Our regular update on what's happening in the World of Bulldog Rescue
This Blog is Tania's own personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the charity
Hi there everyone and thank you for coming back to our blog page, there's a couple of reasons why I've come on today and the first one is to ask you very nicely, if you don't mind - to just give us a quick vote on the JustGiving Charity of the Year award page. We are actually in the top 50 charities which is the best we've ever done, but to be in with a chance of actually winning it we have to be in the top three. The link is this one https://www.justgiving.com/forms/awards/2018/coty and it will take you just a few minutes to do. The closing date is the 26th of this month so only a couple more days to get as many votes as we can. We would really appreciate it if you could just spare us a minute to do this.
And secondly - we have relaunched our YouTube channel this week and even better - we have applied to monetise it. Now basically this means we need to reach 4000 viewing minutes and a subscription list of 1000 people. We used to use this channel all the time up until a few years ago and if we had carried on we would have easily hit these targets already. I'm not entirely sure why we stopped to be honest, I would guess the onset of FaceBook live was the reason - but if we could just get our figures back up we can then start earning from the channel. We have a couple of films in the pipeline and we posted a fabulous one of the bulldogs doing agility at the picnic over the weekend. But wee would also like to know what you want us to include, so please feel free to tell us if you want How To videos, fund raising event reports, educational videos, stories about the dogs in our care or whatever - please tell us what you would like to wach and we will do our best to accomondate.
You can find our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheBulldogRescue/
And just for fun here's the Agility video - enjoy (if you are on a phone please click classical view to see the video ...
I think I am almost recovered from the Bulldog Picnic and the new venue seemed to go down very well with our visitors who seemed to have preferred Lodsworth to our old Lavant ground, the village seemed to like us too so win win and back there next year (already booked!!)
It's been a bit of an "undercover boss" type week for me this week as both Deva and Ellie are on their holibobs the kennel cover fell to me. It's been ages since I was last out on the shop floor and although knackered (don't get any ideas girls - I couldn't do this every day at my age) it's been quite a lot of fun cleaning kennels before work and then walking them all during my lunch break. I'm not saying the place is perfect - in fact poor Ellie will have quite a bit of stuff to catch up on when she's back on Monday but getting down and dirty with the inmates ears, eyes and orifices was just what I needed to remind myself why I do this job. It's such a constant round of paperwork, snotty phone calls and persistent admin for me now that a little reminder of why I get up every day was just what the doctor ordered.
PS: I've changed a few things - sorry Ellie - I do have a habit of doing that LOL
We recently completed our Association of Dog's and Cats Home membership Self Assessment against Minimum Standards forms and I'm thrilled to report our kennels at Midhurst came out with 100% compliance, I still beleive we should be licensed though as one of my big worries with the new breeding laws is that third party sellers will now simply say they are rescues.
The breeding law changes are causing quite a stir though amongst the general public and breeders in particular. We ran a survey on our facebook page:
From the 20% that didn't agree the overwhelming comment was
It would appear that councils though, still have no idea what they need to do - we will be watching this one ....
New laws surrounding the breeding and selling of dogs is due to be introduced on the 1st October. On the surface this shake up is exactly what this country needs to stop the horrendous act of puppy farming, or breeding dogs on a commerical scale - but what happens when you dealve a little deeper?
The main aspect of this law change is that the number of litters a breeder can breed in a 12 month period before requiring a local authority licence has been reduced to 3. So, that's interpreted as: if you don't breed more than 3 litters a year you can carry on as you are?
Well no, not necessarily - the law also states that anyone that breeds dogs as a "business" requires a licence - regardless of how many litters they have. This will affect many hobby breeders and whilst I don't think that is a bad thing (nothing to hide is nothing to lose and all that) it is going to cause a lot of confusion - especially as different local authorities will interpret the law in different ways. The defination of breeding as a business basically means making a profit and the simple act of advertising a litter for sale could land you straight into that bracket. The hobby breeders will find themselves caught up in too much red tape to continue doing something they do as a passion and leave the ones that go under the radar already to pick up the slack in the market. From a rescue perspective this could go one of two ways - the price of bulldogs will finally come down or many hobby breeders are going to suddendly need their dogs rehomed! Bulldog Rescue certainly need to prepare for the latter.
