ABC Exposes American Dogs

March 13, 2009 at 1:52 am 2 comments

Last year Jemima Harrison’s controversial BBC documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed gave British dog lovers a shocking look into the ugly side of the dog breding industry.  Inbreeding, exaggeration of maladaptive traits, a maniacal focus on eugenic purity and an obsession with fashion over function have wreaked havoc in far too many breeds.  While the expose hasn’t yet provoked the kinds of wide-spread changes in breeding that many of us would like to see; it certainly opened a lot of eyes.

This week ABC’s Nightline aired an eye-opening episode called Best in Show? exposing the countless, needless problems caused by closed registries.  As my friend Gina posted over at PetConnection:

It’s time to open these registries and get some fresh genetic material into the business of purebred dogs. And into the dogs as well. Open the registries to well-planned, scientifically sound outcrosses. You will still have your breeds as you like them, just healthier.

I couldn’t agree more. Pat the Terrierman posted some great information here — he was involved in preparing the episode.  Please watch both documentaries and share them with your dog-loving friends.  We owe our dogs the best health we can give them.  To do that we need to provide them with a genetic heritage based on health, temperament and working ability rather than outdated ideas of exaggerated type and racial purity.


Entry filed under: dog, dogs, health. Tags: , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Petbey  |  March 13, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment.
    I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog.
    I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  • 2. Pai  |  March 14, 2009 at 6:11 am

    The dog breeding world needs to become more like the horse/cat show world — open to outcrosses and valuing overall ‘type’ over ‘purity’. Purity does nothing but choke the gene pool and slowly stagnate a breed to death, there’s a reason that you see this problem overwhelmingly with purebred dogs instead of with cats or livestock (not saying they don’t exist in those groups too, but nowhere near the endemic amount that many dog breeds have).

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