October 2008 Issue
On our coverCh. Glentress Anastacia (Wendy)
Glentress Border Collies
What an absolutely amazing journey the past 3 years have proven to be!
Marilyn, Debbie and Katrina Adams
Koo Wee Rup, Vic, Australia
61 (0)3 5997 7477
firstname.lastname@example.org - www.glentresskennels.com
Well, this is an unusual issue for us, a great deal of it is given over to unequalled pictorial coverage of four major events, the National Junior Handler Finals, the Adelaide and Melbourne Royals, and Dalwood.
Much of the editorial space is devoted to discussion on where the dog world is going, from both the UK and the USA perspective.
This is the strange juxtaposition of our sport/hobby - the Catch 22 situation we are in worldwide. Many many people labouring devotedly at the mine face to breed and exhibit magnificent dogs that conform to their Breed Standards in all respects, and are mentally and physically outstandingly correct, while at the same time remaining informed and vigilant of the constant attacks which we seem to be receiving from so many "fronts" who have joined forces against us and appear intent on our demise. We are up against international extremely well organised pressure groups, which appear to have access to almost unlimited funds, and their front of house people are extremely articlulate, very well educated, well groomed and very professional.
Many countries are doing something to attempt to ward off the continuing pressure, but it has to be a worldwide co-ordinated unrelenting campaign of defence and resistance if our grandchildren are to grow up with a pet animal in their lives. On that note, we hear that the Clover Moore Bill has resurfaced. Its "cloak" is to protect the ostensible thousands of "neglected" animals sold in pet shops, its real agenda is much more likely to be aligned with animal rightists' organisations to attempt to entirely eliminate domestic animal breeders. Remember the AR's catch cry is "no-one should OWN an animal, we can at best be their GUARDIANS". Don't say you have not been warned, and don't leave it to someone else to fight the good fight, and never never think "It can't happen here, at least not to MY dogs" It IS happening, right here, right now - wake up Australia.
On this note, we decided to make Gopi Krishnam from Malaysia our guest editor this month, please read what he has to say. The more people around the world talk to each other and exchange ideas and proposals for the salvation of our sport/hobby, the more chance there is that tiny glimmer of hope that we might be left alone to get on with our lives will grow to a flame. We may yet have to fight fire with fire - are YOU prepared?
Wendye Slatyer - Editor
And now for words of wisdom from Gopi.
Some of you may have seen the BBC programme and many may have heard about it, but read the article and then watch the videos on youtube. (See links below) To be honest I don't care if the BBC don't feature Crufts and I'm delighted that the RSPCA won't be at Crufts either, as they continue to work against the existence of pedigree dogs and dog shows, so their presence is hypocritical. But what annoys me is the one sided nature of this documentary, meant to be sensational and very detrimental to pedigree dogs. It's dramatised for good TV.
You can just see the funding for this comes from the likes of all those "goody" two shoes animal groups, that see we dog breeders as evil villains.
What particularly upset me about this programme was:
1. One sided stories - they show the problems and blame pedigree dogs and dog shows, but never reveal if the affected dogs showcased, were from reputable breeders or puppy millers.
2. It never gave a fair assessment of the large amount of money spent by the KC and AKC in genetic research to lessen the problems. Kennel clubs obviously acknowledge the problems and are therefore doing something about it to put things right.
3. One sided comments from activists and selected views from the KC to make them look bad. The breeders interviewed were basically tricked into saying things which villanised them. Filming specimens with poor movement and saying this is the case with all pedigree dogs is not right!
4. Vets who came on the show to condemn pedigree dog breeders. Seems ironic considering they wouldn't have a livelihood if it wasn't for the millions of pedigree dogs they treat. No offence to the decent vets I know who are not after cheap publicity! They never showed any vets who are themselves breeders and exhibitors, or vets who mentioned how willing and cooperative genuine breeders have been in trying to identify and stamp out specific genetic disorders.
5. Most of the problems they talk about of inbreeding etc., are also present in other livestock, but why weren't those highlighted - simple - because dog people are the easiest to attack as they know we the least united! Take the tail docking issue where dogs became the target and the rest were left alone.
