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From Dog World 25th August. Editorial Comment:
There is no question but that the British dog world is going to become more and more cosmopolitan at a rapidly increasing rate. This was demonstrated clearly at the Welsh Kennel Club where three of the seven finalists (including the eventual BIS) came from overseas - Sweden, Denmark and the US - and in the hound group three of the top four came from Europe.
Some arrived via quarantine, others by the Balai system, and now we have the first dog to use the pet travel scheme and with the Kennel Club`s `authority to compete` number to win a general ch show BIS, just a few months after the system began.
There may not have been a flood, numerically speaking, of European dogs making their way to British shows, but many of those who have come here have already made a mark.
As we suspected, overseas exhibitors are picking their shows and judges carefully - it costs too much money not to do so. It is probably no coincidence that the two breeds with the most ATC applications, Norfolks and Gordons, are those which are holding special breed shows this year with international judges.
Similarly with those British dogs who have attended European shows - again there may not yet be many but those who have done so have generally been successful.
Next year it will be the chance for the Australians, New Zealanders and Japanese. We are not suggesting that they are likely to make `day trips` to individual shows (indeed we certainly hope they do not - it is hardly fair to put any animal through the stress of flying such distances unless it remains here for a significant time before it returns) - but we could well imagine serious exhibitors from these countries sending over a dog to be campaigned, say, for the summer season.
Eventually, no doubt, the US and Canada will be able to join the travel scheme (rabies-free Hawaii does so in January) and then our shows will surely become even more exciting. Even now, those who want to take advantage of US bloodlines without putting a dog through quarantine can do so by importing progeny of American stock from Europe (the WKC American Cocker, born in Sweden but by a Canadian dog ex a British bitch, is an example).
What will be the long term effects of all this? Increased competition in the ring can only be of benefit. Access to a wider selection of blood-lines can be the making of a breed - especially with the British talent for melding the best from both home-grown and imported stock.
The dangers are that changes in a breed, which happen subtly anyway, may be accelerated, not always for the best - and it is up to the breeders and judges to ensure (especially in `British` breeds) that the correct type is maintained and that the `spectacular show dog` does not take over altogether to the detriment of true breed characteristics.
Health issues also need to be carefully monitored. If a problem arises in `pure British` lines, an overseas outcross (if suitably tested) can be a breed`s salvation. But conversely, if through easier access to overseas lines, every dog everywhere in the world becomes closely related, then the whole breed can land itself in difficulties. This is where DNA testing to establish not only `affecteds` but also carriers of a problem can prove so valuable, and it is up to individual breeds and breeders to ensure that testing worldwide is carried out to a comparable standard.
Anyway, we suspect that this year`s Welsh KC could well be a watershed and the shape of things to come. Welcome to the international world of dogs and goodbye to Britain`s isolation.
I copied this article in full because I felt it was very apt and there are several `talking points` within it. Any comments?(:o)
-- Anonymous, September 05, 2000
There is an interesting footnote to the foregoing in Friday`s issue of Dog World. Again the the editorial comment section. It appears that the American Cocker Spaniel that won Best in Show at Welsh Kennel Club, an import from Sweden, had had it`s tail docked after arrival in the UK, at the age of three. This does appear to be against KC regulations (unless there was a medical reason) and it will be interesting to see what action, if any will be taken by the KC.(:o)
-- Anonymous, September 05, 2000
Apparently, there has been a lot of muttering around the Shih-Tzu Rings about this point. Bear in mind that an operation to repair an hernia comes under the heading of `an operation that changes the natural conformation of the dog` and therefore prohibits the dog from being shown, under KC regulations. It`s no wonder that people are becoming increasingly annoyed that a dog can have it`s tail removed, for the express purpose of showing, and not have this regulation apply to it!
I believe that it is not an `anti-docking` attitude, it more to do with the unfairness of the application of regulations. (By the way, personally I am of the anti docking persuasion.)
I understand that every breed now has a representative on a committee at the Kennel Club. Is this matter being brought up by them do you think? If it isn`t, I suggest everyone write to the Breed representative and ask them to get this matter clarified!!!(:o)
-- Anonymous, September 08, 2000
No specific details at the minute, but the KC are now instigating a regulation which will close this loophole. Good! I was very unhappy about that being done to a three year old dog. (:o)
-- Anonymous, September 15, 2000