July 2008 Issue

July 2008 Cover

On our cover

NEW ZEALAND & AUSTRALIAN GRAND CHAMPION BOKAR GEEZ
Owned by:
Sue Huebner & Kathryn Stewart

July 2008 Contents

Editorial:

And as they say, thereby hangs a tail.

A recently published decision by Dogs NSW is to accept and assist in funding a pilot breeding programme to attempt to introduce a natural bob gene into the Dobermann as occurred in England with the Boxer/Corgi cross breeding programme. Why, we must ask? The survival of the Dobermann breed is NOT dependent on them having short tails. Yes we all prefer them to look that way, but all over the world breeders are moving on and there are many dog breeding and ownership pressures with higher priority than aesthetics. Of further great concern is the statement that after FIVE YEARS of cross breeding these pilot Dobermanns (with Boxers descended from the Boxer/Corgi cross) progeny conforming to the Standard will be registered. Surely this meant five generations we asked? In England if was four generations, the norm for developmental cross breeding schemes in other livestock. No, we are assured, five years, ie only two generations in a breeding programme conforming to our Code of Ethics regarding the minimum age for breeding from bitches and the frequency of litters from that bitch. We are not sure how a crossbred Boxer/Dobermann varies to any real degree from a crossbred Labrador and Poodle.

Simon Parsons wrote in Dog World May 2, As the first generation of undocked puppies come to maturity in many breeds, they are bound to begin to take top honours in the ring.

In some breeds, occasional examples of either undocked imports, or dogs whose breeders have preferred to leave on their tail, have appeared in the ring and in some cases done well. English Springers, American Cockers, Valhunds, Norfolk and Norwich Terriers are among those in which there had been undocked titleholders even before the ban, and I know there's a CC-winning UK-bred Rottweiler.

In addition, various undocked dogs have come visiting to Crufts, sometimes with success. I can recall seeing tailed Old English Sheepdogs, Australian Shepherds, Welsh Springers, Poodles of course and several of the terrier breeds, just to mention a few, among the green card winners at Crufts over the last few years.

But several breeds have to see an undocked dog take a major award, and I'd be interested to hear of any 'firsts': the first tailed RCC winner, CC winner or champion in the various breeds.

One such is Boxers and I hear these now have their first tailed RCC winner in the puppy bitch, Rebkai Tale of Love for Winuwuk. Says co-owner Tim Hutchings "Within reason, the Boxer fold are just getting on with it - to be honest - our experience is that once you've got tails in the kennel you very rapidly get used to it".

Something else Tim says "We've been amazed to notice how much further forward tailed litters are and how much quicker they are up on their feet in the nest. Maybe banding had more of an effect than we thought? Be interesting to know if anyone else is owning up to this?" Not perhaps what the prodockers wanted to hear, but has anyone else noted a difference? ND/RL note: I checked this with several well known breeders here of formerly docked breeds who conform to the law of this land and no longer dock. They all confirmed this was also their experience.

In a breeder profile in our issue this month Ann O'Keefe states ...

Tails have of course also changed, given the new legislation and we all have to get used to the additional bit on the end, some will say this changes the 'type' but if in balance and correctly carried and of course wagged merrily, it soon becomes the norm rather than the unusual and we learn to accept this as part of our beloved breed. Judges also need to accept this along with some breeders who have taken longer than others to accept change, like all things new we want to fight it rather than accept and move forward but sooner or later we must comply and accept and hope that judges also see it this way and reward the good specimen for all the merit it has ...

Moving on to more positive thinking ... On Monday 30 June there was a wonderful tongue in cheek segment on Designer Dogs, ABC, James Valentine, starting with cockerdoodles and moving to pugaliers. Wish I had been able to tape it and then more positive pro purebred dogs material on the great success rates being achieved by security patrols using German Shepherd Dogs to help control drunken and unacceptable behaviour in Ceduna and Port Augusta. Of course a few of the usual looniees rang in and said there were shades of the Nazi death camps and the dog patrols in South Africa during the Suweto riots and then extending to having a whinge about the use of sniffer dogs in nightclubs, but many more people rang saying how effective the patrols were and that the dogs in fact were becoming crowd favourites and highly accepted in the area, especially by the many tourists who greatly appreciated the improvement in safety.

And a round up of news in this issue, from our NZ correspondent ... Elaine Banks ... In the Dominion Post 11 June it was pleasing to see that John Payne, President of the Institute of Animal Control Offices provided a long list of amendments that he said were needed to improve the legislation which the government introduced in response to dog attacks. He said that the Institute did not support breed specific legislation for several reasons, including the fact that the greatest influence on dogs' aggression was environmental. He told the committee that an American Pitbull Terrier could be an extremely good animal in the hands of a responsible owner, while a Labrador in the wrong hands could be a danger. People had opinions about certain breeds but not necessarily the statistics to back them up.

