Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 34

Thread: Save Our Dogs campaign

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dublin, Ireland
    Posts
    24,051
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    15

    Default Save Our Dogs campaign

    Bet Hargreaves asked if I could crosspost her comments from another list here. She is interested in people's thoughts on this.

    Karlin

    From Bet:

    This Campaign to be called SAVE OUR DOGS ,which is to be shortly started by a Dog Magazine ,could be of particular interest for the Cavalier Breed ,which at the moment is afflicted by two serious Health conditions /

    MVD ,and the insidious SM condition .

    The mention was made ,how in a short period of time ,humans drastically reduced the gene pools ,for the Cavalier Breed there are Cavaliers with in-bred co-efficients in the mid 30% ,there is even one Cavalier pedigree of 44%
    This is the highest in-bred co-efficent ,one Genectist has ever seen in any Breed
    The other mention was also made how the dog's appearance has changed for aesthetic reasons.

    I dont think anybody can argue how the Cavaliers' appearance has altered in the past 25 years ,to what it is like to-day.
    A more rounded fore head ,deeper stop, and smaller in size
    I dont know ,but until the Research at Cambridge University ,England is concluded ,to find out whether the dimensions in Cavaliers's caudal fossa has a link with this ,the answer wont be in the Cavaliers'SM Problem

    There are now many demands for Mandatory Health Testing being made ,including an Animal Welfare Organisation ,Concerned Breeders of all Breeds,and last but not least Pet Owners ,who have lost their beloved Pets to a Hereditary Disease

    The Cavalier Breed ,could I believe be one of the Breeds to benefit most ,if Mandatory Health Testing as imposed ,since the problem it has from SM and MVD ,leaves the future of the Breed very bleak indeed

    Bet Hargreaves
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dublin, Ireland
    Posts
    24,051
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    15

    Default

    Nicki posted a link to this story elsewhere, which gives background for the campaign Bet mentions. Interesting that it was carried in the Daily Telegraph -- a thoughtful but quite conservative newspaper.

    Often such campaigners are accused on being on the animal rights side (meaning that in a negative sense, and as opposed to animal welfare activists) and thus are dismissed by many in the professional dog world (eg the show and working dog world). The fact that such a campaign is coming from a well-respected, mainstream magazine carries a lot of weight. No punches pulled in this strongly worded piece.

    This is the story:

    Should Crufts be banned?

    Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 07/03/2007

    Dirty tricks and eccentric topiary are one thing. But on the eve of Britain's biggest dog show, Beverley Cuddy asks whether we are endangering man's best friend

    News: cruelty row on eve of Crufts

    We're all suckers for puppy dog eyes. Maybe that's why the BBC has, for the second year running, allowed Ben Fogle to present its Crufts coverage, which begins again tomorrow. It obviously doesn't matter that he can't tell his Affenpinschers from his Estrelas; most of his audience will drool in any case.

    Unfortunately, for the excessively jowled breeds like the St Bernard, Newfoundland and Bloodhound, the drooling will continue long after the credits stop rolling.

    I'm far from immune to canine charms, but increasingly I find myself wondering whether it would not be better if Crufts were banned. After all, what good does it do? For me, showing dogs must have some higher purpose than simply accumulating rosettes. I'm no killjoy - the exhibitors can all have their bit of fun with the silly walks and eccentric topiary - but surely someone has to look after our best friend's best interests.

    We've all had a snigger over the past few years at the bizarre goings-on in the show world: the poison pen letters that led to the Best in Show judge resigning in 2004; the drugging of rivals' dogs; even the case of the terrier that had three testicles - the owner had implanted a fake one (just one of the dog's testicles had descended into the scrotum and the judges require two on display), only to have the retained testicle drop during the show. As a result, the owner was banned from showing dogs for several years.

    But behind the outward eccentricities of the owners and trainers, real dogs' lives are being increasingly affected by this seemingly mad and ferociously competitive world.

    Sadly, health concerns seem to be close to the bottom of the show dog agenda for the canine governing bodies in Britain and America. There are just over 200 pedigree breeds in Britain and, shockingly, more than 150 of them have significant hereditary diseases.

    At the moment in the UK, testing dogs for health issues is purely a matter of personal conscience. Most people believe all the beautiful dogs at Crufts are perfectly healthy. I'm afraid many are anything but.

    Let's put Crufts into a historical context. Dog and man have been best friends for 100,000 years or so. Dogs helped us catch our dinner; they protected us while we slept. In return they shared our food and homes. Over time, the genetically elastic dog was changed into different shapes to help us more. Thankfully, our dabbling with eugenics didn't harm the dog, as we selected for function not fashion.

