Pedigree Dogs Exposed

Pedigree Dogs Exposed

2008, Nature  -   110 Comments
Ratings: 8.19/10 from 162 users.

Pedigree Dogs ExposedPedigree dogs are suffering from genetic diseases following years of inbreeding, an investigation has found. A BBC documentary says they are suffering acute problems because looks are emphasised over health when breeding dogs for shows. The programme shows spaniels with brains too big for their skulls and boxers suffering from epilepsy. The Kennel Club says it works tirelessly to improve the health of pedigree dogs.

Pedigree animals make up 75% of the seven million dogs in the UK and cost their owners over £10m in vets’ fees each week. The programme, Pedigree Dogs Exposed, says dogs suffering from genetic illness are not prevented from competing in dog shows and have gone on to win “best in breed”, despite their poor health. It says physical traits required by the Kennel Club’s breed standards, such as short faces, wrinkling, screw-tails and dwarfism, have inherent health problems.

Other problems occur because of exaggerations bred into dogs by breeders trying to win rosettes, it adds. The programme shows a prize-winning cavalier King Charles spaniel suffering from syringomyelia, a condition which occurs when a dog’s skull is too small for its brain. It also features boxers suffering from epilepsy, pugs with breathing problems and bulldogs who are unable to mate or give birth unassisted.

It says deliberate mating of dogs which are close relatives is common practice and the Kennel Club registers dogs bred from mother-to-son and brother-to-sister matings. Scientists at Imperial College, London, recently found that pugs in the UK are so inbred that although there are 10,000 of them, it is the equivalent of just 50 distinct individuals. Steve Jones, professor of genetics at University College London, said: "People are carrying out breeding which would be first of all entirely illegal in humans and secondly is absolutely insane from the point of view of the health of the animals. “In some breeds they are paying a terrible price in genetic disease."

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110 Comments / User Reviews

  1. I have to point out my appreciation for your kindness for individuals that have the need for guidance on this important content. Your real commitment to passing the message around was really insightful and have without exception encouraged somebody much like me to achieve their dreams. Your new insightful guideline indicates so much to me and even further to my office workers. Thanks a ton; from everyone of us.

  2. One change that may help on the showing level, and what some responsible breeders already do:
    That in order to breed, a dog must earn points in dog shows that are based on their working skills, such as shepherding, tracking, agility, and schutzhund. A dog with health problems can't do any of these things well. It would also help prove (or rather debunk) assertions made by breeders that such things as very long ears, short legs, skin folds, etc, are to help the dog in their job.
    Still a bit problematic for dog breeds that were bred for companionship or for sports that are outlawed now (shar-peis and bulldogs to name a couple), though for companionship, what better measure of their companionship than that they have a long healthy life to enjoy it with you?

  3. There’s a simple way to change the breeds. Only one rule change would be needed... that would be only SENIOR dogs over 3/4 of the dogs breed standard of average age can be shown. The sick, deformed, and ill will be weeded out. You’d see healthier dogs and they would be more appealing to the public and breeders at that point. And collect semen, yet not approve any litters of a dam or sire for registrations unless parentage shows senior winners. Add genetic testing if animals are not shown or to qualify for breed registers if breeding without senior breed verified health.

    1. Except one problem: senior females either can't have puppies or have more issues having healthy litters. Sometimes age alone can also lead to more random mutations in offspring.

  4. Anybody care to draw parallels to royal families?

  5. A dog is NOT a fashion statement. Sadly because of the flexibility in genetic s it makes it easier to 'breed' certain features in to a dog. Some of these features can be beneficial and useful.. However there comes a point of diminishing returns with inbreeding and all you end up with is genetic 'junk' that cannot survive easily and requires a huge amount of care. For some people that is fine because they view their dog as a surrogate child and it's ailments are something they can lavish their attention on. Missie is SO delicate that she can only eat tiny bite sized pieces etc etc.
    But that is doing a vast disservice to the dog and does not promote a happy and problem free lifestyle.
    But introduce monies and prestige in to any human activity and you will quickly see the activity distorted and sullied (think the children's talent shows etc). It's even worse if the activity involved a living being as it's welfare is the first to suffer.
    For the issues in this film to be solved the problems must be dealt with by people outside of the breed industry as it is apparent that it cannot be 'self policed' by the representatives.

  6. Why is this Obvious animal cruelty... for money... not punished?? If you want a dog get a Boerenfox... or a dog like that... they have them in spain and in sweden too...small manycoloured short haired farmyard dogs...that bred themselves for centuries. They get old...know one that got as old as 21.. with no health problems.. they are medium size... normal legs, normal snout.. they look like longlegged jackrussels... but less ADHD...get a mongrel in other words...healthy dogs can easely get as old as 15 years old...and can breath normally, their legs don't fall off...they have a normal long snout.. no eye problems.. think people...don't buy a surgate baby...get a real dog...

  7. Great documentary! Keep raising awareness!! Dogs are man's best friend, lets prove we can be their friend too. #healthismostimportant

  8. I wish there was a follow up of this documentary, things are far worse. Now with the trend to not even let your 'fashion' dog walk i.e TOWIE
    It is about time the UK government (when we have one) actually looks at this whole countries animal welfare rules and puts a stop to this sickening practice.

  9. This is an extremely distressing subject.Firstly we need to get rid of any and all puppy mills. Do not confront directly,but do not hesitate. Secondly,report any and all back yard breeders, (who are just as bad). If you interview a breeder about an adoption and they have no idea what genetic testing for the eradication of pending diseases, do not do business with them. These people are trading animals lives+health for money, usually a lot. They advertise on e Bay all the time. I interviewed breeders for 4 years before i trusted one enough to adopt from her. I have two happy healthy joyful active Italian greyhounds and they are the light of my life. But in the process I discovered horrible things.. An attorney who kept her dogs in crates 24/7, A popular breeder who had bred her dam thru 8 litters and the poor mum never got to exercise or play. Not surprisingly her puppies were very small.. A show dog who also lived in a cage 24/7 while the show handler scooted from one high end Dog show to another. The dog was never socialized and was a basket case. I found most of the "big " breeders incredibly arrogant to deal with,which gives you an idea of how they treat their dogs. When is there going to be an authority to deal with this matter. Dogs, whether pedigreed or multi breed, give us their love ,their lives and their trust. We have to return this with proper care and turn in any one we see not doing the right thing.

  10. We seriously need to neuter a ton of breeds or mix them now.

    We can't keep letting animals be born to suffer like this.

  11. Pugs, weiner dogs, and bulldogs are just a few of the breeds that stand out in my mind in terms of unhealthy and borderline animal cruelty. These breeds have all been inbred to make harmful genetic mutations dominant. The kinds of mutations that would not have survived had natural selection played a role in their development. These people could care less though, they have a fetish for strange looking pedigree dogs and hate "mutts".

  12. BBC propergander at it finest ,humans of different races have genetic illness specific to each race ,are we all interbreed to much as well ?
    Cows sheep all animals have this ,oops sorry nature but evolution doesn't make mutations ,or does it ?
    different debate but personal choice through history changes what is desired be it by nature and environment or any other reasons .

