Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Incest Is NOT Best

After 135 years, the Kennel Club has come out with a bold new theory of genetic health: that a father should not f**k his daughter.

[T]he Kennel Club has announced that it will crack down on the small number of breeders who continue to use the practice of mating close relatives by refusing to register those puppies that are born from any mother/son, father/daughter or brother/sister mating, taking place on or after 1st March 2009.

Never mind that this idea is firmly esconced in the Bible and every other major religious tome, and has been since the beginning of recorded history.

Let us applaud the Kennel Club for their bold new idea about genetic health!

But wait, there's more!

The Kennel Club has also boldly come out to make this extreme statement about canine health:

"The breed standards - the picture in words that describes each breed of dog - have been revised so that they will not include anything that could in any way be interpreted as encouraging features that might prevent a dog from breathing,walking and seeing freely."

Wooooeeee! More applause!

Without a doubt, this baby is up on its feet now. It's toddling on shaky knees, in a soiled one-piece, bug-eyed and gurgling -- but it is UP on its feet none the less.

We are thrilled.

Now, let's see if we can open up the registries for the 40 breeds which are deeply inbred, and set real benchmarks to reduce specific Coefficients of Inbreeding (COI) and specific diseases by breed.

That would be the start of real progress. Breeds that do not make their benchmarks will be deemed to be "at health risk," and only those dogs whose sire and dam had all the required health tests AND a lower-than-benchmark COI would be registered.

What? Still more needs to be done asks the Kennel Club??! You are not going to shower us with unending praises for this?


And no, we are not.

You see, the only reason the Kennel Club has seen the light is because they have felt the heat.

The Kennel Club is not moving towards change because of any pressure for reform from within, but due to pressure from without.

A hundred dog writers over 50 years set the stage, Pedigree Dogs Exposed smacked the ball into the middle of the field for the video age, and now U.K. politicians are moving around saying that perhaps the Kennel Club needs be taken apart at the seams and put together properly.

Like a man in a burning airplane hurtling towards the ground, the Kennel Club is suddenly very interested in learning about parachutes!

What's that about Coefficients of Inbreeding, they ask?

Tell us more about the benefits of an open registry!

What? It's possible to have a registry of dogs that are only registered as individuals and as adults, and not as entire litters of untested puppies?

You mean there are Kennel Clubs that require health and performance tests?

Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.


Meryl said...

OK, the first paragraph of this? Made me snort coffee all over my keyboard.

Well put on all points!

Caveat said...

Good one! Imagine that, they are clamping down on incest and even contemplating a rule whereby a dog has to be able to walk and breathe. Maybe that crack to the KC person in the film about breeding with his daughter took hold, eh?

GoLightly said...


Finally, FINALLY, "they're" getting the idea. I read an article in our "Dogs in Canada" Ragazine, where a breeder PROUDLY said she was breeding a bitch back to her father.
I wrote a letter exclaiming my disgust, but hey, what do I know?
Not as much as a breeder, I guess...

This is GREAT news.
JMO, of course.

PN NJ said...

It doesn't seem that the recent pressure on the KC has also increased pressure on the AKC for the same breeding issues. Any thoughts?

FrogDogz said...

"they will not include anything that could in any way be interpreted as encouraging features that might prevent a dog from breathing,walking and seeing freely.

Oh, I beg to differ.

I just read - and posted about - the revised French Bulldog breed standard, and other than a TINY revision intended to encourage a less retrousse nose, there's NADA about better breathing.

There's nothing prohibiting the exhibition or breeding of dogs with re sectioned palates. There's nothing in writing discouraging dogs with obviously labored breathing. There's ZERO.

Instead, they threw in a few wishy washy bits and pieces, including one changing tail length from 'very short' to 'long enough to cover the anus', and a bit less encouragement of exaggeratedly short backs.

No exhortations to utilize health testing, either.

So tell me, PR, or a true intent to improve health? I know which one I see it as being.

PBurns said...

The KC is going to do as little as possible -- ALWAYS.

But the fire is just starting, as there are reviews in the works.

The American Kennel Club is already in trouble, with a 53% decline in registrations and overt pleads to register more puppy mill dogs. When Pedigree Dogs Exposed plays over here (or when ABC or CBS or Discover do their own version), the wheels will come off the bus. This revolution is moving from East to West, same as the Kennel Club theology did in 1873.


FrogDogz said...

The American Kennel Club is already in trouble, with a 53% decline in registrations

I just did an email exchange with a sketchy backyard breeder who has one of my dogs way, way back in their pedigree (I was trying to buy the dog from them, without tipping my hat as to who I am).

They told me that they no longer use AKC to register their dogs, because APRI charges less money. So, I wonder if the decline in AKC registrations is really more to do with a sort of 'loss of brand recognition' - the general public failing to see a value difference between an APRI 'papered' dog, or an "AKC papered" dog.

I honestly do NOT believe the AKC will ever be pressured into change re. health in our lifetime. For one thing, the AKC doesn't control breed standards - the breed clubs do. In the UK, otoh, the KC controls the breed standards.

The AKC is, pure and simple, a FOR profit corporation dressed in non profit clothes. They're all about the money, and screw public opinion.

PBurns said...

Yes, the AKC's line for years is that "we are just a regsitry" and they do nothing else and don't blame them for diseased, defective and deformed dogs. So guess what? Folks figure, "Well damn, I have a computer, let's start a registry." The first competitor was the UKC, but there are dozen and dozens, and *guess what*? They are no worse than the AKC! True! For all the sniffing snobs out there, the AKC DOES do nothing to ensure the quality of their dogs, they DO DEPEND ON PUPPY MILLS for their money just like all the other regsistries. The differece is that the non-AKC registries do not necessarily require dogs bred in a closed system, and do not express horror at hybrids. Since 95 percent of all dogs end up as pets, all the dogs do the same thing, and it's not like you can say an AKC dog is healthier is it? No you can't.

The AKC: hoisted on their own petard and sinking under the weight of a failed business model.


smartdogs said...

There are some absolutely terrifyingly inbred dogs out there -- and they're not all with AKC and the mill registries. Four years ago I was looking for a working line Aussie. Found an ASCA "Hall of Fame" breeder bragging about an upcoming litter on their website and was utterly floored to see that they were taking littermates from a litter that already had a jaw-dropping COI and breeding them TO EACH OTHER.

Since parents were "titled on both ends" and from a HOF kennel, I can imagine that at least some of the demon spawn from that litter went on to be bred themselves. Hopefully not to their parents, sisters, brothers or offspring.

When ego, ribbons and interweb sales are the goal insanity prevails.

Ron said...

I just want to point out that AKC DOES HAVE control of the breed standards, like the KC, at least technically. They have just abdicated the responsibility because they don't care or don't want to stick their neck out. But they could step in and assert themselves if they wanted to. Even though the standard changes by the KC have been minimal and really window dressing, can you imagine if the parent breed club had to approve or initiate such changes? Nothing would ever get done, as indeed nothing has been done for quite a long time. There is tremendous inertia protecting the status quo, especially when success in the show ring under current conditions translates into power in the breed club, and anything that threatens to favor dogs other than the ones that have been winning, even to improve health, faces insurmountable obstacles.

Most if not all of the changes by the KC have been opposed by the breed clubs, even aware of the public perception. Until now approval of the clubs was generally necessary.