In case you are thinking of buying early.

We all know Crufts is next week and usually all things regarding the event are here the week running to it but this needs to be a bit earlier. If you are attending on a purchased ticket-rather than one begged or borrowed from a friend-be aware that the advance ticket strapline of “buy now and save” isn’t exactly true. It’s only (forgive that word) £14.00 if bought early compared with the £17.00 on the door which looks like three quid saved. Thing is though there is a £1.25 booking fee on top and then a whopping £2.00 transaction fee which makes it £17.25 in total. Trading Standards anybody?

Goodbye Frank

Today Frank Jones is laid to rest at Rochdale Crematorium. Many reading this won’t know the man but anybody of a certain vintage will pause for a minute and remember another era; a time when handlers and their charges ruled the exhibition world and top of the tree were the terriermen-the most professional in the game-and Frank was there.

Dig out the old Crufts catalogues from the late 60s and you’ll see his name but you’ll also find it right up to 2007 when he retired after judging Best In Show at National Terrier; he considered it the ultimate honour and so his obvious swansong. Glen of Imaal Terriers first came to his notice in the late 70s and by the early 80s the Glen “affection” kept him awake all night. Back then coaches used to run from the UK to the St Patrick’s Day Show and a missed ferry meant an all night site on the dock. Frank, with his Irish Terrier, was sat across the aisle and back one from Liz and her Glen. The owners attempted to settle down for a cramped night but the Irish noticed a head watching him round the corner of the Irish can settle if another dog is looking at him. Berg, in true Glen style, just nodded off but Frank’s Irish couldn’t see his eyes so spent the entire hours of dark ready…in case. Frank, in true Northern style, thanked Liz for his restful night and indicated he would be keeping closer connection with a dog that could sleep with his eyes open

He became President of the Glen of Imaal Association and regularly attended any event where Glen people got together, he thought a breed that did gardening as well as socialising very worthwhile. He was the first person to shortlist a Glen in a Championship Show Terrier Group (Madach Jackadandy At Malsville, Leeds 1984) and judged the breed often. He refused CCs, because he knew he was going to retire, but did act as an assessor for one of the breed’s more popular judges and he found it somewhat of a challenge. A few ringside knew what he was there for-he told them-so were able to remind him that he was looking at ring demeanour, handling of the dogs etc. etc. and not sighing heavily at every placing he disagreed with and asking quite audibly “what the heck have they done that for!”

2007, the ceasing of his judging, and he virtually disappeared. Such a shame that such a man has gone and how should he be remembered by Glen of Imaal Terrier people? Maybe by the photograph below. It was taken at Welsh Kennel Club well over 20 years ago and it was used on a pinboard at a get-together to show “Friends of the Glen”. He was shown the photo and asked if he minded? He laughed, the caption is what he said he was actually saying and he asked for a copy for himself.

Frank Jones: A top judge, a top pro-handler and a top man of strong views who had time and enthusiasm for every level of the dog game. He was a friend.

frank jones

Glens CAN do it!

Last week, in the round up, mention was given to a Glen of Imaal Terrier obtaining a tracking title. This led to a couple of people emailing with a “tracking?” Thanks to Kelli Whitfield, the co-owner of tracker Winston (Finnabair Winston O’Reilley), for the following

Obtaining a tracking title requires the dog be certified before the trial and a certificate must be sent with the registration for the trial. Then the club hosting the trial does a draw of the dogs entered to see which dogs will be allowed to run the tracks. This trial was limited to four TD tracks. On the morning of the trial, the judges hold a briefing and there is a draw to see which order the dogs entered will run  the tracks. Winston got to run the second track. The tracks are aged for 30 minutes (minimum) to 2 hrs (maximum.) The tracks are laid early in the AM before the drawing and allowed to age as the dogs are drawn and run. Two judges must be present to judge the track and the track consists of 3-5 turns and a maximum of 500 yards. The dog must navigate the track and turns with no direction from the handler and find and indicate the article at the end.

It was an exciting event! We have been training Winston for tracking since he was about 12 weeks old. We are so proud of him!

They’ve been doing it for a few years but…..

Crufts have been running Scrufts for a bit but the latest public relations announcement have left not only Glen of Imaal Terrier people saying “who is it PR for?” Crufts is supposed to be the cream of breeding dogs and show stock so how can an announcement like-“celebrated cross breeds for years now” but now was “the right time” to bring crossbreeds centre stage”-actually do anything to promote the pedigree dogs that they are supposed to be fighting for?

Call it cynical but how long will it be before a mongrel (not even first cross) litter is advertised as “parents are Crufts winners!”

Where were we?

Pre Christmas it was asked what direction the blog should take? Political, more controversial, go deeper into things were three of the thoughts. Before the winter break eye testing came up….Ali Seall puts the following up for discussion.

The majority of Glen breeders are having their Glens DNA tested for GPRA-crd3, or they are using Hereditary Clear breeding stock.  BUT WHAT ABOUT EYE TESTING?  The Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme’s  Recommendation for member breeders is Annual Eye Testing.  GOITA’s Code of Ethics states, “It is recommended that all dogs should still be eye-tested periodically as a safeguard against further eye conditions.”  Professor Peter Bedford, Veterinary Ophthalmologist, writes for GOITA’s Health page, “As a breed you have already developed the discipline of eye examination and you should continue, to be certain that another problem does not become entrenched within the breed …… Eye examination is essential to ensure that our delightful breed remains free from other potential ocular [eye] disease.”

