First up

An interesting selection has been sent for “difficult and awkward.” First up though has to be this as it was suggested from the UK, mainland Europe and America.

Now Glen of Imaal Terriers have a DNA test why shouldn’t an affected animal be used for breeding if everything is taken into account?

19 thoughts on “First up

  1. Because, 50% of the Glens are PRA “clear” and may also be available for breeding !!
    The more we mate clear to clear. The faster the trait will disappear from the breed.
    It’s our legacy and duty for future generations.
    Actually, only less than 7% of the bitches and less than 3% of the dogs are used for breeding.
    An existing artificial “bottleneck” In nearly ALL breeds! Causing tremendous loss of genes.
    BREEDING DOESN’T CREATE ANYTHING NEW. IT ONLY “COPIES” WHAT WAS ALREADY THERE !

    • So a Glen of poor appearance and bad conformation but a clear certificate should take preference over an outstanding specimen in all departments that has an affected certificate?

  2. Yes, there are occasions when to use an affected dog may be a valid choice.

    Taking another breed as an example: Dog A, was used at stud before a DNA test for PRA was available for that breed. When the test was available it was proved that he was affected (although not at that time symptomatic). His son, dog B, was found to be a carrier.He was mated to a clear bitch. Their son, dog C, has been tested and is clear. He is acknowledged to be one of the ‘greats’ of his breed – dog A had not been used, dog C would never have been born.

    In a breed that is numerically as small as the Glen, it is important not to discard important blood lines. In the example given above, dog C, as well as having exceptional conformation and breed type has, more importantly, proved to be one of the few dogs in this breed that does NOT carry another inherited and life-threatening disease.

  3. If you ban the use of affecteds you may as well ban the use of carriers as they too can produce carriers when mated to clear dogs.
    Using an affected to a clear only prolongs the carrier presence for one more generation but allows far more genetic choice.
    Surely it is better for the breed to preserve as much diversity and quality as possible rather than keeping only clear irrespective of quality?
    First duty to the breed is to not produce any affected puppies, next is to preserve the breed.
    A sensible goal is three or four generations to erradicate PRA.
    Short cuts are short sighted.

  4. Then Sue use the carrier brother or sister who isnt affected in agriculture its not all about apperance and Liz if you used that arguement against say scrapie or MV in sheep you would be kicked out of the breed club and MAFF would be knocking on your door and nobody would touch your stock with a barge poll. You make the best of the clear and carrier dogs you have and go forward and work with the stock available looks are only skin deep health goes far beyond . Scrapie has been got rid of in the Norfolk horn sheep by culling out affected and not breeding off them and by testing over 25yrs its gone.
    If only the show dog world would learn a bit of stockmanship from agriculture breed for health looks are secondary as the ISDA say concerning collies “brains not beauty” how right they are .

    • health goes far beyond-exactly and what Glens now have (courtesy of the scientists and the deep pockets of Glen people) means that everything can be taken into account and weighed accordingly.

  5. What if there isn’t a carrier brother or sister?
    You make the best use of the best – avoiding producing an affected. a carrier can produce a carrier same as an affected can. Do you breed on from the crap clear or the good carrier? – the carrier is the better option as long as paired with a clear.
    Think long term not next week. Your example of scrapie is not comparable – they had no DNA test and were in the situation glens were two years ago.
    Nothing to do with showing dogs but lots to do with selection & quality and keeping a viable gene pool.
    If form follows function how does PRA affect an earth dog? Think what you keep repeating.

  6. Sue thier is a test for scrapie and MV the norfolk horn had a smaller gene pool im lucky im all clear in my kennel and if only the show world would learn from agriculture or the ISDA brains not beauty breed of the most healthy and knock out affected from the breeding programme .
    That is my personal viewpoint and it is down to the individual im keep my kennel breeding on all clears each to thier own.

  7. Sue on the testing after speaking to the NSA individual clubs started this in the 1980s but the national scrapie plan was brought in around the late 90s showed the most suseptable animals to scrapie via thier genotype. Thier are 5 genotypes types 1 and 2 which are what you breed from and and 3,4 and 5 are for the food chain though in exceptional circumstances 3s may be use though only for a very limited period 4s and 5s are culled.
    The Texel breed has come on in leaps and bounds as have all the breeds all have shown marked improvements that shows with a near zero tolerance of possible suseptable type 3 and a zero tolerance of types 4 and 5 health has improved.
    If the dog showing world way beyond glens acted like agriculture health could be improved after all looks are only skin deep again its down to the individual but i will follow my agricultural back ground and breed for heath 1st what others do is down to them.

  8. The scrapie test is not for the condition but for susceptibility for the condition. Not the same thing as the Glen DNA marker.

    So you would rather use a poor clear than a better carrier to a clear mate?

  9. Ive already answered that question Sue on clear or carrier but thier are good clear dogs in the UK and Eire i would consider using a carrier but it would be a last resort . I have stated the scrapie is a test for genotype and susceptability it isnt the same as the glen DNA test read what ive written in my last post.
    It gives you a way forward but you cannot breed from 4s and 5s anyway as i said its down to the individual to decide for themselves.

