An interesting (and somewhat disturbing) documentary on the genetic problems with pedigree dogs, yoinked from Klandagi.
Now, I know most people on the internet don’t want to spend an hour watching a video, so I’ve highlighted a few interesting moments in the documentary. Scrub on! I do recommend watching the full thing, however. This is a BBC documentary, so focuses on British pedigree dogs and show dogs.
I find it particularly interesting during the part where they compare show breeds today to how the breed looked a hundred years ago (scrub to 6:40 to see).
One commenter notes how dog show judges have a huge impact on the direction the breed takes, since breeders will produce dogs to win shows.
At 16:30, the documentary points out that the Kennel Club had its roots in the Eugenics Movement. Captain Kirk would be outraged! Joking aside, though, wouldn’t it be fascinating it we exercised the same attitude in human models as we do with show dogs, as far as selective breeding for desirable traits? I wonder what they would end up looking like after 50 years?
Someone draw a picture! I want to see a concept.
At 18:40, I discovered that 1 in 20 Rhodesian Ridgebacks is born without a ridge. Fascinating! Listen to the breeder talk right afterwards about what a shame it is that these new uppity vets won’t put down a healthy puppy for its lack of ridge.
At 24:00, it talks about how pet insurance is more expensive for a pedigree dog than a mutt due to the health implications, which I find smirk-worthy.
32:00 shows another interesting comparison between the original and today’s pug, and 40:40 compares the change in the basset hound.
43:50 reveals a conflict of explanation of the anatomical features of the bulldog between bulldog breeders and dog historians. The idea of unusual explanations to justify non-traditional traits as being traditional is something I run into a lot in the martial arts world, and so I can empathize with the frustration of the historian.
49:40 finishes up talking about an activist raising awareness on syringomyelia in King Charles Springer Spaniels (an issue frequented several times throughout the documentary), and the resistance offered up by breeders of the dog.
So there you go, I hope my highlights may have gotten a few more people to watch a bit of this. Comments?