One of my friends and clients, Christiane, has recently sent me a video that I would like to share with you. Being more than 20 years in veterinary practice, I have been faced with situations of animals suffering clearly as a result of human ignorance and ego. I have seen many breed trends over the years, from Sharpei’s to Weimeranners, then Golden Retreievers, Labradors, German Shepherds and now the so called “designer breeds” like Golden Doodle’s, Labradoodles, Schnoodles, Puggles and Bulshitz.
I have been watching all this with frustration of knowing that all these poor dogs are inbred genetic disasters that often suffer from incurable horrific conditions like seizures, allergies, paralysis, inability to breathe, digest or walk. They can’t live without severe medical interventions and sometimes need to be euthanized to end the suffering.
My frustrations made me question why is this all happening. Why do the so called breed standards go against common sense and function? Why do German Shepherds need to have dysfunctional sloping backs that is linked to spinal degeneration? Why do Cocker Spaniels need to have ears so long that they dip in the food dish and their anatomy doesn’t allow ears to air and be healthy? Why do short nosed breeds have to have noses so squished that they can’t breath? Why do Chi-hua-huas need to be delivered by Caesarian section because their heads have to be big? I could go on for pages here.
The problem is us, humans, and our ego. Perhaps it is the frequent unhappiness with our appearance. I find it bizarre that we are willing to cut up our body and make it scarred for life to look as plastic as the airbrushed photos in magazines.
We cheated ourselves into believing that the external look is more important than good physical function. Sadly, we try to do the same to our dogs through irresponsible breeding to create “the perfect look”, the perfect accessory.
I urge all well meaning and responsible breeders to start breeding for a proper function of the body and not the look. Dogs care about being able to run, be healthy and pain and disease free. They don’t care about looking pretty.
Rescuing a mutt is the best solution, because natural breeding usually leads to better function and health.
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM