Pedigree Dogs Exposed
Pedigree 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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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?
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.
Anybody care to draw parallels to royal families?
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.
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...
Great documentary! Keep raising awareness!! Dogs are man's best friend, lets prove we can be their friend too. #healthismostimportant
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.
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.
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.
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".
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 ;)
There are lots of cute mutts in Mexico
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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..
this is so sad.... and sick and shows the absolute ignorance of humans as a whole
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....
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)
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.
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.
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 :(
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.
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.
Why does it say that "this video is private" and I can't see it?
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.
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.
Mark Evans astounds me, is there any presenter who has achieved as much as him? I see this guy in everything !
@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 ..deal with the source
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!.
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.
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.
OH AND NOTE, breeders COI's are USELESS if you calculate under 6 generations. Ideally you want 10. Over 10 is not needed.
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.
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!
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.
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
This is sick, why do people want a pet which are in constant suffering and look like freaks?
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.
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).
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.
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.
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?
@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.....
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.
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.
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.