Saturday, 8 March 2014

Crufts 2014 - Best of Breed Basset Hound

Click to enlarge
Ch Akasha Banana Split passed a vet check yesterday to take Best of Breed.  As you can see, she has marked ectropion (the drooping of the lower eyelids). This is abnormal eye anatomy and it makes her eyes vulnerable to a host of painful problems. But if they weren't obviously sore on the day, the rules state that the vet has to pass her.

Same goes for the stupidly-long ear leathers, which make her ears prone to yeast and bacterial infections. And then there's all that gross and entirely unnecessary extra skin which flobs around as she moves.


Show breeders think this is a good thing, a desirable breed feature. They claim it prevents the dogs getting snagged when working in dense cover - despite the fact that a) the dogs that actually work have never had this much skin and (b) when this amount of skin is concertina'd on to the show Basset's short, chondroplastic legs, it clearly hinders the dogs' movement.

But the show vets are not allowed to disqualify a dog for exaggerated features.  Which means, essentially, that for all the fine talk it's business as usual when it comes to the Bassets at Crufts this year.



More pix - and a list of this Italian dog's extensive show wins - here.

And just to remind you what a proper Basset Hound looks like, here are some new pictures of the working Albany Bassets - which the show breeders think are mongrels.

Note, btw, that although the Albany hounds still have large ears, they are very different from the floppy, flabby appendages on the show Bassets. The Albanys can lift/move their ears more normally, allowing vital air flow into the ear chamber. This helps reduce the risk of infection.





99 comments:

  1. I was shocked to hear the Chief Veterinary Adviser Nick Blayney recommend a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as an excellent choice of breed for somebody who is perhaps elderly or can't walk far....and a Chihuahua. Disgusted! What about all the other gorgeous little toy breeds that don't suffer from the myriad of heartbreaking health conditions that the CKCS suffer from? Papillons, Lowchens....to name but two. I used to love watching Crufts in my blissful ignorance...but now I just feel it's something that's outdated and hypocritical. This year's commentary seems to be emphasising on what the dogs do at home ie he loves to play with a ball etc., The worst thing I heard was Jessica Holms or Peter Purves saying that all these dogs are pets first... NO THEY'RE NOT! Not all show dogs are pets...some are kennel dogs and wouldn't know how to live in a home. Grrrr Sorry to see these pics of the Bassett... :'(

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    1. Cavaliers are perfect for the elderly because they are unlikely to outlive their owner & are into old age by 5

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    2. Well, ideally temperament wise they are a ideal choice. Unfortunately, their health problems make them to be reconsidered as a bad choice. If Cavies didn't have the health problems that they suffer from, I would consider getting myself one. But, there is the English Cocker spaniel, a breed who doesn't suffer from severe health problems like Cavies.

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    3. A Papillon would also make a poor choice for a older person who couldn't walk far,too high of energy. A Lowchin can be pricey and hard to find,so honestly any dog has some issues that make them unfit for particular owners.

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  2. I have just started banging my head against the wall.

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  3. Spot on as usual Jemima!

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  4. Good, I thought exactly the same and was appalled when I saw her trying her best to get around the ring. Poor dog. The afghan's neck was so long it was hideous, likewise the greyhound. I see the RRback was placed too, looked to be a handsome dog but the issue of the ridge appears unresolved. The vet. The vet sitting with Claire discussing the best dogs for certain situations. His statement about CKCS was outrageous. They are definitely not a sit at home and watch the world go by dogs that he implied was the case. Also he made no reference to health issues within this breed. His promotion was inappropriate. The chi, oh the poor little chi, his eyes looked so sore, at first I thought he was tired and sleepy he appeared to have problems blinking and I wondered if he had ingrowing eyelashes. Looking at showing from the outside in now, it is so political because I cannot believe that suddenly all of the dogs bred within the UK are no longer contenders for BOB, because in all of the line ups of the groups covered so far, there have been a high number of international dogs representing the breeds. Most of the dogs are downright gorgeous, but are they more gorgeous than our own? I have a feeling that ambitious people who are now judging dogs are being overly swayed by the hope that they may get judging appts overseas and revel in the kudos of same. It is no longer about the dog as a dog, it's about self glory and gratification, horrible.

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    1. squinty eyes in dome headed breeds like chihuahua's are often related to neurological issues ( headache/ light sensitivity) or that the sockets are too shallow because there just isnt room for eyes and brain on such a small skull

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    2. That's even more worrying regarding his discomfort and he certainly was very uncomfortable. How a judge can sit there and say nothing is unbelievable, I'm jolly glad he doesn't care for my dogs if he is so blind to suffering.

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  5. Did you notice the Foxhound was an actual working Foxhound. Not much competition in his breed apparently but good on him!
    VP

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  6. Those dogs always look like they've had a long, hard night and now must wake up deal with the consequences.

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  7. Oh my, those last Bassets are gorgeous.

    A few years ago, when I first saw an "extreme basset", I was wondering what breed it might be. Then after knowing the were basset hounds, I was amazed on how much they had changed. For a few months I loved the new look, all that loose skin, the long droopy ears, heavy bone. Then I researched about them a bit. Then more. And later even more.
    And all the love I had for the droopy bassets faded and became anger for the breeders. There is no excuse in breeding these dogs like the one that won Crufts this year. There just isn't. And there's no point in explaining why, because the breeders just don't care/don't see it.

    The Albany Bassets are fit for function, are more beautiful in my eyes, and look like healthy dogs. I'd have an Albany Basset anyday before a show ring one!

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    1. I really appreciated your comment here. It's a good reminder that a lot of well meaning folks can find physically compromised dogs charming at first glance, and that doesn't mean they will all refuse to examine the facts and change their preference in favor of healthy dogs who can lead healthy lives.

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    2. I agree, I've shown dogs in conformation and even had the 1997 #1 U.S. Parson Russell Terrier (who also hunted). I'd take an Albany basset over a show basset + a new car.

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    3. I think people need to realise that a few bassets at Crufts don't represent purebred basset hounds everywhere, not even purebred show dogs every where. In my country show bassets are generally nowhere near this extreme, I actually own a show bred basset who has no eye or ear problems and a moderate amount of loose skin, she in incredibly healthy and actually keeps up with my other dog very well(who is a herding breed so very agile), she barrels through the bush, goes to the beach and does everything else a normal healthy dog, she also adheres to the current breed standard for show dogs. In the future I plan to train all my bassets as working animals and have no concerns about their ability to do so.