    So the main issue is messing with genetics it seems? so whats your views on gmo and other mutagens such as plastics and radiation ?

    these are new things such as genetic engineering .were as dog breeding on the hole was from tampering hundreds of years ago and its come back to bite ;)

  13. There are lots of cute mutts in Mexico

  14. the problem is your "pure bred" animal as a much narrower gene selection than a mutt does. The degree of inbreeding or selectively breeding in one breed is the mutations associated with the white coat or short snout also piggyback other things like a bedlington terrier prone to copper storage disease, and all sorts of breed specific illnesses, well guess what its from. Its from an over manipulation of selective breeding. We are taking out traits we dont see fit, but in doing so removing the variability that makes a gene pool healthy. Sorry breeders and AKC but listen to your vets, damn your pedigree, lets breed some healthy love lived loving companions and not your genetic sideshow. Its hard to think, if only this pup was a mutt, how much healthier it would have been.

  15. I totally disagree with the person below, Juha Soini, who attempts to instigate fear and wariness about shelter dogs as opposed to purebred! I have a good friend who works with rescue dogs, focusing on so-called dangerous breeds and the fact is that unless those dogs have been BRED for certain traits such as aggression or have other types of temperamental instability due to bad BREEDING, it is totally 100% possible to rehabilitate even the most badly abused animal. I have seen her take a scarred, missing-ear pitbull, that was once trained for fighting and then discarded, and modify its behavior through training until it could be safely left alone with a newborn baby. Genetic diversity is weakened through pure-bred regimes and this is absolutely inarguable! I find it shameful that someone would try to dissuade people from adopting a shelter dog in favour of buying a vanity accessory like a purebred. Check out Used Dogs of New Orleans to see the amazing work my friend does!

  16. This is animal cruelty - it should be illegal to purposely inflict ill health and disability by such breeding and the Kennel Club should all be sued too as their disregard for the lives of dogs promotes such animal cruelty.

  17. Because of these Assholes destroying 90% of the canine gene pool to make freaks of nature for their dog shows, the rest of us have so few options for healthy dogs.
    Also, did you notice how ugly all of the Kennel Club people are? I have never seen such an ugly bunch of humans all in one place

  18. At the end of the day it comes down to one thing and one thing only. Money! Show winners demand higher stud fees, puppies are more expensive..
    I don't understand how it is okay, to keep on breeding healthy or sickly pups, when the shelters are full of dogs and hundreds and thousands are getting euthanized for no other reason but being surplus.
    I've had dogs all my life and never, ever bought from a breeder and never would.

  19. This is why I breed my dogs right.. I do not breed my dogs the way some people do. This is what is called line breeding. Dogs are not healthy. I want the best dogs I can get..

    1. With all due respect, but why would you be breeding anyways, when the shelters are full of unwanted dogs. It's a money game, that's all it boils down to.

    2. I would not put a shelterdog that may have all kinds of underlying health an behavioral problems before a dog bred by a REPUTABLE breeder. I can assure you that breeding 1-4 litters a year is not a money game. Do not confuse reputable breeders with puppy farms.

    3. And u don't think these ppl in the dog shows breed for money? The dog has health issues but they just breed these dogs just because they "won" some title which will mean nothing in a nothing few years cause they die of disease or other problems. These ppl know this but yet they do this. Even if it is a REPUTABLE breeder they are sick! Hello? Don't they get it? the dog is sick n they still want to carry on the sickness to other poor dogs? and are u so sure that they don't do it for money? This is a game to humans. Dogs. not humans. but imagine if it were your children? would u do the same?

    4. I'm sorry, but neither you or the maker of this documentary have enough insight into the dog breeding society to be able to make any educated comments. It is so easy to just follow the crowd and in this case believe a sensation driven journalist.

      I do know that there are some breeds that need a lot of work to get rid of unwanted treats and unhealthy genes. At the same time most of the breeds are thriving with reputable breeders that take good care of their dogs doing all the necessary health checks and extensive research before any mating. Sure there is money to be made selling puppies, but even more to lose counting all veterinary costs, premium food and caring for potential breeding stock that may not be breedable for some health related reason.

  20. this is so sad.... and sick and shows the absolute ignorance of humans as a whole

  21. wow this pisses me off to the extreme if. i used to think a" pedigree" dog was the best dog. but now i know its just and inbred diseases dog that is paraded around by owners. is it really that serious to win a dumb competition by putting a dog at risk?? if i get a dog ill get one ans another of an entirely different breed to give the pups a better chance at life. the whole point of mating is so the offspring can better survive....i swear humans are cruel m*rons....

  22. it is not that we thont want to lear it is the fac that makin purebreed dogs have alot of effects on them (genetic effects)

  23. Animals don't have "ethics"? Try cheating your dog and see what happens.

    Hint: They will be very unhappy. Just look into those doggy eyes and you may not see human intelligence looking back at you, but you will see an aware being that understands what just happened.

    "Fair play" is something any social species understands. It's part of how they act socially. You can argue that that is 'instinctive' behavior; it is just an instinct in humans as well. Our concept of "ethics" comes about because we can talk about it. I think sometimes our big brains make us arrogant in a peculiar way.

    Just google "dogs fair play" and you'll find a number of links to research.

  24. This is so sad. Why do humans always have to screw things up? We have got to be the most useless, destructive creature ever to be given the gift of life.

    1. As someone/something with a much higher intelligence once said: "we're a primitive and violent race." I tend to agree.

      The time has come to put a stop to these so-called "breeders", we're only ruining nature's work here.

  25. These poor dogs should be put down as much as I hate to say it. What a sad, horrible way for these dogs to have to exist. This breaks my heart :(

  26. It seems that this documentary is showing a one sided view of pedigree's and professionals in show and breeding world. I have a pure breed with a pedigree as long as my arm and she reacted to a vaccine and now has an autoimmune disease. Many dogs look to us as humans as if they are suffering but as long as the pet is totally cared for, able to play and eat and live normally, I would not put one down any more than a human child diagnosed with a seizure disorder or something.

    1. Replace "Dog" with "Person" and show a child being bread for specific characteristics that spends its whole life screaming because its brain is compressed inside its skull and try to justify a "One Sided View". Basic Genetics are understood by even the least educated person in the modern world and the same way you would never fu*k your dad, we shouldn't be breeding animals the same way, either.

      Knowing the results of even a handful of "unethical" breeders means that the whole system should be put under the spotlight because if you want a Pure strain, you know you'll be getting an animal that has a limited gene pool and a high potential for sickness, no matter how "Ethical" a breeder claims to be.

      There IS NO EXCUSE for what is being done and as long as you have a limited gene pool, you'll have a potential for genetic illness that causes animals harm.

  27. As long as dogs are not fed properly, ie kibble, and being pumped full of mercury in vaccines yearly, how can we EVER have totally healthy dogs? The air,soil and water of the earth have been so tainted, environmental toxins are preventing good health in all God's creatures, so birth defects are going to happen until man cleans up his act and then many of the so called "hereditary" problems will disappear. I know this, because I see so many problems in the mixed breeds that I groom in a vet clinic 5 days a week.

