Inbreeding is bad for dogs.
Do I need to say this again?
It’s bad for dogs.
The only people who think it is good don’t know what they are talking about– or they have been so severely indoctrinated into the dog culture that they can’t see it.
In virtually all of these dog registry and competition systems, there is a strong desire to produce a high level of homozygosity in either behavior or conformation. You win more consistently if you have more homozygosity in your lines. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking shih-tzus or trial border collies. The tendency is to breed tightly and to breed to the dogs that win.
No one sits back and thinks about what this does to the dog populations in the long-term, because no one is really in it for the long term. You’re in it to win it.
This means that dogs will continue to lose genes over time. At the very same time, it will be these breeders who are forcing them down these tight genetic bottlenecks who will say they are improving the dogs.
They might be improving in one sense, but in another, they are impoverishing their animals with each successive generation.
The least obvious way in which they are impoverishing their dogs has to do with the immune system. You can’t see immune systems or the genes associated with them, but by golly, you can lose immune system genes.
The genes associated with the immune system are called the Major Histocompatibility Complex, which are called the dog leukocyte antigen (DLA) system. These genes are very easily lost when one is inbreeding or very tightly line breeding.
Now, in most domestic dog populations, breeders are operating within a closed registry system. These closed registries rarely allow new blood in, and if they do, it will most often be from dogs that derive from the same founding population– so it’s not really a new infusion of genes at all.
Then, you have another nice problem within closed registry systems. They demand that people breed only from the best dogs within that system. So certain winning stud dogs wind up siring a huge proportion of the puppies in each generation. Over time, many of these dogs wind up with very similar paternal ancestors, which means it’s very hard to produce dogs within the breed that are not highly inbred.
So you essentially have a system set up for the destruction of the domestic dog as an organism. Over time, the immune system will continue to weaken, coefficients of inbreeding will continue to increase, and the health and reproductive ability of the dogs will continue to fail.
Do we seriously want dogs to end up here?
Do we think all of these breeds are so unique that we can never allow a gene flow to exist between them?
If we think all of these things are true, then we have to accept the obvious consequence– the total collapse of many breeds.
And this analysis doesn’t even account for the tendency for deleterious and lethal recessives to be inherited in a homozygous fashion as a result of inbreeding.
If we are to be honest about saving dogs, we need to tell these people who promote this toilet science of blood purity and who sanctify consanguinity that they are very wrong– and what they are doing is ultimately dangerous.
I don’t care if some breeder or some half-assed geneticist says it’s okay.
It’s not okay.
It’s going to destroy dogs.
Someone might get good results from a very tight breeding.
That’s not what I’m talking about.
I’m talking about population genetics and population genetics over time.
If everyone is doing that sort of breeding over a long period of time within a closed registry system, it is guaranteed to fail.
But the institutionalized fancy and its token prostitute scientists continue to promote inbreeding and make apologies for its use that are so twisting of the actual science of dog biology that one wonders if these people might be closet creation scientists.