Tag Archives: size of gene pool

Extinction in the Conformation Sport

Before we go to Dr. Battaglia’s abstract 60 Breeds – Extinction in the Conformation Sport let’s review a few things from it as they relate specifically to the Gordon Setter.

Why is it that so many Americans own a purebred dog yet do not choose to use a breed standard or chose to breed? Why don’t purebred owners join breed clubs these days? What can we do to change this?13220941_183506565382764_5262498886704102536_n - Copy

Background

For over 100 years dog shows have been a popular sport in America and for some grew from a hobby to a profession or business. This in turn created more difficulty for the novice to win against the professional handler, seasoned breeder and experienced exhibitors. For many years the sport continued to grow along with the number of dog clubs, breeders and exhibitors but then this growth was followed by a change in society that brought changes in the popularity of breeding and showing dogs. The sport began to shift as people became more careful with use of their time and discretionary dollars. As expenses increased and the novice exhibitor’s chances of success decreased, many quit. This led to problems for dog clubs in attracting new members to manage events. Millions of people continue to own purebred dogs but entries at dog shows, purebred breeders, litters and club members continue a downward trend.

What if nothing changes?

The Gordon Setter does not appear on the list of 60 at risk of extinction and that is genuinely a good thing for the breed. Is that comfort enough though, for us to do nothing? If nothing happens to change the current trends in purebred dogs that include the Gordon Setter, the following will occur:

  1. The number of breeders using the breed standard will continue to fall.
  2. The number clubs hosting shows will continue to decline.
  3. Show entries will continue to decline.
  4. The Gordon Setter Club of America, it’s event committees, and Independent Gordon Setter clubs will not be able to educate their members and the public.
  5. The Gordon Setter will experience declining gene pool size and genetic diversity affecting the breed’s health.

What can you and I do to positively influence these trends?13221622_10207781311063392_7326498718333198333_n

Here are a couple of suggestions that a Gordon lover could do that will help to turn the negative trends. These would be what I like to call “the one small part we each need to play”.

  • If you are not a member of a local breed club or your national parent club (the GSCA) please join.
  • If you are a member then bring just one new member to the club each year. If each member did this clubs could double in size in just one year, bringing a valuable increase in the club’s work force and revenue that would support programs, education, activities and thus publicity for the Gordon Setter.
  • What if you own a Gordon Setter and are one of the millions of people who have never attended a dog show, agility trial, field trial, hunt test or any other AKC event? Set aside a few hours to attend one of these – that could be the one small part you play! You will learn something new about Gordon Setters and a bit about the sport and learning always has some positive effect.

If we brainstormed together I’m sure we would come up with many more ideas, things we could to do to play our small part. And, if we each committed to doing a small part every year, those would begin to add up and build that positive trend we want so much for the Gordon Setter we love.

The Abstract

This abstract by Carmen Battaglia measured 188 AKC breeds by four factors that are believed to be related to whether a breed is at risk of disappearing from dog show competition. That resulted in a list of *60 breeds who are at the highest risk. Consider if you will, that 60 breeds are nearly a third of all AKC recognized breeds.   *Table 3d 

  1. Number of litters and dogs registered
  2. Low conversion rate
  3. Low Entry
  4. Number of Limited Registrations

Number of litters and dogs registered

Ranked  #105 out of 188 breeds the Gordon Setter falls nearly in the middle of all breeds and has ranked similarly among AKC breeds for several years.

TABLE 2  of the abstract tells us that the 3 year average of Gordon Setter litters was 114, and that from those litters an average of 389 individual Gordon Setters were registered per year.

Conversion Rate

The conversion rate measures the number of pups registered with AKC individually out of the number of puppies reported on litter registrations. The startling finding is that in 87 of the breeds studied, half of all pups are lost to the breed and stud book by not being registered – the conversion rate for those breeds is 50% or less.

Gordon Setter litters averaged 114 over 3 years with a total of 726 puppies born, and of those born 389 puppies were registered individually for a conversion rate of 53.5%. Close to half of all Gordon Setters are lost to the stud book and gene pool simply by virtue of never being registered. 

