Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Adam ruins purebred dogs

From US comedian Adam Conover.  An easy target - but nonetheless funny.


165 comments:

  1. Very cleverly portrayed without pulling any punches, the video should be circulated worldwide to all of the kennel clubs. Not so much funny as straight to the point and cannot be accused of being sensational.

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  2. Yyyyeeeeeesssssssss!!! Go get 'em, Adam! Sometimes it just takes a comedian. :)

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  3. Hahaha
    I don't know which made me laugh more - watching the video or imagining the reaction of anyone from the KC watching it !
    Some years ago I lent (in all innocence) a copy of the film "Best in Show" to a dog breeder/exhibitor friend, thinking they would find it as funny as I did.
    Bad call.....

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  4. stupid American. As funny as it is ignorant.

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    1. What is ignorant about it?

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  5. I'm thinking that it's about time we strived towards a universal "Breeding Standard" over any individual "Breed Standard" !!

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  6. Funny? "Half truth is often a great lie" (Benjamin Franklin). There is huge variation among purebred dogs. . . . and great variation among mutts. Characterizing a group by picking out it's extreme cases can be sort of funny if it's clearly a joke (eg., all men are bastards). But this half truth gets taken seriously and literally.

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    1. But it's not a half truth.
      ALL purebreds are inbred. It's the defining characteristic that makes them purebreeds - they have a closed gene pool.

      Please go and learn about genetics, gene pools, genetic diversity, inbreeding depression, hybrid vigour, selective breeding, outcrossing and eugenics.

      Also learn what the phrase "on average" means. Yes an individual purebred could be healthier than an individual mutt, but on average mutts are healthier than purebreeds.

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    2. I'd suggest that your read more than the cartoon version when you try to learn about genetics, etc. My PhD is in biogeography. I find questions of health, genetics and population diversity are complex, both for natural populations and for domesticated plants and animals. Generalizations across large, diverse populations often don't hold up to closer inspection, especially when they are based on ideology rather than evidence.
      As for averages, pray tell me how you get an unbiased sample of the full population of pedigree dogs? or mutts? and what metric do you use for 'health'. If you don't have an unbiased sample of a population, you cannot determine its average. (I have taught statistics at university level).

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  7. It's National Mutt Day in the US on Thursday...think I"ll be posting this.

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    1. National Mutt day - what a fabulous idea!!!!

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  8. UrbanCollieChick29 July 2014 at 18:20

    Awesome! Almost everyone I know outside these dog forums would sooooo be the brunette chick if I tried to explain what"Adam" just did.

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    1. Naw, she comes from a position of ignorance and begs him not to ruin her misconceptions. That's just naive.

      Totally different from someone who is clinging to a carefully-cultivated pig-ignorance and refuses to allow the facts to spoil it for her

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    2. Heather that's called cognitive dissonance.

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  9. Definitely funny, he must follow your blog

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  10. I love it. I just love it! Adam says everything that he needed to say AND he said it in a fun and gentle manner.

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  11. Oooops the King Charles spaniel in the sky, pooooof!

    I left a utube comment just to balance things out a bit there for pedigree dogs........ya easy target.

    I would love to see French , Saunders and Lumley et al style series based in the show ring. Wouldn't that be fun!

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  12. I don't know who this guy is but I like him

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  13. Oh the yanks are coming, the yanks are coming...
    It is nice, after reading about how nice the Swedish dog system is, and how the Dutch courts are recognizing breeder responsibilities, and reading on PDE how the KC has changed some standards, to find the American public and media finally pointing out the elephant in their living room.

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    1. The least amusing part of the yank story is finding that the AKC is rock solid in its position of not changing standards to address health concerns..
      Pedigrees are not the problem . . . and they should be part of the solution.

      I'd appreciate Adam's contribution more if he did a better job of identifying the elephant.

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  14. What if we all each made a video?

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  15. Humour will ALWAYS result in culture change faster and more comprehensively than hounding (no pun intended). Totally proven scientifically. Bring on more of it!

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  16. Share widely! This is a great way to educate kids too about the truth about pedigree dog breeding. Apart from reference to a f*+@#d up flat face which was beeped out. However, the Bulldog wins best in Freak show. Genetic, mutant freaks. Pathetic creatures perpetuated by ignorance and selfish human behaviour.

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  17. Agree would love to see faces but Adams forgets how Veterinary Medicine is also a key player. Years ago a thyroid problem could be solved easily in their opinion by a simple pill. Now we know breeding thyroid dogs only expands the autoimmune issues into the off spring.

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    1. Aah yes. Always the last to know where the real cure lies.

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  18. Jemima,just wondered if the KC has got round to publishing the effective population figures in breeds. If I have missed it's publication, could you point me in the direction of it.

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    1. Hah! Still working on it.... And have a plan...

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    2. OK, once someone finds the effective population figures, what can we all do? Record ourselves laughing at how some people have reduced a population of 10,000 pugs to, what was it?, 50 dogs (genetically
      speaking).

      The AKC use to publish their registration stats, but I haven't found them in years. A private magazine about dogs use the have them in either the March or April issue, but that never did include any genetic information or effective population figure.

      Is this something the Royal College did?

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    3. In the UK registration stats for the KC are published and easy to find. If you search AKC registration statistics, you will find the stats for AKC registrations up to 2013. Although it seems to be just ranking of breeds, not numbers registered.
      Knowing the numbers for effective population within each breed is important for breeders especially for ones out crossing and looking for a breed that can bring in not only better physical attributes but genetic variation.

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  19. Not sure this is clever so much as stating the obvious in the worst case scenario. Ends up just feeling pretty sad. And adopting a mutt from a shelter means it's going to be happy and healthy? That's just misleading, and you don't need to be "sticking up for" pedigree dogs to think so - owning any dog comes with the risk of health problems and the responsibility of care.

    This video is a charicature though surely? I've seen cavs with inbreeding coefficients of 3% and under, and others with over 25%. Plenty of pedigree dogs are not "as inbred as an Austrian duke"(!) It does make some valid points but in an extreme way, and advocates giving up on selective breeding entirely. And is that really a good idea? Selective breeding can be used to avoid many health issues both within pedigree breeding and cross breeding.

    The only solid point I personally like in recognised breeds is predictable temperament, which could be maintained even with outcrossing (away from line breeding and/or cross breeding). But temperament is important in companions we work, play, live alongside in so many different circumstances. Many dog-hating journalists (no, not you Jemima, I certainly wouldn't classify you thus) love to pump out the "this dog bit/maimed/killed a child and was instantly destroyed. Hooray!" stories, and it's usually shelter dogs on the rough end of this. That's something that drives people to only considering pedigree dogs with the reputation for being kind, sweet natured, sociable, good with children etc.

    Tongue in cheek as some of it may be, I was disappointed to see the ecstatic comments here, when usually I associate this blog with people who care about improving the health and welfare of all dogs, not waving banners saying "burn the purebreds"

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    1. Do you think that purebred dog breeding is actually ok? Have you read any of the science and biology about genetics. And why refer to dog hating journalists!? Really? Try looking at the fact that the media are really about trying to sell newspapers and polarising people with black and white opinions. That is the propaganda at play here....

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with adopting a dog from a shelter and in the right hands, the vast majority of these dogs can end up healthy and happy. Mutt pedigree or otherwise. Why categorise dogs in this way? Is it helpful? Try looking at the individual dog and it's circumstances rather than jumping on the band wagon and labelling everything, shoving it in a box and sinking to the depths of the dog hating journalists you mention. You are doing exactly the same thing as they do. Ay person who is reasonably intelligent and who researches what they want in a dog will take the time to consider what the best option for them is when adopting or buying a dog. The problem is, there is a fundamental lack of understanding about the biology, behaviour and social responsibility of dog ownership. Even by people who claim to be experts. Experience and familiarity does not equal understanding. Where is the evidence of education and continuing development?

      Dogdom is an utter mess.

      It needs a revolution from within. Breeding, showing, working dogs all need regulating. Dog ownership needs regulating. People should have licences for certain types of dogs and need proficiency testing in both biology, theory and handling skills. They are a species completely separate from us and live alongside us but are terribly misunderstood, exploited and created to fulfill a need like an accessory for some people.

      We need to protect dogs from people.

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    2. Anon 12:35 What do I think? Do you really care? For what it's worth, I think selective breeding is ok, even worthwhile, to try and eliminate harmful conditions from a species. It's difficult to balance the good and bad points in a gene pool, but certainly to some degree selectively breeding for health (pedigree or cross) is something I'd be happy to support.

      I agree that journalists generally try to sell newspapers but there are quite a lot of journalists in the UK who try to follow as many stories as possible about dog bites, and this usually reflects badly on shelter or rehomed dogs, which is sad. I actually only mentioned this because Jemima has been accused of being one and I wanted to be clear I wasn't referring to her.

      As for the rest of your post I'm not even sure I'm following what it has to do with mine. I objected to him saying that a "puppy mutt" (his words, not mine) would be happy and healthy, which is not necessarily true. Aside from that I don't think I said anything about it being bad to adopt shelter dogs - well, I know I didn't, because I don't think that's the case.

      Your final paragraph seems a tad extreme. Yes, there's a lot of lack of knowledge about biology/behaviour etc. It's sad that that's the case. But dog ownership doesn't need that much legislation. Compulsory microchip ping is enough to link dogs to owners, or at least it would be if there was a way to reliably enforce it. And more people should socialise their animals well, it really is a worthwhile way to spend time.

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    3. a COI of under 3% is a good thing but it dosent mean the dog isnt inbred, how many generations does that go back? 6? 10? Keeping the COI down now is a good start because it helps us to stop losing more genetic diversity - but from when the breed became a closed group there was a whole lot of inbreeding going on

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  20. I have a Cavalier with a 1.5% breeding coefficient from the KC calculations which only go back 5 generations.
    I would say you need around ten generations to get a more truer picture of a dogs breeding coefficient, but only going back 5 generations for the KC gives a lot better picture.

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  21. No, Pippa, you´ve got it wrong. This film says nothing like "burn the purebreds". It just shows up the 19th-century concept of "purebred" and the manner in which that concept was implemented, and some of the consequences of messing around with biology without understanding it. If anything, it says "Burn the misconcept of what a breed is"...
    Bodil Carlsson

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    1. Think that was a bit of a communications breakdown - I was commenting on comments at that point rather than on the film. I rather like how you put it in the end of your post though - if only breeders and breed enthusiasts could look beyond conformation, to the very essence of what each dog is - a companion, a herder, a guard, a clown... The nature of the dog just has to be more important than its formation or its looks. Why the obsession with something so very unimportant.?