    With industrialisation, the dog's employment opportunities started to dry up. It was around this time that Britain invented the dog show and Kennel Clubs. The face of British dogs was to change as the concept of human beauty became the reason to breed. In an era where bearded ladies were considered interesting, many oddities were prized when they should have been avoided. Physical traits such as hairlessness and squashed faces were encouraged.

    When the first Kennel Club was formed in 1873, the gene pools for hundreds of pedigree dogs were soon to be sealed. It wouldn't have taken a genius to predict that there would be trouble ahead as relatively small numbers of dogs were then mated together for the next 150 years.

    There are now more than 30,000 genetic defects identified in pedigree dogs, with a new one being discovered every month. As well as the inevitable in-breeding caused by the cult of pedigree, dogs' health has been further challenged by the peculiar fashions and foibles of the show world, which has kept "improving" the appearance of breeds.

    The Bulldog is the obvious example of a breed changed almost beyond recognition. Show judges began to favour a massive head, so it grew ever larger, unchecked. However, the pelvis remained the same size, meaning Caesarean births became the norm. Almost every breed has been changed to a degree - the Chow used to have fairly normal eyes, but the judges took to favouring tiny eyes, with devastating results.

    Many Chows now have to have their painful in-growing eyelashes removed. The judges liked the Dachshund to have a longer back and shorter legs - unsurprisingly, spinal problems resulted. It has not taken long for 100,000 years of breeding for function to be undone.

    If you wanted to breed from a dog that's deaf, blind, crippled with hip dysplasia or suffering from a heart condition, you'd probably expect the Kennel Club to refuse to take your money. Sadly, you'd be wrong. At the moment - I think shamefully - KC registration is no mark of quality. It'll proudly compare itself to Debrett's. It'll say it is paid to record lineage, not intelligence or health. But it doesn't have to be this way.

    Twenty or more years ago the Swedish Kennel Club decided to reform its practices and made health tests mandatory. It also ensured that breeders took notice of the results by simplifying the complex systems of testing for hereditary diseases, so people had clear guidelines on what to breed with what.

    It even came up with ways of ensuring the breadth of the gene pool was preserved by establishing quotas so that no stud dog could be overused - unlike in Britain and America, where a top winning stud dog can sire an unlimited number of litters, meaning that almost every dog in the breed can end up a half brother or sister.

    The Kennel Club (as the British KC likes to be known), however, has left it to the breeders to police themselves. It has softened a few words in the breed standards that constitute the blueprint which the judges are meant to aim for - but hasn't disciplined any judges for continuing to favour the unhealthy exaggerations that make even breathing hard work for many breeds.

    Over the past 50 years, our pedigree breeds have been growing increasingly unhealthy, life expectancies have fallen drastically and some breed characteristics have become exaggerated almost beyond recognition. For example, the Bernese Mountain Dog, a breed that increasingly suffers from cancer, is now lucky to reach the age of seven. The Irish wolfhound, selectively bred for its massive size, has been left susceptible to bone cancer and has a similar life expectancy. Your average mongrel will live two or three times as long.

    Those who sport the hallowed KC members' badge at dog shows radiate pride. But while everyone wants to wear the badge, few seem to want to reform the system. Maybe history has taught them to keep their heads down. About 20 years ago, the Kennel Club decided to expel one of its members for publicly saying it should do more to prevent health problems in dogs.

    That member was Dr Malcolm Willis, probably the world's leading expert on hip dysplasia in dogs. The club has taken him back now, but sadly no one listens to his demands for mandatory health testing in dogs that will be bred from and are disposed to hip dysplasia.

    Similarly, no one at the KC seems interested in the British government ratifying the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals. To date, 21 countries have signed this, including Turkey.

    As well as laying down minimum requirements for good animal welfare, the convention highlights a list of breed characteristics that need to be modified for the dogs' best interests. The KC argues that we don't need Europe telling us what to do - the breeds are safe in its hands, it says; it has got it all under control.

    The KC's expensive Clarges Street offices in London are hung with beautiful canine art from an era before the show world distorted the shape of so many of our wonderful breeds. The dogs in those pictures left the destiny of their pups to the KC - and it has let them down very badly.

    I'll still watch Crufts. After all, I'm an optimist. I'm just hoping someone will soon stand up and start making Crufts not just the biggest dog show in the world, but the best.

