We have all seen the heart-breaking pictures online and on TV of suffering dogs being rescued from criminal living situations and ask “who could do such a thing!?” But there is a much more common version of this happening all around us. Though the damage is more subtle, it has a similar lasting impact.
Because of mass canine centers and puppy mills run by breeders who are less than reputable, many legitimate breeders have had to face scrutiny and strict rules. With an incredibly intensified influx of dogs from other countries, cross-breeding, instead of the expected improvement of the gene pool, has resulted in the loss consolidation, and even to the deterioration of the breed itself.
Selecting which dogs to breed is not only about the exterior appearance, but it is about the welfare and the state of the breed in general. Most canines are passed over for breeding for the slightest flaw. Puppies are typically inspected twice and being too small can, and often does, result in rejection from the program.
Adult breeding dogs are required to work out on training courses and present themselves in an exhibition every few years to reaffirm their candidacy for breeding. But what is the result? Does this prove that they are a healthy dog fit for breeding? Unfortunately not. The number of stillbirths or congenital deformities of puppies is not reduced. Malocclusions, cryptorchidism, dysplasia, unsavory behaviors have not been eliminated. So what is the real problem?
It all comes down to the degeneration of genes. All of these consequences of improper breeding are the result of systemic effects, indicating that the gene loses its stability. This is cause for concern. Most degenerative issues with common breeds could have been prevented through proper breeding practices. But the most significant obstacle in this case is unsystematic introduction of more and more foreign genomes into the existing population, i.e., increasing population hybridization and hybrid dysgenesis.
Of course, not every breeding mix leads to the emergence of hybrid dysgenesis. There may be the opposite effect: the combination of genomes will be successful, and they will have the perfect offspring. The mass breeding not only turns “man’s best friend” into a commodity but also thins out the stability of the passed on genes. That is why it is desirable to check the quality of their offspring. The appearance of a large number of systemic abnormalities in the offspring will be the indicator of dysgenesis. Know your dog’s family tree.
It is recommended that anyone looking to add a pup to their family to do exercise due diligence and find a trusted and responsible breeder. For a list of approved BARF breeders Click HERE.
Al Skender is a Raw Diet Educator for BARF World Inc. He’s a self-proclaimed expert on the German Shepherd breed, owning several of them throughout his life. He enjoys being outdoors and prefers it to being stuck in front of the television, unless The Office or CSI is on. For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for The Intelligent Pet monthly e-zine at barfworld.com/ezine