Judging the Dachshund – a health and welfare perspective
The Breed Council’s Health and Welfare Sub-committee has issued a short guide for Dachshund judges which highlights aspects of the Breed Standard where judges should be aware of potential health and welfare issues.
The conformation of the Dachshund needs to be understood in context in order to assess any risks of exaggeration. The short-leg gene is a naturally occurring modification to the genetic make-up of the dog which appeared about ten thousand years ago. Short legs particularly suited these dogs for certain types of hunting and the Dachshund breeds evolved from them.
Those of us who live with Dachshunds know that they are generally healthy, long-lived and active dogs who, despite their conformation, will happily take as much exercise as their owner is willing to give them. As a breed community we keep the health status of the breed under constant surveillance and we are committed to taking action, on the basis of evidence, to ensure the breed’s health is not compromised as a consequence of exaggeration.
The show ring should be a place where we are proud to demonstrate how fit, healthy and temperamentally sound they are and “Fit for Purpose”.
Neither the Breed Council, nor the Kennel Club expects judges to apply the knowledge or level of diagnosis that a vet would be capable of. We do expect judges to be knowledgeable about the anatomy and sound movement of the Dachshund and, as experienced dog owners, to be able to recognise potential health and welfare issues in the ring AND ACT ACCORDINGLY.
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