Dogs: 100 Years of Breed “Improvement”

Dogs: 100 Years of Breed “Improvement”

Postby Nutso » Thu Jul 16, 2015 6:31 pm

https://dogbehaviorscience.wordpress.co ... provement/

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It seems incredible that at one time the Bull Terrier was a handsome, athletic dog. Somewhere along its journey to a mutated skull and thick abdomen the bull terrier also picked up a number of other maladies like supernumerary teeth and compulsive tail-chasing.

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The Basset Hound has gotten lower, has suffered changes to its rear leg structure, has excessive skin, vertebra problems, droopy eyes prone to entropion and ectropion and excessively large ears.

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A shorter face means a host of problems. The modern Boxer not only has a shorter face but the muzzle is slightly upturned. The boxer – like all bracecyphalic dogs – has difficulty controlling its temperature in hot weather, the inability to shed heat places limits on physical performance. It also has one of the highest cancer rates.

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The Dachshund used to have functional legs and necks that made sense for their size. Backs and necks have gotten longer, chest jutted forward and legs have shrunk to such proportions that there is barely any clearance between the chest and floor. The dachschund has the highest risk of any breed for intervertebral disc disease which can result in paralysis; they are also prone to achondroplastic related pathologies, PRA and problems with their legs.

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The German Shepherd Dog is also a breed that is routinely mentioned when people talk about ruined breeds; maybe because they used to be awesome. In Dogs of All Nations, the GSD is described as a medium-sized dog (25 kg /55 lb), this is a far cry from the angulated, barrel-chested, sloping back, ataxic, 85-pounders (38 kg) we are used to seeing in the conformation ring. There was a time when the GSD could clear a 2.5 meter (8.5 ft) wall; that time is long gone.


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The Pug is another extreme brachycephalic breed and it has all the problems associated with that trait – high blood pressure, heart problems, low oxygenation, difficulty breathing, tendency to overheat, dentition problems, and skin fold dermatitis. The highly desirable double-curl tail is actually a genetic defect, in more serious forms it leads to paralysis.


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Once a noble working dog, the modern Saint Bernard has been oversized, had its faced squished in, and bred for abundant skin. You will not see this type of dog working, they can’t handle it as they quickly overheat. The diseases include entropion, ectropion, Stockard’s paralysis, hemophilia, osteosarcoma, aphakia, fibrinogen deficiency.
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Re: Dogs: 100 Years of Breed “Improvement”

Postby Graham Kennedy » Thu Jul 16, 2015 6:52 pm

Dog breeding as it exists today is a horrific insult to nature.
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Re: Dogs: 100 Years of Breed “Improvement”

Postby Teaos » Thu Jul 16, 2015 7:18 pm

People get uppity at me for having a half Corgy half poodle. I say buying pure breed is cruel usually. Mix breeds tend to live longer and healthier lives.
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Re: Dogs: 100 Years of Breed “Improvement”

Postby McAvoy » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:01 pm

To be honest, alot has to do with backyard breeding. Even though incest typically isn't an issue for animals compared to humans (there is more genetic diversity between brother and sister apes than human strangers). These backyard breeders are basically breeding their dogs to their brother or sister or even sons and daughters. And then they retire the old dogs and use one of those inbred dogs to breed more.

The good breeders are the ones who go for as much genetic diversity as possible. They also mandate neuter and spaying for any puppies they sell to avoid competition but also the backyard breeding.

Let's keep in mind also that breeders today are trying to fix the problems previous breeders cause. For example, the so called American Mastiff looks identical to an English Mastiff except they were bred to be far healthier. Such as no hip dysplasia that is common with large dogs and a nice side affect is that they don't drool as much. I think they live an extra one or two years. If I remember correctly, the original family that did this basically recreated the breed by basically making them mutts from a few breeds.
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Re: Dogs: 100 Years of Breed “Improvement”

Postby RK_Striker_JK_5 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:12 pm

Graham Kennedy wrote:Dog breeding as it exists today is a horrific insult to nature.

Couldn't have said it better myself. I can only shake my head at what's been done to those animals.
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Re: Dogs: 100 Years of Breed “Improvement”

Postby McAvoy » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:15 pm

I will admit that there are idiot breeders who breed these poor dogs with a trait that is actually a hindrance to them as a dog. Right now, people are trying to breed dogs into these mini versions of themselves because they look like puppies.
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Re: Dogs: 100 Years of Breed “Improvement”

Postby Mikey » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:32 pm

Most of these - and similar - bred traits are the result of selective breeding for a real-world purpose, albeit done by generations of people without any idea of the medical issues that would follow. Dachshunds and bassetts, for example, have been bred to have carriages lower to the ground in order to help fetch prey from burrows and dens; boxers have been bred to have their characteristic shorter muzzle in order to protect the face from strikes from an opponents forepaws (they do earn their breed name, after all,) etc., etc. I'm not saying that it's the right thing to do to breed in all those issues, even unknowingly; but I am saying that in general, it wasn't done either maliciously or whimsically.
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