What is your opinion on selective dog breeding? From perfectly-portioned purebreds to ‘designer dogs’ that fit in a teacup, humans have been playing God to produce the ‘perfect’ pooch – with disastrous consequences.
It’s not until you look back over the last 100 years that the physiological changes that have occurred in purebred dogs become obvious. In fact, some dog breeds, such as the German Shepherd, the Bull Terrier and the Dachshund are almost unrecognisable from their ancestors. These physiological changes have led to dogs developing serious and even life-threatening impediments and made them prone to diseases.
Check out the video below to see what I mean.
Designer dogs are artificially cross-bred from two or more recognised breeds to create a new breed. Some examples include the Cockapoo, Labradoodle and the Puggle. While these dogs provide us with adorable bespoke companions, the cost to them can be very dear – including vulnerabilities to particular illnesses and physiological conditions.
Teacup puppies, created by cross-breeding the runts of litters, are on the extreme end of the designer dog spectrum. One of the most shocking cases concerns doomed teacup puppy Pip, who was born missing part of her brain and became blind.
Puppy mills are perhaps one of the largest unacknowledged issues facing domestic animals today. Each year, millions of dogs, cats and other pets are intentionally bred in specially-made facilities by unlicensed breeders in Australia and around the world, and churned out to pet shops (especially around Christmas time). These dogs are bred in unsafe and unsanitary conditions, where the parents can spend their lives in cages.
It’s important we don’t support puppy mills by refusing to purchase animals from pet stores. Pet stores work on the basic supply-and-demand principle, like any other good or service. If we buy a puppy from a shop, it’s highly likely we are condemning its parents to further exploitation. It’s always better to adopt a pet from an animal shelter (where so many ex-pet store animals end up anyway) than to buy it on impulse from a shop, just because we think it’s cute or feel sorry for it.
What’s your stance on dog breeding?