The Dark Side of Pedigree Dog BreedingPublished January 27, 2010
If you asked any of my friends about where my passions lie in regard to animals, while this is certainly no "breaking news" regarding me, most would tell you cats and horses have completely captured my heart. I am able to spend hours talking about these two species with anyone willing to hang out and share my palpable adoration.
King Charles Spaniels Photo via Wikipedia
But many folks aren't aware that I hold the canines in high regard as well. I love to watch the National or Westminster Dog Shows on Television, with the magnificent competitors vying for "Best Dog" in show. I also get a kick out of watching the handlers and of course the judges, as they evaluate the different breeds within each Division.
And while I have had very limited experience living with dogs, I was blessed, years ago, to be able to "baby sit" an incredible black Great Dane named Sabina, with whom I was totally in love. The two of us were inseparable when I was caring for her. Unfortunately, Great Danes and many of the gigantic breeds are not blessed with longevity. My heart was broken when I learned of Sabina's passing at what I consider far too young; at the age of 8 years old.
So when I ran across an item titled "Pedigree Dogs Exposed" the other day, while on my daily trip to cyber space discussing the dark side of pedigree dog breeding, I was completely fascinated and was compelled to write about it. The question posed to readers was "What exactly is the problem with breeding pedigree dogs, (or for that matter, cats)?"
Is it possible that there are breeders of these gorgeous dogs who are more concerned about winning points than the genetic health of their breeding lines? There certainly is a dark-side to dog breeding and showing which needs light to be shed on it.
From my experience with many reputable breeders I know personally, who work very hard to ensure the robust health of their lines, who spend time and often a great deal of money to produce excellent stock, after reading more about the BBC television show, "Pedigree Dogs Exposed "aired here in the USA, it was quite shocking to me to learn about the huge controversy and national outrage caused in Great Britain following the airing of this documentary in August 2008.
Furthermore after the BBC documentary was shown, according to the article the BBC pulled airing the well -loved Crufts dog competition which carries the equivalent prestige to the National or Westminster Dog Show here in the United States.
The article described the program to feature very disturbing footage at times, along with interviews concerning the ethics of dog breeding. It even hinted at the practice, in some cases to be "immoral" by some breeders far more concerned with those huge wins than the serious health problems they are causing by using breeding practices which only serve to produce puppies with major and heartbreaking genetic deformities.
Watch the video uploaded to YouTube by DerPfaffe which graphically and dramatically shows some of these serious genetic problems showing up in certain breeds, discussed in the BBC documentary. I caution that some of the images may be disturbing to some viewers.
Should dog breeders continue to put beauty and fame, ignoring the necessity of robust health? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment.