Thursday, August 21, 2008

"We are, in effect, breeding them to death"

Thanks to Terrierman for posting these links:

UPDATE: Unfortunately, the "Pedigree Dogs Exposed" videos have been taken down from YouTube. You can see short promotional snippets of the program at the BBC website here and here. If anyone knows of another link to the entire program, please leave it in the comments.

The BBC program Pedigree Dogs Exposed is available for viewing on YouTube (in 6 parts):
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

I love my mutts.


LucyandWalter said...

Wow. I lost count of how many times I was in complete and utter disbelief at the things the breeders said.

The images of the breeds' past vs. present speak volumes. Just unreal...

Elayne said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elayne said...

I love how the guy from the RSPCA called Crufts a 'parade of mutants'. Unfortunately is too high a percentage of the purebred population becomes carrier for genetic diseases then it will trickle down to the mutts and soon noone will be able to get a healthy dog. My strategy is to get a dog that doesn't look anything like any AKC breed standard. It would be funny if the public came to regard AKC papers as a bad thing and the breeders had to hide their association with the AKC. But I'm not holding my breath.

Lisa B. said...

There's more than a century brand marketing (the brand=pedigreed dogs) on the part of the kennel clubs to overcome before people start wising up, I think. I mean, look at the lady crusading against breeding cavaliers with syringomyelia--even she thinks that the breed must be saved, like it's something sacred.

Elayne said...

I read somewhere that the BBC is considering not airing Crufts because of the documentary (they would appear hypocritical). I wonder if the kennel clubs get enough bad press and lack of media support and press about the lack of media support if the public will change their view? I could see it happening in Britain moreso than here in the U.S. There are always going to be people so in love with a breed that they'll be blind to all else, something I've never understood, but I wonder if those people are in the minority. I would hope the average person wants a healthy happy pet over a sick one with a particular look but I suppose people aren't always rational when it comes to dogs.

Lisa B. said...

I think the TV coverage of things like Crufts and Westminster really contribute to the popular opinion that purebred dogs are somehow better, and that picking out a dog is like looking through a catalog and deciding what model (i.e. breed) you want. So people get fixated on wanting not a dog per se, but a bulldog, or a pug, or a golden retriever. It strikes me as being similar to the way we think about cars ... like the one you select makes a statement about you to the rest of the world. Is it any wonder that so many purebreds show up in shelters?

As for people wanting a healthy pet over a sick one ... well you'd think, wouldn't you? But my co-worker wants an English bulldog more than anything in the world, and even though I've sent her reams of information about how horribly unhealthy they are and how they ALWAYS cost their owners dearly in vet bills, the only think that is keeping her from getting one is that she can't afford the $1,500-$2,000 price tag. So yeah, rationality seems to fly out the window once someone has her heart set on a particular brand of dog. (Why do people think bulldogs are cute? I can't stand to look at them!)

So anyway, I hope the BBC does dump Crufts, because I think it would be the principled thing for them to do.

Elayne said...

Funny, yesterday I talked a friend out of getting a bulldog and all I had to do was tell her they had a lot of health problems, didn't even have to go into detail. There are some people out there who have brains. Then I sent her a link to a list of genetic diseases common in each breed and I think I scared her off getting a dog altogether.

I can't understand the weird irrational fixation on breeds either. I just want a dog with a personality I like that isn't likely to have loads of health problems and has a reasonable temperament. Whatever package that comes in is fine with me.

Lisa B. said...

Well, I do understand why people want Border Collies or Jack Russell terriers for agility and flyball ... but wouldn't you know those are two of the very few breeds still bred for working abilities! But I think maybe what I really want is a border/jack, which puts me right back in "mutt" territory ;-)

cedarfield said...

I watched about 3 minutes of the first part of the documentary and then couldn't watch anymore. Too grusome for me. I wish it had been less sensational in nature because I would have liked to watch it.

Lisa B. said...

The really disturbing stuff is all at the beginning. The only thing that really bothered me was the Cavalier howling in pain that no one could do anything about.

I thought it was definitely worth sitting through the awful parts in the beginning.

jdege said...

"Well, I do understand why people want Border Collies or Jack Russell terriers for agility and flyball ..."

Ditto. And I understand why the Border Collie and Jack Russell owners fought so hard against Kennel Club recognition.

The Jack Russell Terrier Club operates an open registry. The only dogs that aren't allowed in the JRTC are those descended from KC Parsons, after the point in time where the KCs closed their registry. said...

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