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Pedigree Dog Inbreeding: Breeds That Have Been Devastated

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Published on May 26th, 2010 | by Yellow Magpie


Pedigree Dog Inbreeding: Breeds That Have Been Devastated

Pug Breed Commonly Affected By Pedigree Dog Inbreeding

Dogs and humans go back a long way. Thousands of years of mutual kinship has cemented our loving relationship with our canine friends. It is no accident that a dog is said to be ‘Man’s best friend.’ As a consequence of our close ties with dogs, we owe a duty of care to protect and look after these animals. These duty has been breached in the case of pedigree dog inbreeding.

Sadly, a lot of pedigree dog breeding has caused serious complications for dogs. Several breeds have been devastated by inbreeding and if current attitudes and habits persist many breeds will become infertile and die out such is the seriousness of the problem.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks

A recent BBC programme, Pedigree Dogs Exposed, highlighted the plight of many Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs. It is now known that the ‘ridge’ is a mild form of spina bifida. The ridge can cause serious complications for the breed.

Rodesian Ridgeback A Victim Of Pedigree Dog Inbreeding

About ten per cent of Rhodesian Ridgebacks suffer from dermoid sinus which are holes that can burrow the whole way into either the dog’s spinal cord or brain.

Pugs: Genetically Deformed

Pug dogs are one of the most inbred of all dog breeds. The pedigree is so inbred, genetically-speaking, it is more endangered than the Panda Bear.

Pug From 1915 With Little Signs Of Pedigree Dog Inbreeding

Knee disorders, stomach problems, larynx collapses, elongated soft pallets and breathing problems brought about because of its squashed face are just some of the issues that affects pugs.

Other problems pugs are also challenged with include a curvature of the spine and a propensity to suffer from eye injuries largely caused by a lack of facial structure which would normally protect the dog. The spinal problems are caused by dog breeder’s desire to have a curled tail called a ‘screw tail’.

Pug Showing Distinct Signs Of Pedigree Dog Inbreeding

Pedigree Dog Inbreeding: The Devastating Bulldog Changes

Modern English Bulldogs are a far cry from their bull-baiting predecessors. A popular myth that surrounds the dogs facial appearance is that the folds of skin are said to channel away the bull’s blood from the dog’s eyes. The facial structure is also said to allow the dog to breathe while it is holding on to the bull.

Painting Of An English Bulldog In 1790 By Philip Reinagle

Both of these stories can be proved to be false when one draws a comparison to the original dog. The much longer jawline and the absence of facial skin folds shows these notions to be fabrications.

If modern bulldogs were used for bull-baiting now, they would in all probability be killed by the bull as they lack the necessary agility.
The bulldog has become so distorted that assistance is often required for mating and birth. According to the Journal of Small Animal Practice 80 per cent of these dogs have to have a Caesarian section performed due to their large heads getting stuck in the birth canal.

English Bulldog Showing Signs Of Pedigree Dog Inbreeding Photo By Daryl Nickerson

Most airline companies will not fly bulldog, pekingese and pug breeds simply because they are prone to respiratory disease and dying on transit. One/fifth of these dogs die due to heart attacks.

Breeds Affected By Pedigree Inbreeding

  • Dachshunds originally had much longer legs. Now its stomach scraps along the ground. They are beset by joint and spinal problems.
  • Labradors experience joint and eye disorders.
  • Springer spaniels suffer from an enzyme deficiency found solely in that particular breed.
  • Golden Retrievers develop an abnormally high level of cancer.
  • The West Island Terrier are affected by a large number of allergies.
  • Basset hounds endure arthritis which plagues the breed when they reach old age.
  • Boxers suffer from heart disease, and a high rate of both cancer and epilepsy.

Perhaps the most visually acute case is that of the German Shepherd show-dogs which have difficulty walking. As a consequence, this type of extreme dog breeding has been widely criticised.

German Shepard Showdog Showing Signs of Pedigree Inbreeding

Recommended Reading From Amazon

Check out Yellow Magpie’s The Dog: Man’s Most Useful Best Friend for a more general discussion on what makes dogs so special.

For those who are interested in discovering more about the myriad of problems that surround pedigree dog breeding, the BBC Pedigree Dogs Exposed is an excellent place to start. It is freely available on Youtube.

For people who care about their dog’s health, Victoria Stilwell’s book, It is Me Or Your Dog: How To Have The Perfect Pet is the ultimate bible on the subject.

For people living in Ireland or the United Kingdom you can access It Is Me Or Your Dog: How To Have The Perfect Pet here.

For those living in Canada you can obtain It Is Me Or Your Dog: How To Have The Perfect Pet from here.