There's also those that breed their dogs for their mates on the estate - these people don't need to advertise and therefore can still mate their bull breeds without the fear of being in breach of any breeding laws, something I personally find crazy and something I'm sure Staffordshire Bull Terrier welfare would agree with.
And what about the rescues? There are suprisingly no plans to regulate these so what would stop the dealers simply saying they were a rescue center and passing the dogs on as being "adopted" over being sold? And how many local authorities are subsequently going to classify bona fide rescues as third party sellers and therefore become deemed as illegal? There is a lot to consider and whilst I agree that anything that goes anyway to regulate dog breeding and stamp out the cruelty that is puppy farming is, in my own personal opinion, a really good thing, I get the feeling - as with many dog laws in this country - it's not been thought out too well.
It's been a funny old month with the very sad loss of our wonderful kennel maid Sue, after 7 years of dedicated service she's finally hung up her welly boots saying she's too old for the winters. We do however, welcome the wonderful Ellie in her place who so far has had to deal with blazing heat and torrential rain, so literally a baptism of fire, although it's very interesting to hear how she perceives bulldogs following all the bad press - she said that compared to her labradors at home, their individual personalities are quite unique, thankfully she has a husband stopping her from taking them all home with her at the end of each day.
We are also beginning our preperations for the Scooter ride out on the 20th of this month so if you are in the area and wonder what that smell of 2 stroke means, please feel free to come along and meet everyone. In all it means we are extremley busy around here
I guess it could have been worse! Interesting about how much was cut though. Of course I'm talking about last nights BBC programme "Saving the British Bulldog". I'm not sure Catherine Tate was the best presenter but she did OK.
I'm disappointed that she only visited owners with problems, I didn't feel that was very well balanced at all and as for the footage at the Picnic - they filmed dogs doing Agility at that - none of it used! They also did a full interview with me where I tried to explain that we needed to deal with the back yard breeders and the illegal imports to even begin to get on top of the issues - instead I had 4 seconds of "You wouldn't beleive how many bulldogs we get called Winston"! Without even explaining why I would even have so many bulldogs called Winston! They did touch on the illegal import problem though later in the programme which I was very pleased about.
So, the bulldog cannot survive unless it's outcrossed? OK - so why use an outcrossed dog as an example of serious BOAS? An extremley overdone, exagerated, non recognised colour dog crossed with Olde Tyme. Now the whole purpose of the Olde Tyme breeding programme was to aim to get the dog back to it's original "Crib and Rosa" type bulldogge - so very strange, especially as the surgeon reckoned she dealt with at least 4 soft palate resection surgeries a week.
The Leavitt bulldog - anyone else thought that looked like a Boxer? Unfortunately bulldog owners want the phenotype of a bulldog, if they wanted a boxer they'd buy a boxer. I definately applaud the efforts that go into the breeding of these dogs and yes of course I'd like to see that approach for our bulldogs too, but very misleading. I thought that they showed Vicky and Leiza as "breeders" and gave the impression they were off on their own tangent trying to introduce health into one small corner of the bulldog world - they are in fact the main voices of the Bulldog Breed Council Health Committee and their influence is actually much more stark. It was wonderful to see the improvements made over the past 10 years but the certificate scheme they spoke of is the one already adopted by the Breed Council - the point here being the KC won't insist.
I did feel the KC came out of it looking a little stupid, we all know that much of what they do is money driven and I personally cannot see any reason why they can't insist, especially if we tighten up the dog breeding laws to insist that no one can breed any dog without a licence . Stop the back yard breeding and help those that really do give a shit.
I was very pleased they included the Cambridge reasearch, I am so excited at even the possibility of a gene test for BOAS, but again you need to illimiate the greeders from the equation as they already don't care what the health of the pups they produce are.
Oh and we've sold 8 picnic tickets just overnight, assumably on the back of the picnic being included in the programme.