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    2. It is still saying what I hear from every anti-purebred/breeder out there. That your purebred is some inbred mutant that couldn't even play fetch and was bred by Nazi eugenics. Not even Peta will likely spurt out burn all purebreds,but they can encourage more subtly why they shouldn't be bred and why shelter dogs are so much better. Pretty much meaning the same things,without coming across as a controversial statement.

      Nothing on this was pro purebred or purpose breeding either,which may help shelter dogs get adopted but does not help improvement on breeds or this site. It is pretty much saying purebreds are not a thing and have no purpose,get a shelter dog instead.

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    3. If it isn't a 'burn the purebreds" slant, why does choose examples from the breeds that are in the most trouble?

      My maternal grandparents were first cousins, which means I'm more inbred than my pedigree Labradors!

      I'm all for outcrossing as required for health and against dividing breeds. It would be good to join breeds that have gotten down to unhealthy effective population sizes or are showing the effects of narrow gene pools. But 'mutt' doesn't guarantee health, and pedigree doesn't guarantee ill health. It's much more complicated.

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  22. I believe the denial statement among purebreds has been "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater"! While old theory has been replaced with Bad Genes should be utilized in breeding protocol and then the bad genes can drain away.

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  23. I find the video so true and funny as can be. The only miss-spoke part might be the title - Adam didn't ruin dogs, dog shows have, and we, by our inaction, our failure to correct the situation, are partially guilty too.

    But i guess he means ruins it for the show fans, spoiled it for them.

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  24. Hi Pippa D.

    Guess you didn't like the video as much as I did. I think it is so funny, so true, and very educational for consumers too!

    I don't guess Adam was trying to make a video to educate dog breeders, but to inform the general pubic. Great intro into the subject! Easy to understand, and factual. And maybe it will help those breeders who just can't face the truth to accept what is happened because of them.

    But I have to agree with you that his solution to this problem is not always going to work. Shelter dogs are a whole new issue. Sometimes better, sometimes not. The value of a grown shelter dog is that many of the inherited diseases manifest in the dog in the 1st or 2nd year of life, so a shelter dog over 2 years old, who seems healthy and passes a thorough vet check before you bring him home and fall in love with him, is less likely to break your heart than a purebred puppy.

    And you can observe his temperament before you buy him, and in the first weeks after you bring him home. With puppies you don't really know how they will turn out.

    And, the odds of getting a healthy puppy is much better if you get a mutt puppy or a first generation crossbred puppy, rather than a purebred puppy.

    Purebreds tend to have a common set of instinct and activity level, but lots of breeders will tell you: this is the shy one, this is the one who barks all the time, this one is my cuddle dog, don't try to pet that one.....

    You can know what a purebred dog will grow up to look like. Mutt puppies are a mystery. But grown mutts are already whatever they are going to be so no surprise there.

    You quote inbreeding rates, and I'm guessing you have the results of some careful, intelligent, knowledgeable, small breeder in mind, but most people buying a pet puppy just can't study all that information, and they can't go by reputation anymore because some high ups have reproduced some unhealthy puppies. Some breeders with big wins are clearly NOT breeding for health.

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  25. Personally I think Adams introduction is excellent, i.e. we think breeds of dogs are how they evolved naturally when in effect they are products of humankind. Humans who have picked and nurtured a dog's natural ability for whatever suits their (the human's) needs. This is a very clear fact. As a person who showed a gundog breed for 40 years it never, ever occurred to me that that breed hadn't always existed, it was a thought that didn't flutter thro' the airspace that is my brain. More recently I have learned to really think about dogs, breeds, standards, kennel clubs, breeders - and some of the revelations have been so disappointing. So, for the general public who buy a breed as a pet, this video would be so enlightening, clearly stated, unsensational, compassionate. The bulldog is a tragedy. The outlines in the sky to make a point, clever. Just like the blog above, last sentence, we are coming to realise that this is painfully true and many dogs suffer and new owners bear the tragedy, but the breeders just walk away and carry on with kennel club backing. Very sad for the future of dogs.

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  26. We need more videos like this. Maybe one for each breed? Another "must watch".

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  27. To be honest, it's not so much not liking the message or style of the video as being annoyed by exaggeration in an already contentious subject. I don't agree that the odds of a mutt being healthier than a purebred pup are better - sure, if you're going for certain breeds, but not all pure breeds have huge numbers of problems. It really depends on the breed and the source.

    There are some "reputable" breeders who make me tremble with rage. The 25% inbreeding rating I mentioned above was from one such breeder, who doesn't test their stock appropriately and obviously line breeds. They're also big in their breed, vocal, and to call a spade a spade regularly full of bull faeces. People like them are the reason dogs suffer, and the reason pedigree dogs have a reputation for being haggard, sickly mutants. It doesn't have to be that way! It doesn't even take much effort to change it, but they're either so stubborn or so lazy that they won't change, and yet still claim to love their dogs. I don't see the love - how can you essentially bring babies into the world that you know could suffer, and suffer horribly, when you could have taken every step possible to prevent that suffering?

    My frustration with the video stems from it being so glib and extreme that few in a position to make a real difference would take it seriously. Just another lot of mutt-loving propaganda. Though I suppose they're never going to change anyway. Maybe I was just feeling optimistic at the time.

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    1. Mutt loving propaganda! How effing insulting is THAT! OK to call Crufts a load of bollocks and ultimately cruel then I guess?

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    2. It's not my personal opinion, just how I feel the video is likely to be viewed by people who breed pedigree dogs. And yes, of course it's ok to call Crufts that if it's what you think.

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    3. Pippa D. Your comments are actually quite snobby. Can you tell me what is wrong with a mutt if it has been selectively bred with health and temperament at the forefront? I think the major issue is still people thinking purebred/pedigree is socially superior!

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    4. Hm, thought I'd replied to this but maybe the comment didn't get through.

      Not sure how my initial comment was unclear in context but I'll reword to clarify: Those in a position to make a difference could see this as an example of what THEY CONSIDER TO BE just another lot of mutt loving propaganda.

      This is not my view. I do not think mutts are better than pedigrees or vice versa. Dog is dog is dog, love is a four legged word.

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  28. Agree about the bulldogs and not much else. Another example of conflating the worst few breeds with the entirety of purebred dogdom; again I am one of many people who has lived with purebred dogs my whole life and most of them die of age-related problems, not genetic ones. YES most goldens get cancer. My neighbor's golden died of cancer. She was 13 or 14 at the time; the average lifespan is similar to that of other breeds their size (unlike cousin flatcoats who tend, sadly, to get cancer in their prime).

    They myth of the healthy mutt: I agree with the poster above that many mutts with genetic problems aren't ever making it to the stage where they are adopted. I personally know of an under-two large mutt who has both severe hip dysplasia and a genetic neurological condition; between the two he walks like a ship at sea with a very noticeable sway and is on long-term activity restrictions, the problem is that severe. I can tell you about a friend's shelter mutt who was put down for Wobbler's syndrome at around the age of 6 (and also had some fairly serious aggression issues). Another friend who lost her under-5 shelter mutt to bloat. Another whose mutt has chronic ear infections. Yet another whose shelter mutt has glaucoma at a fairly young age AND had to have two knee surgeries (one on each knee).

    Another friend just lost her 15 year old Dachshund who was never sick her whole life. And sure, the friend with the boxer who died at around 8 from cancer was very sad and not unusual for boxers.

    Point being, I've known more mutts with very serious genetic health and/or temperament problems as purebreds, even though I've personally known more purebred dogs than mutts. The statistics also don't line up the way the anti-purebred people would like. SOME breeds are riddled with health problems. Many breeds are not. And most serious health conditions that exist in carefully bred dogs are also common in the general population of mutts, since the genetics for the problem pre-date the creation of the closed book on the breeds....


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    1. Point bing, it isn't sensible to breed within a paradigm of closed gene pools is it? Quit the black and white thinking and try thinking about the species as a whole. Purebred dog mentality stems fom the eugenics movement. Period. Yet again, more anecdotes! Can we have some peer reviewed actual evidence please? Especially your last sentence. I think you make things up to suit your very notable cognitive dissonance on the subject of purebred Dogdom. You are clearly inconvnianced by the truth!

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    2. I'm sorry, but your personal experience doesn't change reality. Can you cite the source of your statistics saying that purebreeds don't have shorter life spam than mutts? Yeah, sure, mutts can have genetic problems, but breeding dogs within small genetic pool, with closed register, is not the answer. (Also, if a mutt has floppy ears, it can be prone to ear infections - like purebreed dogs with floppy ears. If a mutt is too giant, it can be prone to hip dysplasia - just like Giant Dane. But floppy ears and too huge dogs are also the result of selective breeding. If you look at primitive dogs, they are all medium sized, proportionate, with long muzzle, straight tails and standing ears. This is what natural selection wanted. All exaggerations? Human created. So yeah, mutts have those problems too - because they come from "purebred" dogs. But they have a bit more genetic diversity to fight them.)

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    3. I have posted links to numerous studies. I have pleaded for a single article on one of the many healthy breeds. I get crickets in response.

      Look up red wolves and genetic diversity. Look up the Yellowstone wolf reintroduction. No new blood coming in there. It's a closed gene pool. Read about DNA testing (as opposed to pedigree analysis) and what it really shows about diversity in dogs. Read a dozen or so articles and get back to me.

      Show me where we have the typical signs of inbreeding suppression in most breeds (not just an isolated few), such as reduced litter size compared to wolves, and get back to me with the link.

      Find me studies that show immune suppression due to inbreeding. Or high rates of deformity.

      If you are the one saying closed stud books are a huge problem, then post me your scientific studies (not blogger opinion) showing the same. Show me the study that shows mutts are healthier.

      I've posted links about red wolves. Yelliowstone wolves. DNA analysis of genetic diversity. They don't change the conversation. Why should I need to repost the same study whenever I make a comment? You don't hold any other commenters to that standard.


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    4. Heck, I won't make you look. I'll post some of the links again. Lots of posters saying we've already lost too much genetic diversity in dogs, but pedigrees don't tell the whole story because of several issues, including ongoing mutation and the fact that littermates are not genetically identical. DNA analysis is the only thing that can say what diversity we have left. The results surprised me and were not what I expected, (and the research is technical and hard to read) but here is a sample:

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/21745753/

      " On average, dog breeds currently retain approximately 87% of the available domestic canine genetic diversity."

      Since dogs actually have more diversity than ancestral wolves, 87% would seem pretty good, yes? I mean, labs don't have the gene for prick ears and Corgis don't have the gene for solid black coats, but that is cosmetic.

