Thursday, March 8, 2012

Crufts Latest Political Stunt

No, this isn't going to be the usual gossip about dog show politics; who's doing the most winning, which judges are crooked, and the like. And, if you thought that stocks, pillories and whipping posts went out of style hundreds of years ago, think again.

The Kennel Club has decided to pander to the animal extremist factions who decry most breeds you see at dog shows as "garish, freakish mutants". This of course is not news, as we have already seen the KC scramble to alter breed standards in an attempt to placate the animal-rightist RSPCA and the BBC TV shows which claim to expose the horrific underbelly of the world of "pedigree dogs".
No, that was deemed insufficient change, so now we have veterinarians examining the breed winners at crufts. This year, two Crufts Best of Breed winners have failed their veterinary checks and will not be allowed to represent their breeds in the group competitions. The details of the supposed health defects have not been revealed, but since we are talking about the Pekingese and the Bulldog, it's a safe bet to believe it may be related to brachycephalism (short noses) and/or chondrodystrophy (short, bowed legs).

Rather than publicly humiliate the winner and rescind their coveted award at the biggest event of the year, why not examine the dogs PRIOR to the judging? Why not censure the judges if they are so stupid that they put up obviously unhealthy dogs? Where is the runner-up to step in and represent the breed in the group ring when the winner is disqualified? Why not simply ban entire breeds from participation if you have deemed them "unhealthy" with extreme conformation?

The answer is obvious. By prominently "dissing" an entire breed, the KC makes a political statement that those breeders have been VERY VERY BAD. They must be publicly humiliated, with the goal of placating animal extremists by putting the bad dog breeders in pillories and giving them a good public whipping. In short, these breeders are being made scapegoats to take the heat of the animal rightist wrath. Naturally, since every breed of dog (and mixed breeds too, and almost every single individual dog ever born) have health issues, eventually EVERY breed of dog will come under intense scrutiny for health imperfections, not just those deemed to have exaggerated features.

If dog shows were truly about rewarding only the healthiest animals, we would see a requirement that only the oldest who have remained healthy would be allowed to compete. After all, it's easy for a young animal to look healthy and beautiful. But will he survive to a ripe old age, with few health problems? The only judge for that is Father Time.

No, dog shows were never meant to select primarily for health but for form, and to a lesser extent for function. Whether they are useful toward that end is doubtful, but dog shows were never intended to select primarily for health. That's what OFA and other health registries are meant for. And savvy consumers know that most common prevalent health problems (like hypothyroidism, deafness, and autoimmune issues) are never revealed in a dog show.

Let's not confuse the public by claiming that a show championship with a vet check such as the KC is now employing, is a guarantee of a healthy dog. Such an implication is misleading and detracts from the real health testing in which conscientious breeders already participate.
No, there will never be enough changes in breeding to satisfy animal extremists. The dogs will be either too big, too small, too stocky, too thin, ears too long, nose too short, legs too long/short, or they are not friendly (even though meant as a guardian breed). The sooner we realize that this never ends, the sooner we will stop trying to placate the animal rights fringe.
And that's today's sermon.   

Here's the press release from the KC:
Bulldog and Pekingese fail Crufts vet checks

No dog representing the Pekingese and Bulldog breeds will compete in Thursday evening's Best in
Group competitions at Crufts after they failed the new veterinary checks that have been introduced to the show.

The Best of Breed award was not given to Pekingese, Palacegarden Bianca, or Bulldog, Mellowmood One In A Million, following their veterinary checks,
which were carried out by an independent veterinary surgeon. This means that the dogs will not be allowed to continue into the Toy or Utility Best
in Group competitions respectively.

The Kennel Club has introduced veterinary checks for the Best of Breed winners at all Kennel Club licensed General and Group Championship Dog
Shows from Crufts 2012 onwards, in 15 designated high profile breeds. This measure was introduced to ensure that Best of Breed awards are not given to
any dogs that show visible signs of problems due to conditions that affect their health or welfare.

The fifteen high profile breeds are as follows: Basset Hound, Bloodhound, Bulldog, Chow Chow, Clumber Spaniel, Dogue De Bordeaux, German Shepherd
Dog, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Pekingese, Shar Pei, St Bernard, French Bulldog, Pug and Chinese Crested.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "We are determined to ensure that the show ring is a positive force for change and that we help to move
breeds forward by only rewarding the healthiest examples of a breed."

"The veterinary checks were introduced to ensure that dogs with exaggerated features do not win prizes. The independent veterinary surgeon decided that
the Pekingese and Bulldog should not pass their checks and therefore they did not receive their Best of Breed awards and will not be representing
their breeds in the remainder of the competition."


  1. But by doing this way they are sending a strong message. I think it is great & a step forward, you could never vet cheak every single dog entered. This way you only check the winners of each breed & do not allow them to go further if not healthy. The breeders will get the message & stop breeding extreme types with no thought to the dogs health or function.
    Don't get me wrong I think a lot of the animal activests are trouble with a capital T but I refuse the throw the baby out with the bath watr & in this case it is VERY justified imho.
    Whether we like it or not who wins best of breed at Crufts & other high profile shows world wide will set new breeding trends & by placing cripples who can not breath well or reproduce naturally they are saying it is Ok to breed for such traits.
    Time for the cruelity thats is breeding for extreme type or flashy colours & markings to be frown upon & the breeders of such to be told very clearly thet we as the public & dog lovers will not stand for it anymore imho that is.

