After years of planning it was finally time for the international seminar and the two exhibitions.�The Thursday afternoon was full of expectations with Clumber enthusiasts from around the world gather for the ninth international Clumber seminar and the two shows. The view overlooking lake V�ttern from the high-situated hotel V�tterleden which also is surrounded by the untouched nature, is very beautiful and was appreciated by the foreign guests.�We gathered on Thursday evening with bubbly drinks and snacks and what did we talked about?�Yes, the one subject we would talk about for three days, our beloved Clumbers.
On Friday it was time for the seminar.�It had summoned 40 participants from all over the world and apart from Sweden there where participants from Norway, Denmark, Holland, England, Croatia, USA, and Australia.�The day was opened by presentations and all the representatives presented themselves and their involvement in Clumbers.�There was considerable variation among participants; there were those who had Clumbers since the 60s and those who got their first Clumber a couple of years ago.�It is very nice and instructive when the “old and new” meet and exchange experiences.
Roe Froman who was the first speaker, is a veterinarian, researcher and breeder from the United States.�She talked about the research conducted in the U.S. today, see separate report.�She also spoke about the difficulties of breeding a small breed like the Clumber. For example, that sometimes you have to compromise on certain things in order to achieve others, which a numerically big breed would exclude from the breeding program (eg hip dysplasia) These dogs cannot always be eliminated�in a numerically small breed.�It is important to focus on getting more dogs in the breeding program and the inbreeding must be kept low.�She stresses the importance of cooperation and openness between breeders and owners internationally and that our breed has a world population.�
Dr Froman was followed by presentations from various Clumber clubs and from breed representatives from several different countries.
The Clumber Spaniel Club of England began and Mrs Carol Page, secretary and health officer, made a thorough review of how the revision of the breed standard had been discussed and presented to the club and breeders that the UK owners were now largely satisfied with the result.�She also informed those attending that in England, breeders can be approved to call themselves �Accredited Breeder�’ this means for example , that dog kennels etc. must be approved and that the breeders commit themselves to follow certain guidelines and health programmes.�The health programme in the breeding for Clumbers requires known hip status of the parent animals and it is recommended to examine the eyes and test for PDP-1 genetic status.�Approximately half of all Clumber breeders in England are currently connected to this.�The UK Accredited Breeder programme makes things much easier for our cooperation as more and more will be hip examining their dogs. (now called Assured Breeder Scheme)
Valana Wells then made a short presentation from the US, where Roe Froman had earlier touched a lot.
Shiela Museus, breeder and Clumber owner since the 70s, explained how things are in Denmark today.�New is �that it is not allowed to breed individuals with D-and E-hips and not to breed a combination to have more than 6% of inbreeding, however calculated on only three generations. In Sweden, we calculate on five generations. Danish breeders should check the eyes latest one year from the time of mating.
Linda de Reuter Hartman represented the Netherlands, giving examples�of what they are now starting to focus more on health and that there had been demands from their kennel club of breed watch instructions to show judges, like our SRD which focuses more on health.
Tracey Garvey from Australia, helped us to present Australia’s presentation which was a powerpoint
Lana L�vai from Croatia told us with pride about her two Clumbers’ success in the show rings around the world and that now finally a Clumber pup has been born in Croatia.
Countries that did not participate physically, Germany, Poland, Finland, Working Society in England, Australia and Colombia had sent in presentations to the seminar and to our seminar catalog.�Unfortunately, we lacked speakers to be able to listen to Australia’s presentation.
Our Swedish presentation included some health statistics, we explained about the demands we have from the community and the Swedish Kennel Club in terms of mentality (temperament) and health.�We also conducted a review of the cross breeding project, there are always questions and misconceptions.
Repeated in many presentations, was the attention that kennel clubs in several countries are working with and placing an increased emphasis on, is health and soundness and that in the show ring these aspects must show these criteria.�We are being watched as regarding to exterior excesses and problems with eye rims and too much loose skin.�We can mention, that the breed standard stresses that the Clumber should be a dog without exaggeration.�There is often a difficult balancing act as it also states in the breed standard that a Clumber should be a strong dog with plenty of bone and large head.�In Sweden we have the SRD, the ethical guidelines for show judges and there are similar guidelines already in several other countries, even in the breed’s native England.
Something you always see at these seminars, is the lively discussions going on between us breed enthusiasts whenever there is a possibility.�Many new contacts have been established over the years at these seminars that have resulted in the exchange of breeding animals around the world and cooperation between breeders.
In summary, we are approaching each other when it comes to health issues, which facilitates cooperation.�We look positively on the Clumber’s future but that it is necessary that we are open to each other in terms of problems.�It is impossible to solve everything with DNA testing but these tests can be a help.�Inbreeding is estimated in more and more countries but in comparison we must be careful to use the same number of generations in the calculations.�What is considered to be a problem in one country is not perceived as a problem in another because the research has a different focus and that the dogs are kept in different ways.
We hope to see you at the next seminar that will be arranged by England in three years time.
photos this report by Hans Arne Paulsen