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Did anyone see this.........

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Here are a couple paragraphs.

The breed standards - the picture in words that describes each breed of dog - have been revised so that they will not include anything that could in any way be interpreted as encouraging features that might prevent a dog from breathing, walking and seeing freely. This will help to prevent the practice of exaggeration, where features that are perceived to be desirable, such as a short muzzle or loose skin, are made more prominent by breeders, and which can have detrimental effects on a dog’s health.

Examples of the suggested amendments include a revised standard for the Shar Pei, which removes the exaggeration of loose skin folds across the neck, skull and legs. Other changes include the preclusion of excessive weight in Labradors and a move to stop breeders exaggerating substance in Clumber Spaniels, in order to ensure they would be fit for their original purpose of working in the field.

There are also rules about inbreeding......inbred dogs will not be registerable etc

I guess the tv special on purebred dogs got some folks upset.

Can the AKC do something like this.....I realize that the breed clubs set the standard here.....but.....

Here is the documentary referenced.

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I wonder if this stuff rode in on the back of the tail docking ban they have over there.  I think it's great but I wouldn't hold your breath for the AKC to make similar changes.  They seem very set in their ways and can't seem to agree on interpretations of standards that have been in place for 50 years, changing standards might actually cause riots at dog shows (now that'd be something to see).
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No, it rode in as a coda to the BBC's "discovery" that show dogs competing in Crufts were the perfect picture of obesity and myriad health issues not to mention non- or dysfunctionality. (Sound familiar?) Anyhow, the BBC pulled Crufts coverage and the KC had to act fast, so they instructed showdog owners to pull...their feed bowls. And also got rid of the word "massive" in any breed standard description for any breed.

See, that won't work with AKC, because conformation Lab owners would only scoff, "Get rid of 'massive?' Hah. OK, we'll can it and just call them 'English Labs' from now on."

MG

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I could care less about bench dog standards, except as 'political' issues that the AR people can use as a cudgel.

There is a fine line, however between 'inbreeding' and 'line breeding', and where you fall on the line depends on who is doing the breeding, and how the terms are defined in a practical sense. Either one will intensify and concentrate traits - good and bad.

Many healthy, exceptional performing dogs are produced by capable and knowledgeable line breeder by concentrating traits in a dog, then breeding out to similar, but unrelated dogs. If these dogs are not allowed to be registered, then the best that can be hoped for is 'run of the breed' genetics, with an occasional exceptional dog produced by the luck of the draw.

However, the AKC has proven over and over that they are largely interested in their revenue stream, almost to the exclusion of other concerns.

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seattlesetters

I could care less about bench dog standards, except as 'political' issues that the AR people can use as a cudgel.

There is a fine line, however between 'inbreeding' and 'line breeding', and where you fall on the line depends on who is doing the breeding, and how the terms are defined in a practical sense. Either one will intensify and concentrate traits - good and bad.

Many healthy, exceptional performing dogs are produced by capable and knowledgeable line breeder by concentrating traits in a dog, then breeding out to similar, but unrelated dogs. If these dogs are not allowed to be registered, then the best that can be hoped for is 'run of the breed' genetics, with an occasional exceptional dog produced by the luck of the draw.

However, the AKC has proven over and over that they are largely interested in their revenue stream, almost to the exclusion of other concerns.

Agreed. I'm currently considering a tightly linebred pup that is being bred to try and "lock in" the traits of the desired individual for later outcrossing. While I know "locking in" desired traits is never completely possible, I think the tightly linebred pups could possibly be better than anything they can be outcrossed to, because the individual sire and dam are simply better than anything else out there (IMHO).

How tightly, you ask? Let's say the sire is by Husker Du and out of Heart. The dam is also by Husker Du but out of Pat Benatar. Although Heart and Pat Benatar are not closely related, my sire and dam are indeed half brother/sister by virtue of having the same sire...the Most Royal Champion Husker Du.

I wonder if this would be tolerated under the new British standards? Does this "standard" run the risk of actually becoming a draw on the breed, rather than improving it?

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However, the AKC has proven over and over that they are largely interested in their revenue stream, almost to the exclusion of other concerns.

