“Some people in the dog fancy need to wake up and smell the coffee”

Some people in the dog fancy need to wake up and smell the coffee

Those are among the final words from Ronnie Irving, former KC Chairman, in an interview with Bo Bengtson, directed at those who have been so loudly critical of the Crufts-type health tests and feel that they are a disservice to the sport of purebred dogs.

Two blog posts appear in the American Best in Show website blog:

Part 1

Part 2

This is a really insightful interview which gives the background to the vet checks and the reason why the KC has identified a number of “High Profile Breeds”.  The interview puts the vet checks in context and explains the origins of the KC’s work on addressing criticisms of the conformational exaggerations of some pedigree dogs.

Ronnie also says: “There is, certainly here in Europe, a much greater awareness than ever before amongst the public at large and amongst politicians and lawmakers as well, that exaggerated features in some breeds can cause the dogs discomfort at best – and suffering at worst. It simply isn’t good enough just to dismiss this and claim that people with such views are “just animal rightists” or “terrorists.” If we want our hobby of dog showing to survive and prosper, we have to recognise that. If we want dog showing to remain as a socially and widely acceptable pastime, we simply have to work on curbing the excesses. We just cannot sit around allowing greater and greater exaggeration to take place. I would like to think that this could all be left to the judges and the breeders, but I fear that this is a vain hope.”

We only have to look at the recent report of the parliamentary EFRA Committee to see the continued scrutiny being applied to pedigree dogs.  There is no point complaining that EFRA “got it wrong” or “didn’t understand the issues”.  I am pleased to say that the Dachshund Breed Council, with its Health Sub-committee, has been extremely proactive in communicating the need to avoid exaggeration in Dachshunds and in providing guidance to judges and breeders.

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