Sunday, October 26, 2008

Kennel Club Changes

A reader by the name of Esme dropped me a note. In response to the video link posted earlier (Pedigree Dogs Exposed), the UKKC has made a frantic scrabble to realign breed standards to comply with modern day. What do you think of all this?

I say kudos - endorsing health testing for ANY breed is a great idea. Wouldn't it be nice if they required all of their registered dogs to be health tested? Veterinarians just might go out of business (kidding, kidding). I think that it shouldn't have taken a film to explain to the United Kingdom Kennel Club what they and breeders were doing wrong, knowingly or not; it's quite obvious that many of our beloved breeds suffer from genetic disorders and are continually passed down. I'm just shamed that it took this long for a realization to dawn.


ChrisJ said...

I was confused reading your post until I realized you were talking about "The Kennel Club" (of the UK) and not the "United Kennel Club (UKC) - an American registry, smaller and not as well know as the AKC.

LegendsLiveOn said...

Sorry to create any confusion; I fixed it so it's easier to understand now. :)

ChrisJ said...

No problem.

I have been pondering the tendency for extremes to become norms. With dog breeds, sometimes, it's body structure, sometimes it's coat, sometimes it's behavior. It's the things that are distinctive about a breed ( angulation of the GSD, coat of the Afghan. and the workalolic nature of the BC) - that are exaggerated to rather bizarre degrees. The mindset is that since a little is good, more must be better but, IMHO, those within a breed lose perspective on when is it too much. While in the Pekenese, the extreme muzzle has caused obvious health problems, many other extremes don't but, IMHO, they can have negative impact on the dog's life.

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

Well to me, it seems that they are honestly trying to do a good thing. Unfortunately, that means that a LOT of breeders will be in trouble. Here's what I mean ... this is a quote from one of the links you posted about this issue that is quoted from a pekingese breeder:

Barry Offiler, chairman of the 104-year-old Pekingese Club, accused the club of a panic reaction. “If it’s got a muzzle it won’t be a pekingese, and if we have to breed dogs with a muzzle which breed do we cross with them?” he said. “We are talking about a breed that is popular worldwide. This will prevent us showing dogs abroad and will stop overseas competitors entering Crufts. We all support improved health, but we don’t know what damage the muzzle might give to the breed.”

He poses a good question - what will this mean on an international level? It will be interesting to see.

Thank you for posting this - good read.

noshoes said...

Sorry off subject for today's post, but referencing the older post "Unjust" which discussed bad experiences with a breeder....
Does anyone have any experience with the breeder Bonnie Sue Schindler? She is a large commercial breeder and broker in Missouri and ships puppies all over the United States.
She and Herman Schindler are the owners/breeders of:
Mettoville Kennel in Mexico, MO,
Teachers Pets of Mexico, MO,
QD Kennels of Frankford, MO,
MO Puppy Expo in Wentzville, MO, and
IL MO Puppy Expo in Quincy, IL.
I bought a pup from this breeder and would like to know if anyone else has had negative experiences with them.

Sarah said...

Suggestion for future topics - the trend of a new type of breeding for performance. People into agility, flyball, etc., seem to be breeding for these competitions - and solely for these competitions. Some of them appear responsible, and select for health and temperament, but they're not showing conformation AKC or getting championships on their dogs. I have my issues with AKC, but that conformation ring committment is pretty much the only thing that keeps kennel blindnes from overtaking the purebred dog world. And they're cross-breeding. I found a kennel crossing Border Collies with Staffordshire Terriers for flyball. Their website proclaims their committment to rescue groups, but they're creating both non-spectacular purebreds and MIXES in a world glutted with both. I don't understand where we're going with dogs; everyone's all dripping sympathy for shelter/rescue dogs, but when they want to compete, they want to breed. The registries and performance groups should be looking hard into this. Breeding one-note dogs has NEVER been a good idea, whether it results in a show dog too dumb to come in out of the rain, or a police dog too sharp to work without a muzzle, or a family dog whose hips are shot by age 5.

"a large commercial breeder and broker in Missouri and ships puppies all over the United States.
She and Herman Schindler are the owners/breeders of:
Mettoville Kennel in Mexico, MO,
Teachers Pets of Mexico, MO,
QD Kennels of Frankford, MO,
MO Puppy Expo in Wentzville, MO,
IL MO Puppy Expo in Quincy, IL."

Not a breeder, a miller. You can bet someone out there has had bad experiences with her products. Finding them, however, might be difficult. They'll be in any pet store within 30 minutes of a major airport.

noshoes said...

Sarah- I've been trying to choose my words wisely, as the last time I posted on a blog calling her a puppymill, she actually called me up and threatened to contact her lawyer if I didn't remove the comment. (Which I didn't) Not too "law savvy" as to whether she could actually do that or not.. Anyway, she proclaims to be a "commercial kennel" so that is why I referred to her as that, but I agree wholeheartedly with what you called her. Not trying to sugarcoat anything, trust me. I have a 15 month old dog from her who has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia and is looking at a possible total hip replacement in the near future.. So I will try to be kind for now as I plan to take her to small claims and do my best to sue her for bad breeding practices in order to compensate the expenses of the surgery. I've heard of a few people taking her to court and winning, and would love to find and talk to them.

LegendsLiveOn said...


I have never dealt with or heard of her, but I'd be more than happy to corral some more FHOTD members over and see what they know.


I do think that we are dawning on a new era of breeding. It means drastic changes for many breeders, but overall, I think the welfare of the animal is what matters most, even if that means lengthening a muzzle. It'll take a while to breed in desired traits and weed out unwanted ones, though.

muttpuppiesontrial said...

Hmm, can't believe I only just found this blog. I run a similar one. :)

Personally I think this is a good thing, though I'd hate to see breeders bringing in outside breeds to try and meet the new standards. It'll be a gradual process, but I think selecting the dogs closest to the new ideal (Pekes with more defined muzzles) and breeding them for longer and longer muzzles is best.

ChrisJ said...

Sarah said: "I found a kennel crossing Border Collies with Staffordshire Terriers for flyball."

Really? I hadn't heard that one. I have heard of several breedings of Border Collies with Jack Russells for flyball "height" dogs. They call them "Border Jacks." Besides the whole pet overpopulation problem, the other big problem I see with breeding for performance is that they are often breeding for extreme behavior. They usually breed the most intense obsessed BC with a high energy intense JR. The result might make for a outstanding flyball dog but most litters have more dogs that will go on to flyball and frankly not everyone wants a high energy, intense dog as a pet.

About a decade ago, I used to do herding with my collies. My herding instructor had BCs and solely did the big hat BC trials. What I thought was weird was the, well, almost mentally ill, level of obsession of her top winning BCs. She said if they ever got loose with the sheep when she wasn't there they would work them to death. When she was gone, she had to put them where they couldn't see the sheep because if they could they would obsess over them the entire time to the point of not sleeping, eating or drinking. And this makes me wonder. The BC should be one of the ultimate herding dogs, in that if you were a sheep herder in the hills of Scotland, working flighty Scottish sheep, this is the dog to have to make your work easier. They wanted a dog that herded when asked but had an off switch since 95% of the time, the sheep need to be left alone in order to gain weight, stay healthy and make babies. Are the herding competition type of BCs become just as much of an extreme behaviorally as what we are seeing physically in the conformation rings? IMHO what makes this a bigger problem is the ones that don't make it in the herding arena - they don't have the correct style, soundness problems or there are just too many of them and not enough people who do herding competitions. A high octane BC is not an easy dog to live with.