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    4. Anon 09:51 can you provide a link to some photos of the examples you provide please? We can decide for ourselves....rather than just take our word for it.

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    5. LOL so "we can decide for ourselves" oh the hubris LOL oh the irony to think that YOU can tell what dog id fit by a photo. are you having a laugh? because I sure am..

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    6. Anon 09:51, there's a saying in the internet: pics or it didn't happen.

      So stand and deliver, or shut up. It's not like anyone will believe you otherwise, since it sounds like you're worried what your supposedly healthy dog looks like in pictures.

      What is it about these people who say they have completely healthy bulldogs or pekes able to do 5-mile obstacle runs, but by amazing coincidence there's never any videos or pictures, and they always break out with ALL CAPS when people don't simply believe every word they say?

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    7. Have a look at Basset Artesien Normands like Bassets with all the loose skin removed. https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=basset+artesien+normand+breeders&newwindow=1&client=firefox-a&hs=83o&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&channel=sb&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=fGkfU6TlPIa47AaH2oHoCA&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1088&bih=447

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  8. Absolutely disgraceful. Thank you for bringing this to public attention yet again. How very sad that last year's promise of vet checks and improvements all round has evaporated.

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  9. “You don’t own this breed so how can you comment”

    “You can’t comment on this breeds confirmation health problems because other dogs have health problems”

    “You are not allowed to criticize us unless you breed the same dogs we do"

    “You are not allowed to criticize our breed of dogs if you don’t include a compliment"

    “Some are not this exaggerated. You’re picking on us”

    “If you don’t like what our dogs look like don’t look at them”

    “No race including humans is free of genetic disease”

    “You only say this breed has problems because you want to ban breeding of all dogs”

    “You have to live with a breed of dog before you’re allowed to comment”

    “You can’t comment about our dogs bad health because you didn’t comment about all the dogs dying in shelters, or puppy mills”

    Thought I would help to keep the comment section short & sweet.
    Rachel in Brooklyn

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  10. The working Bassets look so much better/healthier! The show dog...wow. I just want to whisk him to the vet for eye correction surgery, that poor beast. And those short legs and fat feet! How is that poor dog supposed to stay functional as he ages?

    But Basset people...they just cannot seem to see the forest for the trees. It's tragic for the dogs.

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  11. How much inbreeding did they do to 'fix' this type? Are there other less visible problems that go along with the extreme and dysfunctional appearance?

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  12. The Bassett people refer to the dogs loose bits of skin falling around the bottom of their legs as "furnishings". Like they are actually desirable traits. Hideousness.

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  13. My first thought on seeing the basset is you have to be kidding. Sadly, they're not.

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  14. Oh dear, Caroline Kisko just extolling the wonders of the Assured Breeders Scheme. No mention of the fact that few of the AB are actually checked, astonishing. I am contacting Channel 4 again, third time, yesterday I complained bitterly about the CKCS comment and the Chi, and now I'm going to register a complaint re the Assured Breeders Scheme because I feel that CK's comments are inaccurate unless there has been a huge push and all breeders have now been checked since the recent stat check undertaken by PDE.

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  15. As a Basset owner (not a shower or breeder), yes the Albany hounds are 'mongrels', technically. We have met them and were interested in getting one before we found our hound, but what's wrong with that ? Don't know why the blood of a dog matters when it's not being sold or shown as pedigree. Breeds need outcrossing to maintain a healthy gene pool. ALL pedigree dogs began as crossbreeds, that's how they came to be, so it's all just snobbery I've no time for ! We eventually found a 'new standard' hound with longer legs and less excess skin, but she still looks like a Basset, which is what I always wanted. The Albanies are gorgeous, but not Bassety enough for me, they just look like an Artesien.

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  16. We own a Basset, he is our third Basset, and i can tell you all this about their eyes, backs, ears, legs, and so on, has been blown out of all proportion, in my experience they are a very happy and healthy breed, like any breed you need to go a good breeder who really cares about the breed, our first Basset Hound was nearly 16 when he died, he was insured all those years, and we never needed to use it once!.

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    1. Any my sister had a Basset who received excellent care, walks, lived indoors, etc.... and he died of numerous health problems at age 3. I'm glad you had one that lived to 16, but I'm pretty sure that is VERY unusual in exaggerated breeds like this.

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    2. Im sorry about your sisters Basset, but we have had Basset Hounds for 24 years, and i can honestly tell you that we have not had any of the so called breed problems that this Jemima person keeps harping on about

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    3. Anon 17:32 therefore do you deny that the health issues demonstrated CLEARLY by the photographic evidence do not exist!? Do you live in a a bubble, cut off from the rest of society? Just because you think that youtpr dogs are healthy does not mean that other dogs are not suffering due to shocking breeding programmes. Ignorance is bliss huh?

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  17. My great Dane lived a happy and healty 10 years,I count myself very lucky indeed, especially knowing all the health conditions these beautiful dogs suffer from.

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  18. Those Albany Basset Hounds are really beautiful dogs, it's a shame the main breed standard isn't the same for all bassets. Though, the upside is that it least there are working bassets. Just like working Labs, etc.

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  19. I was horrified when the basset 'walked' into the ring, it really made me weep for this breed when I know how people are trying to breed healthier bassets with less exaggerated bodies, and yet this is what crufts shows as the "best of breed". If anyone saw the toy breeds judging today I really hope they agree about the AWFUL peke. I was shouting at the T.V. when she placed him reserve, and then was even more infuriated when the commentator referred to the peke as "sound and healthy" there is nothing sound and healthy about that dog. I really think we should have tighter measures on these over exaggerated breeds, and not allow them to compete in crufts until the breeders can produce a truly sound and unexaggerated dog.

    Emily.

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    1. The peke has been shown extensively with great success and has passed more vet checks under different vets at different shows than any other dog in the country. It must have been checked dozens of times and always passed. Surely all these vets cant be wrong?

