Experts Are Commenting

Margo Hackney

How could I possibly refuse such a compliment! Of course you can Doris
As you probably know I was chairman of CWCA for 9 years and I struggle withthe “idealists ” who think that testing for everything is the only way to go. I was on the committee that worked with Ken Linacre and Simon Peterson – Jones to identify the PRA gene. At the time we had about 100 active (breedable) cardis in the UK. and with the cooperation of breeders we were able to test them all.
The result was (luckily) 94 clear 6 carriers 0 affected.
none of the carriers were significant dogs\bitches .and were removed from breeding programmes.
Because of that action the UK Cardi population is PRA clear. ( we are very careful when importing outside bloodlines).
we were aware in the 1980’s that there was a significant PRA problem and the only tool we had then was our awareness of where the problems probably lay and trying to avoid them. We we weren’t too bad at it because when the test did arrive we had a 6% carrier rating. The problem is if that sort of stringent testing is applied to cosmetic problems ,we should soon eradicate the whole breed !
I think it is important to remember that the Cardi is one of the healthest of breeds
By the way , I am not actually a serious breeder due to my career , but over the years I have mentored other breeders and I am closely attached to the Gowerston Kennel though I have bred Ch pembrokes.


Margo Hackney

The aim of a “good” breeder is to try and improve all aspects of their stock. Breed type ,Conformation and movement,temperament, coat texture length and colour , hereditary health issues etc, etc. If only it was that easy! It’s not like mixing paint when if you add blue to yellow you are guaranteed to get green. One has to compromise and hope that your strategy works. If I got a fluff and a superstar I would count that as a success as both would be fit for their future life – one as a much loved show dog and one as a much loved pet. .Whilst the men of science now enable us to make more informed judgements regarding the health aspects, most of the other choices are influenced by the knowledge of the breeders. We often refer to the knowledge of the old breeders of yesteryear and we should remember that they had to make their decisions without the help of the geneticists. Mind you I am sure they were actually no less infallible then than we are today . I question the reality that the “older ” breeders of today are much more knowledgeable. In my experience, age certainly gives you wrinkles – it may or may not give you wisdom!


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