Science of Dogs is an eye-opening documentary from National Geographic. Mankind has been altering genes of dogs to serve specific purposes for all this time. Examples of these purposes given by the documentary include security, personality, sports, aesthetics, and etc.
While it’s fantastic that we can mold and shape the perfect pet for everyone, I cringed at the fact that many purebreds have genetic health risks due to the selective breeding process. There’s no denying that humans are too eager to acquire what we desire. In order to achieve what we have come up with to be the “standard”, people have reduced the gene pool thus negatively affecting the health of dog breeds. Though it’s unfortunate that “mankind’s best friend” has to go through this, positive results have resulted from the selective breeding process as well. A newly developed breed used by airport security, can detect traces of dangerous substances smaller than a grain of sand? I think that’s pretty amazing. If only people weren’t so hasty and carried more caution when going about this I feel like it would be a great thing. Unfortunately, a huge factor in why these dogs are bred is for aesthetic reasons.
More examples of health problems caused by irresponsible breeding among purebred breeders is epilepsy in beagles, and eyeballs popping out of the pug’s sockets. Beagles are more prone to having epilepsy than other breeds. Epilepsy is “a neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions, associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain” (courtesy of google) and is a disease that exist in humans as well. The pug has a smushed face and so doesn’t have a lot of space for eye sockets. As a result their it’s not uncommon for their eyes to pop out of the socket and because they have eyes that bulge and protrude out, they can be easily scratched by vegetation as well as furniture. The wrinkles on the cute pug’s face must also be cleaned regularly in order to prevent infection.