If that was the case, the AKC would have gotten out of the field trial and hunt test business long ago; the revenues they generate, both in events fees and registrations of participating dogs, do not cover the total expenses to support those events.  

The AKC focuses on revenue generation for the same reason that the human body focuses on inhaling oxygen; it's completely necessary for its survival.  

FWIW,

Dave

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Close inbreeding whether it's called linebreeding or not, is always bad practice.  The breeders that do this are relying on genetic science that was outdated in the 1950s.  I personally wouldn't buy a pup that came from a brother sister mating, and I wouldn't advise anyone else to either.  

As for the breed standards - as long as the standards permit the dogs to do the jobs they were designed to do, then I think the Royal Kennel Club move is a step in the right direction.  However, there is the potential that this is part of a larger animal rights agenda that wants to end purebred dogs.  

In the US, the breed standards are set by the breed clubs.  The AKC could impose universal restrictions on inbreeding, etc. - but there are a lot of bad breeders that inbreed regardless of the consequences that would squawk.  I wouldn't hold my breath for the AKC to move forward on this anytime in the near future.  

Those who have breeds primarily registered with the AKC should pay close attention to the breed standards, and make sure they still describe a hunting dog.  If that means joining your breed club and agitating - so bet it.  When hunters fail to ensure that breed standards remain true - breeds tend to head the way of the irish setter, weimeraner, gordon setter, cocker spaniel, etc.  Exaggerated physical characteristics at the expense of hunting ability and genetic health.

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seattlesetters
Close inbreeding whether it's called linebreeding or not, is always bad practice.  The breeders that do this are relying on genetic science that was outdated in the 1950s.  I personally wouldn't buy a pup that came from a brother sister mating, and I wouldn't advise anyone else to either.  

In the US, the breed standards are set by the breed clubs.  The AKC could impose universal restrictions on inbreeding, etc. - but there are a lot of bad breeders that inbreed regardless of the consequences that would squawk.  I wouldn't hold my breath for the AKC to move forward on this anytime in the near future.  

Was Wehle wrong, and a bad breeder?

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....... This will help to prevent the practice of exaggeration, where features that are perceived to be desirable, .......and which can have detrimental effects on a dog’s health.

I saw a news piece about this which focused on the impact on the English Bull Dog. I do/have never owned an EBD but my understanding for years now is that C-sections are commonly used in the breed because the exaggerated head/shoulder size make natural delivery dangerous or impossible. If this is true, then I think it is right to adjust the standards. If a dog is unable to even breed or whelp without artificial means then I believe that things are way overboard.  I think it may be much harder to find aggreement about "exaggerated" with other traits. Even with the EBD, breeders are upset and claiming that it will ruin the "look" that they love.

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After BBC aired the documentary, Pedigree Dogs Exposed, The UK Kennel Club began overhauling its breed standards; the BBC dropped televising the Crufts Show. If you Google "Pedigree Dogs Exposed" you'll find links to exerpts and more...heartbreaking scenes.

As an aside, and not to hijack this thread, but PETA tried to ride the coat tails of the documentary and to stop the Westminster Show from being televised. The filmakers of Pedigree Dogs Exposed slammed PETA:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/unleashed/2009/01/bbc-documentari.html

Bully for them!

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I could care less about bench dog standards, except as 'political' issues that the AR people can use as a cudgel.

There is a fine line, however between 'inbreeding' and 'line breeding', and where you fall on the line depends on who is doing the breeding, and how the terms are defined in a practical sense. Either one will intensify and concentrate traits - good and bad.

Many healthy, exceptional performing dogs are produced by capable and knowledgeable line breeder by concentrating traits in a dog, then breeding out to similar, but unrelated dogs. If these dogs are not allowed to be registered, then the best that can be hoped for is 'run of the breed' genetics, with an occasional exceptional dog produced by the luck of the draw.

However, the AKC has proven over and over that they are largely interested in their revenue stream, almost to the exclusion of other concerns.

Agreed. I'm currently considering a tightly linebred pup that is being bred to try and "lock in" the traits of the desired individual for later outcrossing. While I know "locking in" desired traits is never completely possible, I think the tightly linebred pups could possibly be better than anything they can be outcrossed to, because the individual sire and dam are simply better than anything else out there (IMHO).