  28. Why does it say that "this video is private" and I can't see it?

  29. People that breed these dogs Knowing what problems there can/will be from it have No right to even be on planet earth, to hurt abuse any animal the same should be done to them. I for one think people who do this are cruel and mean and hateful, their pride and Oh "look at me i won a prize" tells what kind of people they are.

  30. @someone1966
    I like the point you make that you can choose the breed dog you want to have, if you want a show dog, working dog or 'mutt' then there should be nothing stopping you. But there will be, if what they claim is true, if some pedigree breeds become extinct.
    Breeding Pedigree(/purebred) dogs is not curel and I don't think the documentry is trying to say (in fact I believe its trying to save pedigrees). BUT don't get the word pedigree confused with inbred.
    Humans tend not to marry their close relatives (inbreed) for three main reasons:
    One. Emotions (which can be agrue does not afflict dogs, i have no idea if it does or not).
    Two. Social taboo and its agasint the law in most countries. It is oftenfrowned upon / shuned by society. Take other animals, the social life of many animals trend to prvent such 'taboo' relations from happening - like lions, elephants, swans etc. So why are we forcing dogs to inbred like this?
    Three. The other reason is down to reducing the chance of inherited diseases or conditions. The social stuggma of web toes must of come from somewhere. If you take royal famillies into account: have a look at hemophelia being passed down through the male side (rarely affects females because of their double X chromosome) of the royal families across Europe, this is exatly what we are see in pedigrees but not just one condition there are MANY being passed down and is becoming worse. A large gene pool will prevent a disease from overtaking a speices.

  31. Mark Evans astounds me, is there any presenter who has achieved as much as him? I see this guy in everything !

  32. @Someone1966 .. sympathetic drivel .. and mostly denial .. would you prefer a pug of yesteryear or a contemporary designed highly potential, grossly mutated health liability .. but uniquely undog like .. you state as if there is no problem here ... forget the residual with the source

  33. PEOPLE, CALM YOUR STUFF! first off, I am a avid dog & cat lover. I am against animal abuse of any kind, Pure breeding a dog or cat is NOT cruel and unusual punishment. I believe it's sad and awful that people are inbreeding these outstanding breeds, which I believe that it should not ever happen, that is most likely destroying the breeds and increasing their health problems. There is thousands of beautiful purebred puppies and purebred grown animals that are in rescue shelters, and that were rescued from puppy mills! I believe such beautiful dogs need a home and TLC, as I say any rescue dog needs a home, no dog should be treated any different weather if there purebred or a mixed breed, they are equally perfect in my eyes. I am also a avid pug lover, and would love to adopt a pug puppy or rescue a pug, or even pugs. I hope there is a way to fix all the health problems with all of these dogs. Purebred dogs are very important in my life because they were bred for a purpose, either performing a certain task or being a companion family dog. Several generations of our families and ancestors have had purebred dogs or cats in their lifetime, never let the purebred animals go extant. Don't hate purebred dogs or cats, love them just the same as any mix breed animals. If I want a purebred dog then I'll go to a breeder and adopt one there or rescue one, if I want a mutt, then I want a mutt. It's my choice and no one else's. People should be much more wiser when they adopt a dog and know about the breeds family history. This stupid documentary, has no right or wrong. It breaks my heart to see all of these dogs suffer, and I don't like how this documentary is pointing fingers and how it is playing the blame game, enough already!. Like I said before, breeders should never incest their dogs together, this is what most likely caused all these health problems in these dogs, inbreeding is not honest pure-breeding, that should be the moral of this documentary. NOTE: this documentary takes place in England, not the United States! and not to mention that this documentary was made in 2008 almost 4 years ago, I know a ton of people who have had a purebred dog for a LONG time, and they are all living very healthy happy spoiled lives! Only one I know of passed away, but it was from a tragic accident, SO I don't understand why people are storming up a fuss now, since this documentary came out a while ago!.

    1. Where do you think breeders will be able to get a new influx of healthy genetics for dogs that are meant to be "Pure"? You can't have a Pure Breed without an extremely limited breeding pool. It is a concept that can be maintained for a while, but eventually you will always find a lack of new genetic materials to keep the breed healthy and it will start to suffer the effects of inbreeding. Just because it hasn't happened, yet, to all breeds doesn't mean that it won't be the end result of them ALL.

  34. This makes me so angry! Some of these breeders are so unbelievably ignorant. Even when the facts are laid out in front of them they refuse to budge on the belief that a 'good looking' dog is a good example of the breed, irrespective of inherited and congenital disease.

  35. I am in no way perfect nor have I ever deemed myself anywhere close to the term. I always seen myself as a student of the world, a child of nature and gardener/steward/protector of the world once I gained some knowledge of that whom I swore to protect. ...whether this be the students whom I teach or the animals whom I take in as pets. I do my best to help as much as possible.No one likes to see another being (human or otherwise) suffer or be abused. Even hunters do what they can to quicken death because no one ought to go through slow death and pain. My father taught me how to fish and to quickly end a fishs' life to end his or her pain fast. What these breeders are doing isn't just criminal but worse than barbaric. They must not have any souls to which to call upon. How can you not see that inbreeding only results in the pain of a species.

    I so agree that breeders and owners ought to take responsibilities of their animals. As a pet owner (I prefer the term animal stewardess), I regard myself as a parent/ protector/steward of the life or lives of the creature or creatures who I buy or take in as a pet or pets. I know that my pets... errr... my babies (one dog and 10 variety of freshwater fishes, 11 in the future due to a potential addition of an adopted captive Ryukin)are my responsibilities. It is my job to feed, house, and look after them. To make sure all their needs are met and that they're healthy. Even though my mixed chow/sharppard/wolf dog rarely gets sick, I still worry and sympathize when he even gets something as normal as a single flea, because I know it hurts like hell. Even my fishies get special treatment. I check on them twice to four times a day to see if they're ok and healthy. It's not their fault that people abandon them. :( Why should they suffer because someone doesn't want them any more. Even if they are just fishes, I still believe they feel pain and because they aren't wild fishies... they're born into the human world... they can't be set free. I feel that they're so use to humans that they may not feed on their own unless their is a human in presence. This is so true to one of the fantails whom I call King David (due to his wisdom and kindness towards the other fishes). King David wouldn't feed unless I was around and that I group his flakes/ food in a designated place within the tank. O_O How sentient is that? Anyways as pet owners or animal breeders... well overall being the most domineering beings on this planet... we need to take responsibilities of the creature or creatures whom we invite into our lives. Hell... I take responsibilities of abandoned fishes for crying out loud. I know for some of you that is no big deal and properly normal, but in my cultural upbringing fishes are food not pets, so it is very strange for me to be a steward to a food source and being protective of them. If this fish eater can take responsibilities of looking after abandoned pet fishes, than everyone else who has a pet or pets ought to be able to take responsibilities and look after their babies.