Like I said, so much cut, but it could have been far worse, at least it's over and we can all get some sleep! I am worried that bulldog pet owners will now get abused in the street for simply owning a bulldog, or that we are going to see a huge increase in bulldogs needing to be rehomed because of the fear of astromical vet bills, but if nothing else - it's gone some way to educating the puppy buying public that health tested parents is a start!
What do you think? (Just to remind you that to comment on your phone you need to ensure you are on Classic View)
Crufts is over and as is becoming quite usual for recent times; TV propaganda takes over. A BBC TV programme is due to be aired tomorrow night (Wednesday 14 March 2018) entitled "Saving the British Bulldog" and it has caused quite the storm already. Many bulldog peeps have been involved and I remember a very early conversations with Vicky about if we should take part or not. The upshot was that we would be damned if we did and damned if we didn't so it was decided we would at least try and put across a balanced view.
Catherine Tate has been around the country talking to vets, breeders, pet owners, rescues and breed experts to try and ascertain if the bulldog is beyond help health wise. Our chairman Vicky (who is also coordinator of the Breed Council health committee) has played a very large role in trying to show the improvements made over recent years, something that has taken all her time of late and the strain has been almost unbearable for her at times. The trouble is, I do feel that people have felt that at the point the original talks were held regarding the changing of the Breed Standard to try and breed away from the problems, they thought it would happen overnight. Because we still have some of these problems prevelent in the breed it's been deemed a failure rather than given the time necessary to see continued results.
I myself was interviewed at last years picnic (where they also filmed bulldogs doing agility I might add), I'm not entirely sure how much will be used, if at all, but one of the points I was trying to make during the interview was that no matter how many times you change the breed standard, insist the KC "do something", you're preaching to the converted. It's those that are breeding for money, for colour or to illegally import is where the problem stems and it's these dogs that the vets see and in turn show them all the bad things the vets are now shouting about. I honestly beleive that licencing is the way forward and although it might not stop all back yard breeding it would go along way to educate buyers where to get their pup from.
There's a myth; all show breeders are to blame, in fact it's the show breeders you need to be listening to because If you are a small scale show breeder you get one shot at producing something you'd be proud to take into the ring. In most cases, the research is done, the health testing is done and the care has gone into the litter that is subsquently raised. Putting my pet bulldog to my mates bulldog down the road because I can sell the pups for 2 grand a pop is creating the dogs with the problems. Trust me - I see these dogs day in and day out.
The show world has always come under attack and I'm not saying every show breeder cares - but the majority do, especially those that have only recently come onto the scene because they are being told - Health Test - Free Whelp - Raise pups in the House and the resulting litters are far more well adjusted and energetic then they were in my day. When I was breeding my mentor actually told me to never allow a bitch to give birth naturally - because that's what she had been told and so on. It reached a point where we were having c-sections not because they were needed but because everyone was too scared to let her try on her own because of all the scare stories we had been fed. The newer breeders now don't have those horror stories drummed into them and as a result so many more bitches are allowed to do it naturally and the resulting litters are producing dogs that to be honest - people don't expect to be so lively. They actually think their dog has something wrong with it sometimes because the media is saying one thing and the dog in front of them has more energy than a Whippet!
Which ties me in nicely to the last thing I want to say - PETA! Now I come from a background of animal rights, I've heard all the arguments and still agree with many of them - but the way PETA go about it leaves a lot to be desired
Anyone that can inflict this much fear into a dog certainly isn't an animal lover in my book!
So we await with baited breath as to what happens tomorrow. I will have to stay off social media as I'll be watching in on catch up so really dont want to see the results before I've had chance to digest it. Will we come out of this feeling like at last all the hard work is being appreciated or like we've just been smashed in the face with a baseball bat.
The answer to that one remains to be seen ....
Back from Crufts and it was so amazing to meet everyone that came to say hi to us on the stand. The breed did so well, the people that represented our breed were amazing. Anna and Dale, as usual made our stand amazing and this was Anna's summing up of the day
Well what can we say ? An amazing Crufts 2018 for our Breed , BRING ON THE BULLDOG .