    1. Hey, did you actually READ the post?? This stunt has nothing to do with health and everything to do with politics. "Cripples who cannot breathe well or reproduce naturally"? Get serious! The winners who were denies were breathing just fine and how would anyone other than their breeder be familiar with their ability to whelp naturally?
      Cruelty to breed for flashy colors and markings? Are you off your rocker, toots? Reserve the rambling nonsensical posts for other blog sites, please.

  2. I suppose that before declaring why the dogs were not given their awards, it would be good to KNOW why.
    According to the owners of Jenny, the Bulldog, it has NOTHING AT ALL to do with her ability to breathe.
    According to her owners, the vet shined a flashlight in the eyes of both the Bulldog and the Peke and they were both then accused of having the same undetectable eye problem. (Please note that this vet is NOT a veterinary opthamologist) No photographs were taken of the supposed eye issue for proof. The issues COULD NOT be determined to be of a GENETIC cause. .
    And in the case of CH Mellowmoods One in a Million, aka Jenny the Bulldog, she has a CURRENT clear CERF test dated Dec 2011. And she has passed ALL her health tests as of Dec 2011 as well.
    So dont assume what happened and know the FACTS.

    1. Thank you anonymous@0834 pm for that information. I was happy to find the Facebook page for Jenny the bulldog. She is a beauty and I am so sad to see her deprived of her well-deserved award.

    2. Of course Jenny the bulldog can't breath to her full potental you would have to be blind not to see that big roll squeezing her nostrils further shut on a dog breed that already has no nose it is over the top extreme type in my eyes.
      They say it's to do with her eyes how do we not know the mark on her eyes are not a result of entropian?
      I severly doubt a vet will put his/her name on the line under all this spotlight if they where not sure of what they where seeing.
      Anyway as if they would come out & say it was because she had an elevated heart rate n pulse aftr a run up or that she has noisy & limited breathing at rest.
      Some of the issues may not be genetic but caused by or the result of extreme type which in my eyes is still bad & should not be rewarded in the show ring as it has been over the last couple of decades especially.
      Bulldogs did not look like this even 30 yrs ago never mind 100 yrs ago so how can people say they are breeding for the betterment & to improve upon the breed when the changes have turned an athletic working dog into a cripple that can hardley breath that has extremely high rate of skin & other immunity issues plus a shortened life span.
      Come on people OPEN YOUR EYES how can this be right?????

    3. you are correct they did not look like this.. they looked much worse..full of worms, many with distemper.. most died young ( all dogs) how do you know they were "athletic" 100 years ago? by looking at a picture?
      shorter life span.. surely you jest.. no vaccines.. no medication.. hardly any vets.. dogs today no matter what they look like teacup to giant have a much better life than any dog did 100 years ago.
      sometimes I wish all of you could actually go back to when dogs lived in barns.. in the cold.. in a shed.. with little or no vet care. and you know I wish you would stay ther.. with your Luddite version of the dog

  3. I hope they sue the dog shit out of them and win.. this is not about HEALTH.. this is about humiliation to the breeders and placation to the animal rights terrorists
    Crufts and the KC have become toadies to Harrison and her animal rights agenda..what er they get ( lower entries crap entries or NO entries) they have brought upon themselves.. how did such namby pamby cowardly milksops ever control most of the world?/ hard to fathom

    1. god forbid that people should actually care about the welfare of the animals it is people like you who have turned once beautiful dogs into mutants that struggle to breathe and walk they are not terrorists just human beings that have some compassion unlike yourself

    2. are you saying people that show at Crufts do not care for their dogs.. bull shit.. your mother should have taken such good care of you.
      I agree with the above poster .. your idea of "dogs of the past' is one that is seen through picture and paintings.. you have no idea of how dogs lived "in the past"..loaded with all sort of genetic problems .. and diseases that could not be cured and dogs died young by the boatloads..thank Dog for good breeders of today.

  4. I predict that the "notorious 15" will or should break away from the KC and hold their own shows with competent breeder judges.. i would be more proud of a win under a breeder judge than any "all rounder"
    many breeds already hold separate specialties in conjunction with the AKC for points.. BUT it would be pretty easy to set up your own breed system

  5. I am fully in favour of the KC attempting to correct problems with breeds.
    However - awarding first prize to a dog and THEN taking it away afterwards is quite obviously ridiculous. It damages the reputation of the owners AND the judges.
    All dogs who enter the ring should do so with a recognised certificate of fitness and this should be ENOUGH.
    This is nothing more than a publicity stunt, so that Crufts and the Kennel club can be SEEN to be doing something about the problems they have been beset with in recent years. I've no doubt it will be seen as good publicity.
    Personally I have turned the show OFF my t.v. and wouldn't DREAM of attending it from now on - until something is done to stop THIS practice!

