I caught the middle of a program last week on BBC1 : Pedigree Dogs Exposed.
This program was highlighting the in-breeding and lack of genetic screening that is in place in the Kennel Club.
I did not get to see the whole program, I am downloading it using the BBC iPlayer to watch it in full.
For the moment, all that I can relate is our own experience when we got Demi, our pedigree German Shephrd (GSD).
We went to a local GSD training club and spoke with it’s members. They recommended a few breeders whome we spoke to. We ended up going to Joanne Cathie a local breeder. We saw her pups and we were also introduced to Demi, one of Jo’s winners.
Unfortunately GSD’s can suffer from hip problems, fortunately Jo is very particular about screening her dogs. Each dog is given a “hip score” to rate the likelihood of having problems. Unfortunatley, although Demi is a gorgeous bitch her hip score was slightly higher that “normal”. Whilst not high enough to be anything to worry about, it was high enough to rule her out as being a bitch to breed from.
Jo was willing to part with Demi and let her join our family one one condition: we do not breed from her.
So that is my one exposure to a dog breeder, and it was a thouroughly pleasant one. I’m absolutley sure that Jo is the norm rather than the exception. Programs like those shown tend to sensationalise as that maks better TV but in this case it did highlight an important problem.
I may come back and add more once I have seen the program in full.