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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".


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slave2tehtink
Mar. 22nd, 2009 08:44 am (UTC)
I watched that and wanted to cry through most of it... GSDs with wobbly back ends, dogs unable to breathe and do doggy things, healthy happy Ridgeback puppies being killed because they didn't get the deformity that gives them a ridge... and the whole time, the show community defending it because "It's to STANDARD!!!111!!one!"

It really makes you understand why the Jack Russel & Border Collie parent clubs had people fighting so hard to keep their dogs out of the AKC.
rinalia
Mar. 22nd, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)
It broke my heart. I just can't imagine arguing, with a straight face, that it is perfectly okay to kill healthy puppies and yet that's exactly what these breeders were doing.

And the judge who argued that the americanized GSD could actually function as a herding and guardian dog more so than european/healthy lines? Egad, I mean, really, who ARE these people?!?

I totally understand why groups who breed working dogs don't want anything to do with physical standardization. It makes little sense, genetically or functionally.
slave2tehtink
Mar. 25th, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
I really can't either. In Germany, some breeders kill fawn Dobes as puppies for the same reason: "They don't look right."

I really think that for working breeds, the work should be part of titling them. Make the Dobes do Schutzhund, make the GSDs herd something or do Schutzhund, demonstrate that these animals are not only pretty but physically sound and capable!

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