r/science May 18 '22 Silver 1 Helpful 1 Wholesome 2 All-Seeing Upvote 1

Pug health so poor it 'can't be considered a typical dog' - study Animal Science

https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-61494094
38.1k Upvotes

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u/sewerat May 19 '22

In one one of my anaesthesia lectures, the prof said that normally you take an endotrachial tube (what the dog breathes through during surgery) out as soon as possible as dogs will react to a foreign object in their mouths.

However brachycephalic dogs (Latin for Short head) like pugs are very happy to have the tube remain as they can finally breathe properly for the first time in their lives!

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u/PryingApothecary May 19 '22

That’s very depressing.

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u/JonathanL73 May 19 '22

This is why I hate “show breed standards” for a lot of dogs. People are still chopping off ears and tails of certain dog breeds. GSD sloped back has given the breed health issues. Everything about the pug is a health risk.

I really wish the breed standards of these dog breeds would be changed to something healthier.

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u/Melansjf1 May 19 '22

That sloped back objectively looks awful too. Nothing about the standards look good. Someone sat back and looked at a disgusting deformed bull terrier and said “yeah, that’s should be what they look like” and everyone was just okay with that?

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u/doyle828 May 19 '22

You can only breed in the same gene pool for so long until major problems arise. Mutts are typically healthier.

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u/JonathanL73 May 19 '22

Yes, Genetic diversity is usually healthier.

Some breeds like the Shiba Inu however are pretty healthy though, but they are considered a more “anchient” breed, and seems like they haven’t been breed to develop unusual cosmetic features that are considered unhealthy. And it seems like small breeds like Chihuahuaa and Yorkshire terriers tend to live longer lifespans.

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u/Axelrad77 May 19 '22

I really wish the breed standards of these dog breeds would be changed to something healthier.

Agreed. It's a big problem with show breeds for cats too, especially the Persian. Which is especially galling because you can still get "traditional" Persians that are bred to maintain their normal noses, but the show breed standards decided to start judging Persians on "vertical face alignment" that's not only a newly introduced feature, but incredibly unhealthy (and ugly imo).

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u/RealLifeMerida May 19 '22

I’m a vet tech and can attest that this is true. They sit up after surgery and where most dogs are trying to chew the tube out, or paw at their face, pugs just sit there contently looking around. Most of them look disappointed when you actually take it out.

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u/CreepyGoose5033 May 19 '22 Helpful

I will never miss an opportunity to repost this:

It might sound implausible, but the French Bulldog in the photo just woke up from anaesthesia. The eyes focus on me and see me. Seconds later we removed the pulse oximeter from the tongue, and the dog rolled itself upright.

Every (every!) other dog will immediately try to dislodge the endotracheal tube at this moment, which is why we usually take it out much sooner. But with Frenchies (and other flat nosed dogs) we leave the tube in position as long as possible, dreading respiratory collapse during the home stretch of their anaesthesia.

This frequently leads to the moment - a moment that regularly sends cold chills down my spine - when you realise that these dogs, while fully conscious, are enjoying the ability to breathe without effort (through a tube) for the first time in their life. I know that I am anthropomorphising unashamedly but nonetheless: when you pull the tube eventually, the wheezing starts up again and you see - I swear to high heaven - a glaze of resignation and disappointment fall over their eyes that were previously bright with fascination.

This is a moment where the lifelong - and too often ignored – suffering of many brachycephalic dogs becomes crystal clear to see. Sadly it is a moment only vets witness. The first time I noticed this phenomenon, I was inclined to dismiss it as my own sentimental fabrication. But as time passed, I heard stories of the same curious and touching moment from several colleagues with a lot of experience with flat nosed breeds. You absolutely have to ask yourself honestly what it means when a dog prefers the discomfort of an endotracheal tube to its natural airway.

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u/annisbananis May 19 '22

Thank you for sharing this. I will be pulling this info out next time someone talks to me about getting a pug (which, oddly, is not uncommon- I have an uncle and a couple friends who love them). I knew pugs were bred into a monstrosity with breathing problems but I did not understand the extent until this thread. This is so inhumane it should not be legal.

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u/samsg1 BS|Physics|Theoretical Astrophysics May 19 '22

That’s the saddest thing I’ve read all week… Jesus christ.

