This is what I want in a dog registration service:
Dog registration in a dog registry should be something that includes every single dog born. A registry should be a separate deal from anything else like conformation or sporting events or trials, and it should track the dog throughout its life, including its pedigree, vaccinations, DNA tests,major health records and yearly mug shots of some kind. It could also include owner-directed events in the dog’s life as well. This would include any points earned or skill levels reached in any number of qualified dog events or activities. Purebred dogs would be noted, as would outcrosses, and mutts. All litters would be registered regardless of breeding, or lack of it. All puppies born should also be noted in the database including dead and deformed puppies. This organization should be non-profit, have low fees, beentirely computerized and online. It is a service for the common good. It will be a database only.
The database should not be a policing agency, but its data could be used by anyone to enforce local regulations on owning or breeding dogs. It would be available for research of all kinds. The db could programmed to automatically “red flag” potentially bad breedings, or just flag it when bitches used more than twice in a lifetime for breeding. (Male dog breeding litters should be limited as well.) It could include the actual CoI on each dog’s registration as determined by pedigree alone. When every puppy who leaves a breeder has its dna on record, the actual CoI’s could be noted as well- as they may vary from the pedigree which doesn’t record which genes actually were passed on and which weren’t.
This is what I want in dog clubs:
For dogs, all other dog related events should be separate from the registry. There can be breed clubs of various types, clubs for sporting events of all kinds, field trials, water trials, ice trials, fashion parties, best tricks competitions, grooming shows, whatever. These shows and activities should be sponsored by clubs and civic organizations and have nothing to do with the dog’s registration and life records.
For owners, there should be credited continuing education classes in dog care, training, and breeding at various local institutions from 4H, up to and including, junior colleges. Every child with a dog should be encouraged to take classes with it or participate in structured activities. Why not have a team of Frisbee dogs and owners competing with other teams?
Basic breeder’s courses should be required for breeder certification. Credits from continuing education, sports events, even conformation shows could be entered into each dog’s section of the database, probably by the owner. Each dog can have its own blog connected to the database, which the owner can utilize to record the dog’s life and achievements. A kind of LinkedIn for dogs.
I like the idea that any dog to be used for breeding should have its conformation rated independently of any show. Good teeth, straight legs,proper feet a good back, good shoulders can all be described. The show would be more a demonstration of personality and how the dog moves, maybe its favorite tricks. The ultimate dog phenotype is the wolf, and a dog’s differences away from the wolf could be described and ranked for health and fitness. Each breed or type of dog can be ranked on a scale of deviation from the typical wolf phenotype. In most cases, this would be of description value only. Different ears and most times, tails have no effect on the health of the animal. Nor do such things as the general heaviness of the body or lightness and streamlinedness, etc. But when the dwarfed legs show up or the brachycephalic face, it should get ranked in standard deviations from the norm. Extremes should be avoided, especially in the extreme types like Sharpei, or bull dogs, or some mastiffs and conformation points deducted for extreme types, and more deducted for the extremes of the extreme types. The breeding classes should include the information about the semi-dominant genes that are lethal or crippling to a dog.
Dogs need to be grouped in ways that make more sense.Perhaps the original use of the dog should not be as important as its general phenotype, in the data base, but those dogs still being used to hunt or for sport could keep these distinctions in their activities. Thus dogs used to work or hunt will have their achievements entered in the database along with their conformation rating. And the working conformation could carry more prestige in a breed or landrace than those dogs who did not work or do a sport to earn their breeding stripes. Not every border collie has “the eye”, for instance, so to keep it going, use the working types who show they have it as the ultimate examples of the breed.
Where would Animal Control Services fit in? I think they would be completely revamped. There should be rescue and rehoming services much as is going on now, but there will still be reasons to cull certain dogs. Dog culling needs to be an important part of any education on breeding dogs. But first, it needs to be part of the discussion. And how should culls be treated for each of the various reasons for culling needs to be reasonably discussed,as well.