Thanks for ruining the Westminster Dog Show thread!


Maybe I should’ve said “controversial” (which it objectively is) instead of distasteful (which is a personal opinion) but the points still stand. The pedigree dog show business is a root cause behind the unnecessary suffering of dogs.

Perhaps you weren’t aware of the depth of feeling about this. You do now.

Feel free to make a reasoned argument any time you like. I feel you are letting emotion get the better of you. Please point to anything in my posts about this subject that are inaccurate.

Awesome, by Sailboat’s standards, we’ve just opened up any Cafe Society threads mentioning meat to huge threadshitting by PETA sympathizers. Anyone else want to start off or shall I lead?

(And I say this as a (non-proselytizing) vegetarian partially for animal cruelty reasons, but I don’t go around bitching about meat-related threads because holy shit, people really don’t give a crap/don’t want to hear it/won’t be persuaded/don’t want to hear someone being a total raving bitch when they’re just having a conversation.)

Why is there a need for standards at all? who’s purpose do they serve. Certainly not the dogs.

Arguing about the antiquity of the standards as if that makes them immutable is rather silly. These animals were man-moulded in the first place. Mould them back. Return to healthy functionality of their ancestors. I hope you realise that a lot of the troublesome breeds are gross parodies of themselves from a century or so ago.

There is ample veterinary evidence for which physical attributes give rise to problems.
Start with the obvious ones and dial the standards back. Bring in rules against certain levels of sibling interbreeding, widen the gene pool. reward the healthy (you know the “ridge” on a ridgeback is a form of spina-bifida yes?)

All of those a simple to do and, if the health of the dogs were uppermost, it is certainly what the kennel clubs would do.

God, you’re stupid.

This thread makes me want to listen to Stuck in the Middle With You.

You know this is the straight dope, girlfriend. Mmmmhmmmmm! Can’t nobody up in this bitch be having anything better than anybody. You’re a bragging snb if you’re dog ain’t blind, missing three legs, and from the pound. That’s how most dopers roll!

Was that a fucking set up or what?

Are you aware of the horrible abuses committed by the reservoir dog breeding industry?!?!?OMG???

Well OK, If I’m stupid I should try to educate myself. I was wrong to say that the ridge itself is a form of Spina Bifida. Rather it is a deformity that can lead to a high level of a condition called Dermoid Sinus. This is much higher in Ridgebacks and is a neural tube condition considered (but not by all) as a form of Spina Bifida.

Look, we can have this reasoned and articulate argument all night, what say we look to a peer reviewed study carried out into this very area. Funded and supported by such anti-dog groups such as The Kennel Club and DEFRA

edit:here’s the link

oh look, here’s some conclusions.

So…what do you think of that report and its conclusions? Can you sum up your feelings in less than three words this time?

Honey, you need to view actual honest to god suffering before you compare the fact that a dog is purebred to it suffering. No matter what you, the HSUS and PETA want to believe, dogs who don’t meet your standards are not “suffering”.

They serve the purpose of - duh - standardizing a breed, so that when you go to buy a purebred puppy from a responsible breeder, you know what size, color, coat type and temperament it is going to have as an adult. Also so that when hunters wish to buy a retriever, they actually get one; when the police need dogs, they know what breeds to get; when the Seeing Eye needs dogs, they know what breeds to use, etc

Cite that “their ancestors” were healthy and/or functional?


Since we live in a democracy, the kennel clubs can do nothing about the way any dogs are bred, which is why we still have puppy mills and BYBs. However, if you would bother to do ANY research, you would see that the individual breed clubs are very concerned with doing what they can to breed as healthy dogs as is possible.

Isn’t it enough for you that politics dictates that Pedigree advertise that people get shelter dogs during the Westminster telecast?

ETA - I see on preview that you figured out that ridges aren’t a form of spina-bifida. Now, the gene for ridges exists in the canine population - would you rather that it just show up willy nilly without warning, or work you rather that people would towards making sure that most dogs with ridges don’t have Dermoid Sinus? Or are you another who is making sweeping statements with absolutely no knowledge of genetics?

As for your cite, all it shows is an abstract - what point were you trying to make?

Here’s the final recommendation in the report you linked to:

Advocating particular changes in the legal standards for breeding and showing pedigreed dogs on the basis of valid evidence is perfectly reasonable. But trying to dismiss the whole “pedigree dog industry”, or dog shows in general, as somehow automatically undesirable or bad for dogs seems like throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

In the referenced thread, I received a gentle rebuke from a mod at my suggestion for dumping the little barky ones into Pen and Teller’s modified log chipper.

I am hurt and disappointed and confused my intemperate remark has not been appropriately castigated here.


Oh, I suddenly see my error.

I should have intoned dumping the little barky ones in to a log chipper, but only if they were inbred.


I will try harder in future.

From the original thread -

Genetics 101. The closeness of the breeding partners has far less to do with genetic disease than the genetic potential of the partners. Yes, if they are closely related it makes it somewhat more likely to carry the same problems but since humans have spent hundreds of years ignoring their genetic potentials, lack of close relationship doesn’t help much. For example, my parents - both their families go back to Ireland, but they are not at all related as far back as I can go. Yet I still inherited asthma, food and inhalant allergies, RA, low blood pressure, extremely poor eyesight and hip dysplasia. My husbands parents came from different parts of the world, yet he inherited flat feet, alcoholism, tobacco addition, a weird skin disorder that I’ve forgotten the name of and a tendon disorder that I have also forgotten the name of.

