From the makers of Pedigree Dogs Exposed, the latest news and views regarding inherited disorders and conformation issues in purebred dogs.
The only reasons to spay or neuter your dog are essentially the same as for opting not to have children:1) Carrying heritable disorder2) Not emotionally prepared3) Reduce overpopulationThat's about it. If it weren't for 2 and 3, my husky x stock dog mixes would breed anazing puppies!
The only reasons to spay/neuter your dog are for the health benefits and the owner is unwilling (or unable) to prevent their dog from breeding.
Spay/neutering a dog is not that black and white. There are also often overlooked the fact that dogs have very high sex drives like most mammals. I personally think it is cruel to keep a dog entire all its life, that is never going to have the chance to procreate. So I castrate my male dogs at adulthood and I also castrate older male dogs that I have used to procreate. They can then happily run with entire bitches all the time and sometimes they have even tie with the occasional bitch. Most castrated male dogs if fit and well can still have sex, if a bitch gives them enough encouragement. If they had their testicles, they would of spent a lifetime being kept away from bitches when on heat, but tormented by the smell of them still. The same can be said for spaying a bitch. I think it is cruel to keep a bitch that will not ever be used for breeding and make her go through the yearning to procreate around every 6 months. Watch how the hormones drop them in to despair and then make them want to have sex with anything that looks half like a male dog.So I spay/neuter, so that the dog can have a more happy and not so stressed life. I have read all the data and I think the pros for a dogs sexual health both physically and mentally far outweigh the cons.I don't agree with spaying/neutering puppies. I think you should be looking to spay/neuter dogs once fully grown, from around 12 months onward, depending on breed/type.
So let's all keep buying our trendy designer mixes off the Internets, right? Because it sounds to me like you're giving a free pass to crappy breeders who just slap together any two dogs, as long as they're different breeds. Who needs to worry about health and temperament? Structural soundness? What's that?With the number of dogs in shelters or dumped on the streets, the world doesn't need more crappy breeders, pure or mixed.
Apparently, you're not very familiar at all with Ms. Harrison's blog or documentaries, her former Facebook group, the existing group "Friends of Pedigree Dogs Exposed," and the thousands of conversations folks on those forums have had regarding this topic. Your comment could not be further from the truth.
"Eugenics" -- Now... where have I heard that before? Ah yes. The father of eugenics, Francis Galton, was Charles Darwin's first cousin. In "The Descent of Man", Darwin wrote:"At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla." Darwin, The Descent of Man (1871 edition), vol. I, p. 156. --- Rod Russell, Orlando, Florida USA
Darwin's wife was also his first cousin and she was the product of several other marriages between cousins, making his mother also related to his wife of course. Though three of his sons did reasonably well under the old school tie system most of his ten odd children were plagued with infertility and immunity problems.He was however one of the first experimentalists to demonstrate the adverse effects of inbreeding and to question the consequences of "consanguineous mating". He documented the phenomenon of inbreeding depression for numerous plant species and this alerted him to the genetic health of his own children.For those American qualzucht breeders who can't tell the difference between a child, a chair and a pet, Darwin's prediction that the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the "savage races" doesn't seem to have altogether come true does it?Though giving him a bit more credit on this it does seem to have come true if we consider the more primitive native tribes of this world, there are it's true very few left......
I'm curious as to why my eugenics comment didn't go through since I was technically agreeing with you, or does the entire concept of eugenics, even if based on the genetic discrimination of an animal over its looks, bother you due to its implications? Because technically, proper breeding of a dog, is in a way, utilizing eugenics. You're dictating what animals breed and don't based on, instead of looks, which is the KC model, on genetics.So I don't see why my comment was barred from publication.
Didn't get it, I'm afraid... Feel free to re-post.I very rarely don't put comments through as I believe in free and open debate. And it would be a very boring place here otherwise.I am not remotely uncomfortable about comparing dog-breeding to eugenics. We made the link in the original UK broadcast of Pedigree Dogs Exposed.
Well .. . I agree with points 6, 8, 11 and 12. Many dog problems arise from people breeding dogs with health or temperament problems; and there are a lot of people who allow a bitch to have pups without much concern for the puppies' welfare. If AKC breeders paid more attention to temperament, health and welfare, as opposed to purity of breed and conformation to the physical aspects of the breed standard, the AKC wouldn't be on its way down the gurgler.
