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Interbreeding Bull Terrier

The importance of the Bull Terrier in the Interbreeding programme? The main reason for allowing Interbreeding and why we particularly need the continued support of the Bull Terrier by their owners and breeders. By interbreeding the attempt was to lessen the impact of Primary Lens Luxation on the Miniature Bull Terrier, this is because a 1st generation interbred (BT x MBT) will NEVER suffer from PLL themselves. Genetically speaking, this first cross has a 50:50 chance of being clear of PLL or a carrier. Obviously carriers can pass on the gene mutation, but a carrier is still better to many people’s mind, than a dog that will suffer the disease. Many breeders have considered anything other than a 1st generation Interbred a risk too far for them. In years past, Interbreeding was used to help with the general type & balance, but then proved the need for it to continue, when it was found that the Bull Terrier did not suffer from PLL, this was then the crucial time to use Interbreeding to fight this terrible disease. Interbreeding was allowed in the late 1960s with Interbreeds being registered as such and listed on a foundation type register. These Interbreeds could not be registered as a Miniature Bull Terrier until the 3rd generation. This was when the formal list of primary lens luxation affected dogs was started by the Miniature Bull Terrier Club. This was to help breeders make informed decisions. Another round was permitted in the 1980s and later, in 1996, a meeting held at the Animal Health Trust with the M.B.T.C. committee succeeded in agreeing a study into the inheritance of Primary Lens Luxation in the Miniature Bull Terrier. The AHT say that they are currently very close to developing a linkage based DNA test for PLL and hope it will be available by the end of 2008, and this should be a huge turning point for the breed. The interbreeding programme, with revised health testing requirements and registration of the progeny of a Bull Terrier and Miniature Bull Terrier as a Mini was again agreed in 2000 and is currently ongoing.

Then the great news that the Actual DNA Test not just the Linkage based gene test had been found. Though we had to wait a year longer, 2009 with without a doubt will be a year non of us will ever forget…So with this news it was the forward thinking of the S.M.B.T.C.(proposed at that time) that arranged the seminar with the AHT, on the way forward for the Miniature Bull Terrier. The one important outcome was still the need to use our bigger cousins the BT, In the Interbreeding; this to help widen the gene pool & of course at the same time the BT is clear from PLL. After seeing the status of the MBT, carriers are plentiful, so the need for more clears is a definite. What we must keep paramount in the breed is The importance of the wording in the Miniature Bull Terrier breed standard “should not exceed 14 inches” rather than “must” – should also be considered both historically and currently, as this is, to my mind, a clear indication of the past and current importance of interbreeding and understanding of the complexities involved.

So we are now Three years on, & the words can be heard by some, are those of, Interbreeding should now stop! WHY? I ask myself, has the gene pool been broadened enough for Interbreeding to stop, NO it has not. Can the mini with hold its breed type with out those mini faults that are still visible in the mini today, NO it can not. It is only miracles that happen over night, reality takes just that bit longer. Interbreeding has & will remain to be very controversial, those who believe in it & those that do not. It has been a rough road to ride on, but from my own personal opinion a well worth journey! You should always keep in your mind that a Miniature Bull Terrier should be a Bull Terrier in miniature. I wish you all prosperity with this wonderful breed.

Vanessa P Hear
Warbonnet
Marton, Blackpool – United Kingdom
www.warbonnet.co.uk/

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May at 4:49 PM

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