Posts Tagged ‘Crufts 2012’

I think this Clumber has ectropion. It comes from The Illustrated Book of the Dog (1881) by Vero Shaw and Gordon Stables.

The Sussex spaniel is pretty moderate looking compared to the modern version, but the Clumber very much looks like it has ectropion.

This trait has likely existed in this dog ever since they were show dogs. Indeed, there were always likely a few dogs with the condition, even in working kennels.

Does that mean that this trait should be lauded in the breed?

Absolutely not!

This is a health condition, not a fancy point that should be rewarded in the ring.

Lots of dogs have historically had conformation issues that are bad for their health and welfare.

Field spaniels were bred to have such short legs and long backs that they were often crippled by herniated spinal discs.  Herniation of the spinal discs is much more likely in dogs with this conformation, and as a result, the field spaniel became quite rare.

Today, the field spaniel is bred with longer legs and a more proportional back.  It has fewer problems with its body.

It’s still not very common, but these days, no one is going out of the way to breed field spaniels with dinky little legs and a long back.

That’s what has to happen with Clumber spaniel eyelids.

If not, this breed will become nothing more than a giant version of the Cavalier King Charles spaniel.  A spaniel, yes, but one that might not be considered a true sporting spaniel anymore.



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I discovered a wart on the back of leg this weekend. I must be turning into a troll.

And then I did this to the Team Jenneh Facebook page!

No responses yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

See related post:


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The modern day Clumber spaniel is a very coarsely built dog. The eyelid condition known as ectropion is considered a breed trait.
Not all Clumber spaniels throughout its history were like this dog.

One of the most bizarre comments I ever received on this blog appeared on a post refers to the Clumber spaniel that lost its BOB win at Crufts this year after failing its mandatory health check:

I breed Clumbers in the US and in our standard, their eye should come to a V on the bottom lid…in other words, ectropion!… I have seen the bitch and her eyes are fine. The Ophthalmologist’s finding wer drom a much more though exam then the Crufts vet did and would have mentioned any lid problems, if they existed.

This is called cognitive dissonance.

Ectropion is a real health and welfare issue, but this breeder has declared it okay because the standard says so!

This is a winning Clumber spaniel in the UK. It has the breed feature known as ectropion. Rational people would denounce anyone who intentionally bred a defect like this. They would be even more incensed that a breed club would make it a point of excellence in a breed standard.

Breed standards were not written by God. They aren’t even divinely inspired.

They aren’t holy scriptures that cannot be revised or added to.

They are written by humans.  Many of these humans are so full of dog show dazzle that they cannot reason properly, and when it comes to revising standards, a lot of politics goes on. Very often these standard revisions are nothing more than  attemps to codify new fancy points that have been rewarded in the ring.

Standard for the AKC Clumber spaniel standard has some very contradictory language on ectropion. It does include the nonsense about the “v” on the lower eyelid, but then it states that ectropion is fault:

The eyes are dark amber in color, large, soft in expression, and deep set in either a diamond shaped rim or a rim with a “V” on the bottom and a curve on the top. Some haw may show but excessive haw is undesirable. Prominent or round shaped eyes are to be penalized. Excessive tearing or evidence of entropion or ectropion is to be penalized. Ears are broad on top with thick ear leather. The ears are triangular in shape with a rounded lower edge, set low and attached to the skull at approximately eye level.

Ectropion is defined by the US National Library of Medicin as “the turning out of the eyelid (usually the lower eyelid) so that the inner surface is exposed.”

That’s what that “V” on the lower eyelid is!

So this breed standard says that a dog must have ectropion to be a fine example of its breed, but then it says that ectropion is a fault.

Talk about stupid!

The truth is that Clumber spaniels haven’t always had this feature.

One of the biggest lies ever told about this breed is that it hasn’t changed in hundreds of years.

Here’s the way Stonehenge had them depicted in The Dog in Health and Disease (1859):

Now, these dogs are quite different from that modern version, but even more recent individuals in the breed haven’t been ectropion-laden monstrosities.

These following images can all be found on Pai’s Dog Breed Historical Album on Photobucket:

1898 Clumber spaniel.

1898 Clumber spaniel.

1898 Clumber spaniel.

1901 Clumber spaniel.

1903 Clumber spaniel.

All that would have to be done is for the breed clubs to drop this nonsense about the V on the lower eyelid, and these dogs would be very similar to these dogs from over a century ago.

Now, it is true that when one peruses the images in Pai’s Photobucket album, there are some dogs with droopy eyelids.

I don’t know why these dogs were preferred over the ones with the tighter eyelids. It seems to me that is nothing more than the idiotic caprice of the fancy that picked upon this defective feature.

