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Crufts’ Campaign Against the Purebred Dog

Westminster BIS winner, the Pekingese, GCH CH PalaceGarden Malachy

I am an admirer of most things British. I love tweeds, tea time, & cottage gardens, so it is no wonder that I am fascinated by Crufts. I have been up since the early AM awaiting results. While looking through today’s results, I came across something curious. There was no Best of Breed awarded in Bulldogs or Pekingese. Now, I found it unlikely that the judges were not being able to find a worthy representative for two breeds in which the English have long excelled, especially at a show where there are more than 22,000 dogs in the regular classes.

The Peke, that was the breed winner was PalaceGarden Bianca, who was awarded the Bitch Challenge Certificate. If the kennel name is familiar, it’s because Bianca was bred and is owned by John & Jean Smith, the breeders of this year’s Westminster Best In Show winner, GCH CH PalaceGarden Malachy. It seems that Bianca failed the now required veterinarian health check, having been found to exhibit “visible signs of problems due to conditions that affect their health or welfare.” The same fate was shared by the Bulldog, Mellowmood One In A Million.

The health certification process was put in place after the Kennel Club came under fire in 2008 after the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) aired an inflammatory piece, Pedigreed Dogs Exposed, which claimed that many pure bred dogs were systematically bred to be unhealthy. As a result the BBC booted the Crufts broadcast from its schedule and the British Club was forced to enter into a compromise with the devil.

Looty, the first Pekingese dog in the West, brought by Captain Dunne, 99th Regiment, from Yuanming Yuan, the Summer Palace near Beijing, as a gift for Queen Victoria in April 1861, is photographed having a rest on a chair in 1865. The Royal Collection © 2009, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The Kennel Club now separates out 15 of the over 200 breeds at Crufts for special veterinarian certification after being selected as Best Of Breed. The targeted breeds are the Basset Hound, Bloodhound, Bulldog, Chow Chow, Clumber Spaniel, Dogue De Bordeaux, German Shepherd Dog, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Pekingese, Shar Pei, St Bernard, French Bulldog, Pug and Chinese Crested.   Anyone with a modicum of knowledge about these breeds knows that there are many other similar breeds which are likely to be included in future pogroms. Now here is the real rub. It is the vet, who may or may not have ever bred a litter in his/her life, who makes the determination as to whether the Breed winner is worthy of the award, not the judge. I’ll hold to a future post the discussion of how veterinary students are being brainwashed today, but many of you have already run across vets who are not sympathetic to our hobby.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “We are determined to ensure that the show ring is a positive force for CHANGE and that we help to move breeds forward by only rewarding the healthiest examples of a breed.” (emphasis added). Well, Ms Kisko here is a bulletin for you. The Pekingese breed is millennia older than any of your most revered British institutions. What gives you the right to CHANGE the interpretation of what the breed should be from what ancient Emperors and dog fanciers gave us. I promise you, you will not succeed. The Pekingese breed will survive…much longer than your Kennel Club. And that’s today’s Back Story.

Written by

Billy Wheeler has been attending dog shows as a spectator and exhibitor for over 40 years. Billy is the man behind the popular Dog Show Poop. He is a retired management consultant who has advised multiple organizations affiliated with the AKC and the Cat Fanciers Association on business management, long range planning, customer service, and legislative matters. After 25 years of living in the big cities of New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, he now resides in his hometown of Memphis TN with his wife, Brenda, her Toy Poodle and his Cairn, Scottie, & IG. When he is not blogging, Billy can be found in the kitchen cooking, and listening to opera.
  • Jeanne March 16, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    I think the bias here is clear. The article is titled “Cruft’s Campaign Against the Purebred Dog” so it’s pretty clear there’s no real investigation of facts (especially regarding the background of the vets – very misrepresented here), or consideration of the reason to have a health check like this (striving for healthier dogs is what we want, right?).
    So, for a moment, let’s take the back of our hands off our foreheads while we stare at the sky in despair. Yes, cease and desist w/ the Martyr Salute, and consider how this can actually IMPROVE the health of the dogs and actually bring credibility back to purebred breeding and showing.

  • Kate March 28, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    A vet does not have to breed a litter to know that a dog’s nostrils are too small, or that the dog exhibits excessive stridor….or to recognize diamond eye (the reason the clumber was scrubbed). If people didn’t try to exaggerate the breed characteristics to the point that the dogs are harmed then this would not be necessary. As a vet, I am sick and tired of seeing dogs that cannot breath because they were bred to have a soft palate the size of a Mac truck, nostrils the size of pin heads, and a trachea that has a smaller diameter than my pinky finger. I have had patients that have almost DIED because they got excited. And it is not like it is due to something “hidden” like cardiac disease. These problems are literally staring people in the face AND people like the problems so much that they are selectively breeding to get them. Sick. These characteristics that once allowed a dog to “do its job” have become something that does not allow it to live life fully.

  • Casper April 28, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Hello good article , Thank you giving this info

  • Poetry April 30, 2012 at 11:41 AM

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  • Jenny December 20, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    In what way are the first and the second dog related? Are they the same breed at all?
    What gives YOU the right to change the interpretation of what the breed should be?

    The Pekingese breed is millennia older than any of your most revered British institutions. What gives you the right to CHANGE the interpretation of what the breed should be from what ancient Emperors and dog fanciers gave us.

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