Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Kennel Club Gets It Right on the Wire Dachs

An odd, but very positive, thing has occurred: The Kennel Club is moving to embrace an outcross breeding of miniature wire-haired dachshunds to miniature smooth-coats.

What has motivated this?

The optimist in me notes that a recent study of wire-haired dachshunds found that 10 percent of the breed carried the gene for day blindness -- an extraordinarily high genetic load for a very serious condition in these wonderful little dogs.

Perhaps the Kennel Club was simply motivated to do the right thing? Perhaps they are really serious about putting health first?


But the pessimist in my asks: If the Kennel Club is concerned about negative genetic loads alone, then why have they not greenlighted the Dalmatian Backcross Project?

Good question! And I have no good answer other than to note that the person who petitioned the Kennel Club for permission to outcross a wire-haired dachshund to a smooth dachshund is Sigurd Wilberg who happens to be quite wealthy thanks to his co-owning a string of Domino's Pizza franchises.

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with being rich, and I am all for pizza in any shape or form. That said, is this what it takes to get approval for an outcross -- bags of money and special access to the right people in the right circles?

Maybe. Perhaps.

But so what?

Let's just this once celebrate the fact that the Kennel Club is doing the right thing, no matter what the motivation or mechanism.

Click and treat.

Maybe, if we are patient, they will do it again!



Jolanta Jeanneney said...

One of the labels you applied to your post is the "AKC". When you use the name "Kennel Club" some people might be confused and think that you are talking about the AKC. The Kennel Club in the United Kingdom and the AKC in the USA are two different kennel clubs, and they are very different indeed when it comes to dachshunds. In the USA there is only one breed - the dachshund (regardless the size or coat variety) - and nobody here needs permission to cross wirehairs with smooths or minis with standards. Breeders can cross coats and sizes as they desire or need.

Anonymous said...

Teckels used to be interbred all the time.

These are all basically the same dog but for size and coat. I mean there are some differences--like the wire-haired are more game, because the wire-hairs are more often used for hunting and long-hairs sometimes are softer in temperament, because they are part spaniel.

What worries me about them is not just their eyes, but their backs. These dogs are meant to have short legs and long backs. They were not meant to have exactly the same conformation as weasels.

Ian said...

Well done to the English KC, a small first step in right direction. Now to allow outcrossing with other breeds which have varieties, and then on to other breeds which are related in type, etc. Baby steps will do if they end somewhere.

To cut the EKC some slack, the Dalmatian problem is up to the AKC to solve, if the AKC recognises the Dalmatians with the distant Pointer outcross, then the other world KCs will follow.