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PETA to USA Network: don't air Westminster!

Uno the Beagle, 2008's Westminster dog show winner We told you last month about the BBC's announcement that it won't air the Crufts Dog Show (the UK's answer to Westminster), citing concerns raised by a BBC documentary, "Pedigree Dogs Exposed," over the health of dogs bred for the show ring.  The BBC reported:

The programme...says dogs suffering from genetic illness are not prevented from competing in dog shows and have gone on to win "best in breed," despite their poor health.

It says physical traits required by the Kennel Club's breed standards, such as short faces, wrinkling, screw-tails and dwarfism, have inherent health problems.

Other problems occur because of exaggerations bred into dogs by breeders trying to win rosettes, it adds.

Now PETA is asking the USA Network, which airs the Westminster show every February, to follow suit.  In a letter to USA's president Bonnie Hammer, PETA founder and president Ingrid Newkirk writes, "Since dog breeders routinely use incestuous inbreeding and genetic manipulation...it's not surprising that as many as one in four purebred dogs is plagued with a serious genetic problem." 

Beagles like last year's Westminster winner, Uno, are susceptible to a wide variety of genetic health problems like hypothyroidism, epilepsy and demodectic mange, according to PETA.

"Countless dogs suffer painful cosmetic surgeries and millions of wonderful dogs die in animal shelters because of the AKC's inhumane policies...USA Network can take a stand against the cruel treatment of animals simply by denying air time to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show," said PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch.  And PETA blogger Amy Elizabeth chimes in:

So USA, how about being a good network? Sit. Listen. Roll over. And fetch a few reruns of Law and Order to replace that dastardly dog show…

What do you think -- is PETA right on or out of line?  Will you be watching Westminster this year?  Let us know in the comments.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Uno, a 15-inch beagle, won Best in Show at the 132nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show last year.  Seth Wenig/Associated Press.

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People need to pay attention! One day in the not so distant future, PETA will have successfully orchestrated the demise of the right for people own, responsibly breed and love pure bred dogs, and mixed breeds for that matter.
They are systematically initiating legislation in every state to make it difficult to own, much less breed pure bred dogs. Yes, when they are done only the Puppy Mills will STILL be carelessly breeding and shipping pure bred dogs all over the country, without paying much attention to all the diseases they talk about.

Keep showing Westminster dog show, it is a good example of American Sportsmanship and the "Freedom" to breed and show the finest canines on the planet.

I personnally like watching the dog shows. I also show my dogs in confirmation, obedience, weight pulls, and drafting.

I own show dogs and mutts. I used to be heavily involved in a local all breed rescue that rescues from the local kill shelter until another volunteer verbally attacked me with PETA propaganda.

Because of her I no longer participate in rescue. She said I was personally causing the dog overpopulation in our area. I have been in my breed for over 8 years and do all the health testing, (ofa, penhip, cerf etc) on all my dogs even if they are not breedable and have been fixed. I have only had one litter and all the pups was placed with spay/neuter contracts out of state. How is that causing the pet overpopulation in my area?

I really enjoyed fostering, and finding new homes, but its not worth the abuse from the other PETA Lovin volunteers.

I have found in my experience someone who wants a purebred will get it, and a person who wants the mutt will get it. But there has to be a middle ground. I don't like unethical breeders anymore than AR people do. But don't attack the ones that are doing it right.

I don't see how showing a dog show causes pet over population either. If you listen to the commentators the are constantly stating to research your breed and the breeders. Make sure they are doing the right things, visit their facilities etc. If anything they try to promote responsible dog ownership.

As was stated prior, no one listens to PETA anymore, we all know they are an extremist group as stated. To think that a mid-sized network would fall prey to their ranting is sad. We will see what the network does and then I guess we will choose as to watch the USA network or not based on their decision.

LA times you are on the spot now! You opened a can of worms if the blogs that resulted would indicate. Woops .......... PETA would never want worms in a can, or, a dog in a crate or ...........

PETA you're agenda is getting very tiring. You and your affiliates hide your agendas by telling half truths and putting emotionally charged pictures in front of the American public who love animals by and large. You do not educate, you exploit. The article you managed to get pubilished in the LA Times was about half truths. When you attacked Westminster you stomped on history and you stomped on the most celebrated arena in this country.

There is a human health crisis in this country and some of those same health issues are found in our canines. The dog world and the many dedicated dedicated breeders in this country are answering the call by supporting research, and with careful breeding stategies which seek answers. They do not do this casually. Westminster participants by and large are exemplary breeders that do their homework. America loves dogs. Get over yourselves.

If you are reading this and you are considering a pet, do your homework. If you do it well you will be informed and you likely will not be supporting a problematic portion of breeders. Unfortunately anyone can call themselves a breeder.

PETA exploited and misrepresents what is happening in the world of dedicated breeders. No surprise, that is how they operate. They don't tell the whole story, they can't. They infiltrate and do what it takes to spread their agenda. NAIAonline, and akc.org is an excellent place to balance their message.

LA Times, guess it's time to tell another story. It your job and what you are suppose to do.

Silly I will be watching

The 'points' made by PETA and the HSUS which are the foundation for their argument, are unfortunately inaccurate and wholly unsupportable.

I daresay Ms Newkirk couldn't tell a genetic defect from a congenital one, or even environmental influence.

ALL animals have genetic issues. None of them are free from health defects. Most breeders make every effort to breed away from these defects and toward healthier animals.

