Slapntickleothewenches Tue 11-Mar-14 12:16:58

tab I can see that it is supply and demand. I was really wondering whether it's fairly safe to say that the top dogs truly are demonstrating perfect breed type or whether the judging world has become so skewed that a group winner at Crufts is simply the best of a bad batch IYSWIM? And if it is then what could the KC do to rectify this (I think I heard of a scheme for some breeds with inherent health issues but I only caught the tail end of it)
owllady we have working cockers that are trained to work under the gun. There is little merit in breeding from poor stock when you want a dog that is fit and able to work all day so, in the main our breed is fairly healthy smile
mrsl, it is hard to have a sensible discussion about it
I fully intend to preside over this thread with a big stick and accost any rabble-rousers on their way in grin wink

tabulahrasa Tue 11-Mar-14 12:42:27

There are health schemes for most breeds - most large breeds for instance have issues with hips and elbows, there are schemes to screen for that before breeding, some breeds have hereditary eye or heart problems, again there are already schemes for that.

I don't think that's usually an issue - in that, some of these hereditary problems are more common in certain breeds, but they're not exclusive to them. Joint problems seem to be a size thing rather than specific breeds, eye problems are tested for in loads of breeds, poodles and labs for instance have the same eye issues (which is why labradoodles are problematic).

Good breeders, no matter what they're breeding for should be doing tests for whatever issues are relevant.

KC assured breeders have to, but apart from that, unfortunately it is voluntary.

So, no I don't think with most breeds it is a case of the best of a bad lot, GSDs with sloping backs work, the current crufts best of breed has working titles, I don't particularly care about a particular colour becoming fashionable, like paler retrievers, unless it leads to something more sinister.

But, with breeds with particularly exaggerated features I think it's different, things that affect basic functions like breathing - that's where I think there's an issue. No amount of screening for health problems can fix the fact that by exaggerating flat faces dogs can't breathe or by breeding for wrinkly skin they get eye problems (shar peis for instance are really bad for that).

Slapntickleothewenches Tue 11-Mar-14 12:52:19

The scheme I (maybe!) heard about was more than the standard health schemes tab and was specific to the judging of dogs. I think it specifically mentioned a couple breeds with big "issues" - will have a scout through 4OD and see if I can dredge it up.

tabulahrasa Tue 11-Mar-14 13:01:21

Ah's fine, I believe you.

I wonder though how stringent anything like that can be, when for instance the pekingese best of breed couldn't even do a lap of the ring without having to stick his tongue out and pant....

basildonbond Tue 11-Mar-14 13:13:08

it is amazing how much some dog breeds have changed over the years - I was at the Tate at the weekend and saw Hogarth's self-portrait with pug

no squished face (and presumably no problems breathing) and much bigger than modern pugs...

Owllady Tue 11-Mar-14 13:30:43

I think the Sammy needed the background music as "because I'm happppyyyy" smile

Slapntickleothewenches Tue 11-Mar-14 14:03:27

tab I think I may have tracked it down on the KC website.
(I'm on my phone so will paraphrase)

"The rules make it clear that only healthy dogs should win prizes and independent vets are appointed to help ensure this is the case. Every winning dog within the 14 high profile breeds most prone to health conditions due to exaggerations must have a veterinary examination before going on in the competition"

musicposy Tue 11-Mar-14 15:23:13

I do feel that the more ridiculous looking dogs tend to be the ones that win.
The poodle who won this year- well, you'd feel pretty stupid walking over the fields with it. There were lots more "normal" looking dogs in the final - I would have like to see the rottweiler or the wire haired fox terrier or the irish wolfhound win. I liked the samoyed who came second much better. As DH said, you could walk those down the lane and through a bit of mud and not feel like a right twat. I do think the judges send out a message to breeders that dogs need to be more and more extreme.

I love watching the agility, flyball and heelwork at crufts. The dogs are obviously genuinely having a good time. The breed show seems to me a bit like an outdated beauty pageant - time we started doing things differently. I have a very cute mongrel who is a real dog dog - she'd look great up there! grin If "Happiest Rescue Dog" won best in show then I think we'd really be getting somewhere.

tabulahrasa Tue 11-Mar-14 15:43:07

"The poodle who won this year- well, you'd feel pretty stupid walking over the fields with it."

Ah but he doesn't look like that walking through the fields, that's just a haircut - there are pictures of him on the owner's website with a much less extreme look.

LadyTurmoil Tue 11-Mar-14 15:50:07

Re. the poodle who won, the silly haircut is just a pity as I think it probably puts a lot of people considering poodles as pets, they just don't believe they're more than "poncy" and pampered dogs...

I loved the wire-haired fox terrier, I thought he looked fantastic. The GSD (in previous class not final) still looked wrong and much too low on the back end. It looked as if he had no strength in his hips and legs

AlpacaLypse Tue 11-Mar-14 15:52:43

I'm posting fast as I have to go out - but I've heard a rumour that the Assured Breeder Scheme is not actually fit for purpose. The inspections and checks are simply not being carried out - or carried out on such a low percentage of the applicants, with such low investigation standards, that obvious puppy farmers are still getting accredited.

Will check in again later.

Faverolles Tue 11-Mar-14 16:02:54

Poodles' silly haircuts originated when they were used as retrieving dogs, often in water.
I think the cut was designed to help them float, and shaved bits to help them move through the water. Something like that anyway.
I could never stand poodles because they looked poncey, but I'd quite like to see a working poodle doing the stuff it was originally bred for.

(Sorry, slight derailment there smile)

Owllady Tue 11-Mar-14 16:08:20

The poodle looked like Brian may

tabulahrasa Tue 11-Mar-14 16:10:06

Well they say that's the origin of that cut, but I bet it wasn't bouffant like that or with a big fringe, lol.

But it is just hair - underneath you've got something like this. Which I don't have a problem with, it's a fully functional dog, just with fuzz on top.

Owllady Tue 11-Mar-14 16:17:29

I know what a standard poodle looks like grin I know one that is a therapy dog

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