Friday, August 15, 2008

The REAL story about show dog pedigrees...

From the Terrierman blogsite (a great blogsite devoted to the pursuit of working dogs)...

About 18 months ago, or a little more, I got an email from Jemima Harrison a television producer in the U.K. who first came across my name when she was forwarded a copy of Inbred Thinking, a post from this (The Terrierman) blog.We shot some emails back and forth, and talked some on the phone about the rise of the Enclosure Movement, Robert Bakewell, Charles Darwin, Francis Galton, John Henry Walsh (Stonehenge), and the rise of genetic loads.She then went on and chased down some good examples of bad outcomes and some smarter people to talk to (no shortage of those!) and has produced a one-hour documentary for BBC One called Pedigree Dogs Exposed.I have not see this special yet, but I have been promised a CD in the mail, and the squib is dead-on perfect:

An in-depth investigation into the health of pedigree dogs. This programme reveals the surprising historical reasons that have contributed to problems in some breeds and explores what might be done to tackle these serious and debilitating health issues.The first showing is Tuesday, August 19th from 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm.UK and other readers with an international reach would do well to tune in and put out the early word on list-servs, etc.I think this piece may be an eye-opener for some! The Kennel Club already has its knickers in a knot, and it has not even seen it yet. Of course, their cry is that it is all bias! Never mind the list of dog diseases by breed. Never mind the working dogs that no longer work. Forget the shortened faces that cannot breathe, the congential heart defects, the four-legged cancer bombs. Let's not talk about the dysplasia, the cataracts, and the Cushing's disease. That would be bias. It's also prejudiced to talk about the rise of skin allergies, the broken hind quarters of the German Shepherd, and the Yorkshire Terriers with teeth popping sideways out of their too-small jaws. Let's not talk about deafness in Dalmations and Harlequin Great Danes, the advent of "Scottie Cramp" or the rise of "Springer Rage Syndrome."Oh No!! All that is prejudice.What is not prejudice is believing that coat color is more important than working abilities. What is not prejudice is a standard for a border terrier that gives more points to the shape of its head than the size of its chest. What is not prejudice is the notion that dogs should be judged on looks rather than on health; on a scrap of paper that says it is of "pure blood" rather than its ability to do it job from youth into old age.That's not prejudice, you see. That's the founding mantra of the The Kennel Club! It's all about paper and ribbons. It's not about the dogs. It's never been about them.

Check out the complete posting at Terrierman...

Irish setter from bench stock

Red Setter Fairy Taile Coyote

...a product of the the Purest Challenge

Which dog would you hunt over??

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