Gun­dog is­sues

Joy Ven­turi Rose is a re­spected fig­ure in the gun­dog world with plenty to say about its cur­rent state of health. Amy Bates set her some ques­tions.

Shooting Gazette - - Wel­come -

Joy Ven­turi Rose is one of the best known names in the gun­dog world, oc­cu­py­ing a num­ber of po­si­tions in­clud­ing a top han­dler and breeder. We sent our arch in­quisi­tor Amy Bates out to meet Joy and to seek out an­swers to press­ing ques­tions rang­ing from the state of field trial judg­ing to gun­dog DNA.

Joy and her hus­band have a small ken­nel of labradors and the oc­ca­sional work­ing springer spaniel. They have owned 10 field trial win­ning labradors, all whom have also won in the show ring. Their stud dogs have sired both field trial and show ring cham­pi­ons. Joy is a qual­i­fied vet­eri­nary nurse and teacher, as well as hold­ing a Mas­ters de­gree in an­i­mal sci­ence and be­hav­iour. Joy currently works in vet­eri­nary nurs­ing ed­u­ca­tion and is also writ­ing a book on mod­ern dog breed­ing. She is a Ken­nel Club (KC) B panel field trial judge and also a cham­pi­onship show judge. how much im­por­tance do you think field tri­allers put into health re­sults? I think the ma­jor­ity of se­ri­ous breed­ers take health is­sues se­ri­ously. Sadly, as in any hu­man en­deav­our, there will al­ways be a few that are ei­ther ir­re­spon­si­ble or cor­rupt but with the trans­parency cre­ated through the avail­abil­ity of tools on the KC’S web­site such as Mate Se­lect, where the ma­jor­ity of health test re­sults for each labrador (and all dogs reg­is­tered with them for ev­ery breed for that mat­ter) are now recorded, this and peer pres­sure are hav­ing the im­pact and there is less room for ir­re­spon­si­ble or cor­rupt breed­ers to “hide”. This has also en­abled puppy buy­ers to be more in­formed and be able to do much more re­search be­fore pur­chas­ing a puppy. The main thing is they must avoid back yard breed­ers or puppy farm­ers who do not reg­is­ter their dogs with the KC be­cause there will be no, or in­suf­fi­cient, in­for­ma­tion avail­able on the po­ten­tial health sta­tus of these pup­pies. If you can’t see the sire or dam on the KC web­site it is not reg­is­tered. how do you think judges in­ter­pret the fol­low­ing, which taken from the 2017 field Trial reg­u­la­tions? J(a) 3. Judg­ing (a) “a judge must also have a very good work­ing knowl­edge of the breed or breeds un­der Trial and have the in­ter­est and fu­ture of the breed or breeds at heart, since fi­nal plac­ings may in­flu­ence breed­ing plans and so de­ter­mine the course of breed de­vel­op­ment”… I ex­pect in­ter­pre­ta­tions vary. Some judges will just con­cen­trate on the work­ing abil­ity and nat­u­ral in­stinct of the dog in ques­tion e.g. not hard mouthed. Given how long this reg­u­la­tion has been in place I sus­pect it was its orig­i­nal in­ten­tion. Other judges might think at a deeper level and con­sider tem­per­a­ment etc. I am not sure whether any­one would have a men­tal map of the health sta­tus of the in­di­vid­ual dogs run­ning un­der them and to be hon­est as long as a dog is fit to run and is of a suit­able stan­dard for the com­pe­ti­tion en­tered I see no rea­son to pre­vent any dog and its han­dler en­joy­ing a com­pe­ti­tion for its own sake. At least the dog is get­ting some men­tal stim­u­la­tion and I do worry some pet dogs have pre­cious lit­tle of this. how im­por­tant is dna test­ing? DNA test­ing is a won­der­ful tool if used cor­rectly. It now en­ables us to de­tect car­rier sta­tus dogs and in­stead of hav­ing to re­move these dogs from the gene pool and shrink it still fur­ther we are, if we want to, able to mate to a DNA tested clear mate and none of the pup­pies will be af­fected for the con­di­tion in ques­tion. On aver­age around 50 per cent of the re­sult­ing pup­pies will be car­ri­ers but we can DNA test them be­fore they are sold and if nec­es­sary, as breed­ers, we can put KC en­dorse­ments on them to pre­vent them hav­ing pup­pies that the KC will reg­is­ter, and as breed­ers we can fur­ther stip­u­late un­der what con­di­tions we would lift these en­dorse­ments, if any, in the fu­ture on the con­tract of sale and both should sign. For ex­am­ple, we can en­sure the new owner is ab­so­lutely aware of what they are do­ing and if de­cid­ing at a later date to mate their dog this will be to a DNA tested clear dog so that there are no

af­fected pup­pies in that lit­ter.

Of course, some­times prob­lems can still arise be­cause the sci­ence of DNA test­ing is mov­ing so quickly it is some­times hard for breed­ers to have a rea­son­ably ac­cu­rate view of what the fu­ture may hold and it can be tricky writ­ing the sales con­tract to en­com­pass cor­rectly all pos­si­ble even­tu­al­i­ties. How­ever, I don’t think that should stop us try­ing to do this be­cause on most oc­ca­sions it will work well es­pe­cially if you’re vet­ting of new own­ers and their mo­tives is thor­ough.

