Thursday, 31 March 2016

Are puppies born the wrong colour still being euthanised?


Large Munsterlander
It is expressly forbidden in the Kennel Club's code of ethics but, according to show breeder and judge Annette Hewitt,  Large Munsterlander puppies are being euthanised for being born the wrong colour.

"Bucketing" was once a common practice in many breeds but is much less prevalent today - partly because most modern breeders find it hard to kill the puppies themselves; partly because very few vets will euthanise a healthy puppy just because it doesn't conform to the breed standard.

This week's Dog World documents a dispute between Mrs Hewitt and the Large Munsterlander Club UK (See article here). It tells how the Club turned down Mrs Hewitt's request to join on the basis that she had registered brown-and-white Munsterlander puppies when they turned up unexpectedly in a recent litter. 

Brown is carried recessively in the breed, due to its shared ancestry with the brown-and-white German Longhaired Pointer, and it still pops up occasionally despite attempts to stamp it out.

Kennel Club rules allowed Mrs Hewitt to register the brown and white pups as "colour not recognised" and she sold the pups (in demand for pet/work) with endorsements preventing them from being bred - but it clearly caused much tutting within the Club. When Mrs Hewitt re-applied to join the Club after her membership had lapsed, she was turned down because of this Club rule.
Club members must only allow matings between dogs and bitches "which both conform to the colour defined in the breed standard"whether registered or not.
Mrs Hewitt complained to the Kennel Club which instructed the Club to remove the clause from their rules, which it has now done.
“I'm aware that brown and white puppies are often euthanised or remain unregistered, and that’s no help to the breed," says Mrs Hewitt. 
"I’ve been a breeder for many years and when I was chucked out of the club I said that while there was breath in my body I would get the rule overturned. My own deep and painful feelings are unimportant compared to the interest of the breed.”
No doubt the Club is suitably contrite.

Not a bit of it!

As Dog World reports:
... chairman Christine Ogle said that clubs have the right to refuse anyone’s membership application without giving a reason, and ‘next time we shan’t give a reason’.
Mrs Ogle says she is not aware of brown dogs being culled but reflects the general discriminatory tone adopted by many LM breeders by claiming, absurdly, that "the head shape and characteristics of brown and white dogs are very different".

No, Mrs Ogle. They are exactly the same as the black and white dogs. They are just a different colour. 

The Large Munsterlander has a small gene pool, it suffers from inbreeding and the overuse of popular sires and only 94 puppies were registered in the UK in 2014. 

Breeders cannot afford to be throwing away good dogs because they are the wrong colour. They have at their disposal a DNA test which identifies those dogs carrying brown, enabling carriers to be bred and managed within the breed.

Surely it's time the Kennel Club insisted that a basic genetics course is a prerequisite for all breed club committee members?  It would be incredibly simple to set up one online and would really help stop this kind of nonsense which so often damages rather than protects a breed.


39 comments:

  1. And they wonder why they have problems , you can't make dog's photo copies of themselves , it doesn't work , there's always going to be variety , well there should be , nature dosent work that way even in the same species , there will always be a variance in height size colour length of coat etc , the lady in your documentary was right there falling apart and this is why.

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  2. A mandatory basic genetics course, that is actually a great idea

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  3. Basic genetics course wouldn't do any good. Logic, facts all run off like water off a ducks back. These people do not want to change or accept anything other than their own fantasy land.

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    1. Sadly, I think that's true; purebred fanciers want to impose their will on reality, rather than understand what reality is. Dog show standards are a cruel joke, and they fly in the face of what we now understand about genetics in general, and about domestic wolves specifically. For centuries, there were no pure, genetically isolated breeds at all, only sound dogs bred for some purpose or other. The sooner we go back to that, the better.

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    2. Agree. The science means nothing to people who are incapable of understanding it. If they don't understand it, its not there.
      Just a shame those are people who put themselves in charge as 'caretakers' of our breeds.

