Big dogs mean big bills
Why is it that every time I see a pure bred dog I think of Hitler?
I’m certainly not meaning to trivialise the horrific nature of the Holocaust by any means, but I can’t help but draw parallels between the madman’s ideal of a “superior” Aryan Race and a mating system which celebrates a dog’s fashionable beauty over its health and well-being.
Obviously not all breeders, nor all classes of dogs have inherent problems and defects, but it’s undeniable that within certain categories, continuous genetic inbreeding has produced recognised medical flaws which diminish the life expectancy and life quality of man’s best friend.
Ask any vet over a beer and they may cough up the three truths passed down to them during their university schooling.
One: big dogs mean big bills.
Two: everyone struggles to keep goldfish alive.
And three: pure bred is pure gold.
Pure bred dogs can suffer from bone and joint disorders, eye, respiratory, heart and hormonal diseases, skin problems which cause frantic itching and kidney and liver issues, just to name a few problems.
Sure, bitzers suffer from these ailments too, but there’s a significantly greater chance that a pure bred will be contributing to your vet’s boat, holiday house or kid’s education.
Still don’t believe me? Try getting pet insurance for a pure bred pup, and then for a mongrel. I reckon you can guess which one’s cheaper.
In some cases our desire for a certain look has resulted in perverse bastardisations, such as the English bulldog.
Thanks to human intervention and our Looney-Tune-esque perception of what these dogs should look like, they can’t even deliver pups without veterinary help.
One vet instructor said they were “a dog full of genetic defects and they should be allowed to become extinct”.
Now I’m not suggesting that your Lab or German Shepard is going to roll on to the big park in the sky any time soon - I certainly hope they warm your feet for many years to come - but it just seems a little perverse that when there are hundreds of dogs already in existence in our shelters around town, we need to save sometimes thousands of dollars and go on waiting lists, just to get that “perfect” dog.
And you know what?
While I know the attraction of a pure bred means you’re more likely to get the characteristics you want, to satisfy you and your family, IT’S NO GUARANTEE!
A friend of mine is more than a little miffed that her miniature poodle is over knee high and is more attacker than toy.
Of course, I’m looking at it from my perspective, where our bitzer is our third child, so if we can’t pick our kids, why do we spend so much time and money choosing our furry kids?
I mean, would you really sign up for a good looking baby if they were significantly more likely to end up in hospital with some respiratory or hip defect? Of course not.
And I also can’t help but wonder what happens to those ugly duckling puppies which don’t meet the criteria of the unscrupulous breeders.
The RSPCA says they have evidence of healthy ‘ridgeless’ Rhodesian Ridgeback’s being culled.
Let’s be clear, this is NOT a swipe at all pure dog breeds and their owners and propagators, but rather a protest against those who continue to place aesthetic desires and trends above the well-being of the animal.
Let’s open the stud books, learn the right questions to ask, support the ethical breeders and perhaps, before you get in line to buy that puppy for someone’s Christmas stocking, swing past the Animal Welfare League or RSPCA to see if one of the furry little mongrels steals your heart.
Comments on this post close at 8pm AEST
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…