Pain and Suffering – Breed Standard?

For greed all nature is too little.
-  Seneca


The University of Surrey submitted a publication recently regarding the effects of Chiari malformation, which is prevalent in numerous toy breeds such as Chihuahuas, Cavaliers, Griffons as well as hybrids of these dogs.  What is it?

It’s causing pain for the sake of “cuter” dogs.  These breeds (as well as some others) are characterized by their high, rounded heads, in effect, making them look younger, and more like puppies. In other words, cuter by human standards.  What’s happening with these dogs are atrocious.

What is Chiari malformation?  It has to do with skull size vs. brain size. What it feels like is you, as an adult, forcing on your child’s bike helmet… and then making it a bit smaller so it looks cute.  The symptoms are painful and debilitating:  headaches, pain, scoliosis, and muscle atrophy.  These dogs may also:

  • cry out if picked up
  • sleep in contorted fashions to help lessen their pain, such as with their heads raised
  • seem sensitive to being petted
  • scratching frequently by the head and shoulder area


So before picking out that doggie in the window, ask yourself: am I supporting breeding practices that include pain for the sake of cuteness?  Demand better from breeders.

One thought on “Pain and Suffering – Breed Standard?

  1. Pingback: The Most Aggressive Breed? | DARWIN DOGS

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