      I find it amusing that they breed and judge purely on appearance.( not speaking of individual breeders here, but the Org.) As experts. Then bemoan the the rise of designer dogs.

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  4. I was under the impression that the LM is basically just a German Longhaired Pointer with black pigment. So, the entire breed was founded from black pigment German Longhaired Pointers; there is nothing else that differentiated the two except for color. I find this to be a persuasive argument given that black pigment is forbidden in the German Pointer standard (at least in America), even though black pigmented dogs do exist within the breed. Dividing breeds by color is the height of stupidity.

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    1. It's the same reason yellow is banned in flat-coated retrievers. They have a breed for those now.

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    2. And so it is with many breeds. Got a hairless Rat Terrier? There's a breed for that. Got an undersized Aussie Shepherd? There's a breed for that too.

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    3. There is also the Kleine Münsterländer which is brown/white

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  5. Can I ask... why is the color important to the breed standard? Is there some history there? Maybe a brown and white spontaneously exploded or some such back in the day and they're just worried for the safety of all concerned?

    Why does the color matter?

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    1. Color doesn't matter. These people just like black spots better than brown spots. It's just nonsense.

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    2. Mikken,

      It depends on the breed. In the Doberman White is a DQ because White is detrimental to their job & Whites are albinos w/ all the problems associated with albinism. In my breed Dachshunds Double dapple has been banned from the show ring and removed from the standard in the USA because of the health problems associated with it,along with the DD Piebald has also been banned from the ring because some judges can't tell the difference between a red DD & a red piebald (some judges however still award a deserving piebald instead of excusing them going against the DCA,they still excuse DDs though). In Min Pins Blues & Fawns are DQed in the USA due to lack of quality & coat problems associated with the two colors. As far as this breed I don't know.

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    3. So come on Trish.. What's the ratio between someone decided a few years back they simply liked a colour vs banned due for health reasons? 100/1? Even those with "health implications" were probably banned for looks rather than health originally.

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    4. Anon, have you had to deal with dilution-based health problems? I know people who have. It can be frustrating and unpleasant for both the dog and human. It's easy to downplay risk until it happens to a dog you care about.

      Stacey

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    5. Stacey, Health is a major concern and I see that Merle for example wasn't mentioned. Fact is health was not a concern when selecting acceptable colour of breeds in the vast majority of cases. Easy example.. Dalmation where the predominate white leads to potential health problems such as deafness. To decrease incidents of deafness who have to breed away from the breed standard.

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    6. Yes a big history! Which started with German Longhaired Pointers that were coming out black and white not being wanted or desirable for where they were being hunted. However the people in munster liked the black and white because of where they hunted the colour was more appropriate and so the Large munsterlander was born.

      There are plenty of brown ones about, it shows that the breed has looked after its self by out crossing. The brown munsterlanders are allowed to enter working tests/field trials etc they just can't be shown. There are many out there in pet homes. As usual this blog is stirring trouble that doesn't really exist...

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  6. I think the colour issue is ridiculous, as long as no health issues related to it, it is utter madness to reject dogs on colour, but I would just like to remark about the Kennel Club endorsement. There is no KC endorsement that can stop you breeding from a dog. The endorsement reads '1. Progeny Not Eligible for Registration'and is only that if you breed from the endorsed dog, pups will not be eligible to be registered with the KC. You can breed from the dog still.
    Pure breeders misuse this clause when selling puppies and think they own the breeding rights of dogs they sell, unless you wish to register offspring with the KC the endorsements means nothing.

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  7. Suggested a basic genetics course to Bill Lambert on his 'phone call to me a few years back, but I was thinking more in terms of someone like just City and Guilds setting one up. But I suggested that all the judges (who are or have been breeders and members of breed clubs) do this as a matter of course, but his comment to me was, that if they had to do that, then the KC wouldn't have any judges!

