Just received an interesting email from Helen Coen at the RSPCA, she wanted to let me know about a campaign that they are presently running that hopes to highlight the suffering some dog breed’s have to go through just so that they can be Kennel Club registered.
Here’s an interesting piece of information she provided me with some Statistics taken from a TNS report in December 2011:
People were asked what they associate with pure-breed or pedigree dogs.
The top six responses were:
2. Well bred
3. From good breeding stock
5. Responsibly bred
Now to a lot of people these answers may ring true, but in reality only 1 of these six response is most likely to be true and that’s No.1 : Expensive
The rest can’t always be said to be true with a lot of KC Registered dogs, take for instance the Bulldog, this once proud animal was originally used in the sport of bull baiting. This entailed the setting of dogs (after placing wagers on each dog) onto a tethered bull. The dog that grabbed the bull by the nose and pinned it to the ground would be the victor.
Now look at your present day Bulldog and you could never even imagine this breed being involved in anything as strenuous or as dangerous as taking on a enraged bull in a ring, this pale example of what was a fine active sporty, courageous companion has been brought about through cross-breeding and selective breeding and we are now left with a breed of dog that suffers from :
Elbow and patellar dysplasia
Hip dysplasia can
And on top of these health issues there are further physical eccentricities that have now beset this breed, particularly when it comes to procreation.
Due to the massive head and relatively narrow hips of the modern Bulldog nearly all births are the result of a caesarian section, and also due to these physical eccentricities and the Bulldog male dog’s frequent inability to mate most litters are conceived via artificial insemination.
On top of these ailments, you’ll also find that Bulldog’s are very intolerant of heat, so woe betide you take your dog for a walk in summer, the poor creature will end up sounding like an asthmatic as it attempts to cool itself down
What have we done to what was a once proud and healthy breed of dog, just for the sake of someone’s idea of the perfect Bulldog, the worrying thing about all this is that it’s not just the Bulldog we’ve decided to play god with it’s numerous breed’s, here’s a list of some of the one’s that truly show how much damage we’ve done
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – Suffer from a condition known as syringomyelia, which occurs as a result of the skull being too small for the brain.
German Shepard – Being bred with an extremely sloping back that causes poor gait and disease in the hind legs.
Pugs – Due to inbreeding these are now genetically predisposed toleg and knee problems, such as Hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease.
Dalmatians – Hereditary hearing loss is common and now cases of Epileptic seizures are starting to appear in Dalamations (is this perhaps due to inbreeding/eugenics)
Hopefully the RSPCA campaign will continue to gather weight and breeders, the Kennel Club and most importantly the buying public will start to care more about a dog’s health than just how it’ll look in their handbag or on the end of their leads.
Let me know your thoughts . .