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Posts Tagged ‘pedigree dogs exposed’

I’m not saying these dogs are not exaggerated, but they are different from the bulldogs you normally see today. These come from a book called Kennel Secrets: How to Breed, Manage, and Exhibit Dogs (1904).

The dogs are wide in the chest. The heads are large, but they appear to be longer in the leg than the modern bulldog.

It is unlikely that a dog with the modern bulldog’s conformation could ever be bred in significant numbers in those days. Anesthetics simply weren’t as good as they are now, and Caesarians were much more risky. Now, the C-section is axiomatic in bulldog breeding, and breeders can now push the limits.

Top quality bulldogs look like this:

Source.

In short, breeding bulldogs has resulted in an animal that so horribly distorted that I don’t think a rational person can say they are okay.

Of course, all of this evidence doesn’t stop the flat-earth society from putting up misleading videos:

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Now that bulldogs are kept solely as pets, I thought their function was to live to be more than 7 years of age. In this function, they fail miserably. The average lifespan is now only 6.29 years.

But all of this is ignored by the flat-earth society.  It is as if all the facts don’t matter all, and they don’t care at all.

Of course, I’d be wrong to paint all bulldog breeders with such a broad brush, and blaming breed standards only goes so far.

But anyone who will tell you with a straight face that the bulldog is doing fine must be on something, deluded, or a liar.

I don’t know which of these possibilities is scarier.

It may be time for the Kennel Clubs to be a bit like dictators. Anyone can see these dogs are a total mess– except for the flat earthers.

Which is why I am glad I’m not into bulldogs.

The bulldog does need to be saved– but not from the “Kennel Club Dictatorship.”

It needs to be saved from the brainwashed tossers who would rather hold onto deformity than actually pay attention to what real functional conformation is.

The pet dog function is flexible enough to have bulldogs that look like those early twentieth century dogs.

But we are not doing anything good for the dogs if we keep holding onto deformity as an improvement.

And that’s the simple reality of the situation.

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8 P.M (EST)  tonight on BBC America.

Don’t have that channel?

Check it out on youtube:

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To watch the others, just click the video’s title as it is embedded on this page, and it will take you to the original youtube video. The others will appear as related videos.

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I think pekes are totally screwed. You cannot talk sense to 90 percent of their breeders. Trust me. You can show them old photos until the cows come home, but they still think the dogs that came from China looked like this dog.

This is one breed were most of its fanciers operate in a kind of vacuum-type paradigm in which evidence and logic are sacrificed for approval.

If you want to see what I mean. Look at the comments on this video.

Not only do I hate song, you can’t tell me that this dog is a “beautiful mover.”

 

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The reaction of the basset club chairperson is absolutely hilarious!

“We have improved them.”

Really?

 

 

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I’m posting this again, because I think everyone needs to see it again:

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We’ve already gone over the bulldog part of this documentary. I think there are people who are really starting to push for reform in the bulldog–which is getting harder because of the bulldog’s increased popularity.

The Pekingese bit is far more troubling. I happen to have a book called The Lost History of the Canine Race by Mary Elizabeth Thurston. It happens to have some interesting piece on the first Pekes ever imported to the UK.

And it has photographs of them.

They were different from the typical Chinese street dog.

They did have some exaggeration in type.

However, they looked a lot more like Tibetan spaniels than the dogs you see in the show ring. (Tibetan spaniels are not spaniels, in case you were wondering).

These small brachycephalic dogs have been in Asia for a very long time. Indeed, they may be one of the oldest forms of domestic dog. Remains of small, short-muzzled dogs have been found in kitchen middens in the Gobi Desert. These dogs have been dated to 10,000 years ago. And they were very similar to the pug or Peke type.

They were scavengers. Their small size was most likely an adaptation to the Spartan conditions of the human settlements and camps. The shortened muzzles may have been an adaptation to elicit more food from these ancient people. Short muzzles look cute to us, and it is a very human response to want to indulge animals we find cute.

Now,  their short muzzles and small sizes were functional in that environment, but it now seems to me that we’ve gone too far with the Pekingese.

Any dog that has to sit on a ice pack after just a short run around the show ring is not “fit for function” — even if that function is to be a pampered pet.

What I find interesting about Pekes is that one almost cannot find the photos of the early dogs in websites associated with breed clubs or show breeders. Their looks have entirely disappeared down the memory hole.

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Although looks alone should never determine the quality of a dog, I have noticed something disturbing about the fancy. One must train one’s brain to think of exaggeration as beauty. I find the early dogs much better looking than current show dogs. I am not a Pekingese person, and I’ve not been indoctrinated into their culture.

But I once worked with an assistance dog organization that used golden retrievers. All but one dog was from show lines. This particular dog had no problems retrieving. She did not have to be taught at all. She was gracefully built and reddish in color.  Because of her abilities, she was going to be a brood bitch for the program.

The other dogs had no retrieving instinct. They had to be taught to retrieve. They were calmer than she was, but they were a bit harder to work with.

But what was interesting was what the uninitiated public thought of the dogs. We had to do a program for a summer youth program, and the children thought the red bitch was prettier than the other dogs.

Now, they were not indoctrinated in the breed standard. Lightly-built goldens that are red in color are thought of as ugly in the show ring. The average person tends to find these dogs better looking than the show dogs. (I also do, but that’s not my fundamental attraction. Lightly-built dogs are in keeping with working conformation, and darker colors are more in keeping with the breed’s history.)

I think that’s because our brains are designed to reject exaggeration. We have to be trained to learn that exaggeration is good.

Of course, this dog was 8 months old, as were the other dogs.  I was told by the director that when the pups were 8 weeks old, no one thought the red bitch was cute. The show dogs were far cuter puppies. They looked like little polar bears. And I think that’s what drives exaggeration in golden retrievers, coarse dogs produce cute puppies.

