A much-used breeding method is line breeding, which is a form of inbreeding.
This method makes animals vulnerable to genetic defects and diseases.
These defects are the direct consequence of inbreeding,
which is the mating between relatives. This is done
to keep and intensify certain breed characteristics.
Natural selection, a mechanism that prevents sickly
or unsuitable animals from reproducing, is kept out
of the breeding programs, because humans are now constantly
looking after the continued existence of the animals.
Underneath we will outline some examples of problems
that arise with breeding on special breed characteristics
that have unfavorable consequences for dogs.
Breed characteristics: large head in relationship
to the body. Consequences: Chihuahua puppies have to be born
through cesareans, because the puppy's heads are too
big for natural birth. There are also instances of open
fontanels ("Chihuahua molera"), which is seen
as a breed characteristic.
Breed characteristics: short snouts. Consequences: it's not uncommon for a Pekinese's
eyes to pop out of their sockets because these do not
fully enclose the eyes.
Breed characteristics: short snouts. Consequences: Boxers often suffer from respiratory
problems because of their "flattened" snouts.
Breed characteristics: long backs. Consequences: Dachshunds may develop ruptured spinal discs
due to their long backs, leading to paralysis and/or chronic pain.
Breed characteristics: sloping backs. Consequences: German shepherds are known for having malformed
and stiff hip joints, which may cause chronic pain.
(certain types) Breed characteristics: narrow jaws. Consequences: these Terriers have abnormal bone growth of
the lower jaw that may give them difficulty chewing.
Other consequences of inbreeding
This is just a very small selection of diseases and
defects (heart disease, coronary disease, blood disease,
endocrine disorders, eye disease, skin disease, nervous
system diseases, digestion disorders, joint diseases
and immunological diseases) that can be directly related
to dog breeding.
Constant pain and suffering can be the consequence
of deliberately trying to keep and intensify breed characteristics.
When the desired results cannot be obtained (quickly) through
breeding, tails are docked and ears are cropped, tied
off or snapped, right after birth and without anesthetics.
After an earlier ban on the cropping of dog's ears
we now also have a ban on the docking of tails in Holland.
It is still allowed to remove the fifth toes (dewclaws)
from puppies under four days without anesthetics, because
it is assumed that
their nervous system is not fully developed and they
can't feel pain yet. Fortunately a new resolution for
cats and dogs was put in place in the Netherlands since
1st January 1999 that should improve animal welfare
in breederies. This is an indication that not all breeders
care alike about animal welfare. Keeping breed characteristics
is their first priority, optimal health takes second place.
This is done to animals because people think that dogs with a certain appearance
look sweet, nice or beautiful. Almost every dog breed
suffers ill effects from breeding. Please note: everyone
who buys a dog like that is helping to maintain these
breeding practices. As long as there is a demand, there
will be a supply.
Do you think that we have the right to do this to animals?
Unfortunately, these are not the only drawbacks for dogs.
This article is part of a series on pet adoption.
Below the table of contents of this series.
Below that even more articles about pets.