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Found 65 results

  1. Key DWN resources related to issues involved with understanding and management of extreme phenotype are provided here. The Brachycephalic Issue IDHW Plenary talks and suggested reading Country-Kennel Club specific programs DWN articles relevant DWN Blog posts Also see articles in this category.
  2. Version 1.0.0

    6 downloads

    Action plans for management of extremes in dog breeds... BOAS, brachycephalics, genetic testing, breed standards, involving stakeholders, and obesity topics are discussed.
  3. This summary report posted in June 2019 highlights key activities and progress on relevant action items. http://www.ukbwg.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/BWG-Annual-Summary-2018-190602.pdf More information on BWG is available at www.ukbwg.org.uk.
  4. Version 1.0.0

    3 downloads

    Åke Hedhammar's presentation from the 4th International Dog Health Workshop addresses management concerns of brachycephalic breeds... efforts to improve health / welfare... How to change the perception of a desired dog in these breeds How to implement changes in / interpretations of breed standards
  5. Our colleagues at Human Behaviour Change for Animals posted this on their Facebook page: "Fantastic work exploring the demand for rhino horn with the aim of creating campaigns with messaging that is more likely to work than current messaging. At HBCA we believe that it is vital that we don't make assumptions about why people do or don't do things and that we find out for ourselves so we enjoyed reading this article and the papers it links to." And directed us to: We asked people in Vietnam why they use rhino horn. Here’s what they said. (Image: Malaysia’s wildlife department seized 50 African rhino horns destined for Vietnam last year. EPA-EFE/FAZRY ISMAIL) As I read it I noticed parallels to challenges with human behaviour change in dogs. Words like: deeply held beliefs... status... and focus on personal wants and needs and not what consumers consider 'remote' issues. From the article: "Our findings shed light on why current campaigns against rhino horn purchases aren’t working. For example, they tend to highlight the plight of rhinos, suggest that rhino horn doesn’t have medicinal properties or emphasize the legal consequences of purchasing it. ... From our research it’s clear that people who buy rhino horn won’t be won over by any of these arguments." As the authors suggest... in order for education efforts to make a difference - actually change outcomes - "[campaigns] must be "better informed about the values associated with the use of rhino horn and that target the most prevalent types of uses." I would suggest that we can cross out rhino horn and write in any number of current controversial issues in the dog world and take this as good advice. To become 'better informed' we must listen to each other and not impose our perception of the important issues or compelling arguments onto others if we want to be effective. Many of us are thinking about these issues as we approach the 4th IDHW in Windsor, UK, later this month. See, e.g. Ian Seath's latest blog: We need to stop trying to change people’s minds!
  6. Love is Blind is a joint initiative of the Australian Veterinary Association and the RSPCA: "We’re raising public awareness about the animal welfare problems caused by exaggerated physical features such as brachycephaly, short limbs and excessive skin wrinkling, and how these problems can be prevented." This campaign stresses many of the issues in international work being presented on DogWellNet.com and the work - building on previous Workshops - that will happen at the imminent 4th International Dog Health Workshop (IDHW), in Windsor, UK, 30 May - 01 June, 2019. Including: The challenges of the brachycephalic breeds need to be understood by current AND future owners, breeders, veterinarians, kennel and breed clubs and other stakeholders, All these groups need to work together for the benefit of individual dogs and the breeds. The material suggests actions needed to be taken by each of these groups, including attention to sourcing of dogs, breeding, showing and more. Resources: See the Australian Love is Blind homepage for links to material, including several videos explaining the increased susceptibility of these dogs to heat and providing practical advice for owners. We have recently posted on Facebook a video entitled 'The Purebred Crisis' that describes this campaign, interviews veterinarians, owners and a breeder-judge. This video highlights the very different attitudes and perceptions for various individuals. It is this variation