      "Genomic data do not always support the results from pedigree analysis and possible reasons for this are discussed."

      Yet everything on here seems to suggest we should be looking at pedigrees to determine outcrosses. The fact is, when it comes to the all-important reproductive and immune genes, it may be that a poodle has the exact same genes as the mutt up the street, BUT different genes from another poodle who is a cousin based on pedigree. If our goal is to maintain genetic diversity (and it should be), then should we not look at GENES instead of pedigrees? Why just open up studbooks without some proof that it is necessary or desirable? When you consider what you know you lose (in terms of more predictability in size and temperament) we should surely determine if it is necessary, right?

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    5. And finally some comparisons to other animals. By the way, I started posting here supporting much of what Jemima said. Then I started seeing other data that conflicted (and honestly her posts have gotten more extreme; you'll notice very few breeders come here now and in the beginning quite a few did).

      Here's another thing that tipped me away from thinking closed stud books are necessarily bad:

      http://www.fws.gov/redwolf/captivemanagement.html

      "To protect the red wolf from extinction, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service extirpated the red wolf in the wild in 1980 and established an ex situ breeding program with plans to restore the species to a portion of its former range. Only 14 individuals would reproduce to become the founding ancestors of all red wolves existing today. "

      Closed stud book? Absolutely. And don't think the 14 were genetically unique; the wild population was heavily hybridized with coyotes and most were not suitable for breeding.

      So that 14 must have caused genetic devastation, right?

      Well, no. "Currently, gene diversity in the captive red wolf population is approximately 89.65% of the founder population (N = 14), and there is little evidence of inbreeding depression."

      Compares favorably with the diversity of dog breeds, doesn't it?

      And more recent, the Assateague ponies on the Maryland side, which is a closed book based on geography:

      http://www.delmarvanow.com/story/life/outdoors/2014/07/26/assateague-pony-non-native/13227989/

      "When the park service first took control of the Maryland portion of the island, it had just 28 horses." The number quickly grew to an unsustainable 175, at which point artificial birth control was used to control the herd. They are now down to about 100, so they will begin breeding again, with this goal:

      "Turner said the park service is seeking to stay around 100 horses to provide some insurance against catastrophe, such as a major storm washing over the island. Keeping any fewer than 80 horses might lead to inbreeding, ­jeopardizing the herd's future, the park service has determined.­"

      Again, that is not 80 genetically unique individuals, since they all descended from the original 20-odd within just the past few decades. An actual (not effective) population of 80 is enough to avoid inbreeding.

      So unless you know more than the biologists at FWS who are determining viable populations of ponies and red wolves, I would like some data that closed stud books are unsustainable before we throw the baby out with the bathwater.

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    6. And finally, a long article by this guy. "Dr. Bell is director of the Clinical Veterinary Genetics Course for the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and national project administrator for numerous genetic disease control programs of pure-bred dogs."

      http://siriusdog.com/bell-pedigree-analysis-genetic-diversity

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    7. I made several posts within a few minutes, and one important one seems to have gotten lost in the filter.

      If we are going to breed for genetic diversity (and we should) we need to do so based on genes, not just pedigree. Apparently they don't always match up, because there is ongoing mutation and because full siblings don't have to share the same genetics. The important genes for diversity cover things like reproduction and immune responses. The poodle you own might share genes with the mutt up the street on those important traits, but NOT share those genes with another poodle first cousin. Before advocating throwing open stud books, surely we should look at genes and not just pedigree? Because I read this abstract, which was not what I expected. I've read some of the more in depth studies and some of it is beyond me, but basically many of our breeds still retain much of the original dog diversity:

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/21745753/

      "On average, dog breeds currently retain approximately 87% of the available domestic canine genetic diversity. "

      Not what one would expect, is it?

      Should we outcross within breeds to maintain this diversity? Well, common sense says yes but science says "not so fast."

      "Global exchange of genetic material may hasten the loss of alleles and this practice should be discussed in relation to the current effective population size of a breed and its expected future popularity. "

      And this little nugget: "Genomic data do not always support the results from pedigree analysis and possible reasons for this are discussed."

      So it would be super awesome if we had a conversation about this based on actual genetic data, and stopped just talking about pedigree analysis and bulldogs' flat faces, now wouldn't it? Because it IS important. And the conversation we have here does not do the topic scientific justice.

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    8. Thank you for the links, Beth, they're very interesting reads :) I'd seen some of these recently, along with results of a study that seemed to indicate that dogs and wolves both evolved from common ancestors rather than dogs simply evolving from wolves.

      http://news.discovery.com/animals/pets/dogs-not-as-close-kin-to-wolves-as-thought-140116.htm

      Another interesting read for anyone wanting to look beyond just COI would be: http://www.czerwonytrop.com/inb/index.php?full=ok&lng=en%20>

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    9. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090023313004486

      'The longest-lived breeds were the Miniature poodle, Bearded collie, Border collie and Miniature dachshund, while the shortest-lived were the Dogue de Bordeaux and Great Dane. The most frequently attributed causes of death were neoplastic, musculoskeletal and neurological disorders. The results of multivariable modelling indicated that longevity in crossbred dogs exceeded purebred dogs by 1.2 years (95% confidence interval 0.9–1.4; P < 0.001) and that increasing bodyweight was negatively correlated with longevity. The current findings highlight major breed differences for longevity and support the concept of hybrid vigour in dogs.'

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    10. Page 22 'Pukka's Promise' 2012 (peer reviewed literature).
      'In every study Cassidy looked at she found that mixed breed dogs live on average a year longer than purebred dogs an observation confirmed by 5 other studies I found in the vet literature showing that mixed-breeds suffer from fewer genetic diseases and live up to 1.8 years longer than purebreds of similar weight. Even so, it's the rare moxed breed that lives beyond it's teens.'

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    11. Why are you comparing wild animals to domesticated dogs?

      Pedigree dogs do not get the opportunity to select their mates naturally do they? Olfaction and pheromones are at work when seeking out mates to ensure genetic diversity for MHC immune system function. Wild animals can do this, even within a 'captive' group.

      Scientists are still concerned about genetic diversity in this regard.

      http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10592-010-0147-z#

      'Despite wild dogs being endangered and existing in small populations, findings within our sample population indicated that molecular metrics were not robust predictors in models of fitness based on breeding pack formation, dominance, reproductive success or lifespan of individuals. Nonetheless, our approach has generated a vital database for future comparative studies to examine these relationships over longer periods of time. Such detailed assessments are essential given knowledge that wild canids can be highly vulnerable to inbreeding effects over a few short generations.'

      Delete
    12. "Indefence of dog", by John Bradshaw, quote, "In a recent sampling of the variation of the Y(male) chromosome of dogs in California, no variation was found in fifteen out of fifty breeds, indicating that most of the male ancestors of each and every dog in those breeds had been close relatives of each other ?" Federico Calboli et al., "Population structure and inbreeding from pedigree analysis of purebred dogs ", Genetics, 179 (2008),pp.593-601.
      It is believed the general dog population worldwide has 95 % of its genetic variation from the time of domestication, but when we look at purebreeds on their own they have lost a further 35 % in a frighteningly short time.
      The wolves at Isle Royale have shown us that wolves cannot tolerate very high levels of inbreeding without it reflecting on fertility and health and is dispelling a lot of theories that wolves can tolerate very high levels of inbreeding. Pure breeders have for generations used wolves as a role model for using inbreeding, but we know that inbreeding occurs in wolves, but not at the levels that were thought and not at the levels that pure breeds dogs are subjected. The only known example of very high inbreeding in wolves because on a cut off small island, very high inbreeding is proving to detrimental to them.

      Delete
    13. Beth, the ponies you mention really are not comparable to pure dog breeding which uses severe selective breeding alongside high levels of inbreeding. Selective breeding used alongside high levels of inbreeding is the problem.
      The ponies are allowed reasonable freedom to mate with whom they wish, human selective breeding is not used, so more likely to have better matching MHS complex to help produce as viable progeny as possible unlike pure breed dogs that don't get to chose their mate.
      No one is saying, inbreeding does not go on in wild populations, but it is the act of severe human selective breeding and high levels of inbreeding together that are causing the problems in pure breeding across the board, not just in dogs.I work in agriculture.
      I have been cross breeding a breed now for over five years and our average litter size has increased by over 33 %. These are pups born viable and making adulthood.

      Delete
    14. Anon, my male Corgi was one of a litter of nine. The breeder had another litter around the same time and there were eight. My female came to me as an adult and had a litter of six before we got her. The average litter size for the closely related wolf is four to six. So I have trouble seeing that as a sign of decreased litter size due to inbreeding.

      I had posted a link some time ago that shows the average purebred dog actually has more heterozygosity than the typical wolf.

      Despite Jemima's vigorous claims to the contrary, this blog has clearly become an anti-purebred blog. Do you really expect the millions of purebred dog owners and lovers to just say "Sure, you are right and we were wrong. Mutts for everyone! Who needs data?" The arguments are strident, any dissenting opinions are shot down. One poor breeder was ridiculed as not caring about her dogs because she has a breed with a curved tail (Spitzes, I think). Goodness. That's just silliness.

      Forgive me for wanting more data before accepting that what I have seen with my own two eyes is true. Maybe it's just bad luck, but I can't imagine the number of mutts I've known with serious health issues with at least some genetic base is just something to be ignored.

      Delete
    15. Hi Beth. Are you anti mutt then? Because your posts are quite militant regarding purebred dogs.

      And purebred is a term that any progressive person will surely see should be replaced with wellbred....

      Also, interesting that you have spent a lot of time posting on here considering your criticism of Jemima's work. Seems that if you were really so sure of your convictions then you wouldn't bother...

      Delete
    16. Beth, your third paragraph is nonsense. PDE is established FOR THE BETTERMENT OF PEDIGREE DOGS, not elimination, destruction or otherwise. Breeders of damaged breeds, who continue to breed on blindly (and cruelly) are the ones to whom you should be addressing your remarks. Breeds have evolved with the influence of humans. I think Adam's first sentence encapsulates exactly what a lot of us either hadn't thought through or didn't think about at all (me!). My breed was my breed. So whilst some breeds have been designed without detriment to their wellbeing, many, many breeds have been interbred with no genetic "get out" or so deformed, disfigured that every day is laborious, taking a breath even is a challenge. You cannot for one minute ignore the distressing blind breeding practices of some breeders. Thankfully there are good ones and they are to be treasured, encouraged because they are the dog lovers who will be left at the end of the day. The breeders who are in it for glory, money, greed, and are not sincere dog lovers will fall away because the breed they are involved with will die in their kennels because of that breeders ignorance. Dogs are dogs, PDE has proven that it is all dogs and their futures that are what is driving it forward and despite some breeders disregard of their dogs and their wellbeing, PDE will not take second best and be complacent. Hopefully you will see the REAL INTENTION OF PDE and cease your denial that there are real health issues that need to be addressed, and with ALL OF OUR BACKING THERE WILL COME POSITIVE CHANGE for the betterment of all dogs.