  6. If the kc are so concerned about pedigree dog health why haven't they banned registering stud dogs or breeding bitches that have breathing problems & or pinched nostrils in all the bracycaphalic breeds.
    If the reason the breeds were disqualified is not breathing issues or other health reasons but because of eye marks that has to have a light shone on to detect it is totally unfair how many other breeds would have
    been disqualified on this basis. The KC are pandering to publicity over certain breeds which is a big concern. I truly hope they don't succeed with their actions against these lovely breeds.After last nights actions at crufts I've switched off.
    I have real respect for the genuine breeders who breed for health & love of their breeds.
    I am fed up with the belief spread about that all bracycaphalic dogs can't breathe or run Well I'm a peke owner & she can breathe & run with open nostrils.

  7. the fact of the matter is that the KC is completely incompetent and not fit to hold office. it is plain to see that the changes that have been bred into some of these so called mutant breeds have been detrimental to the health of the breeds and the inbreeding to get the beauty pageant winners has caused genetic abnormalities. until such times as the breed standards are changed back to a healthier shape and inbreeding is reduced to at the very least 2nd cousins nothing will change and we will all end up much the poorer for not having the breeds we love available

  8. I think that in order for this vet check to work you need vets that are KNOWLEDGEABLE about the breeds they are examining! While I applaud that Crufts is doing something to promote a healthier dog I think you need to train the Vets to the intricacies of each of the breeds they are examining. These are not your average run of the mill unselectively breed dog.
    BTW...I am sure that these owner will be bringing their dogs to independent vets for a check. The the litigation begin if they pass subsequent vet checks.

  9. What a shame the general public doesn't understand showing enough to realise that this is just spin by the UK KC.Now while apparently these dogs are not 'healthy ' enough to be best of breed in Group they are however healthy 'enough 'to keep their coveted CC's and quite likely to be made up into Champions or be reaffirmed they are indeed worthy Champions. A little ironic isn't it???? This also answers the question some have been asking why the RUBOB can't go in for group.The DQ dogs still hold the CC's for their sex.
    The KC seems intent on making a mockery of its self and also it's accredited breeder system.The bull dog is fully health tested as is the Clumber. So the inference is pretty clear.A dog health tested clear STILL isn't healthy enough to compete in Group.Really? So why do we health test our dogs? Are the KC going to approach the specialist vets who issued the eye certs on these dogs and inform them they are incorrect? I suspect not. What faith should a puppy buyer have in buying from accredited or breeder who health checks that they will get a genetically sound puppy? None apparently.All they have succeeded in doing is humiliating as least two breeders who conform and indeed exceed the KC'c code of best breeding practice.What a shame so many people will be taken in by this hypocrisy by the KC and go on applauding them.

  10. The kc wants breeds fit for function, trouble is the kc isn't fit for function theirselves.
    They have disgraced theirselves not by protecting the health of all breeds but by targeting the few.
    They are supposed to be working & supporting all breeds.
    There was no way certain breeds were going to go through to bis.
    Many breeders have worked hard with the breed standard & so unfair to the judges.
    If the kc thinks getting rid of certain breeds so the rest will tow the line wrong
    I hope the breeders & judges are made of sterner stuff for the sake of their chosen breeds.
    Improve health soundness & less exaggeration in all breeds but don't send certain loved breeds down
    The river for their own ends. Work with breeders & clubs for all pedigree dogs & the same rules should apply for all breeds at crufts vet checks for all or none. Before showing.

  11. I dont think any animals should suffer for showing, but what the KC has done has made a mock of the breeds they say they are trying to help. OK if the winning dog is found with a prob (which should be found out before it enters any show ring) then it should go to the RBIS, what happened to that dog, was it tested and failed, no the got out the whole breed from the group. and with the KC stating that from now the same will happen to a dog in the higher shows, should it not be that if it fails it fails, not make breeder, showers, owners pay to show, and cost them money, then pull them from shows more in the public eye. health is a massive problems in any dog, but proffitting from them and then shameing them is disgusting. sorry for any spelling mistakes but i am mad and dyslxic. how about the thousands of dogs here and now that r going to be left behind. a new breed. eg the new british bulldog. to run along side untill the breed is sorted.

  12. I don't see how a policy of DQ'ing a few dogs without
    giving a reason on which other breeders could act serves the stated goal of improving breeding practice.

    DQ'ing a few dogs WITHOUT an announced reason concedes that there's a problem (A victory for the AR side), hurts the morale of breeders, damages the standing of the KC, and does NOTHING for the breed(s).
    To contrast: Changes to breed standards to reduce exaggeration in some measurable way, announced in advance, and with judges instructed in the new standards and methods of measurement would over some years lead to changes in the dogs and each handler would know in advance how to know what dogs
    would likely be DQ'd, just as now we all know how to wicket or weigh our dogs when standards set limits on sizes.

    What's being done now sounds to me like a losing tactic all round and I don't see why anyone would defend it.