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    2. It depends on your definition of healthy. If it has no open wounds, isn't visibily limping, etc., then yes, it's "healthy". The point is that the dog's mere existence in that form implies suffering. I sometimes wish we could invent a machine that put's us into their body. Imagine having your arms and legs shortened and bowed, maybe 12 inches long? Imagine having so much hair that you are always too warm. Imagine having your nostrils and mouth pushed in so your airways are never fully open. That is what everyone here is talking about. Crooked legs and compromised breathing are making that dog unhealthy. The absolutely amazing thing is that dogs like this have sweet and happy personalities, despite being constantly uncomfortable. I can't say I'd have the same attitude if my joints ached and I felt like I was having an asthma attack when I tried to merely walk. It's very sad to me.

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    3. Wouldn't it be interesting to see the peke's coat removed, shaved. I think then we would be able to see his real conformation. He did only move a very short distance but his little tongue was hanging out, curled to get in as much oxygen as possible. He is a little trier that's for sure. Cat F. is 100% correct with her comments, imo

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    4. When I did agility, I was told by my instructor that a dog curling his tongue is a sign of overheating, and that he needs to cool down urgently.

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  20. Go to the Natural History Museum at Tring, in England, and you will see many examples of what dog breeds USED to look like before the current fad for the 'design your own look' came into force. There are very few breeds untouched, sadly, and when compared to what they used to be like, some are now almost unrecognisable.

    I feel sorry for all of them. Even I remember CKC spaniels without the skinny, turned-out feet and bug eyes that many have today, and yes, Bassets without the exaggerations which make that one a bit of a travesty, poor soul.

    The Tring Natural History museum, by the way, is a Victorian collection of stuffed animals. It's a fact, whether you like it or not, that Victorians had a thing for stuffing animals, and most of the pet dogs they have there were probably preserved by their owners when they died. The wild animals were almost certainly killed for the purpose which does make it upsetting, but it is a very important collection, in terms of scientific interest.

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  21. Thank you Rachel in Brooklyn for your comments! In other words if any of you don't like Bassets , don't look at them! Not only that they are good looking to my eyes but probably the sweetest of all breeds! they make excellent companions, adore kids and elderly people. I could go on and on about some that i dislike but at the end of the day it's all about taste and of course respecting choices. We all are here committed and loving owner! Are we?

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    1. Good looking ? seriously ?
      I can understand people liking a breed because its different/unique but to say they are good looking with their droopy eyes and wrinkles is absurd

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    2. Rachel in Brooklyn was being ironic Anon 09:25n which was sadly missed by you! Just like the horrendous condition of this breed of dog is missed by you too. Absurd indeed.

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    3. I have a taller then Normal Miniature Dachshund and I much prefer the way he looks. I dislike long and low dogs( we only have the Mini Dachshund because we rehomed him to prevent him being sent to a shelter and euthanized, I'd never willingly adopt/buy one though), but I especially dislike the Basset Breed. Their propensity to drool, slobber, snore, have disc disease, get ear infections, be obese, Entropionism, ectropionism, immensely long ears, and have excessive wrinkles is incredibly off putting to me.

      At least my Mini Dachshund has smooth skin, ears that aren't excessively long, normal eyes with no entropion or ectropion. dewlap, He is a purebred, but was either raised by a backyard breeder or an oops litter so his legs are a bit longer then I'm used to which pleases me. Granted he has grade 2 luxating patellas in both back legs. He is more like the old type Dachshund despite internal flaws. My Black and Tan Dapple still looker nicer on the outside then the Basset in my opinion.

      https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/iS7GurUO3NOohSbHs8nP5giZIkPERpMknXBiwJqqRwY=w284-h212-p-no My Black and Tan Dapple isn't the sweetest of all breeds, but his breed isn't meant to be.

      For any of you that want to question me on his looks. His name is Bear and the picture quality kind of sucks. Hopefully if someone wants they can blow it up so they can see his physical features better.

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    4. Daniela, curiously I saw a much longer legged dachsie the other day. He was so smart, cocky, self assured striding out as much as he could but he was held back by his friend. The contrast was shocking. His friend was also a dachsie, low to ground, bow front, overweight. The owner was proud of both of her dogs but was concerned about the long legged one because he was active! She preferred the low slung one because he is a couch potato and window seat hogger. He looked depressed to me where the other one was so chipper. She said he was irritating, mischeveous, naughty. Perhaps because he was well built he was able to enjoy life whereby his friend was fat and lazy because he couldn't be otherwise. He definitely had a back problem because when I stroked him he winced markedly, whereas his friend boinged about, jumping up, barking - cheeky. Which one was correct - my money is on the cheeky one - his friend was sad.

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    5. In Europe the Dachs all seem much higher on leg/less deep chests and less long in body, especially the wire haired standard dogs, which are often used for hunting wild Boar. They have more the leg length of a Jack Russell, or comparing a Corgi to the leggier Swedish Vasllhund.

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    6. I live in America though. Bear is ctive I guess. He likes playing fetch. He doesn't really like walks. He had 2 homes before us and they let his nails get overgrown. We have trimmed what we could, but they are still long. It is distressing to me especially since he has luxating patellas. Luxating patellas+overgrown nails= ouchies. Especially when it was getting cold out his joints don't feel well and he gets cold.
      We went on the longest walk we have been on in quite some time yesterday. We ran about half a block. He showed interest I haven't seen in a long time. Typically he only wants to walk if our other dog was with us. This time he wanted to explore and run. I would give anything to give him more Beagle like legs. As with the Basset it may do him a bit of good. His would be a but more proportional at least and maybe he would stop tripping over curbs.
      YES he trips over curbs his legs are so short he trips sometimes.

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    7. https://scontent-a-lax.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash2/t31.0-8/s720x720/462506_10200294515863650_1428477482_o.jpg
      Bear rarely sits with both legs under him(I'm not even sure if he comfortably can). He usually has one legs tucked under and the other foot placed flat on the ground instead of the usual sit position which is with both feet flat on the ground like this
      https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wY57UJldQ3k/UXyt0uvXFXI/AAAAAAAAAGY/eJPz7oc57uE/s553-no/IMG_0823.JPG (my dog Brandi sits normally)

      Despite his kneecaps occasionally popping out(since it's grade 2 luxation it isn't always out). He will run and skip/hop because his knee is popped out. He still will beg at the table if he can, he jumps up on the couch and on chairs, he know the trick roll over. He is willing to turn on command whereas my Carolina Dog with a normal length back won't. He doesn't realize he is hurting himself. Just because he can do these things doesn't mean he doesn't have issues. He takes joint supplements and will sometimes Scream like the dickens if you grab hold of his knees for any reason. Dogs will unknowingly choke themselves to death on a collar. Just because he can do things doesn't make me feel any better. I'd feel better if he had legs that were the proper length for his body.

