Archive for the ‘News’ category

Breed Council AGM 2017 – Chairman’s Report

May 17, 2017

Chairman’s Review of 2016

At the beginning of the year, the Breed Council’s Health Committee published its annual report which summarises their work and plans. Shortly after that, the Kennel Club reported the results of their 2014 Health Survey which pretty much confirmed our own survey findings from 2015. Back disease (IVDD) is the main serious condition affecting the breed, with Smooth and Mini Smooth varieties most at risk. Skin conditions and allergies also featured among the KC’s most prevalent conditions.

Given that issue, the Health Committee confirmed its plan to implement an IVDD screening programme and it was formally launched in November 2016. It is based on a programme already well established in Scandinavia and which is also being adopted elsewhere in the world. The science behind it is well-proven and we hope breeders will support the programme as it offers the best hope currently available to reduce the risk of IVDD.

In February, the Animal Health Trust launched its “Give a dog a genome” project which aims to map the genetic code of 75 breeds. The Dachshund community rallied round to raise the £1000 needed for us to participate and, within a week, we had the money and had secured a place as one of the first ten breeds. More fundraising means we have been able to ask the AHT to do this research on more Dachshund varieties, eventually. The project will not have short-term benefits but is certainly an investment for the future.

The Lafora screening programme for Mini Wires goes from strength to strength, thanks to the focus and commitment of the Wire Club. By the end of 2016, KC registration data shows that well over 90% of litters are “safe”, with the vast majority of breeders now using the test to avoid breeding affected puppies.

The registration statistics for Dachshunds continue to show some worrying trends. Mini Smooths continue their rise in popularity, fuelled no doubt by the string of adverts featuring them. It is to be hoped that they don’t end up in unsuitable homes with owners who don’t realise how to look after them properly, with adequate exercise and appropriate socialisation. Mini Longs have seen a steady decline in popularity for the past 15 years, while registrations of Mini Wires remain at around their long-term average level.

In Standards, there has been a decline in popularity of Smooths and Longs for the past ten years. Wires had a spike in popularity in 2015 which took them to their highest level of registrations over the past 15 years.

Education of the buying public continues to be a priority for all Breed Clubs. Thanks to all our Discover Dogs helpers and their well-behaved hounds.

It’s pretty clear that breed clubs have an important role to play in educating owners so that their dogs can live as healthy and happy a life as possible. Breed clubs do so much more than running dog shows. Without them, there would be no breed-specific research, no fundraising for health and rescue, and no development of health schemes.

With that in mind, it was disappointing to be told that the KC thought there were too many clubs when we were all summoned to a meeting at Stoneleigh in August. Despite being told that the meeting was to discuss the allocation of CCs and how to increase show entries, many people came away feeling neither of those topics had been addressed. Clubs were asked to prepare submissions to the KC and it remains to be seen whether we will be listened to and what the outcomes will be.

One of the more shocking revelations on the reasons people have been put off dog showing came in a Canine Alliance Survey which showed nearly half the respondents had been on the receiving end of bullying. We all have a responsibility to be welcoming to newcomers and to behave in the sporting manner suggested in our Code of Ethics.

Education of judges and exhibitors is also high on the list of priorities of the Dachshund breed clubs. All the evidence suggests poor judging is one of the biggest factors in determining show entries. People are simply voting with their cheque books (or credit cards) and staying away from expensive shows where they don’t think the judge will give them a fair crack of the whip. Add to that expensive food and £10 to park in a field and it’s not surprising people prefer to enter at Breed Club shows. It’s not as simple as saying it’s Breed Specialist judges or All-rounder judges that are good or bad. There are good and bad of each type and our clubs have been among the most proactive in putting on seminars and assessment events that help people to understand the Breed Standard. The KC launched its Academy in 2015 and Dachshunds were among the first breeds to feature in the judging section. The Academy has lots of free resources as well, but you’ll have to take out a subscription to watch the breed-specific films. The KC’s Chairman Simon Luxmoore has described the current judges’ development and selection approach as “not fit for purpose”. Most exhibitors would agree and the changes proposed in the recent Judging Framework will be an interesting development which our clubs will be expected to support.

I was proud to be invited to speak about the work of the Dachshund Breed Council at the 3rd International Dog Health Workshop in Paris in April 2017. This really was a reflection on the amazing work done by so many of our committed clubs over many years. I hope we can continue to set an example for others.

Finally, I’d like to thank all the Breed Club officers and committee members who freely give up their time to organise and manage shows and other events. Without you all, we couldn’t have achieved all the successes we have had during 2016. I wish everyone all the best for 2017.

 

Ian J Seath
Chairman
14th May 2017

More support announced for the UK Dachshund IVDD Screening Programme

May 14, 2017

logoLast year, when we launched our IVDD Screening programme, we applied to the Kennel Club Charitable Trust for a grant to support the programme over the next 3 years. We have been notified that our application has been successful and we are incredibly grateful to the KCCT for their generosity and support for our work.