    I also agree with many of the posts here...these breeders and dog club owners ought to be ashamed. They are also a disgrace within the dog world. All the current dog breeds of today AREN"T anywhere near to their original selves. *points to the Bulldog* This dog was such a useful, powerful and most frightening of all the dogs... if you think Pitbulls are aggressive, you never met an original Bulldog. Bulldogs are now truly a shadow of their formal selves. I pity this breed. Oh... and the German Sheppard just rips my heart out. My parents showed me what a true German Shepard was and it was nowhere close to that of the show ring version. ...and why aren't white German Sheppard accepted as a standard? I have this American dog breed book and the white version is accepted as a standard of the breed... the same goes for the long hair variety. O_o

    As for the doc itself. It's very insightful and detailed in some aspects. I loved how the director/camera lady interrogated the club owners and breeders for encouraging the act of inbreeding the purebreds. There were some things I did wanted to see more of. One of the things I would've liked the documentary to show was how the Chinese Crested came to be. That is one ugly looking dog breed. Even my man was like "WTF?!" I would've liked them to show who thought that a mostly shaven dog was consider beauty and purposeful. Anyways the documentary was a rare treat from PBS. Even my man was getting into watching it. I think this was one PBS program he hasn't seen yet and it was very informative, yet entertaining. We both laughed at seeing the Komondor (aka the mop dog). My man found out that Neapolitan Mastiffs were ugly dogs too (besides the Chinese Crested). LOL He now understands why I have a bias preference towards mixed dogs, especially after seeing all of the seizures that occurred within this program. He really wanted to punch the ignorance, overzealous Brit who believed in inbreeding dogs and that it was different from people. I wanted to smack some logic into the over-privilege British prick. I was like....*immitates Chris from Family Guy* WHHHAAAAH!? *normal* Inbreeding results deformities and illnesses, regardless of the species.... dumb-tard!Maybe the kennel club owner/ prick himself was the result of inbreeding. LOL >_>

    I still can't believe there are some ignorant pet breeders and pet owners within the comment area of this video. O_O Wow! The pathetic-ness of my species ceases to amaze me. No empathy at all for the animals whom you swore to protect and be guardians of. I hope you irresponsible abusers reincarnate into the dogs or pets whom you use and abuse, so you can face the same sufferings and hardships as them.

    BTW, Thank you for the video. Very fascinating indeed.

  36. OH AND NOTE, breeders COI's are USELESS if you calculate under 6 generations. Ideally you want 10. Over 10 is not needed.

  37. In my opinion people SHOULD have to have a license to be breeders and that they should be required to have a basic understanding of genetics. If you keep a dogs COI's down between 6-10% then in general this will result in a healthy dog. For breeds that have been inbred extensively it should be up to the clubs to try to breed toward this goal. Brackett's cross can be used from time to time to Set Type, but then the goal should be back to lowering the COI's. Structurally, if a dog has physical issues that harm it then obviously the trait should not be allowed to perpetuate. If a dog cant reproduce on it's own without human intervention then it is unethical to breed. A bit of ethics and common sense would go a long way. But what is the option as far as this article? MUTT breeders?! Millions of mutts are put down in the pounds every year, they also have issues. No one should ever support mutt breeders. They have no goal, no plan of action.

  38. Have you noticed that all of the Kennel Club breeders are from the older generation, we need to encourage the younger generation to become part of the Kennel Club so that a change is made to these poor pedigrees. Changes will not be made if the same people are in charge of breeding and judging these mutant dogs, we need fresh new ideas that will hopefully make a difference to the way these dogs are bred. I just think what they have done to dogs is wrong, why should we allow it to go on any longer!

  39. Absolutely disgusting. I don't know which is the worst, the Idiots who buy these dogs & perpetuate this cruelty to the animals or those who spend £10,million a week on vets fees when there are Human beings dying in the world because of poverty & a lack of clean drinking water. As it said in the doc, it's just eugenics & no different to what the Nazi's were trying to do, only to animals instead of Humans. This practice should be made illegal, it is just wide scale animal abuse. The chairman of the British vets association only agrees with it because of all the money that he is making out of it. All true animal lovers should boycott any company that sponsors these disgusting dog shows, that openly promote animal abuse.

    1. Agreed. A friend of mine is a "Dog Lover" but only buys pure breeds... Specifically a British breed that is ginger and looks like a giant red cotton ball. She's had 3 dogs from the same breeder and this last dog has a HUGE amount of problems and must be on anti seizure medication for epilepsy, joint and ligimant problems, etc. and the response of the breeder? "OH, we owe you a freebie when this one dies."

      Wait... A "Freebie"? Yeah...

      I find it disturbing that someone that claims to love dogs doesn't see just how much damage is done by breeders.

  40. This is disgusting!! I hope all of these people have a sick relative die in front of their eyes for being so sick with pride. XP

    1. Are u NUTZ! You would actually wish a painful illness that was fatal on another innocent human being so you can show how insensitive people are being about putting an innocent dog through painful practice and procedure... Surely you have to see the ridiculous irony in what you are saying! I do however agree that this is attrocous and something needs to be done! I am in favor of criminal prosecution if need be for endangering an animal and flagrant neglect or abuse or both in some cases! Wake up people! Your eyes are not just a decoration.

  41. This is sick, why do people want a pet which are in constant suffering and look like freaks?

  42. In Australia, I am proud to be a part of a NEW and improving show world of pedigree dogs. So much testing is involved now and we are hard at work to get rid of the morons that breed incorrectly and unsafe.
    In Australia the vets and pounds are inundated with problem cross breeds - what they call 'designer dogs'. They are not good news and sadly the pet shops are riddled with them. I can only hope that the rest of the world will follow in the great Australian footsteps of the changing pedigree world.
    I also agree that the Canine Associations need to limit how many litters are produced by each registered breeder but sadly I do think that they will then just produce unregistered litters in higher numbers which is then on the low low low level of the idiots that are breeding cross breeds.

    1. The "purebred" dogs of today were the purposefully mixed "designer" dogs of yesterday. And until the shelters are empty and dogs are no longer euthanized, there should be a moratorium on ALL breeding.

  43. LonelyWolf

    I kinda thought they already were?

    Bullmastiffs are a very nice dog too. Mine has a bit of a grass skin allergy (manageable), but has just now developed an eye prob. There is an 'extra' fold under the eyelid (common to the breed), which irrates and gammies it up. Cost to fix is $700. Ah well, she's worth it. And she's from a progressive breeding program, so hopefully her line gets these things sorted eventually. No big probs yet (3yo).

  44. Yeah, right! I forgot to mention that in the wild, animals do not breed to close relatives. They leave the pack and establish their own families or in case of no food supplies, they do not breed at all.
    Maybe we should put animals in charge and learn from them, they certainly have more ethics and common sense.