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    8. If my mams miniature dachshund had longer legs she would have lived a few months more as she had a non malignant growth on her mammory glands which scraped on floor, ironic as apart from that she was quite happy, the vet wouldn't remove it as she was 15 and deemed too old for op

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  22. Vikki and anon 2108. You have been extremely lucky to have happy healthy Basset Hounds in your lives. Perhaps your hounds were not as exaggerated as those being shown in the show ring presently. Seemingly the breeders you chose had good stock that was sound and fit for purpose. You chose wisely. However, the current trend for excess ear length, dewlap, heavy bone, excess wrinkles manifest themselves into a heap of expensive, worrying health issues for their new pet owners. The show owners know what they are buying into and deal with the outcome, ignore it - call it "true to type" and press on allowing their dogs and the next generations to suffer. If you look at the dog above you will see what I mean. The Albanies are absolutely unarguably what a basset hound should look like which allows him to do what he was bred for, hunting. He has long ears (in proportion), yes, but they are to help channel the scent to the nose, his legs are well boned with very little loose, if any, skin to enable his body weight to be distributed and to support his back to enable him to move freely, actively and for a very long time. His neck is strong and his head is long, all of these to help him give voice, breathe and run at the same time. His feet are big, well padded and help him to move over different terrain without compromising his working ability. This dog was what today's bassets used to look like, not the "cartoon" travesty we see now. I suspect that the dog above would fail to remain with the pack if he was taken out on a hunt, he would try hard he would want to do what he was bred for but he would suffer considerably on the day and for a while thereafter. Nobody on this blog is angry with the dog, but they despair at the callousness of the breeders who perpetrate the suffering in pursuit of a five minute show off in a ring at a show so that they can take a crummy piece of cheap cardboard home and brag about their success. Not all breeders are bad, not all pedigree dogs are cripples, but it seems to me that the more competitive an owner is the more blind, careless and arrogant they become and that for pedigree dogs is very undesirable indeed.

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  23. Alison from the Albany Bassets9 March 2014 12:50

    I wasn’t able to go to Crufts this year but looking at the photos of the Best in Breed this was probably a good thing; the experience would have been both depressing and distressing.

    Let’s be frank; there is nothing about Banana Split that makes her ‘fit for purpose’.

    With so much excess skin the poor dog struggles to walk and can barely see out of her deformed eyes. Living in Italy must be pure hell when wrapped in a fur coat that is effectively double the size it needs to be. Moreover, all this is from a breed of hound that should be capable of showing great stamina in the field when out hunting!

    It is both sad and tragic that animals suffer as a direct result of irresponsible and injudicious breeders who must only breed such mutants for their own personal gratification.

    Even worse offenders are the Kennel Club who celebrate and single out these breeders for special recognition at their shows. They have repeatedly failed to address the root causes of the plethora of issues that face many breeds and have shown themselves to be flaccid bureaucrats that are themselves not ‘fit for purpose’.

    The Albany hounds pictured in Jemima’s original post are; Walnut, Womble and Wotsist. All three were out hunting yesterday, worked tirelessly for over three hours and covered just over 16 miles.

    I challenge any Basset Hound who was shown at Crufts to keep up with the pack for more than 100m. Banana Bloody Split – what a joke!

    Keep up the good work Jemima!!

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    1. I think last years Best Of Breed Winner who was unplaced this year would meet your challenge and keep up with the Albany pack as long as you wanted him to.

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    2. Alison from the Albany Bassets10 March 2014 13:47

      Prove it then. Get in touch with us and bring him out hunting for the day. I am sure Jemima and others would like to come and watch.

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    3. he isn't my dog, I don't have bassets or know him just know from posts on here last years Crufts that he is super fit although now a veteran, goes rabitting and keeps up with the owners very active poodles. Was much praised on here last year as an improvement for the breed going in the right direction but it looks like things have gone backwards.

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    4. Alison from the Albany Bassets10 March 2014 15:44

      The offer is open to any Basset Hound who was exhibited at Crufts. I know I wont get any takers as the reality will be too painful; I will get proved right and the show world will get proved wrong. Their Basset Hounds are all incapable of doing what they were bred to do. Simple

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    5. It's not that the vets are wrong. It's that the standards that they are assessing the dog's by are inappropriate and not rigorous enough. And yes. Vets are human beings who are perfectly capable of getting things wrong and who sometimes do not act within the best interests of animal welfare. After all, why the heck would ANYONE continue to breed a Peke anyway? Remember, human beings devised breed standards, and we have managed to get a lot of things wrong throughout history. Pedigree dog breeding obtains a meme or a mind virus for some people. Just because people can do something doesn't mean they would, professional vets are also susceptible to social pressure and bad decision making too. The Canadian vet who spoke out so openly about opposing brachycephalic dogs so recently did do at great risk of being ostracised by his professional colleagues. What does THAT tell you?

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  24. You know Alison, if you were to enter a number of the Albany's at say the Hound Show, two or three in each class, it wouldn't half make the closed minded breeders sit up and think. The bassets above are just beautiful and meet the KC breed standard in everywhere, the only difference to the show ones is that they are not deformed, compromised, disabled, suffering. There would have to be two or three shown in each class to drive home the dilemma the show breeders are creating within the breed. If there are any intelligent breeders they will wake up and face the truth and hopefully revise their breeding programmes. Whether you would want to allow your studs to be used on "show bred" bitches is, of course, another matter, personally I would be very reluctant but there has to be a way forward to stop the bad breeding practice within pedigree dogs overall.

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  25. I know a Basset breeder here who has dual champions in AKC (field and show) and they neither look like the Albany nor the show ring Basset. They are very moderate and can hold up and work, whelp naturally too. The ranked show only bassets here are so over angualted they break down - but they are out of the show ring by then.