The line being drawn by PETA between mixed-breed animals in the shelter, to purebred dog breeders is impossibly illogical. Purebred dog breeders breed purebred dogs. The majority of dogs in the shelters are mixed breeds. The two do not equate. If people would be responsible about spaying and neutering, and not allowing their pets to run loose, far fewer animals would end up in those shelters. But wait - it's PETA who goes around letting animals out of their contained environments to 'run free' because they don't think any animal should be anyone's 'pet.' Ironically, many of them have pets. Go figure.

Last, much of what is written in this letter to USA Channel is rumor and erroneous. How many people in PETA have a clue about what is or is not 'cosmetic surgery' and what is beneficial to the well-being of the animal? Dewclaw removal, for example, alleviates the very strong potential for a rip of an unused digit, which can cause an arterial bleed and the death of the animal in minutes. Furthermore, no dog ever went to the animal shelter because it's tail was docked. How does 'cosmetic surgery' equate to more dogs in animal shelters?

If PETA wants to do some good for animals and humanity, they will get educated about responsible dog ownership and use some of their excessive funds to help people buy fences, spay and neuter their pets, and lower the cost of veterinary care and premium dog foods. But since they think that nobody should own a pet, we'll likely continue to see these diatribes based on a complete lack of knowledge, hysteria-driven myths about purebred dogs, and be abused by their never-ending efforts to make sure that all dogs are systematically removed from the face of earth. Their arguments support irresponsibility and they are going after those who are the most responsible of all. In short: these people are rabid.



Its the 2nd oldest sporting event in the U.S Its a great atmosphere with all the great purebreds. The dogs seem to love the spotlight.

PETA use lies and deception tatics to accomplish their horrible goals. DO NOT SUPPORT PETA!

Attack genetics!! WOW, now that's a plan for PETA!!
Gee..if that's the case, then PETA should be filing for legislation to ban future human pregnancies, since there's always a chance our babies will inherit some genetic defect, disease or condition!! Or..how about this one for Sue...
Let's legislate no more pregnancies in this country until ALL the foster and orphaned children are adopted!Sounds noble, but not very plausible!
OK..now back to planet earth and reality.
We are the keepers of God's creation..all of His creation. It is up to us to see to it that animals thrive, multiply and live well into the future, including purebred dogs. And responsible breeders of purebred dogs do a damn great job of it! The Westminster is a testimony to all those who dedicate themselves tirelesely to their breed for the breed's sake, nothing else! And it should be aired and publicized!!

PETA is hanging themselves, as we are ALL catching on to their evil intentions. THey are sick freaks who have a distorted view that every living being should live apart from each other. Well that's not possible.
Keep Westminster! In fact, I opt to expand more televised dog shows and events. The dog is our hero, in every aspect of our lives..from service for the handicapped to inspiration to beleive in miracles. (like that recent newscast of that dog who dragged another dog that was hit by a car in the middle of a busy highway, off to safety). This country is just beginning to see what a friend and angel we have in dogs, I'll be damned if the pit of hell will erupt to take that away from us. That pit of hell is PETA. God Bless all of you who came forward with great comments to fight for our angels from heaven, G-O-D mirrored is D-O-G! May he always be with us.May he prevail!

For the most part I like PETA and its ideals. However, maybe they should stick to issues that directly affect cruelty to animals like pit bull fighting, whaling, etc.

Dog show people and those that breed for that ideal specimen from each breed are for the most part respectable, and do it for the love of their animals.

Let's sic PETA on the puppy mills instead!

I raise and show dogs and have done for nineteen years now. And my kids would tell you that my dogs are better taken care of and eat better than most dogs. I also do health checks like I would on my kids. My dogs all are done before breeding, and only after I research both pedigrees. Not everyone is a bad breeder. I try to do right by my dogs. As they are part of my family.

I watch Westmeister every year. It would be very sad not to watch. I hope that the network hosting it will ignore PETA and host as planed. It's sad that Crufts is not going to be seen. I love watching it as well every year.

PETA's ultimate goal is the elimination of pet ownership. These people need to get a LIFE! Responsible breeders do health screening. Crossbreds are not immune to health problems. Responsible breeders also take back dogs from their breedings when the owners are unable or unwilling to keep them any longer. Many are also involved wih breed rescue. USA Network, please keep airing the Westminister Show.

PETA is all about control, power over (rather than for), and money. Many of us who originally contributed to PETA now see what they do with their money. Killing adoptable dogs from shelters rather than finding homes is not animal wefare OR animal right to life. It's abuse of power. Check out their history and track record in the States.
If PETA members want a vegan life, they are free to choose it. They are not free to impose it.

Oh, my dear Carol Raphaelle Davis. I am just the opposite!
I watched dog shows with only a passing interest, changing channel after a few dogs trotted by. I believed that AKC "ruined breeds" I always adopted adult shelter dogs or re-homed a dog someone else could not keep was never forced to spay or neuter, it was my choice.

Then I adopted a dog that was supposed to be a pure bred cocker spaniel. He had run away from an abusive home and the owners did not try to pursue getting him back. I came to find out he had to be a mixed breed, even though the backyard breeder or puppy miller registered him as a pure bred cocker spaniel. But their lie was my gain. I had my first cavalier king charles spaniel, even though he was only half of that. But that dog ended my acceptance of just any kind of dog. I still love all kinds and enjoy them all when I meet them. But this breed is the one that fits my personality, my life, and me them. That is what breeds are all about.