    1. LonelyWolf:
      In the wild, the males are driven from the pack, but the young bitches are allowed to remain, which results in father x daughter crosses for as long as the alpha male holds his position. Since bitches can be bred at under one year of age in many cases, and since the alpha male may retain his position for 6 - 8 years, there may be 4 - 5 generations crossing back to the alpha male, making him the sire, grandsire, great-grandsire, great-great grandsire, and great, great, great grandsire. There is more true inbreeding in nature than in domestic animals.

      Also, animals don't have "ethics." They have instincts, which are the base of all motivation and behavior. Get your facts straight before posting.

    2. From what I understand the alpha male will mate with the alpha female, NOT his offspring. The rest of the pack either stay with their family or break away to form a new family pack. Lower status females of a pack will break off and join a lone male to start their own family, thus avoiding the inbreeding of which you speak, otherwise they stay with their family pack in either a hunting, protecting or pup-rearing capacity. Perhaps you should research your wolf pack studies further.

    3. Isn't this also true of other pack (i.e., social) mammals, where the presence of the alpha female suppresses the lower-status females hormones to prevent them from going into estrus.

      It makes sense that strategies preventing inbreeding and thus genetic errors would be a widespread trait among any species.

      That the older siblings stay around to benefit from being in the group and also help raise their younger brethren ensures the survival of the family group as a whole. Non-reproductive family members still have their familial genes being passed on, so the benefits apply at both the genetic and the organism level.

  45. This documentary is a very educational footage on human nature. Humans are ego driven, hung on superficial and faulty values and greed.
    As documented in history, leaders like Hitler had the same concept in mind as do breeders of domestic animals.
    We do not need scientists to prove that inbreeding is the worst thing we can do.
    We need only look at nature. Wild animals are fit and the faulty lines are expunged or eradicated naturally. One will not see crippled wild animals that will breed with other crippled mates. Survival of the species is a natural, normal occurrence in the wild. Genetic disorders will weaken the pack and eventually lead to extinction. Animals are smarter than that!

    However, when man comes into the picture, the "ideal" brings on horrific results.

    Imagine if the world would only welcome the spindly, long limbed, blond, blue eyed, pouty lips, raisin breasted beauties that we see on runways. If permissible, that would be the standard for females. Notice the diet and cosmetic industry! They have grown out of proportions due to the "ideal" of what a woman should look like. Because of the "ideal" in human beauty, many have developed deadly diseases and eating disorders. Anti-beauty campaigns started and some standards for models implemented i.e. no more starvation and concentration camp looks. Models are nothing short of show dogs themselves to parade to the world what the "ideal", perfection SHOULD be.
    I believe it is wrong to set standards for any life form. If it's not a natural path; it will only lead to the precipice and the abyss.

    I say we should stop "ideal" practices in any field, before we cripple our own world of humans, animals and plants in search for perfection. Only Nature is perfect and if left alone, it will take care of itself.
    The criminals are the ones who profit by this distortion of genetics; that speaks volumes as far as the president of the Kennel Club and his followers are concerned.
    Any organization that deals with "perfecting" genetics should be obsolete as soon as possible, before they have a chance to create monsters in agony.
    By the way, all my 5 "pure bred" German Sheppard died young, mainly hindquarters and cancer.
    Shame on all who seek beauty at the highest price.

  46. @Metaphysical

    I am EXTREMELY secure around my moral base; it is open to evolution. Although I disagree with some of your points, I find your argument rather intriguing all the same. I have not done any homework on Eugenics, but here is a concept;

    Where do positive personality traits come into it? After all, a 'litter' of children are predisposed to their parental genetics, as well as their influences. Hand in hand I suppose. Wouldnt this justify mating outside of regulation based purely on one's supposed genetic inferiority?

  47. @Pauline Stockwood (Post #29)

    Your way of thinking is so backwards that it is embarressing to the human race.

    Although it is a little immature, I suspect that many of the others in here were thinking exactly what I was when you were referring to all of your families hereditry disorders.....


  48. This doc is so very disturbing. Not just in what it reveals as to the actual condition of pedigree dogs, or even that of the horridly arrogant and intentionally ignorant people who breed these truly poor beasts.

    I am talking about the ignorant consumer. In this case, myself.

    I have grown up with lovable mutts all of my life and will always consider them as truly special and valid pets as much as any other. However, almost 3 years ago now I set out to buy a pedigree dog for the first time. I knew exactly what I wanted and began my search online for Staffordshire puppy litters around my city. However, due to a single page entry error - amongst all the Staffy pups I came across a litter of Bull Mastiffs. I hope this doesnt come across as shallow, but the only reason I even went further than this was because the breeder was less than 10 minutes drive from my home, so I thought I'd just check them out. Before that day I had next to no experience with Bull Mastiffs and would probably not have been able to even identify one. Anyway, an hour and $1200 bloody dollars later, I came home with a beautiful Bull Mastiff. Her name is Nala, and she is one of the best things to ever happen to me. 0 regrets.

    I will not pretend that I had no idea that there were some serious issues in the pedigree breeding circles; I had seen many of the obvious cases for myself (ie Pugs, Persian cats). I have met many a German Shepard or Lab and was aware of hip issues and such also - these Shepards were not as 'frogged' as in the doc, but I can now see where they were still not exactly right.

    Now here is my failure. Even knowing a bit about the above, I still told MYSELF that working type dogs were surely bred from standards based primarily on their original or current working function and therefore the breeding of these types were not like the poor old Pugs and such (which probably used to be working dogs in some fasion themselves). I actually thought that there was a (convenient) difference. I have a grasp of genetics and also told MYSELF that there couldnt be a whole lot of inbreeding occuring, as that is just an obvious fail - anyone with half a brain knows this surely? I even ASSUMED that the hip and cancer issues in the Sheps and Labs etc were a problem that breeders were trying to breed out. How so very, very wrong I was.

    10 minutes into the doc I felt overwhelmingly ashamed of myself. I actually cuddled Nala and told her how so very sorry I was. How dare I self feed 'knoweledge' to myself? For something so important and obviously complex beyond any rational sense in doing so? I mean hell, I even have a career in the social area of government! It is a major part of my job (and self) to make people AWARE of the misconstrued facts and ignorance in general!...... I was, and still am, apalled at myself for this.

    Having said all that - after checking Nalas birth certifficate, I found that she is actually registered under an ogranisation that was pushing for these changes, in conjunction with the RSPCA and Geneticist direction even before this doc was released. Their primary focus is health and happiness over aesthetics.

    An immense relief, yes. For me. What about all the other 'expert' consumers out there? I have grown much in the last couple of hours.

  49. I think it is utterly disgusting that dogs with genetic diseases are still being bred in the name of beauty. All of the issues raised in this programme were approached sensibly and their findings discussed appropriately. I apllaud the people who can recognise that the dogs they breed have a problem when in doing so it could damage their careers. This is what all dog breeders should be like; putting the welfare of the dogs first.

  50. @Metaphysical

    Everything you said was correct, it would be better for society health-wise to not allow some people to mate with other people. The only problem is that freedom will be taken away so maybe the best approach is to improve education (fixing the I.Q. problem), invest more money in to genetic gene manipulation, disease prevention and having some sort of food regulation set up to only allow healthy foods to be consumed. This is the most round about way to fix the problem but people are able to keep their freedoms without being subject to the emotionality harmful Eugenics.

  51. @William

    Well then I guess it's an insecurity about ones own morals.

    Before I continue, let me say that morals are merely based on the individual and the society he or she grows up in.

    Here is the description right out of wikipedia:

    "Eugenics is the "applied science or the biosocial movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population," usually referring to human populations.[2] Eugenics was widely popular in the early decades of the 20th century, but has fallen into disfavour after having become associated with Nazi Germany and with the discovery of molecular evolution. Since the postwar period, both the public and the scientific communities have associated eugenics with Nazi abuses, such as enforced racial hygiene, human experimentation, and the extermination of "undesired" population groups. However, developments in genetic, genomic, and reproductive technologies at the end of the 20th century have raised many new questions and concerns about the meaning of eugenics and its ethical and moral status in the modern era."

    Eugenics is not about appearance or race, that is scientifically and philosophically absurd.

    Eugenics is about improvement of the gene.

    Yes there are bad people trying to use it for bad things but that will always be the case with any topic and visa versa, there will always be good people using it for good things.

    It is our moral insecurity to say "awe shame, that person with hereditary epilepsy should be allowed to reproduce"

    It's also shocking that a Cavalier diagnosed with a devastating hereditary illness has 28 litters.

    However this discussion can go on forever, In a world so obviously and deploringly overpopulated we need to think clearly about priorities and morals and what is "good" or "bad"

    In my opinion human reproduction should be against the law without gene testing and a sufficient IQ. For the progress of humanity but we are not about logical thinking, are we? we're more about ignorant love and compassion.

    To thine self, be true. I'm not trying to be a nihilist or pessimistic, I'm just telling it like how I see it, my opinion is not based on compassion or dogma but logic.

  52. @Metaphysical

    This documentary shows the dark side of Eugenics, the side that favors outward appearance over health.

    Eugenics is still unavoidably immoral, because you would have to tell someone who they can/can't have children with, even if the result would be a healthier society.

  53. I hope that this documentary is not trying to portray a dark image of Eugenics. The theory behind Eugenics can definitely help the human race. Hitler was a deranged delusional psychopath and twisted the theory to achieve his goals.

    Eugenics has a bad name, like the pitbull, and in my opinion Hitler gave Eugenics that bad name.

    Eugenics is currently being used for example by some Jewish societies to reduce all sorts of hereditary illnesses. They are essentially making their blood more pure.

  54. "Vets dont know what their talking about? Seriously thats like saying ‘mechanics dont know anything about messed up cars’… That is just beyond, ignorance actually."

    True, it's not ignorance but arrogance.

  55. I think it's amazing that this this deploring human behavior is going on relentlessly while they ban the act of trimming dogs tails or ears.

  56. I think this has something to do with processed food we ration.

  57. @ Pauline

    Interbreeding your pets within a small genetic population increases the likelihood of those negative genetic defects. Much the same way that if your family which has diabetes, back problems, knee problems and heart problems (which by the way is an awful lot of problems) started breeding with only your second cousins, first cousins, siblings, parents, grandparents, etc. You'd find the diseases rapidly become more common and more virulent. This is what's happening with dogs, we are doing it by interbreeding, it is not natural for animals to have that many health issues, that is total BS on your part! By interbreeding we've raised the susceptibility level of certain breeds to certain diseases, fact!

  58. @pauline stockwood

    Vets dont know what their talking about? Seriously thats like saying 'mechanics dont know anything about messed up cars'... That is just beyond, ignorance actually.

  59. After reading some comments posted here, I am very disappointed. Some point out that this documentary is one sided, and yes, it is. That is no reason to ignore the problem it presents. It's a fact that these dogs are being inbreed, and it's a fact that it's causing serious health problems. If you don't like how this documentary is being filmed, or don't think the numbers or statistics they are coming up with are correct, you should think about doing your own research before writing the entire thing off as being fake.

    The suffering of any animal is a serious problem that everyone needs to think about it.

  60. Over specialization has and will always equal death in any species of animal. Dogs are no different. there is no animal in the natural world that has survived by being inbred to amplify genetic problems over time.

  61. Over specialization has and will always equal death in any species of animal. Dogs are no different. there is no animal in the natural world that have survived by being inbred to amplify genetic problems over time.

  62. This "documentary", if you can call it that, had an purpose- to push the extreme Animal Rights agenda that wants all animals illegal to own. They gave out incorrect info and padded the film to their ends. There has been an uproar against this film, yet the CKC has to put it on, probably to increase their tumbling ratings. What better for ratings, then accusation, sensationalism, and mud slinging.

    Every living thing, whether purebred or not, has health issues. The good thing with purebred dogs is that we can follow these problems and take steps over a long period of time to decrease them and/or eliminate them. Our breed has started a registry of information to begin the process of providing more information to breeders. And yes, more needs to be done, but that will take time and coordination. Technology has much to offer dog breeders, and over time, changes will be forthcoming to the benefit of breeders, their dogs, and owners alike. Given that ethical breeders don't get rich on breeding, this will take time, and as usual, much volunteer work on the part of the dog fancy.

    The Animal Rights people are great a criticizing, but have no intention to aid. They are always looking for the boogy-man and when he isn't found, they create him out of any bits and pieces they can find. Then they call themselves the savours of dogs against the bad breeder. This is the same tactics that the vets have used . Rather than looking at their own unethical practices, like housing dogs for their vets to practice on and then destroying the dogs when they are finished, they want to blame ethical breeders for this, that, and the other thing.

    The vets see nothing wrong with going beyond their knowledge base and have started throwing accusations at breeders when they know nothing about many breeds of dogs in the first place. They don't consult to increase their information, they have created an arm of the Animal Rights groups such as Peta and HSUS and undertaken to take on issues they have little information about. They think they were so highly educated that they are qualified to comment on things d without doing their homework.

    Our family has diabetes, back problems, knee problems and heart problems. That is life; every family has genetic problems. The good thing about purebreds is that it offers us a way to track and try to prevent problems, something that is impossible with mutts and people.

    Instead of going after back yard breeds, these people go after the only group that has organized to try to improve the quality of their animals.

    1. You are absolutely insane Pauline

  63. cosmetic facelift is very wrong on dogs.. seriously

  64. @knightrider
    I wholeheartedly agree. Some of these poor dogs to me look like something out of a nightmare. If any of these breeders were to have a child with just a few of the problems a pug or bulldog have to live with I doubt they would be anything but devastated.

  65. @Dottie
    Did you actually watch this at all? In the case of the ridgeback for example, the breed standard is sutch that only the unhealthy animals are bread from. The healthy pups are killed. Prize winning animals are allowed to have any number of deformities. It is the norm, and infact actively encouraged that these breeds be unhealthy so long as they fit some archaic rulebook. And yes, of course desease and deformaty will always occur even in mutts, but the very nature of purebreads means that the gene pool has to become more and more restricted, concentrating the number of these defects to dangerous levels. In some cases these defects are even part of the breed, the distinctive look of the dachshund and basset hound is infact due to a form of dwarfism common also to humans. Eventually it will come to a point whare either every animal is infertile or the level of deformaty is so high that they all are afflicted by so many crippling illnesses you wont be able to keep them alive long enough to breed.