There has never really been any serious uptake of regular eye testing, other than from some breeders and some “show” people.  Looking at the figures now, it would appear that even “established” breeders have all but given up on eye testing their breeding stock.

ABS BREEDERS: Five of the six ABS breeders/breeding partnerships have produced 6 litters from bitches in their ownership in 2011 and 2012 i.e. since the DNA test for crd3 was introduced, but only one of the six bitches had an up-to-date eye certificate when she whelped i.e. within the 12 months prior to whelping.  Only one stud dog used over this time is owned by an ABS breeder; he sired 4 litters and his eye test certificate was up-to-date for just the first 2 litters.

BITCHES: Seventeen bitches have produced 18 litters during this time, and only three had up-to-date eye certificates.  These three bitches are all owned by first-time Glen breeders.  Seven bitches have never been eye tested.

DOGS: Nine dogs sired the 18 litters – one dog (x 4 litters); one dog (x 3 litters); two dogs (x 2 litters); and five dogs (x 1 litter).  Two stud dogs are resident in Ireland and so the testing status is unknown.  Two stud dogs have never been eye tested.  Four stud dogs had out-of-date eye test certificates.  The remaining stud dog is mentioned under ABS BREEDERS.

A number of Glens were eye tested and DNA tested at a Glen event in July 2010 – these dogs are not included in the following figures. The number of eye test results published in the Qtr 4 (Winter) 2010 to the Qtr 3 (Autumn) 2012 BRS (incl.) is for just 10 Glens.  There were 3 dog results, one of whom tested Affected, and 7 bitch results, one of whom was tested under the ECVO Scheme.  None of the 3 dogs have sired a litter over this time.  Three of the 7 bitches have whelped a litter during this time; they are the 3 bitches owned by first time breeders, and their certificates were “in date” at the time of whelping.

Both GOITA and Professor Bedford have recommended that we, as a breed, continue to eye test to screen for other eye problems.  I wonder if the poor uptake of eye testing is because people think that the Glen can’t possibly have any other form of eye disease …?  Unfortunately, there IS documented evidence that some Glens have developed other forms of hereditary and congenital eye disease.  The numbers are small, but there are conditions that are known to be hereditary, which suggests that there will probably be more cases.

Perhaps now is the time to review our eye testing recommendations?  It is breeders who proposed that eye testing should be done “periodically”.  But what does this mean …?  Should we not define the recommended frequency of eye testing for both breeders and “everyone else”?  It is disappointing to note that not one “established” breeder has had an eye test result recorded in the BRS since the DNA Screening Scheme for crd3 was established in October 2010 … and some breeding stock has never been eye tested.  The EFG still organises an annual event with eye testing by Professor Bedford, although it is noticeable that the numbers of Glens being tested has tailed right off.  GOITA has not organised eye testing since December 2009.

Perhaps we should just abandon eye testing?  Should we agree to remove the statements recommending periodic /regular eye testing from the breed club websites, and ask the KC to take off the ABS Recommendation for breeder members to do Annual Eye Testing?  Breeders, and especially those in positions of influence i.e. breed club officers and committee members should surely “lead by example” …?  If we are not eye testing our breeding stock, then why should we expect anyone else to bother …?

If we DO feel that we should continue eye testing our Glens, then perhaps we need to be a little more specific with our guidelines for breeders and for the rest of the Glen-owning community?  The breed club suggestions for eye tests to be done “periodically” and “regularly” are somewhat vague!   Any guidelines agreed should be realistic and achievable, and it is hoped that breeders would lead by example and follow any guidelines.

As a starting point for discussion, what about a recommendation for ALL Glens (including breeding stock) to be tested after the age of 10 years old, which would ensure that any potential late onset disease is also picked up?  For breeders, would it be reasonable to also recommend that any stud dog or brood bitch has an up-to-date eye certificate at the time of mating?  Hopefully, the EFG will continue annual eye testing and GOITA will reinstate annual eye testing – and breeders and breed club members will support these sessions.

How do you write this?

Yesterday was the full  joie-de-vivre of the Glen of Imaal Terrier with Finn wowing photographers at Westminster, smiles and laughter ruled. Today it’s as far from that as is possible to be but it’s still a tribute to a Glen. Shaughnessy was adored by Pam and Jody and admired in the ring by so many. He was a certified Therapy dog. He is now dead and everybody will recoil in horror as to the reason for his passing. It’s so little in such a circumstance but Glen folk all over the world send their sympathy and love.

Welcome back!

Finnegan (Rainbow Springs Wicklow’s Warrior of Ber-D-Mar) starts off the 2013 season. The boy was being taken after his second Westminster Best of Breed when, rather than the traditional shot, he suddenly sat up. The photographer, and New York Times editor, were so taken with the Glen of Imaal Terrier sit that it was featured on the  back page of NY Times Sports section!

Quite a lot of news was sent in January, new working titles and a Best Veteran in Show being the most exciting, and we’re ready for lots more. As we often say the EFG blog exists for you so the new email of is ready anything you think will be of interest to fellow Glen people.

Credit: Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times /The New York Times Fred R. Conr