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  26. I think you are all missing the point and having a go at bassets in general :: I don't breed them but I can see this dog is extreme and not typical of bassets in UK or my country Australia. Nothing gets up my nose more than people who do not breed and are not experts on a breed jump on a band wagon and condem something they know nothing about. Yes this bitch may be extreme but I doubt she has any problems functioning as a dog. Stop making a mountain out of a molehill.

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    1. 'I think you are all missing the point and having a go at bassets in general'

      What is the point? And people aren't having a go at the dogs, they are criticising the breeding practices that select for exageration. Stick to the facts. From what I can gather, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that Banana Split is a pretty grotesque looking dog. And before you start harping, I'm not criticising the dog's nature - I'm sure it's a lovely animal! I'm criticising how it looks (unhealthy, deformed and exagerated) and I am criticising the breeders/breed club/KC for condoning this appalling practice.

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  27. 01:44 a mountain out of a molehill - really? If a dog is bred to such extremes, longer ears than it needs, more skin than it needs, eyes that are distorted, more bone than they need, excessive body length, disastrous over angulation of the back legs particularly, are you still sure it's a molehill. The only thing a dog bred to such exaggeration as the basset above is that she can probably scent and eat and poo without compromise, though the last action may not be as easy as it should be. I am not being flippant, I am angry, that it is people like yourself who see "no problem" with such a living being that is bred to run and run and run for hours and this particular could not do that, perhaps the owner/breeder has evidence to prove otherwise. It isn't just bassets that are being abused thus, look around at other breeds and make a cool, cold judgement and then let us know how high your molehill has become - it will probably bury you. Please open your eyes and really see what we are seeing and are genuinely concerned about, regardless of the breed.

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  28. Alison from the Albany Bassets10 March 2014 10:46

    Anonymous; you have completely missed the point.

    Banana Split has just been recognized as being the Best of Breed at Crufts. As far as the Kennel Club is concerned – this is what good looks like. This over exaggerated, lumbering Basset Hound now sets the standard for what others will aim for; it’s a self-perpetuating cycle of destruction of a once active hunting hound.

    Of course, she has problems functioning as a dog; there is no way she can perform the task the Basset Hound was originally bred for. I know; I both breed and hunt them.

    As you point out, not all Basset Hounds look like Banana Split. Many are still active and enjoy a healthy and prolonged life; which makes what the show world have done to them even worse.

    There is simply no reason or excuse for what they have done. This sorry state of affairs is purely down to delusional humans who are hell bent on turning the Basset Hound in to a real life cartoonish freak show.

    This is most definitely a mountain and not a mole hill.

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    1. Quote: "Banana Split has just been recognized as being the Best of Breed at Crufts. As far as the Kennel Club is concerned – this is what good looks like."

      This is what ONE JUDGE has deemed a good specimin/attractive.

      Over the last year or so I have seen many far less exagerated (though long and low, wrinkly and jowly breeds with floppy ears do nothing for me) specimins than in years past.

      Remember change will not be overnight, one canine generation is generally about 3 years, so small changes over a couple of generations may take at least 10 years to filter though to the majority of dogs.

      Look at how long docking has been banned, yet you still see docked dogs exhibited in non gundog/terrier breeds like boxers dobermans etc

      It is the judges that are who determine the dogs that some people will seek to reproduce, if that is the type that wins, as most people who breed and show prefer to own dogs that are going to be competitive, after all it's not a cheap passtime.

      The Kennel Club is a governing body, they do not judge dogs, they do not choose judges (though they do have to approve them, but genrally rubber stamp show/breed club choices, or based on prior expereince..

      They are trying to get the health and non exageration message through to judges, and have been running health education days especially for judges, there will be many who will take this onboard, especially newer judges, btu soem of teh old guard will stick to what they see as type, exagerations and all.

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    2. So Barbara, will we see the Judge who placed this dog, stopped from judging ? because that's the only way you will stop exaggerated dogs being placed like this, but I doubt it.
      The KC are a governing body that say it cares for the welfare of dogs and Crufts is their show piece to the world and they are responsible for the dogs winning in the ring, if they are not what is the point of them ?
      My brother -in-law is a Captain in the merchant navy, if something goes wrong on his ship and he is unaware of it or does not put it right, he takes the rap, it is his responsibility.
      The KC are the Captain of pure breeding in the UK, if something goes wrong below deck, if they are unaware of it or do not put it right, they should take the rap, it is their responsibilty.

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    3. But the government will not deal with an individual issue within the armed forces, but may decide that more guidance, is needed in certain areas, or policy changes, but aren't responsible for every individual decision of it's employees. The armed forces are still very homophobic for example. If complaints are received, after investigation judges can be censured and fined.

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    4. Barbara, he's in the merchant navy not the Royal Navy. He works for BP, commercial navy not the Royal Navy.

      PLease read the comment again.

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  29. I cannot believe that this dog won the Basset hound class. The dog can barely walk! We own a basset hound, she is a healthy, slim dog who can walk for miles and miles. So much so that in the winter we take her hunting. She can keep up with all of the Spaniels and Labradors and still has energy to spare at the end of the day. She is from the Brackancre line, a line which used to be prominent at Crufts some years ago.
    It is cruel to breed this animal so low to ground, they cannot be used for what they are bred for if they cannot walk! It upsets me to see which way the basset hound is going, they are a wonderful breed with such a loving temperaments. I wouldn't change ours for the world (except for when she runs off after a scent and we can't find her!) No wonder Crufts dislike the basset hound so much!

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    1. My basset is also so agile and hares along after the borzoi and out lasts him in stamina. She has 3 cc's and a couple of Res Bob's so she's definitely not classed as rubbish even though she's way less exaggerated than the crufts winner. Personally I was horrified when I saw it lumber into the ring and even more horrified when they said it was only 17 months old. I thought it looked like a droopy 11+ year old.

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  30. Bassets were my first favorite breed. I acquired a male who was 5 years old when I was in middle school. He was a pet, though had several champions in his pedigree. He wasn't as exaggerated as this show winner here, but he was more similar to her than the Albany bassets. Surprisingly, he lived to be 13, almost 14. However, his life was fraught with health issues. He had hots spots, esp. on his legs and tail, horribly flaky skin, numerous ear infections, several cysts that developed in his excessively loose skin, and finally, he suffered from a ruptured disc in his back, rendering his hind legs useless. It was a very sad end when my mother and I had him put down, because he was still a happy-go-lucky and vibrant soul!

