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Pet People

Friday, August 24, 2007

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


Blogger Sandy said...

That is horrible, and I agree with you.

I often talk against breeders, but make a the distinction of what a professional breeder is, and in my book they are a small minority!

I do not any breeding for LOOKS. Breeding in the past was to focus on the charateristics for work--terriers for varmit control, herders for just that and so on.

The Bulldog of today, for example, does not look like the bulldog of years ago. It is bigger, bulkier and as a result it suffers more health issues.

And genetic problems are prevalent in many breeds because of the type of breeders you mention.

I understand Europe is far stricter when it comes to breeding, even limiting the number of litters a female dog can have.

I had never heard of this whippet breeding and yes, it disgusts me.It all goes to the treatment of other living beings as OBJECTS and a sort of material possession.

Friday, August 24, 2007 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Some trait breeding is OK, for example, The Boxer has been know for years for being a breed that has a short life span and is prone to cancers and high risk tumors. Breeders who care about the Boxer breed are trying to breed out these traits to help improve the health and life span of this breed. I have no problems with this as long as it is done right and with supervision.

At our latest visit to the vet we were talking about different breeds and he said the worst breed for health issues today is the Bull Dog. He has a couple of patients that see him no less than twice a month.

I know a few people who have bought a puppy from a europien breeder b/c they wanted a true breed, like the German Shepard. A standard Shepard does not have a slopped back, they are square. But some breeder liked that look and didn't take into consideration that the animal would have hip and back problems and shorten there life. In Germany, Sherpards are square and live healthier lives.

All animals are still listed as personal property in most states which is why animal cruelty is still so hard to fight.

Friday, August 24, 2007 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

i am so glad you Posted on this topic. I saw a Bully on the "Todays Show" recently and was so shocked at the animal's look. I could not take my eyes off the thing! They did not really go into detail on the dog with only talking about the rare gene. They did not touch on the breeding topic. You have given much more info then they did!

Hey, changing the subjet... I need a head count of the VFW dinner tonight!!! I am going to save chairs at a long table for all so I need a number of chairs to save!!! The pecan pies are smelling up the house and I am ready to dig into one... Dragon, make sure you sharpen up those teeth....

Friday, August 24, 2007 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

The Boss and I are in! He probably won't tag along to Brett's, so he'll have to come pick me up later! He's had a very BAD week at work and just wants to be alone in the dark and quiet. LOL.

Friday, August 24, 2007 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger pearcehart said...

That dog look like a bad Photshop picture. That is just awful.

I have my weekly Friday night committment. Maybe another time!

Friday, August 24, 2007 4:16:00 PM  
Blogger k9rescue said...

That picture is so disturbing. After working in animal rescue for the last 8 yrs., I've just become anti-breeding to nearly every thing... dogs, cats, mice, gerbils, horses, insects, most people, etc. LOL Hope you all had a great time at Brett's... so sorry I missed it!

Saturday, August 25, 2007 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

When I first saw this photo it shocked me so much. I thought the dog had some sort of birth defect then I ead what was said and realized it was what Skeeter, Sandy and Stacey were talking about at dinner last nigt. That poor poor dog, it's so sad to see that.

Amy sure wish you could have been there with us last night, we had a blast!Ithink me and Fly Boy are the only ones who got out of bed today,ha.

Saturday, August 25, 2007 7:34:00 PM  

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Pet People

Sandy Britt, an animal welfare advocate and volunteer with Clarksville rescue organizations, takes care of three dogs: Zoe, Scooter and Peanut; two cats: Catfish and Tarzan; and one husband, Glen, and according to him she takes care of them in that order.

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