To Editor are one of our most-read features!
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Editorial - I really like your editorial on the Arizona new
distemper strain scare. I tend not to trust any information coming out
of or about Arizona these days, but your editorial is specific,
informative, and rational. In fact, I think you ought to invent a
vaccine against bad reporting. Our dogs--and cats--don't need
excessive vaccination, but we could use some immunity against
misinformation and disinformation.
Regarding Point Scale question by Deann Haggard: a very GOOD
question came up. Triggered by my article “Preserving Breed Standards”, this
person asked a representative of a sporting breed parent club WHY, when their
standards came out, did they eliminate the point scale? ANSWER: Too hard for
various members of the club to agree on what attributes to give the most and
least weight to.
MY QUESTION IS THIS: When did it become the responsibility of respective breed
club members to make this decision? Point scales were put there by breeders much
wiser than today. They used these animals for specific jobs during a time when
their livelihood depended on it. At one time, specific adjectives clarified
“characteristics and general descriptions” in the standards. The removal of such
“adjectives” only added to the confusion. Both are “TOOLS” to be used by
breeders and judges. . Removing a point scale is (should be) a “moot point”,
because “what was” should be “what is”.
Too many people breed to “opinions”, NOT to the standard. “Breeding opinions”
changes “TYPE”. Judges become confused with the variety of “looks” in the ring
today. How can a judge be expected to prioritize without these tools to guide
them? Type change may “catch the eye” for awhile, until the “next big thing”
comes along and it becomes “pass’e”. ”Disqualifications” in standards were put
there for OUR protection as well. They assist in avoiding genetic defects and
help promote specific virtues that separate one breed from another. E. Katie
Impressed: Once again, I am very
impressed with the information you provide readers. I am a German Shepherd
Breeder and take great pride in what I do; these pups are my life. I have always
wondered what was the AKC doing to promote the sport of showing and responsible
breeders. I see nothing! Thanks again for your continued efforts of
keeping people informed, Richard Beham
Group Left Out: on
Fancy! I might suggest that one group has been left out: Owners that do not
exhibit their own dogs. They too spend a lot of money on this hobby and in
supporting it. Loved the article.
Wondering about diatomaceous: Do you have an opinion on DIATOMACEOUS EARTH for the treatment of
fleas, ticks worms, mites etc...? Have heard when mixed with pets food it is a
great deterrent and it is natural and organic.
Thanks for asking! I've
been told it is effective and safe and that there's a great website that has it
and also lots of good information.
20,000 interested readers know what's on your mind and what we need to cover
Whose lives are worth more?
Experimental/Lab Dogs vs the Favorite Home Pet The folks at The Rabies Challenge
would like us to believe that the sacrifice of 80-100 small beagles when they
are killed to be evaluated after exposure to a live rabies vaccine to prove the
longevity of current rabies vaccine is worth it. In their effort to reduce the
chances of adverse vaccine reactions for all dogs, an admirable cause, they have
sought donations for over 3 years in order to conduct their experiment, The
problem is: they have not been honest and straightforward with what they have
presented to the public and those supporting them. To begin the study group's
website is cheerful and bright featuring happy smiling dogs, where you can buy
picture placemats, calendars and coffee mugs. There are no writhing, gasping or
vomiting dogs, suffocating in pain as they suffer spasms and ultimately die or
are killed once exposed to the rabies virus. Nor are the ones who withstand the
virus shown heaped on a table in plastic bags since they too must be killed per
the experimental design and requirements. That's right, these dogs for yours, or
so they try and convince, since the actual frequency of adverse reactions to
vaccines, and that does not include only the rabies, are infinitesimally small.
Just take a look at the Banfield study that reviewed over 1 million vaccine post
reports from several associated clinics. The research does not support this nor
in any way justify the use and killing of 100 more beagles just to test this out
again. So why are they doing it? Who knows. I have at times wondered, would they
be so willing to use their own pets for such a "worthwhile" study rather than a
group of unknown/un-named small dogs locked away in a lab area somewhere until
the end. Perhaps, we could see the merit were it saving human lives, but trading
these dogs for someone else's pet? ON balance, how is this justified?. Trust me,
don't ask the researchers, as they will explain nothing nor will they share the
exact experimental design with you if you ask, for reasons that are a bit
mysterious if this is so on the up and up. In any, event take a look at their
site. www.rabieschallenge.org and see for yourself and maybe drop them a note.
If no one says something and raises the issue to confront this group for
explanation, they will die in silence Walt Stone
Reach, Drive, & Proportion is an interesting article.
Pomoting Purebreds? The ONLY time I have ever seen any advertisement by
the AKC for pure-bred dogs is during the TV coverage of Westminster. Period. The
AKC has allowed the ARs to take over the public's opinion about obtaining a dog.
The AKC could easily point out that many of the dogs at shelters are there for a
reason - they have serious genetic or behavioral problems. "Street dogs" will
always prevail. Those of us who are responsible dog breeders and/or owners
aren't responsible for the shelter problems. While I respect the AKC 100, I do
think it's time they took a realistic look at what's happening and take some
Thank you for your editorial - it really does hit home.
On Promoting Purebreds - Great article! I am one of the breeders you
mentioned, having gone from being on the board of my parent club and V.P. of our
local kennel club, to not belonging to any clubs and having not shown a single
time last year. This is after a lifetime in the sport, starting as a junior, and
38 years in my breed. AKC has done nothing to promote pure bred dogs or the
sport or the fancy. My dissatisfaction reached its zenith during the anniversary
of 9-11. What a perfect time for AKC to have had a grand, emotional commercial
airing prime time, showing the valiant dogs working at Ground Zero. Goldens,
Tervs, Shepherds, and others, working to save lives or recover the lost. PURE
Bred dogs all. How effective would that have been to counter the emotional
commercials of mixed breed dogs in shelters waiting to be rescued? The days of a
sense of smug superiority have passed- it's time to fight fire with fire- if
it's not too late? Keep up the good work,
Open forum, any subject,
just keep it short! Send your:
Letter To Editor.
Opinion of AKC Wrong? Re article:
Registration Rule Changes, Early last month, my current litter of puppies
was microchipped when they went for an 8-week vet check. I just yesterday
received the tags and welcoming letters from AKC. As I went to sign transfers
for a couple of puppy buyers, I noted that the letter now directed me to an AKC
website: http://www.akccar.org/transfer/TransferForm.pdf. OK, yet another fee
for transfer change--Sigh.... Then I noticed the statement Check box if you are
NOT providing previous owner's name and signature. Apparently, it is possible
now to transfer a microchip if previous owner does not respond within a given
time period after notification. This seems to support what you wrote regarding
name changes. Thanks for bringing this subject to my attention. I will
plan to let my veterinarian know about this, and I will research other microchip
services to find out their policies.
(Peggy) Duezabou, MS--Animals & Public Policy
Anything New: Is there any way we can
protect healthy animals from being stolen and sold? Is there any word the
government may step in to protect our animals? Is there any thing new?
Helping or Hurting Purebred Dogs While Tam Cordingley raises a few
interesting points it should be possible to address those issues without
trashing breeders and exhibitors. While I won't undertake a full exegesis of her
errors, I will point out that all the setters and pointers, and many of the
herding breeds do in fact stare fixedly at their "prey" or stray members of the
herd. Foxhounds learn to back off the fox, and Rhodesian ridgebacks and the
coonhounds also watch and wait while holding their quarry at bay. We are
not breeding wild animals who depend on their instincts and skill for their
food. We are breeding companion animals, and one highly desired characteristic
is biddability--the trait that allows us to train dogs to free stack for
exhibition. Sadly, I think Ms Cordingley is speaking more from her
perspective as a rescue worker, shelter employee and "Humane Officer" than as a
breeder and exhibitor. Her comments can only be harmful to the sport.
Elliston Applegarth Rhodesian Ridgebacks and Affenpinschers
Editor: A more objective read of
Ms. Cordingley's material and a look at her bio might give you a different
perspective. I can't speak for her other than to say she's as good a dog person
as I've ever known (and I know her well) so if her column misled or confused
you, it is my fault as editor for not tweaking it for more clarity. I also
think you misunderstood that most of her life has been spent as a breeder,
professional all breeds handler, trainer, and consultant, not in shelter work
although that does give her a broader view of dogs than we show breeders seem to
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