How tightly, you ask? Let's say the sire is by Husker Du and out of Heart. The dam is also by Husker Du but out of Pat Benatar. Although Heart and Pat Benatar are not closely related, my sire and dam are indeed half brother/sister by virtue of having the same sire...the Most Royal Champion Husker Du.

I wonder if this would be tolerated under the new British standards? Does this "standard" run the risk of actually becoming a draw on the breed, rather than improving it?

Mark

I think most breeders would go to the next generation and breed the prepotent dog to a grand daughter. But I have seen sepctaular results from breeding a line bred dog (usually, but not always a female) with a COI of 20% or more to a similarly line bred but unrelated male.

By Jetsetter pup has a COI of 16& and is SJR and TMS both top and bottom - but through Jet, not Bandit. His mother is SJR X a Desert Rambler bitch.

Tommy_Oct08cropped.jpg

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With our breed, Clumbers, being spelled out in the news reports you can imagine, rightly, that our club is all over this.

While I agree with gusto and volume that the tendency has been to let Clumbers get far too large - hell, we take a hit whenever we enter our smaller and lighter dogs in shows - and that it is not healthy for the breed as a whole... I absolutely disagree that the all-breed kennel clubs should dictate our standard to us.  I don't like the idea of people who don't live with, hunt with, sleep in bed with, a  breed making the rules.  Yes I think Clumbers have gotten too heavy and too large... so I bred to a smaller male and keep my dogs hunt condition skinny.  I am not going to dictate to another breeder what they feel is important.

Tails & ears I feel the same way.  I dock my puppies' tails.  I won't stop you from leaving yours natural.  I like the look of some of the natural tails, but I have seen tails get busted up in the fields and tails are so hard to get to heal.  I would, however, never crop my dogs' ears - and my 2nd favorite breed is Dobermans - but I won't tell anyone else not to do their dog's ears. I have yet to own a Dobe purely because I would want to show it in bench, and until recently natural eared Dobe's didn't win.  You can call that stupid if you want, your opinion counts as much as mine.  It is looking more and more like I may be able to have my 1st Dobe soon.

But I will argue heartily that you deserve to have the option as much as I do.

When committees and clubs and agencies and government start making the decisions, it is my opinion that we all lose a bit of being a free society.  I think a free society is one where people have the opportunity to make the wrong choices.

What's wrong?  Well whatever I say is wrong, and whatever you say is wrong, and whatever that guy over there says is wrong, and what B'scratch says is wrong.

Yep - some Clumbers are too large and too fat.  You may say that mine are too skinny or too ticc'ed or too goofy or... whatever.  Standards are hopefully written with some wiggle room for opinions. And written by the people who love that breed.

Huge deal in our club as we try to deal with the negativity and the silly claims that the breed is ruined, or whatever. My dogs are happy, are spoiled (see the sleeping on the bed thread), and they hunt. They also each have some amount of bench points so in the eyes of a number of people are good reps of our standard too.  A few years ago our club reduced sizes in the standard as a reaction to them becoming too fat or too large. Are they still?  Well I think so, but some don't.  

And I think we should fight for the opportunity to disagree.

~tracy

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Clumber,

I know very little about the bench world or the AKC world for that matter. But I'm curious what you think the AKC should do? Should they rubber stamp whatever creations and bad practices any parent breed club comes up with? From the sounds of it some of this stuff this article is talking about, things got pretty out of control as far as what breeding practices were tolerated and to some extent encouraged in these show circles.

I don't necessarily agree with what the UKC is doing , but I can understand a "parent" organization not necessarily allowing anything and everything to go on under the auspicious of their name. I would think at some point you have to intervene if the breed clubs aren't, otherwise your name and reputation will be greatly tarnished.

Man I must be bored.

-Flush

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Flush - my excuse is that the people at work today have all apparently lost their damn  minds AND become cranky about it.  So I am trying to ignore them until 1630 so I can go home to my dogs for my weekend.

I am sure it is different in the UK, and honestly I have never been able to figure out their show champion points CC system despite many very smart people explaining it slowly to me.