Low Entry

Data for the breeds listed as Low Entry (LE) serve as a measure of a breed’s gene pool size and its genetic diversity. A breed is considered a low entry breed when entries for that breed fall below 3,500 per year. The LE Breed List is used during the judging approval process by AKC because the number of educational opportunities is limited by the low number of breed entries at dogs shows. The number of breeds on the LE list continues to grow and by 2016 reached 90 breeds or 47% of the studbook with most of those breeds being well below the 3,500 threshold.

The good news is that the Gordon Setter is not a low entry breed. TABLE 1  tells us that 103 Gordon Setters (3 year average) were entered in conformation events or 26.6% of the Gordon Setters registered during that time.

Limited Registrations (LR)

Based on population statistics the expectation is that poor quality animals should fall in the 4-6% range which should correspond with the number of dogs placed on a Limited Registration (LR). This study noted that many breeds have a significantly higher percentage than this expected range of Limited Registrations, and noted further that the number of dogs registered by LR has been steadily increasing. Overuse of LR for purposes other than removing poor quality dogs from the gene pool, especially when added to the number of pups that aren’t registered at all (the conversion rate) will have a negative impact on the stud book.

Out of the averaged 389 Gordon Setters registered in this study, 43 were on Limited Registration or 11% of the total registered. This is not an alarming trend for the breed.

Recommendations and Proposals by Dr. Battaglia

Out Reach to the Stakeholders – Breed Clubs and Breeders

Share this information with Officers of the club and beyond to our breeder/owners. Share the consequences for doing nothing as a first step in any effort to stabilize the decline in show entries, breeders, exhibitors and breed size. An organized public relation, marketing and education effort is warranted.

National Sweepstakes

The proposal to create an AKC National Sweepstake and AKC National Maturity program for every breed is detailed completely in Dr. Battaglia’s complete abstract.

BEST NEWS! The Gordon Setter does not appear among the 60 high risk breeds! 

BETTER NEWS! It’s easy and it’s never too late to become a part of the solution!

GOOD NEWS! We gain important information from this study that will help us promote and protect our breed – let’s we act on it!

Sally Gift, Mesa AZ

Photos by Ben Perez – GSCA National Specialty

60 Breeds – Extinction in the Conformation Sport

Contributing Factors: Low Conversion Rates, Low Entry Breeds, Limited Registrations
Dr. Carmen Battaglia November, 2017

 

Small Population Breeds and Issues of Genetic Diversity

bell-jerold-1520260577 By Jerold s Bell DVM, Clinical Associate Professor of Genetics, Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.  Reprinted by permission of the author.

(This article was originally published in the March 2007 AKC Perspectives Delegates Newsletter.)

Issues of genetic diversity are a concern to dog breeders, and this can be especially so for breeds with small populations. The concern is whether there is enough genetic variation within a breed’s gene pool to maintain health and vitality. Breeders should be concerned about genetic diversity, because there are examples where damage has been done to a breed due to breeding practices. Restriction of genetic diversity can also occur in large population breeds.

All genes come in pairs: one from the sire and one from the dam. Each gene in the pair is called an allele. If both alleles in a pair are of the same type, the gene pair is homozygous. If the two alleles are different, the gene pair is heterozygous. While each dog can have a maximum of two different alleles at a gene pair, many different alleles are potentially available to be part of the gene pair. The greater the number of alleles that are available at each gene pair (called genetic polymorphism), the greater the genetic diversity of the breed.

If there is no breed diversity in a gene pair, but the particular homozygous gene that is present is not detrimental, there is no negative effect on breed health. The characteristics that make a breed reproduce true to its standard are, in fact, based on non-variable (that is, homozygous) gene pairs.

The origins of the breeds have a lot to do with genetic diversity. A breed established with a working phenotype tends to have diverse founder origins, and significant diversity. Even with substantial population bottlenecks, the breed can maintain considerable amounts of genetic diversity. This was shown in a molecular genetic study of the Chinook breed, which was reduced to 11 modern founders in 1981. Breeds established by inbreeding on a limited number of related founder individuals could have a reduced diversity. Many breeds have also gone through diversity reducing bottlenecks; such as occurred during World War II. For most of these breeds, their gene pools have expanded through breeding for many generations, resulting in a stable population of healthy dogs.