Compare that to my line of purebred dogs - almost all test clear and of those that don’t, have problems that would be invisible to the average pet owner and they live long, healthy lives. And that isn’t because of luck, it’s because I have selected for health and the fact that I linebreed means it’s more likely I’ll hold onto it, since the line is more homogenous for good traits than most outside blood.

The standards are not purely arbitrary - if nothing else, most were written to describe the breed as it conformed to whatever original job it had. There isn’t much in the way of glory in dog shows, since most of us lose on any given day and the only cold hard cash involved is going out. Showing dogs is not as expensive as showing horses, but it’s working on it. Most of the dogs you see on TV are being handled by pros, for $150 - $200 a day plus expenses, entries are $25-$30 a day a dog and then you factor in gas, food, hotels and all the stuff needed to support a show dog.

For another personal example, I went to three obedience trials in Phoenix last weekend (performance tends to be cheaper than conformation). Entries were $100 for the weekend, another $25 to stay on the grounds overnight in my trailer, gas was $75 and food was $50. $250 to win some 2 cent ribbons and some dog toys and treats. No money, no glory and no vanity, just the opportunity to compete with friends, sit around and talk and watch some good dog work.

Puppy mills make cold hard cash, “designer dog” breeders make cold hard cash. Those who show at the level of Westminster PAY cold hard cash to do their hobby.

That’s not a moderator instruction, is it? :smiley:


To expound upon this, how is it cruel to have a good idea of what the size and temperment that a dog is likely to have for a potential owner?

Example: I’m a single, working apartment dweller. Adopting a dog the size and personality of a border collie would be cruel to both of us. Getting a pug, chihuahua or dog of similar size and temperment would be a much better match. In NoveltyBubble’s universe, I wouldn’t have a clue to a pup’s potential. It would be one size fits all.

Another example: Growing up, our dogs had actual jobs. Watching the house, watching us kids, doing some light herding. Would a dog like a Yorkie have been a good match? Personally, I think that it would have been cruel to have put one out to round up a bunch of steers. So we shouldn’t have had any indications of what the dog could do from the parentage?

There’s room for both purebred critters (dogs, cats, farm animals) and room for mutts.

sweetheart, Your reading comprehension is sadly lacking. My point is that the drive for more exaggerated features leads to a higher level of suffering in some some breeds.

And FTR, I think PETA and pretty much all Animal welfare groups that I’ve ever heard of are fruitloops. I have no affiliation or association with any of them.

Interesting, you might want to check up on what sort of animals the Police etc. choose to use. Do they get German Shepherds that conform tightly to the breed standards? or the more robust body types that are less prone to congenital defects and would not stand a chance in a showring?

Is it useful to have a variety of animal types to perform different tasks? yes. What good would it be to have a ratting dog the size of a great Dane. Fine.
Having grown up in a farming community I know the benefits of working and companion dogs.
However, The breed standards push the characteristics too far and that drives exaggeration, inbreeding and suffering. This is not a controversial opinion.

Well, the kennel club and independent reports think so, see my link at the bottom

You are so deeply wrong about this. The Kennel clubs have it within their power to change standards so as to remove the pressure to select for certain traits, or to demand DNA testing and screening, or to limit sibling and close-relative breeding.
Even better, they could set criteria that forbid the current exaggerated traits that bring deleterious health issues. The breeders would follow, they always do. (and they’ve shown no difficulty in following the breed standards so far yes?)

And here is the exact mindset that baffles me.
The ridge is purely cosmetic. You know it is linked to neural tube defects and is much more prevalent in ridgebacks. I would rather the breed standard were changed to remove the need for it. That would remove the drive for breeders to select for it.

The full report is there. The conclusions are clear.
They are your kennel clubs and canine organisations. They belong to you and are yours to command and change if you want. If canine health is as high on the list as you say then I’d expect people to be banging on their doors and demanding such changes.

Incidentally, on the back of the BBC programme and the Bateson report it appears that the Kennel club are indeed moving in a progressive direction.

Are they doing the same in the USA? do you agree with their stance? if not why not, if you do…why the hell are you arguing in the first place?

I agree, I’ve never said otherwise. Show me where I did.

You agree then that standards should change?

But all of that is relevant to you, no-one is attacking you.

Would you be big enough to admit that ANY breed standard compromises the health of any dog? Because if not, there is no point discussing the finer point with you as you are in direct conflict with the best impartial advice out there.

And your description of showing your dogs? all very nice and low key. Are all dog owners and showers in that same category?

You see it as either/or and I don’t.
There is room for breeding to a degree of certainty over type and temperament without resorting to extremes.
If you had a choice of
a) pedigree pug with known high risk of issue x but cosmetically “perfect”
b) pug that is rather less conforming to the current norms but with equal temperament and less disease prone, what would you go for?

I hope I know which it would be. So what drives the move from type a to type b?
Is not type b more desirable from an ethical standpoint?