How dog breeders have “improved” breeds over the past 100 years.
- The basset hound never used to sit so low. The dog has suffered changes to his rear leg structure, has excessive skin, vertebrae problems, droopy eyes that are prone to ectropion and entropion, and excessively large ears.
- The bull terrier used to be an athletic dog, but over the years his snout was mutated to be oversized and bending downwards, leading to respiratory issues. Many bull terriers have supernumerary teeth and are compulsive tail chasers and air biters owing to brain deformities.
- The boxer now has a much shorter face with an extremely short snout. The hindquarters are also lower. Like all brachycephalic dogs, the boxer has difficulty controlling his temperature in hot weather, meaning they are prone to overheating and collapsing in the summer. The boxer also has one of the highest cancer rates among dog breeds and many modern day boxers suffer from seizures.
- The english bulldog has evolved into a creature that suffers from almost every known disease. A kennel club survey conducted in 2004 found that they die on average at only 6 years and 4 months old. They cannot mate without human intervention, and cannot give birth naturally due to their giant heads. There is no such thing as a truly healthy bulldog.
- The dachshund, at one time, used to have functional legs and necks for their size. Their backs and legs have gotten longer, chest jutted forward, and legs have shrunk to such proportions that there is barely any clearance between their chest and the floor. Obese dachshunds usually have to actually drag their bellies across the ground. Their risk for intervertebral disc disease - which can result in paralysis - is extremely high. They are also prone to achrondoplastic related pathologies, progressive retinal apathy, and problems with their legs and joints.
- Pugs are the most inbred breed of dog in existence - an investigation carried out found that amongst the 10,000 pugs found in the UK are so inbred, the gene pool consists of the equivalent of only 50 individuals. They are extremely brachycephalic, and suffer severely from all the associated problems - the folds in their face frequently get infected, they struggle to breathe (making snoring/snorting/huffing noises even without moving), they have high blood pressure, low oxygenation, often collapse and die in the summer or if allowed to overheat, dentition problems due to their skulls being so curled in, and perhaps most shocking - their double curled tail is actually a genetic defect, and in its most serious forms leads to paralysis and many dogs needed a wheelchair or being euthanised if this progresses. These dogs are usually culled if they fail to produce this ‘attractive’ trait.
Healthy puppies that do not succumb to these ridiculous modern day breed standards are usually culled. One very heartbreaking example is the rhodesian ridgeback. The ridge is actually a genetic deformity - a mild form of spinal bifida - and puppies born without this ridge are healthy - but since the ridge is their namesake, healthy puppies are normally culled at birth and only those with noticeable ridges are bred from, thus passing the disability down to future dogs. Below is a ridgeback alongside a healthy, ridgeless dog.
3 to 4 million dogs and cats are killed every year because shelters are too full…. people are choosing to buy from breeders or shops instead of offering them a home.
Homeless animals outnumber homeless people by 5:1.
Only 1 in 10 dogs will ever find a permanent home.
25 PER CENT OF DOGS THAT ENTER SHELTERS ARE PUREBREEDS.
Please consider adopting a homeless dog. Please don’t encourage breeding these animals when there are so many being killed every year. Breeding is a profit, not “just” a hobby, and even if you think your breeder is reputable, they are still churning out puppies into a world where pets are seen as disposable.
Fuck breeders. All about money. Meanwhile, the dogs that are constantly bred suffer extreme health problems, while all the dogs that are left at the shelters are killed because no one adopted them.
1. The practice of culling puppies is no longer standard practice. Ridgebacks are an exception, and YES, that is horrific, but puppies that “don’t meet the standard” are petted out, not killed.
Additionally, it’s hard to pick the show puppy at eight weeks, let alone earlier. Some disqualifying marks are detectable early - ridgeless Ridgebacks, German Shepherds without black noses, Dalmatians with patches - put again, with the exception of Ridgebacks, these dogs are sold on a neuter/no-breeding contract, not killed. They are “culled” in that they are removed from the breeding pool, but the floors of welping rooms are not covered in the bodies of dead puppies.
Dog shows are competitions of inches, not the blatant things an untrained eye can pick out.
2. Most dog breeders are not all about the money. Most dog breeders incur heavy losses in the breeding of their dogs. Not that it is wrong to make money off your hobby!
But there is a world of difference between the show breeder who has a bitch or three and the puppy mill with hundreds of dogs in USDA-regulated cages. There’s a difference between commercial breeding operations and the Amish puppy mills that get all the press coverage!
The problem in the United States is not that there are more dogs than there are homes. There are actually MORE homes that want dogs than there are dogs that need homes!
The problem is one of demographics. A lot of the dogs in the shelter system are large, bully-type dogs. Primarily, the dog that people want is small and low shedding, what I call “ittybittys” and sometimes “oodledoodles.” Many, MANY dogs enter the shelter system as adolescence, a time just as challenging for dog owners as it is for parents (because biologically, much of the same processes are going on).
Lots of people put the blame on people for wanting “cute” dogs. But adolescent bully breed dogs are objectively harder dogs to own. A smaller dog is smaller. It’s less expensive to keep, eating less food and smaller doses of medicine. It’s easier to handle, meaning it won’t pull the kids off their feet or knock your grandmother over when she comes to visit. They might have as much energy as a larger dog, but they are easier to exercise in a smaller space. Although it’s more likely to bite, it’s less likely to do damage.
Bully breeds are HARD to own. It can be hard get housing or insurance. They are powerful, active dogs. An untrained ittybitty can only get into so much trouble. An untrained bully breed is a liability.
This is not to say bull-type dogs are not great pets! The people who love them LOVE them, and I certainly see a lot in the pet circles I move in. But there’s a smaller margin of error with a bully dog, and a lot of people have lifestyles where that isn’t acceptable.
Moreover, the majority of shelters are downright traumatic for most dogs. Shelters are doing really shitty jobs of adopting dogs. Because shelters are ALSO a business and their business interest is in having dogs in the shelter!
The United States is overflowing with shitty tempered dogs. It’s not “all in how you raise them,” dogs have only as much potential as their genes have given them. With competent work, you can mitigate a good deal. But a genetically anxious dog is always going to be anxious, and again, small margin of error. Rigourous behavior modification for aggression, fear, and anxiety is expensive, time consuming, and emotionally draining.
Especially if you just want to take your dog for a walk to the dog park and have something your kids can play with.
TL;DR: There are deep, structural, abhorrent problems in breeding culture (show, performance, pet, and commercial) AND the shelter/rescue/foster system. But it’s a nuanced situation, and “Don’t breed or buy while shelter dogs die!” is fearmongering, ineffective, and not actually a solution to either the problem is claims exists nor the problem that actually exists.
Hey look someone else who finally fucking agrees with me and includes the pros and cons of both worlds imagine that.
Also another A+ commentary.
can i get an amen