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Friday, March 28, 2014

The Flat Coat Mafia...LOL

ALL FCR can be traced back to just a few foundation dogs

What is this Flat Coat Mafia?  Who are they?  Why are they important to Chatham Hill Dogs? 
  1. This is the loving name given to control freaks that breed FCR.
  2. They are the biggest haters of the Chatham Hill Retrievers.
  3. Most of our Flat Coated Retrievers were provided by them
So every time they disparage our dogs the irony is they are literally disparaging their own lines from whence our dogs came.  Every time they question health they fail to review their own dogs which were the source of ours in the first place.  They also seem to forget the origins of their own dogs from whence the FCR breed was begotten.   And they fail to realize that with all the care they take in performing health tests for their own dogs ( "Ahem" - lines our dogs came from) they really haven't made a dent in the horrible health statistics and prolific cancer rates they see with respect to their beloved breed.  Yet instead of looking at what they've produced and possibly saying what they should do, or could do and still can do drastically different to reverse the figures.  They continue to do the same things they always have.
  1. Closely Line-Breed from their champions only
  2. Use a common SIRE to create more of the same
  3. Use a common DAM  to create more of the same
Then when their dogs die.... they openly cry about it over social media and think that will make things better.  I have yet to see any mention of any of them actually doing something tangible to make a difference.  Instead they buy more of the same dogs from the same sources of all their misery.   And contribute physical test results to a continually growing and very inconclusive database and believe this is their contribution to a better tomorrow for their beloved breed.  Complacent stupidity is their answer.  Okay.... see me in a few more years and let me know how that's going for you.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Friends of Chatham Hill Dogs- Dubhruja

 Dubruja Flacoats located in Scotland
You can Check them out on Facebook here.  

Visit their website here

• They have an excellent socializing process and have produced some rather impressive Flat Coats.  And they remind us here at Chatham Hill so much about ourselves its just natural that we love them so much. 

• I'm writing about them with a friendly shout of approval since we've received a recent e-mail that I've quoted here that in a round about way came from a fan of our friends across the pond.  And its always nice to receive positive encouragement to continue to strive for a better future for our dogs.  

I've always had a lot to do with dogs - from my childhood imagining I had them and reading everything I could about them, to my adulthood during which I have been a dog trainer, researched dog body language and diets, and am now a pet photographer. So i thought I knew what I was talking about when I came out with all those phrases you likely know very, very well. Things like, "Mixing breeds is dangerous for their health," and, "Only backyard breeders cross dogs on purpose."

Then I saw Pedigree Dogs Exposed. And I thought about that, and about the fact that the SAME people who cry DANGER, ABUSE, on labradoodles and maltipoos and so on, were also the ones saying rescue mixed breeds were 'healthier than pure breds'. And that got me thinking. Because you don't know the parentage of most rescues, so how could they say that? What else were they wrong about?

And I realised - if you have a health tested, brilliantly put-together, loved, healthy labrador, what's to stop you mating it with a poodle with similar backing? The SAME dogs people would cheer being bred to their own breeds, people then complain when they're crossed. And that makes NO SENSE.

And then I thought about the fact that there are so, so many issues in show-type dogs. that cavaliers need breeding with bigger heads. Perhaps even with another breed with a bigger head and better breathing ability. That I saw a guy who was breeding english bulldogs with american bulldogs to lengthen the face and I thought that was EXCELLENT. And that frankly, if they scrapped german shepherds altogether and remade them from turverians, huskies and a couple of other breeds - they couldn't make anything WORSE than what is being paraded around the show rings, at least.

And then I fell in love with flat coated retrievers. My first dog was a rescue, and when she died I needed a break from rescue so I started looking at breeders. I found one I loved, and I talked to her for HOURS on the phone, at various times, and I met some flatties from her lines near me, and some others, and I decided they were for me.

That was Lea of Dubhruja flatcoats, who got Joka from you guys. I  actually met Joka when I went to pick up my girl (who is a Willow/Murdy pup - from their last litter) and loved him. What a big, goofy, fantastic bear of a dog :-)

I loved what Lea said about trying to breed for less cancer in the lines, and about temperament and health being so much more important to her than the correct ear set.

And so my beliefs were changed a little more.

My flatcoat - Starbuck - is now 18 months old, and I adore her. A few weeks ago I picked up my second dog - a very frightened rescue lurcher Starbuck and I are slowly and gently rehabilitating together. Starbuck is so maternal (she has a 6 month old working cocker sister who belongs to my housemate, who she thinks of as her own puppy), and so nuts, and won't take no for an answer. As often as Mouse refuses to play, Starbuck asks her again, and one time in ten Mouse relaxes enough and they have a wonderful time.

So, back to the point. I'm on a few flatcoat groups on facebook, and I watch them dropping from cancer one after the other. Starbuck's dad is ten. He's never had cancer.

I've said a few times now that I will only ever buy from working lines, or get rescue, in the future. But I've come around to another type of line too - those from breeders who have the ability to THINK about the future. To see that in wanting that extra skin, or the squashed face, or only certain colours, they are driving the breeds they profess to love into extinction. And it's awful and heartbreaking and makes me want to shake them until they wake up and see what they're doing.

I'm in England, so to have a dog from you would be very. very expensive for me. But I can tell you that in the future, if I ever could afford it, I would be PROUD to have a Chatham Hill Retriever. I want to thank you for seeing a different way and for what you do for the breeds you love.

I figure you get a lot of hate mail, so maybe a little love now and then wouldn't be amiss.


They have had an interesting Journey that had them relocating from Cheshire to Aberdeen...