Before I go into this; if there are any images I have used that people wish me to remove, please just ask.
The more I am involved in showing the more it horrifies me, as I knew it would. As a young child I stopped watching Crufts because even then, I could see that certain breeds in particular where being ruined. Now, as I am on my way to Crufts, I find myself apprehensive at the prospect of being around people that are so wrapped up in the dog world that they fail to see the very thing that is wrong with it. People!! I have recently come across people praising breeders for their dogs and honestly, looking at particular dog(s), I can only see generations of interfering for the worst. Can we honestly say that dogs now are a credit to their predecessors? Are healthier? Better to look at? I sadly have to say no to all three of those questions. I have a few images to show my point:
The first set of images is a ‘working’ Neapolitan mastiff and the image next to it is what you will find in the ring at dog shows and Crufts. How is a show Neapolitan any relation to a working mastiff? And why are the dogs shown in the ring not a credit to the breed? Surely the dogs in the show ring should be the same as the ‘working’ dog? The Neo was originally a fighting dog and used in wars and then later as a police dog…
Unfortunately, as in a terrifying majority of dog breeds, due to the level of inbreeding, the dogs we have today are subject to the recessive genes of their family. And due to inbreeding, these recessive genes are now no longer masked by the dominant genes that should be passed on! Breeders are so set on mixing pairs that ‘look’ right that they have zero consideration for the genetics involved at all. The challenge for today’s breeders is to find dogs that are suitably unrelated. A challenge to say the least. Purebred dog lovers are their own worst enemy. They refuse to add in new genetics by adding in different breeds. I understand that defeats the purpose of a ‘purebred’ but, surely it could open the breed up to diversity. For instance, there is a gentleman in America that breeds Dalmations; and unfortunately Dalmations lack the ability to break down uric acid. To solve this problem, the breeder bred a Dalmation with a healthy pointer, and then bred one of the pups with another Dalmation. The resulting pups looked identical to Dalmations but minus the defective genes. The American Kennel club refused to accept the ‘fixed’ litter as Dalmations. What dog people forget is that the breeds we have today did not magically appear but they were originally a mix of different dogs! Why can’t we accept some mixing, as long as the dogs themselves are healthy and if it fixes common health problems?
I have a few more examples of the changes humans have made to dog breeds and sadly I think it will be too difficult to get back to a healthy dog unless we make severe changes.
Due to nothing but looks we have changed dogs faces, ears, legs, spines etc. Anything we could tamper with we have and unfortunately the dogs we have in the show ring today could not compete with their working counterparts or indeed their predecessors.
If anyone would like to have an honest discussion about this I am more than happy to have a chat.