On the other hand, I am aware of some loop­holes in the sys­tem. If the orig­i­nal owner sells the dog later and does not ex­plain the en­dorse­ment to the new owner the en­dorse­ment be­comes in­val­i­dated. We are hop­ing to work with the KC to al­ter that if pos­si­ble. Also, prior to the abil­ity to DNA test for var­i­ous con­di­tions, if a breeder un­wit­tingly pro­duced a puppy af­fected by an in­her­ited dis­ease there was some­times a ter­ri­ble witch hunt car­ried out be­cause sadly some overly com­pet­i­tive peo­ple loved a rea­son to “do down” other­wise good dogs. There could be a lot of emo­tional up­set and it was im­pos­si­ble, of course, for ei­ther the sire or dam to be used again and that could ex­tend to any other prog­eny of these dogs be­cause we just had no way of know­ing which of the grand­chil­dren or half broth­ers and sis­ters were car­ri­ers. DNA test­ing can still give rise to a few prob­lems e.g. hu­man er­ror or dis­hon­esty, but in the main we have been able to move for­ward in a pos­i­tive way and any dis­hon­esty will even­tu­ally come out through sub­se­quent test­ing so it en­cour­ages a re­duc­tion in dis­hon­est be­hav­iour.

Sadly, some breed­ers do not fully un­der­stand the ge­netic and sta­tis­ti­cal tools avail­able to them and don’t have the un­der­pin­ning ge­netic knowl­edge to get the best out of them. how do you think MYKC is in­flu­enc­ing breed­ing in the world of field tri­als? MYKC is an­other ex­cel­lent tool and I am sure qui­etly it is hav­ing an in­flu­ence on the breed­ing of field trial labradors be­cause ev­ery­thing in a pedi­gree and the health sta­tus of all the dogs in it is so much more trans­par­ent. Ad­di­tion­ally, breed­ers and buy­ers from abroad are help­ing to raise the game of UK breed­ers be­cause of­ten their own KCS have strin­gent rules and reg­u­la­tions on health so UK breed­ers have to re­spond to this. Any­thing that helps re­duce ge­netic dis­ease it to be wel­comed. On the other hand, you also have to weigh up the im­por­tance of ev­ery con­di­tion to the wel­fare of the dog. For ex­am­ple, with Hered­i­tary Cataract (HC), sadly we do not have a DNA test avail­able, there is still no clear ev­i­dence on its mode of trans­mis­sion, if of­ten af­fects an­i­mals in mid age af­ter they have pro­duced pup­pies and some­times they have been sub­se­quently been bred as well. The con­di­tion ap­pears to have lit­tle ef­fect, in the vast ma­jor­ity of cases, on ei­ther the eye­sight or the wel­fare of the dog as it is not painful. There­fore, whilst it is not de­sir­able its sig­nif­i­cance has to be weighed up against more se­ri­ous de­bil­i­tat­ing con­di­tions e.g. Cen­tral Nu­clear My­opa­thy (CNM), which is a mus­cle wast­ing dis­ease lead­ing to huge wel­fare is­sues and for which we do have a DNA test. The ir­ra­di­a­tion of CMN there­fore needs to take higher pri­or­ity than HC. What do you think of the stud dog and lit­ter ad­ver­tise­ments that ap­pear on face­book; es­pe­cially if the dam or sire used has, say, a ‘one’ for an el­bow score? It is up to the puppy buyer to get them­selves in­formed about all the health tests avail­able and those that have been car­ried out (or should have been) and then ask the breeder ap­pro­pri­ate ques­tions. If they’re not happy the buyer should walk away. What do you con­sider im­por­tant when look­ing for a stud dog? I am a KC as­sured breeder so I must au­to­mat­i­cally com­ply with the scheme re­quire­ments I have un­der­lined below. Then I con­sider tem­per­a­ment is first. He must be good with other dogs and peo­ple and he must work well. Then health test sta­tus - how does his health tests com­pare with my bitch? If my bitch has DNA tested as a car­rier for any con­di­tion then I must use a DNA tested clear dog. Other­wise if I like the dog and my bitch is DNA tested clear then I am not wor­ried if he is a car­rier as I will DNA test the pup­pies and carry on from there. He must have a Hip and El­bow score for me to con­sider and have passed ei­ther a BVA/KC scheme eye test of AHT eye test in the last 12 months.

On con­for­ma­tion and coat type, I per­son­ally be­lieve if a dog is well con­structed he will suf­fer less joint and soft tis­sue prob­lems when work­ing so will re­main healthy.

If my bitch has a thin sin­gle coat I want a dog to have a proper dou­ble labrador coat so her pup­pies are kept warmer in cold and wet weather and suf­fer less po­ten­tial arthritic joint prob­lems as a re­sult.

Re­gard­ing pedi­gree, he must have the type of pedi­gree I per­son­ally like and I think will go with my line and has the at­tributes I would like to im­prove upon on the bitch I am breed­ing. The more dogs in the pedi­gree I per­son­ally know or have seen the bet­ter be­cause I have more in­for­ma­tion to go on. If the paragon of virtue is also good look­ing then that is a bonus. I would not use some­thing look­ing like a whip­pet!

Joy Ven­turi rose, with her dogs, pic­tured in 2014.

Joy work­ing Ch Carpenny an­chor­man.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.