You might see the title of this blog and you would be right in thinking Jane is not very happy with the Kennel Club (KC) and that she disbelieves their statement they boldy have printed on the second page of their Assured Breeders Scheme (ABS) application form and is used on the home page of the KC to promote the scheme they now have "My KC" pages for ABS breeders and I'm also going to add my disbelieve of the KC's statement on their home page of their website saying, "We are the UK's largest orginisation dedicated to protecting and promoting the health and welfare of all dogs." Why do I disbelieve these statements ? Just look at the statements they look like they have been pulled from the Tony Blair's and Alastair Campbell's master classes of spin. Do bad shit and do some good shit and hopefully people will be blinded by the good shit, especially if its thrown in their eyes. "Wow Jane, stop ! You have just been a bit political there and maybe you are just making me feel a little uncomfortable, after all, all I just want is a dog." " What kind of dog do you want though ?" Maybe like a lot of people you want a dog that can breath and after playing with for five minutes on the lawn, your dog is looking at you blowing instead of you watching them collapsing in a heap struggling to catch their breath. Maybe you might like a dog that can happily communicate with other dogs, it has a tail, a nose and ears it can be moved independantly and maybe you might just like a dog that can make it to ten years old without already having heart disease, cancer etc. So if you maybe want your dog to have some of the attributes I have just mentioned, you might want to carry on reading, but for those who just want a dog to look cute, not be any hassle and are not worried by big vets bills and watching a dog die at a tragically young age, then you are going to want one of the disabled dogs being bred in there droves under the Assured scheme, so you probably ain't going to want to read on and I suggest you get straight onto the KC website and click on "Puppy Finder" and your away.
Lets get back to my disbelieve and this stems from rule 2.7 of the Assured Breeder Scheme, " 2.7) Not use ABS membership to promote the breeding of crossbreeds or mixed breeds. Breeders who choose to breed crossbreeds are eligible to join the scheme, providing that they fulfill all other requirements, but must not make claims that they are unable to substantiate regarding the outcome of the puppies and therefore must not use their status as an Assured Breeder to promote the breeding of dogs that may be an unknown quantity. The ABS is designed to promote good breeding practice, which includes encouraging the breeding of dogs of suitable temperament, type and physical characteristics to enable buyers to select a suitable dog. Where breeders choose to mix breeds or types of dog, the temperament and physical traits may be more difficult to predict and therefore it is more challenging for Breeders to achieve the aims of the ABS." Now I can't believe any legal mind was used to write rule 2.7 of the ABS, this is breed club placating by the KC and we must ask how did this openly prejudice piece of crap ever get past the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) because as I hope to show and explain it is racism and saying that they think that cross breeding makes type and temperament less predictable than breeding pure, makes my back crawl because it stinks of the Victorian era and the fear of mix race offspring in humans and has no science to back the reasoning of there rule 2.7. At a guess, I would think they got this past the UKAS because they have little knowledge of dog breeding and the KC chucked a load of good shit in their eyes, you know, they banged on about health tests, their involved in and money they give to dog welfare charities and I would not be surprised if the UKAS then said, "If you want to lynch some of those cross, mixed breeders, as you have so much good shit, I don't expect we would notice."
Lets look at the KC 's worries about mixed race dogs, Yes I said, "race", we use the friendly term cross or mixed instead of race, so pure breeders don't feel so racist when knocking what we do, a bit like they like saying, line breeding instead of inbreeding.
Lets look at my dogs first. The Cavalier within its breed as the abilty to be anything from 5 kilos up to 13 kilos in size and 8 to 13 inches at the shoulder. We have four different colour types in the breed and some combinations like Blenheim to Blenheim almost certainly you should get all Blenheim pups but genetics likes to mess with our heads from time to time and I know of a Blenheim to Blenheim mating throwing up all four colours and I have seen pups from a Cavalier litter at adulthood from the size of 8 kilos to 13 kilos and 8 to 13 inches at the shoulder. The only time I see real uniformity is when bloodlines are very tightly line bred or as I like to give it its true name inbred (Line breeding is inbreeding, calling it line breeding is a bit of that old spin and makes it sound nicer, who likes to think the Dad of their pup is also the Uncle and Grandad of the pup, some bloodlines you only go back just four generations and you can see one sire appears six times in the family tree, this is not uncommon especially if you have a low founder population like Cavaliers and if you went back to 1942 when it was split from the King Charles with only five sires founding it, Dad being brother, Uncle and Granddad to its offspring would of been common place). Cavaliers as well should have a happy go lucky attitude to life and like everyone and should not be nervous but I have meet Cavaliers that display the full range of temperaments from nervous to aggresive but you might say, "That's more to do with the owner than the breeding of the dog", and I would reply, " Exactly !", so we have just dispelled that predicting a puppy's nature is easier than if a cross or mixed breed and that a lot of a dogs temperament is going to stem from nurture as well as nature. So hopefully I am starting to show that actually within a breed we have variation (unless very linebred) in type and temperament that is not that predictable as the KC like to make you think pure breeds are.