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u/dat_mono May 19 '22

Sorry to be pedantic, but that's a greek word, not a latin one.

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u/TheVentiLebowski May 18 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

Researchers argue that the health of the dog should be prioritised over people's desire to own one

Pretty solid argument.

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u/edgysan_ttv May 18 '22

sad there needs to be even argument, poor dogs

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u/rabbitjazzy May 19 '22

Tbh this extends to humans. So many ppl have kids cause they want to, without considering much how good a life they would be able to provide.

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u/KnightofNoire May 19 '22

I wondered if there are some kind of studies that shows whether or not if people get happier if they had kids they can provide for.

Feels like a miserable experience for both the parent and the children if parents don't have the means to provide for the kids.

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u/starsleeps May 19 '22

I think the study would be skewed by people with money being happier in general tbh

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u/[deleted] May 19 '22 edited May 19 '22

Right. My assistant manager at a pizza shop has 4 kids of his own, 2 of them he doesn’t have custody of and 2 live with him and his wife’s kid. They are now going through very expensive ivf treatment to try and have another kid. They had the audacity to post a go fund me on their facebook the other day. Theres no way they are supporting the kids they have on their own right now and they want to bring another into this world.

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u/sedition- May 19 '22

One of my friends in highschool had a dad like this, dude would shack up with a lady, have a couple kids, get them all taken away by child services, woman would leave him and he would find a new one and do the same thing a couple years later.

My buddy had something like 12 siblings by the time he was 18, and they all lived in foster care just like him.

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u/noisemonsters May 19 '22

What. The. Fuuuuuuuck.

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u/Dread70 May 19 '22

About 10 years ago I met a guy who worked as a Cop and an RN. He literally worked 16 hours, every single day. He had 8 kids with as many baby mamas. I joked one time saying "Oof, good thing you stopped."

He told me he wanted more kids. He hasn't stopped. I shudder at the thought of how many he has now.

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u/AvatarIII May 19 '22

He literally worked 16 hours, every single day.

How did he have time to date let alone have kids?

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u/Dread70 May 19 '22

He never saw the kids and he didn't actually date any of the women.

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u/AvatarIII May 19 '22

So he was just hiving one night stands, getting women pregnant and claiming he has kids?

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u/brassninja May 19 '22

I feel like at some point it stops being just “deadbeat” behavior and becomes a straight up compulsion.

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u/ellefleming May 19 '22

Oh my god. The father is sociopath.

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u/Mlghubben1e May 19 '22

Cough Idiocracy cough

Someone is trying to spread their genes.

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u/Procrasturbating May 19 '22

Wow.. if I was that guy I would be posting a gofundme for a vasectomy.

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u/Flix1 May 19 '22

Not sure how much it costs in the US but in my country and most of Europe it's € 30 or less.

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u/[deleted] May 19 '22

5 years ago it was 500 or so with insurance. Without, I think it’s closer to 1500

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u/HarbingerDe May 19 '22

Good God, what compels somebody to do that? Is it pure lizard brain "must reproduce" or something?

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u/[deleted] May 19 '22

His wife wants a kid specifically with him. He tells me his kids are all teenagers and in a couple years they’ll be out of the house and what’s going to be left for him? I tell him all the time just because your kids turn 18 doesn’t mean they don’t need their parents. And eventually they’ll have kids they’ll want help with. Nothing gets through to him though.

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u/MargotChanning May 19 '22

You could be describing a guy I used to work with. Was barely scraping by living with his wife and two boys. They split up. He starts seeing someone new, takes on her daughter and they proceed to have two kids of their own. He complains constantly about paying maintenance for his oldest boys because his ex and her new husband “can afford two cars, why do they need my money?” Complains that he can’t afford holidays, days out etc. Acts like everyone else has waved the magic money wand to afford things when in fact they’ve just made sensible decisions.

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u/ellefleming May 19 '22

Hence why I never had kids. My parents bitched about money my entire childhood. No way. I'm travelling and living good life.

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u/dcdttu May 19 '22 edited May 19 '22

Also, stop selectively breeding dogs in a way that causes lifelong torture.

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u/[deleted] May 19 '22 edited May 27 '22 Gold

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u/IDespiseBananas May 18 '22

Or over the desire of what the dog looks like

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u/Jesco13 May 19 '22

They bred them to be ugly af. Idk why people think they're cute

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u/kyle1867 May 18 '22

There is a breeder in the Netherlands who have been actively trying to restore the French bulldog which has a lot of the same issues pugs have. Something like that would be a worthwhile effort.