      Delete
    17. Beth, you cannot compare litter size of wild wolves with well looked after domestic canines. The wolf has nature to contend with, hunting her own food and coping with the elements, so this fact would drive conception rate down, compared with domestic canines. When we have seen a kind winter and a good Spring, more often a rise in numbers are seen in wolf litters, so weather is a factor in conception for wolves , unlike domestic dogs living in central heated homes with a constant diet.
      The comparison should be made with litter average for a breed now, then five years back, then 10 years back and so on.
      There's always exceptional bitches in breeds and I have had bitches in my breed, one for example that had three litters producing 8, 8 and 9 pups in each litter, the breeds litter average is 4. She is an exception not the rule. The litter average for my breed twenty years ago was recorded as 6, that's a third less litter size on average in only twenty years.

      Delete
  29. PippaD, I'm surprised that you think the presentation by Adam is exaggerated because for me it is simplistic, child friendly (remove the swear word) and very clear in it's message. Dogs, regardless of their background, are being abused by human beings worldwide, but thankfully there is a very strong ribbon of compassionate, kind, selfless humans who are doing their utmost to protect, help and breed healthy dogs, breeds and crossbreeds. The rescue operation Black Retriever X is astonishing in it's efforts to help discarded dogs, and that is just one tiny privately run effort, but they encapsulate the good that human's can do for another species. Adam's presentation can only do more good than harm, we need more of them. And PippaD could I ask you something? If you know that there are "reputable" breeders who are "behaving badly" so much so that they make you tremble with rage please notify the Kennel Club and start to make people in your breed become accountable for their poor breeding practices.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why on earth would they listen to me? They didn't listen to Margaret Carter, and she was on the committee. The KC won't care because they're not breaking the rules. And I doubt the clubs would care because they haven't in the past and things that are easy for me to find I expect they're well aware of. I'm not "in" with anyone in the breed I love, and to be honest given how different our outlooks are I seriously doubt I ever will be.

      Delete
    2. Pippa, so what you are saying is that you have never reported a breeder that you know are behaving badly, because you think they would not listen.
      If we all took that attitude nothing would ever change, in the UK woman would not have the vote, child labour would still be okay, rape in marriage would not exist. I could go on, but hopefully you're getting the gist. I regularly report things I believe wrong to the KC, if you keep the seeds in the packet, the seeds will never grow.

      Delete
    3. Pippa D.

      Your post is concerning.
      Just because you don’t think an organisation ‘will not listen to you’ is no excuse for not reporting inappropriate practice. Margaret Carter’s unfortunate experiences is not the bench mark here of for why you shouldn’t report. It is actually the reason why you SHOULD because that lady spoke a lot of sense and had the best interests of the dog buying public and the breed at heart. She paid the price – but what price was it ultimately? Being ejected from the club was the best thing that could have happened for the breed of dog actually and quite possibly for her own emotional health. That shameful nonsense reflected the actual psycho pathology at heart that is responsible for messing up dogs in the first place.

      Delete
    4. PippaD, Margaret Carter will continue to push for respect and wellbeing of her breed and other dogs, I have great respect for her. Don't be defeated by feeling that your voice is worthless because it makes our voices worthless too. If you have real concerns about a particular person, so do others, and like anon 1457 has said, silent acceptance gives that person power. PDE is loud and proud and will eventually bring change into the forum of unacceptable behaviour and breeding practice. I know I see things as black and white and that can be intolerable to some but my love for dogs is deep rooted and I don't doubt yours is too. I made my views known in the breed I owned for 40 years and withdrew my support, a drop in the ocean I know, but it is a drop that wasn't there before I made my disgust known. So again, if you have real concerns, think of those dogs that that person is abusing from poor breeding practices, just remember those dogs are suffering whilst ever you keep quiet, personally I wouldn't feel comfortable with myself knowing I could do something to help them and either stop the breeder in their tracks, or persuade them to revisit their practices and help their own dogs.

      Delete
  30. If this video helps people question the idea that purebred = healthy, then it has saved someone from heartbreak and expense.

    ReplyDelete
  31. It's interesting reading these comments. The people who seem to write huge posts defending purebred Dogdom seem to be the people with the most to lose.

    Surely it's a case of doing away with the terms, pedigree, purebred and simply looking at healthy types of dogs? What do we need to consider for the future welfare of species as opposed to desperately clinging to the attachment of ideals and beliefs that are inaccurate, flawed and steeped in ideology and not science.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I never had a dog with papers,and could likely own mutts for the rest of my life thus I have little to lose personally. Yet still wrote against this video,sense despite people thinking it is going to help purebreds it is just more propaganda on anti purebred/breeder and pro mutt/rescue. Stuff we have plenty of already and why it is already controversial to buy a dog. It is also the kind of video that will turn away the people that need to learn about breed issues away,sense it makes them immediately go on defense.

      We need to discuss issues with purebreds without calling them inbred mutants that shouldn't exist if we want to get anywhere. This video really hurts both sides of the argument,no matter how funny it is.

      Delete
    2. No. It is NOT anti anything.

      He is trying to find a platform (using comedy) to teach people about how and why we have bred dogs the way we have and that it is important to look at this in a critical way and not just accept the norm. Kids respond really well to this type of info and actually so do well balanced adults who aren't too attached to their opinions.

      I mean WTF is Adam's cause here? Caring about the welfare of dogs? And if it is propoganda aimed at that, then helping people make better informed decisions about the dogs they buy or adopt, using a platform of comedy and humour is clearly being missed by the people who don't possess any sense of humour!

      Who are the people who really need to learn about breed issues and understand the consequences of their actions? It's the people who inhabit the breed clubs who continue to dole out sick animals, despite them having access to all the information they need. These are the people who the general public believe will advise them correctly.

      Anyone will alienate these people, no matter how they approach it!

      Delete
    3. It is not really talking about breed issues though. It is pretty much saying purebreds are all like Pugs and English Bulldogs so it's best to get a mutt instead. The same kind of statement you hear on any forum or youtube comment section by the adopt don't shop crowd. We don't want people turning away from purebred dogs altogether do we? Yet I don't remember one single positive statement on purebred dogs in the whole video which makes it come across as anti purebred. I've also yet to find people that actually enjoy this video outside of here and youtube,even articles like this get a better reception. http://dogbehaviorscience.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/100-years-of-breed-improvement/
      Why is because they don't come across as being against purebreds as a whole,even saying both purebreds and mutts can make great pets. Something this video is lacking.

      Delete
    4. No he's not saying all purebred are like Pugs and Bulldogs. That is what You are hearing and not what is being said. He has chosen those extreme breeds of examples of how we can utterly f+@? Dogs up with that way of thinking. He has chosen his own style and if you don't like it, it doesn't mean other people are not going to get a healthier message about the realities of purebred dogs.

      Delete
  32. Beth, the problems with the purebred/ showring breeding paradigm are obvious. Reading, and trying to translate studies into a denial of the obvious failure of the current situation, will just turn the bad into worse.

    The current system is failing like a leaky water pipe, and it needs to be changed. It is that simple.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! It's the ideology associated with pedigree dog breeding that needs to change.

      Delete
    2. So glad you have all the answers for everyone. We need to change the system, because an anonymous commenter on a blog said so. So there! Must be true. And all the healthy pedigree dogs my family has owned and loved for decades are flukes? Anomalies? Let's just do away with the whole system! And if studies don't back your opinion, they are worthless! Right?

      Delete
    3. Beth, you taking this personally. Your diatribe above says everything about your position. What about the families who have had unhealthy dogs sold to them by KC registered accredited breeders? So because you and your family have had nice healthy pedigree dogs, everyone else who has an alternative and informed opinion is wrong? You sum up the mentality that is wrong with the system!

      Delete
  33. Hi Beth,

    I'd question the application of those numbers to this situation. Pugs don't even have the genetic diversity of pugs anymore!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you basing that on DNA analysis or pedigree? Based on how short a time DNA analysis has actually been cheap enough to do on a broad basis, I have to think that most of the info we have heard on lost diversity is based on pedigree. I mean, I'm pretty sure no one has ever pulled a 6-generation pedigree on a population of wolves to see what "normal" levels of inbreeding are on free-ranging animals. We can't possibly know because we can know who Mom is if we are following a pack, but not who Dad is.

      Funny thing is, when I read the Tufts article above, the Dr quoted there talked about how linebreeding helps maintain genetic diversity across the BREED by keeping different pockets of genetic material from being lost. Some breeders on this site mentioned something similar and got positively battered and ganged up on. Now, if you are a breeder, who are you going to believe? A geneticist from Tufts, or some keyboard warriors responding to a blog with "common sense" taking the place of scientific data.

      Anyway, I can only get into the abstract, not the full study, but the piece above saying that the average purebred retains 87% of the genetic diversity of dogs would seem to contradict the pedigree analysis that says purebreds are genetically doomed.

      Delete
    2. Beth I think the using of the results of individual dogs genetic diversity as produced in the MyDogDNA pass testing regime at genescoper http://www.mydogdna.com/ will prove very useful and enlightening for dog breeders. I looked up a few breeds that I thought had small gene pools and their heterozygosity levels were quite close to that of all dogs.

      From FAQ "What kind of information does the dog DNA pass reveal about the dogs’ genetic diversity?

      The dog DNA pass is based on the first genome-wide analysis of dogs that both measures the absolute genetic diversity of an individual dog compared to its breed’s median and gives an overview of the breed’s genetic diversity. To get the first reliable assessment of the breed-level genetic diversity as well as disease frequencies within a specific, at least 50 individuals should be tested"

      Delete
  34. A major change in the system is needed.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Something no one seems to mention anymore... Wolves have not had a collection of healthy / dominant genes bred out of their population before they became a closed population. This is the case with pedigree dogs which is why the closed gene pool isn't going to fare as well. In fact, it's not really comparable.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I find the above debate funnier than Adam's little piece. Talk about ideological thinking. Let's all choose our facts to suit our positions.

