For centuries dogs have been bred for their physical qualities. Sleeker coats, smaller noses, and faster speeds are just some of the many qualities that have changed in dogs throughout time. Looking at your standard Chihuahua and comparing it to a Great Dane one would assume that there is many differences in their internal make up; after all they look nothing alike. Surprisingly, all that separates the two dogs is one letter in their DNA strand. Dog breeds surpass even the most drastic differences in humans. Since the early1800s breeders have taken note and advantage of this fact and created an opportunity to create their own kind of dog and expand the canine world. For the most part, dogs are bred for special purposes. In Russia a dog has been bred for bomb sniffing with the most sensitive nose to pick up the slightest traces of gunpowder. This achieved through experimenting with the breeding of a dog and Jackal. On the other side of the globe was American breeders produce Golden Retrievers to carry on a winning legacy at dog’s shows.
While it is impressive that man has been able to manipulate one species of animal so drastically it poses the important question of “Have we gone too far?” Many dogs suffer severe internal complications from inbreeding. For example, dogs with short noses, such as pugs and Boston Terriers have trouble breathing from this and often end up being over excitable. Other dogs end up with medical problems that many humans encounter such as arthritis, blindness, and some cancers. Personally, I am all for dogs being used to help society (i.e. bomb sniffing, search dogs, seeing eye dogs etc.), but I am torn when it comes to how it is affecting the animals from a medical and moral standpoint. I believe society is at a point now where breeders should stop trying to push the boundaries on creating the next big breed and focus on the dogs they have now.