Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Dog inbreeding

Hey all,

I was lurking through the internet one day and came across an interesting discussion about dog breeding. Dog breeding itself is a concept widely known and understood, but I've always overlooked the idea of possible genetic consequences resulting from pure-breeds. The much rarer and more expensive dogs are often Pure-breeds, and this has created an industry revolved around dog inbreeding. This had led to the rise of many genetic diseases such as those related to eye and heart disease as well as bone and joint disorders. I thought I'd share an article that shares some information regarding the common problems associated with pure-breeds.


Another interesting point that I found through my research is the way humans have "selected" dogs over many generations. Dog breeders have been around for quite some time, but most often their purpose was to select traits is dogs that served a purpose, usually for some work involving strength, hunting expertise, or sense of smell. As we approached modern-day society, we began to focus more on appearance rather than work-related traits. This wouldn't necessarily be an issue, but this focus on appearances has led to the development of appearance characteristics that issue a health burden on the breed. An example is the English Bulldog, which apparently is susceptible to a wide variety of diseases and virtually incapable of mating or birthing without medical assistance. They also live to a median age of 6.25 years. I'd like to share this article from 2012 that makes comparisons to dogs 100 years ago versus modern-day. The author makes very specific analyses based how the breeds have been physically altered and the genetic consequences resulting.


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