in opinion and approach to these dogs that complicates efforts to improve health and welfare in these breeds. I have discussed this in previous blogs. There is no question that people are attracted and deeply attached to these dogs that have, as the Aussies say, "squishy faces", and that they have delightful personalities. However, it is also clear that some owners do not realize the health and welfare challenges in these breeds. One of the themes at the 4th IDHW is effective communication, and we need to use all available tools and knowledge from experts in order to change human behaviour - to not only educate people but also to encourage collaboration. See more in Brenda's blogs, including: French Bulldog Health Seminar October 2018 Breeding: A Moral Choice? and: 4th International Dog Health Workshop Pre-Meeting Resources, for example: 4th IDHW Theme #5: Exaggerations and Extremes in Dog Conformation And this previous post on DogWellnet.com: Love is Blind - Dr Philip Moses
  7. Thanks to Kevin Colwill for his thoughtful piece entitled "Breeding: Is it a moral choice" in the Our Dogs Newspaper and thanks to both for permission to reproduce here. In this concise yet thought-provoking article Kevin discusses his thoughts on the question: When it comes to breeding pedigree dogs, how much is too much and how far is going too far? Some points worth considering: Issues in extreme breeds reflect on all breeders. Certainly, negative attention in the media moves quickly from one particular issue or breed and soon expands to include all pedigreed dogs; Beyond that, legislation meant to address specific problems/breeds may result in broad restrictions on breeding - and often undesirable and unfortunate (even for the dogs) consequences. Although he says "Each breed is its own unique little, or not so little, community" and implies that trying to make blanket decisions for the massive diversity of breeds presents challenges. However, he is also saying that many issues, especially ethical ones, should apply across all breeds and breeding and cannot be left to e.g. individual breed clubs. The International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD) is founded on the principal that although individuals may operate within a limited community - local or national - dogs and dog breeding are a global phenomenon and many challenges must be considered and addressed with an international - and multi-disciplinary - perspective. "Breed clubs aren’t defending the time-honoured look of the breed. They’re defending a relatively modem interpretation of how their breed should look." Here he is debunking the claims of some that extreme dogs must look the way they do to preserve the history and traditional of the breed, when, in fact, many/most breeds were originally both more moderate and more diverse in appearance. His suggestion that "the KC must be much more hard¬nosed in confronting breed clubs and insisting on change." Many KCs and breed clubs, especially throughout Europe are confronting the issues head-on. However, there seems to be resistance from breeders, judges and others. Support from the broader community of breeders to implement change is needed. For many years, lecturing about breed-specific issues in dogs, even before the existence of IPFD, in discussions with the breeding community, veterinarians and others, it was becoming self-evident that if concerns were not addressed by the dog community, society would likely impose 'solutions' on them. This is coming to fruition in many areas, and society and the media wants to move at a much faster pace than many in the pedigreed dog world. I think Kevin Colwill's call to action by KCs, and all ethical breeders - not limited to those in specifically affected breeds - is timely and important to consider. PDF version - Breeding-is it a moral choice - PDF.pdf
  8. THEME 5: Exaggerations And Extremes In Dog Conformation: Brief Description: a) Health, welfare and breeding considerations; review of national and international efforts, on all fronts (consumers, show world, breeders, judges, vets, etc) since 2012 – what has been achieved?; brachycephalics; other existing and emerging issues; overcoming polarization and conflict, resolving science and emotion. b) Education and Communication – Past practices may not have achieved desired outcomes. What are tools and techniques to promote human behaviour change? What can we learn from other fields?
  9. Cambridge University is carrying out an important research project into the development of the nostrils in brachycephalic (short-faced) dog breeds. The breeds in this study are French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs and Pugs.