From Jenine Glen ... Dogs NSW Northern Region Coastal was the highlight of the month with the Festival of the Canine. This was a 3 day show combining All Breeds, Obedience and Agility in a spectacular fashion, with a Junior Handler Competition on Saturday night followed by a Veterans' Parade. Michelle Hurcumb first suggested the idea 18 months ago and was told she was mad and it would never work!!! Well more fool the sceptics who were proven wrong with the event being a huge success and already booked for next year. Write it in your diaries now - 29 - 31 May 2009.

Jenine says they made a big event of the Junior Handling on Saturday night ... Wayne McGrath, Peter Conway and Jenine judged all age groups in a formal and great occasion. Cheese, wine and biscuits were on offer, what a great idea!

From Ann Sorraghan, another good idea ... I can report that some of the Trainee Judges have done us proud with their enthusiasm and initiative. The Sporting Terrier Club offered to allow trainees to run Competitions in their name, as long as the trainees did the entire organisation. After a phone call to Helen and Colin Hamilton and an email to the VCA, the first STC Trainee Judges Competition was held at Sunbury. It required the trainees to put a notice by the Terrier ring, to tell exhibitors the trainees needed their dogs and some effort by the trainees to go - before each class - to actually get dogs to the ring. Exhibitors used the same number as in the Sunbury catalogue. Trainees made a ring, took the entries (free), stewarded, judged and supplied trophies. Trainees from other Groups are now taking the initiative and getting excellent experience in the ring.

From Sandy Reeve ... on Nth Qld's Dogs for City Living event ... Perhaps the greatest achievement of the day was in the fact that the Events Manager for the Townsville Entertainment Centre enjoyed the show to the extent that the Toy Dog Club has been asked to be the Main Feature of next year's Home and Garden Lifestyle Show to be held over Mothers' Day weekend. Not only are Toys acceptable, they are to be the feature of one of the North's largest entertainment attractions!

From Weimaraner correspondent Wendy Laigne-Stewart re some Weis locating some missing Staffords ... the owners of the Staffords wrote to Dogs NSW, and their letter was published. By helping out like this (which I am sure Peter would say anyone would do) these women now think a lot of dog people, and think Weimaraners are geniuses. That is an awful lot of good PR for the dog world.

And from a correspondent to Kathleen O'Donnell's Australian Terrier notes... Australian Terrier Club of America 50th Anniversary show. No matter what the result I loved the way the Aussie people stuck together and supported their breed in the General Specials ring ...no bitching just out and out cheering; would have had to have been the most vocal supporters on the ground (pity we couldn't see similar appreciation and support in Australia) then after the show it's party time in 1 form or another and again ALL attend and mix and have fun... a real eye opener.

Finally our PBGV correspondent Marie McKenzie ... I forgot to mention that, at the PBGV Club of America National held in April, the President of the Club, Bob Cohen, announced that PETA was demonstrating against the show in front of the hotel. Apparently the hotel handled the situation wonderfully. Staff notified the Committee early in the morning that PETA would be holding a protest; and they were assured that the protestors would not be allowed on the property. The hotel even placed plain clothes security at the entrances. A news crew from a local television channel came out to cover it. The crew went inside and spoke on camera to Bob Cohen and filmed some of the show, and by all accounts the PETA mob came off second best as public sympathy was with the PBGVs, I wish these nutters would leave us alone!

Wendye Slatyer - Editor

Features:

  • 4 page "catch up" with profiles on our Shih Tzu and Lhasa folk from last month

Breed Feature:

40 page stand alone Breed Feature on Cocker Spaniels and American Cockers
  • A comparison of the Breed Standards
  • The Lambrigg Story, Harry Spira
  • The Breed Standard, American Cocker, Ken Griffin
  • Grooming the Cocker, Toni Dennis
  • The Thomas Family
  • Recollections, Julie Dickinson Franks
  • Memory Lane - American Cockers
  • Breeder or Judge ?- "Mac" Formston
  • The mighty "Wings" - Barbara Killworth
  • Ken Daniels and Ch Feenix Firestone Three
  • Vic Jones thinks back
  • Impressions - The English Cocker Spaniel, Ken Griffin
  • Memory Lane - English Cockers
  • 13th Cocker National, Australia
  • BIS Sydney Royal 1982 - Ch Lahearn LoveM B LeaveM
  • USA Cocker National
  • Profiles

Articles:

Regulars:

  • Honey Gross Richardson
  • Communic8tor
  • Informant
  • And - as always - some of Australia's most beautiful dogs
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