C OM I N G S OON…
WITH GEORGE CHAMBERLIN, SUZAN GUYNN, JOAN KLEM, WENDI LEWELLAN AND SHARON MARPLES
been realized. In fact, two nationally ranked number one bitches depicted in past American Rottweiler Club publications as “ideal” Rottweiler bitch- es would not have existed either. The trend toward mandating increasing health clearances and gene tests and dental profiles (and increasingly lon- ger lists of such) may eventually compromise the opportunity to produce better Rottweiler type in exchange for reducing chances that particular undesirable traits might occur. My proposal doesn’t mean that the testing stops; what it suggests is that every breeder may conduct every test he/ she elects (tests recommended by the clubs as well as additional diagnos- tics obtained by the breeder), and use the information collected to choose an ideal mate. No policing. And perhaps a breeders’s ethics and integ- rity—demonstrated by his/her breeding decisions and ability to articulate them—might actually set a new stage and mindset for what should be mandatory. JK: Although suggesting or requiring some of those mandatory practices are reassuring, our breed does not really have any health problems that could be called in the breed accept HD. We recognized that back in the 1960s when the Orthopedic Foundation For Animals began their registry. There were only three Rottweiler Clubs back then, Colonial, Medallion and Golden State. As more clubs and breeders recognized the problem and required OFA Hip certification, we have reduced the incidence in the breed but not completely. Nine years ago our Jackie got a promising puppy to raise and train. Izzy slept in her bed, so enjoyed going to obedience classes and Junior conformation and 4H shows, well, any kind of dog shows handled by her Jackie. Jackie and Izzy got CGC,TDI, CD and trained thru CDX and Junior Handling. Chandra had handled Izzy to Best of Breed from Puppy classes at two small local shows. Since Izzy had promise of becoming our next great brood bitch, she had her hips x-rayed. One hip would not pass OFA. She had four generations of OFA certifications on her pedigree and I knew the fifth. But, I do not know how I would survive this growing old thing without Izzy to talk to. I think she must know about 100 or more every- day commands. She just learned to “cuddle” on command, she lays her head on your lap and looks up at you with her most satisfied expression WL: I believe the intentions of mandatory breeding practices are good for the breed but too many witch hunts for violators are not productive. We need to give good, competent breeders a choice to decide what is important in their breeding program. Minimum health choice should be certified hips and elbows, eyes and heart. There are “Breeder’s option” certifica- tions which I think you should let the breeder decide the importance in their own breeding program. Keep good people in the organization with watchful eyes and support. SM: I agree with having mandatory practices in order to help preserve the health and longevity of our breed. There are certain health issues in any breed that need to be addressed in order to improve the breed. Mandatory practices should be well-defined and include both foreign and domestic dogs. But clubs need to be careful in defining what mandatory practices are required so as not to go overboard with costly testing that might prevent current members from renewing or new members from joining. I personally feel that in our parent club there are some requirements that should be recommended versus required.
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