The shelters are NOT full because of hobby breeders. They are full because of irresponsible people! People that negelct to spay or neuter or keep their dogs at home to prevent breeding. They come from people that want to make their money back with the pure breed that they bought from a pet store. But when it comes time to sell the puppies with unproven health histories and pedigree backgrounds and temperament problems, they find it is not so easy to make the money, and the puppies can go in so many uncertain directions from there. The LUCKY ones end up in breed rescues run by the hobby breeders you seem to detest.

I attended my first Westminster show last year, and it was awesome. These dogs do live the life of pampering, because these people love their breeds so much. They take great pride in producing good dogs. Actors have their Oscars and Golden Globe Awards. Yet, that is not why they act. The same for dog exhibitors. These special shows like Westminster and Eukanuba are highlights of their hobby, not the reason for the hobby.

I have learned that the mantra chanted by people who think PeTA and the H$U$ are good fall into two categories. They are either lying to me and spreading nothing more than falsehoods, or they fall into the group I used to be in, those that believed them.

Before I bought the dogs they I now have, I did visit the shelters. Most of what I saw was a lot of adorable pit bull mixes, NOT from hobby breeders. There were a few lab mixes, some of the dogs were marked as unfriendly. Whoever bred those dogs should be held responsible for the misery they created and the drain on society.

Only people with a deep passion for dogs should ever breed a dog.

Only people willing to keep the pups forever and take any back should the home not work out should breed dogs.

Only people who are willing to study canine health, pedigrees, the purpose of the breed, the proper structure for their purpose and go to the trouble to prove the worth of their breeding program in the conformation ring should ever breed a dog.

The dogs that are doomed to shelters should never have been born.

Because I could not give up rescue altogether, I now rescue for the breed I love. Because of that, I am on Petfinder, and I receive reports from shelters on their current "purebred" dogs. I have pictured proof that shelters LIE about having so many purebreds in them. And on the rare occasion one does come in, so many shelters refuse to open the space for a dog that needs it in favor of keeping the purebred which make their adoption records look better for their own purposes. I was once told I would be given the dog if it became sick while at their shelter! This was a shelter that suffers canine flu and Parvo outbreaks. Why would they risk a dog I had a waiting list for???

I think you are a very good writer rather than sincere. I know this is only my opinion, but it is an opinion with experience behind it.

Oh, and Manhatten is rife with importers and brokers. You would serve dogs better if you would educate people to buy a pure breed directly from its breeder and the kind of person who exhibits dogs in shows like Westminster. Supporting shelter dogs supports brokers, puppy millers, backyard breeders and such. They still make their sale, and when the pup's home doesn't work out, the shelter gets a shot at it.

If it were up to PETA, there would be no pets PERIOD. They did not even want MIchael Vick's dogs to be rehabilitated instead,they wanted them destroyed and the money spent on shelter pets. Since when is one dog's life more valuable than another's? And anyway, Michael Vick was forced to pay for the rehabilitation of these dogs.

Also, if you have ever been to a dog show, you would know that these dogs are some of the healthiest , happiest and most well adjusted dogs you will ever see. Shouldn't that be the goal for ALL dogs?

When I wanted to purchase a pure bred dog from a reputable breeder, I was ask to fill out an application. I was ask to provide references of my character which WERE checked. How could PETA say breeders don't care or are in it for the money. The breeder wrote into the contract that they could take back the dog if it was unwanted or mistreated. My puppy had a CERF test, heart exam and bile acid test, It was highly socialized, was given puppy stimulation everyday fro 3 - 16. ALL done to make my PET, my pure bred pet the BEST pet possible. Why should PETA tell me what I can watch on TV or that I shouldn't purchase a pure bred dog. I have watched Westminster for years. The dogs that are presented a the show are the top dogs for a reason -----they are the best the breeder can bring to their breed - health, personality, and love.

I will never understand how anyone would want or even support organizations that promotes the end of Pet Ownership. Be warned USA if you decide to not air Westminster Dog show pet owners around the nation could boycott your station. Imagine your long time advertisers pulling their commercials. Do you think PETA, HSUS and other affiliates are going to bail you out. NOT!!!

Teresa Kuntz
Austin, AR.
United States of America

I will be watching Westminster as I always do. I trust that the USA Network will ignore the ridiculous ramblings of PETA and air the show. Just because there are some problems in some breeds at some points in time doesn't mean that all purebred dogs are falling apart, unhealthy and maladjusted. My suggestion to PETA is to educate the irresponsible dog owners and not try to force its misguided opinions on those of us who take great pains to breed healthy dogs and see that they are placed with responsible owners. You people who are blaming breeders for the countless dogs in shelters need to use your critical thinking skills. Who is really at fault? The irresponsible owners who brought the dogs there in the first place and the puppy mill people who keep on breeding because it's a money-making business to them. Real breeders of purebred dogs breed to improve their breed, and most don't breed that often. Carefully-worded legislation needs to be drafted which would get rid of puppy mills and not the conscientious breeders. The bottom line is that people who get pets need to learn that they are for a lifetime and not spur of the moment decisions.

