Breeding torment in dogs: a new regulation to protect animals disturbs breeders

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“Flotte Pfoten” Chairman Peter Wirth with Emil in the color Merle (left), Ylvie and Mia. Dogs like Emil now require a health certificate to participate in canine competitions. Slate wants to put an end to the so-called “torture breeding.” © Peter Dahm

The new decree on dogs, animal welfare, raises the concern of the owners. Organizers cancel exhibitions and shows. There is criticism of the organization.

Soest – Since 2015, the small national group of “Chihuahua Group Germany” has held its own exhibition three to four times a year. Now, after Corona’s long break, there must be a real re-show: the association has already collected a lot of recordings for the June 26 date of Hatterop, 80 to 100 dogs should be seen in the 3-title show. Nothing will come of it: “We canceled the show,” Sarah Minkin says. The reason for the decision is the new Animal Welfare Act (Tier-Sch-HuV). It has been in force since the beginning of the year and includes a ban on displaying “tortured breeds”, that is, dogs that are bred for special beauty traits, but as a result suffer from harm to their health.

Breeding torment in dogs: a new regulation to protect animals disturbs breeders

The nanny does not want Wilfer and her colleagues to take any risks. Because every owner who wants to show his animal at the exhibition needs a health certificate. Regulators must control it. And that’s not all: Appearance plays a role, too, explains Sarah Minkin: “If a dog at the show starts getting excited, we’ll have to dismiss him and the owner immediately.” But what if the representative of the organizer did not “Notice the crackle, but a visitor who might make a video of it? We will take responsibility. But we can’t be there with so many people.” And with sad hearts the national group decided to cancel the exhibition.

Sarah Mencken is a Dynasty Knockout. She herself has been raising Chihuahuas for many years. She joined the Purebred Dog Breeders Association (VRZ). She says that regular testing, including DNA, has long been a matter of course for reputable breeders. “And those who go to fairs show their breeding, make it public.” Many small dog lovers inquire about them very carefully, because then they will know that the breeder works to high standards.

“Torture Breeding” in Dogs: Pain, Suffering, or Harm

Peter Wirth, Chairman of the Board of Directors of “Flotten Pfoten Soest” organized the “Rallye Obedience” competition at the club’s headquarters in Völlinghausen last weekend. Anyone who has been involved with a so-called torture dog should be able to prove their dog’s authenticity. Some have already been cancelled. Wirth, who has been actively involved in dog sports for many years, remains skeptical. He wonders “Is a dog unfit for sports if he has a short lower jaw or a merle-colored coat?” “We are not vets, which dog trainer should judge that?”

describes dr. Katharina Bonitz of the Suest District Veterinary Office. It indicates the responsibility of the owner and organizer. In detail, however, it is not clear how and to whom Tier-Schu-HuV should be applied. “There is still a lot of uncertainty, we are still waiting for specifications from the state agency for Nature, Environmental Protection and Consumer Protection or the federal department,” Bonitz says. “

Meanwhile, the demand for health certifications in veterinary practices is high, Soest vet Dr. Frauke Schulte-Marter. Eyes, Ears, Teeth: “Everything is checked.” If something is noticed, ultrasound or x-ray examinations may be necessary. So far, she’s usually been able to charge for a regular check-up, says Schulte-Marter.

‘Breeding agony’ in dogs: Proof can be costly

Peter Wirth knows that certification can be expensive. “If you have to pay 250-350 euros for proof, that’s the end of dog sport for many owners,” he fears. Strictly speaking, evidence of companion dog testing must be provided. “what is the point?”

He does not understand this either: “It’s not about training at all, it’s just about comparison. It’s so ridiculous: if a dog suffers from competition in dog sports, it also suffers in training.”

It has to be about affecting breeding in such a way that “things that really hurt dogs’ quality of life are no longer being bred,” says Frauke Schulte-Marter. Banning fairs meant that black sheep were no longer on display, “and then they breed on a large scale, then it could get worse.” Or people bought their dogs overseas.

“In backyards and basements, they keep torturing them,” Peter Wirth says. “It used to be said that the fairs were about beauty, not health. That has changed now, and I think that’s basically a good thing,” says Sarah Minkin. “But a missing color or tooth doesn’t make a sick dog.”

“Torture Education”

The list of traits of torment breeding is almost endless. In Chihuahuas, burs is considered suspicious, and young dogs often suffer from patellar dislocations, i.e. painful displacement of the patella due to breeding. Hybrid dogs are sometimes very small, have bulging eyes, and an open fontanelle. “You can find something in every breed of dog that could be considered a tormented breed trait,” says veterinarian Frauke Schulte-Marter. Hip dysplasia is known in sheepdogs, as is the short muzzle of a pug, who were bred to look like a baby. A certain coat color is associated with eye problems and even blindness in many breeds. Such “merle” dogs do not have to be bred with each other, but the recessive merle gene can and remain unproblematic. “I have a merle line in my kennel, and the dogs are very healthy,” says groomer Sarah Minkin.

As more and more Soesters have their dogs than in previous years, the city has also reported higher dog tax income. That’s according to city council numbers.

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