The Poodle (miniature) can be from 11 to 15 inches in height ( I have seen this size Poodle a lot taller than 15 inches though) and comes in a vast selection of colours without mentioning parti because the Show brigade do not like the parti Poodles (lots of falling out about parti marking within the Poodle brigade, so I will leave that well alone) and temperaments for Poodles range from gay abandonment to frightened of a fly's shadow. So again we see the Poodle has variation and like the Cavalier this can be though vastly narrowed if the dog is very inbred because that is what is achieved by inbreeding, it starts by getting an exaggerated trait and then to standardise it or make each dog look the same in a breed but has not be proven to predict any more accuately temperament than if cross breeding. The temperament of an adult dog stems partly from nature and as most now agree largely on, from life experience, nurture.
Now lets look at the dogs that I have bred from cross breeding the Cavalier with the Poodle (miniature). We breed two colour golden or black, both colours can have white pointing, which is a bit of white on the face, chest, feet and tip of tail. The pups at adulthood are from 7.5 kilos upto around 13.5 kilos and at the shoulder they stand from 10 inches to around 13 inches but we have one from one of our largest bitches that is around 16 inches at the shoulder. The temperaments have been reported as mad as a hatter to the most laid back, thankfully no problems with aggression have been reported back to us. So the cross breed seems to be throwing up no more variation than seen in each of the breeds used and the temperament issue of nature is if you have parents regardless of breed that are sound in temperament with good nurture that is what the pups should aspire to. So I hope to of now shown that predicting a dogs type and temperament is not suddenly going to be any harder to predict by cross breeding, so denying a breeder to be unable to sell its cross breed or mixed breed puppies through this scheme because they consider that the Assured Breeder would "promote the breeding of dogs that may be of unknown quantity", is based on prejudice not facts.
The next part of their reasoning for their prejudice against cross or pure breeding on the ABS is "The ABS is designed to promote good breeding of dogs of suitable temperament, type and physical characteristics to enable buyers to select a suitable dog." So does this mean they think cross breeding cannot produce dogs like that ?I'm with them on good breeding of dogs, that is what we want whether pure, cross or mixed. Note no mention of breeding for good health in amongst temperament, type and physical traits. The biggest part of the dog world is dogs as just pets, so for most temperament is going to be a priority with health and physical characteristics like four legs, tail, ears and a muzzle might also be on the list of must haves, one thing your not going to be worried about is whether he/she could strutt its stuff at Crufts. Your needs are probably going to be far simpler, such as it can fetch a ball, lick a childs tear away and for some in the night, you put your arm out and they are their, you are not alone. For a lot of us dogs are not about pedigrees not about standards they are an enigma, I actually find it incredible hard to quantify my relationship with dogs and somethings are just best being and really don't need to be explained but need protecting. The KC excluding breeders of cross breeds to promote good breeding of cross or mixed breeding of dogs on the ABS is showing they are not "dedicated to protecting the health and welfare of all dogs". The ABS seems it is dedicated to the wealth and outdated breeding ethics of pure breeders.
The scheme has seen some recent changes and now rather than inferring they check every breeder, they are actually checking each breeder as they breed, so if you get a puppy on this scheme now the breeder should be able to show you a form signed by the KC that they have been checked, if they have not got this, either they are not even on the scheme or they are yet to be checked, so should not be selling the pups under the scheme. The check though is a ticking box exercise and with the Cavalier breed still not having to mandatory do health tests for hearts or for the condition Syringomyelia, its not very focussed on breeding for health in this breed.
They had actually only checked around 3% breeders on the scheme just before Christmas 2013 and then the blog Pedigree Dogs Exposed, exposed a breeder that was on the KC, ABs that is now being taking to court for welfare issues with their dogs, French Bulldogs, so suddenly in the New Year without any consultation with ABS members the KC has changed rules to every breeder being inspected before a pup leaves them but one problem seems they have implemented this without the infra structure to carry it out quickly enough for members, as this article in Dog World shows http://www.dogworld.co.uk/product.php/107634, some breeders on the scheme have puppies ready to leave them but are still waiting to be inspected to fulfill selling the pup on the scheme.