Thank goodness that for quite some time now PETA has been losing some of its credibility with the public due to its faulty generalizations and its incapability to interact and discuss problems with the dog fancy. PETA seems to have an "it's my way or the highway" attitude. Perhaps if PETA members would go to a dog show ( not to irresponsibly open crates so that dogs are let out to run free and get into traffic) and look at all of the healthy dogs there or attend some seminars discussing how to improve breeds, PETA members would see that there are actually a great many responsible breeders who care very deeply about the welfare of their animals and also try to help the dogs that end up in shelters. It would be great if Bill Cosby (who co-owns several show dogs and sometimes goes to shows) would speak up for breeders and inform the celebrity PETA supporters that we breeders are not the problem. Hopefully the USA Network is well aware of that fact.

Do the PETA folks actually know what they are talking about. Do they have any idea how much time & research is done before responsible breeders take before breeding. The time spent interviewing prospective puppy buyers. I know where all of my puppies are & keep in touch with the folks who have them. If I don't go to Westminster, I certainly watch these beautiful, well bred animals on TV

Folks don't realize that PETA's goal is that no one own or eat any animal of any kind including fish. They will use anything including dog shows to help with this end.
They have stated in the past that animals are better off dead than captive.

The only thing anyone needs to remember is that PETA really stands for Pet Elimination Team of America.
That is the underlying cause.

Hello Everybody, I love dogs. I have had several rescues as well as two pure bred dogs from a breeder. I have volunteered at animal shelters and I have volunteered at dog shows/specialties. There are issues, no question about it, and several have been brought up in earlier posts. My question is (retorical really) that if PETA stands for People For Ethical Treatment of Animals, why don't they promote people who should be an example to us all (as well as a source of information and education) of responsible, committed, ethical ownership? Regardless if they are purebred dog breeders or adopted animals owners? I guess "divide and conquer" policy will work much better for the agenda... Instead of matter of fact, adult discussions of ALL who care for animal welfare (breeders, shelter staff, vets, administration, interested public etc.) to address existing issues (on both sides), emotion, frustration and even hate is promoted by throwing all purebred dog owners in one, really dirty, bucket and blaming them for excessive numbers of mixed breed dogs in shelters.

I will anxiously await USA Network decision on Westminster. I wonder if, after all, they will chose to make a statement in support of PADA (People Against Domestic Animals), sorry, I mean PETA...

To KnowsReality:I think you need to change your user ID from a "knows reality" wanna be to something like "way out in left field." If you lived in the real world, you'd know that Cocker Spaniels still are used for hunting; most people just don't choose to use the dog for what it is capable of doing. There are people who also use their Standard Poodles to hunt, but most prefer just to have them as pets. Just where did you get your facts about breeders generally breeding out many of the good qualities?? You've obviously not done much research on that or been to a Breeding Better Dogs Seminar with Dr. Battaglia. Why don't you do a bit of research and get some facts??? If you're talking about puppy mill breeders, that's one thing, but please don't associate them with the breeders of the dogs that will be seen at Westminster.

Sadly, as usual, PETA is twisting selective facts to suit their arguments.

Responsible breeders, the sort who are apt to appear more than once at a premiere show like Westminster, do health checks on their pets. That is not a mistype, I really typed and meant pets. Careful attention is paid to known health issues in their breed and only the animals least likely to produce sick offspring are chosen.

We cannot, however, say the same of the backyard breeders who turn out pups for the masses who want a 'mutt' because they are 'so much healthier'. Or the backyard breeders who pump out indiscriminate pups for the latest movie/tv show craze (you know, 101 dalmation spawned dalmations, Lassie spawned collies, Babe spawned border collies...) or worse, the latest fad of mixing two random breeds by coming up with cutesy names (labradoodle, cockapoo, goldendoodle, etc).

Are there too many dogs in shelters? Yes, of course there are. Are the reputable breeders of purebreds the cause? No. Would the world be better if there were no purebred dogs? No. Contrary to PETA's views, breeding healthy, solid purebred animals means there will be healthy solid pets available.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with adopting a shelter animal or a rescue animal. Many of them are wonderful pets to be sure. However, if you want a family pet who's health can be predicted and guaranteed, who are solid enough to allow the fun of competition in sports, agility, the show ring or as service dogs, you need to look at animal whose family line, health and conformation are known for generations.

Don't allow PETA to lull you into believing for an instant that they give a pup's whisker about our pets. Their agenda is clear. Turn all pet lovers against each other, start first with the 'dangerous dogs', then go to purebred, then to sport dogs, and so on until no dogs are permitted as pets. THAT is their true goal.

My hearty recommendation to anyone who is not involved in the actual world of responsible purebred breeders (so that excludes puppy mills and the lunatics which sadly find their way into all hobbies, dragging down the reputation of those around them), before you judge them take the time to learn what it is they do. Learn what a health check is. Learn what faults are known in the breed and what steps these breeders are taking to minimize the incidence of those faults. It is not all glamour and bright lights. It is years of careful homework, careful breeding, fretting over a whelping box, vets on speed dial and a vast network of fellow enthusiasts to call upon with advice or assistance in times of need.

If you cannot see that, feel free to flip the channel to something you prefer.

pet rescuer and advocate for healthy pets.

Posted early in this blog:
PETA can go suck eggs. They even rant and rave that Service Dogs should not be trained to assist people.
I say: AMEN to that!
Purebred dogs are all about PREDICTABILITY in the dog one buys to live with for the next 15 years. The show breeder is responsible to their peers for health and temperament, and breed specific characteristics give a hunter, service dog recipient, agility competitor, therapy dog owner, or apartment dweller, herding dog shepherd, police dog, customs dog, retiree companion, jogger, and dare I say it, artistic competitor in the show ring what they WANT. That kind of matchmaking makes for lifelong homes, and eliminates disposability.
This is WHY purebred dogs bred to a purpose have a place in responsible dog ownership. The poor, unfortunate "let's breed our dog to see what the pups will look like" type puppies end up in shelters, and yes that's sad, but leave the caring stewards of a pure breed alone.
America loves it's purebred dogs, and PETA is only out to take away that right.