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  8. Of course colour doesn't matter to ordinary people, but show people seem on another planet. I personally think the brown LM looks lovely. Once again, the Kennel Club should crack down on this absurd thinking that is to the detriment of a breed, especially one like the LM that has such a small gene pool. It needs to lay down the law with the breed clubs.

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    1. Despite what they like people to think however, the KC does not have any real "power".

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  9. What a shame for standards, health issues should be eliminatory elements and not a color of the coat or eyes or any body part. Then also the purpose should be considered, if it is a hunting dog physical attitudes are important as good nose, muscular structure etc. ... But as always the money is more important

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  10. Not sure if it's true, but I've heard tell that a century back, the golden and the flattie were in the same registry. People after pure colors separated them. Now they're two quite different breeds. My guess is both breeds would be better off if that hadn't happened.

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  11. UrbanCollieChick31 March 2016 at 22:49

    They have no right to demand a brown and white dog not be bred. Is the small gene pool just for show dogs or does that include dogs bred for work or other things too?

    Eh, it's probably a small pool regardless. What a horrible selfish superficial bunch of people to enforce such a rule.

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    1. Urban, The breeder has every right. Its called being a responsible breeder. They are responsible for the dog being in this world and have the right to restrict breeding rights on any puppy they don't feel is worthy of being bred from for one reason or another. That's why my pups will be altered before leaving except show pups who will go on a strict show contract.

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    2. You neuter puppies? Have you read the research?

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    3. What's wrong with neutering puppies? Plenty of research shows OK in males down to 8 weeks of age (and current research is looking at 6wo) and the only reason to delay in females is a slight but statistically significant increase in involuntary urination (from about 5% to about 7%) in females neutered before the age of 16 weeks. RSPCA Au commissioned an excellent review of the science in dogs & cats for those that are interested. See http://www.rspca.org.au/sites/default/files/website/Campaigns/responsible-pet-ownership/Early%20Age%20Desexing%20Research%20Report%202010.pdf

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    4. Jemima yep I've read the research. Still it would give peace of mind knowing that no unscrupulous person could lie and say they want a pet and turn around and breed anyway & then my lines wind up in the pedigrees of byb & puppy mill dogs. They would get just what they paid for a pet incapable of reproducing. Besides for males there's the Z shot & vasectomies & for females there's the OSS

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    5. Oh dear. Mammals require circulating reproductive hormones to be physically healthy and reduce the risks of developing quite a few diseases. Sterilise, don't de-sex is the better advice.

      And responsible dog ownership is not just about whether your dog is intact or not. Again, Scandinavia lead the way here. You can't castrate your dog because you can't be bothered to understand canine biology and practice responsible socialisation and interaction with other dogs. Health and welfare of the animal is the primary concern of the animal.

      http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/the-plot-thickens-spay-neuter-effects-the-health-of-our-dogs

      http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2013/09/30/neutering-health-risks.aspx

      http://www.naiaonline.org/pdfs/LongTermHealthEffectsOfSpayNeuterInDogs.pdf

      http://www.gpmcf.org/ovarianhome.html

      https://www.parsemusfoundation.org/projects/ovary-sparing-spray/

      http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/16_2/features/spaying-or-neutering_20685-1.html

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    6. Anonymous 14:08 for many breeders it is nothing to do with understanding their dogs health or responsible dog ownership, it is about owning the lineage and breeding rights of their dogs, even when they sell them. Perish the thought that their lines should end up mixed with lines they feel are sub-standard.
      How can you tell that a puppy is wrong for breeding at the age of 6 or 8 weeks old, unless it has something really wrong with it. I know of plenty of breeders who have de-sexed dogs and regretted it when the dog was mature and a lot better specimen than the one they kept back as potential to breed.
      Plenty of research shows poor bone quality in dogs neutered before fully mature. If I hav dog neutered, I would not do it until over two years old.

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  12. Genetics #101. It's theoretically impossible to completely remove a RECESSIVE gene from a population. But then again, all those UK dog breeding experts KNEW that..... ;)

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    1. It's perfectly possible - either via very rigorous DNA testing or, sometimes, recessives get purged by luck.

