Right & Wrong breeding By Adrienne
We've all talked about breeders and how they sometimes do things that we don't agree with. There are good breeders out there that care about the breed and what they are doing. Then there are those that are in it just for the money and don't care what kind of animal they help produce.
This is the Bully Whippet. Whippets are sometimes used in racing like greyhounds. These dogs can produce extra sets of muscles which give them there Arnold Schwarzenegger appearance. The increased muscling is called progeny. Whippets that have this trait can run much faster than a normal Whippet and now being sought after by some of those in the racing community. Breeders got together and tested both affected and unaffected dogs to try and find the gene causing the distinctions. It was found that the “wild-type” Whippet in this case meaning the normal Whippet, did not have a copy of this mutation that affects muscling. Intermediate affected dogs, successful racers with more muscling than average, had one copy of this mutated gene. Bully Whippets all had a double copy of this gene.
If two carriers of this trait are bred together, they can produce this heavily muscled dog that gave the Whippets the “Bully” appearance. I personally think this is wrong and these breeders should be stopped. There is a growing area of research for performance enhancing polymorphism in competitive athletes. Future implications include screening for myostatin mutations among elite athletes even though little is known about the risks with being a carrier of this mutated gene.
Some breeders do not agree with this breeding standard and are euthanizing the pups at an early age because they don't meet with AKC breed standards. I don't necessarily agree with that either. I don't think this mutation should be sought after, but if you end up with a pup that has this mutation, spay or neuter then to help stop it from being bred again. These dogs have many health problem from the time they are born, most commonly is sever muscle cramping that can leave the dog immobile, in sever pain and cause it to be euthanized. They also have a different jaw shape where the lower mandible is shorter giving them an over bite with a mutated look to there head not to mention a difficulty with eating.
This is the same reason the breeder I rescued Stella from was black listed from breeding. He wanted to breed for a miniature Saint Bernard. He had one that was the size of a Golden Retriever, but stocky like a Saint and had a Saint head. She was an ugly dog, had many health issues and was mean. She ended up being euthanized due to her aggression. Breeders have always bred for specific traits and will continue to do so, that doesn't mean that it's right and should be allowed to continue. This is one trait that should be stopped!
posted by Adrienne at 8/24/2007 08:32:00 AM