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Old 03-03-2010, 11:34 PM   #1
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BBC Documentary on Inbreeding in Pedigree Dogs

This is an interesting documentary on the widespread effects of inbreeding in pedigree dogs. Its sad and frustrating. I found the comparisons between modern dogs and those from just 100 years ago to be quite striking. I often find myself wondering if certain breeds are uncomfortable in their skin, so to speak; it cant be pleasant being a slobbering bulldog gasping for air in the summertime. This video only emphasizes how desensitized we've become to the look of certain breeds. Being the BBC, I'm sure its sensationalized to some extent, but informative none the less

Documentary - BBC - Pedigree Dogs Exposed Video by bordercollie19 - MySpace Video
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:24 AM   #2
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This program has an agenda and yes is very sensationalized, but I agree there is some important information there as well. I am heavily involved in training purebred dogs, however I would not call myself a "dog person". I am very picky about which breeds and which dogs are of interest to me. I will never own a brachycephalic breed or take part in cropping of ears and docking of tails for cosmetic reasons. Most of the dogs and people on that program disgust me. I will not have any part in breeding dogs simply for aesthetic purposes. I only work with breeds that require little grooming, have natural ears, claws, and tails, are lean and athletic and have the correct drive and temperament to first and foremost be a working dog.

Form follows function, no one will convince me otherwise. Just know that this program only represents one side of the story. There are plenty of people who have devoted their lives to breeding and training sound dogs with correct drives and structure that is is not dictated by show ring fads.

Below is my UKC Champion bitch (has 2 legs towards Grand Champion but has been spayed so is no longer eligible to show). She has about a dozen titles for obedience, schutzhund/dog sport, herding, agility, therapy dog, three time Canine Good Citizen, and temperament tested. This dog has titled or qualified every single time on the field/course, never NQ'd/DQ'd. The AKC or Kennel Club show people would laugh her out of the ring, but this dog moves effortlessly and comes from lines of working dogs in Germany, not oversized, stupid show dogs (she is 50lbs and 21" at the wither). I did three years of research before I got this dog. For the 100 years comparison, she is pictured next to the 1910 Sieger. Not bad, wouldn't you say?

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Old 03-04-2010, 03:28 PM   #3
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Form follows function, no one will convince me otherwise. Just know that this program only represents one side of the story.
I think thats a point that the documentary wouldve done well to emphasize. I'm sure there are a ton of people like yourself who care more about the animals themselves than for the awards a 'show' dog will win for them, regardless of the animals health.
The mentality of the people in the documentary seems more akin to parents of those preteen beauty pageant contestants than to animal lovers. It sickens me that they turn a blind eye the the adverse affects on the dogs. I think its somewhat common knowledge that inbreeding goes on, but I had no idea the extent to which the genetic variation in some breeds had been stunted. If I saw a German Shepard walking the way the ones in the show were walking, I'd think it was on its last legs (my old Schnauzer started walking that way toward the end of his life as his hips weakened).
Anyway Liesje, posting the video wasnt meant to be damning to all breeders. I would hope people who have seen that documentary have the common sense to know that there are also responsible breeders who care about the animals. Regardless, the producers shouldve mentioned that
And thats a beautiful dog!
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:52 PM   #4
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If I saw a German Shepard walking the way the ones in the show were walking, I'd think it was on its last legs (my old Schnauzer started walking that way toward the end of his life as his hips weakened).
Actually the GSDs depicted in the program are not that extreme. The problem is that they used the worst possible footage. The American line GSDs are by far, much, much worse if you can believe it. In the UK, they show German show line dogs like you see in the program. They move well but since they are a large dog with a rectangular shape, more angulation than other breeds, open shoulder angulation, they really need a large ring to be shown off correctly. It was years ago that I watched this program but I remember noting at the time thinking that whoever made the program did a good job of using really unflattering footage. The dogs are not even gaiting because the ring is so small. The handlers are also doing a poor job, but the Kennel Club and AKC are looking for something totally different than how I and other GSD fanciers show our dogs (German style). They don't care if the dog is "strung up" on the lead and being dragged around. I should probably watch the clips again, but I remember those dogs looking terrible because the ring was not appropriate, the dogs need more ring training, and the program was using bad footage of bad handling. The "down and back" is really not how you judge a dog's overall movement and conformation.

It's a common misconception that you can see bad hips. You can't. Hip dysplasia is diagnosed by x-ray only. I've seen dysplastic dogs move clean and OFA excellent dogs move like someone just cut their ligaments and then clubbed them over the back before they stepped into the ring. The problems with the show line German shepherds is the extreme angulation in the rear, loose ligaments, longer thighs and hocks, and steep croups. None of these have anything to do with the hips or hip dysplasia/arthritis (the shape of the femoral heads and how they fit into the socket).

Quote:
Anyway Liesje, posting the video wasnt meant to be damning to all breeders.
I understand, just stating my POV lest anyone think that a TV program with an agenda represents the majority (it does not).

What's important is that even though the dog is one species, you can spend a lifetime, even generations in one family devoted to a single breed. I might know an awful lot about GSDs but that doesn't mean I know two things about a Rhodesian Ridgeback. One thing I did not like about the program is that it sort of haphazardly focused on a smattering of breeds and then tried to represent all breeders or persons involved in conformation in any capacity as the devil. For all I know, Pekingese fanciers are the devil, but the closest I'd ever get to that breed and those people are if their dog wins the toys and mine wins the herding and we are in the BIS ring together for 20 minutes. There are a lot of valid questions and concerns brought up in the program but people should absolutely not be making decisions about dogs, breeds, or breeders based on snippets from that program. It's just not fair.
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:01 PM   #5
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I think its somewhat common knowledge that inbreeding goes on, but I had no idea the extent to which the genetic variation in some breeds had been stunted.
Another point - inbreeding and line breeding is not bad when done correctly. As I was saying earlier, I cannot speak for other breeds and how they police themselves or how closely they are comfortable line-breeding, but the SV (parent organization) in Germany will not allow line-breeding closer than 2,3 and most breeders don't ever consider getting that close. Nikon is 5,5-5 (on Ulk von Arlett) which is not much line-breeding for a German show line GSD, where there admittedly is more of a genetic bottleneck (Canto/Quanto/Mutz are really the foundation of this "type" of GSD). That means Ulk is his "great-great-great-grandfather" 3 times. Line-breeding done correctly by people who actually know the lines and the dogs can be THE most useful tool for producing healthy dogs with correct temperament.
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:22 PM   #6
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Another point - inbreeding and line breeding is not bad when done correctly.
It's ok, guys. She's from the mid-west.
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