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  13. The Kerry Blue and the Sofet Coated Wheaten Terrier were once the same dog too. They were general-purpose farmyard dogs, which is why in their untrimmed form, they look a bit like mini Bouviers and also have similarities to the Pumi, the Puli (which has a corded coat) and some of the other smaller, continental farm dogs.

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  14. Just a shame those who get their knickers in a twist about this don't get more animated about puppy farming/dog fighting etc.

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    1. Well said Dogsbody. Jo public do not understand why we do many of the things as they do not seem to understand that certain dogs were bred for specific reasons. Guard/gundogs/working/ be it terriers or field or farm. Our breed are for retrieving small game such as pheasant /partridge/rabbit etc and various breeds were used and carefully documented in order to breed in the attributes required for this breed.. Length leg for type of ground worked on, size, soft mouth eagerness to please and soft temperament.Springers and cockers were bred to flush the game so were smaller and very busy dogs who used to have their tails docked as they got caught and tangled in the thick cover they worked in. Quite sensible as they do suffer painful tail injury otherwise. Docking is not painful if done at birth with elastic band by knowledgable people. It just falls off due to lack blood supply.
      When we endorse our puppies regestrations we explain to our prospective owners that if they really want a litter they must have the eyes tested and they are clear of any problems and the elbows are clear and hips are breed average or below we will lift the endorsements as long as they mate to a dog/bitch of same breed with same health clearances. We also explain just how much work goes into rearing a litter properly and NOT out in some outhouse or barn on pile straw but in the house.
      I have also rescued many crossbreeds (mongrels ) in my life but never ever bred from them of course. When over 18 months I had any bitches neutered. The idea of breeding a pedigree dog to pedigree bitch of same breed is that you know exactly what you will get and what the temperament/size/ type is going to be. Not so with crossbreeds(mongrels) they used to give them away in years gone by not give them silly names and sell as designer dogs. Also every breed has its own breed problems and temperament and if mixed with another breed you end up with pups with health problems from both breeds and the temperament that is anyone's guess.

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  15. Think PDE should get their facts right before they go mouthing off. How about putting a true example up, instead of the same dog, with the colour changed to brown duh !!!

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  16. The LM and the GLP were once the same breed but split when some prefered the browns and some prefered the blacks. Both breedes were then continued separately and have had differing additional influences over the years. Brown LM occurs due to the recessive genes, which all LM breeders are well aware of and many will test for, and other colours crop up from time to time too. There is no supporting evidence that non standard LM puppies are being culled and this article is misleading in that respect.
    Surely then those that argue about colour not being important when breeding must think it okay to breed a Hungarian Vizsla and a Weimaraner together, because lets face it thats the same dog just in a different colour, right?
    Colour is often a defining characteristic of a breed, Schanuzers are only permitted in black or 'grey', Deerhounds are only permitted in grey, Bichon Frise permitted in white only, St Bernards not permitted in black, red, brindle, sable, grey, etc, Dalmatians, taken directly from their breed standard 'Tricolours and spotting other than black or liver unacceptable'.
    No one seems to mind that Samoyeds or Coton De Tulears are only ever white, so it's perplexing that people seem outraged that LMs should only be in black.

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    1. Very well put !!

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    2. Coton De Tulears are NOT "only ever white". I have a friend who breeds them, and they are black and white, black brown and white, or white. They generally have homes before they are even born, or shortly thereafter.

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    3. Removing dogs from the genepool because of colour alone should not be done, period.
      No matter what breed.
      This is an example of a particular breed, that is all.

      vizslas and Weimaraners are different breeds with different characteristics, and should not be bred.

      I don't care about the coat type or colour in any breed, they are ridiculous reasons to reduce an already decreasing genepool. It makes more sense to accept them and move on, especially with recessive genes that have appeared through history and in the foundation breeds of the breed in question.

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