    I wish people could see the bigger picture and realize what miseries they are breeding into their dogs.

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  31. I cant get past the ridiculous comments about the length of the afghan and greyhound necks. You are judging a dog by it's appearance. Something you decry exhibitors and judges for. All the dogs were assessed by a vet before they competed in the group. Do you challenge the opinion of the vets? This is my first view of this blog. I don't think the readers / posters like dogs at all. You consider them freaks. I have had dogs all my life - pedigree and mongrels. There has been no difference to their health or longevity. But I look after them well. Feed them naturally, dont excessively vaccinate and buy from good breeders. If your readers buy from disreputable sources, feed low quality feed from the big dog food suppliers and regularly assault their bodies with poisons from anti parasitic treatments and over vaccinate I am not surprised dogs succumb to illness. Rather than attack a dog show which presents healthy who are well cared for, you would be better to focus your efforts on bteeders who do not health test, the pet food industry and the big multinational drug companies. They are responsible for more ill health and suffering dogs than any exhibitor at Crufts. Priorities please - you are fiddling whilst Rome burns

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    1. Mmmm anon 10:36. If a dog is out of proportion, aka one part of his body does not fit with the rest there is a likelihood that that dog will suffer an injury that will seriously compromise it's health and well being for the rest of it's life. Thus sight hounds which both of these breeds are, need to be sphelt, weight proportionate to keep a straight projectile, they need to be able to keep their heads still to enable to keep focused on the prey. So if the neck is too long, the back legs overangulated, that dog is going to stay in a straight line and be able to "jinx" as when his prey changes direction, there is much more likelihood that the skeleton cannot cope. The point of this blog is exaggeration, so whilst Rome burns, breeders are breeding to a) excess and worst of all b) those puppies are bred with caricature form, unfit for purpose for why they were bred in the first place, but bred to be able to stand still and run a few paces in a show ring. There is absolutely no way a judge can assess movement of such free moving animals. The clue for the judge is proportion and even if the animal crosses it's legs in the ring or weaves, if it is built correctly then on an open field with time to get into their stride that dog will be safe. The afghan and greyhound were a picture, I acknowledge that, they were "paced" for the relative short distance so they looked "sound" but with their conformation I would be worried that they would break down quite quickly if presented with an open field when chasing prey. Personally, I have had dogs all of my life, we brought back a wonderful cocker from Australia and have had red dogs by my side for most of my life. I currently have three much loved, healthy dogs, one of whom is 15 in April and was a rescue. I hope my explanation of why I mentioned the Affie and Greyhound was because they are two of the most wonderful, fabulous breeds that deserve better than to be made look ridiculous just so that their owners can win a crummy card and helps you understand that we are certainly not fiddling etc. If you can revisit the footage you will see what I mean. I showed a gundog breed for 40 years so I'm not just puffing hot air I have some experience of the extremes people will got to win thus.

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    2. You're on the wrong blog! This is about the current health and welfare issues to do with continuing to breed within a paradigm of closed gene pools and choosing to ignore modern genetics and scientific evidence that proves this is catastrophic. You have a different hobby horse.

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    3. Gemma, front-leg crossing or plaiting, can be a sign of neurological damage. Therefore, I'm glad that at least is penalised in the breed standard.

      I have sighthounds and I love them dearly, but a slight frame and long legs built for speed, ultimately make the dogs prone to musculoskeletal injuries.

      I agree the Greyhound's long neck and small head looked out of proportion to the rest of the body. I doubt that Greyhound can run, which defeats the object of being a sighthound. However, the racing-bred Greyhounds are prone to injury, especially toe injuries, as they're built to run on sandy racetracks. The pedigree racing-bred Whippets have very slight frames and awful feet, because the dogs are raced according to their weight. For all the horrors we see in the show ring, and there are many, breeding for function can also cause problems if the standards by which they are bred are not carefully thought out.

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    4. Hi Fran, absolutely correct and your highlighting the damaged feet of racing greyhounds and whippets is so true and wicked. The same applies to racehorses, bred to run as fast as possible, trained to the limit, and the incidence of blood vessels bursting, excessive sweating and the total exhaustion is very distressing to see because even with the breeding and training, those horses are pushed way beyond their capabilities. The same applies to racing gs and ws. If only people could be more open minded, honest, less critical and more able to offer solutions............. I look at my dogs and I see how they resolve their little issues and wish that humans would follow their example.

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  32. A dog succumbing to illness or infectious disease is not the same as a dog being genetically disadvantaged (deliberately and knowingly through outdated and poor breeding practices). Succumbing to the inevitable physical deformities and disadvantages that causes the animal to suffer is something beyond the control of the dog loving public who don't breed dogs - i.e the vast majority of people who own dogs. However, they do have choices when it comes to when they vaccinate, what they feed and whether they over treat for ticks. They can choose their breeder wisely of course too. Fact is, pedigree and pure bred breeding is a fallacy that the public have bought into and that the KC and breed clubs continue to promote. They are stuck in the 19th century. Vets also get things wrong. As do doctors. As do human beings. They can choose to practice and promote and try to fool some of the people some of the time with their 'vet checks' at Crufts. Look at the BOBs and BIS. Who are they kidding? Everything starts with good breeding. Everything. Good breeding isn't breeding within a paradigm of closed gene pools either. Don't kid yourself...look at the science.

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  33. I cant believe the extreme opinions that are on here :: some are laughable and incredibly naïve. This basset passed health / vet tests : granted it had a lot of excess skin but it moved well and had no physical disabilities. Breeders will not be churning out basset of this type overnight if at all :: whats wrong with you people ? Are you all trying to destroy purebred dogs? Give me a purebred over a designer breed any day :: I have seen too many extremely unsound animals with mouth problems ; eye atrocities ; hip and elbow displaysia; etc etc stop attacking breeders that are at least trying to breed to a standard as set by their breed club : turn your attention to the puppy farmers backyard breeders and idiot people that think it would be cute to let fluffy have a litter to the dog down the road ! I shall hold you all responsible if my grandchildren cannot buy a purebred pup of a breed of their choice because you lot destroyed them all!

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    1. A pure breed is a designer breed. Each breed as a standard which has been designed by human desire, so by definition are designer breeds. Pure is a human made up ideology. There really is no such thing as pure in dogs, why do you think the KC does not bring in DNA registration unlike other species because this would show that the ideology of pure is a fallacy in dogs. A dog can be crossed and if bred together for certain exaggerations, you will soon with inbreeding and selective breeding establish a type, quite easy but very dangerous roulette to play with genetics, that's all a pure breed is, dogs bred together that look alike and are closely related. Dogs have only been being bred to be pure for less than 1% of their evolution and already have lost on average around 40% of their genetic variation than their ancestor the grey wolf, in some breeds its even more and at that rate I would say that a lot of pure breeds will self extinct themselves by the time your grandchildren want a dog.
      The dog has an eye condition plain to see known as ectropion, its an abnormality, you think the breeder should be rewarded for breeding a Basset with this eye consdition ?, because that is what the KC did at Crufts. This eye condition is very painful and if I see more Basset's like this can I hold you responsible ?

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    2. The state of Puppyfarms etc does not give you an excuse to do what you like as long as you think yourself a tiny step above them.

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    3. Uh.....no. You can be pro pure bred dogs without having to be pro-exaggeration! I have a pure bred dog, a doberman, that I sought out from a top notch breeder, so clearly I have no issues with pedigree dogs! What I, and most here, have an issue with is unecessary exaggeration. Why does that bassett need to look like that? What benefit does it get from looking like that that it wouldn't have if it were more moderate?
      If all you can think about is how it affects YOU, then you're the problem.
      Start thinking about how it affects the dog, for once. If a human baby was born with huge amounts of excess skin, we'd be seeking to remove it right away because it would be detrimental to that child living a normal life. Tell me how so much excess skin and being so low slung benefits the dog, and how thats better than the look of the albany bassets?

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    4. 'give me a purebred over a designer dog anyday'

      Er, who is it who is really being naive here? You.

      If you really had any idea about the issues here you would understand that pedigree dogs will not survive indefinitely. And that the people actually responsible for that are the breeders who continue to behave as if the last 50 years scientific and genetic discoveries have never happened!

      My dear, blame the people responsible for this travesty, the breeders and sheep who willingly buy into the clap trap and support breeding to some flawed aesthetic blueprint like some ideological shrine.

      Don't blame the people who actually give a damn about the welfare of these animals who suffer so you can let your grandchildren have an effin' pedigree dog!

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    5. Oh dear anon 11:35, you say, "Breeders will not be churning out basset of this type overnight if at all" - so if this particular basset was unusual surely the judge is wrong to have awarded BOB sending it thro' to the group? If we listen to what you say then how can that judge justify any comments re breed type? Thankfully breeders will not be doing as you say because whilst the basset is probably a delightful character and lovely to live with, it's physical properties are detrimental to it's long term well being. You say "stop attacking breeders that are at least trying to breed to a standard as set by their breed club", all breed standards are directed by the Kennel Club, but it is these breed standards that are causing the travesty as shown above. People are taking standards to extremes and are getting away with it because they will try any trick in the book to be noticed in order to win. I had previously said that good kind breeders would not breed to extreme and most certainly would not exhibit such a dog in a public forum. They have more ethics, respect and love for their dogs to do such a reckless thing. I feel that you are being overly critical when in reality you want exactly what the rest of us want for the future, happy healthy different types of dogs that share our lives. Your grandchildren will have purebred dogs in their lives if you can lobby the KC to start putting dogs first and not their bank account.

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  34. I hope you have the owners permission to post these photos on your blog?

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  35. I have read somewhere that the dog does not have entropian ; also that the dog in question was passed by the vets :: I do hope that your internet diagnosis is not an outlandish claim ! You claim the breeders are extreme :: I would like to know how some of you think your outlandish comments are not extreme !

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    1. The dog may not have entropian, but he most definitely does suffer from *ectropian* - the turning out of the lower lids. As indeed do most show Bassets because the standard still calls for a "lozenge-shaped" eye.
      Jemima

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    2. A common mistake getting entropian mixed up with ectropian. The dog most certainly has ectropian and it would an extreme comment to try and deny this fact.

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  36. Banana is a wonderful dog, everyone was able to watch online the beauty of its proportions, the right height, the harmony of his agile movement, the powerful bone structure that allows this dog the necessary thrust for long walks in the country! You need to finally understand that a Basset Hound has to be totally different from that subspecies of Normand Basset Artesien you have posted below. Look at the feet of those horrible dogs, fully open , look at the chest totally inadequate, look at the ears too short for the work that this dog must do! Do you think that such a dog can move better? Be objective once and for all! The beauty of a breed is in its particularity, in compliance with the Standard. This does not exclude that it may be a perfectly healthy dog ! This dog was subjected to a rigorous medical examination before receiving the Best of Breed, just to ensure that it is a sound and perfectly healthy one. You have to put an end to this nonsense, and look at the real health problems of dogs. Thea Moric

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    1. The beauty of a breed is in its particularity in compliance with the Standard.

      And isn't that exactly the problems here? Everyone has a different idea of beauty! And quite frankly, Banana is a grotesque specimen of canine beauty. But that's just my opinion. Although, I suspect the poor animal will be riddled with health problems too. But I guess according to your moral fibre, as long as he meets the ideological warped standard then his health and welfare is not important?

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    2. "You need to finally understand that a Basset Hound has to be totally different from that subspecies of Normand Basset Artesien." I have great understanding of the breed, I used to go hunting with my basset before he passed, and let me tell you that Banana would NEVER be able to keep up with him.

      He was more like an Artesian, but was a full blooded basset. He had less wrinkles and loose skin, he could actually see clearly and was higher from the ground (so his belly didn't drag like this poor dog's would on anything more than flat ground, let alone woodland). He could easily carry on covering ground, including thick woodland all day, and I would tire well before he would.

      Let me tell you what would happen if I took Bannana out to hunt the same places I took my dog. Firstly, as soon as we had to go over any kind of debris like branches or twigs, they would snag and likely cut her skin, then after around 30 mins/ 1 hour of tracking, she would then tire, but worse than that due to the nature of the basset she would want to continue, but would not be able too due to exhaustion and likely joint pain. If I did this with her every day, the same as I did with my basset, she would never cover as much ground, and she would also likely develop severe joint problems quickly, due to the heavy weight on such short legs and the impact of jumping on logs and uneven ground. I can tell you the only reasons I had to take my dog to the Vets were for his jabs, flea and wormer, and to be put to sleep after a severe RTA.

