Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Breeding Healthier Dogs

I confess that when it comes to breeding dogs or cats for a certain look, my attitude is very close to PETA's: what a grotesque misuse of our intelligence and power. The Times had an article yesterday on bulldogs, by Benoit Denizet-Lewis, focusing on the health problems of the breed and what we might do to help them. He quotes a BBC documentary as saying:
There is little doubt that the anatomy of the English bulldog has considerable capacity to cause suffering. The breed is noted to have locomotion difficulties, breathing problems, an inability to mate or give birth without assistance. . . . Many would question whether the breed’s quality of life is so compromised that its breeding should be banned.
a rendering of what a healthier breed of bulldog might look like, based on input from veterinarians: A) short snout made longer; B) skin folds reduced; C) body made leaner; D) tail elongated; E) hips widened.
If we are going to breed pets for anything, we should start with good health and happiness.

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