We all like a good discussion so how about this one? What age should a Glen of Imaal Terrier dog be first used at stud? The US Code of Ethics says not until all health tests are done and that is around two years of age. In the UK a “young” litter has always been the norm for prospective stud dogs so it can be seen how the resulting pups develop and, more importantly in a country that doesn’t consider artificial insemination anything like the normal way to go, it gets males used to being handled before maturity begins to click in.
Effective from January 1 2015 the Glen of Imaal Terrier Club of America have amended their Code of Ethics to include two changes for any Glen involved in a breeding programme. Elbow radiographs will be required IN ADVANCE for any Glen that is going to be bred from and all health testing (as required by the Code of Ethics) performed must be reported. The full Code can be found on their website.
As the Glen of Imaal Terrier Enthusiasts & Fanciers Club (always to be the EFG) gets ready for its first full blown Committee Meeting-hopefully sleeping bags won’t be required-there is a lot of important things on the agenda. One thing that is there that won’t get fully decided on the day is the new Code of Ethics. How is this known beforehand? It doesn’t take an Einstein to realise that a Code of Ethics effects the members so they need a full say on what should be there as they will be expected to abide by it.
There is no doubt, from previous correspondence, that members want DNA testing for PRA before mating including but what else should be there? Have a look at the current Code and tell us what you think.
A couple of things that spring to mind:
One breed club has an older limit for mating bitches that is actually two years before the Kennel Club one. Strange logic perhaps but their members obviously wanted it. In a late maturing breed like Glens IF a limit is suggested shouldn’t it be the minimum age for a litter?
As the crossbreed seems to rule these days should there be a clause regarding a Glen not being mated with another breed?
….with something aimed for opinions!
The EFG is still waiting for word from the Kennel Club regarding official recognition but we aren’t just sitting doing nothing. One of the things up for consideration is updating the Code of Ethics. It’s a decent code but nothing really startling and the current climate requires more so how far should we go? As it says we shall already be asking about DNA testing to be included-one of the things up for debate-but what else? Some countries check for anything and everything, the Finns put it all online, but others do nothing at all on an official basis.
It has always been a proud boast that the EFG is for the Glen of Imaal Terrier in its entirety so thoughts are invited? It would be nice if opinions (keep it clean please) could be placed on here but even if you are shy about publicly expressing do send Jean your thoughts-they will be taken.
Thanks for the suggestions that the EFG health pages could do a bit of updating; they have now been done. Whilst on the subject of health a few co-ordinators have been in touch after the recent Breed Health Co-ordinators Seminar. Glen of Imaal Association Co-ordinator Don Harley told the meeting that, after a Stud Dog & Brood Bitch owners meetings to which people had been invited, it had been decided that only Glens DNA tested and micro-chipped would be bred from. This is now incorporated in to the Code of Ethics and has been passed by the Kennel Club. That was the bit that impressed others there as they had wanted to do this with their own breeds but the KC had said no as it was too restrictive. What was the Association’s secret?
From Don Harley: I realized it was incorrect about brood bitches, and I believe that I said that I would LIKE to see it in the code of ethics,but then when there are people making notes maybe I should have spoken louder or more clearly.Therefore I would like the blog to be corrected.
The standard code of ethics was easy to understand and to adhere to so would the EFG people want anything harder/more explicit or would it be apathy? Enthusiast and Fanciers people had never been backward in having opinions and this subject was no different; there were views!
The Spring Newsletter of 2006 had a provisional list of things received for consideration and discussion and Summer 2006 featured the list again with some of the questions that had come in plus further suggestions. (A mug of tea may be helpful at this point because reading is to follow)
The main five suggestions were:-
a) NO BITCH TO HAVE A LITTER UNTIL AT LEAST 18 MONTHS HAVE PASSED SINCE THE LAST ONE
b) NO DOG TO SIRE MORE THAN SIX LITTERS IN HIS LIFETIME
c) NO BITCH TO BE MATED UNDER THREE YEARS OLD
d) NO GLEN TO BE BRED FROM UNLESS THE PARENTS ARE ALSO EYE TESTED
Some of the comments received and the answers given:-
“Where did the figure of 6 come from?” A dozen of the breed’s better known males had their stud careers analysed. “Better known” was defined via a wide parameter; the males had obtained a top award somewhere i.e. Glen of the Year, Puppy of the Year, Top Stud etc. so, by default probably had something to offer the breed. To ensure a fair sample the dog that has sired the highest number of registered litters, 18, was also included. Despite this remarkably high number the average number of litters sired by arguably the breed’s senior males was 6.1.
“Would it not be a better idea if the litters were “spread”? One at ten months and five before aged three would mean all six had happened before a valid (as of this time) certificate is obtained.” This is a very valid point and like the number of 6 is put for discussion
“A Glen male not used as a youngster would be as much use as a chocolate fireguard!” This is why the suggestion was put with a number rather than an age. The single younger “proving” litter has been a tradition in Glens in this country since the early 80s.
“All responsible breeders have waited until a bitch is over two for a long time now before having a litter. Some vets advise having a first litter under the age of three so wouldn’t 2.5 years be better? Glens have an eye problem, Glens mature late. Would waiting another six months really hurt?
“Why 18 months between litters?” The idea behind this is a damage limitation exercise in case the worst happens. Recently two seven year old & a nine year old have been diagnosed as affected with PRA. IF they had been mated every 12 months (which is common in some breeds) from the age of 3 there could have been 15 litters that were now all classified as carriers. If mated every 18 months there would only have been nine. It is appreciated that this is an extreme example and very, very few people mate their Glen bitches every twelve months but it does get over what the difference those few months could mean to the breed as a whole.