PETA is nothing more than a fanatic group who would rid us of all domestic animals no matter how much good we know they do for those who are ill or elderly. If you really want to do something worthwhile, investigate them and the next time do it before you print their claims. They LIE! We are already trying to get rid of "puppy farms" that they mention. Professional breeders do not do such things and are equally adamant about having them closed down. PETA is simply dishonest and you should have checked them out before reporting this story so you would have had "the rest of the story."

I am convinced that the people who have joined PETA are alienated from nature. They have taken an extreme viewpoint of man's relation to animals and have persued it with the vigor of Al-Qaeda. They are another example of home grown terrorism. Animals provide so much to our lives

USA should NOT stop airing Westminster! I would love to see more information during the show on how to choose a breeder as well as why dogs are ending up in rescues (irreponsible owners). AKC registration is not a Good Housekeeping seal of quality. Any breeder can register a dog or a litter provided that the requirements are met. Every time the AKC makes it more difficult to register a dog, some less than ethical breeders rise to the challenge while others create bogus registries. All the AKC is is a registry - much like the department of motor vehicles. Just as I can register that lovely luxury vehicle with a high rating, I can register the piece of junk from the side of the street sale as long as certain criteria are met. The diffence is the quality of the source of the vehicle. I would like to see the AKC start registering crossbred dogs for performance events such as the United Kennel Club does. Maybe if the AKC would open up more to crossbred dog owners, it would take some of the air out of PeTA and the HSUS arguments. So far all a crossbred can get with the AKC is a CGC. With the UKC, a crossbred can compete in most UKC events!

Unlike many people against puppy mills, I do take the stance of education of potential buyer will be a strong ally in fighting puppy mills. A person should be able to have a choice in regards to going to a breeder or rescue. If we do not reach out to the public and teach why pet stores are bad, the myths about hybrid vigor in dogs and designer mutts, etc., PeTA and the HSUS will get their way. As long as people are willing to impulse buy, get a dog based on a movie to TV show, there will always be people willing to exploit this. Does this mean all breeders are exploiting this? NO! But enough are. Should breeding be ended? NO! Economics show that once a demand for something drops, it will not be carried. If no one buys a pet from a pet shop. pet shops will stop carrying live animals. If John Q Public goes to a good breeder who is proving through health testing and competitions that their dogs are an asset to the breed and stops grabbing the newspaper to find a lesser breeder, guess what? Lesser breeders will stop.

Health issues in purebreds comes mostly from the bad breeder. Genetics are funny and even the best breeder can have something crop up, but the difference is good breeders will work to eliminate a health issue once it is dicovered. A bad breeder does not care and probably does not even know what may be in the dogs as he/she is not testing the dogs.

Designer mutts and crossbreds can inherit health issues just as a purebred can. Please for more on this topic, read reknowned canine geneticist Dr. George Padgett's article in Dog World from January of 1997 where he discusses the over 102 genetic issues that cross bred dogs can have.

Two Belgian Chocolate Hounds - BCH - (male and female from unrelated litters)

One French Caramel Terrier – FCT - (male)

One Mexican Vanilla – MV - (female)

The breeder thinks it would be neat to "create" a few "new breeds" (designer mutts) so he wants to cross:

BCH x MV and create ChoVans

FCT x BCH and create ChoCars

He assumes that since he is crossing breeds that health is no worry, after all he knows from reading things on line that crosses are healthier. In addition, he got his dogs from friends who made sure the parents all saw the vet regularly and certainly the vet would know if the dogs were not healthy.

Belgian Chocolate Hounds have a genetic issue called Purple Blotch Syndrome (PBS). This is a recessive problem and causes varying degrees of purple blotching and hair loss at the site. All of the parents showed no blotches so it was assumed they were fine. In one litter that produced the BCH male, the parents were carriers. The male inherited both recessives. However, PBS affects to varying degrees, some affected dogs have no apparent signs. This BCH had no blotches. The litter the female was from the sire was clear and the dam a carrier. This female is a carrier.

BCH male – pp (affected)

BCH female – Pp (carrier)

PBS has never been documented in the other breeds owned.

The ChoVan litter produced four puppies. All are PBS carriers. No puppy is affected because the disease is recessive – but they all carry the PBS gene. Technically, the pups are healthier than the PBS parent is because they will not be affected. The ChoCar litter produces four puppies as well. Two puppies are clear and two are carriers.

ChoVan Litter – Pp, Pp, Pp, Pp ChoCar litter – PP, PP, Pp, Pp

As luck would have it, one ChoVan pup was kept and one ChoCar pup was given to a friend who was interested in breeding. The ChoVan pup is a carrier and as luck would have it, the ChoCar pup was one of the two carriers.

When they grew, the two friends crossed the pups together. In the litter of four puppies, there was one clear, two carriers and one affected with PBS.

ChoVan Pp x ChoCar Pp – PP, Pp, Pp, pp

Now, during this time, the FCT and MV were crossed to create French Vanillas. Again, assumption was the pups would be healthier. However, both breeds are known to have Crazy Butt Syndrome (CBS). Both of these dogs are carriers of it. In the litter of FVs, one was clear, two were carriers and one was affected.

