Worldwide Chow fancier response to the proposed U.K Chow Chow Standard changes

WE, THE SIGNEES OF THIS PETITION,ASSERT THAT THE RECOMMENDED CHANGES TO THE UK CHOW CHOW STANDARD ARE UNACCEPATABLE AND SHOULD NOT BE APPROVED FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS A hard copy of this petition was submitted via FED EX to the UK Kennel Club on December 24, 2008 PLEASE CONTINUE ADDING YOUR SIGNATURES AS I WILL BE SENDING THE UK KC AN UPDATE BEFORE JUNE 30TH 2009. THANK YOU! ------------------------------------------------ This petition is respectfully presented in reaction to the UK Kennel Club proposed changes to the Chow Chow breed standard. Signatures are those of Chow Chow fanciers from around the world who are concerned with the impact of the proposed changes to the long term protection and preservation of the Chow Chow . We all share your commitment to producing healthy dogs, but feel that the proposed changes are not based upon fact and will have a negative impact upon our breed. We appreciate your attention to the following recommendations and comments which we have added between ***asterisks*** -------------------------------------------------- ALL STANDARDS WILL INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH FROM JANUARY 2009: 

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Kennel Club website for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure. -------------------------------------------------- 
***This is a good paragraph to add & we welcome it with the exception of two statements which are neither scientifically accurate nor factual.*** -------------------------------------------------- STATEMENT 1: 
Absolute soundness is essential -------------------------------------------------- ***
This is scientifically impossible for any human or animal, since it requires perfection. Such an inaccurate statement could give the impression that it was just made to appeal to the media-hyped masses & that the KC did not view this from the perspective of a scientifically accurate viewpoint , truly caring about the future health of breeds.*** -------------------------------------------------- STATEMENT 2: 
From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely. -------------------------------------------------- ***
This statement is based on assumption, not proof. It could make the KC appear to be making blanket statements not based on fact but on people’s opinions. Assumptions are unacceptable.*** -------------------------------------------------- 

CHOW CHOW GENERAL APPEARANCE Active, compact, short-coupled and essentially well balanced, leonine in appearance, proud, dignified bearing; well knit frame; tail carried well over back. Should always be able to move freely and must not have so much coat as to impede activity or cause distress in hot weather. -------------------------------------------------- *** 

Should always be able to move freely 
This statement is acceptable  *** -------------------------------------------------- CHOW COAT Smooth: coat short, [delete - abundant,] dense, straight, upstanding, not flat, plush-like in texture. Any artificial shortening of the coat which alters the natural outline or expression should be penalized. 
Must not have so much coat as to cause distress in hot weather. must not have so much coat as to impede activity or cause distress in hot weather -------------------------------------------------- ***When Chows have problems in heat, this is not a COAT problem but a BREATHING problem. Exaggeration in type should be avoided (and is well addressed in the KC Introduction). The new text about coat will not solve anything in this respect. This statement, as written, would endorse severe trimming and shaping of the coat, which is contrary to the standard discouraging trimming of the Chow coat. The statement would also endorse the acceptance of documented health issues which affect the natural growth of coat. This could be corrected by referencing “the natural coat”. Should also state that lack of coat to the extent that protection in cold weather is not acceptable*** -------------------------------------------------- 
 STILTED GAIT Characteristic Quiet dog, good guard, bluish-black tongue; [Delete ‘unique in its stilted gait’]. 

Hindquarters Hindlegs muscular, hocks well let down, with moderate [delete ‘minimal’] angulation. [Delete ‘essential to produce characteristic stilted gait’]. From hocks downwards to appear straight, hocks never flexing forward. 

Gait/Movement Relatively short stepping. [Delete ‘short and stilted’.] Forelegs and hindlegs moving parallel to each other and straight forward. Dogs should always be able to move freely and soundly without any sign of distress. -------------------------------------------- ***It is extremely important to note that there are many other breeds in which the incidence of ligament problems are much higher that the chow chow. Many mixed breed dogs are also requiring ligament repairs. Veterinary literature document that ligament rupture occurs in dogs of all sizes, but is most prevalent in larger breeds including Bernese Mountain dogs, Bullmastiffs, Chows, German Sheperds, Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers, Labs, American Bulldogs, and Saint Bernards.. The important thing to note is that this problem is NOT unique to the Chow chow and the Chow is the only breed in this list which exhibits a stilted gait. Thus, these deletions are unacceptable. There exist historical documents from China – millenniums old, which refer to Chow dogs with amongst other, blue tongues, stiff gait & straight hindlegs. These same articles state that they are highly effective hunting dogs – historically kept for this purpose. This trait is as essential a breed characteristic as the dark mouth & is obviously from the above, not responsible for unsound dogs.*** ***

The KC claims to want to amend the standard in the interests of the health of the breed. When such changes involve changing the basic identifying characteristics of the breed, in order to gain the co-operation of breeders, they will have to prove factually & scientifically that the said characteristic is a valid health concern. 
BEFORE changes can be made, proof would be required in the form of health survey results from breeders, veterinarian bodies, insurance bodies (as quoted by the KC) as to the number of REGISTERED chow chows displaying conditions of concern. These numbers should be measured to the number of dogs REGISTERED with the KC of the same mean age group.*** ***This ratio should be presented along with the ratio for the same health concern for other breeds (of which most are moderately to very well angulated) to establish real factual current status of the chow chow and the factual proof of the influence of straighter angulation.*** ***

Proactive breeders internationally can prove by scientific/medical certification that thousands of chows conforming to the current standard are free moving and of sound hind quarters. The assumption that the hindleg conformation and the ligament problem are related is wrong. The proactive Danish chow chow breeders in association with veterinarian bodies have published research showing that the solution chosen by The Kennel Club might make the ligament problem bigger instead of solve it. Additionally, archived documents such as above Chinese records, proves that canines of such conformation are historically sound, functional dogs.*** 

***Short stepping is an inappropriate term to describe any moderately angled dog’s movement. Such a dog cannot be free moving. 

By making changes without proof, the KC could appear to be making changes just for the show & that it is not holding the interests of the breed to both type & health.*** 
***Annex B 

No concrete proof has been provided to the breeders for consideration of the ratio of incidence in REGISTERED chow chows of most of these conditions. Breeders are willing to work with the KC on health issues, but based on facts pertaining specifically to REGISTERED dogs, not assumptions or media induced fervor.*** --------------------------------------------------


 WE, THE SIGNEES OF THIS PETITION,ASSERT THAT THE RECOMMENDED CHANGES TO THE UK CHOW CHOW STANDARD ARE UNACCEPATABLE AND SHOULD NOT BE APPROVED FOR THE AFOREMENTIONED REASONS

Sponsor

THE WORLD CHOW COMMUNIQUE founder Sandra Miller / Chinarose Chows U.S.A World Chow is an International Forum connecting breeders, owners,enthusiasts and judges of chows world wide. We discuss important topics relating to the health, breed standard,history and characteristics of the Chow Chow. http://worldchow.com

Links

WORLD CHOW..PETITION SPONSOR http://worldchow.com -------------------------------------- IMPORTANT LINKS PERTAINING TO ANTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT INJURIES: http://www.youtube.com/watchv=-1pxxX4TXko http://www.vetinfo4dogs.com/dligamt.html http://dogkneeinjury.com/2008/are-ccl-injuries-more-common-in-certain-dog-breeds/

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