There are two factors that must be considered when evaluating genetic diversity and health issues in a breed; the average level of inbreeding, and detrimental recessive genes. With a small population, there is a tendency to find higher average inbreeding coefficients due to the relatedness between dogs from common ancestors. There is, however, no specific level or percentage of inbreeding that causes impaired health or vigor. The problems that inbreeding depression cause in purebred populations stem from the effects of deleterious recessive genes. If the founding population of a breed produces a high frequency of a deleterious recessive gene, then the breed will have issues with that disorder. This can be seen as smaller litter size, increased neonatal death, high frequency genetic disease, or impaired immunity. If these issues are present then the breed needs to seriously consider limited genetic diversity.

The issue of high average inbreeding coefficients is one that all breeds go through during their foundation. As the population increases and the average relatedness of dogs goes down (based on a fixed number of generations), the average inbreeding coefficient for the breed will go down. The effect of initially higher inbreeding coefficients in small population breeds will depend on the presence of deleterious recessive genes that will be expressed when homozygous.

Some breeders discourage linebreeding and promote outbreeding in an attempt to protect genetic diversity in their breed. It is not the type of matings utilized (linebreeding or outbreeding) that causes the loss of genes from a breed gene pool. Rather, loss of genes occurs through selection: the use and non-use of offspring. If a breed starts limiting their focus to breeding stock from a limited number of lines, then a loss of genetic diversity will occur.

The process of maintaining healthy lines, with many breeders crossing between lines and breeding back as they see fit, maintains diversity in the gene pool. If some breeders outbreed, and some linebreed to certain dogs that they favor while others linebreed to other dogs that they favor, then breedwide genetic diversity is maintained. It is the varied opinion of breeders as to what constitutes the ideal dog, and their selection of breeeding stock based on their opinions, that maintains breed diversity.

The most important factor for diminished genetic diversity in dog breeds is the popular sire syndrome. The overuse of a popular sire beyond a reasonable contribution through frequent breedings significantly skews the gene pool in this direction, and reduces the diversity of the gene pool. Any genes that he possesses – whether positive or negative – will increase in frequency. Through this founder’s effect, breed related genetic disease can occur. Another insidious effect of the popular sire syndrome is the loss of genetic contribution from quality, unrelated males who are not used for breeding. There is a finite number of quality bitches bred each year. If one male is used in an inordinate amount of matings, there will be fewer females left for these quality males that should be contributing to the gene pool. The popular sire syndrome is a significant factor in both populous breeds and breeds with small populations.

The best methods for ensuring the health and diversity of a breed’s gene pool are to:

  1. Avoid the popular sire syndrome.
  2. Utilize quality dogs from the breadth of your population to expand the gene pool.
  3. Monitor genetic health issues through regular health surveys.
  4. Do genetic testing for breed-related disorders.
  5. Participate in open health registries, such as CHIC (www.caninehealthinfo.org) to manage genetic disorders.

 

(This article can be reprinted with the written permission from the author: jerold.bell@tufts.edu)

Related article – Outcrossing Does Not Equal Gene Pool Diversity

Photograph courtesy of Susan Roy Nelson is not intended to illustrate any point in the article, it is presented for your viewing pleasure only.

 

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Genetic Testing While Preserving the Best Breed Qualities – Let’s Start the Conversation

One of the most controversial topics, and the most difficult to teach about breeding, is the use of genetic testing and the application of those test results when choosing a mating pair to “improve and preserve the breed”. This is an area where it can often appear, especially to the less experienced breeder, that some prominent and successful breeders are talking out of both sides of our mouths. From one side we say genetic testing is a must if you intend to breed, and then from the other side we say “oh, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” just because the dog is a carrier or affected doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be bred. Improving and preserving the Gordon Setter breed, is nowhere near as simple as choosing to mate only those dogs who pass every genetic clearance. Making the right breeding decision, finding the right sire for a dam… well it’s just not a black or white, right or wrong decision process. So, we’re going to say here, that the first and the most important thing a potential breeder needs to learn, before making breeding decisions, before assuming that the right choice is to breed only those dogs who clear every genetic test, the first thing that potential breeder needs to learn and completely understand is what constitutes a mediocre dog, a good dog and a great dog. With this understanding, one can then come prepared to recognize why, and when it is imperative to include great dogs in the gene pool – and yes, even those good and great dogs who did not clear every genetic hurdle may be needed in that gene pool. Remember, these dogs have many other qualities that are vital to preserving and improving the breed.