Yes, these are made up breeds with made up health issues, but the reality is there. This happens daily when dogs are bred: pure or cross.

When breeders cross breeds together, are they truly creating healthier offspring or just putting undesired genes into a new generation of dogs? The more this is done, the greater the chances of a health issue exploding even in a crossbred population.

Next time someone insists crosses are healthier than purebreds please remember basic genetics. It really is not true. A crossbred dog can have the same chance of inheriting a health issue as a purebred if the genetics are right or wrong depending on your point of view.

Regardless of what is being bred, health and genetic testing is necessary.

*please note - not all health issues in breeds have genetic tests therefore you must know what can be screened for and not. If there is a genetic test, is the breeder using it? Ask the breeder for what they are testing and how.

As for mutts being smarter. People base brains on how closely a dog works with humans, Well, breeds bred to work independantly of humans will not behave as blindly obedient as a Lab or Border Collie will. But I would love to see a Lab course a hare in the desert as the Afghan will. No breed is dumb, they were just developed for different things. If you want a great Agility breed, well Border Collie, Sheltie, Poodle. If you want a breed to guard your flocks, Great Pyrenees, CAO, Maremma, etc. Once people study breed history and use, they will understand why certain purebreds are assumed "dumb."

PETA is ridiculous, PETA kills the animals that are surrendered to it. PETA hates pets and would rather see them dead than adopt them out. Simply go to Google and type in "PETA kills animials" and research for yourself. USA Network...if you really want to do an expose, research PETA yourselves and expose these hypocrites for what they are.

PETA has no business discussing the dog business since its staff knows nothing about dogs. Like all animal rights groups, PETA is all about anarchy and change. What does PETA really want? To eliminate a society based in the principles of Ownership.

Of course Westminster is a wonderful venue. The people that show dogs on this level love their dogs dearly and the dogs are treated like royalty.

If anyone remembers, it was PETA that killed dozens of dogs as soon as they were surrendered to its care - the poor dogs bodies were tossed into a dumpster like they were trash.

PETA wants to exterminate all dogs. Westminster wants to praise dogs and those who love them. Sorry, but that is the truth.

I used to support PETA but have since discovered that they are fanatics and fanatics are crazy! They should put their considerable clout to stopping mills, stop the sale of pets in pet stores, stop purposely breeding designer breeds, stop allowing pets to ride in the back of pickup truck boxes, stop people from having backyard or chained dogs along with many other things that really need stopping! Without responsible breeders there would be no healthy dogs and a wonderful sport that the animal loves would not be here, Responsible breeders live by a code- If you dont rescue-dont breed- Most breeders do rescue as well to clean up the mess made by backyard puppy makers, mills and pet stores. Focus on correct education, they take fanatisim and use it against the uneducated to make more fanatics- dangerous combinations- take a look at some other fanatics and see what I mean by it being dangerous! Suicide bombers and terrorists??? PETA is almopst equal to them!

There are humans who go on to get advanced degrees that suffer from genetic defects. ARe we going to screen people before we allow them to breed? Wasn't there a book and a movie about just that? Instead of watching Wesminister where the breeders have studied pedigrees and tested their breeding stock for inherited traits, lets just watch professional baseball where so called athletes take illegal drugs to enhance their performance, or exactly how much steriods are those wrestlers taking? At least in the world of dog shows, there are "real" tests and real consequences for improper behavior.

As a breeder of pure bred dogs I think PETA has "gone off the deep end" Although PETA was started with good intentions, they have become quite fanatical. Purebred dog breeders routinely screen for many genetic faults and inherited disorders. Animals that possess any of these faults are removed from the breeding pool, by spay and neutering. It is the backyard breeder who does not obtain the appropriate health clearances and allows haphazard breeding of any two animals that alllows the inheritance of the faults, rather than responsible breeding by purebred breeders It is these these backyard breeders who should be getting PETA's attention, but that lacks the sensationalism that PETA is looking for. I will definitely be watching the dog shows on television!

I am a retired military member. I did not spend 24 years of my life defending the values of the US to have the BBC and PETA drive my rights to watch what I choose nor to blast upon my purebred dogs.

My mixed breed dogs have diseases too. Disease happens. What's the rate of those cited illnesses in mixed breed dogs? Uh - the same!

PETAs assertions are ridiculous! And those who buy in to them are accepting emotionally-manipulated and errouneously-based hype and spin. You choose ignorace over fact.

I love Westminister! I also am a dog rescuer. For 20 plus years I've worked to rehome abandoned and abused dogs, training them, getting medical attention for them, often putting myself into serious financial trouble.

I have no love for PETA. I hate their holier than thou attitude leaving no room for compromise. Their ideas are just crazy.

I do not want their beliefs shoved down my throat or affecting what I want to watch on TV.

For the record, I'm also no great lover of AKC for their lack of action to pure bred dog health issues and monitoring their own breeders.

Westminster is one of the few dog shows that is televised and gives many individuals a chance to see all the different breeds of dog in one place and learn about their inherent traits and behaviors.

Please let this learning experience continue

I wish a few of these posters who make claims about PETA's activities and aims would document them.

I wish a few of these posters who make claims about dog breeders' activities and aims would document them.

It's frustrating.

"One thing I gather from the comments here - the oh, so popular Pro Dog Breeding - is that the k-9 group has a $$$ vested interest and superb mobilization capacity for getting out the "Support for (commerically profitable, if perhaps morally questionable) dog-shows and dog-breeding.