It was only when they started to mature that the working strain puppy started to look better than the other dogs. She was also learning at a far more rapid rate than the other dogs. Now, this program was more interested in form rather than function, and if one dog was learning so much better than the other dogs, they started to go for those working lines.

The last time I checked with this program, the majority of their dogs were working strain goldens and of the darker color. There were goldendoodles and Labrador or two, but there were no show-type goldens.

But I did find this experience instructive. One must be indoctrinated to like extreme exaggeration.  However, when confronted with cute puppies, this tendency is often overridden.

So cuteness is driving certain breeds off the cliff.

And the rest are being distorted through the fancy’s indoctrination.

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This man is the Kennel Club’s “Baghdad Bob” :

Source (Jemima Harrison)

The Crufts winner had to be bleeped for legal reasons.

The Finnish spitz is actually a gun dog. It be used as a treeing dog and a flusher– just like spaniel. (Although, unlike spaniels, it is required to tree or “perch” the bird.)

So it actually still does have a purpose for which we can breed it.

I don’t think the Finnish hunters think these dogs are of poor quality. I think they would probably think the UK show dogs are. I’m not familiar with them, but I do know that gray Norwegian elkhounds have some similar characteristics.

When I first watched it, I laughed so hard that I nearly fell out of my chair.

It’s not the Mr. Cavill is stupid. He does know dogs, but his understanding of dogs is entirely within the framework of fancy. And that has him blinkered.

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As we all know the bulldog has been going downhill for at least a century.  Robert Leighton wrote about how hard it was to breed them. In those days, the majority of bulldog bitches were able to whelp without Caesarians, but Leighton gives advice on what age the bitch should be bred to prevent dystocia.

A century has passed without any meaningful reform to the bulldog standards  (at least in North America). Now, virtually no bitches whelp naturally. Most breedings are AI or done with racks.  The dogs have major issues with elongated soft palates, and these dogs have a hard time breathing and cooling themselves. Their life expectancy is very poor. The bulldog’s life expectancy is about half that of a golden retriever’s. Their average life expectancy is  6.29 years.

Now, there are good bulldog breeders out there. There are really compassionate people who are putting health first with this breed. I respect those breeders.

However, the institutionalized fancy  (at least in this country) is either ignoring this data or blasting away at it.

I was perusing bulldog health when I came upon a “Save the Bulldog” petition online.  I was going to sign it, but then I read it.

No, this petition wasn’t about saving the bulldog. Not by a long shot.

It was about preserving the contrived and distorted bulldog standard.

That’s something that we probably don’t need to save. In fact, I’d say we shouldn’t save it at all. I think we need a massive standard revision for the bulldog.

But that’s not what the bulldog mandarins are about. They would rather their dogs live very short miserable lives than ever reform a thing. The standard defines what a bulldog is. They just can’t see it any other way.

If these people want to fight reform, I say let them. It’s not even worth arguing with them because they have accepted this standard’s validity as if it were some kind of theology. No amount of evidence will change their minds. And if you try to do so, they will go into little histrionic screeds that aren’t worth reading, unless you want to laugh.

I want to save the bulldog. Absolutely. But I want to save them from these people!

And yes, I’d definitely stand still if someone did that to me!

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cav

Because I’m getting lots of comments from people who don’t get it, I’m posting  a link to this again.

This isn’t sensationalized journalism. Of course, if you don’t like the message, you’ll say everything to tarnish the message and the messenger.

Hey, I’m in politics. I get it.

When you give a hit, you’d better be prepared to take one.

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jrt1

Earlier this month, ABC’s Nightline featured a story about the problems in purebred dogs. I covered it here.

Unlike their British counterpart, the American dog fancy spammed the heck out of the comments section on the ABC New article.

Now, I’m in political science (at least partially. If anyone would like a Democratic campaign consultant– I can be of some use. )

Whenever you see lots of the same comments in a letters to the editor section of a newsaper or lots of the same comments on a youtube video or blogpost, you know there is a concerted effort at PR.  It is very instructive that many of the people placing these comments are using the same logic and invective against the reporter, ABC news, and everyone featured in that piece.  This similarity in their comments means that the fancy’s main people have given the breeders some sort of talking points.

The Kennel Club (of the United Kingdom) did not have good PR professionals working for its interests. I can’t believe the president of that particular club actually agreed to be interviewed in Pedigree Dogs Exposed. The  journalists who worked that program not only interviewed the KC’s upper echelon, they had extensive interviews. And as a result, the KC people could not effectively manage the crisis. That’s why this program has been so successful in building the outcry for kennel club reform in that country.

The AKC refused to appear in the ABC segment. That was a smart move from a PR perspective. The AKC can stay out of it. It can call the report biased.  Just more animal rights extremism.

And then, in wave two, they get their legions of loyal breeders to spam and troll any blog post that features this story, although they have not frequented this blog.

Remember, the mainstream media in this country is a wonderful political football for partisans of all stripes. And here I’m not just talking about the politics as we typically talk about it. Dogs are political. Dogs have lots of money tied up in them, and there are strong institutions that work within the world of dogs.  We all know that institutions are mostly about credibility, and these institutions will do anything to protect themselves from losing credibility. With credibility comes power. Reduction in credibility reduces powers. Having no credibility means you’ll cease to exist.

And that’s the war that all PR professionals fight.  The PR people working for the AKC are doing quite well at preserving the institutional legitimacy of that institution.

They are not falling into same trap that the KC fell for.

However, good PR works only so long as a spin can be made, and in twenty years, it is likely the number of dog breeds severely damaged by such practices will reach a level that far more people will be demanding reforms. After all, PR can only spin facts. It cannot change them.

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