Here is what little I know, and I hope that it answers your question.  In the AKC the breed clubs, in theory, own the breed standards.  Which is how I think it must stay.  Egregious problems in a breed?  No one knows better than the breeders and 'fanciers'.  In the mid-70s, for example, Dobermans had a terrible problem with temperaments.  The club with input from its members and with tough decisions made by breeders turned that around far more quickly than I think anyone has any right to expect from such a numerous diverse group of people.  Today I think Dobes have as sound a temperament as can exist in general in any breed.

Or my breed - Clumber Spaniels.  In huge opposite to the numbers of Dobe folks that had to all agree on something, we have maybe 2000 Clumbers in North America.  Total.  25 years ago no one, nobody, was hunting their Clumbers.  Today there have been hunt tests out here where Clumbers DOMINATED the entries.  Yeah - more than ESS even!  I get inquiries fairly regularly for purely hunting Clumbers... which didn't exist just a short time ago.  But lets look at health issues...  when I started in the breed almost 20 years ago we had some juv cataract issues.  They appeared to hark back to a single sire who had been used quite a lot worldwide. We would have given our own limbs to have a gene test for that back then, I tell you.  Instead, as a group, Clumber people worked to eradicate it as much as we could with what we knew then, and I hardly ever hear of cataracts issues anymore.  Hips, how about?  It took us IIRC a decade to even get to 100 PASSES in hips in our breed. I just now checked OFA and we have apparently over 350 passes.

I have other equally boring examples.  My point is that all 3 issues were discovered and worked on without the oversight of the AKC.  IIRC in fact, AKC was a bit late to the party as far as health clearances.  I think our national club joined the Canine Health Foundation before AKC did... but I could be remembering that wrong.  The owners of the standard - the clubs and their members - recognized the problems and made changes to fix them.

If AKC were to start telling the clubs what the dogs should look like and what the priorities are... well that sure puts a major albatross around the necks of the breeders, fanciers, and judges that the FoofyPoo designer dogs don't have to deal with.  I know that in Europe breeds are tightly controlled - I think that you can't even register a GSD in its homeland without health and performance clearances of that dog and it's parents.  I don't want that here.  I don't hunt Woodcock here because there aren't any, but our pup English Cocker was originally bred for Woodcock - should the AKC, UKC, whoever tell me that I can't register him without proof he hunts woodcock? Maybe a silly example, but that's where I see it leading.

I fully believe that the health and well being of a breed belongs to the fanciers of that breed, not to the registration organization.  We are the ones who know the issues, we are the ones who prioritize them, and no one can fix it faster or more thoroughly than we can.  Hell, in my little breeding contribution to our breed we went from FAIL dysplatic hips to GOOD in 3 generations.  From dogs who refused to even look at birds, to phenomenal hunters that are as psycho about birds as any field trial dog. (not as fast on their feet and different styles as they were initially bred for, but just as nutso for birds)

YMMV - and that's what I believe is great about the US. Warts and all.

~tracy

(Flush - did i even come close??)

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Yes, well I think you pointed out some good examples of the breed clubs doing the right thing, but what about the cases where the breed club isn't acting, or isn't acting quickly? Should the AKC have no recourse even if the breed clubs aren't acting?

Whether it be the AKC or the Federal government, I tend to prefer a more hands off approach too, let the people closer to the problem solve it.

BUT... The AKC is a private organization. If I were the president of the AKC I wouldn't want to put my companies name on a "defective" product, it hurts my "brand" and takes away my credibilty. I would demand to have SOME recourse to breeds that were going down a path of significant health problems.

I agree that the people close to the problem are the ones who will know best how to fix it. However, I absolutely do not agree they would be the first ones to ADMIT they have a problem. That is human nature and how the problems even you cited started in the first place. Ask yourself this, if the current system is so sound, how did these problems arrise in the first place?

I don't want the FDSB or AKC interefering either, but I can understand why when these horror stories within certain breeds (german shepards, bull dogs, etc..) keep happening the AKC (or it's equivalent) decides it has to do something. Some breed clubs do appear to recognize the problem and do the right thing in a timely fashion, there is significant evidence though that is not always the case

For the most part I think people should indeed be able to breed whatever they want, that doesn't mean the AKC should be forced to recognize and register it.

 -Flush

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