  66. I began searching for a dialogue on this issue of my own accord, after seeing a basic Dogs 101 program on the bulldog. It occurred to me, when they explained that breeds with this shape of face have difficulty breathing, that something was terribly wrong.

    It took me a while to find any sort of dialogue on the issue, because it's largely not recognized as an issue at all. The status quo is so firmly imbedded that no one thinks twice about what we're REALLY doing to these dogs. Heads too small for their brains, faces so smushed that they struggle to breathe every day of their lives, twisted spines, and hounds with legs so short they can hardly walk...what the hell are we doing?!

    Allowing breeding like this to continue is the direct perpetuation of suffering. I will certainly never be able to watch another dog show (not that they're that interesting in the first place). I do wonder if America has any better standards.

    Even though I volunteer with a dog rescue organization, I had always considered breeders an acceptable alternative. It appears this is not so. People, if you want a dog: Adopt one. There are millions of dogs who are already here and looking for homes, plus your money won't be going to support future generations of inbred suffering puppies by irresponsible breeders.

  67. As a veterinary nurse who works in the emergency and critical care medicine in canada. I can whole heartedly agree with this documentary. In regard to Barbara Haines comment, it is infact, factual. 90% of the patients I see with critical illness, are in my hospital. My three dogs are purebred and I have them due to their owners being unable to cope with their genetic problems. And even so called good breeders have reoccurring animals in the bloodline one generation apart.

  68. its cruel and barbaric the people responsible for this treatment should not be allowed to have animals

    i think they should also be 'disciplined'

    ultimate selfishness

  69. 1st, they are comparing breeding dogs to human eugentics. that's absurd.

    2nd, people can look down their nose at at breeders, but until they start demanding more they won't get more. That means, don't buy from pet shops. And don't just go to a breeder, go to one who has their dogs genetically tested for health and temperment etc. Don't like inbreeding? ask to see the pedigree.

    There are good breeders and bad breeders, don't we think it's up to us to know what we are buying~!

  70. I agree with Charles B. and Susan.
    Barbara Haines is totally blinkered on this issue. Only a few breeders will be affected, the main target is the standard.

    Spaying and neutering prevents millions of painful and cruel deaths of animals a year. She doesn't care, so long as there is a ready supply of dogs. Pet shops should be regulated, too many of them sell unhealthy animals at inflated prices.

    Dog shows should be judged on vet health reports of the dog and its ancestors, as well as temperament, not appearance.

  71. i just spent $ 3000 on vet bills this week because my 2 year old dog started having seizures...

  72. For those who deny Darwinian theories, this should be useful. What's going on here is unnatural selection and it's setting up an unsustainable survival of the least fit. Bred for appearance, not purpose. Extinction is next. I cannot understand what some of these folk think they're doing. I find certain dogs: pugs, mastiffs, bulldogs,, even German Shepherds, sadly repugnant. They look wrong in a sick & twisted way.

  73. I have a four year old dog with Epilepsy, so I can totally empathise with these owners. His father was a champion, and he inherited from both his parents.
    Since this was aired, his father was mysteriously withdrawn from studwork and neutered.
    Funny that.

    I also had a pedigree lab, and a mongrel, both of which lived long, and happy lives

  74. Exactly why designer breeding is NOT a bad idea. IF I can get a healthy AKC mutt, over a ill pure AKC, the mutt wins.

  75. What astounds me is that breeders can claim to care about their dogs, yet deny the suffering incured from thoughtless breeding.

  76. I showed purebred dogs for more than 23 years. I gave it up 14 years ago, and do not miss it. I was "successful", producing some lovely show wins, and required spay/neuter contracts on every animal I sold. However, this documentary only touches the tip of the iceberg on the Purebred Dog World. (Bluntly, it's about spending money. The more you spend the bigger the win). As a magazine editor I interviewed numerous purebred dog breeders over the years and asked one specific question of them all: "If you have to choose between health and "show" quality, which are you going to breed for?" and Never did a single (Top of the group) breeder ever say that health was their first criteria. They don't mind at all surgically correcting a poor tail carriage, for example, and I've actually heard so-called intelligent people claim that the puppies wouldn't exhibit that gay tail, since "the sire has his surgically fixed". It's disgusting. The people who are posting against this documentary know nothing about genetics and more importantly, they do NOT want to learn anything.
    After I left the dog show world, an old friend told me that it was her opinion that dog showing was the last step before committing suicide: when a person has failed at absolutely everything else: Show dogs. Sadly, that's a TRUTH. I've witnessed countless marriages break up over The Dogs, and children abandoned by their crazed dog show addicted parent(s). I know of one toy judge who's CHILD died because the mom was busy preparing for a circuit.
    No more. Dogs are pets, but if they aren't healthy first, they are only Profit. Shame on those of you who can't see that.

    1. I know this is late Susan, but I just wanted to say thank you so much for posting and sharing your experience in a much shadowed/overlooked world of the dog show. *hugs* Thank you again for posting that.

  77. This is a film everyone should see. Having had or known several of the breeds shown, it helps me understand why they didn't "rise" to the breed "standard." My basset hound couldn't walk for more than 3 blocks. The pug couldn't catch her breath after a short walk and was unable to withstand heat or cold. My sister's English lab has had 3 major surgeries for hip and elbow problems.

    It saddens me that breeders (and I'm not even talking puppy mill types) are intentionally breeding closely related animals and animals that are known to have genetic diseases. If these are people creating puppies they love, then they certainly would want the healthiest litters possible. So why not test for genetic problems BEFORE their dogs are allowed to mate? The Kennel Club could register only litters whose parents have been tested and shown to be free of genetic diseases.... and if they're not, the puppies would not be registered and therefore ineligible for shows.

    We have a 10 year old, mixed shepherd. He closely resembles his ancestor, the wolf. He's never had a sick day in his life and can almost outrun the rabbits and squirrels. And yes, as I look back, every "mutt" we've had (many) has been pretty darn healthy.

    Thanks to the BBC for a really eye-opening documentary.

  78. After watching this documentary, it has made me see that the human desire to be perfect has been distorted into something that really is sad. I was totally oblivious to this issue. It didn't cross my mind and to be honest i think it doesn't enters peoples minds. I owned a pedigree english bull terrier. Now that i think about it, he did have quite a few health problems and now i think about it, it makes me sad because i loved him so much.

    This documentary is great because it exposes the issues and hopefully dog breeders will see it through proven science that things are going wrong quickly for pedigree breeds in the dog showing world. When they talked about culling ridgeback pups for having no ridge, i almost wanted to vomit!!

    Thank you to the people involved for making this doco because now i'm more informed than i was before. I've been thinking about buying a new dog and i'm definitely getting a MONGREL.

