For thousands and thousands of years, dogs have been the companion of Man. There have been different types of dogs, bred for different purposes, but there were never any closed registries before the creation of dog shows and the Kennel Club creation of breeds. So even if dogs might have been inbred locally, there was always genetic exchange.
The English Kennel Club was established in 1873 and since then dogs have been bred for “breed standard” rather than anything else, in the Western world. Registries were closed and most breeds were created only from a handful of individuals. At that time the knowledge about genetics was poor and using line breeding to create the perfect dog to match the created breed standards was considered the only way to do it.
Today that culture still lives on. Even if close inbreeding such as father-daughter matings are now forbidden, it is still common to breed cousins and other related individuals. On top of that stud dogs are heavily over-used. Just the word “stud dog” implicates that these dogs are used solely for breeding and passing on good qualities to the breed. The consequence is an extreme loss of genetic diversity.
The sad fact is that dogs are getting sicker and sicker. Breeds are affected by “breed specific illnesses” that proves to be of great help when trying to locate specific genes in order to find a cure even for humans. But for the individual dogs and their owners it is a nightmare. Everyone wants and deserves a healthy life.
Keeping “pure blood” and closed registries is still considered to be the only correct way to breed dogs and this is something that just have to change. Man created this idea about 150 years ago, and man must be brave enough to let go of that idea. Cos everyone wants a healthy dog – and it has nothing to do with “purity of the blood”. Different types of dogs will not be lost just because there is some genetic exchange between different breeds or non-registered dogs.
I will try and gather information about breeding on these pages the best I can, but please let me know if you have some ideas or has read something interesting that you would like to share! You can write in the log beneath here, to get in touch with me.
“The more people I meet, the more I love my dog”