At the Breed Council meeting held today (14/5/17) it was agreed that, in light of the KCCT grant and other fundraising, the Council would now be able to increase its subsidy of the Screening Programme.

The Council will now be able to offer a £100 subsidy on X-ray screening as well as paying for the scoring of the x-rays.

Depending on the level of uptake of the screening programme, we hope to be able to offer this support for at least 3 years, which should give us a strong base for reducing the risk of IVDD in the breed.

Breeders who have participated in the Screening Programme since its launch will also be able to reclaim £100 from our Health Fund. They are the true pioneers of this programme in the UK and we want to ensure their support is also recognised.

The cost of participating in the Screening Programme, if breeders use our CVS partner vets, will now be just £200. Breeders will still need to pay £300 to the CVS practice carrying out the screening but can reclaim the £100 subsidy from the Breed Council once their screening results have been confirmed.

A condition of participating in the Breed Council’s scheme is that the owner agrees that their dog’s X-ray results may be published in an online registry of screening results and they participate in a regular survey of their dog’s health.

For more information on how to have your dog screened, please visit our IVDD website.

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Dachshund Breed Council AGM 2017

May 14, 2017

The Dachshund Breed Council held its AGM and a Council meeting today (Sunday 14th May 2017).

Ian Seath was re-elected as Chairman to serve for a term of 3 years. He presented his report for 2016 which will be published separately. Anne Moore was re-elected as Vice -chair to serve a further 1-year term.

The Treasurer presented the Council’s accounts and it was agreed, at the Council meeting, that the Midland Dachshund Club would present a proposal for investing in new educational materials to be used at the Discover Dogs and other Pet Show events for Dachshund buyer education.

In light of the continuing importance of investment into breed health improvement projects, it was agreed at the AGM that the Breed Council should set up a charity for the management of future fundraising and expenditure. This will ensure we have effective governance in place and enable us to reclaim Gift Aid on donations. The Health Fund has a current balance of £27,000 with funds ring-fenced for “Give a dog a genome”, IVDD and Lafora projects.

Further investment in the IVDD Screening Programme was also approved by the Council and this will enable us to provide additional subsidies to breeders.

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Dachtastic Obreedience Team – 3rd at Crufts 2017!

March 16, 2017

Sarah Bartlett wrote this for us:

Dachtastic Obreedience Team Makes it to the final of Crufts and gets a whopping 3rd!

Dachtastic is a small team of Miniature Longhaired Dachshunds and with their respective humans we all compete in a relatively new dog sport called Obreedience.

Obreedience 2 2017Obreedience 1 2017

Watch the video (from 3 minutes):

The following is taken from the KC website –

 ‘The purpose of Obreedience is to encourage more breeds to ‘have a go’ at some of the tests associated with competitive obedience but in a less formal competitive environment.

Obreedience is a team event and showcases the talents of each breed through a series of fun exercises and it is perfect for all ages and abilities.

It mixes the best aspects of obedience with the camaraderie found amongst breed enthusiasts, each Obreedience team must comprise of four handlers and four dogs of the same breed who take part in two rounds of competition including a round of heelwork performed together as a group and then four set exercises including a retrieve, a ‘send to bed’, commanding the dog to stop, and a scent exercise.’

We are also encouraged to have two reserve handlers and dogs, which take the total up to 6 per team.

After watching heats in 2015 and watching the final at Crufts in 2016 we managed to get a team together in the hope of qualifying for the finals at Crufts 2017.

Our team consists of myself as team captain handling my boy Moss  – Idirsholas Jazz’s Gift RL6. He has achieved Gold in the Good citizen dog scheme and was the first Dachshund to achieve his level 6 KC Rally Title. Moss has excelled in his ‘send to bed exercise.

Debbie Toby who has kindly and excellently handled one of my own dogs Ziggy – Future Legend of Idirsholas RL5. Ziggy is 11years of age, also has his GCDS Gold certificate and almost achieved his L6 title before retirement (just one qualification remaining). Ziggy did an excellent job with his ‘stop the dog’ exercise.

Wendy Schilling with Stanley – Idirsholas Rhythm of Jazz RL1. Wendy worked very hard with Stanley to train from scratch and then perfect the ‘scent’ exercise. This involves retrieving a familiar item amongst other items and presenting it to the handler in a formal manner, as would be expected in formal obedience. Stanley achieved his Rally Level 1 Title last year and isalso a GCDS Gold dog. Stanley is full litter brother to Moss. I could not be prouder as their breeder that they can excel in different dog sports, showing how versatile the Dachshund can be.

Joanne Stanley with Frankie (‘Frankiefurter’) – Silflay Wild Thyme RL1. Frankie also gained her Rally level 1 title last year with ease. Jo has competed in competitive obedience for many years with her German Shepherds, and also trained Frankie in the hope of Competing with her, but hasn’t yet. Frankie has a wonderfully trained formal retrieve with a dumbbell thanks to Jo (and Frankie’s fixation with Cheese!).