BDR very busy as always and
****CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF BULLDOG RESCUE****
BULLDOG EDUCATION STAND won BEST UTILITY and Reserve overall the stands. Excellent examples of the breed being shown . Just goes to show that we on the Breed Committees , Bulldog Breed Council ,Sub Committees and good breeders are really working hard together so despite best efforts by the " media " to sabotage the breed we did the BULLDOG PROUD !!
So getting up exhausted on Sunday morning was like being hit in the face with a spade when the CRUFFA extremists had clearly spent the entire day ripping it all to shreds!
And then the PETA guy decided that scaring the be-jesus out of the Best in Show dog and owner was a fun thing to do.
Five and a half hours to get there Friday night, a 4.30am start. In the NEC by 6.30am and not home until the early hours of Sunday morning. Makes you wonder why we actually bother.
The chances of bulldogs needing a rescue are a million to one they said .....
..... And still they come!
I always think of this, originally from War of the Worlds, when things get busy. It's a conversation I had with a breeder right on the verge of taking over Bulldog Rescue in 2001. They told me I'd not be very busy and would only be dealing with dogs who's owners had died. Initially they were right, fast forward 17 years it's now a full time occupation and the hours and the dogs are unrelenting.
Right now we are in a no win situation from all sides. The BBC show "Saving the British Bulldog" is due to air on BBC on Wednesday, interviews with both rescues, members of the breed council health committee and several bulldog owners could go one of two ways, already I'm not convinced the sound hasn't been tampered with on the clip currently showing on the internet as the pup that has graded BOAS grade zero still has some respiratory sounds. If that's the basis for the rest of the show I'm worried because if that's been edited what else has? I guess there's not much we can do except wait with baited breath. The trailer video can be viewed here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06049cf what do you think?
Cruffa et al have already picked up on this clip but then Cruffa and those that follow every word will never see the real problem and that is the unethical breeding that is "Colour". Whilst they feel there's no problem with what colour the dog is as long as it's healthy - we can see the shear damage being done by people who's only thought on that particular mating is what colour the pups will be. Health and temperament is the last thing on the list and that in itself is going to cause more problems than anything else we are facing right now. We seem to have overcome the Tri dogs, black and tan or black white and tan - far too common now for anyone to make a decent buck from that - even though I was in rescue for over 10 years before seeing the first black and white bulldog needing help - now they are everywhere - so they've moved onto the more "exotic" colours including Lilac and Blue. Lilac - now there's a funny story - selling for thousands upon thousands of pounds as "rare" they are actually DUDLEY'S! ie: no pigment and written out of the breed standard in the late 1800s. So why are the buyers so suprised when the 14 grand pup goes on to develop severe skin problems or is even deaf? Already this morning I have seen two dogs that are clearly only here to produce lilac, one stunning red bitch with HAZLE EYES and a totally Dudley male whith not a spec of black pigment sold to the family as Lilac. I know the goverment are cracking down on breeding but it's not enough - don't give people a limit on how many litters they can have before they are licenced - make it compulsory that you must have a licence to breed! Force these people to think about what they are doing because whilst they are swanning around in their expensive cars these are the dogs that are really suffering - not the ones bred by people that actually give a shit what the outcome is going to be and who wouldn't mind having to be licenced at all.
Anyway, lets get Crufts out the way first and if you are there on Saturday please come and find us ringside in our usual spot.
Anyone that's had their dog stolen will understand what it's like to suddendly find out that dogs are treated as "property" in the eyes of the law and that your case would be treated no differently to if you had had your car stolen. Well there's a new petition you may be interested in which aims to do something about that so if you get five minutes perhaps you could pop along to https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/212174 and add your signature.
Thank you to everyone that took part in our recent Facebook Poll. We asked if your bulldog was of recognised or unrecognised colour.
The response saw one thousand, seven hundred votes with the result being 85% recognised and 15% unrecognised.
This is a significant result bearing in mind that many unrecognised colours are bred purley for colour with no thought as to the health of the dogs involved in the mating. This could potentially have serious consequences to the future health of the Bulldog Breed.
The results have been shared with the Bulldog Breed Council Health Committee and can be shared providing Bulldog Rescue and Rehoming are credited.