    Pedigree breeds are NOT all the same. No, Adam, pugs and bulldogs are not representative of pedigree dogs as a whole. Some breeds are pretty natural looking, pretty healthy on the whole, and seem to have high genetic diversity (eg, breed COI(15) in the 3 to 5 range. Others are pretty freakish and have obvious health problems. Still others LOOK natural but have small populations and high incidences of genetic disease. And the spread gets wider still if you start looking at different lines within breeds.

    Nor is there ONE monolithic ideology in dog breeding. Some breeders breed for work, some for sport, some for 'dual-purpose', some for show competition, some to produce cute little puppies who will sell for a high price and bring in a good profit.

    As for the folly of thinking X-breed is a meaningful class. Holy-moly! Choose your set of crossbreeds and you can 'prove' any point you want. If I go out an sample cross bred pig dogs I'm going to get a very different result from what I get sampling designer cheweenies . . . or street mutt from the barrios.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is your COI for breeds from the KC website ? Which puts Cavaliers in your COI range of 3 to 5 because it only goes back 5 generations which is not really far enough to give a very clear view of inbreeding, around ten would be better, believe me I'd love to believe Cavaliers have high genetic variation .LOL.
      What is your position exactly Jennifer ? I suspect you have one.

      Delete
    2. "Some breeds are pretty natural looking, pretty healthy on the whole, and seem to have high genetic diversity (eg, breed COI(15) in the 3 to 5 range."

      Agreed. Wouldn't it be nice to see one blog post here, out of the many hundreds of posts, on just ONE of these breeds?

      Delete
    3. No, Anon 15:43, please don't be insulting. It is well known that Cavaliers have an extremely narrow genetic base, and are a breed with a lot of problems. I would recommend reading this peer reviewed article

      http://www.genetics.org/content/179/1/593.full.pdf

      I was thinking, specifically, of my own breed, the Labrador. If you do any serious reading on breed history, you'll realize the breed was created from cross breeds, and unofficial introduction of other breeds continued at least unitl ~ 1950. While we have no data on it, the Saint John's dogs that contributed heavily to the breed's formation, were also quite diverse. If you simply look at dogs, you'll see that Labs vary enormously, from muscle bound long nosed, high strung dogs used in hunt competition, to barrel chested large-headed tanks without conspicuous muscle preferred in the show ring, to the smaller, relatively gracile dogs preferred as boat dogs by hunters who go for wildfowl in the wetlands of Southern US, to the generally moderate dogs preferred by Guide Dogs.

      Delete
    4. I'm not being insulting Jennifer, just pointing out your reasoning is not so sound and you sound in your comment like the kettle calling the pot black, and now it seems you want to have a contest about who knows the most about Labradors, talk about ideological thinking, you choose Labradors to suit your position.
      Any chance you could answer the question, is your COI for breeds from the KC website ?

      Delete
    5. The Kennel club do not base their COI's on 5 generations, but on al available data on the given dog or prairing. it willb e more reliable for dogs with many generations of UK breeding and less reliable for breeds like my own where we regularly import dogs to freshen up our gene pool. If you use the KC tool you will see that for any dog it will say something like this:

      COI: 6.9% Annual Breed Average 3.8%
      About this calculation

      The pedigree data used to calculate this result extended back as far as 14 generations with the first 5 generations being fully complete.

      This is one of mine, with imports furthest back in her pedigree, currently 14 3/4 years of age, and still taking the same walks as her decendants each day.

      Delete
    6. The KC Annual breed Averages are calculated over five generations not all available data.
      Individual dogs run through their mateselect system on their website also are only calculated over five generations.
      This individual calculation you have on a pedigree may of been done for your dog by the breeder by the KC for a fee, but information for breed averages and individual dogs on the mateselect system on the KC website only use 5 generations.

      Delete
    7. No, that's not the case. Breed averages are, indeed, based on a 5-yr rolling mean, but COIs for individual dogs are based on more data where available. I've just checked a labrador, for instance, and got a COI of 5.1% based on 18 generations with the first 7 generations being fully complete.

      Delete
    8. Just checked the KC website and they now state that all dogs COI's are calculated using all pedigree information, funny though that they used to do only five generations and I have run all my dogs through on the new system and they all have full pedigrees of ten or more generations and out of 11 dogs, now being calculated on all pedigree information held by KC, not one of them their COI has changed from being calculated over just 5 to now 10 or more generation pedigree, that is unusual that not one of their COI's have changed, don't you think ?

      Delete
    9. Mate Select has ALWAYS calculated COI on more than five gens, where more data is available. I have screen grabs from when it first launched which makes this clear.

      Delete
    10. Sorry, although it states more than five generations where data available, I thought when it was first set up the system was only capable of only doing 5 generations. Still find it hard to believe the average COI's for some of the breeds on there knowing the inbreeding in them.
      Has any one done comparisons of COI's from the KC website and other COI calculators using the same pedigree information ?

      Delete
  37. Indeed but I think it's an important note to review the remit of this blog!

    Conformation and genetic health issues caused by deliberate selective breeding within a paradigm of closed gene pools. The ideology of breed standard perfection have caused dogs to pay too high a price. Their health and welfare suffers because some people think that the breed standard is some sort of genetic blueprint that must be followed. Or they risk being castigated by their cult...sorry, breed club.
    This continues to this day despite evidence that this warped mentality is wrecking havoc in some breeds. Not all breeds and their subsequent clubbs of course, but some......

    There is a definite ideology at work here in the show world and in it's extreme form even a psychopathology or cognitive dissonance and that is the root cause of the problem with some dogs' genetic health. Lets not also forget that there are people who exist who actually believe that parading a purebred gives them an elitist edge in the world. This human meme is destructive for dogs.

    Breeding dogs for work is a good thing! Breeding for health and function surely is the way forward for pets? Move away from breed and stick to type.

    ReplyDelete
  38. And I want to add that I agree completely that SOME dog breeds are in serious trouble, in some cases because of decisions made by breeders. But I'm just tired of hearing that because some breeds are in trouble, therefore all purebred dogs are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Er, that is not what is being said!

      What is quite clear is that the methodology towards pedigree dog breeding and showing has been proven to be detrimental to the health of dogs. Some breeds more than others. The fact remains that continuing to selectively breed within a paradigm of closed gene pools is detrimental to the health of the species.

      Delete
    2. In the long run, all pure breeds are in trouble. We are seeing that you can't breed for predictability and call it improvement.

      You can't "improve" on predictability in closed lines you can only eliminate other possibilities until there are none left.

      Remove the predictable, closed line mentality and your perspective shifts to one of reliability.

      Delete
  39. Mixed breed dogs massively better? The data says no.
    http://www.mydogdna.com/blog/updated-overview-genetic-diversity-levels-different-dog-breeds

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So limited sample provided greatest diversity.. That says yes to me. Of course you can also look at the genetic diversity of the "pug" from that site for comparison with mixed breed.

      Delete
    2. I like mydogsdna.com as an idea, but as statistical evidence they suck! You can 'prove' all manner of untruth with a biased sample. How do you know their 'pug' data doesn't come from the same line of pugs? Or their 'mixed breed' data doesn't come from a few closely related litters of lurchers? I don't think these guys would deliberately bias a sample, but getting an unbiased representative sample of any dog breed requires a huge amount of sorting and searching. It is virtually never done in reporting breed statistics.

      p.s. Thanks, JH, for shifting to numerical CAPCHA tests. Finding that I can't prove I'm not a robot with the prior puzzles was getting embarassing.

      Delete
    3. The MYDogDNA data will become more reliable as more people health test as it is part of their DNA health testing. In my breed the Helsinki University have jsut discovered the gene causing Glaucoma in my breed, and we are as a breed eagerly awaiting them making testing avalable. Unlike Optigen where ti seems to be all about the money and they charge for evrey DNA test seperately,

      Genescoper will test every dog against al DNA tests that they can (ones that aren't patented by other labs like Optigen etc). thsi means not only is the cost accesible (no excuse not to test at 129Euro's) but it also means that genes causing health issues originally thought to be breed specific can be checked for in all breeds as they may turn out not to be.

      Those againast pedigree dog breeding seem to forget that the domestic dog itself has a finite limited gene pool, as it will descend from a limited number of wolf type ancestors.

      Even among villiage populations where random breeding goes on, the old mongrel that just happened from someones lack of vigillance or deliberately as someone wanted to have 'puppies' will be in pockets of small gene pools. Most crossbreeds will be bred from dogs locally available or even within the same family,when people keep both sexes and accidents happen.

      Seriously how man crossbreeds (you need to have breeds to crossbreed) and mongrels are purpose bred with health temperament and suitability for a specific purpose in mind. Why are there pusp in rescue centres??? As the video is advocating getting your dogs there. Is that not because someone has been irresponsible with their production and homing, and why they are in a shelter in the first place??

      Do we really want to encourage more bad and irresponsible breeding? In the name of diversity.

      At least in some breed circles people want to breed with the health and welfare of their dogs in mind.

      Who do you think pays for all this research but the concerned dog breeder, not the idiot in the Council high rise churning out staffie cross pups, or my idiot neighbour who allowed her Chihuhua cross male (that her grandaughter paid £750 for) and Jack Russel x Bichon bitch to have a litter on her first season, and was totally clueless. Why should we not breed for what we consider attractive, as long as we take the dogs well being into account.

      Pedigree dog breeders are continually being slated for what the Victorians did when defining breeds (recognisable breeds types have existed for centuries), at a time when genetic knowledge was in it's infancy.

      The modern caring (yes we are sadly in the minority, but mostly within breed clubs and Kennel Club system) breeder is trying to rectify the situation.

      People still want the predictability of pedigree dogs, so should be encouraged to get them from the most responsible breeders, not just be left with picking up the pieces of irresponsible breeding and ownership from shelters,

      This will mean waiting, something the general public are not good at, which is why the most commercial breeding sector (those whose aim is soley supply to the demand for puppies) who don't care whether they breed pedigree or cross, they just want to sell at most profit for least outlay, so certainly selection for anything other than reproduction is not what they will do.

      Pedigree dog breeders are an easy target as their activites and breeding are recorded.

      Delete
  40. There is less genetic diversity in show lines of a breed than what is in the breed as a whole.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There will be less diversity in most subsets of a population . . . provided that the subset has something in common. In some breeds, working dogs are also highly selected (and inbred), with attendant loss of genetic diversity.

      Delete
  41. Google isle royale wolves or inbreeding isle royale wolves.

    Isle Royal is an island in a great lake between Canada and the USA. It has moose and other wildlife an it, but no people.

