It might not look it from this photograph, but believe me it was a VERY WET day on the shoot last Saturday. Days like that enable one to justify the vast amounts of money spent on decent waterproof gear for the field - I was still warm and dry by the end of the day!
I have noted recently in various sources, from both home and abroad, (blog, forum, website) relevant to different breeds, and groups of breeds, a tendency of some people to "spin" (in the political sense) their situation, achievements, dogs, experience, policies or knowledge.
I am not saying that this is a recent development, merely that it appears to me to be on the increase. Whether or not it is a new thing, I wonder about the motive(s) of such people! I do not make myself out to be a "saint", but I can honestly say that I have never deliberately misled others in such public spheres.
Without mentioning any names (I do not wish to lay myself open to litigation!) I offer a few examples :-
- implying years of experience in gun dogs and trialing when on a first dog
- talking about past dogs as if they have been working them for years when, in fact, they were bought in and then moved on within a few months.
- breeders who state that they always do home checks of puppy buyers (when they don't)
- breeders who purport to adhere to a particular Code of Ethics (when they don't)
- owners or trainers who purport to promote 'good' or 'kind' training methods when they use e-collars routinely (NOT in Wales where I live . . e-collars are illegal here!)
These are just a few examples, quoted at random, to try to illustrate what I mean. So I repeat, why do some people find it acceptable to do this? Well, the title of this post says it all in my opinion!
Some people do this in the misguided impression that others will perceive them as people of 'experience and status'. . . these are the those suffering from pride, and we all know what comes after pride ..... A FALL!! Some have a deep-seated need to be in charge and have total control over others whether within a breed, a club, a group or any other collection of people; these are the megalomaniacs.
Some do it in order to promote their business and make more money; even fewer of these than those in the other two categories will ever admit to this being the case (rather they declare honourable motives such as actions being "for the good of the breed") .... In my experience NONE of them!!
Unfortunately many individuals to whom I refer to fall into two or even all three of my classifications!! Can anything be done about these people? Sadly, not a great deal in most cases; proving beyond doubt that these things are happening is not always easy and even if the evidence is there, there are no sanctions unless the law has been broken!
............. are they worth the paper they are written on?
There are breed clubs’ codes of ethics, breed clubs’ breeding codes of ethics, breeders’ own personal codes of ethics, and of course the Kennel Club Code of Ethics. Are they abided by by all those who purport to do so? Patently NOT! Are breed club's C o E's published for all to see (for example on their website?) If they are not published, how is a prospective buyer to know whether any particular code IS being adhered to?
So . . . . do codes of ethics have any value at all?
I believe the answer is “yes” because they present a number of criteria which any intelligent and responsible prospective puppy buyer should question in detail when approaching a breeder who declares adherence to a particular code. Proof of the accuracy of answers should be avaiable if requested.
A C o E, to which a particular seller of puppies declares allegiance, might state that all prospective homes will be inspected; if the breeder makes no attempt to arrange such a visit either by her/himself or by a trusted friend with experience of the breed, then ergo any prospective buyer should doubt whether any of the criteria on the Code are being met.
Giving misleading information about the breed
it’s character or temperament and its needs.
The amount of grooming required
Breeding a bitch over the Code’s stated age limit.
These are just a few examples of “Do what I say, not do what I do” !!! There are others relating to health checks and the accuracy and frequency thereof.