Saturday, December 26, 2015

AKC Promoting Failed Products

The Skye Terrier has always been a put-up job -- a fantasy created by hair dressers for the show ring.

Charlie the Skye Terrier won Best in Show at this year’s National Dog Show.

The Skye Terrier is a very rare breed  because it is entirely useless, high-maintenance, expensive, and not very attractive.

The reason for this is that it is not remotely like the original dog from which it is descended.

This is a dog that is the products of "the fancy" and not the field and, ironically enough, no one seems to fancy what "The Fancy" seems to value.

Go figure.

The Skye Terrier has always been a put-up job -- a fantasy created by hair dressers for the show ring. Even the story of "Greyfriar's Bobby" is a hoax, created by a local tavern as a long-running publicity stunt that has been fanned hard by Edinburgh's tourist industry.

But back to the larger issue.   Yes, we have rare breeds.  But why is a breed "rare?" Most of the time it's because it's a failed breed. What should we do with any failed product?   Should we keep making it and continue to try to flog it to a public that is not buying?

Writing about the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, another rare breed, I once detailed its myriad failings and made a recommendation:

Named after a fictional character in a novel, and forced to compete head-to-head with other poodle-coated mops, this dog has found few customers due to its odd-looking sway back, poor movement, and complete uselessness in the field.

Add in the health problems suffered by Dandies -- cushings, hypothyroidism, and a narrow-angle glaucoma that is unique to Dandies -- and you stand at the cusp of a question.

Factor in the fact that more than 40% of dogs are born cesarean, and the case is made for intervention.

The old working terrier from which the modern Dandie claims descent was not a product of the Kennel Club and did not suffer these indignities.

Perhaps now is the time to release this breed from the inbreeding mandated by a tiny gene pool wedded to a closed registry system.

Perhaps now is the time to release this dog from the bondage of contrived show dog standards.

Yes, let us release this dog "back to the wild" of its working roots. It has not done well in "captivity". De-list this dog from the Kennel Club's roles, and move on.

Other breeds should also be delisted, and for much the same reason -- the Skye Terrier, the Clumber Spaniel, the Sussex Spaniel, the Glenn of Imaal Terrier, the Manchester Terrier, and the Sealyham Terrier.

None of these dogs were created in the Kennel Club -- they have only been deformed, emasculated, and inbred since their arrival. Release these dogs "back to the wild". They have not done well in "captivity," and they have failed in the marketplace.

In short, pull the plug on the Dandie, the Skye Terrier, and several other breeds as well.  De-list them.

The Ford Motor Company no longer makes the Edsel.

AMC no longer makes the Gremlin or the Pacer.

There is a time and place to say "enough is enough" and throw the broken, defective, poorly built, and ill-conceived on to the dust bin of history.

That time has come for the Skye and Dandie Dinmont terriers.

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