Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.
– Dr Ian Malcom; Jurassic Park
Three and a half years ago, something amazing happened at the Crufts dog show: the Best of Breed winning Pekingese and Bulldog and were both sent home the first day, eliminating them from competition. They were found by vets on site to be so grossly distorted through selective breeding that it was determined they were not able to have lives as normal, healthy dogs.
Many dog lovers pumped their fists in the air in triumph. As a society, we’ve finally started to accept perfection is a stupid endeavour, and that beauty comes in many forms. Women no longer cram themselves into corsets. Models have freckles, and can have three square meals a day! How wonderful!
Dogs, on the other hand, are still being genetically manipulated in a macabre Dr. Moreau fashion. Not being able to breathe takes second place to an adorable smooshed-in face. Back problems aren’t a breeders problem, so breed ‘em long and low. It’s sick and grotesque. And the AKC is celebrating these deformities!
I’ve long maintained that the AKC is a culprit in over-population (AKC doesn’t follow up to make sure that the dogs you’ve registered aren’t participating in a puppy mill. Just pay the fee, and you’re good to go with your registered purebred!). The AKC is also aiding and abetting in what can only be described as Frankenstein-eque practices. Giving awards to those who can most grotesquely twist a dog’s features like origami.
For example, the bulldog. As a breed, you’d be hard-pressed to find a dog more impishly lovable. A sweet, stubborn disposition. All trapped in a body that can’t procreate without medical intervention. That alone should tell you something is wrong. The fact that an animal who has been so twisted by breeders that they can’t even give birth safely, but can still win an award for the best conformation, tells you everything that is sick and twisted in dog shows.
The Science of Dogs blog recently did an article giving examples of how various dogs have changed in 100 years of selective breeding. Over the course of one hundred years, dogs who were athletic, healthy breeds have become sick, gasping ghosts of themselves. Compared side-to-side, one couldn’t be blamed for mistakenly thinking these dogs had been exposed to a high level of radiation and mutated.
Obviously not all breeders are to blame. Some breeders take a look at a specific breed and say to themselves, “I love that dog! But I bet I can make it healthier, better, happier!”. To those breeders, thank you! You are maintaining the standard of lovely dogs I hope we never lose! To the other, more selfish, revolting “breeders”: learn to love dogs.
Take a look below and you’ll see some pretty drastic differences in dogs in just 100 years.
Time to put an end to these disgusting practices. Time for the AKC to stand up for true breed standards.
Darwin Dogs LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, Ohio