No question - a corporately-sponored project - lobying ? - usually generates a great deal more "activitsm" than the unorganized, ordinary citizenry can muster.

I take the "pro dog breeding/dog show" comments for what they are."

Posted by: KnowsReality | January 08, 2009 at 10:17 AM

I take from the poster above the he/she has never known a responsible breeder or ever cared to. I also take from the posting that he/she does not know the true love of a breed.

The fact is that there are so many probreeding and proshow comments because we love our purebred animals. And good breeders and fanciers keep up to date with what is going on with their breed of choice.

Also he/she either does not like pets or he/she has not done their homework on the slaughter house called PETA.

I think it's about time the American Public take responsibility for their own actions. It's NOT breeders who are dumping dogs in the Shelter, it's OWNERS who are irresponsible for dumping these dogs when they no longer want to keep up their obligations to these animals. It's OWNERS who impulse buy then dump when they find out how much work, time and effort it will be own a dog or cat.

A little over 85% of dogs in shelters are MIXED breed animals. These are not produced by "breeders", but by irresponsible OWNERS who didn't care enough to take care of their animals and then sold or gave them away to unsuspecting people.

We need to quit blaming breeders for the problems of shelters and target the real culprits, the American Public that when they face tough times, they just dump an animal in a shelter and wash their hands of it. Since when is it okay to just dump your responsibilities because you don't want to take care of an animal that you purchased knowing full well it was going to be lots of work? Since when do we blame other people for our own problems?

Go WESTMINSTER and USA for supporting the cause of real breeders who are trying to get the message out there of responsible PET OWNERSHIP!

i think PETA has it backwards - purebreed breeders do not breed to lock in health problems - that is absurd - purebreed breeders try to eliminate health problems by selectively breeding out health problems.

if you want to go after someone, go after the puppy mills who do not care what is bred to what. that is what contributes to prolonged health problems within the breed. responsible breeders want to save the breed and will do anything to positively promote the breed. puppy mills want the quick buck. responsible breeders will not sell a puppy to someone who they feel will harm the breed.

the other group you need to go after is the "labradoodle" type breeders. they think it is cool to create their own designer breed. the fact is they are the ones creating the health problems. and what happens when nobody wants their "designer" dogs??? you guessed it, puppy pound.

which brings up the issue of shelter dogs. why are there so many shelter dogs??? several reasons - first, irresponsible mutt owners that do not spay or neuter. second, puppy mills that breed substandard or ill puppies. they sell to uneducated people who do not know what they are getting into. third, designer dogs that do not become what the "breeder" thaought they would be. turns out nobody wants their "creations". they need to wind up somewhere. that somewhere is usually the pound.

education!! education!! education!!! if you want a dog, educate yourself. find a breed you like. find out everything you can about that breed. can you provide their needs? for example, if you work 8:00-5:00 don't get a breed like a herding dog that needs constant exercise. talk to reputable breeders that will educate you even more. nobody knows more about a breed than someone who has bred that particular breed for the last 30 years. don't buy from a pet store whose employee's know nothing about that dog or the line it came from or who it's parents and grandparents are.

one final word for PETA. stay away from the responsible breeders who love their dogs and will do anything to help that breed survive. go after the people who chain their dogs to car bumpers and leave them to die. educate consumers so that they know how to buy a dog responsibly. see where i'm going here?? the key word is responsible!!!!!!

PETA, while trying to do the right thing is way off base.
Good breeders, and there are many!!! screen and care for their dogs like no other pet person. Breeders are the ones that help rescue organizations and have clubs that take their own breed in and help find homes fir them.
I love to watch Westminster....and I will con tinue to watch it.

whoever supports PETA should re-think their stand...PETA doesn't give a care about animal's rights..they want no animals to be pets - i don't know about you but my dog doesn't want to live in the wild trying to find his own food.
dog shows are not all bad - i have worked with dog rescue since i was 15 yrs old & go to dog shows all the time - there are a lot of dogs out there who LOVE being in the ring.
instead of paying celebrities to pose nude they should be spending the money on people who are out there everyday actually saving the animals...

Hello all, I'm really shocked by this article. I'll tell why.
I have always been involved in animal protection and I know PETA very well by persons who are in. But I'm not in this organization because of unjustified euthanasias, and have always had purebred dogs who were always healthy.
I love all dogs, purebreds and mutts, from breeders and shelters. But I have seen much more mutts with genetic problems than purebreds.
I'm fighting against horrible breeders who don't respect their dogs. But I have responsible breeders as friends, because as everywhere there are good and bad persons.
There are plenty of poor dogs and cats in shelters who have to be rescued. But the persons who cause that are puppy mills and persons who breed mutts, not little breeders.
There are too much dogs and cats in our rich countries (I'm French) and some of them are purebred. But they are only fashionable breeds (and mutts of course), and at this time other wonderful and very old breeds are disappearing forever, and they need more breeders.
I don't want to be called "owner" of my pets. But I want to be called "legal responsible" of my pets, because they're of my family.
I would like that all animals can be free and respected. But they can be free and respected in human home (at my home for example), and would be unhappy in wild, because they are not wild.
I am vegetarian and would like so much that animal suffering stops, and that all of we humans become vegetarian to stop animal killing. But my beloved pets, they, need meat to survive and it's nature because they're carnivorous, not humans.
We can't kill animals saying "respecting them". But we can live with them in harmony, without making them disappear.

