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Breed Notes - 19 Dec 2021
We are at that time of year when reflections on the past, present and future are the order of the day. In the spirit of that thought, we were musing on our “Thursday”, now well over two years old and yet to step into the ring or do the first test at a Working Trial, and bemoaning the fact that she favours her rather unglamorous mother in the “looks” department, but her handsome father in habits…he is still very much an “outdoors” dog, with manners to match. It would be really good to be able to predict these things at an early stage.

This brought me on to thinking about breeding, and the efforts that are put into the planning process. When I first became involved, half a century ago now, there were people in every breed who knew all about the bloodlines, pedigrees and what went well together and what didn’t, and spent a lot of time and effort to improve their “stock” long-term. Nowadays, there seems to be much greater emphasis on instant success, exemplified by the popularity of so-called “designer” dogs ….they used to be mongrels or, at best, cross breeds…probably influenced by the modern taste for self-promotion on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook etc. (whatever happened to modesty ?) and, dare I say it, the KC’s attitude to line breeding, which seems to be responsible for the loss of “type” that is evident in a lot of the breed rings. Of course, the demise of the big breed kennels will also have played a part in this.

This malaise has also caused problems for the breed clubs, where increasingly it seems difficult to get people to become involved in running things, and some more experienced members are ceasing to see the relevance of the club itself, which of course diminishes its status and influence. Breed clubs are the only bastion against the dilution and alteration of the breed standard, essential for all breeds to preserve their integrity and individuality, to ensure that the quality of the dogs is maintained. I haven’t heard recently any call by the KC for breed standards to fit a pre-determined template, thank heavens, because that way leads to a lessening in difference between the breeds. It would be wonderful if there were to be a resurgence in interest in the long-term future of breeds, and that young enthusiasts should appear to lead the charge….I hope that isn’t just a fantasy.

Talking of wishes, may I hope for all of you (us) a happy, peaceful and covid-free New Year.

Elaine Sharpe
01743 891310
pineshovawarts@gmail.com
This article was posted on: 20-Dec-21
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