Mary Jane Weir
Canadian Poodle Club
An open letter to the Canadian Poodle clubs:
We are dismayed to learn that there is organized resistance to the effort in Canada to remove the disqualification of particolor Standard Poodles and their progeny.
The Standard Poodle has been the subject of extensive genetic research over the last few years. The data produced by this work are chilling.
The genetic diversity of the Standard Poodle has been reduced to the point where the immune system is seriously compromised. Without a competent immune system, dogs have no defense against the pathogens that we all encounter on a daily basis. Further, loss of the ability of the immune system to distinguish between an external pathogen and its own tissue is being manifested as skyrocketing rates of autoimmune disorders such as Addison's disease and sebaceous adenitis. These are horrible diseases for which there are no veterinary treatments adequate to restore an animal to normal health. Genetic research can increase our understanding of the underlying pathology of inherited diseases in dogs, but there is nothing geneticists can do to "fix" this problem. Many of the genes necessary for a functional immune system in Poodles have been lost from the breed's gene pool, and there is no modern technology that will restore it to proper function.