The United States has over 80 MILLION pet dogs and of the 80 MILLION, 80% are spayed/neutered (that is A LOT). With this said less than ONE PERCENT of the 80 million dogs end up in shelters/rescues and 75% are mixed-breeds. As to who is a reputable breeder and who is not... very arrogant to assume that the only breeders that are reputable are show breeders, performance dogs, etc... of the EIGHTY MILLION pet dogs in this country most belong to loving pet owners. In every group you will have wonderful breeders and a few bad apples. There are most certainly very reputable breeders that breed outside the standard, that do not show, and even those that breed hybrids. What makes a breeder reputable is their integrity, breeding ethics, breeding for HEALTH, veterinarian care, health testing, breeding for TEMPERAMENT; breeding for a purpose and that purpose just may be for a pet home, and practices excellent stewardship of all their dogs and puppies. This is a very educational article on what has happened at the hands of show breeders over the last 100 years to the breed standard. Do not be fooled into thinking that the only reputable breeder is the show breeder... article by: Caen Elegans, Ph.D. / 2012/09/29 The dogs on the left are from the 1915 book, ‘Breeds of All Nations‘
by W.E. Mason. The examples on the right are modern examples from
multiple sources. To be able to make an honest comparison, I’ve chosen
pictures with similar poses and in a couple of cases flipped the picture
to get them both aligned in the same direction. I had to skip some
breeds I wanted to include because of the lack of detail in the older
It seems incredible that at one time the Bull Terrier was a handsome, athletic dog. Somewhere along its journey to a mutated skull and thick abdomen the bull terrier also picked up a number of other maladies like supernumerary teeth and compulsive tail-chasing.
The Basset Hound has gotten lower, has suffered changes to its rear leg structure, has excessive skin, vertebra problems, droopy eyes prone to entropion and ectropion and excessively large ears.
A shorter face means a host of problems. The modern Boxer not only has a shorter face but the muzzle is slightly upturned. The boxer – like all bracecyphalic dogs – has difficulty controlling its temperature in hot weather, the inability to shed heat places limits on physical performance. It also has one of the highest cancer rates.
The English bulldog has come to symbolize all that is wrong with the dog fancy and not without good reason; they suffer from almost every possible disease. A 2004 survey by the Kennel Club found that they die at the median age of 6.25 years (n=180). There really is no such thing as a healthy bulldog. The bulldog’s monstrous proportions make them virtually incapable of mating or birthing without medical intervention.
The Dachshund used to have functional legs and necks that made sense for their size. Backs and necks have gotten longer, chest jutted forward and legs have shrunk to such proportions that there is barely any clearance between the chest and floor. The dachschund has the highest risk of any breed for intervertebral disc disease which can result in paralysis; they are also prone to achondroplastic related pathologies, PRA and problems with their legs.
The German Shepherd Dog is also a breed that is routinely mentioned when people talk about ruined breeds; maybe because they used to be awesome. In Dogs of All Nations, the GSD is described as a medium-sized dog (25 kg /55 lb), this is a far cry from the angulated, barrel-chested, sloping back, ataxic, 85-pounders (38 kg) we are used to seeing in the conformation ring. There was a time when the GSD could clear a 2.5 meter (8.5 ft) wall; that time is long gone.
The Pug is another extreme brachycephalic breed and it has all the problems associated with that trait – high blood pressure, heart problems, low oxygenation, difficulty breathing, tendency to overheat, dentition problems, and skin fold dermatitis. The highly desirable double-curl tail is actually a genetic defect, in more serious forms it leads to paralysis.
Once a noble working dog, the modern St. Bernard has been oversized, had it’s faced squished in, and bred for abundant skin. You will not see this type of dog working, they can’t handle it as they quickly overheat. The diseases include entropion, ectropion, Stockard’s paralysis, hemophilia, osteosarcoma, aphakia, fibrinogen deficiency.
It is unrealistic to expect any population to be free of genetic diseases but show breeders have intentionally selected for traits which result in diseases. Conformation breeders claim they are improving the breed and yet they are often the cause of these problems. If “improvement” in looks imposes a health burden then it is not a breed improvement..
No dog breed has ever been improved by the capricious and arbitrary decision that a shorter/longer/flatter/bigger/smaller/curlier “whatever” is better. Condemning a dog to a lifetime of suffering for the sake of looks is not an improvement; it is torture.