  10. Consequences and Management of Canine Brachycephaly in Veterinary Practice: Perspectives from Australian Veterinarians and Veterinary Specialists Fawcett, et al., including Paul McGreevy, University of Sydney, Australia Animals 2019, 9, 3; doi:10.3390/ani9010003 https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/9/1/3 For: Veterinarians, health care professionals, all stakeholders Review: Brenda Bonnett, DVM, PhD This comprehensive review covers the health problems and welfare issues in brachycephalic dogs highlighting a veterinary perspective. The text of the paper comprises 19 pages and includes a wide-range of topics. This paper is an excellent resource for veterinary health care professionals and clinicians. However, topics in this paper are also important for all stakeholders involved with the brachycephalic issue in dogs. At the end of the paper, there is an important discussion of the ethical challenges for veterinarians, both as individuals and the profession as a whole. Concerned that readers, especially those who are not clinicians, may not persevere through the clinical information to reach this important section, I will highlight the importance of that discussion below. First, a general overview: “Simple Summary: Canine and human co-evolution have disclosed remarkable morphological plasticity in dogs. Brachycephalic dog breeds are increasing in popularity, despite them suffering from well-documented conformation-related health problems. This has implications for the veterinary caseloads of the future. Whether the recent selection of dogs with progressively shorter and wider skulls has reached physiological limits is controversial. The health problems and short life expectancies of dogs with extremely short skulls suggests that we may have even exceeded these limits. Veterinarians have a professional and moral obligation to prevent and minimise the negative health and welfare impacts of extreme morphology and inherited disorders, and they must address brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) not only at the level of the patient, but also as a systemic welfare problem.” The broad range of topics include: · Concern that “Despite well-documented conformation-related health problems, brachycephalic dog breeds are increasing in popularity.”; · Detailed enumeration and description of associated health problems; · Behavioural impacts of brachycephaly, as well as · “substantial evidence that brachycephaly compromises the welfare of affected dogs”, highlighting insurance data and research findings; · Problems for individual dogs and their owners as well as for breed populations; · Immediate concerns as well as future perspectives; · Clinical diagnosis and management of BOAS and other problems in brachys, and · A thought provoking discussion of “Ethical Challenges Associated with Brachycephalic Breeds” and the role of veterinarians. Understanding the Complexity – the veterinary perspective Past all the discussion of clinical findings and approaches, the section on ethical challenges has excellent coverage of the concerns and conflicting interests for veterinarians. For example, the best resolution for competing issues is not always clear, e.g.: · the best interests of an individual dog, in general, and in relation to a specific health event; · its owner’s attachment, attitudes, wishes, needs, and ability to provide care; and · concerns for the breed overall, as well as · the practical reality of the veterinarian as both a caregiver and a business person. Two of the authors have also provided this summary: “Vets can do more to reduce the suffering of flat-faced dog breeds”: February 12, 2019 2.16pm EST http://theconversation.com/vets-can-do-more-to-reduce-the-suffering-of-flat-faced-dog-breeds-110702 It is important for all stakeholders to be aware of the challenges facing others as the dog world moves toward doing is what is best for dogs. Also see: DWN's Extremes of Conformation Category Latest on brachycephalics from Sweden Approaches to Breed-specific Extremes
  11. February 2019 We'd like to call your attention to two posts in DWN's New Research Blog. Consequences and Management of Canine Brachycephaly in Veterinary Practice: Perspectives from Australian Veterinarians and Veterinary Specialists See Brenda Bonnet's review of this research coming from Austalia that "covers the health problems and welfare issues in brachycephalic dogs highlighting a veterinary perspective."
  12. This is a translation of an article by Åsa Linholm which will appear in the Swedish Kennel Club magazine: Hundsport Special nr 2:2016. Introduction: The hottest topic in the Swedish dog world in summer of 2015 has been brachycephalic (flat-faced) dogs and their health. In February 2016 the Swedish Kennel Club arranged a conference on the subject, an arrangement that was right in time, but in fact was planned since 2014.
