A great article about breeding dogs

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From Big Think:

Top Vets Urge Dog Owners to Stop Buying Pugs and Bulldogs
Pugs, Frenchies, boxers, shih-tzus and other flat-faced dog breeds have been trending for at least the last decade, thanks to higher visibility (usually in a celebrity’s handbag), an increase in city living (smaller dogs for smaller homes), and possibly even the fine acting of Frank the Pug in 1997’s Men in Black. We’re not ruling it out. These small, specialty pure breeds are seen as the pinnacle of cuteness – they have friendly personalities, endearing odd looks, and are perfect for Stranger Things video montages.

So what’s their cutest feature? Is it their squashy little faces? Their grunting pants (like tiny little obese people!)? Their double-curled tails?

That coiled tail is possibly less endearing when you know it’s a purpose-bred genetic defect, which in its most serious forms leads to paralysis. And their squished noses? That’s been selectively bred to become ever shorter and smaller, making it difficult for the dogs to breathe and eat, causing trickle down effects like cardiovascular stress, eye prolapses, overheating (dogs don’t sweat, so they need to pant to expel heat through evaporation), weight gain because of that sedentary overheated lifestyle, dental crowding, soft-palate collapse, and skin-fold dermatitis. More of an “anatomical disaster” than the patron saint of cuteness.

And the problem with the veterinarians is that the customer knows best - they overlook the serious problems that these dogs have and are focused only on their physical appearance:

Despite performing corrective surgeries and designing pain treatment plans for these dogs, veterinarians don’t often speak up about the unethical nature of buying and creating demand for genetically impaired dogs for one simple reason – it’s bad for business. “If I stood up and told the truth about these breeds,” says an anonymous vet to The Guardian, “I would immediately alienate [their owners] and they would up sticks and move to the neighboring practice where the vet was not as outspoken. Vets in general practice simply cannot afford to be honest and to speak out.”

Much more at the site - they talk about cats as well.

Readers will know that I love the German Shepherd but the dog as it is today is just a pale crippled shadow of what they used to be even just 20 years ago.. Too much inbreeding. When I was looking for a dog, I went with a Shiloh Shepherd. Grace has turned out to be one of the best dogs I have ever been with and healthy too. Here is the Best of Breed GSD from the Crufts Show from 2016:

Her name is Cruaghaire Catoria and she is only three years old and already can not walk with a normal gait because she is in constant pain from her hips. Needless to say, there was quite the uproar in the media when she was awarded the Best in Show prize.

Finnegan, my Brittany Spaniel (a pound rescue) passed away in 2014, I have been looking around for another spaniel - these are great field and hiking dogs. My only problem is that all of the local breeders (Washington, Oregon, Idaho) are emphasizing how their dogs excel in the ring and are great show dogs. Very few of them talk about how they are in the field. Needless to say, I am looking around for other breeds - maybe another Shiloh. Maybe a pibble if I can find a good puppy.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on November 2, 2016 7:30 PM.

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