Tag Archives: purebred dogs

The poop on dog shows and purebred dogs

By Lindsay Pollard-Post

I got strep throat almost every year as a kid, and it always seemed to strike in February. For me, the injustice of missing out on swapping paper hearts and candies with my friends at school was tempered by lying on the couch with my dog, Katie, and watching the Westminster Dog Show. But had I known then that Westminster — and the dog-breeding industry that it props up — share the blame for the mutilation and deaths of millions of dogs each year, I would have changed the channel faster than you can say “Sesame Street.”

Back then, I had no idea that the snub-nosed bulldogs and pugs prancing around the ring may have been gasping for breath the whole time because these breeds’ unnaturally shortened airways make exercise and sometimes even normal breathing difficult. I didn’t know that the “wiener dogs” who made me laugh as their little legs tried to keep up may have eventually suffered from disc disease or other back problems because dachshunds are bred for extremely long spinal columns. I didn’t learn until much later that because of inbreeding and breeding for distorted physical features, approximately one in four purebred dogs suffers from serious congenital disorders such as crippling hip dysplasia, blindness, deafness, heart defects, skin problems and epilepsy. Continue reading The poop on dog shows and purebred dogs