Category Archives: Best of Health – Our Dogs

“The elephant in the room” – my June 2018 Best of Health article

Earlier this month I was invited to make a presentation on Breed Improvement Strategies to the Dog Breeding Reform Group (DBRG). The DBRG is a registered charity that aims to promote humane behaviour towards animals by providing and supporting initiatives to improve dog welfare. It wants to be “a voice for dogs” and was founded …

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My “Best of Health” article for May 2018 – A review of worldwide KC breeding policies

This month saw the publication of a paper in the Veterinary Journal titled “Breeding policies and management of pedigree dogs in 15 national kennel clubs”. The authors include Dr Tom Lewis from our Kennel Club. The authors investigated approaches being adopted by Kennel Clubs internationally and what they see as high priority issues. They issued …

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What is it they say about “statistics”? – my April 2018 “Best of Health” article

There seem to be endless discussions about the evidence for or against the prevalence of health conditions in specific breeds of pedigree dogs. The “front line” of these battles over data has been among the Brachycephalic breeds in the past 12 months. Numerous other breeds crop up for debate with a predictable regularity (GSDs, Cavaliers, …

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Managing breeds for a secure future – my March 2018 “Best of Health” article

The return of the snow, recently, reminded me of my Christmas reading. Sponenberg, Martin and Beranger’s “Managing breeds for a secure future” is now in its second edition (2017). It has been updated to reflect the emerging debates in animal breeding and includes domestic species such as dogs. The authors are academics but attempt to …

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Healthy dogs: breeders and owners want the same thing

Sometimes, it’s easy to lose sight of what we’re all striving for. With vocal and polarised “camps”, the noise we hear often boils down to “ban x breed” at one end of the spectrum and “breed x is perfectly healthy” at the other. These positions are sometimes exacerbated by cherry-picking of data and evidence to …

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