These animals could be pets, but PETA says pets are slaves. Not my pets. Pets can be in human homes, even bred , even purebred, and respected, loved. I've already bred dogs of pure breed and I know they were, are and will be happy. I never adopt a dog who doesn't like me, that's why all my pets are free and chose to live with me. They are free and happy.
That's all that counts.

USA Network: Please CONTINUE broadcasting the Westminster Kennel Club show, and ditto to the other networks (ESPN, NBC, Animal Planet) that broadcast events like the AKC/Eukanuba Invitational and the "National Dog Show." We have been watching USA's coverage of Westminster since 1985. These shows promote education and responsible dog ownership. The commentators make sure that the pros and cons of owning each and every breed shown are mentioned, and the importance of buying a purebred dog from responsible, ethical breeders is stressed repeatedly. This kind of national/international exposure is invaluable, and must be allowed to continue!!!

As a responsible breeder-exhibitor for over 50 years,let me give some advice to you AR people. If anyone of you EVER comes on my property with the purpose of taking my fourlegged children because you don't agree with my life style ( as you have with many people ) you will leave my property feet first in a body bag. I am just as much an extremist about my rights and my dogs welfare as you are about depriving me of them. I will not be watching Westminister the first night as I will be ringside cheering on my favorite breed but will watch it the second night because I have to fly home to be with my babies. And I guess I am a liberal leftist on social issues!

As a dog lover and one has adopted many strays, I have rarely had issues with PETA. I have always had consideration for peoples' right to their opinion. We also breed and show purebred dogs. I can now say that the dogs we breed have had infinitely more health and genetic testing prior to being bred than Ingrid's parents had before they bred her! I sure hope the people at PETA aren't reproducing because I know that the Poodles we breed are genetically superior. In fact, the percentage of humans with major health and genetic problems that have offspring is statistically infinite when compared to the purebred dog population. The people of PETA are proof of this. They just can't stand the fact that my dogs have a better life than they do. They should all be screened for the Cranium-Rectumitis gene so that this "disqualifying fault" can be eliminated from the human population.
Ask PETA who has funded most of the research on virtually all that we know about dogs. Dog owners and breeders pay for the very same research that gives PETA their bogus amunition.

What lies and deceit PETA is promulgating on the public!!! Newkirk's statement about genetic manipulation and one in four having problems is a total and complete lie made up to defraud and mislead the public. USA Network should continue to air the Westminster Dog Show, where million of people can see and learn more about these wonderful animals we all love.

PETA, HSUS, and the animal rights activitsts are trying to take away your rights as citizens, forcing their warped beliefs on everyone else by using deceitful, manipulative untrue propaganda. Westminster Dog Show has a long and proud tradition of promoting the best examples of each breed the country has. And those dogs are cared for in the best possible manner. I've been to dog shows and I've seen first hand how well they are treated. It's people like PETA that mistreat the animals by letting them loose, and often killing them instead of keeping them safe from harm. If you don't believe me, just check the new reports from Virginia and North Carolina where PETA has repeatedly rounded up dogs from people's home and yards and then killed them, rather than have the people own them.

USA Networks MUST air Westminster and not give in to the radical idiocy of PETA.

As usual PETA is so full of crap that the entire world can smell it. Of course I will be watching westminster and PETA members can stay in their own delusional little world with all their heads up their rears.

Responsible Breeders are not to blame. It is all you backyard-breeding for a buck- morons that are ruining and giving bad names to the responsible purebred animal breeders.

I hope USA pulls the show. I also applaud the BBC for pulling Krufts.

I have a purebred dog and my mother and some of her friends are hobby breeders and they have been raising dogs for years. Some of them even belong to prestigious breed clubs. Problem is, despite being caring people who truly love their dogs, there is still no oversight for members who would rather take a chance with serious geneic illness like liver shunt than pay for testing and be patient to see how a questionable line turns out.

But I blame the AKC more than anyone. They take the registration fees, build up their bank account and offer nothing in return. They could do SO MUCH more and actually help the dogs by opening their wallets, opening branch offices and hiring investigators to visit these breeders both large and small and verify the dogs meet breed standards. How many Yorkies have you seen in a petstore with ears erect? A pretty rare sight. Add in the popular designer dogs that hide the true genetic traits you should see in a breed.

Or how about the little known and callous practice of breeders/owners selling or adopting out a dog no longer being shown in the ring or too old to breed? It happens everyday.

USA, let Westminster go dark. I'd much rather watch Law & Order SVU. Better yet, how about some Paw & Order????

Peta is insane. Good dog breeders breed dogs carefully and purposely for betterment of the breed. They do NOT inbreed! What has caused genetic issues within breeds are puppy mills producing the latest dog du jour for high profits and with little concern for the health and well being of these dogs. Instead of attacking loving ethical and hard working (not for profit) breeders, Peta should go to Pet Smart and protest the selling of puppy mill dogs.
My dogs and I both look forward to the Westminster Kennel Club show please dont pull it off the air because some well intentioned mis-informed group has stopped protested KFC in the snow!

Peta are crazies. They would have you not own pets at all. Reputable breeders try very hard to screen out genetic defects which is more than your labradoodle backyard breeder does. On the other hand, the AKC puts too much emphasis on "winning" and not health. They should show MORE dog shows on TV so that buyers can become informed and more knowledgeable and will know the proper questions to ask. It's a perfect venue to reach pet owners so that they can purchase a dog intelligently.

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