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November 2009


Gene Testing
There has been considerable progress made here. We have secured a provisional agreement with representatives from the USA testing programme to roll out their study in the UK. This research is exciting in that it is possible that we will identify a specific gene that causes the breathing problem known as Brachycephalic Airways Syndrome. If this is the case, it is possible that we would be able to identify Pekingese Dogs in future that carry the gene & therefore prevent the problem occurring in the future.
PROGRESS  propose that this research would be done on possibly three groups of dogs.
Normal healthy Pekingese.
Those Pekingese with a known breathing problem (BAS)
Pekingese with a history of bad backs.
The reason for including those with bad backs, is that although the main purpose of the research is to identify the bad breathing gene, we may be able to identify other genes that are associated with problem backs.
The research is due to start in the USA in December and is a collaboration with the National Institute of Health, an internationally recognised group that are identifying the genes responsible for many human, as well as animal illnesses.
I would like to clarify that the testing would be completely anonymous and that a small blood sample would need to be taken as well as some measurements of the head and body profiles. More details about this will be released as soon as possible.
Specialist Drawings
PROGRESS has agreed to commission a set of line drawings, from an internationally respected Pekingese breeder & artist.
The purpose of the drawings is to be able to demonstrate features that we feel are desirable in the breed as well as those that are being proposed by certain scientists advising the Kennel Club. We feel that if we use line drawings to demonstrate anatomical points, we are in a better position to get agreement within the breed about the sort of changes in the breed standard that we can accept. The problem with photographs is that they are based on Pekingese past & present. We have to talk about the future and there will be very few good examples of what may be in the breed standard in the future.
Register of Professional Advisers
PROGRESS feel that, by having access to Professional advisers such as geneticists, specialist veterinary surgeons and physiologists, we will be able to examine evidence presented to us by the Kennel Club during discussions about the next revision of our breed standard.
We will need access to extra funding to pay for professional time, although all those involved in our group will not be charging expenses or any reimbursement what so ever.
So far we have made contact with a  wide number of specialists, although we will only need to secure their services for time limited pieces of work. All work and costings will be recorded and available to anybody on our database.
Examples of Pekingese Dogs Agility
We have already received examples of photographs and videos, demonstrating the ways in which Pekingese Dogs are able to run and jump over modest obstacles. PROGRESS are mindful however, that our dogs never had the purpose of a working dog, nevertheless we understand that there is a misconception amongst some members of the public about what we can expect from a healthy adult Pekingese and we are going to try & dispel some of these myths.
Please send us photos / you tube clips/ videos of your dogs to the address at the top of this newsletter.
International Pekingese Health Conference
The PROGRESS group are actively supporting the conference
“New Ideas-New Concepts” being held at the Sketchley Grange Hotel, Hinckley, Leicestershire on 16th January, 2010.  This will be an exciting event, as it will bring together a number of eminent people who have opinions about Pekingese health.
There  will be an opportunity for all of us to influence the scientists who will help the Kennel Club to produce the next breed standard. Amongst the speakers will be representatives from North America & PROGRESS are pleased to report that we  have persuaded a major speaker to address the conference.
Of course some of the activities we have announced are going to cost the PROGRESS group money.
We are hoping to raise modest funds to allow us to develop the work we have announced in this newsletter.
We would really welcome your suggestions for fundraising perhaps on a regional level. Any contributions will be gratefully received and used wisely.
Future meetings
As we announced at our last meeting, we only intend to have meetings in the future when there is a need for us all to meet together in the same venue. I am hoping that many of you will be able to attend the conference in January and that we are able to hold an informal event around this time.
In order to keep you up to date, this is the first of our new PROGRESS newsletters.
Many of you will be aware of the new Brachycephalic Dogs Open Group www.bcdog.co.uk . We have a lot of health issues in common with these breeds and they are hoping to hold their next meeting early in 2010. More details will follow.
Contacting us
If you have any comments to make about the work of PROGRESS or this Newsletter, then we are delighted to here from you.
There are several ways you can contact us
e mail:  coordinator@pekesprogress.co.uk
web address:  www.pekesprogress.co.uk
correspondence address:

66 Edgwarebury Lane

Nicolas Small
Acting Chairman of PROGRESS


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