You know it's really high time all the governing bodies worldwide, banded together and did joint projects on positive promotion of pedigree dogs. It is appalling that we always play defensively and never offensively and as a consequence the reputation of the world of pedigree dogs suffers. The projects undertaken by the KC, AKC, and other governing bodies are never highlighted and it's time someone initiated it and got this group together.
With the pressure that is on us now, I sure hope that this most serious issue of the continued existence of pedigree dogs in today's PC society, forms the key subject of worldwide meetings of canine governing bodies and they are not only arguing about Breed Standard interpretation and the use of hairspray! It may sound far fetched, but we seriously need to look at the bigger picture and view this on a macro scale. The longer we take to get our act together collectively, the more ground we will lose and the harder it is to recover it. The tail docking issue springs to mind again and BSL is another that comes across my mind. Some serious money needs to be spent collectively, with some good and reputable PR firms to make sure that we counter these activist and properly showcase pedigree dogs.
It's also time governing bodies came up with stricter codes of practice, when it comes to breeding dogs to safeguard the future of all pedigree dogs. Let the puppy millers suffer - who cares, as it's because of them that we have to take the flack for poorly bred specimens with an array of health issues. Stricter rules, limited registers, breed surveys, etc. are all ways to move forward and not hold us back. Mandatory tests for prevalent breed problems should also be compulsory before two dogs can be bred from, as it's also obvious not all breeders are honest about the unseen problems in their dogs. One part of the documentary is very correct in saying that not enough is being done in this area to ensure that only those that should be bred from are.
Collectively - across the globe - there is more than enough money and talent, to put together a really powerful campaign to champion the cause of pedigree dogs. You need to use proper PR people, who know the tricks of the trade to handle certain issues and not allow representatives from the governing bodies to be tricked into answering leading questions and making statements that could be interpreted wrongly. That's what PR firms are really good at doing - just see how they make politicians look like saints! It will also put a positive spin on breeders, as they will be better equipped to answer questions and not let their emotions rule their replies and end up making ALL of us appear unreasonable and uncaring about our dogs, like the lady who said she would rather cull ridgeless Ridgeback pups! ARGH!!
We need to move this to a more professional level! When are we going to do it? Is it already being done? United we stand.....divided we fall. Apathy is the other malady that continues to be rife and slowly kills the world of pedigree dogs. The attitude that "it won't happen to us" has come back to bite too many people in the rear, all too late!
Gopi Krishnan<br /> Hacienda Dachshunds - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Cavaliers Set Guiness Record
- And The Winner Is ...
- Vale Dianne Sunman
- The Skeptic Tank
- John & Carrie
- Prison Pet Partnership
- The Versatile GSP
- The Kennel Club response to the BBC programme
- Ticket to Ride - the AKC Train - Carmen Battaglia
- The Golden Pawshake for Endal
- AKC Group Re-alignment? Danger of Fetching Sticks
- The NT Circuit - dogs and people havig fun
- And - as always - some of Australia's most beautiful dogs
- Comparison of the breeds
- Buyer's Check list
- Ace: World War 11 Flying Aussie - Kathy Glaes
- Herding with Borders - Tracey Lamb & Suzanne Chandler
- Better Learn to Duck - Gwen R Litz (USA)
- Understanding the Australian Shepherd - Steph Gibson (WA)
- Versatile Borders
- Making Aussie History - Shirley & Geoff Ford
- The Border Collie who could save a life - Magali Chauvet
- The Long and Winding Road - C A Sharp
- Avoiding Breeding Pitfalls
- Structure of the Australian Shepherd - Gail Stephens
- Why Aussies and Agility Go So Well Together - Roslyn Yeo
- Border Collie History - PJ Viedler
- History of the Breed in NZ - Judy Voss
- Health Check
- Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome
- The Complexity of Colour in the Border Collie - Phil Ruffles
- Australian Shepherd History - Linda Rorem
- Three Versatile Aussies
- The Border's Coat of Many Colours - Joan Bray
- Barking Up The Right Tree - Gavin Ehringer
- Early Days with Aussies - Les Mathieson
- Commencing our Breeder Profiles