“Some imported animals don’t have tested parents!” .It is appreciated that testing history has to start somewhere but eye testing in Glens is now ten years old and the bulk of responsible Glen breeders have been connected, in some form, with the practice for at least five years. The question must be asked “When the risks are known why import a Glen without tested parents?” Also though there has to be kudos for starting a testing regime. As the suggestion is from a Code of Best Practice for UK Glens should only UK bred animals be covered by the clause?
“All affected Glens should be removed totally from the breeding pool!” One word, yes.
“What will be the situation with regard to carriers?” Some people would never ever breed with a carrier, others are willing to take the gamble. In an ideal world they wouldn’t be bred from but the Glen gene pool is small. Should this be up to the individual as long as everything is properly taken into account and prospective owners told?
“I suggest that both dog & bitch, when mated, should have a valid eye test no more than fifteen months old maximum”. Good suggestion.
“It is appreciated that this is a suggested BREEDING Code but I think it should include somewhere that Glens need testing to the age of nine”.
“Okay, at the moment it seems to be agreed that the first valid eye test is likely to be around 3 so why should I spend money earlier?” Glens do seem to have late onset PRA but we need to keep on top of things so one or two earlier tests can’t hurt.
“I already do most of this so what exactly will it do for me?” Signing up to a Code Of Best Practice agreed by the breed shows publicly that you, & the breed, care. Put it on your breed literature, on your business card. Health is a “biggie” these days so be proud to demonstrate that you are giving it the best shot you can. As one pet owner said “anything that lengthens the odds a bit can’t be that bad!”
Something that may already have been noticed is that a “Code Of Best Practice” is being referred to rather than a Code of Ethics. Late in 2005 it had been pointed out that a Code of Ethics was about behaviour and whilst the EFG had just the easy code that they had, and everybody was civilised after all, there would be no problem with it but something more intense…… How could the EFG, originally born out of the belief that everybody had a right to know what was going on and with debate, argument and contrasting views being central to its core ideals have something that could go against that? The health of the Glen was being talked about but there are different ideas on how best to go about it; just look across to America. Thus the idea came up of the Code of Best Practice. Something that would be decided by the EFG people for the intended better breeding of Glen of Imaal Terriers in regard to PRA and it would be up to each EFG individual to personally decide it was for them. Revoluntionary maybe but it was checked with the Kennel Club and they agreed that a Code of Ethics was not enforceable in law so anything that was agreed by the members……
So the Enthusiasts and Fanciers of Glens has a Code of Ethics PLUS a Code of Best Practice. The Code of Ethics can be seen in yesterday’s blog. The finalised 2006 Code of Best Practice, in no particular order) is below
a) NO BITCH TO HAVE A LITTER UNTIL AT LEAST 18 MONTHS HAVE PASSED SINCE THE LAST ONE (no mating will take place unless the bitch has an uptodate eye test)
b) NO DOG TO SIRE MORE THAN SIX LITTERS IN HIS LIFETIME(his eye test always to be up to date)
c) NO BITCH TO BE MATED UNTIL THE SEASON AROUND HER THIRD BIRTHDAY(after a clear at this time eye test)
d) NO UK BORN GLEN TO BE BRED FROM UNLESS THE PARENTS ARE ALSO EYE TESTED
e) A PRA AFFECTED GLEN WILL BE REMOVED FROM THE GENE POOL AND NEVER BRED FROM ONCE DIAGNOSIS IS MADE
f) IF A GLEN OF IMAAL TERRIER IS DEFINED AS A KNOWN CARRIER IT WILL ONLY BE USED FOR BREEDING WITH THE FULL KNOWLEDGE & AGREEMENT OF THE OWNER OF THE ANIMAL IT IS MATED TO AND THE POSSIBLE FULL CONSEQUENCES WILL BE EXPLAINED TO THE OWNERS OF ANY PUPPIES WHICH MAY RESULT.
For many health has always been important in regard to their dogs but after a certain documentary that seemed to say differently HEALTH has now become big time news. The Code of Ethics that the Kennel Club sent out has recently appeared on here and the EFG has been asked what it is doing/what it has as it is “only” Kennel Club recognised, not registered.
In many eyes the EFG recognition rather than registration could be seen as a boon. The Code of Ethics that was sent out has caused a lot of disquiet because it ignores stirling work done by breed clubs for their own breeds and reduces everything to the lowest common denominator. If you are registered at the KC this Code has to be adopted but as the Enthusiasts and Fanciers of Glens isn’t……
This doesn’t mean we aren’t on the ball though and health has featured very prominently for a while now but first things first. The EFG has always had a very simple Code of Ethics and this was drawn up intentionally because under UK law Codes of Ethics have no legal standing so filling it full of things that could cause arguments when they couldn’t be enforced was just plain ridiculous
Charge realistic prices according to pet or show quality.
Never sell any puppy for indiscriminate breeding.
All puppies to be insured and wormed.
All puppies over 12 weeks to be vaccinated.
To give after sales service as long as is practically possible-even for life.
Never refuse to take back any animal at any age.
To fully inform all prospective owners of the problems, as well as the virtues, of owning a terrier with a strong heritage.
To only export the best possible and most suitable puppy in each litter.
Always remember the breed standard.
Easy and never caused any problems!
In 2004 the BVA and KC showed signs that they were starting to listen to us and take notice of the PRA work and testing that was being done worldwide. In 2005 word was received that an apllication was being made for Glen of Imaal Terriers to finally go onto Schedule A for eye-testing. In other words the UK powers that be were finally waking up to the fact that there was a problem. To acknowledge this it was decided to improve the Code of Ethics and late 2005 the word went out that in 2006, to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the EFG, there would be a free debate as to the way forward to do the best we could in assisting the PRA fight and if anybody had any thoughts let us know.
Tomorrow will reveal what was thought and more importantly what was decided!