In the GSD breed notes in a recent copy of Our Dogs, the writer quoted an article written by the geneticist Malcolm Willis 30 years ago, which seems very relevant to breeders today:

‘You, the breeders, sell puppies; however, the law considers that you sell goods. If you sell genetically defective goods then the buyer has a case against you and can bring it to the civil courts. Anyone who breeds dogs of whatever breed can turn out defective stock; there is no crime in that. The crime lies in selling such stock to the unsuspecting public and not caring enough to try to prevent the problem occurring in the first place and recurring. If you do not check eyes in a breed with eye troubles or examine hips in a breed with hip trouble etc, etc, then you do not merit being called a breeder and I do not care how many champions you have bred! You are a potential danger to the breed of dog you profess to love and you are thinking more of your pocket or your prestige or your power and influence than your breed.’

The breed notes writer added: ‘[DNA testing] is pretty meaningless if you test but take no notice of the results. So I would add to Malcolm’s description of where the crime lies – it lies in turning out genetically defective goods deliberately; and in relation to not doing enough to prevent the problem recurring I would add that this is a distinct possibility in future generations when breeding in the present day from carriers or affected dogs. . . it is a serious issue that should make breeders re-think their position.’

Pretty relevant, I felt, to Cavaliers today.

Kate, Oliver and Aled