Friday, March 9, 2012

Another breed dumped at Crufts

Today, it's the Clumber Spaniel who failed the health exam. Will be interesting to find out precisely what the "diagnosis" was.
I was just browsing the newly-released AKC popularity statistics and noticed that the Pekingese has dropped dramatically in popularity over the past decade here in the US. In 2001, Pekes ranked 32nd, but last year, in 2011, the breed only ranked 64th.
The public has the ultimate ability to vote on the whether or not a breed has become too extreme for the taste of most people. Supply vs demand is the ultimate modulator of breeding activities. With a decline in demand, there will likely be a return to a less overcoated model. This would be in keeping with the standard, which states that  "A long and profuse coat is desirable providing it does not obscure the shape of the body."

On the other end of the spectrum, we have the Chihuahua that also fell in registrations from 9th place down to the #14 spot. This breed, along with the hairless breeds like Chinese Cresteds and Xoloitzcuintli, could very well be the target of the same sort of criticism that the Pekingese has endured of late. If it is "suffering" for Pekes to be unable to modulate body temperature with an ineffective cooling system, it would stand to reason that breeds that shiver in the cold morning air are also subject to similar suffering with inability to properly modulate their body temperature. It's just a matter of time before these breeds come under fire from animal rights critics.

Come to think of it, breeds with long, floppy ears "suffer" with predispostion to ear infections. Dogs with excessive skin folds and tightly curled tails suffer from a predisposition to skin infections. Giant breed? Short lifespan; They are suffering. There are MANY brachycephalic breeds (cocker spaniels, mastiffs, Newfoundlands and the like) some of which are now banned on airlines due to their predisposition to breathing difficulties.

I wonder how many unique breeds will be left, once the anvil of selection falls against "extremes" in conformation?


  1. "The public has the ultimate ability to vote on the whether or not a breed has become too extreme for the taste of most people. Supply vs demand is the ultimate modulator of breeding activities. With a decline in demand, there will likely be a return to a less overcoated model."

    If 'breeding for the pet market' wasn't considered the inferior goal of slimy BYBs, that might be true. But since show breeders pride themselves in breeding to what the show ring rewards rather than to appeal to pet-buyers, I seriously doubt it makes any difference what anyone but the judges want.

    1. "Slimy BYBs" do supply probably greater than 90% of the total market. And they breed for what the public wants rather than what the judges want. Few people actually pay any attention to a breed standard when you get right down to it. What the judges and the show breeders want really is rather insignificant considering the big picture. And, that's not a bad thing!
      There's a group on Yahoo called "The Pekes of Old China" and they actually made up their own standard, which I found rather refreshing!!LOL.

    2. The point of these blogs isn't to argue whether the breeds are extreme or not. (My own breed's Euro-driven show-bred incarnation has become an embarrassment to its working roots.)

      The point was that this was handled very badly -- by embarrassing winners (and therefore judges and the show itself) after the fact, rather than by the more-sensible procedure of inspecting dogs BEFORE they set foot in the ring. By being applied after the win, it's a media circus, rather than ordinary routine.

      The way it was handled throws the entire thing into a suspect light, that this was more at the behest of feeding the AR-oriented "See? breeders are all scum!" rather than actually being concerned for the well-being of the dogs.

      Conversely, the much-ballyhoo'd "puppy mill registry" APRI requires a health certificate BEFORE the dog is entered in an APRI show at all.

      Tell me, which demonstrates more concern for the dog, and which the more concern for making a media splash??

  2. You might not believe what I've had to put up with trying to counter Crufts events as AR kabuki theater on a breed list with some non-breeder owners.

    There are also members who are judges in Europe who have EXAMINED the Clumber bitch multiple times, given her the group, and claim she is perfectly okay and certified healthy many times over.

    But of course, a judge would say just that to protect their source of extra income, right? And FOREIGN vets, if they CAN'T see the problem, they probably need THEIR eyes examined.

    And of course the topper, "Every Bulldog I've seen at the dog park has spina bifida!"

    We're in a deep hole.

  3. Why should a dog being shown have health clearances.. only dogs being BRED should have them. That is where the importance of health testing comes in..why should every CH be health tested.. many are never usedfor breeding.. not even once. Dogs shows are SHOWS. Nothing more, nothing less.