Thursday 12 December 2013


When most people think of cruelty to dogs, they think of physical mistreatment and, indeed, there are shocking cases a-plenty of this.  I, however, want to draw your attention to another kind of cruelty - deliberate inbreeding.

I'm sure you are aware that in Dog Shows, breeds have to have the right number of points to win.  Certain dog breeders, however, feel the best way to produce the dog most likely to win is to inbreed for as many generations as possible, in order to produce the 'perfect' dog.

The result may be a dog that will win, but all sorts of physical deformities inside the dog can arise from this.  Bulldogs, for example, can suffer from respiratory difficulties.  The gene pools of many a canid are so small that numerous disorders can result.

Nature has its own remedies to stop inbreeding.  If there is a litter of young in a mammalian species, the females will attain maturity before the males and will mate with males from another litter.  In humans, children who grow up together for their first six years with siblings do not (as a rule) find those siblings sexually attractive.

But I am informed that there are people out there who, to have the "finest" dogs to place on show, use inbreeding to the point that dogs are produced which undergo a life of suffering.  Those who organize dog shows should be persuaded, not alone to discourage this, but to take active steps against it.  Those Dog Shows that do not should be boycotted by all who have the welfare of animals at heart. 

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