Nature didn’t create dog breeds—humans did! Breeding purebred dogs (dogs with certain genetic traits or appearances) can cause inherited health conditions that can be painful and deadly. The idea that dogs are fashion accessories is promoted by the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) dog shows, like the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, and breeders who believe that “their” breed will be ruined if animals don’t maintain the image handed down by breed clubs decades ago.
An article in Time magazine estimates that one in four purebred dogs is afflicted with a serious genetic problem. Some of the health problems that result from breeding for certain physical attributes include the following, by breed:
1. German Shepherds
These dogs are more likely to suffer from the following conditions:
- Chronic pelvic pain
- At least eight different heart conditions
- Hip dysplasia
Beagles face an elevated risk of developing problems such as these:
- Breast cancer
- Herniated discs
3. Labrador Retrievers
Labs have a higher risk of encountering these issues:
- Eye cancer
- Skin allergies
- Joint pain
4. Yorkshire Terriers
These terriers are more likely to develop these conditions:
- A collapsing trachea
- Chronic diarrhea
As a result of selective breeding, bulldogs often have to be artificially inseminated and give birth via cesarean section because their heads are too large and their hips are too small to give birth naturally. They also commonly suffer from breathing problems. Learn more in the video below:
Boxers are prone to these issues:
- Several types of cancer
- Eye ulcers
- Respiratory problems
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Dilated cardiomyopathy
Poodles are at risk of developing the following problems:
- Progressive vision loss
- A collapsed trachea
Rottweilers may wind up suffering from these issues:
- Nerve pain
- Weakness and loss of control of the limbs
- Head tremors
- Heart disease
- Certain types of cancer
- Uterine infections such as pyometra (which can be fatal if it isn’t treated quickly)
9. Golden Retrievers
Golden retrievers are more likely to suffer from these conditions:
- Melanoma of the eye and mouth
- Deadly kidney dysplasia
- Bone cancer
- At least five different heart conditions
Dachshunds face a host of health problems. Their long backs and short legs lead to a higher risk of lifelong back, knee, and joint problems. They are also particularly susceptible to these other issues:
- Eye disease
- Heart valve defects
AKC breed standards stipulate that dalmatians with large patches of color on their fur can be disqualified. However, dogs with smaller patches who pass the “test” are more likely to be deaf.
12. Shar Peis
Shar Peis are prone to frequent skin infections because of their excessively wrinkled skin.
Pugs are prone to spina bifida because many breeders feel that their tails must be curled as tightly as possible over the hip. They are also more likely to suffer from the other conditions shown in the image above.
The brachycephalic (or flat) faces of Pekingese can cause breathing problems because of shortened air passages.
15. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
These spaniels have been bred to have unnaturally shaped skulls, which can cause a condition called syringomyelia, in which the skull is too small for the brain, forcing brain tissue to protrude through the base of the skull and put pressure on the spinal cord. The dog pictured below is recovering from surgery to correct syringomyelia.
My #beautiful #boy is #recovering well from his #chiarimalformation corrective #surgery he is a little #dopey and #moving around with #caution. However his #tail does #wag when he sees a few of his #favourite people @divits and @carmi888 he forgets he has just had surgery when an #animal comes on #TV or a #possum dares to enter our #backyard #cavlife #cavalier #cavalierpride #Ruby #Rubycav #saveourcavs #ilovemydog #ilovemycavalier #animalcare #animalhealth #syringomyelia #instacav #instacute #instadog #cavaliersofinstagram
Breeders and those who participate in dog shows like Westminster are selfishly hurting dogs just to meet a stupid, arbitrary “breed standard.” 💔 But purebred dogs aren’t the only ones who are suffering. With MILLIONS of dogs in need of homes, every puppy born to a breeder means a lost opportunity for a dog waiting in a shelter for a family of his or her own.
If you are determined to adopt a purebred dog, check out local breed rescue groups or open-admission animal shelters. It has been estimated that at least 25 percent of dogs in animal shelters are purebred! Just be sure that you’re ready for the challenge of taking care of a purebred pooch, as many of them have special needs.