ABC Exposes American Dogs
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To do that we need to provide them with a genetic heritage based on health, temperament and working ability rather than outdated ideas of exaggerated type and racial purity.