Thursday, January 20, 2011

If you must breed… breed wisely... PLEASE!

We as humans have been “manufacturing” mans best friends for thousands of years.
It is said all domestic dogs derived from the wolf.
And that Eugenics plays a role in our dog breeds today.
A good show to reference in this case is “Dogs Decoded” found on Netflix.
It’s all about genetics! The way Fido looks, his interactions with other dogs, animals, and people including children even his prey drive or lack thereof
I’m not saying environment doesn’t play a role in the way Fido behaves but by far genetics trumps environmental influence tenfold.
If the need to breed is in you go forth with a mindset of perfection ONLY!!
We have bred dogs for thousands of years for looks; coloring, temperament and working purpose but while doing so we have disregarded health factors and bred into Fido health issues…
Keep in mind that not all health issues are created equal. Some are easily corrected and thereafter do not adversely affect the life of the dog, others are life threatening or a lifelong burden, and some a merely a minor nuisance.
This is where I suggest health testing before breeding. That does not always correlate well with existing health issues. For example, breeders of Huskies are encouraged to check for hip problems, yet they have a very low incidence of hip problems. This is good as "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
Health testing is an expensive venture but so is replacing the knees on your best friend because as selfish humans we can’t see euthanizing our dogs… or cancer treatment… or a contraption strapped to the hind legs of your toy dog because of paralyses from a spinal defect.  
I can speak from experience and this is hard for me to admit but at the young age of 25 I learned an all too real life lesson on breeding. I bred Henna and Brinks against the advice of a wise Ol’ dog person. Instead of having my dogs health tested I decided to go ahead and have the puppies evaluated afterward… the outcome was devastating ALL the puppies were genetically flawed in areas that would lead to poor quality of life. I took them one by one from the crate in the back of my van in to the vet’s office to be humanely euthanized.
Shortly after my bulldogs were spayed and neutered.
Breeding is not for everyone and those who choose to breed take on a huge responsibility.

Approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately 3 million to 4 million are euthanized (60 percent are dogs)  It is estimated that 1 million of those dogs are "Pit Bulls"  :*(

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