Nobody is getting any younger…it makes for a good excuse. Driffield is NOT the last Championship Show of the year to schedule Glens….it is Belfast and that was last weekend! The Glen of Imaal Terrier entry was virtually non-existant but it didn’t matter because Best of Breed Homer was then shortlisted and finally nodded out for Terrier Group 4. Nice one indeed!

Last of the “heavy reading”

Close line-breeding has one HUGE thing going for it in the world of pedigree breeding; it enables you to find things out quickly. These things can either be good or bad and with Glen of Imaal Terriers PRA is the obvious. Berg was pre eye testing but there is certainly one thing that can be said about him with probably 99% certainty……he was not a PRA carrier. As he was so closely bred himself and then, in turn, was mated to his grandaughters so if he carried the “duff” gene it would have shown up.

Glen of Imaal Terriers are now lucky insofar that PRA can be tested for and work is on to find the marker but there are still conditions out there in all breeds that can only be discovered by close linebreeding. We DO NOT need it outlawed!!

What’s the difference?

At the moment in-breeding is considered to have taken place when two animals that are very closely related are mated together i.e. brother-sister, mother-son, father-daughter. Line breeding is the mating together of two related animals, cousins, grandfather-grandaughter etc.

Glen of Imaal Terriers, in the 50s, 60s and 70s, were quite regionalised so, being mainly working animals, they were very much “horses for courses”. One area would prefer one sort of Glen because the work it did was different and obviously the landscape was different from a hundred miles away where another sort of Glen was preferred. This did lead to different types and usually type is mated to type.

Where were we?

Back to the post of the 17th and how “things” would affect Glen of Imaal Terriers. Mother to son might have been the only mating actually mentioned but the layman’s (and the RSPCA are) concept of inbreeding is what anybody with any knowledge of stock would consider line breeding; the essential way to get type and eradicate faults whether you are breeding dogs, cats, horses or guinea pigs!

There are very obvious Glens of today to use as examples of what wouldn’t be allowed but Glens of today, as yet, are just that; today. There is no knowledge as to their legacy so for that reason the ONLY Glen to use has to be Eversley Patrick. A dog that reached the pinnacle of being known by all Glen followers, owner, exhibitor and judge, by his call name of Berg.

Berg won virtually everything that could be won by a very rare breed back in the late 70s and early 80s. Now it is quite normal for “Rares” to be placed at a very high level but back then it wasn’t and as there were far, far fewer breed classes for all breeds Glens had to fight their way through the huge N.S.C classes and Berg did this regularly and with great success. Berg could show but Berg is what he did for the breed; Berg is his progeny.

Berg though, if the pedigree is studied, was virtually himself. There were few Glens around then and the same names appear again and again in his pedigree. He just balances that fine line between what dog people would term close linebreeding and inbreeding. Current ideas being mooted would not allow him to be. If Berg had never happened neither would Zac, the first Glen to get a Best Puppy in Show. Little Lee, the first Glen to get Best In Show. Tom, the only Glen to get a Junior Warrant. Blue, the first Glen to enter the big ring at Crufts. India would not have led the breed into the States and neither Soldier nor Murphy would have had the title of the most successful Glen brothers ever…because they wouldn’t have existed. Homer wouldn’t have been able to be the first big transatlantic winner and none of the current UK Champions would have happened. Glens of Imaal Terriers as everybody knows them would not have happened because Berg didn’t……and if some thinking goes ahead there will never be another Berg!

Two IS Good!

Being number two in something could be thought of as not quite good enough but in this instance….wow! Over in Ireland Homer is currently running number two top terrier in the whole group; the highest position a Glen of Imaal Terrier has ever been and this is worldwide, not just Ireland.

…..oh it’s just the RSPCA….

The post of the 17th got a lot of personal comment; too much to be answered in one session so this week could be a bit heavy on the reading. At Driffield dog show one person said “oh, surely it’s just the RSPCA having a pop so if we keep our heads down it’ll all blow over”. The only words that spring to mind are “HOW INNOCENT”. Turn up the mac collar and pull down the trilby here and it is fully realised that America is a long way west of here but the following are posted just for the record and interest.

