Norwegian Buhund

Breed Notes 27th September 2019 Margaret Deuchar


No Ch show to report, because as I said in my notes last week our set of CCs at Darlington came from Driffield, so without CCs they did not schedule the breed.

On Wednesday last week I attended the Kennel Club Annual Breed Health Symposium, which was held at the Kennel Club building at Stoneleigh. There were talks in the morning, and then in the afternoon the speakers and other specialists had booths in the hall, where they answered questions. The day was introduced by Bill Lambert (Senior Health & Welfare Manager at the Kennel Club). He talked about a couple of changes that the KC were making on the health front. The eye testing scheme has been in place for 50 yrs and will be changing from saying eye testing should be done every year, to within the 12 months before mating. This is not a change for us as it is in our code of ethics. The KC is also having a new computer system with a larger data base, and it is probable that all test results will be able to be found on ‘Health Test Results Finder’.

This year there was a talk by Dr Sally Ricketts from the AHT who gave an update on ‘Give A Dog A Genome’ project, and how it is used to find various disease variants. In 2015 the project was announced and the Kennel Club Charitable Trust gave £50,000 to spend on the genome sequencing. In January 2016 Breed Health Co-ordinators were written to inviting them to participate in the scheme, the clubs were required to pay £1,000 each. Many years ago our club, was left some money to help sort out the eye problem, so we were one of the 77 breeds to join the scheme, with the hope that a DNA test for Hereditary Cataract would be found. Many of you know it did not work out like that, as it was a DNA for Cerebellar Ataxia that was found, which was a shock as we had not cases of this for many years. However, when we tested 100 or so dogs, we found a number of carriers although a higher percentage were clear, but it was obvious that we had been very lucky, that we had not had any cases in recent years. Now the most recent litters to be born are hereditary clear. Sadly, though we still have no test for HC but with this the dogs hardly ever go blind, whereas with Ataxia they seldom live beyond a few months. The Buhund was one of the 7 breeds mentioned as having new DNA test. Complex Diseases were also discussed, these are caused by multiple variants in more than one gene, which can combine to increase the risk of disease, this can also be affected by environmental factors, which may be the trigger to cause the onset of the disease, if the dog has a set of risk variants.PRA and Idiopathic epilepsy in breeds were also discussed.

The next talk was given by Dr Jacqueline Boyd and was entitled ‘Feeding for the Future,’ Dr Boyd started out as geneticist so ties in feeding with genetics. She works as an advisor to a dog food company, but never told anyone what they should feed, in fact she said it did not matter what you feed so long as it is good quality. Her only reservation was with homemade diets, making sure that the correct mineral and vitamins are included can be difficult. She stressed that one food does not suit all and finds it difficult if someone who has a number of dogs, phones up wanting a food that can be feed to them all. She understands why someone would want this, but probably one food would only suit 75 per cent of the dogs. You get out what you put in, nutrition impacts on the wellbeing, the activity level and performance of the dog, so obviously very active dogs need a different level of nutrition than a pet dog. There are so many other things to consider, including type, sex, age, personality, whether spayed or neutered and where the dog lives. There is new data continually coming out about nutrition, even looking into the time dogs are feed and whether some prefer morning or evening feeds. The feeding for the future was discussed at length, with stress put on the fact that nutrition of the sire and dam should be optimal before mating and conception. The ultimate goal is a healthy dam and healthy pups. Poor nutrition such as protein deficiency which can lead to neo mortality, or excess of vitamins A&D which can lead to skeletal issues; lack of folic acid can lead development defects. Mineral deficiency especially iron and zinc can lead to resorption, and poor development in one generation can continue into further generations. She finished with the Hippocrates saying, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.

We then had a short talk on why the KC has decided to reduce the hereditary status, to two generations from three generations. I think we all think this is sensible, because should the wrong parentage for whatever reason happen, then there could be a false hereditary clear status, so the sooner this is corrected the better .There was some discussion about the fact that all swabs should be taken by a vet, with the micro chip of the dog being verified. This did not go any further, I guess there will always be a few people in any walk of life will not  abide by the rules, but hopefully these are few and far between, and I am quite certain no Buhund  breeder would want to  risk puppies being born with Ataxia.

The following Saturday across the Irish Sea the Carlow All Breed Ch show was held, where BOB & GSD was  Brenda and Tony Bethell’s Ir Ch/Int Ch Zodiac’s Featuring Fredrik At Taevas Of Minforst Jun Ir Ch CW19,with their  Ir Ch Minforst Galadriel (CW19)taking the BGS. The judge was Mrs McNally.

The next day back in the UK the Sheringham & District Kennel Assoc Premier Open show, was held in the grounds of Frettenham Village Hall Norwich, where Lisa and Alex Strong’s Leggatts Dancing Queen at Draccus won AVNSC Sp yearling, and went on be Res Best AVNSC, the judge was Ros Gardiner .

I finish with the sad news that Jacqui & Michael Cobb, have had to say good bye to their Ch Knytshall Scarlett Ribbon, she was born on the 7th Feb 2004 by Knytshall Morse x Knytshall Queri, at Crufts this year she  enjoyed  spending a few  hours at Discover Dogs representing the breed.

Margaret Deuchar

The views expressed in Margaret’s Breed Notes are hers and hers alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Norwegian Buhund Club of the UK