    The wolves became inbred, unhealthy, some had deformed skeletons. A new grown male wolf was brought in. The packs became healthier. But them the puppies became inbred from the new wolf. Inbreeding is still a problem.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Can we all agree that some breed standards require health problems, that some judges in some breeds are not requiring good health for their winning dog, that this is cruel to the dogs and the people who buy their puppies, and that this situation needs to be improved?

    ReplyDelete
  43. The isle royal wolves are strong evidence that inbreeding even healthy wolves can cause such high inbreeding that the population will collapse and become extinct.

    That a new robust unrelated grown male wolf was able to restore the health of subsequent generations rules out factors other than inbreeding. That the packs again became inbred, this time from the new wolf and the original founders, and again had health problems, supports the idea that inbreeding is the cause of the problems in the health and population collapse of the Ilse Royal wolves.

    Dogs don't have to look like pugs or bulldogs to be unhealthy. Wolves can suffer too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The more interesting statistic, which I have never been able to find, is a measure of the degree of inbreeding in 'normal' wild wolf (or other canid species) populations. Seems possible to me that a COI(15) in the 10 to 12 range might be common in wild populations. They may have inbreeding inhibition at the level of parent or grandparent, but I have never seen any data on degree of mating between second cousins . . . or yet more distant relationships.
      The situation is different in the wild . . . natural selection, possibly combined by preference of bitches for healthier males, is going to edge out dogs who carry bad genes. Where there is no choice to select from, as in the Isle royal wolves, populations are likely to end out in serious trouble.
      Indeed, it is theoretically likely that dogs with equivalent COI's will have very different genetic burdens. Some dogs carry more/worse deleterious genes than others. Line breeding on dog A may produce offspring who are above normal in genetic health, while line breeding on dog B produces serious disease problems. Problem is, we don't know which dog is dog A and which is dog B.

      Delete
    2. This is where DNA sampling and testing as advocated within the Genescoper MyDogDNA testing system will prove so useful for future caring breeders.

      Unfortunately as now these will be in the minority. The majority of dogs, especially casually or chance bred, be they purebred cross or mongrel are not bred by people who know or care, or are subject to any peer or legal pressure to do so..

      Delete
    3. http://www.mydogdna.com/blog/updated-overview-genetic-diversity-levels-different-dog-breeds This as more dogs are sampled will really show the truth and allow the dedicated breeders to keep geentic diversity based on facts (the genetics of their dog) rather than theoretical (pedigree info and COI's).

      Delete
  44. If bulldog breeders don't want jokes made about their bulldogs, they need to breed bulldogs that aren't so funny.

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  45. Has the Queen brought her Dorkies out for photos recently?

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  46. I'm not overly impressed with the idea of COIs. If a breed started out, in your county, with a handful of dogs, and never out crossed, then they are all inbred.

    For example, Basenjis in Africa might not be inbred, but show Basenjis all descend from a few imported Basenjis, and the popular show winning sires were over bred after that too.

    If a person only looks at the last few generations, things might look good. But DNA might still show a high level of homogenocity, which isn't good.

    But the real point is that there is no reason to inbreed. There is no reason for breeders to all flock over the cliff to breed to the same sire. In what way is a Crufts winner any better than 100 other males of his breed? Your own stud dog might be healthier, nicer mannered, and more handsome.

    Can't people even judge their own dogs? They need a judge in a ring to tell them, what? If their dog is a good pet? How would a judge know that?

    Do people need a judge in a show ring to tell them if their dog can hunt, or work sheep? How could anyone expect a show ring judge to know that?

    Oh, so people expect the show judge to point out which dogs are the healthiest? My! People are going to be disappointed! The judge isn't a vet. If breeders want health tests, they need to take their dog to a vet or breed clinic.

    You never see other exhibitors carrying health test results into the ring for the judge to mull over, do you? The show ring isn't about healthy dogs, is it? People should quit expecting things to be what they aren't.

    So if the show ring isn't about health, or work, or being a good pet, what is it about? Fashion? Whatever a judge points to as more fashionable this year?

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    Replies
    1. Excellent post. Dog shows are about the human ego. At it's worst!

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    2. Dog shows are about the LACK of ego in exhibitors and their own need for external validation of worth.

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    3. Anon 20:53 that does not make sense! Because dogs do not care about ribbons and awards do they? Dog shows exist because this is a outlet for exhibitors to gain some internal validation through their mutant canine freaks. They are the modern version of Victorian freak shows.

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    4. Quote "Can't people even judge their own dogs? They need a judge in a ring to tell them, what? If their dog is a good pet? How would a judge know that?

      Do people need a judge in a show ring to tell them if their dog can hunt, or work sheep? How could anyone expect a show ring judge to know that?"

      In order for people to select breeding stock not of their own ownership or breeding, orseen living in their own vicinity, in other words to avoid inbreeding in their own back yard, they need to see and evaluate what dogs are available to them, increasingly on a world wide stage now that we can travel with our dogs more easily.

      Without shows or trials how do you suggest we widen our search for available dogs? The competition element is the carrot to attract people with their dogs to events.

      The same goes with plant breeders, etc.

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    5. Hi Barbara,

      Without dog shows as we have them today, people would still have sporting, obedience, and working events - which would be better help in determining temperament than ring trotting.

      And there are plenty of internet dog breeder groups and forums. And private web pages that you can hunt for on google.

      Do you have any ideas on improvement? I would love to discuss them. Even pet related activities like meeting in dog parks to judge off leash behavior and manners. And I actually approve of extreme poodle grooming contests as a fun show activity and a place for like minded dog people to meet, compete, and greet!

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    6. So what is so wrong with having shows too. They too are a venue to enjoy meeting with our dogs and friends, and compare our dogs, a lot of the dog assessement is done by breeders outside the actual judging, you need some reason to get the dogs and people physically together, be it working events (not possible for my breed in this country as hunting has been banned, but certainly oen fo teh main selection criteria in their homeland)

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    7. I don't know why breed shows couldn't continue, as purely conformation shows. ie healthy working structure rather than breed traits.

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    8. Hi Barbara, Hi Anon 1144,

      The problem is that the current system is rewarding people for breeding increasingly more unhealthy dogs.

      Dogs which were once simply dwarves, now have to be so short legged that their willies bump the ground, any dwarf with normal legs for a dwarf, is criticized by show breeders who want to breed to get the shortest legs possible.

      Many dogs are, in fact, being bred to compete in something like old traveling exhibits, once popular in America, called "freak shows". This just isn't fair to the dogs. Few are extreme enough to win at these shows, the others usually suffer. Pugs and bulldogs don't usually even get the surgery they need to breathe right, some gasp and pass out, half suffocating because of their contorted airways.

      Dogs shows require this type of inversion to win in breeds that use to be less extreme.

      Look at what dog shows have done to the German Shepherd Dog! It is cruel to breed dogs that way. And it will get worse if this slide into extreme breeding isn't turned around.

      Please don't breed any animals until you understand the faults in the system and can rise above those faults by refusing to breed unhealthy, short lived, or suffering dogs, and can make a contribution to the improvement of dogs.

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    9. "What is wrong with having conformation shows too?"

      That is rather the point of PDE isn't it? That the conformation shows are ruining dogs.

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  47. Hello Anon 1155,

    You are correct. I stand amended. What I should have said was that if exhibitors had a better feeling about themselves, or an ability to self-soothe, they wouldn't feel the hunger for the external approval which their shattered sense of self appears to crave.

    Why else would some people breed suffering dogs just to enter then in canine versions of freak shows? (Can't we find a better term for "freak show" but one which still refers to these same outdated exhibitions?)

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  48. What could be done to improve the situation?

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    Replies
    1. I'd say, start from recognition that the situation is complex and work for incremental change on multiple fronts. More/better health and temperament testing. Better health records, including recording of age and cause of death on pedigrees.

      The show system that was set up in the early 20th century has lots of problems. But it is an important social network for people who have invested heavily in their dogs. Some of those people are obsessive about cosmetics. Many will inbreed to establish a "line" with predictable, show winning attributes. But if the alternative is DD breeders who buy and cross the dogs that show breeders reject for their own use, I wouldn't say it's an improvement.

      There are relatively healthy breeds, and breeders who breed for health and temperament as well as good conformation. Parodies such as Adam's are a slap in the face for such people, and tend to drive people away from the better breeders and toward puppy mill breeders and designer dogs.

      Hell's bells, I have nothing against crossbreeds or creation of new breeds, but were I to decide to go for a designed dog, I'd want some evidence that the sire and dam were worthy to breed from . . . that means a pedigree with a lot of research behind it.

      There is no one solution.

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    2. I so agree with you, put far more succinctly than I am able.

      I am involved with one of those less exagerated breeds, whose core breeders are very itnerested in health, temperament above showmanship.

      In fact for that reason many first timers do very well at shows as the dog is still the main focus.

      Primarily shows are a relaxed social occasion, we all enjoy meeting up with fellow breed lovers when we show, enjoying their and our dogs company.

      For breeders it si the opportunity to compare dogs and access potentail available mates.

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    3. You forgot something...

      regular outcrossing and stop breeding within a paradigm of closed gene pools. All dogs are in trouble if you continue to justify your actions in this way...

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    4. Paradigm schmeridigm.

      There is very little evidence as to how open or closed breeding pools are in wild populations. We know island populations get cut off. Some island populations get into serious trouble, like the Isle Royale wolves. But some, like the foxes in the Channel Islands, seem to be healthy despite genetic isolation AND population decimation when parvo hit the islands in the 1970s and is thought to have reduced the breeding population down to around six individuals. How inbred are the panthers in Florida? or the wolverines in the far north? We don't know.
      Some breeds have effective breeding populations of several thousand individuals. If wisely managed, that's large enough to ensure viability in most species . .. and with a breed, there's always to option of crossing out if it turns out to be necessary.

      I'm not rationalizing closed breeding pools. Outcrossing is fine in my book IF it's done carefully and doesn't end up ruining the desired features of the breed (eg., I don't like ending up with Labradors who hate water and won't retrieve) or introducing further health problems (eg., like the indiscriminately bred cheweenie = chihuahua x daschund which is so popular in my area).

      The point is that it isn't black and white. Some breeds are doing well and outcrossing isn't justified. Other breeds could use some new blood . . . but if you're going to introduce new blood you should do it carefully. There's a lot of ideological thinking on both sides of the debate. Science is getting to the point where it will be able to advise, eg., by looking at genetic heterogeneity in regions of the genome that are particularly important to health. But the commercially available products to allow breeders to use scientific advice aren't yet well worked out.

      Sure, if you just want a big dog or a small dog, a mutt may be a good option, especially if you have some ability to test temperament before buying. But if you want breed specific attributes, such as trainability, calmness, guarding behavior, or agility, it's nice to have the purebred option.

