According to Wikipedia “Purebreds, also called purebreeds, are cultivated varieties or cultivars of an animal species, achieved through the process of selective breeding. When the lineage of a purebred animal is recorded, that animal is said to be pedigreed.” In other words, if a German shepherd mates with another German shepherd, their pups will have similar characteristics to their parents and not to other breeds in their gene pool. However, just like human babies may have congenital defects due to their parents being related, breeding from too small a gene pool, especially direct inbreeding, can lead to the passing on of undesirable characteristics. It may even cause a collapse of a breed population due to inbreeding depression. Therefore there has always been a debate about when to allow ‘outside’ stock for breeding purposes as this can improve the overall health and vigor of the breed. Purebred animal breeds are also susceptible to a wide range of congenital health problems. Then why do humans demand for purebred pets? Why is an animal, whose ancestry has been recorded, considered a better pet than a mutt? These questions are simply beyond me, especially after knowing the ill effects of pure breeding. My article is going to focus on the effect of this, especially on dogs.
Genetic conditions are a particular problem for dog breeds that do not accept any outside breed or blood. Most kennel clubs make a dog breed with its parents or siblings, which is morally as well as genetically disgusting. Some of the most common conditions arise from inbreeding. These include hip dysplasia, seen in large breed dogs, von Willebrand disease, a disease that affects platelets that is inherited in Doberman Pinschers, entropion, a curling in of the eyelid seen in Shar Peis and many other breeds, progressive retinal atrophy, inherited in many breeds, deafness, and epilepsy, known to be inherited in Belgian Shepherd Dogs, German Shepherd Dogs, Cocker Spaniels, and St. Bernards. Many dogs are bred with exaggerated features to please dog show judges! In reality, not only do ‘purebred’ dogs riddle with genetic diseases, but dog breeds are not even a real thing! We have made them up! We often talk about dog breeds as if nature created them that way and as though every mutt were just a mix of different purebreeds. But in reality, mutts are healthier than the so called ‘purebreds’ and pure-breeding is a sort of genetic manipulation humans made up just to amuse themselves. 90% of all dog breeds have been created in the last century! Because our ancestors thought that dogs should live upto our arbitrary standards, even though it causes them to get sick and die.
In 2008, the BBC ran a documentary on the health problems in pedigree dogs.A summary of the main points of that documentary are as follows:
- 60% of Golden retrievers die of cancer.
- 1 in 3 of King Charles’ Spaniels have skulls that are smaller than their brains!
- Great Danes are so huge that their hearts cannot support their bodies!
- Male Dalmations have difficulty in urinating due to stone formation.
- Bull dogs are a total genetic failure and are victims of borderline animal abuse! They can barely breath due to their squashed noses, their heads are so big that they can only give birth through caesarian, their tails can become ingrown, they have hip dysplasia and their average life expectancy is 6 years!
- The Bull Terriers have respiratory diseases due to their oversized snouts, supernumerary teeth and are compulsive tail-chasers.
- The Basset Hound has suffered too many changes to its rear leg structure that has made it stand so low that its stomach nearly touches the ground! It also has excessive skin, vertebra problems, droopy eyes prone to entropion and ectropion and excessively large ears.
- The Boxer have an extremely short snout, has difficulty in breathing, has lower hindquarters and has difficulty controlling its temperature in hot weather. It also has one of the highest cancer and many of them suffer from seizures.
- The Dachshunds are prone to dwarfism and do not have properly functional legs or necks for their size. There is barely any clearance between their chest and the floor.
- The mutations in German Shepherd Dogs serve no purpose but have made it an imbalanced breed that is more prone to cancer.
- The St. Bernard is oversized, has difficulty breathing and has too much skin due to which it quickly overheats and cannot work like thebreed was meant to. Their common diseases include entropion, ectropion, Stockard’s paralysis, hemophilia, osteosarcoma, aphakia and fibrinogen deficiency.
- Pugs have high blood pressure, heart problems, low oxygenation, difficulty breathing, tendency to overheat, dentition problems, and skin fold dermatitis. Even their double curled tail is a genetic defect that leads to paralysis in serious cases.
When new born puppies don’t fit the ridiculous and harmful breed standards imposed by us humans, who like to play God all the time, they are culled by the breeder. Completely healthy puppies are euthanized, just because they don’t look perfect. This is sick. The next time you feel like bringing a pup home, pick up a stray or adopt one from the animal shelter. But I beg you to not ask for a ‘purebred pedigreed’ dog, because that is just wrong and against the laws of nature.