1. architectinberlin says

    “Purebreeds” are so immoral. It boggles the mind how people don’t see how highly problematic this is: a glorification of canine “eugenics.”

    If you want a dog go to a damn shelter and get yourself a happy, healthy mutt.

  2. OMNOMNOM says

    There’s nothing remotely immoral about breeding dogs. Humans have selectively bred all domesicated animals for countless milennia. This is nothing new. Modern dogs wouldn’t even exist if this weren’t the case.

  3. Dave says

    Omnomnom — With respect, I have to point out a flaw in your logic. Just because humans have practiced selective breeding forever doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.

    As the NY Times pointed out recently, breeding for desired traits has resulted in countless health problems for certain breeds. The bulldog, for example, is in danger of ceasing to exist:

    Society has discriminated against LGBT people for millenia. I guess that’s not immoral either, since it’s been going on forever. Right? Just wanted to be sure I was clear on your logic.

  4. Omnomnope says

    ‘Pure-bred’ dogs are problematic in that they effectively commodify inbreeding, which yields a drastically higher risk of health problems, while simultaneously reinforcing the misinformed view that pure-bred dogs are superior to their counterparts, damaging the reputation of animals that genuinely need someone to adopt them.
    Go to a shelter or rescue and get a happy, healthy mutt.
    Getting a dog from a shelter makes a difference for the dog as well as yourself, while getting a dog from a breeder only changes things for you. People don’t buy dogs from breeders because they want to make that dog’s life better (or even save said dog from an untimely death), they buy dogs from breeders because they view it as a status symbol, as a way of improving their lives and social standing. It’s vain and pathetic.

  5. Caliban says

    Stephen Colbert really laid into the Westminster Kennel Club last night for disassociating themselves with Pedigree dog food over a commercial that encouraged viewers to adopt shelter dogs. WKC felt the ad wasn’t in keeping with their mission, promoting “pure” breeds.

    Of course the segment was filtered through comedic, Colbert-colored glasses wherein the rabble (shelter dogs) were engaging in class warfare with the “canine one percenters” (the WKC dogs), but it was clear where his sympathies lay.

  6. TJ says

    Um, well, my current dogs are almost purebreds (no papers). We got them because of certain breed characteristics (bright, extremely good companion animals). No vanity involved. We’ve adopted dogs from the pound before, too, and donate to our local shelter. While I would prefer that the next be a mutt, I know that my partner loves the breed we have (his first dog was this breed). We will probably adopt from a rescue. I know that this won’t please the ideological purists, but we do try to make up for our selfishness.

  7. Paul says

    Not all shelter dogs are happy and healthy, many are very poorly socialized and are better off adopted by people who have experience. Inbreeding, line breeding, or close breeding does not CREATE genetic problems. Cross breeding does not ERADICATE genetic problems. People buy/adopt dogs for many, many different reasons. The “I only adopt mutts” personality can be just as snobbish about his dogs as the “I only have purebreds” can be about hers. Where ever you chose to look for a dog doing your homework before is as important as any other factor. Ask yourself honest questions “How much time can you afford to invest, do you really have time to spend with a dog, how many hours per day/week do you work? How much money for supplies, equipment, training, food, veterinary care can you afford? What type of dog fits best in your lifestyle, are you sedentary or active? Do you live in your own home with a securely fenced yard, a condo, an apartment? Research as much as you can the breeder or rescue group before even visiting the first time. Ask them what kind of guarantees they offer, what health testing they have done, how they socialize their puppies. Ask about the parents and grandparents.Malachy’s breeders will be able to tell you details about his ancestors going back for many, many generations. Show dog breeders are able to do this. If you bought a puppy from me today I could tell you important facts about SEVEN generations at least.If it is a rescue group ask what socialization and or rehabilitation they practice. Not all rescue groups are created equal, some are more honest than others, some just want the dogs placed in a home fast and YOUR money in their coffers. Don’t fall for the “hype” on “designer dogs” Don’t assume that all dogs are created equal – there are friendly Golden Retrievers and there are unfriendly ones. Don’t buy or adopt a dog on a whim. And lastly, DO NOT buy a dog from a pet shop or a puppy mill!

  8. Jerry says

    Oh, whatever. Evolutionarily speaking, domesticated dogs self-selected; they were descended from the gray wolves who weren’t afraid to hang around on the fringes of human campsites to get fed leftover scraps rather than hunt for themselves.