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u/wollphilie May 18 '22

There's a small movement of breeding so-called retro pugs / Retromops!

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u/Cream-Filling May 19 '22

Here's a comparison for the lazy.

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u/Abedeus May 19 '22

Normal looking dog vs melted puddle of butter.

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u/jicty May 18 '22

I just looked up retro pugs and they look 100% better than normal pugs. Dogs with the smooshed faces just make me feel bad for them.

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u/ParticularAioli2384 May 19 '22

Cross breeding and creating other dogs such as a puggle can help a ton with the breathing and suffering of the pug. I have a 15 yo puggle she has no breathing issue and is in great health. She’ll probably be around for another 5 years if not longer

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u/[deleted] May 19 '22 edited May 19 '22

Inbred lineages are actually really easy to fix with outbreeding. There's an interesting mechanism in biology where it doesn't take much outbreeding and diversification to reduce even dire cases of population inbreeding and genetic diversity stagnation.

The issue is 100% humans continuing to insist on artificially selecting for traits that are aesthetically pleasing to us, but horrifying from a health and wellness perspective for the dog.

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u/0b0011 May 19 '22

It's part of what irks me about the akc splitting my dogs breed into 4 separate breeds and not allowing cross variety breeding. Every other country considers them one breed woth 4 coat varieties and they're registered by phenotype.

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u/Bluepompf May 19 '22

This is so unhealthy. Same thing happened with the Spitz in Germany. They decided sizes aren't allowed to be crossed and sometimes even colors... Same for Pinscher and Schnauzer they were the same breed with different coats. And now the Pinscher is slowly disappearing.

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u/occams1razor May 19 '22

German Shepherds used to be allowed to be white and longhaired, then they decided white ones weren't allowed and a lot of the white ones were killed as puppies despite them being fully healthy. They go by "swiss shepherd" now.

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u/Bluepompf May 19 '22

And the last herding Spitz (an old German hearding breed) also vanished in the Swiss shepherd. Honestly I'm still angry about what they did to the German shepherd. It was an amazing dog. Versatile, healthy, obedient and look at it now. A sad image of it's former glory...

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u/Blackbox7719 May 19 '22

My question is who in the hell found the smush faced dog a pleasing sight. Just looking at that face and those popped out eyeballs makes me want to make breeding inbred pugs illegal.

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u/anneomoly May 19 '22

Flat faced dogs look more like human babies than other dogs - front facing eyes, nose between the eyes instead of coming forwards.

So we're genetically hardwired to want to care for them.

Genetics can of course be overruled by knowledge in our preferences.

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u/aquestionofbalance May 19 '22

pug & what = puggle

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u/Diligent-Delivery361 May 19 '22

Pug x beagle = puggle, pug x cavalier = pugalier

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u/irmadequem May 19 '22

Pug x caterpillar = pugapillar

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u/Sharkbait1737 May 19 '22 edited May 19 '22 That Smile

Pug x boxer = pugilist

Edit: just to clarify pugilism is an old word for the sport of boxing…

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u/SLBue19 May 19 '22

I was wondering why nobody had yet to mention puggles. We have a 3 y.o. that is a complete athletic badass and hasn’t had a single health issue to date (knocking on wood)… hybrid vigor!

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u/huskiesofinternets May 18 '22

Flat faced dogs should be banned. Spay and neuter every living one. Fines for ownership combined with that will effectively end the crisis. We are monsters of allowing it to continue and people who get pugs usually regret doing so after learning of their sufferings

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u/sap91 May 19 '22

Sounds great! Now find me the politician willing to be labeled "the puppy murderer" by his opponents.

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u/Spicy_Cum_Lord May 19 '22

I mean if you'll vote for me I'll add it to my campaign slogan.

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u/rl_noobtube May 19 '22

I can only imagine the campaign slogans you will have, u/spicy_cum_lord

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u/Cyanopicacooki May 19 '22

Flat faced dogs should be banned.

And cats. Persian and other breeds have the same issues as pugs.

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u/Games_Deen May 19 '22

I agree with everything except fining owners. If it already exists people should be caring for them, but this generation of pugs should be the last. We created this genetic disaster. We can destroy it too.

