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Pedigree Dogs Exposed

I finally gathered my courage to watch Pedigree Dogs Exposed, the documentary that caused BBC to pull airing Crufts this year. You can watch here.

Watching these breeders defend inbreeding, eugenics and physical deformities as "good" and "true to standard" made me sick to my stomach. 

All I can see now when I look at my favorite smosh-faced breeds - the pugs, frenchies and bostons - are wonderful dogs who stoically trudge on amidst a ream's worth of congenital deformities inflicted upon them by their "loving" humans. 

And apparently that whole "skull is too small for brain" bit is actually true in the case of  cavalier king charles spaniels. Some of these dogs have a congenital defect where their skulls are too small for their brain, causing mild to severe pain and neurological defects.

While unsurprising, the most offensive response is from the breeders. Their denial and total arrogance appalls me. I do not know how you argue against dozens of peer-reviewed studies with a straight face, but these breeders were doing it.

At some point, if nothing is changed, some of these breeds are just going to be so genetically fucked that they won't be able to breed, period. Which, quite frankly, will be a blessing for these dogs who suffer in silence so that a few humans can rejoice loudly over ribbons. Best in show seems like it's going to go to the dogs with a large gene pool and breeders who care about function, sound form and overall physical health more than "furnishings".



Mar. 22nd, 2009 03:51 am (UTC)
I doubt I will ever own a pure-bred dog, unless there happens to be one at the pound (and it does happen). The only dog 'shows' I watch are the agility ones, and that's because it's something a mutt can win! I'd rather have a unique dog (Shadow has a perfectly question-mark shaped splotch on her head) than one 'true to form' any day. I don't see anything great in a bunch of dogs that look exactly like each other...

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