PETA has this on their site:- The AKC demands that dogs adhere to strict breed guidelines even when they’ve been proved to cause medical problems, like with pugs’ breathing difficulty. Sound familiar?

PETA has just run a poster campaign:- a large heap of body bags containing dead dogs. Remind anybody of a certain campaign run here?

Wednesday was a black day for dog owners all across America, as animal rights extremists posted legislative victories in Dallas, California and Pennsylvania. Dog owner advocacy groups fought hard in all three contests and had clear majority support, but animal rights groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Humane Society of the United States cashed in political chips with elected officials. PETA and HSUS have been infiltrating local and state advisory boards for many years, backed by a war chest exceeding $150 million, hundreds of paid employees and thousands of volunteers. Apathy remains the greatest problem faced by dog ownership advocacy groups. The system may be a bit different here but again does anything sound familiar?

Just the RSPCA eh?

Winter eyetesting…for the diary.

The Summer EFG eyetesting session is now long gone but for all the people who were on holiday etc. there is a winter one to pencil into the diary. The Glen of Imaal Terrier Association will be having an eye testing session (Peter Bedford again) at their Championship Show on the first weekend of December. It’s at Sheffield so easily accessible from the M1. Details from Anne Hardy anmeha@aol.com

It was better than decent….

It was impossible to believe that it was only a matter of days & a few miles from the muddy hell of Darlington Champ Show. Driffield must know somebody who called in BIG favours from the weather gods; standing outside in t-shirts was a gloriously unexpected bonus. Half brother and half sister Finn and Lisha shared the honours with Finn going forward to the big ring with NO MUD to marr the day!

…..it’s looking decent!

Driffield Champ Show and the last one of the season to schedule Glen of Imaal Terriers. They left Doncaster racecourse (and all that beautiful hard standing) a couple of years ago and moved to Wetherby well known as a soggy surface. The tents will have gone up on wet ground but hopefully a few days of non rain will have helped and today the weather looks positively decent!

If you have ever wondered what a showground is like once we all move out this may help, an email from Newby Hall where Darlingtom wallowed last week.    “It’s tempting to put the whole park down to concrete!  Thankfully the Craft Fair (which was supposed to follow the Dog Show on approximately the same site) decided to cancel about a week ago – his stall holders have just had enough this year – we started with a wet Craft Fair in June and it’s just gone from bad to worse. I can imagine that we’re going to get a dry and sunny October as we close for the season on Sunday 28th September.  And what a season it’s been.”

This Does Affect YOU!

You may be reading this as “just” a pet owner and think this, besides being interesting to read, is nothing to do with you. WRONG. There is now a new agenda fast becoming clear and unless apathy is cast aside you will find yourself part and parcel of it all. Some of the more ranting posts on the internet are saying that animals with short legs and long backs are deformed and “when everything is sorted” that type of animal will no longer be allowed!

The actual breed they are meaning are Dachsunds and Bassetts but just take a look at your Glen of Imaal Terrier. Yes, you are viewing an achondraplasic just like the two breeds above. Back in the 80s there WAS a problem with Glens being dwarfs…which is what achrondraplasia as…and there were animals that were very short of the front legs and had front legs so turned the feet were at quarter to three. There was trouble with joints and elbow dysplasia. Breeders, who according to the RSPCA ruin a breed, realised who poor these fronts were and worked hard to improve them. Legs apparently became longer but it wasn’t due to taller dogs, it was due to the improvement and strengthening of the pastern which bought the feet to a better position and all this together made the dog look taller.  The short upper arm which was very common at the time was gradually moved away from and the freedom of movement, that most Glens now exhibit, became the norm.

All this could be done because care was taken in breeding. It was realised which dogs threw particular faults so they were used very carefully or not at all. Glen of Imaals that didn’t have the faults were used more often and anybody who was around in the late 70s/80s will tell you how much the breed had improved by the turn of the century. If the do-gooders have their way that breeding which allowed for such an improvement in the construction of Glens would not have been allowed as it would have been termed in-breeding. Without that line breeding those horrendous conformation faults would have still been rife throughout the breed and Glens would be being condenmed as “deformed mutants”.