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Montag, 22 August 2016 10:02

DTK: Breeding on thin ice

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What will the future of the dachshund look like? What will the future of the dachshund look like?
What will the future of the dachshund look like?

Is it the striking decline in the number of puppies over the past 20 years? Or is it the power of just a few major breeders?
The German Dachshund Club (DTK) tolerates risky breeding. This does not in the least comply with the policy of the German Kennel Club (VDH). But what does the DTK as a major contributor have to fear from the VDH?
Dachshunds can develop intervertebral disk disease. They can lose their eyesight. More than a few dachshunds die prematurely of heart diseases, or they suffer from epileptic seizures throughout their life. Or it dies of the brittle-bone disease (osteogenesis imperfecta) after just a few days.
What these diseases have in common is the fact that each of them is inheritable. Intervertebral disk disease, cataract, or heart diseases mostly appear at an advanced age, in a stage of life when the dogs have been used for breeding purposes for a long time. There is no blood test available for these diseases. However, there is a test for detecting crd-PRA and osteogenesis imperfecta genetic characteristics in the blood.
Having this knowledge, it is easy for the breeder to prevent these diseases from occurring. All it takes is to find an also tested breeding partner whose blood is free from the respective genetic carriers. This will put the breeder to expense. But this is just fair, because the breeders also demand high prices for their puppies. However, there is not a single mandatory blood test in the DTK.
The osteogenesis imperfecta example clarifies the importance of this issue. This always-deadly disease affects almost exclusively wire-haired dachshunds. According to a study conducted by TiHo Hannover (University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover) in 2011, more than 20% of this dachshund race inherits the disease. When one disease carrier is mated with another disease carrier, then, according to Mendel’s law, 25% of the puppies will also become diseased and die.
When former DTK president Mr. Dieter Honsalek, whose breed was affected by the disease, wanted to establish a mandatory blood test in 2006, this kicked off a shitstorm among the breeders and in some national associations. Finally, it was this coalition that enforced Honsalek’s demission. The breeders, however, have been muddling along to the present day. A health plan is not in sight.
The presidium officially supports this practice. President Mr. Stefanus Middendorf demands: “Let’s decide only on those things that are really necessary for preserving our dog breed.” He und DTK’s executive chairman are of the opinion “that there should be kept an eye on health issues. We want as much information as possible, but at the same time we want a minimum of mandatory examinations.” In a nutshell: there will not be a single mandatory examination.
The last attempt to change this policy ended when an intervertebral disk disease screening that had been started in 2010 was abandoned. Mr. Middendorf: “This happened because the breeders have enough to do with providing dogs with chips and with DNA programmes.” In 2013, a research project on the same subject was announced in collaboration with the universities of Gießen and Bochum. Also this project was abandoned, because it would have become too expensive (Schöler), and there was a lack of registered ‘material’, which means diseased dogs, to carry out an examination.
The head of the breeding board of this largest breeding association within the JGHV (German Hunting Dog Association) is a disaster of the first magnitude. Many people credit this to long-time federal breed warden Dr. Karsten Schöler, who has obstructed any attempt to establish mandatory health tests to date. However, the Schöler era will soon be over, because he is not running for the post again in the next year.
The club management fears that breeders who are burdened with expenses for examinations could be lost to the grey market. The health of a whole breed is compromised just for fear of black market breeding. This is incredible!
Of course, this disaster is not only the fault of the federal breeding warden. President Stefanus Middendorf and his deputy Ms. Brigitte Vosen, who is also the chairlady of the non-hunting tests, have their hands full with establishing a new companion dog test within the association. Meanwhile, many dachshund enthusiasts shake their heads in disbelief in view of this test. Looking at the association’s homepage, one actually gets the impression that the companion dog test have become more important than traditional, comprehensive hunting tests (e.g. the search of a federal winner) or major conformation shows. For Ms. Brigitte Vosen, the dachshund’s future is musical canine freestyle, in Germany also known as dog-dancing. A terrible vision!
The federal breeding warden is not running for the post again, the support for the president is on the decrease, and his deputy is proving to be the wrong choice. What will the future look like? The DTK national associations and their subordinate groups now have the opportunity to set the course for a new beginning. Not less than a palace revolution is required in the management in order to restore the good reputation of the dachshund also among hunters.
By the way, its goes without saying that there are many breeders who have health tests carried out on a voluntary basis. And they proudly advertise this fact with good reason. But can it be possible that the market regulates something that would have been the very own task of a breeding association’s management? Übersetzung: Tim Scheulen
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Tobias Paulsen

Tobias Paulsen hat den Beruf des Redakteurs ab den 70er Jahren in Frankfurt von der Pike auf gelernt. Journalistisch wirkte er zunächst im Lokalen und wechselte später an die Frankfurter Gerichte. Als er in den 90er Jahren Interesse für Wald und Wild entwickelte, war die Ausbildung zum ersten Jagdschein fast schon ein Muss. Anschließend arbeitete er einige Jahre für mehrere Jagdzeitungen und spezialisierte sich dann noch einmal auf den Bereich Jagdhund. Selbst führte er Teckel, einen Kleinen Münsterländer und aktuell einen Deutsch-Drahthaar. Hund & Jagd gründete er 2004.

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