Photo by Bob Segal
Photo by Bob Segal

I read an article by Brian Lynn published by Paw Print Genetics that spoke about this topic. I’m sharing Brian’s article here as it fits with what I wanted us to be thinking, learning and talking about…how to use genetic testing appropriately, especially at a time when we must always consider the shrinking size of our breed population and thus our gene pool. We do need to encourage and promote genetic testing. We do NOT need to eliminate every dog who is affected or a carrier, but we do need to aptly apply the judicious choice of the appropriate breed qualities in the dogs we chose to breed. Breeders also need to be able to share every genetic test result on every dog, and they should be able to do so without fear of censor by their peers. The behaviors that cause our breed harm…breeders who cover or omit negative test results…and breeder/exhibitors who gossip about or denounce their peers who have shared information honestly and freely. Compete in the ring with each other folks, we don’t need to compete with each other over breeding choices, stud services and the like, there simply aren’t enough of us left to be that cut throat toward each other.

“When we breed to better a line of purebred dogs, many intangible or subjective variables come into play – conformation, athleticism, intelligence, trainability and more. Mentoring and experience, even the gut instinct borne from these teachings, can make assessing those variables easier. As we learn more and develop an eye for evaluating and reading dogs, the standards for what constitutes a ‘better’ dog, one worthy of breeding, usually rise. The comparative knowledge experience brings allows us to differentiate a ‘great dog’ from a ‘good’ one; what might have been an acceptable to us a decade ago, might not make the cut today. And therein creates the economic correlation of supply and demand among top breeders.

As we eliminate potential breeding partners in favor of ‘better’ dogs, those that will truly improve a line and therefore breed, fewer and fewer potential partners exist. That makes the remaining pool of dogs more desirable and valuable.

When the qualities that elevated a dog to the top of the gene pool are combined with the objective results of canine genetic screening, a breeder is truly ‘bettering the breed’ by passing along the best physical and mental qualities the dog possesses while reducing or eliminating detrimental genes.

However, some people believe genetic testing poses the risk of reducing the gene pool of quality dogs too much. Certainly, if you were to remove every dog that was determined to be an affected or a carrier of an inherited disease, that upper echelon of dogs within a breed could theoretically bottleneck (especially if it’s a small gene pool to begin with); and/or leave dogs that don’t complement and strengthen each other consistently enough to better the breed across necessary qualities, regardless of genetic diversity. True, the knowledge of genetic mutations in two dogs could prevent a top-notch breeding from taking place, but in the big picture of bettering a line and breed, that’s a small concession.

But that’s not how genetic screening works. Genetic screening of canines for inherited diseases provides the knowledge to breed responsibly and with scientific evidence. Breeding to a carrier, or especially affected, dog is a personal decision each of us must weigh, but it can be done safely. Using genetic science, we can determine the mode of inheritance, as well as the variability and expressivity of a gene. With the knowledge of today’s science, we can breed smarter and safer than ever before.

Genetic screening makes a dog a known quantity. Combined with its physical, mental and psychological qualities, genetic screening allows for healthier decision-making choices that truly ‘better the breed.’ The fact that a dog is a known quantity in a gene pool makes it more valuable; a dog’s accomplishments set it apart from the general population, and genetic screening, regardless of results, put it in an even more elite pool of dogs.” read more here

So, this is where the conversation turns to you. I’ve said my small piece and offered food for thought through Brian’s article. Time for you all to join in here and share your thoughts, opinions and questions.

Photographs by Bob Segal

Sally Gift, Mesa AZ

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Population nearing 1945 number

For those of us following the decline in the AKC registrations of Gordon Setters over the past two decades I’ve put together this not very scientific but mostly factual chart<grin> a scientist I’ve never been!  I pulled AKC registration numbers from the history pages of the Look/Lustenberger book “The Complete Gordon Setter” which have allowed me to complete this 70 year view of the size and fluctuation of our Gordon Setter population.

This chart uses 5 year increments to illustrate both the growth from 1945 (post WWII) until 1975 and then the decline that began in the 1990’s. Not listed on this chart is the lowest year in our current decade  2013 with 396 registrations which took us back nearly to the level of 375 dogs in the 1950 the post war era.