You can read about ABS French Bulldog breeder welfare case and the lack of breeding checks by the KC at http://pedigreedogsexposed.blogspot.co.uk look at the blog for December and you will read about the cruelty case and findings for how many breeders have actually been checked so far on the scheme. It makes for sad reading.
They have also put the fee up and this will cover the cost of checking breeders every three years, I think if you are breeding every year the check should be annual and I also think if breeders are going to enter on such schemes they should also sit a written test about breeding and the breed or type of dog they are breeding. Race horse trainers have to do exams now to train horses and this was brought in because of welfare issues in training yards because some trainers lacked basic horse management skills, so I think this would be a good idea for people wanting to gain kudos on such a scheme, so the KC does know they have basic dog management and understanding of dog breeding and not just that every three years they can know how to use a vaccum cleaner and can shampoo a dog before a KC visit.
I have now accidently loaded this up and have yet to finish it and edit it and because I have published it the only way I can take it down is to delete it, I'm not going to do that but I will be back later to complete it, so hope it makes sense so far.
Sorry about the little blip but had to do the school run and in my haste published instead of saving as a draft, but I'm back now.
As you can see I can drift in my writing, so lets try and summaries so far. Now I have no problem with the KC being a dog registery for pure breeds but when they start trying to be the abiter of all that is dog and we look at the mess that pure breeds are in from to small gene pools and breeding dogs so disfigured conformationally they struggle to function as a dog and these dogs where and are still winning ribbons under the KC, I find it hard not to pop my head over the parapet and say, "Wait a minute, you say all dogs, all dog breeding you are dedicated to the health and welfare of, I'm afraid I beg to differ." So at this point we have to say, "KC if you want to be the abiter of all dogs, stop sitting on the fence and openly accept that cross and mixed breeding has a place in the tool kit for breeding dogs."
See unlike most involved in the KC I have seen cross breeding happily excepted in other species and practiced cross breeding in other species, so I am not afraid of it and see and know it benefits. God damn it, even the thoroughbred (tb) horse industry except it and you can get a scruffy old pony of unknown heritage put it to a tb stallion and it is then registered on the Non-tb register and believe it or not you can then race that half breed against pure tb's without having to desex it either (in the USA cross breed dogs are now allowed to field trial, believe me a lot of the pure dog field trialing brigade where not happy when this was allowed (in the UK cross breed dogs are still not allowed to field trial) and I think to placate them, one rule of them competing is a cross breed can only field trial if desexed), then breed the offspring back eight times to tb and you then get on the tb Stud book as a pure tb. So the tb industry happily except cross breeding with no problem, farming excepts cross breeding with no problem and most horse breed societies run part breed registers alongside their pure breed registers and accept cross or mixed breeding as a tool alongside pure breeding to breed animals and actually the KC except cross breeding but not openly and in a way not many people know about. Now if I see a dog and buy it without known parentage but it looks like a Cavalier, walks like a Cavalier and talks like a Cavalier, I can apply to the KC for that dog to be registered as a Cavalier, it will be inspected and if it is thought of good enough type, it then will go on the register as a foundation dog of unknown breeding, my Brittany Spaniel, Henry has dogs like this on his pedigree only four generations back and allowing dogs on the registery like this was explained to me as "helping to open genetic variation" but it makes a joke of the pure aspect and knowing health issues within a breed, as the KC does not want cross and mix breeding being promoted on the Assured Scheme because its such a mixed bag , you don't know what you are going to get but yet I can get a so called pure breed and like Henry he has four generation back on his sires side, all are of unknown breeding, so that potentially that makes Henry a cross breed and four generations foundation dogs crossed to pure Brittany's that means Henry is 1/8 unknown breeding. he is a cross breed but this is where it gets even more farcical with the KC, if I took one of my Cavalier's crossed with a Poodle and crossed back until the dog was only 1/8th Poodle and produced all proof of parentage and health tests, the chance that dog gets on the Cavalier breed registery would be almost next to impossible and you have more chance trying to get a dog on with unknown parentage. With cross breeding as we saw with the LUA Dalmatians http://www.luadalmatians.com/History.html , after first being turned down by the American KC, it took the man 14 generations for the UK KC would except them on the register to much whaling of dicontent from the UK Dalmation breed club. The Dalmatian cross was done solely to improve health and if the KC had not excepted these dogs on the register, I think they would of lost total credibility in the dog welfare world. So as we see the KC does except cross breeding but not openly and it is and has excepted cross breeding, why can it not be promoted under the KC, ABS ?