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    3. Please could you define what you think a vigorous medical examination is because I can assure you it won't be what the vet does at Crufts to pass dogs.

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  37. Thea Moric, have a close look at the Albany Bs. They are a working pack, they hunt for hours in different terrain. Banana most certainly could do it for say half an hour but she would break down, a) because of conformation and probably b) lack of stamina. A hound needs to be agile, fit, properly equipped to function. Compare the bone, ear length, amount of loose skin, EYES(!!) on banana and the Albanies. Banana is well equipped to trot around the ring and then back into her crate/bench. Albanies are well equipped to run for hours and hours and hours, up hill, down dale, wooded, stubble fields. As for feet. Feet can be difficult. In my breed flat hare feet are ahborrant because the breed needs well feather, well padded feet to give them spring and protect the bones. However in other breeds, the Albanies have more open, not flat, feet that serve them well, Bananas are fat, wrinkly and because of the excess skin and bone density she will find it difficult to maintain a long period of running, give voice, scent (because she will trip over her too long ear leathers), she will break down and not only suffer that day but possible for days to come. Her eyes would cause great suffering if she were running in brush, stubble fields (the dust therefrom), because they are wide open for seed heads, pollen, etc etc because of the disastrous shape of them. That is just plain unkind to breed a dog with that distortion, really unkind. Breeding fit for function to breed standard is to maintain the quality of the dog to enable to be as good a dog as he can be if he was given the opportunity to work. The A's can, some of the show stock most definitely could not. All dogs are a joy regardless of their function and for whatever reason humans have moulded them into, but some of those moulds are cruel, careless and inmho sick. Sorry but that is how I feel about gross exaggeration.

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  38. never read such a load of rubbish in my life, breeders are trying to get rid of exageration in extreem but it will take time, It is just unfortunate that the judge on the day put up an exagerated hound, But of course super gob sees it as a chance to blow her trumpet, likes to be center of attention doesnt she.

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    1. Lets chuck any reasoning out the door and just throw insults. Worked for someone once who someone was slagging off and his reply to finding this out was, "When they start slagging you off its them that has the problem, not you."

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    2. May I ask you where this exaggeration came from, in the first place? It was imposed by spies of foreign countries or by extra terrestrials? In other words, some external enemies plated it into the breeds and not the breeders heroically fight the consequences? Or maybe it is the breeders themselves who turned dogs into cripples for the purposes of show fashion?

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    3. Don't shoot the messenger! Unfortunately you don't yet understand that your comments reveal more about your character than the person you are criticising. And if JH wanted to be the 'centre of attention', she could breed grossly exaggerated dogs and show them off in a ring, which is rapidly becoming the modern day equivalent of a freak show. Why else do people show dogs? Narcissism.

      Thanks to people like Jemima the next generation will be more educated about welfare issues associated with dog breeding.

      Steven Pinker claims that it is inevitable that the human race will be become less violent and more empathetic in the future. His book 'the better angels of our nature' details evidence that shows a dramatic decline in violence, cruelty and more focus on rights and welfare, since records began. It is inevitable that future generations will become kinder and more benevolent. It's just sad that you can't appreciate that people like JH are working towards that too...

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  39. Isn't strange the Albany basset looks just like something you might get from a puppy mill?

    No not really. The truth is and this must cause some discomfort to breeders and showers is that puppy mill dogs are often healthier. They might not receive the pampering and ideal conditions but the progeny are a lot happier as dogs assuming they had their shots.

    There is no particular prestige in getting a pedigree mutt any more from a "responsible" breeder none at all and the sooner everyone but especially pet owners realise this the better for our dogs.

    You have to wonder why it's taking so long in some Western countries like America? I still see without fail on breeders web sites there the astonishing truth for all to read except the breeders who put the info there themselves don't seem to be reading it.

    "Lilly looking for pet home was paralysed but after steroid boost is normal as any other dog" I read this yesterday on an American dachshund breeders site! And they had a whole page of these pet quality juniors with various ailments and problems from broken tails to missing teeth. Looking for "their forever homes".

    They also list all the problems the breed can have unless you of course buy from someone like them who is a pedigree responsible breeder.

    "Pet home" in America means a cripple that won't even pass the first round in a show!!!

    Aren't dogs meant to be pets anymore is that not the main function of non working dogs, is it show or reject?

    The "good ones" on her site were to go to "only guaranteed show homes and strictly overseas!" In each case (another page full) they had obvious health deviations too though these werent mentioned! These no doubt aimed at places like Asia.

    And of course pages and pages of her winning with dogs in America.

    One has to ask if these people think the public are complete idiots!

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  40. Ps there are a limited number of breeders around the world breeding good sound healthy working dachshounds (: None have keels so low they can't go to ground.

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  41. if you feed your dog a balanced raw food diet as young as possible you can negate many of their genetic health problems I have a seven year old cavalier with only a faint heart murmer and a five year old with no probs at all I rescued them three years ago,i feed them as near as possible to a natural diet and they are thriving. I am 74. The old can learn new tricks lol Alice

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    1. I don't feed the raw food diet and have two Cavaliers at seven years old without a heart murmur. Keeping a Cavalier on a low salt, sugar and fat diet will help, but unfortunately the MVD in Cavaliers is a genetic problem not one caused by diet.

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  42. Yea isn't strange how breeders will tell you all sorts of things about diet and often exercise too. Don't let your pup run up stairs even two stairs, don't feed it too much protein (that's meat) don't let it jump don't let it don't let it....... if something goes wrong then its your fault a problem of "proper care" for "the breed".

    When in fact it's all their doing for breeding a genetic mess in the first place.

    Puppies should be puppies play and rough house until they drop eat their bellies full and sleep. This is how they build up strength in the joints and ligaments. If this is all too much they've simply lost all function as a dog no question.

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  43. I met a Drever once. Very nice dog. Like a Basset, but not a Basset. No loose skin, no laterally compressed head and muzzle. But a hound with shorter legs. I understand the breed comes from Sweden.

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