  79. Those who posted negative comments might be a little sensitive and not seeing that the producers of this documentary is just trying to show a problem that is happening that very little of the population even consider.

    I have purebred dogs and specifically my Maltese has a highly sensitive stomach. In the natural world of survival of the fittest, she would certainly not survive, but yet we breed these dogs to fit our purely selfish needs. There are bound to be those who take that 'privilege' to extremes and think that dogs should be made a certain way. Not all breeders are like this but those who are and who have control of others perceptions must be made aware of the harm that are being caused. There are breeders who only do this for the money and status which is a shame. But then there are those who do it for their love of a specific breed and may not even consider how in-bred a dog could be.

    One thing I know for sure after watching this, now there is more reason for owners like me to switch to adoption of mutts at pounds in the future, in fact even a handicapped animal if we can, unless a specific need is required... i.e. working dogs for the disabled or what not. I love all dogs for what they are, faithful companions that rarely have any intention of hurting us, while we manipulate them for purely selfish reasons.

    I see dog breeds similar to the way I see people. Though we have many races we are all human. Though they are many breeds, they are all dogs.

    This show just proves to show that the Kennel Club, like other standards creating organizations, can be very flawed. There's always room for improvement. Showing dogs in their version of beauty pageants can be just as harmful as showing skinny girls on catwalks. None of those models are ever models of HEALTH. There are bound to be unintended negative effects.

    I do praise those breeders who make sure to go out of their way to treat their dogs with love and respect. I hope by viewing this documentary those good breeders out there keep tabs on what NOT to do as what else they could be doing to improve the health of the dogs they love.

  80. Darlene: If you know, what breed of dog is the least likely to have genetic disorders and is still good with kids? I know that there are no "sure bets" but what are some good contenders. I like Bostons, but I've heard they are the most likely to get sick of all the American breeds. What about Retrievers? Labs?

  81. I've been fascinated and studying canine genetics for a decade now. While my interest has mainly been color genetics and my focus lies with German Shepherds I still have some knowledge of genetic disease. It is quite true that genetic disease is prevalant in all purebred dogs and no, it is not true that "mutts" are exempt from disease. However, since many diseases are the result of recessive genes and some are primarily exclusive to some breeds, there can be a lower instance of disease in mixed breed dogs.

    That is not to say I am against breeding purebred dogs! I agree with the makers of this documentary in that more breeders need to do genetic testing to ensure they are not passing on deadly diseases and inheritable conditions to the next generation.

    In my breed (German Shepherds) what the show breeders have done is nothing short of criminal. I live in the USA and wouldn't purchase an American Show Lines GSD if somebody paid me to take it. My female GSD that I hope to breed someday is out of German working lines and has correct structure. However she would NEVER win in the AKC show ring for that reason!!

  82. So because Only Some pure bred dogs DO have Major Health Problems-due to the way pure breds are bred-it shouldn't be recognized as an issue??? What is the price for beauty?

  83. How many mixed breed dogs did you check for health problems? How many pure bred dogs were tested before you found the ones that have some major problems? Why did you not show healthy pure bred dogs, which by the way are the vast majority!! This show was so very slanted it should be considered total fiction!

    1. So German Shepherds, as show toppers don't walk funny? That this is not a desired attribute for the GSD show walk on its hocks??

    2. i have an up and coming german shepard show dog. i can promise you that not all breeders are like that. Kaiser (bronzehund ironman) runs around our backyard every day and most certainly does not have weak hocks. if you look at his photos from showing he is being stacked in such a way to accentuate the slope of his croup (back). he is not truly that angulated. you are judging an entire breed on a handful of dogs and have forgotten to take into account that exposes are manipulative. they use facts to sway you to a certain conclusion. you have also forgotten to do any form of reasearch. there are two types of showing for german shepards. the all breeds and the specialist. only the best can do specialist showing. specialist showing requires the breed to show off their endurance as well, they are run around the rings extensively and any shepard with weak hocks would be unable to move in such a way as to please the judges. the show from the documentary was an all breeds. they have lower standards and don't run them anywhere near as much. please think before you post in future

    3. Does the German Shepherd Dog (it's strength, agility and overall physical structure) of today accurately reflect the original GSDs' intended purpose? How would a "show quality" GSD of modern times compare to the functionality of the working lines of "yesteryear"?

    4. As an owner of two German Shepherds, that show made me cry.

  84. I just love it when someone uses false statistics to "prove" a point they're otherwise unable to make and the general public falls for it. To begin with, 75% of the animals in UK (and USA) are NOT purebred--they're mutts. If 75% of them were purebred, pet owners would be screaming from the rooftops if this was so prevalent.

    In the USA, 75-80% of the dogs in shelters are MUTTS, yet you constantly see "adopt a shelter dog because purebred breeders cause pet overpopulation". What part of that makes any sense?

    One day, you'll wake up and discover what their true agenda was. In the words of Wayne Pacelle, Pres. of HSUS, "We have no problem with the extermination of domestic animals." 'One generation and out'--when they're all spayed and neutered and the dog breeders who know what they're doing are legislated out of business, good luck trying to find a dog for your child or grandchild. By then, it'll be too damn late.

    1. Can someone point out where it claims purebred breeders cause pet overpopulation?

  85. I have a pretty hard stomach for some pretty disgusting aspects of human behavior but this video just about made me sick to my stomach. I watched it the entire way through, despite that, and I find it intriguing how they relate this topic to the holocaust.
    I think the reason that this makes me more sick than the holocaust is that people as compared to dogs, are able to make their own decisions based on their willingness to see the truth or lack thereof in the world around them, they are able to overcome and see differences between right and wrong and to make a stand for them. Such as other countries had done in protest to the holocaust, for example. We cannot hold a dog on the same level of intelligence and understanding as a human. These animals cannot control what we make of them, what we do to them. They do not understand. There is such beauty in the way the world works and in how genetics work, how variety is indeed the spice of life. This documentary is heartbreaking.

  86. It is sad what people would do for their selfish pleasure. Dogs should be enjoyed no matter how they look like. I have always disliked pugs, bulldogs and dogs with flat faces because they looked somehow weird to me - not like a dog. I have also wondered why some breeds have extremely short legs which just did not suit its body proportions. Wow, I guess, instictively I knew there was something wrong with the way they look! They were deformed all along! I guess if people love their dogs more than makeing money or getting honour off of them through these shows, they would morally do the right thing for man's best friend!

  87. The problem will solve itself when extreme economic hard times come along where where it's too expensive to breed these sick dogs and "mass extinctions" of breeds happen.

    I think it is immoral to breed dogs that you know will have genetic problems later in life. I'm afraid to get any pure bred dog now; but I am partial to the Bostons which is America's equivelent to the most problematic breed.

  88. Maybe the Kennel Club should change the way it registers breeeds thereby discouraging this type of inbreeding.

  89. Very interesting documentary and still heartbreaking! Poor animals! This Qualzucht (torture like inbreeding) must really be stopped! This is cruelty!