  13. There is a steady stream of articles / work / initiatives coming in relative to those brachy breeds identified as highest risk for health and welfare issues. Coming from KCs - e.g. SKK... (See the background of and supportive documentation for this NKU project below...) the Mops Club, Netherlands... See the recent discussion of main features of the BALV (outcross, approval and stricter breeding rules) and communication with government and other KC's... and from the veterinary sector ... e.g. FECAVA... ‘Extreme breeding’ of companion animals: Raising public awareness is key In general, the work is based on scientific evidence. Of course, some of the initiatives (measurements etc) are 'new' and not yet fully proven in efficacy for what is proposed. Regardless of the basis, these proposal evoke extreme emotional and even personal responses (e.g. FB, confrontations and disagreements, etc.). Because... at heart these issues relate to a seemingly widespread human attraction to 'extremes'. We are happy to also present excellent articles on avoidance of extremes in other breeds - e.g. Dachshunds and Rottweilers. Clearly, we need not only an evidence-based approach to deal with these issues, but also innovative communication strategies to effect change in human behaviours and attitudes. Background information Brachycephalic projects by the Nordic Kennel Union's affiliated Kennel Clubs is available at: 2018 - SKK's work for brachycephalic health Of particular interest are project planning documents put together by the NKU's Working group and SKK. These documents outline health and welfare issues and offer proposed actions, definitions, parameters and procedures for evaluation of dogs. 1. STATEMENTS AND PROPOSALS REGARDING RESPIRATORY HEALTH IN BRACHYCEPHALIC DOGS Internal link: NKU STATEMENTS AND PROPOSALS REGARDING RESPIRATORY HEALTH IN BRACHYCEPHALIC DOGS.pdf ADDITIONAL INFO... 2. REVEALING THE PHENOTYPIC AND GENOTYPIC VARIATION IN FOUR BRACHYCEPHALIC BREEDS (SKK) As part of the work to combat breathing problems in brakycephalics, the Swedish Kennel Club has started a project to inventory the health status in four dog breeds: Boston Terrier, English Bulldog, French Bulldog and Pug. excerpts... ♦ All these topics - extremes, breed and communication will be a focus in the 4th IDHW.... ♦
  14. Here we feature a text entitled Standards, health and hypertypes in dogs, by Pr. José Luis Payró Dueñas (Mexico) from the book, Standards, Health and Genetics in the Dog. ( Read more about the book here. ) Veterinarian, Professor and President of the Americas and Caribbean Section of Fédération Cynologique Internationale, Pr. José Luis Payró Dueñas discusses brachycephalic traits, and other morphologies that impact function of purebred dog breeds. Brachycephalic breed traits and management are covered in some depth. In the writing Pr. José Luis Payró Dueñas outlines steps breeders adopt to achieve effective selective breeding. Dog breeder's evaluations of breeding dogs based on their and breed judge's interpretations of the Breed Standard, breeder evaluations of dogs' pedigrees and their knowledge of the heritability of observable traits that contribute to disease or health are explored. ..."poor interpretation of the standards can cause a breeder to produce specimens with hypertypes or with deformations that will remain concentrated in the breed, producing hereditary diseases. When evaluating a dog, the judge values the effort and the production of every exhibitor whose aim must not just be the pride of winning, but the goal of fixing the type by not selecting those specimens with the hypertypes that are not desired in the breed." Seeing to health and welfare of dogs is judges' and breeders' responsibility - correct construction and interpretation of breed standards is essential.
  15. 2019 - UK - February 4th from The Kennel Club And Cambridge We are thrilled to read news about a Scheme launched to improve health of French Bulldogs, Pugs and Bulldogs... "A new screening scheme aims to provide breeders of French Bulldogs, Pugs and Bulldogs with more information about the health of their dogs, helping them reduce the risk of breeding puppies with potentially serious breathing problems." See more on the scheme at The University of Cambridge and The Kennel Club's website...
  16. "More information: https://www.vet.cam.ac.uk/boas/about-... The French bulldog, bulldog, pug, pekingese, shih tzu, Japanese chin, boxer and Boston terrier are all examples of brachycephalic breeds. The most distinctive feature of these breeds is their short muzzle. Brachycephalic dogs have been bred for centuries to possess a normal-sized lower jaw, and a disproportionately shorter upper jaw. In recent decades, breeding selection for extreme brachycephalic features has resulted in dogs that are predisposed to upper airway tract obstruction and subsequent respiratory distress, among several other health issues. Although not all brachycephalic dogs suffer clinical signs, the incidence and severity of the respiratory disorders has increased. The respiratory disease related to brachycephalic confirmation is called brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS)." Also see: U of Cambridge's BOAS NEWS page for a timeline. Extremes of Conformation: DWN Resources
  17. See Dr. Brenda Bonnett's presentation from the First International Conference on Human Behaviour Change for Animal Welfare. HBCAW website: www.hbcanimalwelfare.com All presentations from the conference are available from HBCAW's YouTube channel. Also see DWN's Human Dog Interactions Category.