Dog showing has intentionally selected for an unhealthy feature in this breed, and it’s a good thing that the Kennel Club, the main registry in the Clumber’s country of origin, has decided to take this feature seriously.

The Dale Gribbles of the dog fancy continue to make up crap about this breed. They also are spreading easily falsified lies about the health of the dog that got disqualified at Crufts this year.

But it really doesn’t matter.

The facts are notoriously stubborn things.

Clumber spaniels didn’t always have ectropion as a breed feature.

And for the breed’s long-term health and welfare, its fanciers must embrace a back to the future breeding program that produces nice looking dogs with normal eyelids.

And if they don’t like it, then we can call them out for being obstructionist dinosaurs who don’t care about the welfare of their dogs.

I certainly am going to do just that.



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You know that it would take a lot for me to tell  you to go to this website, but go over and click like for this bulldog.

Why am I telling you to do this?

Because the sore-ass losers and conspiracy-minded fools over at Team Jenneh Forever don’t like this dog at all. It’s an intentionally bred tricolor bred, which we all know is an incorrect color in the bulldog!

Will someone please think of the children?!

I don’t care about the particulars of this bulldog or his breeder or his owner.

That’s not the issue.

The issue is these people have declared for themselves some sort of moral high ground from which they think they can attack other people who don’t follow their rules.

One should not forget that these people are protesting health checks for BOB bulldogs in the UK.

That’s right. They think that this bulldog, named Jenny, who lost her BOB win at Crufts due to a health issue, should be awarded the BOB anyway.

I’m sorry, but if you protest for that reason, you hereby forfeit all rights to bitch about what other breeders do.

And that’s why you should go over to the Dark Side and vote for Russ.

My browser feels icky for having gone to that website, but I think I’ll manage.

But even after all the sound and fury over there, it is amazing how silly this all is. It becomes more so when one realizes that this dog isn’t actually a bulldog that is registered with one of the established kennel clubs. It is a bulldog, but it is of a breed called the Olde English bulldogge.   That’s right, this dog has been bred to an entirely different standard and is an entirely different breed of bulldog than the ones shown in the AKC and Kennel Club shows.

It’s outside their registry. It’s none of their business.

Olde English Bulldogges are an attempt to breed a healthier bulldog. They did use bulldog from the kennel clubs to found the breed, but complaining about for them to complain about what color of this dog is about as rational as them complaining about the size of boxers or the prick ears of Boston terriers. Like the Olde English, both of these breeds have their breed in them, but these dogs exist entirely outside their registries and bloodlines.

I’d like to know where they got this authority to attack breeds that aren’t their own.

It’s just baffling.

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Since Crufts,  I’ve been inundated with Facebook threads and crazy websites that do nothing but conspiracy-monger and accuse others who don’t agree with them as being “animal rights activists.”  These exchanges are often way over the top.

But this thread on the Exhibitor’s Voice and Choice Facebook page beats them all. (I know that it says “Canine Alliance,” but it’s not the same thing as the other Canine Alliance, which will be discussed in a minute.)

(Click to make larger).

The post they are attacking can be found at Pippa Mattinson’s in which she offers some criticism of the Canine Alliance for claiming to be about dog health but whose primary goal is to stop the Kennel Club’s new policy of mandatory vet checks for BOB winners in fifteen high profile breeds.

She gets called an animal rights activist, but if she’s an animal rights activist, then the term must be meaningless.

I always thought animal rights activists opposed hunting and shooting.  Many of them also oppose training dogs for any purpose.

Generally, animal rights activists don’t have blogs that cover shoot management, gun dog training, stalking roe and fallow deer, and ferreting with nets.

But you can find every single one of these issues covered in posts on her personal blog.

Discussing most of these subjects would get the typical animal rights activist hot under the collar in pretty short order.

So why are the Canine Alliance’s toadies and sycophants slagging her as an animal rights activist?

It’s simple:  They have no arguments.

Well, they have arguments, but they make sense only to other people who feel threatened by a major kennel club taking health issues seriously.

And when people feel threatened, they throw poo.

Not really all that different from monkeys.

Calling someone an animal rights activist is a way of turning yourself into a victim or, at the very least, making one’s position seem persecuted by some evil other.

It’s really childish and silly, especially when the person they are calling an animal rights activist is obviously not one.

And this is why you know they are losing the argument.

The public doesn’t see rational actors here.

It sees people who are acting like a bunch of overgrown children.

There is an unbelievable assumption of entitlement that oozes from the words on the various Facebook pages and website.

