The Kennel Club's Scheme
The Kennel Club has a scheme, and they want you to know about it.
I found out about this scheme while cruising The U.K. Kennel Club web site and clicking on the ad/link for their "Puppy Sales Register."
Here's what it says:
"Buyers of puppies from Accredited Breeders will gain the assurance that the breeder has undertaken to follow basic good practice as laid out by the scheme."
The scheme? Now there's truth in advertising!
So what is "the scheme"?
Well, let's start with what it is NOT. While the above paragraph offers "assurance," be forewarned that there is no insurance that a Kennel Club dog will not be an expensive genetic nightmare for you and your family.
As this bold faced warning on The Kennel Club web site notes:
"The Kennel Club makes no warranty as to the quality or fitness of any puppies offered for sale and can accept no responsibility for any transaction between purchaser and vendor arising from publication of the listing."
So "the scheme" is not an assurance of quality. They make no warranty and accept no responsibility. Good luck, and you're on your own. Don't let us know if it doesn't work out.
So then, what is "the scheme" all about?
Well, apparently, "the scheme" is all about overcoming the information people are hearing about the problems associated with Kennel Club dogs. As The Kennel Club web site notes:
"Some canine commentators have written and filmed recently with regard to the disadvantages of pedigree dog ownership, including expense and the possible health problems that owners may inherit when they take on a pedigree puppy."
Good God! These people have passed on information.
And they have even stooped to FILMING.
The bastards! Come on people, who are you going to believe, the Kennel Club, or your lying eyes?
Never mind that the problems associated with inbreeding are so well-known that they are warned about in the Bible (see Deuteronomy 27:22).
Never mind that genetic problems foisted on dogs by the Kennel Club's closed registry system are so legion they serve as a genetic gold mine for dysfunction and disease. As William Saletan noted in the Slate Magazine of Dec. 14, 2005:
"The reason we targeted the dog genome for decoding is that it's useful for genetic research. The reason it's useful for genetic research is that dogs are neatly divided into breeds, each of which is plagued by specific diseases. And the reason dogs are divided into diseased breeds is that we made them that way. Dogs are the world's longest self-serving, ecologically reckless genetic experiment, perpetrated by the world's first genetically engineering species: us. . . .
"In the course of engineering dogs to look, feel, and act as we wanted, we ruined millions of them. We gave them legs so short they couldn't run, noses so flat they couldn't breathe, tempers so hostile they couldn't function in society. Even our best intentions backfired. Nature invented sexual reproduction to diversify gene pools and dilute bad variants. By forcing dogs into incest (which we ban among humans, in part for biological reasons), we defied nature. We concentrated each bad gene in a breed, magnifying its damage: epilepsy for springer spaniels, diabetes for Samoyeds, bone cancer for Rottweilers. That's why the dog genome is so nifty: We can find disease genes just by comparing one breed's DNA to another's."
Does The Kennel Club admit they have anything to do with the genetic problems within their own closed registry system?
Of course not! Instead, they say:
"Many breeds benefit from health screening schemes ... There is huge potential for wiping out diseases in pedigree dogs, and within a matter of a few generations of rigorous DNA testing and selection of appropriate breeding mates, faulty genes can be removed from the breed's gene pool. This benefit simply does not exist in the cross breed or mongrel population, primarily due to the fact that the dog’s parentage is unknown, while it is a myth that these types are healthier than their pedigree cousins and do not suffer from inherited problems."
This is, of course, complete nonsense, on a par with the Vietnam-era mantra, "We must burn down the village to save it." In fact, no one has ever said that non-pedigree dogs do not have genetic disorders. What is being said is that non-pedigree dogs are far less likely to have specific genetic disorders, and that the chance of getting a specific (and often quite serious) genetic problem is directly linked to the narrowness of a gene pool.
And so what is the Kennel Club's answer to the very real problems associated with having too narrow a gene pool in the world of show-bred dogs?
It's narrowing the gene pool even further through a program of expensive genetic testing followed by a program of culling, exclusion and sterlization.
Their genius idea is that if they just keep cutting away at the rotten wood, they'll eventually get a solid boat.
Or not. Maybe they'll just end up in the water.
You see, the problem is not a handful of "bad dogs" with "defective" genes; it's the closed registry system itself. No mattter how "good" a gene pool is, if it is very narrow and inbreeding, it will produce defective stock, and culling an already narrow gene pool will only exacerbate the underlying problem. You may get rid of one problem, such as catacts, by culling a narrow gene pool, but another defect will soon crop up due to the doubling down of the invisible recessive genetic load. An eye disease may be scrubbed out, but a liver disease will crop up. Keep testing and culling, and a breed's genetic base will get narrower and narrower, and more problems (albeit different ones) will pop up and express themselves in an increasingly-inbred population of animals.
Or to put it simply: There is a reason that Mother Nature outcrosses animals, and there is a reason the Law of the Land affirmatively prevents you from marrying your sister, and there is a reason that Zoo's all over the world are shipping animals from one country and continent to another in order to increase genetic variability.
But of course, the Kennel Club does not want you to think clearly on this matter, do they?
Above all, they do not want you to consider that specific genetic disorders are being bred for in Kennel Club dogs.
- Ignore the Dachshund, the Basset Hound and the Skye Terrier, which suffer from achondroplasia (dwarfism) which is associated with heart, back and patella problems.
- Ignore the English Bull dog, the Lhaso Apso, the Pekingese, the French Bulldog, the Pug, the Boston Terrier, and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel which suffer from brachycephalic syndrome and have such difficulty breathing that they often have sudden deaths which are written off as "heart attacks."
- Ignore the dogs bred for merle and piebald coats which are often deaf -- dogs like Dalmatians and Harlequin Great Danes.
- Ignore dogs like the Boston terrier and the Bulldog whose heads are now so large they must be born Caesarean-section.
How is the Kennel Club going to breed out these genetic problems when in most cases these genetic problems are written into the Kennel Club standards for these dogs?
The Kennel Club does not want you to think about that.
Nor do they want you to focus too much attention on all the breeds that are wracked by hip dysplasia, skin diseases, cataracts, liver failure, von Willebrand’s Disease, and the rest.
Never mind that there is now a veritable online catalog of breed-specific diseases in which you can "pick a breed, any breed".
Above all, gloss over that little disclaimer in which The Kennel Club specifically warns you that buying a dog from a kennel that is enrolled in their "Puppy Sales Register" does not ensure that you will get a healthy dog.
Instead, focus on "the scheme."
So what is "the scheme"? Why should anyone buy a Kennel Club dog? Well, to their credit, they are pretty straight up about it:
"[Buying a Kennel Club registered dogs] ensures that money is being put back into the canine world and enables the Kennel Club to run many schemes for the good of dogs and also be the voice for dogs on behalf of all their registered owners."
In other words, you should buy a Kennel Club dog so that the Kennel Club can perpetuate itself and the closed registry system that is wrecking dogs.
That's the scheme! And you are being invited to participate.
Oh, and good news -- the Pug has "Gone Top 20" thanks to rising breed popularity.
Never mind the atopy, the Brachycephalic syndrome, or the Demodicosis.
Let's not mention Entropion, Exposure keratopathy syndrome, Fold dermatitis, Hemivertebra, Pug encephalitis, or Sick sinus syndrome.
The slightly undershot jaw is supposed to be how they look.
And the snorting? That's normal too.
Woo-hoo, the Pug has gone Top 20. This is a dog that's part of "The Scheme!"
- To read more, see: Inbred Thinking on this blog