Now just under two weeks ago I had a chat with Bill Lambert on the phone about rule 2.7 of the ABS. Bill Lambert is one of the head honchos in the KC, ABS. The funny thing is that I rung up the KC about the rule and Bill Lambert was not available to talk about this and the lady on the phone told me she would get him to ring me, I just commented jokingly, "That he probably did not wish to speak with me after past communications we have had," and hilariously the lady translated what I said to Bill Lambert as, "He won't want to speak to me because he is frightened of me." So the day after I rang the KC, I noticed several missed calls from a mobile number I did not recognised and then an email from Bill Lambert telling me he had tried to contact me several times and could I contact him, so I did and his first words where, "I was trying to get hold of you because you said, "I would be frightened to talk to you", but I assured him that was not what I said and we actually had a pleasant conversation and he actually complemented me (well, I thought it was a complement) on the fact we could have a pleasant conversation about cross breeding, unlike when he discusses this with most pure breeders. I bite my tongue rather a lot and maybe Bill Lambert bite his tongue a little bit as well. Bill Lambert,I could go on about things said but I actually feel sorry for the chap, if ever someone was handed a poisoned chalace, this chap has and the vitriol he has to deal from most days from pure breeders about cross breeders, that he told me about and I don't doubt that for a second, I even go as far as to say, " He might deserve a medal for receiving vitriol beyond the call of duty." so I'm going to give bashing Bill Lambert a miss and safe passage to you and lets hope Bill Lambert can be brave and wipe the vitriol down each day and do the right thing for dogs and not the easy route of letting the bullies win.
Bill Lambert did say though that I can be an ABS member but I asked, "How does that work with a breeder who only is doing cross and mixed breeding for the forseable future ?" Bill Lambert really could not answer that. The fact that you breed cross breeds, how can you even be on the scheme with rule 2.7 because if someone comes to your home under the ABS looking at a pure litter and you also have a cross breed litter, do you have to hide them and then if they ask you about cross/mixed breeding, if you believe its a good tool to use in breeding dogs can you say this or do you have to tell the client rule 2.7 and answer their question with, "No comment", so you don't breach your ABS agreement. For me all the breeding I am doing at this time I'm not allowed to promote under the ABS, so how can I be a member of something that I cannot promote what I do under it ? So I'm going to have to tell the KC to kiss my arse on that one. Lol
Now I'm going to have to wind this up, my bums gone numb. KC either your a pure breed register or your a register for dogs ? Simple, drop rule 2.7 it stinks and make the ABS about good breeding not pure breeding.
I'm going to end on a passage from "In the defence of dogs", by John Bradshaw who is a biologist who founded and directs the world renowned Anthrozoology Insitute, based at Bristol University and has studied the behaviour of domestic dogs for over twentyfive years. The passage is from Chapter 10, "Problems with Pedigrees", and I could of choose a passage about how much we have reduced genetic variation in the domestic dog by pure breeding but the passage I choose is about how we have disabled the ability of dogs to communicate with each other :
"Selective breeding has also damaged dogs' abilities to communicate with each other. Since communication is crucial to harmonious social interaction, dogs whose reportoire of visual signals is restricted are intrinsically penalized. Those whose intentions cannot easily be gauged are often avoided by other dogs. Others, having been on the receiving end of unexpected aggression because they could not read another dog's intentions, become anxious towards all other dogs.
Indeed, the structures that the wolf uses for visual signalling have been drastically altered by the extremes of body conformation introduced by selective breeding. Jaws have ben shortened, facial expressions hidden by loose skin or obscurring hair, ears permanently pricked up or hanging heavily, coats lengthened or made wiry so that hackles cannot be raised, legs shortened so that the dog cannot easily crouch, tails curled or docked. These changes have had a davastating effect on the visual signalling repertoire of many breeds: some, such as the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, seem incapable of emitting any of the wolf's visual signals (which number over twenty, at a conservative estimate). They no longer have access, therefore, to the primary mode whereby pack members can communicate with one another." by John Bradshaw, from the book "In the defence of dogs"
A few fun photo's the children took this evening of some of us trying to look like the evil nemisis of the KC. I'm only joking ! Nice one showing the scar on my nose, by the time I was twenty, I managed to break and split my nose open twice, you should of seen the other person though, and a couple of Smudge sleeping through the fun , now around five weeks pregnant.
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you,but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Samuel Butler
Me with Bumble and Blottie, waiting patiently to be unleashed, November 2018
Hello, I am Jane, you might of guessed, I love dogs. We are situated in the North Devon countryside, England, United Kingdom. Our home is occupied by my husband, David, our children, pack of dogs and me.