  18. IKFB: French Bulldog Club (Germany) - Walking test for French Bulldog, Pugs and English Bulldogs Also see: DWN's article on the IKFB - Dr. Anne Posthoff, the president of the German International Club for French Bulldogs, explains why the rules for breeding French Bulldogs in Germany are amongst the strictest in the world. Hot Topics - Brachycephalics, archive - DWN and Extremes of Conformation - Brachycephalics
  19. Kyle Snowden, DVM, provides information on brachycephalic anatomy and discusses its impacts on breathing and thermo-regulation. Veterinary interventions used to correct problematic issues in compromised dogs are covered. Also see: DWN's International Actions: Extremes of Conformation
  20. Health before looks -- Collaborative action is urgently needed to stop the practice of extreme breeding in dogs and cats This message was delivered to the European Parliament at an event organized by our Collaborating Partner the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA) together with the EU Dog and Cat Alliance and the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe(FVE). (Download PDF below.) This event was "aimed at ending the unnecessary suffering of dogs and cats bred with exaggerated features such as flat faces, narrowed nostrils, skin folds and protruding eyes" and is part of the ongoing work, especially throughout Europe, to address health and welfare in brachycephalic breeds. The speakers represented the veterinary, welfare and breed organization perspectives on the issue. It was great to see this international, multi-stakeholder approach, similar to that we have promoted through the IPFD International Dog Health Workshops (IDHWs) and reflected in the many resources on the brachycephalic isssue on DogWellNet.com. Kristin Prestrud (a veterinarian from another of our Partners, the Norwegian Kennel Club) put into perspective that although there are wide variations across dog breeds in form and function, there should be defined limits for extremes, so that selective breeding does not compromise health or welfare. The challenge, raised at our IDHWs is that those limits are not clear nor consistent across regions and cultures; we need research and collaborative work to define those limits. As Prestrud, explained, for pedigree dogs breeding happens according to written breed standards - however those are often open to interpretation and may vary widely across countries. "“We love that dogs look cute, that they have some particular look that we love. And so, short legs have got shorter, heavy bodies got heavier, long coats got longer, loose skin got looser, long ears got longer and wrinkles more extended. Not in all cases, not in all breeds, but in several breeds.” And when breeders select really strongly for some traits and restrict genetic input from outside, there is always the risk of reducing genetic variation." The British Veterinary Association’s encouragement of data reporting of conformation altering surgery (and caesareans) - by veterinarians with the consent of owners - was described. Similar registers are underway in, e.g. Scandinavian countries. However, there are challenges to compliance with these programs and only time will tell whether they achieve the goal of determining the prevalence of dogs that need such surgery. Speakers also highlighted the role of veterinarians in this issue, saying, “we must be aware that there are a lot of vets who earn their money by doing this very expensive surgery." I was encouraged to see that the discussion by the politicians did not focus simply on legislation of breeding as being the best solution. They discussed the need to control the marketing of unregistered puppies and kittens, “the majority of which are on the internet and are totally without control” . It was estimated that over half of puppies In the Netherlands come from unsupervised sources and it may be as high as 90% for some breeds, e.g. the French Bulldog. One of the members of parliament suggested that "efforts would be better focused on reducing demand by making extreme breed animals unfashionable. “We have to make unhealthy bad conformation unfashionable, it has to stop.”" And, so, as has been discussed in much of our work, we come back to this fact: the challenges are about the people, more than the dogs, and successfully improving health and welfare of dogs needs an approach that addresses human-animal interactions, human attitudes and actions, and using techniques of education that are likely to result in human behaviour change. Addressing sourcing of dogs and communication for change will be two themes at the upcoming 4th IPFD IDHW in Old Windsor, UK, May 30-June 1 2019. Congratulations to FECAVA and their co-organizers for an important event and to the European Parliament for taking an interest in the health and welfare of dogs. Health before looks Collaborative action is urgently needed to stop the practice of extreme breeding in dogs and cats Download: European Parliament Event article by Parliament Magazine - 7-2018
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