Aside from two birds and one fish – all of which are dead, by the way – I’ve never had a pet before. No cats. No dogs. Have been around a lot of people with pets though. I like to joke with my roommate that she ought to pick up the first stray kitten or puppy she sees and bring it home, though. As much as I do secretly hope that this happens, I honestly wouldn’t know what to do if she does happen to bring one back. I mean, pets – especially dogs – tend to get sick pretty often. They share a lot of diseases with humans, and they don’t live as long either.
The inbreeding – which is what you’re doing, when you’re breeding purebreds – doesn’t help either. You’d think that if humans aren’t allowed produce children of incest, dogs shouldn’t either. Not that inbreeding in and of itself is a bad thing, but the products do have a high chance of manifesting traits for disease and stuff. That’s why one out of four purebred dogs have some kind of genetic disease; there’s not much new genetic material coming in to mix around with, so you’re pretty much just recycling everything that’s awesome and not so awesome. Like pugs.
Pugs are really small and cute, but they require human help with childbirth (or they die). Their eyeballs also have a tendency to pop out of their sockets if move them around. Their tails are genetic defects (kind of like the spines on ridgeback dogs). Their faces are so squished that they can’t quite breathe right.
Here’s a link that shows a pretty big difference of the before and after of certain dog breeds: http://seriouslyamerica.tumblr.com/post/71215427031/scalestails-fighting-for-animals-how-dog
Consider the white tiger. Naturally occurring white tigers are super rare, but there’s are more white tigers in captivity than chance says there ought to be. This is because white tiger “conservation” programs would be breed daughters to fathers or cousins with cousins to produce white tiger offspring. It’s believed that a lot of the white tigers in captivity are descended from one individual white tiger from India. White tiger cubs often have a lot of defects. The cubs that aren’t born white are likely to be abused or killed.
Adult white tiger, Moscow zoo, by Robert Broadie
Maybe the same thing happens with dogs. I don’t really know.
I don’t really think much of the this practice. Sure, it leads to some pretty neat breeds like the ones in Russia with the super sniffers, but it also leads to so many genetic problems. I mean, sure, certain dog breeds might be more to your taste than others, and some of them have a specific niche important purpose, but otherwise, it seems kind of backwards and cruel to make purebred dogs. Like you’re kind of ensuring a whole slew of health problems and stuff in the next generation.