Reserves  –

Jane Sutherland with Florence (Flozzer) – Frankie’s Silver Frosted Florentine.  The youngest daughter of Frankie, a happy go lucky little silver dapple bitch who is owned, loved and trained by Jane. Jane has been a very committed member of the team despite not being called upon in any of the heats over the past year.

Pip (‘Pipperami’) owned by Jo, living with her mum Frankie, she was the only surviving pup out of Frankie’s first litter and is a lovely asset to the team. She enjoyed joining the team for the final parade at Crufts but like Jane and ‘Flozza’ hasn’t had the chance to truly shine in the ring…yet.

We had our first practice a month before our first heat last year and were very fortunate to have help from two experienced Competitors – Rachel Bradley (of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling retriever team from the previous year) and Claire Price (Cavalier King Charles team who placed 4th at the finals at Crufts 2016). Rachel and Claire kindly shared their experience and wisdom and I believe really helped to set us on the path to success.

Looking back I think we averaged two one-hour practices in the run up to each heat and then weekly practices in the run up to Crufts.

Of the five heats we entered, we were delighted to place third at the first three of them! Qualification for the Crufts final is based on points gained at the heats, which are spread over the previous year. Heats are usually part of championship, rally or obedience shows, so its great for the dogs to gain experience of busy environments and crowds in readiness for Crufts. The higher the placing the more points gained (places and points from 1st to 10th)the ten highest scoring teams are invited to Crufts but no more than three teams from any breed group will be invited, and no more than one team per breed is selected for the final.

At the end of the final heat (which was at LKA) we were overjoyed to find that we were the top hound team, and 4th in the points table overall.  Despite this we didn’t get the final confirmation from the KC until mid January and then it was all go go go to get ready!

Other teams that made it to the final were Cairn Terriers, Jack Russels, Cavalier King Charles, German Shepards, Border Collies, Cirneco Del Etna, Giant Schnauzers, Pyrenean sheep dogs and Manchester Terriers.

Placings were 1-4, 1st GSDs, 2nd Jack Russells, 3rd Dachtastic & 4th Cairn terriers!

There was only ¼ of a point difference between us and the Jack Russells in 2nd place.

It was an absolute honour to be invited to show off how amazing the Dachshund is at Crufts and on hound and terrier day no less! We were all shocked and ecstatic to be placed so high and above some more common and considered ‘more trainable’ breeds.

My old Boy Ziggy retired at Crufts there and then at age 11, though I’m not sure he will approve of letting the others have such fun without him in future!

Our aim was to make it to Crufts and to show how you can train a Dachshund despite what the masses may think to the contrary! Getting placed so high was the cherry on the cake and I’m not sure any of us have come down from the ‘winning high’ yet!

The whole team would like to give a big thanks to all who came to cheer us on and support us on our big day! It was wonderful to have such cheers each time we entered the ring and it helped to calm our nerves as we all felt we were amongst friends! We had many supporters from the various Dachshund Facebook groups, we really appreciated it, and I feel that it made all the difference.

The plan is to compete again this year and although there will be some team member changes we plan to have just as much fun if not more showing off our wonderful breed!

Towards the end of last year we were delighted to see another Dachshund team form and compete – team Mini Mayhem (miniature smooths) that also plan to compete again this year. We wish them all the best, after all, the more Dachshunds out there competing (whatever the sport) the better!

If anyone is interested in competing in Obreedience there is a Facebook group ‘All things Obreedience’; we are all a friendly bunch and all the teams offer support for each other. It’s no easy feat getting so many like minded dogs and handlers together, often teams are from different corners of the country and only get to practice on the day of the heats. The buzz from competing and the camaraderie amongst teams make for a wonderful day out and a fabulous atmosphere.   All of the rules and regulations for the sport and the heat dates are on the Kennel Club website.

Sarah Bartlett KCAI CD R – Team Captain of Dachtastic Obreedience Team.

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Dachshund Registrations 2016

February 11, 2017

The latest KC Breed Records Supplement gives us the number of Dachshunds registered in 2016:

  • Smooth 285
  • Long 180
  • Wire 544
  • Mini Smooth 4576
  • Mini Long 899
  • Mini Wire 681

The inexorable rise in popularity of Mini Smooths saw a 33% increase in registrations over 2015. They are now the 11th most popular KC registered breed (up from 16th in 2015).

The charts below show the registration trends since 1999.

Over this period, in the Miniatures, the Mini Smooths have increased by about 400%. Mini Longs have declined by about 40% while the Mini Wires have remained roughly static (based on the linear trend line).

In the Standards, the Smooths and Longs have each declined in popularity by about 20% while the Wires have increased by about 50% (based on the linear trend line).

mini_registrations_99-2016std_registrations_99-2016

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