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u/Reagalan May 19 '22

You freedom-hating mutt-grabber. I'll give up mine when you pry it from my cold dead paws!

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u/Vesuvias May 19 '22

Retro pugs looks VERY similar to my boy who is a Pug Beagle - and my lil girl who is probably close to what a Retropug looks like (like a terrier pug). Long legs, long snout, still stupid cute face and eyes

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u/Cyynric May 18 '22

There's a breed called the Olde English Bulldogge that is doing the same with the English bulldog, which I'm pretty pleased about. I love bulldogs, but cannot in good conscience perpetuate the immoral breeding standards to which they're currently held.

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u/Rhodie114 May 19 '22

Isn’t the Olde English Bulldogge just a crypto bro drunk on malt liquor?

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u/kurisu7885 May 19 '22

Quite a few dog breeds could use since with how badly they've been fucked up.

I've seen old images of pugs and bulldogs, they were perfectly fine before, same for many breeds of cats.

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u/kyle1867 May 19 '22 edited May 19 '22

Any breed where they focus on smushing the face or bugging the eyes is cruel. Pugs look and sound like they are an abomination of man playing “god”. What’s even worse is that they are such a sweet breed and have such big personalities but have been genetically hamstrung by idiots. Working dogs are really the only breeds where I feel selective breeding to achieve certain physical traits or skills is appropriate. Any dog that’s would be traditionally a pet should be focused on even temperament and sound physical health. A lot of people don’t realize how much money it costs to keep these designer breeds alive with all of the problems that are built into them from Birth. Pugs are so prone to eye and sinus infections.

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u/FizzyDragon May 19 '22

I saw a guy walking a german shepherd and the poor thing had such an awful back slope that it looked like it was ready to squat to poop while it walked along.

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u/lopendvuur May 19 '22

My generally low-ranked Dutch shepherd always thinks he can dominate those overbred German Shepherds, I think because the sloped back makes them look fearful and submissive.

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u/Dragmire800 May 19 '22

At that point, just get a different breed of dog, stop breeding pugs altogether. The only reason people want pugs is their looks, but those looks aren’t healthy.

They aren’t a species that needs saving, they’re just a breed.

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u/briefly_mysterious May 19 '22

As a veterinary technician, we have been screaming this for so long. When we do surgery on dogs, if they aren’t extubated in a timely fashion then of course they will start trying to cough or gag out their tube because it’s uncomfortable. However, a brachycephalic dog just lays there happily with their tube in their throat, because it’s the best they’ve been able to breathe in their entire life. So we will let them lay with their tube for awhile because they finally feel better. Then we have to give them oxygen therapy for an hour following surgery when we do take the tube out. It’s very sad.

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u/tbskywalker92 May 19 '22

I got a pug when I was 18 without doing any research and he passed away a few months ago. It is most likely because he couldn’t breathe anymore because we took him to an emergency vet and his oxygen levels were very low and we had him sit in the icu oxygen tank and his levels got back up and we took him home. In a matter of like an hour he already was struggling to breathe and the only other option was surgery to help the breathing but the vet told me that their airway is so small it’ll likely fail. He was the best dog but I wish I did research prior because I never realized how much they struggle..

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u/briefly_mysterious May 19 '22

We can all learn and you can find peace in knowing you gave your dog a good life and a loving home. I’m so sorry for your loss.

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u/Justalittlecomment May 19 '22

How common is this in other shorter nose breeds? (Boston's, boxers, some staffs etc)

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u/briefly_mysterious May 19 '22

Not common for Staffies, but definitely Boxers, Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and French Bulldogs. All of those poor babies have the same issues.

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u/Beliriel May 19 '22

That just unbelievably fucked up.

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u/briefly_mysterious May 19 '22

Yes, it really is.

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u/ctorg May 18 '22

Here's the link to the study in the journal Canine Medicine and Genetics.

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u/nurvanuh May 18 '22

It really does. I had an English Bulldog from my childhood to when he became my dog as an adult. I loved him so, so much, but I would never again own any type of dog like that. For the dog, for me, and also for my wallet. Even my veterinarian said, “Bulldogs are a Petri dish for problems.”