    Beverley Cuddy is editor of Dogs Today magazine
    Link http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/ma...107.xml&page=1
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    3,036
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    29

    Default

    They are some excellent & very legitimate points that Bet makes. I can well imagine in many circles it would be an unpopular view, but she sure has my support.

    It is a real tragedy that the dogs that we are "improving" are the ones that are suffering the most and it primarily is in the name of aesthetics. I've certainly heard more than one vet say that the dogs that are genetically the most healthy are the mutts. Of course we all here love our pure-breds but it sure would be nice if more attention was paid to health rather than looks.

    Anyway, gutsy woman!
    ~ Sam, Sonny & Beau ~

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    189
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I was intrigued to read this in one of Bet's articles

    Is this now the time for Cavalier breeders, for the future of the breed, to bite the bullet in order to widen the genetic pool of Cavaliers and start using Cavaliers for breeding that are not winning in the Show Ring?
    http://www.cavaliers.co.uk/articles/...elonglived.htm
    - Pat

    Mom to Pepper, Ruby boy (b. 5/10/05), and Milly, Blenheim girl (b. 3/3/06)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Derbyshire
    Posts
    1,177
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    When I take my dogs to the vet one of them say that he likes to see the big cavaliers because they are more like the older cavaliers
    Going on from there Sam is breed stardard the nomal size I took him to the vets to see two very small cavaliers and ask there owner if they were English Toy Spaniels or Charles they were very small they even made Sam look big ----Aileen and the gang (Jazzie----Barney---Sam)
    cavaliers at the bridge Mattie and Rocky & Sam & Jake
    Better to light a candle for one lost dog than to curse the darkness of man's indifference. Saving just one dog won't change the world but it surely will change the world for that one dog.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Wiltshire. U.K.
    Posts
    1,669
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Today I received a book that I bought online.

    It's CKCS champions 1928-1999 all with pictures and pedigrees of each dog. 4th edition.

    You can just SEE the difference in the heads etc from todays Cavaliers. There is no mistake, they are so very different.
    It makes a very good read.

    Alison.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dublin, Ireland
    Posts
    24,051
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    15

    Default

    I don't have any opinion one way or another on the shape of head theory any more, after the London seminar, though I am inclined to think breeding for a larger head or a specific shape might be of help in slowing or reversing the trend with SM. The problem with the heads theory on SM is that none of the researchers are finding any correlation between measurements of skulls, size of skulls, and whether a dog is affected or how badly it is affected. This was discussed at much length in London and consistently -- researchers were all taking detailed measurements trying to find correlations -- the only thing that was slightly significant was caudal fossa volume but not enough to be a smoking gun, so to speak.

    One paper that summarises work that is pretty much repeated in separate international studies is Harvey Carruthers' paper, paper number 4 here, which seems to suggest width of vertebral cervix is relevant:

    http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/research/.../london06.html

    My notes say:

    There were no significant correlations between the caudal fossa volumes measured and incidence of SM, except for reduced volume. But there were some interesting measurements in cervical width of C2-C3 junction associated with the presence of syrinxes, and also between the width of the widest point of C3 and the presence of syrinxes.
    * A greater width at C2/C3 is associated with a syrinx
    * A greater width at C3 is associated with a syrinx: this was a surprise finding fro the group
    So while there is a possbility that a shift in head shape MAY have something to do to some degree with the spread of SM, the problem is it definitely isn't a head size issue -- maybe a head shape, but not head shape related to size but to something interior. All the neurologists say they see SM consistenetly in large cavaliers and small ones, big headed ones and small ones, breeder lines and BYB dogs. If breeding for show heads was a major or the greatest factor then one wouldn't expect BYB/puppy mill dogs to be equally affected.

    Perhaps it is some element of interior skull shape, and nothing to do with head size -- but again, this must have been set in the cavalier skull a long, long time ago by foundation dogs for the breed (there were only 6; Clare Rusbridge thinks SM can be traced back to two key 1950s bitches) and seems somehow to be connected with the brachycephalic skull shape. Something about the cavalier head seems to encourage the restriction of CSF flow. The latter is far more important than how severe the malformation is (same in humans -- this is why the neurologists dropped malformation measurements as an element in grading dogs on MRI scans as it hasn't been very relevant).

    I know a lot of people at the London event were a bit discouraged that there wasn't a clear head size correlation because that would make it easier to tackle the problem. But this was proven not to be a significant factor in separate, unconnected studies in the UK, France and US.

    Nonetheless the problem, whatever causes it, is genetic in origin and can be scanned for, and there are suggested breeding guideleines in place.

    Setting aside SM the MVD protocols are established for over a decade now -- yet only sporadically followed and not a requirement in any kennel club except in Sweden.