    I’d hate to be the person who has to keep Malachy’s poop trail clean on a daily basis.

  9. sparks says

    I’ve known plenty of pure-bred dogs to come from shelters. As long as you’re adopting from a shelter or rescue, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with choosing a pet based upon breed traits that you and your family prefer or need.

  10. RandySF says

    Sigh, such tired judgmental arguments.

    Responsible breeders actually help to lower the number of dogs in shelters. They screen for relevant health defects in all of their dogs and do not breed those found to have them. They make sure that all of their dogs have homes before the litter is born. They also are willing to take the dog back rather than have it be put in a shelter, though they usually screen the people who they let adopt their dogs as well as possible to avoid this.

    It is foolish to condemn responsible breeders, pure-bred dogs, and dog shows as all three are a part of the solution to the problem.

    It is the people who think “I’d love my little fluffikins to have cute little puppies” who need to be condemned. Anyone who doesn’t spay/neuter their dog who has no ability to responsibly breed should also be condemned. Anyone who adopts a dog without thinking of the responsibility they’re getting into should also be condemned.

    It is also not a good idea to try to force people down a path that might lead them to a dog that is wrong for them. A person should not be adopting a dog based solely on pulled heartstrings. If that mutt/breed isn’t right for that person’s lifestyle, more often than not it’ll get dumped back in a shelter because of its behavioral issues that the person wasn’t prepared for.

    Basically, what I’m saying, is that you must do your research, find the dog that you’re welcoming into your home that will fit your home, and be committed to making it work. That is regardless of whether you choose a pure-bred or a shelter dog.

    If you do all of this, regardless of whether you got your dog from a shelter, you’re part of helping to curb the problem of overcrowded shelters.

  11. Paul R says

    I think that Rhodesian Ridgebacks are the best dogs in the world. Sweet, beautiful, and protective when needed. Mine lacks a ridge on her spine, which occurs in 1 in 20 but makes many breeders kill them at birth. So it’s only 1 in 100 in life. The hound part of the show was great.

    I hate nearly all small dogs and most cats. Everyone has their opinions and preferences.

  12. Charles Lemos says

    My first dog was a Pekingese. Susie was a gift from my father on my first birthday. She had an underbite and quite the temper with a nasty growl. Still she could predict earthquakes and was a fierce protector. When I was 10, she pretty much saved our car from being stolen and me from getting kidnapped (we lived in Colombia) when a man tried to commandeer our car with me in it. He said my mother wanted the paints from the trunk – we were painting the house – and I was about to open the door and let him into the car when Susie just lunged at the man and kept him at bay. The man took off once he saw my mother returning. Susie and I also had a pretty amazing goodbye. When I was 15 and headed back to the States for school, Susie and I looked at each other and we knew we would never see each other again. She had tears in her eyes and just looked up at me expressing the deepest love. She died two months later.

  13. Paul says

    I got a Pekingese when I was a kid. I’d never had a dog before & watched a morning TV show segment about a shelter that had a brother & sister Pekingese that could not be separated. I knew then that I wanted one for myself. There was something about their look that I loved. It took several years but I finally convinced my folks to get me one from a Breeder. He came home with us at 8 weeks old and he died with us at over 14yrs old. We loved him. He was part of our family and we still talk about him & miss him. My Mother cannot have another dog. He was clever , funny , intuitive & incredibly loyal. Better than most Humans I’ve encountered. It has left me with a great respect for all dogs.

  14. TJ says

    Re: Adoption. The discussion above prompted me to check out the local HS’s website. They have pictures posted of available dogs. Fully two-thirds are pit bull/pit bull mix. I don’t know what that says about pit bulls and pit bull owners, but I suspect it’s nothing positive. Sure, I’ve heard that it is the fault of the owner and not necessarily the breed that so many are vicious, but would it be all that hard to understand why someone would be reluctant to adopt one of these, not knowing the temperament or how it was raised?

    We once adopted a dog that we ended up not being able to keep, as she was quite vicious. We found a good home for her where she would be the only dog. She was the “preferred” breed with the reputation of good companion. So I guess it can always be a crap shoot. Some people are not cut out for shooting craps.

  15. Paul R says

    I will never be able to have another dog. It breaks my heart every day because mine has cancer, hepatitis (who knew that dogs could get that?), a heart murmur, and is elderly. It is awful because she is the sweetest, most perfect thing in the world.

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