These people feel that they are entitled to show dogs with exaggerated and unhealthy conformation in shows that are sponsored and governed by a private entity.  They also feel that they have some right to have these dogs rewarded with prizes, even though this private entity has had standards rewritten and widely publicized that these health checks would be mandatory for BOB winners in these 15 high profile breeds.

The public, by and large, don’t like people with an entitled mentality.

The entitled mentality is a very good way to lose the public debate.

It’s also the road to irrelevance.

If these people insist on going down this path, it is very likely that all dog breeders are going to suffer the consequences.

The public is developing a low tolerance for this foolishness.

And these people are going to lose badly.

People love their dogs.  Dogs are held in a higher status in much of the West than perhaps any time in history.

People don’t have much sympathy for people who intentionally breed dogs with conformation issues that cause health and welfare problems.

And if this is the mountain that a large chunk of the dog fancy has decided to make its last stand on, they are sorely mistaken.

This will be the Alamo, not Rorke’s Drift.

Calling a gun dog and shooting sport enthusiast an animal rights activist is the sign of people who have lost the debate.

They have no defense.

And it’s now all out in the open.

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From the Team Jenneh “We was robbed” Facebook group:

The important part of that thread is Phil Guidry’s comment.

Phil Guidry is a senior policy analyst at the American Kennel Club.

His statement is very much in keeping with the previous comments against the Kennel Club’s new policy from Dennis Sprung, the AKC president and CEO.

So if you thought the AKC was going to realize that its institutional legitimacy was at stake and actually do something to address the very real problems that exist with breeding for exaggerated traits in certain breeds, you’d be wrong.

It’s decided to side with what is essentially a cancer on all dog breeders and, ultimately, all dog owners.  Breeding for extreme and unhealthy conformation is institutionalized animal abuse, no matter how you look at it. Refusing to address these problems is the road to the ruination of the American Kennel Club. It fundamentally doesn’t understand what is happening with the body politic, and the animal rights extremists will be able to use its recalcitrance as a wonderful foil to get even more extreme legislation passed.

Way to go, AKC!

Maybe that’s why your registrations are down.

Maybe that’s why people don’t believe you when you claim to be “the dog’s champion.”

Maybe that’s why so many people are turning to designer dogs– advisedly or ill-advisedly– and to the paper mill registries.

Kennel Club has decided that it wants to have a voice about dogs for the future.

The AKC has put its fingers in its ears, shut its eyes, and started nattering “Lalalala, not listening, lalala!”

And that’s how institutions begin to die.


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As regular readers of this blog know, there is a lot of whining going on about the Kennel Club’s new policy of checking BOB winners in 15 high priority breeds.

This whining has been mixed in with some bizarrely paranoid conspiracy mongering, and too many of these people think that anyone who refuses to denounce this policy in the most nasty matter possible automatically assume that you’re  the enemy and, therefore, must be  a dreaded “animal rights activist.” (If I am an animal rights activist, then why do I wear fur?)

However, the reason for the implementation of this policy can be found in the 2011 report from the Kennel Club’s Dog Health Group.

One of the initial reforms the KC undertook after “Pedigree Dogs Exposed” came out was that standards in certain breeds were rewritten. The KC then began a process of conformation judge education, but it became more and more obvious that judges simply weren’t adhering to the new standards. By and large, they were judging to the old ones.

So in 2010 and 2011, the KC started a program in which trained health observers  would evaluate dogs in these breeds.

Each judge was required to submit a health report in which the dogs were given a score from 1-4.  1 indicated the dog was in poor health, while 4 indicated the dog was in excellent health.

The observers were asked to use the same ranking system.

The results were an extreme discrepancy between judges and health observers.

With the exception of the Clumber spaniel, the judges generally thought the dogs were healthier than the trained health observers.

If judges are seeing health were trained health observers (who I’m guessing are probably veterinarians), then there is a problem with judges.

Thus the Kennel Club sought to find a way to get judges to pay much closer attention to health and welfare issues, and that’s why it implemented the new mandatory health check policy.  It is an attempt to get judges to change the way they think about these high profile breeds.

This is nothing more than a governing body of a sport implementing a new rule to protect the athletes. In this case, the athletes are show dogs.

This is not big government. The Kennel Club is a private entity.

It’s actually a very responsible action on behalf of the Kennel Club, and it is one that will serve it well as an institution for the long term.

If you cannot see that, then you fundamentally don’t recognize how the animal rights extremists operate. If you deny facts and become a conspiracy monger, the real animal rights people are much better propagandists than you are. If you give them this much rope, they will surely hang you with it.

So you’re better off addressing real issues within your own system. It’s far better to address these issues rationally than to act like Dale Gribble.

If you act like Dale Gribble, you’re losing.


And you probably don’t even realize it.

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