    Cavaliers ARE under serious threat of survival, acording to most researchers I have spoken to. Already they fear there are not enough A graded dogs to enable the breed to have good strong genetic diversity especially as so few breeders are scanning to identify them. Hence many A dogs are probably going to pet homes when they should be retained for breeding (Jaspar was one of these -- a rare totally clear dog ). And many dogs with syrinxes are being used for breeding.

    How worrying is this? Dr Rusbridge has said that 93% of top stud dogs in the UK are closely related to 1 or more dogs with SM and the pedigrees of these dogs are similar to Champions worldwide.

    Even if she is drastically wrong -- say if it is only 50% -- that's still a frighteningly high number.

    This is an issue that is going to need money for research and strong club support to even begin to address... but signs right now are that this isn't, and won't, happen. Already however there is some evidence that puppy buyers are growing wary of the breed because of its health problems -- not yet in the US but in Britain, where the breed is more common and where there seems to be a better knowledge now of SM amongst vets, for the first time ever, registered breeders cannot sell the puppies available on the club's puppy register.

    Personally, from talking with some breeders and club people and several researchers, I fear the breed won't last out the next 30-50 years (at best) in between MVD and SM. It is one of the reasons I implore people so strongly to carefully select breeders who health test and avoid the temptation to get the cheaper dog from the internet source or the person down the street who has done no testing and breeds without an understanding of their lines, genetics, and so forth. Every purchase of such a dog further seals this unwanted fate for the breed -- no future. If the clubs won't require , as the Swedish clubs do, breeding for health as a basis for registrations and club membership, then it will be left to puppy buyers to force change through their pocketbooks.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dublin, Ireland
    Posts
    24,051
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    15

    Default

    I meant to also say that I now know several very experienced, long-time owners of cavaliers -- people who had numerous dogs for decades, since the 50s and 60s -- who won't own them anymore because of the gradual increase in very serious health problems. I believe Bet is of this group -- Bet I know that you have publicly said in the past you no longer felt you could own a cavalier because of the pain of losing them to MVD, despite your years of involvement and continued interest and research on the breed.

    I think these are important voices to heed. Rather than looking for the next champions, we should be looking for the best genetic stock for the future of the breed. Ideally, both can be done at the same time by the many committed and caring breeders out there, with ongoing support for researchers.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Wiltshire. U.K.
    Posts
    1,669
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Karlin
    Rather than looking for the next champions, we should be looking for the best genetic stock for the future of the breed. Ideally, both can be done at the same time by the many committed and caring breeders out there, with ongoing support for researchers.
    Oh yes indeed.

    Alison.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,592
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    15

    Default Save Our Dogs Campaign

    Could I just say ,that after Pippa Died ,we said ,that's it ,no more Cavaliers
    We went to the Scottish SPCA ,center in Glasgow ,and SUZY ,a bit of everything ,came home with us

    I do hope you all dont object to me to me spouting on the Health of the Cavaliers ,I ve still such an interest in them ,and commenting on their problems
    Could I just mention that Ive still this thought though, about how their Head Shape has altered in the past 25 years ,
    Not the size ,but the shape
    Many noe have a more rounded fore-head ,deeper stop ,and are smaller in size
    This look started in the early 80's ,a link or a co-incidence ,that SM appeared about the same time
    Alison ,the Book of Champions that you mentioned, Ive sent to the Researchers for them to Study ,along with Photos of this new look that many of to-days Cavaliers ,to let them see the difference .
    I just dont know whether there's a link or not ,but in the early 80's there certainly was another alteration to their skulls .
    The first alteration was in the 1930's when to get the flat shaped skull required for the Cavalier Breed ,the dome shaped skull of the King Charles Spaniels was altered
    There is no other Dog Breed that this has happened to
    Was the second alteration to much for some of the Cavaliers to take?
    You just feel that those alterations could have had an influence on the shape of their heads changing
    I know that its now being agreed by the Neurologists that ,perhaps upto 90% of Cavaliers could have the Malformed Bone

    Is it not possible that because of the Malformed Bone ,and the alterations that have been done to the shape of their Head ,that just maybe could be linked to their SM problem ?
    AS Karlin has just said , and if maybe my thoughts could be having a ring of truth in them
    Then because so many of to-days Cavaliers have this shape of head ,that in the not too distant future ,there is big trouble ahead for the Breed ,and the way is for Cavalier Breeders to MRI scan their Breeding Stock to see whether there's a Syrinx present or not

    Bet

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •