Selective Dog Breeding Or How We Contribute To Their Poor Living Standards

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Dogs have been our companions for hundreds of years and we like to believe that we have immensely improved their quality of living.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, between 37 and 47 percent of U.S.’ households own at least one pet dog. Even though figures differ, at least one third of the 75 million dogs in the States are believed to be the result of selective breeding, born of direct relatives. Unfortunately, incestuous parings often result in various health problems and poor living standards.

Dr. Louse Murray, vice president of the SPCA Animal Hospital, told The Huffington Post that many humans aren’t aware that purebred dogs have not originated in the wild.

“Somehow there’s this misconception that dog breeds actually exist — like dachshunds are a natural thing in the world. We think, there are frogs, and there are chickens, and there are dachshunds. But of course you don’t realize until later that they’re just human constructs.”

The American Kennel Club, for example, has a rigid set of standards for each dog breed. If a dog fails to meet those standards, they are considered disreputable. They cannot compete in shows or appear in competitions. Only the dogs that who can trace their lineage back to the club’s original stock dogs can be certified.

Selective breeding doesn’t just affect the breed’s physical traits; it also contributes to a number of health problems and complications. The solution is simple – start breeding dogs for health, not looks. However, that is easier said than done.

Murray said that the only way to improve our dogs’ lives is to change the way people think.

“In my ideal world, we’d just do away with dog breeds and let them be outbred, the way most cats are. So it’s not cool to have a purebred. Just a dog.”

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