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    5. Jennifer, you don't need to outcross Labradors to have Labradors that hate water and won't retrieve because they already exist within the breed.
      Loving water and retrieving have more to do with nurture than breeding and most dogs trained from an early age love water and will retrieve, some will love retrieving more than others and any good gundog trainer knows not to take it for granted that a dog breed supposedly bred to retrieve will retrieve without the right nurture and training.
      Dogs are natural swimmers and thinking you have specifically bred this as a trait in a breed makes me wonder about how much you understand about dogs outside your breed.

      Delete
  49. I watched the video again, it is so funny. Adam Conover didn't ruin it, he made it. And the actress is such a parody of a kennel blind dog breeder, I love it. It is refreshing, a bit shocking, to listen to people tell the truth.

    He tells it like it is. The actress plays the counterpoint perfectly. It is so true that it is almost painful to watch. It's like eating food that is a little too spicy. It hurts but you can finish the meal. Maybe too true for people who breed to win the freak show breeds. Which HAS gotten to the point of animal cruelty.

    Assuming that Adam isn't a dog breeder, maybe non-professionals see the truth better than those too close to the subject? Maybe dog clubs should get input from the public? Because Adam has pointed out the problems so perfectly that it is hard to believe he isn't an insider to the show ring. Or are our problems that obviously seen to outsiders?

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  50. Hi Jemima,

    You are working on stats? Numbers, percentages, hard facts?

    But are you looking at the most useful stats? Not dogs, but people!

    Why does one person buy a bloodhound, but another person chooses an Irish Setter?

    Oh yes, many people buy the dog they had as a kid, or what the neighbor is selling. But somewhere in those numbers is a drift towards buying the breed of dog you like.

    Why do some people buy a Pekingese but another person buys a Jack Russell Terrier?

    Do people who choose an Irish Setter over a Bloodhound or a Bassett Hound, do it just on history and availability?

    Or do many people see themselves as active happy bouncy people, and so want an Irish Setter?

    While do more laid back, home loving people choose a breed that fits their lifestyle and won't drive them nuts bouncing around?

    Do people who buy Pugs and Bulldogs suffer from the thought that they will die soon? Who cares if the dog will live just for 5 years, I don't know if I will live that long or not?

    Do people who write that they want a long lived breed of dog, live longer than people who by Pugs?

    The stats that need looking at - are the stats about the owners, not the dogs!

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  51. Thought this article might interest some, as Caroline Kisko always goes on about the reliability of pure breed temperaments.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/08/14/community-order-for-woman-whose-champion-obedience-dog-got-out-of-control-at-crufts_n_5679571.html

    Note the Judge's comment about not taking "full responsibility."

    Notice the very few words that Caroline has to say about this, but I bet if it was an Akita cross German Shepherd she would have a lot more to say about it. lol

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    Replies
    1. I forgot to put in the comment above, that the moral of the story is being drunk in charge of a dog, is not a good idea, even if you are a dog trainer.

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    2. So? An Akita, a guardian breed, known to be aloof or hostile to those outside of its "pack" was true to the temperament in the breed standard, and an owner was irresponsible and got appropriate punishment. What's to laugh about?

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    3. Jennifer, I will explain as you seem to not fully understand what the comment says. The joke is the fact that this dog acted as it's breed is expected to and no criticism is forth coming from the KC, but if the dog had been a cross breed and it behaved like this then, no doubt as they have in the past, the KC would have had a lot more to say about this and drawn focus to the fact it was crossed as maybe the problem.
      Personally I hope the KC have given a warning to this lady and some sort of punishment from them has been forth coming, as I also hope the Akita Club have also followed suit on this matter, but I doubt it.
      The lady in question to get drunk whilst in charge of any dog is bad enough in a public place, but with the size and temperament of the Akita she shows a total lack of responsibility and care for the dog and the public, imagine if that knee had been a child's face.

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    4. your explanation is clear as mud.

      There are drunks in all walks of life and in most forms of recreation. They are often irresponsible, but they do a lot more damage driving cars than showing dogs.

      Do you think the KC would have reacted differently if the dog were a crossbreed? If so, please provide evidence. When would you see a crossbreed at a conformations show? Or do you propose that the KC should be changing the standards so that guardian dog behavior is unacceptable?

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    5. Guardian dog behaviour is unacceptable in the 21st century. Install an alarm system instead. You know, use some useful technology instead of exploiting a sentient being.

      Why breed dogs with active defence responses whose brain is in a bath of stress hormones most of the time? Seems Jennifer that you are a bit old school! Some of us actually give a toss about the emotional lives of our dogs and don't think we have a right to be so damn selective and insist on inflicting what traits we want on dogs. It's selfish behaviour and unrealistic to sustain in the long term.

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    6. Jennifer, I actually state in my comments that the KC would act differently if it was a cross breed, they would get some milage out of a cross breed behaving badly, don't you know that it's not Staffie's that attack, it's only Staffie cross breeds. Lol.
      The show was Crufts and cross breeds compete at Crufts. The Good Behavior award the dog had received at the show, is also awarded to dogs of unknown parentage as well, imagine that Jennifer, does it not make your blood boil. Lol. Scrufts final was at Crufts this year, I believe as well, so cross breeds would be at Crufts. I'm starting to think you have not read the article fully, even the title tells you it was at Crufts.
      Mail online from an article on cross breeding, quote by Caroline Kisko in the article dated the 21st Feb 2014, " If you cross a dog that has different dog that has one instinct, with another that has an entirely different instinct, it will not know if it is coming or going." She compares a cross of an Husky and German Shepherd and even says, "It will develop mental health problems." and the really hilarious bit is when she says this, "If a cross of these sees a rabbit, which is it supposed to do ?"
      Caroline Kisko shows that she does not understand that herding is actually part of hunting for dogs and in a dogs mind herding and hunting are the same thing. The KC shows it knows little about dogs as a species, talking crap like this.
      German Shepherd dogs and Husky dogs are individually big dog breeds that need lots of nurture and training to not develop mental issues in their respective breeds and it's not the cross that is the problem, it's people buying big dogs with out understanding what they are taking on and expecting a lap dog. If you went to all the rescue homes in the UK I suspect you will find not just one but several pure German Shepherds and the same is starting to happen with the pure Husky, as this breed of dog has grown in numbers in the UK, as have many of the wolf type breeds.
      What is unacceptable is the lady getting drunk and allowing her dog to be out of control and then you trying to excuse her actions because people also get drunk and kill people driving a car, both behaviors are unacceptable and neither action cancels the other.
      The fact the the Judge points out that the woman has not accepted "full responsibility"is a chilling factor in her actions and is all to common an attitude in the show dog brigade.

      Delete
    7. Correction for reply at 11:39 the first quote should be, "If you cross a dog that has one instinct, with another that has an entirely different instinct, it will not know if it is coming or going." The two instincts she thinks are so different are hunting and herding, anyone who knows anything about dogs behavior should know these two things are one and the same.

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    8. Caroline Kisko is clearly clueless! What exactly is her job?

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    9. Mmmm anon 22:05, actually very worrying. You don't have to be a dog lover to have brains, but in my experience it usually helps before making a statement.

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    10. Anon 11:39 and Georgina . . . please provide evidence. The comments that the KC would behave differently with a X-breed are frivalous. This was not a Good Behavior competition, but a conformation show. A cross breed would not appear in a conformation show. I pay little attention to the KC, but I am not aware of them saying SBT crosses attack and ignoring SBT crosses. I know the ANKC and the AKC better. Both tend to steer well away from anything to do with temperament and attacks in purebred or in cross bred dogs. Sure, there are breeders who blame bad behavior on bad breeding, rightfully so. But many are at least as vehement about bad breeding within the closed registry as X breeding.

      I have mixed feelings about all the guardian dogs as urban/suburban companion animals, but they have a place where guarding is actually required. I would not trust my Labradors to guard sheep against coyotes or to patrol a perimeter fence. If I lived in places where kidnapping of children for ransom was widespread and I had kids, I might consider keeping an Akita (a breed I don't generally like).

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    11. The dog at the show had received a Good Citizens award and the attack happened as she was posing after her win in the conformation class. Does it matter what the dog was showing in at Crufts ?
      No, we all know a crossbreed would not be in a pure breed conformation class at Crufts. What is the point you are trying to make with that ?

      When the news reports a Staffie attack, the KC often will defend the Staffie and say, " it was probably Staffie type, Staffies are lovely dogs and make loyal family pets." Listened to Bill Lambert a while ago on radio 4 and basically he at that time was pouring all the ills of the dog world on crossbreeds. The topic was about dog attacks.

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    12. As you "pay little attention to the KC", do you not think it frivolous of you to comment on whether they would behave differently with a crossbreed ?
      Whenever I have heard them comment on a Staffie attack, they will say something along the lines, "It's not sure it was a Staffie and is more likely to be a Staffie type cross." Their promotion of the Staffie as a family dog, I find sickening. Lovely dogs, but need to be in experienced dog handler homes.

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    13. Jennifer, you do know who Caroline Kisko is ? She is the KC Secretary. Her comment in the Mail online about crossbreeding pretty much is about temperament when crossbreeding dogs, so it is not frivolous to imply that if the dog attack had happened at the Crufts with a crossbreed competing in say, a flyball competition, then the KC would of seen a chance to exploit the fact it was a crossbreed.

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    14. The KC's business is dogs, purebred dogs from whom they extract a huge income. Their premises and their assets are massive accrued from pedigree dogs. So, they will protect purebred to their very last breath. They have tried to incorporate opportunities for cross bred/mongrel dogs to be included in their "World", but only at KC registered events i.e. flyball, obedience, agility etc. Events where they extract a handsome income from licensing, entries, etc. As is usual with dogs, regardless of breeding, their behaviour is giving, willing, exemplary but there will always be an occasion when something unfortunate happens. IMO there is no doubt that if an incident had happened with a cross breed the KC would pitch in to protect their interests with purebred dog. The KC state that they care for dogs and to some extent, for their own ends, this is true but if it came to Peds versus CB/M it would be the latter that would be found wanting in their opinion. Jennifer, Anon 11:42 is absolutely correct in what she has stated, as sad as it is. Miss Kisko is the KC spokesman and she should be very, very careful when expressing an opinion in a public domain and if some of her comments are thoughtless or careless then true, worried, dog lovers will have something to say about it. Her livelihood depends on her dog diplomacy and it would appear that she has been somewhat tactless on this occasion.