  10. I seldom post on the blog, but Stephen you never cease to amaze me.
    You talk about stockmanship in the agricultural field and what they achieve, fine and interesting. We are talking about glen of imaals here and their future. You state Clear to Clear and nobody will tell you what to do and you would use a carrier if pushed. Fine !
    So ask your breeder friends what they said before the DNA marker was found. Five to ten years before we eradicate PRA and keep glens in quality,type and health. They agreed Clear to Clear was the preference but agreed there was more to a glen then PRA. We have always said you should judge a glen as a whole not bits of it. So from a breeder who is passionate about this breed I will do what I think best for my glens. Like you nobody is going to tell me what I should and should not do. Whether it be a Carrier to a Clear and even if circumstances took into account an affected, that wiill be my choice. So it would mean a further generation of carriers, so we will move on working to 5-10 years. This way hoping to leave a legacy of glens to be proud of, for the future.
    Stephen it is time to realise that time moves on, look at glens all those years ago and really look at them now, you cannot go backwards. New generations are like people , we are nothing like our ancestors. No matter how much we try those days are gone and we make the best of the world as it is today, perhaps sad as sometimes it seems.
    Whilst we try to preserve the glen and their well beng, we also have to preserve a type which we can all be proud of whether for working, a family companion or showing. You stick to your clear to clear but never lose sight of the glen as a whole and that is what counts.
    Jean

  11. Really don’t think anybody can accuse Mr Holmes of losing sight of the Glen as a whole, he breeds to type and has a lot more respect of the Glen and history than most UK breeders.
    You bang on about PRA but dont care about breeding heavy dogs (over 35 pounds), these overweight dogs might not have problems now but i can assure you they are a ticking time bomb waiting to go off.
    Glenn

    • Glenn, you spasmodically comment(and all are welcome) on here but you do like the occasional threat-as in the ticking time bomb of heavier dogs-but what do you have/know to back it up? As has been said before some of the heaviest Glens in the world have been Irish bred, and fashion may have changed again, but it doesn’t mean these animals (and their numerous progeny) didn’t exist. Without your “ticking bomb” heavier Irish males some of the better Glens, show, companion and working, would never have been. Just check your pedigrees.
      Liz

  12. Mrs Rogers I said its each to thier own an individuals decision on thier dogs, on farming if the “show dog” world would improve alot if it acted in a similar fashion on health to many breeds of dog have been bred to extremes and could hardly be termed fit for purpose. In all spheres of life looks are only skin deep that again is my personal opinion on using clears i said thier are enough dogs that are clear in the UK and Eire for me of the type i want but if not i would use a carrier im lucky all my dogs are clears again a personal choice. Again Mrs.Rogers i stated for me not you or anyone else thats your decision not mine. On the changes in type again Mrs.Rogers I was lucky to see the dogs in the late 1960,70s and again I prefared that type again a personal preferance as do a number of other people Sean Lawlor,Paddy Brennan Jnr etc perhaps you should have a chat with them they saw the great Tinahely lad in action who won a trial one day and 3 days later won at the St.Patricks day show and Fearless Dan and the other great glens.
    Then you might understand our passion for the breed no greater than yours but different in some
    ways. You do what you belive is right for your dogs Mrs Rogers if you read my previous two comments on this thread thats exactly what i said i will do for mine its good we agree that we do what belive is right for are own dogs breeding for what we both want so we agree with each other .

  13. I think we need to ask ourselves, what is our primary objective – with regard to GPRA-crd3 – when breeding Glens? (I’ll refer to GPRA-crd3 as PRA for rest of post).

    For me … and I am sure a lot of others … the PRIMARY objective is to avoid breeding Glens that are at risk of developing PRA. And we can do this by ensuring that at least one parent is DNA-tested Clear or is known to be Hereditary Clear of PRA.

    Both Dr Acland and Professor Epplen have said that, to maintain genetic diversity within an already small gene pool, we will need to use Glens that carry the ADAM9 mutation … whether Carrier or Affected.

    The combined worldwide figures recently quoted in another post illustrate that only about half of Glens are Clear. If we only bred Clear to Clear from now on, we would not only severely restrict our choice of breeding stock but we would also significantly compromise genetic diversity within the breed.

    Many breeders have dedicated years to selective breeding for other traits that are also important to a Glen’s make-up i.e. general health, temperament, type, functionality and compliance with the breed standard. Some of these Glens will be Carriers (and Affected) and I think that we need to keep these Glens in our breeding programmes over the next few years, not only to preserve genetic diversity but also to preserve these other good breed traits.

    I agree that, with responsible breeding selection, we should be able to completely eradicate PRA from our breed. But, this should be our SECONDARY objective and this should be “as long as it takes” not “as soon as possible” … for the sake of preserving genetic diversity.

  14. Liz
    So sorry to be spasmodic (but thanks for making me feel welcome).
    Please can you find the ‘occasional threat, because i’m still looking.
    You mentioned the Irish bred dog, i did’nt, but we both know the kennel you are talking about, and yes they will continue to win shows, and overweight dogs with massive skirts will be up there with them, thats your fashion. But breeding Glens is not about fashion, its about protecting its great heritage and making sure its bred to type and fit for function.
    Kind Regards Glenn

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