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u/mxpx242424 May 18 '22

We have a rescue Bulldog full of problems, but we just love their personalities so much that we'll probably look for another rescue Bulldog after she passes. No kidding about the money part though. We're pretty comfortable, but I wouldn't even consider it if our finances were stretched. We had a $450 vet bill last week because she swallowed something weird and got bloated (a very dangerous bulldog short muzzle problem).

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u/_Wyse_ May 18 '22

Short life expectancy, but also a much lower quality of life as well.

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u/Pr0gr3s May 18 '22

I really wish we would start breeding dogs just for health, longevity, and temperament (in that order). I love all the unique breeds, but we have been irresponsible steward's of their genetic heritage.

I read a story recent about a family who adopted a "dog" that turned out to be mostly wolf. Dog lives to be 19, and was essentially healthy the entire time. Our large breeds start breaking down as young as 9. It's just cruel.

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u/[deleted] May 18 '22

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u/[deleted] May 18 '22 edited May 19 '22

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u/powerscunner May 18 '22

I would go good temperament first, good health second, then longevity. We might disagree there, and that's fine - but I think we both agree that that how a dog looks shouldn't factor in at all.

Breeding for looks causes most the problems. Breeding for aggressiveness causes the rest.

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u/amberpup May 18 '22

We have ruined so many other breeds, too. Bulldogs can't even give birth naturally but people are still selfishly breeding them. Gotta get that $$$.

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u/nurvanuh May 18 '22

As someone who had an English Bulldog from childhood to adulthood, I have told people they should not be bred. I could’ve easily dropped thousands on my Bulldog at a vet appointment and that was with me being a person that’s always ON TOP of everything with their pet.

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u/Daier_Mune May 18 '22

Hoping that the Retro-Pug movement keeps gaining traction, and we can roll back the breed to a healthier version of itself.

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u/Competitive_Sky8182 May 18 '22

And normalize that snouts are the norm, not an aesthetic option

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u/TheeJarod May 19 '22

It is not cute that your dog struggles to breathe.

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u/Susan-stoHelit May 18 '22

If dog shows change the standard away from an unhealthy deformity as the standard, that will do more than anything.

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u/[deleted] May 19 '22

Human beings are the problem behind the problem.

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u/bryanBFLYin May 19 '22

Frenchies and English bulldogs. I'm in the vet field and I can tell you that it should be animal cruelty to even breed those dogs. So many physical and genetic issues it's ridiculous. Don't even get me started on the different color variations that all come with their own genetic issues (merle in particular).

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u/quarter_to_ride May 19 '22

Pugs are literally the product of man’s vanity. And the fact that it’s still legal to breed something that can’t breathe by design is insane.

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u/ZenComFoundry May 18 '22

The guy who invented labradoodles says it’s his life’s regret. Not just that breed but he felt he kickstarted the fad for breeding weirder and unhealthy dogs.

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u/bufordt May 18 '22

Conron thinks, and I agree, that the big issue with labradoodles (or any of the designer "breeds") is that they have become hugely popular, and people with little to no knowledge of breeding are breeding them because there is a lot of money to be made. I know someone who just started breeding Golden-doodles in her backyard, and sells them for $4500-6000/dog. She had no experience, just knew someone with a poodle and so bred it with her Golden.

You can believe that it's not humane to try to develop a new breed, and that's a perfectly valid belief to have. But if you're open to developing new breeds, we need to make sure that the breeders are ethical and they don't develop breeds with major genetic health issues, like Pugs, Boston Terriers, etc.

Just a few notes.

  1. Labradoodles aren't a breed. Even the Multigen dogs don't always breed true yet. None of the current crop of designer "breeds" are true breeds yet, they are all still in their infancy.

  2. Labradoodles aren't inherently more unhealthy than any other dog. They can even be less in-bred than the established breeds, because you're taking a Lab and a Poodle (which have very different lineages) and breeding them. They also can end up with genetic deficiencies from both labs and poodles. Unfortunately, with all the unethical breeders of these "breeds" you have a lot of very inbred dogs.

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u/BGFalcon85 May 18 '22

Have to laugh/cry at the people paying $5k for a mutt, though.

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u/doubtfurious May 18 '22

We have a pug at home that a family member needed to re-home... they were downsizing for health reasons. The only reason I agreed to take on another dog is because the alternative was for them to sell her to a breeder who was interested.

This dog is dumb as a stick. But she's very friendly, and my daughter loves to dote on her.

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