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    15. I do not know who Caroline Kisko is, nor do I care very much. I take it that she drinks too much and has risen within the hierarchy of the KC. That is unfortunate, but hardly new. The KC old boy network has been progressive, for many decades, about letting old girls in, and one of the old girls has been irresponsible, and was punished for it. BFD.
      As for the 'reliability of pure breed temperaments', I would say the Akita in question was being true to breed standard. I don't much care for Akitas, and agree, someone who has had too much to drink should not be handling one.
      Various people have produced opinions about the KC being down on cross breed temperaments, but I have yet to see anyone produce any evidence.
      But this whole sub-thread is off topic. The post was about Adam's supposedly funny condemnation of purebred dogs based on jocular observations of a few breeds that are notorious for health problems.

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    16. Caroline Kisko is the head of the KC, she has not been punished for her comment in the " Mail on line " on line article about cross breeds. Sounds like you need a bit more water with what you're drinking.
      Not doubting the Akita's was acting true to breed standard and this is not the debate. The debate is questioning whether the KC would of been so quiet about this dogs behavior if it had been a cross breed.
      The evidence has been produced above with a quote from the head of the KC, in a cross breed article that appeared on the "Mail on line." That's pretty black and white.
      Yes, this is off topic, but was posted saying, "it might interest some" and it seems to be of interest noting the about of replies. Jennifer, why do you feel the need to keep commenting on it, especially as you even admit you, "pay little attention to the KC", so maybe you are one of the least qualified to know if they have and do comment on cross breed temperaments.

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    17. Jennifer, you think the drunk in the story is Caroine Kisko, don't you ?

      Caroline Kisko is not the lady who was drunk in charge of the Akita that attacked someone at Crufts. Caroline Kisko is the head honcho at the KC, so you could say, "She really has risen through the ranks of the old boys network, she's at the top." Lol.
      The article she commented on cross breeding published by the "Mail on line", pretty much is the Kc commenting on temperaments in crossbreeds.
      Not questioning the Akita's actions, questioning the actions of the KC on the matter.
      Sub-thread is off topic but posted, as might be of interest, as you don't even know who Caroline Kisko is, we must wonder, why the hell, do you keep commenting on it ?

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    18. Jennifer, obviously by your comment you don't know who Caroline Kisko is and that you really have not read all of the above and the article about the Akita attack at Crufts, as you would then know that Caroline Kisko is the head of the KC and was not the drunk lady in charge of the Akita.

      You might want to ask Jemima to take down your comment implying the head of the KC is an alcoholic. Could be seen as defamation of character.

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    19. Caroline Kisko is the Kennel Club Secretary and Director of Communications.

      She is not the 'Head' of the Kennel Club, that honour goes to:
      Professor Steve Dean

      Steve is Chairman of the Kennel Club and was elected in 2011. He is a breeder/exhibitor/judge of Border Terriers and past Chairman of the Southern Border Terrier Club. Steve has authored the veterinary column in Dog World called 'A Vet's View' since 1993. He has also contributed veterinary chapters in various canine books. As a veterinary surgeon Steve has experience in the veterinary pharmaceutical industry, as a general practitioner and has been a past lecturer in anatomy at the Royal Veterinary College.

      He retired in 2011 as the Chief Executive of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, an Agency of Defra. He still lectures veterinary students annually and is a special Professor at both The Royal Veterinary College and Nottingham Veterinary School and he also holds a Diploma in veterinary radiology.

      In his spare time he still gives educational veterinary talks to dog clubs and keeps a productive vegetable garden.

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    20. Barbara, the term head was probably used incorrectly and it's abit like splitting hairs whether she's head or second in command, but she is one of the heads and as far as I know, not an alcoholic.

      I also keep a productive vegetable garden, what that has to do with breeding dogs, I'm not sure. Do you know Hitler loved dogs and he also liked growing veg. Lol

      Just because people look to do a lot of good stuff, does not mean they are not capable of doing bad stuff or making shit decisions. It's called the "good shit, to bad shit ratio," recently seen in all it's glory by the actions of a Mr Savile, if you do a lot of good shit, you can get away with a lot of bad shit. Tony Blair also uses this ratio, as do a lot of politicians and celebrities, IS is yet to understand and adopt this ratio and probably never will, because their not meant to. Hitler obviously got the ratio wrong.

      I have worked with a lot of vets and frankly find there grasp of common sense often very poor. Working in agriculture and the directives we have got and get from Defra about medicines, the person who directs them often shows lack of common sense and no knowledge of the day to day workings of a Dairy Farm, but more than often the directives do one thing and that is line pockets of the pharmaceutical companies, which I have noted the KC has been getting ever more cosy in bed with and getting ever more cosy with veterinary practices.

      There's a lot of money to be had with breeding, infertile dogs, deformed dogs and dogs with seriously messed up immune systems.

      "My mother said I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to go to school, were more intelligent than college professors." said by Maya Angelou




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    21. Barbara, whether Caroline Kisko is the head or second in command of the KC is just padantics, one thing for sure she is not the lady who was drunk in charge of the Akita at Crufts.
      Why you seem to need to put up Steve Dean's CV even down to the fact he grows vegetables, is slightly over egging it and you seem to think we will be blinded by his wonderfulness like you obviously are. Sorry, I've been around the veterinary profession enough to know that all that glitters is not gold.
      Most of the vets and doctors that work for government departments are so far up the pharmaceutical companies backsides, it's unbelievable and the veterinary profession is largely self regulate in the UK. I for one was pleased to see the back of Steve Dean from Defra, especially for the welfare of dogs.

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  52. Hi Anon 2147,
    Great read, thanks.

    It showcases one of the major weaknesses in our current methods of judging dogs in the ring. Conformation shows judge conformation, just conformation, they have no talent or behavioral component.

    More telling, obedience trials test only obedience, but what families and singles all want is a well behaved dog. Dog parks are a better test of manners than conformation shows or obedience events.

    The problem with dog parks is when a person brings an ill mannered dog. Dog clubs might be more willing to host breed dog park events if it wasn't for this problem, and the legal issues that could follow. But it would be a way to weed out the problem causers quickly.

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  53. Have you ever really thought about what a good guard dog is?

    Is he a raging brute with a short temper, who must always be kept on a short leash to prevent him from killing whoever is nearest to him when one of his fits of wrathful insanity overtakes his mind?

    So you lock him in the bedroom when repairmen come? You lock him in the bedroom when your cousin brings her weird new boyfriend with her for a visit. You double lock him in the bedroom when your little nephew comes over. And where is your fierce dog when you need him to expel a psycho? Locked in the bedroom.

    What is a good guard dog? I think of Sean Connery in the 007 movies. He is a tall, handsome gentleman, until he is needed to be otherwise, THEN he is like a coiled cobra. If needed, he can become a cold, hard killer. But mostly, he avoids unnecessary roughness. He will warn with a look. He will use his voice or his humor to deflect an attack.

    He can walk anywhere with you because you know he will only attack if he must. That's the best guard - human or canine.

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  54. If Akitas are suppose to act like that, then Akitas shouldn't be allowed in public. They should be kept at home as house guards.

    But maybe, all Akitas aren't like that?

    Perhaps, all dogs should have moment to moment supervision in public, but a dog known to be violent, crazy, or an accident waiting to happen, should not be out in public, not walked by kids, drunks, teenagers, the frail, and not by dog trainers or by big men either. Violent dogs should not be brought out in public.

    I question the common sense of even keeping a violent dog at home.

    At home, a good watchdog lets you know when there is a problem, but he probably won't bite unless terribly worked up. A watchdog just barks a warning.

    At home, a guard dog usually barks like a watchdog, but a guard dog will back his barks up with teeth more easily than a watchdog.

    In public, a dog is not guarding his home, he should relax more. He should be less hostile. He shouldn't just try to attack strangers.

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  55. A comment re KC and their possible view on the incident. If it were purebred and their standard states that the dog would be protective towards it's owners and that dog behaves true to type the KC would most definitely defend it. Why - because the KC makes money from purebreds, from registration, dog shows and everything in between. However, if the incident had been caused by a cross Akita dog then they would have been dismissive because that dog is of no financial benefit to them. They would have brow beaten us about the "proud and loyal" traits of the pure Akita whereas the other parent of the crossbred Akita would have been "mongrel" and thus the dog would have been "ill bred, dangerous dog" owned by a reckless person. And I would back the person who stated that a person who knowingly gets drunk whilst in control of any big powerful breed of dog should pay a hefty penalty. It really is as bad as drink driving, the possibility of killing or maiming many people is just as dangerous and irresponsible. I would not blame the dog at all, but his owner would receive my full wrath. Because it really is never a bad dog but there is most certainly a bad owner. The comment about the outcome of the incident if it had been a child and not a knee, which is bad enough, is a pretty sickening thought and should not be dismissed in any way or form. The more reporting of dog attacks endangers all of our dogs because it will be reported sensationally and every dog will be titled and targeted as dangerous. All irresponsible dog owners need to be taught and shown that it is not the way to way to go. Has anyone else seen the programme Dogs Saints and Sinners? The warden is clearly a dog lover and speaks some very wise and intelligent words, it's worth watching especially in relation to the bull breeds.

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  56. I loved the video, except the ending. Getting "a shelter mutt" is not an easy solution that gives you 100 % healthy dog without any problems at all. Shelters are great, don't get me wrong, but I still prefer a nice puppy from small kennel (maybe only 2 - 3 dogs) who lives as a part of the family. It is already knows what it is to live in a house with people, you get to know your puppy's mom and you can ask to see parents healthy records. Just choose a breed that looks like a normal dog, not an anomaly.

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    1. We adopted our Siberian husky x Australian shepherd x German shepherd mix at the age of 8 weeks from a rescue group last year. In contrast to shelters, rescues are operated by volunteers out of their homes. We later fostered an adult dog for the same group (he got adopted after a month). This is a great alternative to shelters, because the dogs live in a home setting, being social with people and other dogs. It's much easier on them. And yes, good comment about choosing a normal dog, too.

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    2. In the UK at least Rescue and Shelter are interchangeable and most 'Rescues' do not house dogs in private homes. My own breed rescue happens to use a boarding kennels, and occasionally Foster Homes if space is unavailable, or work with the relinquishing owner, so dogs may go straight from old to new home. Most general rescues are kennels. I'd agree that often with less fashionable and exploited breeds 'Breed Rescues' or small scale groups, may be less of a shot in the dark and more may be known of the dogs background, including Genetics.

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  57. How much can one expect the officers of the KC to know about mixed breed dogs? Perhaps they should restrict their statements to a subject they have more experience with - purebred dogs.

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