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Fighting a loosing battle...

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Publicist Angel Neychev   
Monday, 29 January 2007
My youngest bitch is having her first litter and I have to stay put as she is all the time checking that I am near by. So why not use this opportunity to write a new topic.

 

I am as always very concerned with science contra breeding, but as the headline says I feel I am fighting a loosing battle. This spring there will be a lot of litters born in Norway. Most breeders  put an ad on a very well known site for selling pets. Yesterday I had a look at this site ,and one of the Norwegian breeders had an ad that was a true copy of those I read from breeders on the Continent. The parents were H.D:A, BAER+/+ and had all teeth. This was then of course meant to be  information  to help sell the future puppies. We all know that these are in no way guaranteed to get all teeth, 100% hearing or healthy hips, in spite of their “ excellent”  parents. Even worse such ads might give the impression that most Dalmatians are deaf, toothless and having problems with moving due to bad hips.
I can well imagine that in a few years time this kind of ads will have even more information about the parents  test results, giving the public and presumptive buyers an impression of very healthy pups. It might even make it difficult for some to sell puppies from untested parents .I am not against testing to know as much as possible about ones breeding stock, but I am so very much against excellent dogs in temper and confirmation being shut out from breeding because they fall short in some tests that give the answer to the status of this one quality in the dog, and even more ridiculous when we cannot be sure that the puppies inherit the same qualities as their parents. So far we only exclude dogs with unhealthy hips and unwanted colour from breeding in Norway, but I am very much afraid that unilateral dogs will follow suit and as tests increase in number, so will unused dogs..
Let us start with hip dyspepsia, here we even have a rule in Norway that parents must have healthy hips, even so the percentage of dogs with healthy hips have not improved over the last 25 years, we still have ca. 10% of the puppies developing unhealthy hips. Even so it is very rare that a Dalmatian has to be put to sleep because of troubles with their hips, so when all comes to all maybe hip x-ray are not so important after all? I have at least heard this stated from various veterinarians over the years. They are shocked as to how much money is spent to x-ray dogs hips, when the result of leaving out affected dogs is zero.
 
Then the hearing issue. We all know that 100% hearing dogs can give deaf puppies just as the unilateral does. I take it that 100% deaf animals are not bred from, but a test was carried out in Sweden many years ago, showing that two deaf parents did not give more deaf puppies in the next generations,  than the average in the population. The deaf puppies in Norway constitute an average of between 3 and 4 % of all puppies born ( at the most 5-10 individuals) There are up to recently not many Dalmatians tested, so we are sure to have some parents that are unilateral, in spite of this the percentage of deaf puppies do not increase.
 
 The problem comes when one has an outstanding dog that proves to be unilateral and so will be excluded from breeding. How can a breed afford this without loosing qualities like type and confirmation. A dog that is not a good specimen but has 100% hearing will be preferred to the excellent dog, and time might show that the chosen dog might give quite a few deaf and unilateral puppies. Everybody must see how idiotic this is!!
 
When we add to the two issues above ,the questions of a full bite and the newly discovered interest in MO, not to forget dogs that carry the gene for unwanted colour ,one is not left with many dogs to choose from when trying to find a suitable match. Finding a dog that is free from these  unwanted qualities and is a good DALMATIAN can prove very difficult and might in spite of all tests give puppies with the “faults” you are so eager to avoid.(Excluding unwanted colour)
The most important quality for a new dog owner is the dogs temper ,so far there has not been any tests  that are adequate in testing an animals temper, though some  dog trials can give you a good indication. So far most breeders are indifferent to these tests ,even if they all agree that well functioning dogs are a must.
We have also the problem of allergies that are on the increase ,maybe due to the environments which are becoming more and more unsuitable both for dogs and humans.
I have had the misfortune of breeding both animals that prove to have an unwanted temper and some that are developing atopi(a very serious allergic condition)This has been a disaster for the dogs, the owners and me the breeder.
I have also bred dogs that develop unhealthy hips, lacking premolars, yellow spots and unilateral hearing. All these dogs have lived to a ripe old age ,giving their families the joy of owning a nice companion. Maybe we should concentrate more on the  issues of temper and allergies?
I sincerely believe that breeding dogs is taking a wrong turn and it might well be that the future of our breed is in the balance ,slowly  looking less and less like the standard says a good Dalmatian should look like .What is  the point in breeding spotted dogs with all teeth, 100% hearing and healthy hips, when the spots are the only quality that  show that the dog is meant to be a Dalmatian..

http://www.perditas-dalmatiner.com 

Обновено на ( Sunday, 29 April 2007 )
 
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