For Germany: It Is Me Or Your Dog: How To Have The Perfect Pet.

For France: It Is Me Or Your Dog: How To Have The Perfect Pet.

About the Author

7 Responses to Pedigree Dog Inbreeding: Breeds That Have Been Devastated

  1. Pingback: Dog Inbreeding: The Death Of The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

  2. I happened to watch the documentary on all of these dogs mostly in the UK, and as long as these (bad) in breeders are allowed to show these dogs at the prestigious Crofts Dog in a show ring is a total disgrace to the Kennel Club to allow this type of a dog, many in visible pain, or will eventually have pain due to all the inbreeding and future horrible complications as they get older, makes one wonder why the Kennel club would even consider to give “KUDOS” and ribbons to the inbreeding breeders…Yes I know one of the reasons for allowing this to continue,(quote”)~~”We will lose many of these breeders”!!!!! Therefore not even giving a chance for the” pure breeders”, who not only cherish their dogs enough to NOT EVEN consider breeding their dogs to just ” capture a title, according to the “standards~~~It seems to me that the Kennel club has more reasons to keep showing these dogs~~and I looked at the pictures of all these dogs as they were in the 1830’s there in No comparison to today’s in bred dogs as to which one will win if they are “put up against the in breeders creations~..By far the dogs of over a hundred years ago are the purist form and really much more beautiful, than the inbred dogs of today….So ~~SHAME on the Kennel club for being so very narrow minded and care about losing any monies or even these in bred dogs to show , provided by these so-called In Breeders. What the Kennel club should have is not only a Very High Standard of all tests, including DNA, but a thorough back round check on all breeders and all the lines of pedigree for every new litter produced~~But of course , like anything else, these papers can be forged and it wouldn’t surprise me if this has already been done ,to qualify !!! All depends on how much money these in- breeders value the dogs they show, only after “culling” all the innocent puppies that do not suit their in -breeding standards . Could it be that the puppies that have culled are really what the breed should look like ?~~How very sad and callous, and most of all NO consciences…SHAME on them also !!! And one more thing I’d like to mention~~~I heard what the “Higher ups” in the Kennel Club~had to say~~(~WHO in my mind ARE NOT TRUE DOG LOVERS)~~and are so stubborn and narrow minded that they would not even consider taking a stand or side for these ordinary “silent dogs” for they have no voices , and those that try and give a voice to these beautiful dogs to make the Kennel Club and All the people involved with this tunnel vision, to try and understand, read all reports, all genetic reports and conditions, and most of all …existing conditions , for which these dogs must suffer
    All of these dogs mentioned , but the one breed that has my sympathy, is the King Charles Caviler~~~a beautiful head who through “selective breeding” made it too small and can no longer accommodate the brain and the horrible pain that these innocent dogs will eventually incur,may also be the demise of this beautiful dog. The word most of us will understand is EXTINCT ~~~ I do wonder if the in breeders would proudly wear a badge and a picture of all the dogs that they happily breed, because of No common sense, Or would they just like to keep this their “ugly “secret”
    I remain a True dog lover~~shaken to the core by the outrageous in-breeders who have and will continue to produce sickly/ hurting deformed dogs and will not give it a second~~again I say SHAME ON THESE IN BREEDERS.!!!

    Charleyne Kerchner


  3. Yellow Magpie says:

    Thanks for your detailed and sincere comment, Charleyne. It was greatly appreciated.

  4. Isaac says:

    I think when people adopt “purebred” pets, we contribute to a culture and industry that sees genetically deformed animals as “cute” or “pedigree”. Most people are so blinded by this way of thinking that when they witness a pug snorting, sneezing, or gasping for air after just mild exercise or heat exposure, they think it’s just part of what gives the dog “character”, and not the effect of a grossly deformed nose, mouth, jaw and skull. I say stay away from ALL exploited breeds like the pug and adopt a mutt from a shelter, and if you must breed pets, breed for health FIRST.

  5. Yellow Magpie says:

    Thanks for your comment, Isaac. That is sage advise.

  6. JD Kraaikamp says:

    I had four very dear dogs in the past, all mixed breeds. One turned me against docking–her tail was amputated and it occurred to me what a severe “speech impediment” it gave her.

    I say “amputated” rather than “docked” because her tail was run over and pulled off; the remains got infected and so she had the rest of her tail removed.

  7. Yellow Magpie says:

    Thanks for your comment, JD.

    Yes, it is best to avoid the needless tail-cutting. The dog doesn’t care if it has a long tail and too many of these operations are botched and go terribly wrong.

    Sorry to hear about your dog being run over.

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