The breed standard change and provisional health plan for Glen of Imaal Terriers is now with the Association and the EFG and one thing has instantly been agreed; it is a BREED thing. To enable this, and because Glen people are, in the main, well technologied, the decision has been made to give the Kennel Club feedback from as many of the breed as possible rather than just a few committee members. This will mean a long blog on here and a giant post on the Association forum but it is felt that the breed people are the ones best placed to comment so should be given the chance. Please read the following paragraphs carefully and thoughts/feedback should be sent to either Jean firstname.lastname@example.org or Don email@example.com by the 17th December at the very latest. This is because the KC wants everything to be sorted and back with them by the 30th December
All standards will include the following introductory paragraph from January 2009:
A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Kennel Club website for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure.
The only change proposed to the actual standard is
Forequarters Shoulders broad, muscular and well laid back. Forelegs short, well boned and slightly bowed. (The amendment is underlined)
From the Kennel Club:
In our previous correspondence it was suggested that Breed Clubs which did not yet have a breed health committee or representative, should give urgent consideration to ensuring that one or other of these was in place.
The Kennel Club has subsequently decided that this should be mandatory for all Breed Clubs. It is therefore requested that all Breed Clubs nominate a single lead health coordinator for the club and inform us accordingly by return of the form enclosed. This should be done by Tuesday 30th December 2008.
Where there is more than one Breed Club in a breed, the Kennel Club requests that Breed Clubs and Councils liaise to select one single health coordinator to represent the breed as a whole. This agreement should occur by 31st March 2009.
It is vital that this surveillance concept be accepted by the clubs’ memberships, if we are to ensure that the reporting of newly diagnosed conditions in dogs becomes the norm. That way each breed will have immediate access to its current health status and will be able to act accordingly and in a responsible manner. One of the important functions of the health group will be to collate and record this health information. Of course, some breeds will already have such health surveillance covered by existing health groups.
For its part the KC is currently working to establish new systems that will eventually allow individual health groups to feed their data into a central resource that will be able to monitor health across all breeds. This will most easily be achieved by annual or bi-annual health reports from individual breed health groups, presenting the health statistics that have been collected since their previous report.
In the shorter term, the KC will establish an electronic communications group of all of the nominated breed health coordinators/monitors. Ultimately, once the system is running efficiently, regular meetings (possibly every two years) will be organised for all health coordinators to discuss health trends, to which specialists in some of the identified conditions will be invited to contribute to the discussion.
Such a system of surveillance will also enable more immediate consultation between the KC, specialists and breed clubs if/when a newly emerging condition is discovered within a breed or breeds. Better real time breed health surveillance will greatly improve our ability to react to newly emerging problems and focus the efforts of the KC, the breed clubs and veterinary and scientific specialists to addressing the issues and dealing with them to minimise their impact on the breed.
ALSO the Kennel Club has sent out details of what the AHT/KC Survey of 2004 discovered and asked for discussion regarding its findings. The 2004 survey found that “immune mediated conditions” (allergies) was the biggest problem in Glen of Imaal Terriers and they want to know if this is still so and what else we, the breed, also consider a problem (if anything). THIS IS WHERE YOU ARE NEEDED. Not for one second are allergies being decried and it is known what an aggravation and expense it can be but subsequent to that survey some people said they had filled in allergies as a problem which is what they were at the time but then things changed (like the cat died) and there were no more problems. This is what Jean or Don need to know; is allergy the biggest risk still in a Glen of Imaal Terrier’s life or are there other conditions that have come to the fore?
Glens are on Schedule A for PRA (they weren’t at the time of the Survey) so obviously PRA is an acknowledged condition now and should be mentioned in any health plan. What about cancer? It is acknowledged that everything now has more instances of cancer but do Glens seem prone and if so is there any particular sort? Speak to Jean or Don and let them know what you think and don’t forget to tell them of anything you have encountered with your particular Glen.
Before sighing that we are all doomed one thing has to be reported. Back in 2004 the biggest cause of death in a Glen of Imaal was old age and whilst this was being placed on the blog a call came in from somebody looking for a replacement Glen. Their last Glen recently died in her sleep at fifteen years old!