A Canine Revolution? Picture

The foregoing prescriptions may sound like a canine revolution. If so, the revolution would consist mainly of integrating many facets of the fancy which now exist in ghetto isolation, or of importing good ideas from other parts of the cynological world. In Europe, for example, many breed clubs have long held responsibilities for their breeds similar to those described above. The only really revolutionary features of this new vision of purebred dogdom are the permanently open studbook and the abandonment of incest breeding, and those represent simple, inevitable acquiescence to genetic reality. If there is one thing we can do which will be of lasting benefit to the dogs we breed, it is to endow each and every one with a healthy, heterozygous genetic outfit. If that is to become possible, the closed studbook must go and inbreeding must go. There are no effective alternatives.

These reforms would require considerable co-operative effort on the part of breeders, breed clubs and the CKC in order to bring them into being. A major part of the job would be to convince Agriculture Canada of the desirability and feasibility of these proposals, followed by amendment of the Animal Pedigree Act to facilitate them. Yet when we consider the threat to the very existence of purebred dogs posed by genetic disease, the economic loss caused by genetic defects, and their widespread unhappy effect on people's lives, can we deny that radical and decisive remedial action is required? The goals of a balanced-heterozygote breeding system producing healthy, hardy dogs and a balanced breed identity structure coordinating all the delightful activities of purebred dogdom, would be worth any amount of effort. Let us begin work now to bring those goals into existence! Future generations of breeders and fanciers will be grateful to us for so doing and what is more, we shall be doing the best and kindest thing for our very best friends -- our dogs.

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