Unnatural Selection

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

The idiots that are in charge of determining the traits that pedigree dogs must possess, are abusing dogs. The genetic defects caused by inbreeding are heart breaking. While we have often discussed cases of humans abusing dogs, nothing can compare with the scope and magnitude of the abuse done by kennel clubs and dog shows.

Kennel clubs can’t claim ignorance as an excuse, the basic genetics are well known. The breeding for certain physical attributes can lead to disastrous results for the breed. That cute curly tail on the pug comes with all kinds of spinal ailments. The small cute heads of smaller breeds often lead to syringomyelia, where the skull is too small to accommodate the brain.

A BBC One documentary, Pedigree Dogs Exposed, is embedded below. The documentary sparked a long overdue debate on kennel clubs and dog shows.

The video shows one dog show judge claiming that the weakened, ataxic hindquarters of pedigree German Shepherds is anatomically correct. The show German Shepherds are referred to as half-dog, half-frog because of their misshapen hocks.

As Professor Steve Jones, of the Department of Genetics, Evolution & Environment at the University College London, said, “it’s absolutely insane.”

H/T: Pharyngula, RSPCA.

15 thoughts on “Unnatural Selection”

  1. If you would like to see dog breeding done right. Research American Indian Dog ( AID ). They refuse AKC oversight and are arguably the healthiest, smartest dogs.

  2. Actually foreign kennel clubs are better.

    I HATE what US Kennel clubs have done to the slope of the back end of German Shepards. It is vile. So is pushed in noses of little breeds.

    What was formerly done in dog breeding (for thousands of years) was to breed for temperament. Dogs were bred to love humans, or guard them (without eating the baby next door), or to herd other animals and help find food.

    These are all qualities of character. Of course, some things required physical qualities to, but unless the dogs are actually used for those jobs we don’t know what to aim for. Terriers, for example need sloping pointy noses to dig at moles, etc.

    What is truly amazing (biologically) is the vast variety of the genetic pool residing in the humble and exceedingly noble, and often heroic race.

  3. This is what happens when something becomes decorative rather than functional. The problem is there’s a world of difference between an uncomfortable couch and a dog whose skin rips if it runs to fast.

  4. she makes about as much sense as the top three gop contenders.

    this weeks top three, anyway.

  5. Pete-

    Is she running for President of the U.S.Americans? She’s clearly the next step in U.S.American evolution, such as.

    Chris Matthews recently compared the potential G.O.P. candidates for President to the barroom scene in “Star Wars”.

    Almost makes you want to flee to the Eye-Rack, or South Africa, such as.

  6. yup. this is the reason “Lassie” is a ninnie these days; and why the people who loved Border Collies furiously resisted the AKC’s attempt to take that breed in and set “standards” for them.

  7. rcampbell,

    That was a great analogy … I’m going to co-opt it.

  8. And heaven forfend suggesting to an amateur who has just purchased his first pedigreed dog that s/he should table that great idea of backyard breeding their expensive pet to offset the cost of its purchase. Amateurs need to be informed about exactly what responsible breeding entails, like putting both dogs through whatever (expensive)genetic tests are available, as well as x-rays to predict future structural abnormalities (oops—there goes the profit!). Even these are not enough to identify dogs who are only carriers of, not sufferers of genetic diseases, but it’s a start.

    Meanwhile, after Missouri voters approved a ballot measure in 2010 to outlaw puppy mills, in April the state legislature passed and the governor signed a bill repealing that proposition. Why? ‘Cause puppy mills, to the chagrin of its citizens, are a big business in Missouri. And then they wonder why proponents of the most basic of animal rights turn radical.

  9. Thank you for providing a platform. The AKC is one of the biggest abusers of this and puppy mills for the simple reason of greed. They get a fee for registration papers taking the word for the breeder. The public believes the AKC regulates the industry when in fact they only regulate those that wish to be regulated. The harshest penalty they can assess is expulsion from the club. Then they just register under another name. They spend a great deal of effort promoting that there is NO problem in the industry.

  10. AY

    “All in the name of profits…” is another way of saying unregulated capitalism. I think this story serves as an excellent analogy to how the GOP believes our country should be run and what would happen if it did.

    They profess that unfettered capitalism is the ideal. We see in Nal’s story that these folks do to dog breeds pretty much whatever they want. The result of their unrestricted greed is the creation of mutations, illness, deformities and pain to the animals. This is callous disregard for the consequenses of their actions in the pursuit of personal gain.

    In much the same way, the lack of regulations or enforcement of regulations lead to the creation of new breeds of financial instruments ultimately causing quite a lot of pain and suffering to that much manipulated breed called the American people. We also eventually saw the effects of this thought process in selected breeds with dead miners in West Virginia and dead oil riggers in the Gulf along with the biggest environmental disaster in US history.

  11. lol

    Probably so, AY.

    Way too many families are breeding not just for smaller skull size, but smaller brain size and lower neural densities as well.

  12. Well Buddha….I’m betting brent still calls them family….

  13. There is a line between responsible animal husbandry and fetish.

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