Breeding dogs with deformities

Just like humans,  puppies are sadly occasionally born with deformities. Facial deformities and deformities of the limbs and skeleton are some of the more common birth defects seen in dogs and people.

Breeding dogs with deformities - dogs, breeding -

It is a tragic accident when a new life comes into this world without the ability to function normally like the rest of its species,  especially when the defect brings lifelong discomfort and multiple health problems. How much more tragic would it be if society allowed dog owners to engineer canine biology to deliberately induce these defects in our pet dogs.

Sadly, this is precisely what has happened with some domestic dog breeds. Today. Mutant dogs have been engineered by selectively breeding dogs with deformities to other dogs with the same deformity to perpetuate and accentuate these physical defects.

Two of the most common deliberate defects that modern dog breeders have deliberately encouraged and selected for are Brachycephalic dogs and Achondroplastic dogs.

Dogs that cannot breathe comfortably

Brachycephalic dogs have been bred with pushed-in faces, giving them a more flattened and human appearance. In some cases, the pug is an example. The affected dogs have virtually no muzzle whatsoever. This facial deformity results in severe palate malformation narrowed nostrils, and windpipes. In many cases, these, in turn, lead to horrible respiratory problems that torment the dog throughout its entire life.

Brachycephalic dogs also suffer from eye problems (due to shallow sockets), overheating, and birthing difficulties. Their eyes can literally ‘pop’ out of their sockets and may get very sore because they cannot close them properly. Some brachycephalic breeds can no longer give birth naturally due to their enlarged heads.

The degree of disability that comes with these deformities depends on how extreme the condition is in each breed it affects and may vary between individuals of the same breed. The Pug is one of the worst affected dogs.  Other brachycephalic breeds you may have come across are the Pekinese,  the Bulldog,  and the Boxer.

Dogs with shortened limbs

Achondroplasia is caused by a genetic mutation that causes dwarfism or significantly shortened legs. This condition can arise spontaneously in any breed of dog. However, in some species, the state has been selectively and deliberately bred for. The dachshund is a well-known example,  and the Welsh corgi is another.  Achondroplasia is a severe deformity associated in dogs with various health problems,  including painful back and joint problems.

Welfare standards have changed.

When these different dog breeds were first developed many years ago,  people paid much less attention to animal welfare.  Dogs were generally either working animals or pets for the few wealthier members of society. They were thought of as accessories or tools rather than respected.   Gradually, our attitudes towards dogs have changed over the last hundred years,  and this change has accelerated more recently. Tremendous improvements have been made in animal welfare, and we generally treat our pets much better than our great-grandparents did.

Unfortunately, the welfare of deliberately deformed dogs has ‘slipped through the net’  during this process,  and our modern breeding practices now need to ‘catch up.’ Hopefully, the world’s dog breeders will soon get together to close this loophole in animal welfare.

How you can help

But in the meantime, you can play your part by refusing to buy a deliberately deformed puppy. Whenever anyone buys a puppy doomed to a life of pain and disability, it encourages the breeder to breed again.

I hope you can pass on the message to your friends and family. However cute these dogs may look, it is essential for the future of our dogs that we are not tempted to buy a brachycephalic dog or any breed of dog that has been deliberately afflicted with achondroplasia.

And what about you? Do you own a brachycephalic dog? Are you tempted to buy one? Could you let us know your point of view?

Jennifer Barker

I'm Jennifer. My passion for dogs lead to this blog's creation in 2014. I share tales of life with my pups and insights on natural dog care so fellow pet parents can nurture the joy and wellbeing of their furry friends.

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