BREED SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS (BSI) REGARDING EXAGGERATIONS IN PEDIGREE DOGS
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INTRODUCTION TO NKU BSI
The dog show judge has an excellent oppor- tunity to prevent unsound breeding by avoi- ding giving high awards, and instead merit the specimen with the optimal combination of breed type and soundness.
The present document is a comprehensive survey of problems connected to exag- gerations regarding pedigree dogs. This knowledge is of basic importance
for all dog show judges, and concerns dogs of all breeds. Judges are requested to study the whole document. They should pay special attention to the specific text regarding the breed(s) they are judging, as well as the introduction for the for the pertinent FCI group. Please see “Application” for prin- ciples of advice.
The primary task of a dog show judge is to preserve the characteristics of each breed within the frames of the approved breed standard. This must, however, never be done at the expense of soundness. It is the responsibility of the judge to be thoroughly acquainted with the breed standard as well as the anatomical and constructional risk areas for possible health problems caused by exag- geration of the breed type characteristics. Such exaggerations may harm the individual dog, and interfere with the development of the breed as a whole.
A breed standard does not describe exag- gerations, but the wording of breed typical characteristics can mislead judges and breeders to such interpretations that speci- men with extreme type will be preferred at shows and, as a consequence, in breeding.
A judge shall primarily evaluate the exhibits as a result of previous generations of bree- ding. However, trends towards exaggerations must be identified before they have given rise to problems.*
The BSI identify areas of risk related to breed type. The intention of the document is to increase the judges’ awareness of problems related to exaggerations in breed types. BSI is thus primarily a complement to the breed standard, and not a listing of deviations and faults, nor a manual of rules connecting the observed issues to a fixed quality grading. The BSI implies recommendations to the judge to observe the breed specific areas of risk, and note issues as well as soundness in these areas. The general perspective is preventive more than criticizing, by not only noting deviations, but also focusing on soundness in the areas of risk. Frequently occurring construction faults, which are not connected to exaggeration in breed type, are principally not motivating for a breed to be listed nor regularly mentioned in the BSI.
The NKU BSI is based on the dog show experiences in the Nordic countries during the last decade, regarding identification of areas of risk in a selected number of high profile breeds. These instructions are the result of inventories made possible through extensive collaboration between dog show judges, breed clubs, veterinary surgeons and supported by veterinary health insurance statistics. This constitutes the basis for the selection of listed breeds and for the written directions for each breed. The structure of the inventory allows for a continuous follow up and dynamic revisions of the BSI.
The breeds listed constitute 37 of the ap- proximately 300 FCI breeds represented in Nordic countries. They are selected from breeds deemed, by Scandinavian kennel clubs, as possibly challenged with a negative development due to exaggerated features.