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Painful reading... and the breeding of dogs

I am personally very upset that the excellent forum posts on PRA rcd4 are being misused for disrespectful arguments.

We all have a right to our own opinion and may discuss those opinions freely. We may also show respect for the other person even if we do not agree with them.

There is no need to resort to intentionally hurting anyone. To my mind, personal verbal attacks reflect worst on he/she who  utters them.


Now I dare voice my own opinion on the matter of breeding:

To my mind non-breeders, i.e. pet owners have every right to make their opinions known without being accused of ignorance. Dedicated dog owner's opinions and knowledge must be respected. Some have more knowledge about animal welfare & genetics than many of our better known breeders.

Pet owners have every right to ask for breeding practices to change and for breeders to focus on longevity and healthy animals rather than breed for the preferred type in the show ring.

In my opinion breeders must bow to the fact that breeding methods are outdated and that linebreeding actually is inbreeding and will do more harm than good. After 100+ years of the use of these breeding practices it is time to move with science. We have come to a standstil and there is no longer the need to 'fix' so-called positive traits to maintain the breed. We must move forward and concentrate on maintaining genetic diversity whilst using the health tests available - for the welfare of the breed we love.


I say this knowing how hard it is going to be for breeders to foucs their breeding on higher goals than the show ring. I grew up with loving the UK show bred Irish Setter. I also have difficulty changing my ideals! But after 35 years in the breed I have also had the privilege of seeing our setters in many different fields and have come to realize that there is not just 'the one true type'. The breed has so much more to offer than simply being a beautiful dog.

Breeding for genetic diversity and health rather than for looks & type is going to be the challenge of the future.


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Hi there Susan

So well put, and I am affraid by me writing here that this forum will fall the same way as the others...I agree with everything you say, I too am getting fed up with the sniping and name calling...but unfortunately I have written a few things that could be taken the wrong way....but hopefully have appologised and that appologie acceped although not sure...I don't like bad feeling but have on a couple of occasions put finger to keyboard in anger...and have been hurt and offended too many time,....but I do have broud shouders..you so ritely say, that pet owners do have a great deal to offer and some breeders also should change their ways, but human nature being what it is there is always someone out there that thinks that they are the only ones that know what they are doing....(and this isn't aimed at anyone)

We would all like to think that what we are doing is correct...but should we ALL not stand back and see this as a time for change...change for change sake isn't always good, but in these times we should change...and take a good look at our beautiful breed...think very hard at what is going to happen in the future...what we do now will be reflected in this breed long after we are gone...go wrong now and the breed could be in trouble...we have science on our side now, let it work for us..and take notice of what the scientists say or things can and probably will go very wrong...I do have faith...

Thanks for that, Colette. Just goes to show that it really would not take long. Who really knows what is behind our Irish Setters... after all: all breeds started with a cross somewhere!
susan,  I totaly agree with you!

I do apologise to anyone who may feel my post to be condescending. That was not my intention and I apologize if I offended any readers.

However I am now doing something I would not dream of doing in normal circumstances. I am going to close this blog but not before I post this extract fom the second personal message a person sent to me.

I had replied to the person's first personal message as follows:

"No need to send personal mails on this subject as I have no intention of being pulled into any argument of ‘who started it all’ nor do I intend to ‘classify’ anyone..

 My views on breeding are aired on the blog, please feel free to comment there. If you feel they are in defence of Val Martin, then let me say this: I have no need to defend her. They are my own personal convictions. These convictions may in part be the same as yours and in part the same Val’s. I see no harm there.

 Let’s leave it at that.

signed: Susan Stone" end quote


Here is the message I received as reply (I have ommited the parts I consider irrelevant):


"Hi Susan

I sent you a private email on the subject as a matter of courtesy and because I have had several emails from other contributors who feel frustrated at the biased and condescending tone of your blog. If you feel that you partly agree with Val Martin and partly with me than perhaps you could have balanced your comments. What you have indeed done is come down in favour of Mrs Martin in the way you have presented your points. You have portrayed breeders ingratiously. Where is the balance in that?

( ... )

...as regards rcd-4. This is why your blog has particulary concerned me coming as it has at the time when all breeders are vulnerable and discovering that their precious dogs, through no fault of their own, could be at risk. The timing of your decision to criticise us could not have been worse.  When you consider that this gene is more than likely a mutation and not brought about by line breeding, for many lines seem to be affected, then your comments are particularly unfair, sad to say." end quote


I see no reason to continue his kind of discussion.




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