That is an interesting algorithm and brings up valid and important points about temperament, being emotionally and financially prepared and so on, but they lost me with the notion that just because it conforms to breed standards, it is worthy of breeding because so many breed standards mandate serious structural deformities that cause the animal significant morbidity and these breeds should be allowed to become extinct because perpetuation of these arbitrary but harmful standards is simply unjustifiable by any rational measure.
Well said! I still cannot get over how and why folks think that just because a standard is enshrined by some kennel club, it is good and worthy of breeding towards. There are plenty of purebred dogs that, if they *fit* the standard, are usually more deformed and disadvantaged health-wise than if they tend to be less typey.
Lots of lofty criteria here... there's a fine line between breeding selectively for improvement and painting yourself into a corner when it comes to bloodlines.Breeding to the standard is a double-edged sword- proper structure and movement is important, because such dogs have a better chance of living to a comfortable old age without breaking down. But there are too many examples of superficial breed traits that, at best, cause otherwise healthy, sound dogs to be overlooked and, at worst, are detrimental to the dog's quality of life (but that's another story).Breeders who are truly dedicated to improving the breed need to seek out unrelated dogs and avoid linebreeding as much as possible. And there are definitely breeds out there in need of new blood by way of outcrossing to bring down high COIs. But this needs to be done carefully as well- a cross is only as good as the parents involved, and there's the risk of ending up with more problems than you start with.I guess if I'm arriving at any sort of point, breeding dogs is an imprecise art- go too far down one path with stifling criteria, you end up with nothing but inbred elites; run in the other direction and breed indiscriminately, you lose health and soundness of body and mind.
The pros and cons of breeding to the standard depend heavily on the breed. When I was breeding Labradors, I didn't have major problems with breeding to the standard. Minor problems, yes. Eye color . . . mine tended to run to yellow and not have that Norman Rockwell big brown eyes look that judges look for . . . it's thought that yellow eyes are better for night vision. Tailset and topline . . . not big on my agenda . . . but no harm in breeding for a level topline. No problem finding studs who were not related insofar as I could trace pedigrees and have a dual purpose pedigree (both working and conformation credentials). No problem finding health tested studs. It's a whole different ballgame if you're breeding KCCS's, Frenchies, pugs, Bostons, or various of the exaggerated mastiff breeds.
" it's thought that yellow eyes are better for night vision."Sounds like "Border Collies with all black roofs in their mouth are better stockdogs".The scary part is these kinds of statements can easily lead to conformance standards; because dogs that look this way will be better workers.Not that better night vision is needed to retrieve water fowl shot after sunset or livestock look at the roofs of Border Collie mouths.
I would have agreed with this wholeheartedly if not discovering PDE and your blog many years ago. Now, I would have a very different version, and "purebred" would no longer be a requirement. Nor would titles, despite my having earned over 80 titles in a dozen sports myself. Dogs that are fantastic hunters, coursers, sled dogs, ski joring dogs and disc dogs may compete their entire lives without earning a recognized "Kennel Club" style title. Sure doesn't mean they should be kicked out of the gene pool...
Can't believe I left out working stockdogs from my list! That should be #1 on the list.
Those two really aren't comparable at all.Responsible animal breeding, only breeding for a purpose, versus two people of different ethnicities who love each other.You just cannot compare the two. And while I would rather people bred healthy mutts than unhealthy purebreds, I consider mutt breeding in essence irresponsible, as therer is no goal, only pumping out new puppies in a world full of unwanted mutts.
What if there were 10 buyers for "mutts" of a particular type (mix of breeds or pariah dogs) lined up before a breeder put her dogs together? What if the breeder took back any puppies if the buyer had problems? What if the sire and dam were health tested? What if everything that reputable purebred breeders do was done? Wouldn't it be exactly as responsible or irresponsible as buying / breeding purebreds?What is the difference? There are thousands of purebreds in shelters desperate for homes.My first dog was a purebred from rescue. I won't buy from a show breeder because I believe dog shows are unethical but I would buy from a working breeder.I would also buy from a breeder of "mutts" if the mutt was exactly what I wanted and had been properly raised and socialised. I'm not interested in ribbons or pedigrees anyway, just a good pet.
All dog or animal breeding is eugenics,even cross mixing for working/sporting purposes is eugenics. Also breeds and unique types of dogs should exist in the future so we do need to be kept as pure as possible while still having a healthy dog. With that there is a difference between outcrossing a little bit and being open minded to dogs that have a wrong splotch of color on them and just letting everything go wild. Preservation is not the bad guy here.