Many imported dogs arrived from England in the late 30’s because of the war when  English breeders found themselves unable to maintain the dogs. Much of the breeding here in the states then, as a result of those imports were crosses to the English stock as well as matings of the imported dogs. Remember that in 1939 the American Gordon Setter standard was revised to create a 3″ allowance in height and heavier weights as these English dogs were larger than the American bred Gordon of the time. The accommodation was written into the standard to allow for the increase in size that occurred here in the states as a result of the new imports, obviously our predecessors liked the results they were getting from these matings, and those measurements remain the standard today.

GS 45-14 stats

 

As always, your comments, questions, suggestions and other pertinent stuff like that are welcome in the comment section. Tell us what you’re thinking or if it needs to be done, correct me if I’m misquoting or wrong!

Sally Gift, Mesa AZ

 

 

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Do breeders need to change?

The face of breeding, as I’ve known it, has changed considerably since I first joined the ranks of Gordon Setter breeders in the 70’s. So much more information is readily available, resources for every question can be found at the touch of a keyboard, cross-country breeding is accomplished without shuffling the bitch off to the airport, and the availability of genetic tests is growing quickly to theoretically help us breed healthier dogs. But are we, the breeders, utilizing the results of those tests with a consciousness that will improve the overall health of the breed or could misguided perception and dwindling numbers cause the downfall of the breed instead?

Photo by Susan Roy Nelson
Photo by Susan Roy Nelson “Four Ladies in a Row”

I just read, and then reread an article written by a Corgi breeder Joanna Kimball – “How We Must Change as Breeders and Why – A Football Field of Dogs”  published in Best In Show Daily (point and click on the bold title to link to the article). Joanna raised some valid points regarding breeding that I believe bear discussion among Gordon Setter breeders. I hope you’ll join me here in considering some of those points and then by sharing your own perceptions, agreements or disagreements as they be.

First the assumption that as a breeder we should all agree that only a very few dogs should ever be bred – is this true? The breeder’s thought process as Joanna wrote is “I should be as picky as possible, first health-test everybody, prove that each dog is healthy, make sure that only the ones who are incredibly high-quality in terms of conformation and show success are allowed to breed. I should build the next ten thousand dogs from the most elite pool of this one.” That’s the conventional wisdom, the way “good breeders” do everything, right?

In fact, Joanna says we should bear in mind thatEVERY DOG WHO IS REMOVED FROM THE POPULATION HURTS THAT POPULATION.” To maintain health in any breed we need to understand the need for genetic variation, and to retain genetic variation we need to be breeding from many lines, to many sires not only the one or two most popular sires and so on.

crufts 2
Photo by Silvia Timmermann

I often want to go back to when I was younger, just starting out, and in this case I’m talking about the days when breeding wasn’t a four letter word and the propaganda of animal rights activists hadn’t put us all under their spell. The spell that makes breeders feel self-righteous for eliminating as many dogs as we can from the breeding pool because breeding is, after all, a very bad word. As the battery of DNA tests for genetic disorders continues to rise breeders are feeling satisfied as we believe we are gaining ground on health issues. But, should we also be considering that we might be losing ground on genetic diversity as we eliminate more and more dogs from the breeding pool with those tests?

Joanna states in another  point “SINCE EVERY DOG THAT IS REMOVED FROM THE POPULATION HURTS THE POPULATION, WE MUST REMOVE ONLY THOSE WHOSE PRESENCE WOULD HURT IT EVEN MORE.” To me this is like saying “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”. A common sense approach would include knowing what health condition could cause the death of our Gordon Setters, or what health condition would ruin the quality of life for our dogs, before making breeding choices based primarily on health testing, testing that if used incorrectly could eliminate other necessary qualities from the breed’s gene pool. Using testing to learn what, if any, health condition might be passed from one generation to the next is a wonderful tool, but it is not the only tool that a breeder should be using. Utilizing health testing to obtain the appropriate result in breeding requires very judicious application on the part of the breeder, who must also keep in mind the continued genetic diversity of the gene pool, as well as the overall soundness of the breed both physically and mentally.

Why, for example, would one choose to breed an OFA fair bitch to a dog because he had OFA good or excellent hips but also carried an unsound front, instead of breeding her to an OFA fair dog who is sound and beautifully moving both front and rear? In this case the breeder might get one or two additional puppies with better hip ratings (might) but the breeder will also be adding some puppies with those unsound fronts? Did the breeder really improve the breed or the gene pool with that breeding? Or, what about choosing to breed the Rcd4 carrier bitch to the Rcd4 clear dog whose parents both died of cancer at age 7, instead of breeding to the Rcd4 carrier dog whose parents died of old age at 13. We don’t have DNA tests for cancer available for Gordon Setters, but we do know that cancer causes the death of many Gordon Setters before their time, and we know the history of certain cancers can be prevalent in families. By theory, 25% of the puppies in the Rcd4 carrier to carrier litter could be affected, and at age 10 there may be one, perhaps even two of those affected dogs who might (there’s that word might again)  go blind from late onset PRA. Doesn’t the carrier to carrier litter – as a whole – have a better chance of living a healthy, happy life until old age takes them from us? Which choice does a breeder make and how does it affect the diversity of the gene pool? What if the breeder decides not to do either breeding because they don’t like the health choices? Can the diversity and size of the gene pool continue to be maintained if this were to be the constant decision?

Photo by Silvia Timmermann
Photo by Silvia Timmermann

So, why all this fuss about the gene pool, and gene pool diversity, and strength and size of the gene pool? A relatively simple example to help us understand is to look at the mixed breed population, and their reputation for being “healthier” than their purebred counterparts. Why is that? Genetic diversity is solidly at play. Odds are there are no common ancestors for generations in the pedigree of any mixed breed dog. A huge and diverse gene pool lies behind the mixed breed.

Before you decide I might be plumb crazy talking here about an issue with the size of gene pool let me ask you if you’ve read and absorbed, yes absorbed to the point where it makes perfect sense to you, the article at the Institute of Canine Biology by Carol Beachat PhD “Is your breed drifting?” (point and click on the bold printed title to link to this article)

As I look at the Gordon Setter in general, comparing them to other purebred dog breeds, I believe that Gordon Setters have relatively few genetic health issues that occur regularly. We are lucky in that respect. However, we cannot hope to improve the health characteristics we’d like to change, if our gene pool continues to shrink to the point where the majority of dogs are related, where there is not sufficient diversity to enact change. We need a diverse and a large population and we need responsible breeders who understand how to accomplish those health driven goals while maintaining the integrity of the breed.

by show ring
Photo by Bob Segal

As I look at dog show entries, where the rubber meets the road when it comes to proving the merit of our breeding stock, I find an ever decreasing number of Gordon Setter entries along with a decreasing number of new faces joining the ranks of breeders. Those who are showing today find ourselves scrambling to locate shows where there will be points, majors are difficult if not impossible to find unless sometimes you can bring your own entry – which accomplishes what exactly as far as improving the breed when you’ve finished a dog simply by winning over your own breeding? Specialties are struggling to build 5 point majors and many are no longer able to do so, despite offering two shows in one day. Our National Specialty entries have dropped from all time highs of between 450 to 550 dogs in ’93, ’94, and ’95 to approximately 220 entries for 2015, half the number that were participating 20 years ago.  Fewer entries, fewer breeders, fewer litters equals a smaller gene pool and thus loss of genetic diversity. To me this issue is two-fold; as breeders we need to appropriately and wisely utilize health testing without the elimination of too many dogs from the gene pool, and secondly we need to address the shrinking gene pool by understanding that we need to bring new breeder/exhibitors on to follow in our footsteps, to pick up the reins and drive on.

Many of you have been at this breeding/exhibiting thing for a while now. I’m curious how you feel about these concerns or better yet do you even believe there are such concerns? What would you change if you believe change is needed? How would you drive change? What do you think could be utilized to bring about improvement? Who do you believe is responsible for leading change in the breed? Can or should breeders accept responsibility for driving change?  How can breeders mentor others? So many questions and opinions, let’s start a discussion by sharing them, discussion is the first step. Your thoughts and comments are very welcome here, do remember to be respectful of others please.

For those of you who are Gordon owners but perhaps not involved in breeding and showing, what might entice you to change your focus, what would drive your interest in showing/breeding Gordon Setters? How would you want to learn? Who would you want to learn from? As above, your respectful thoughts and comments are welcome here.

To share your thoughts you may use the reply field at the very bottom of this article or click “Leave a Comment” at the very top of this article.

I’d like us to talk to each other people, as I believe change is needed and that is why I write this blog for you…to bring change through the sharing of information, common goals, and a love for our breed, the Gordon Setter.

Sally Gift, Mesa AZ

 References:

Part 2 – Do Breeders Need to Change?