Interesting video discussion on dog breeds and dog-breed bias

This video from TheDoggyDish.com offers an interesting variety of viewpoints on the issue of breed bias, mostly several individuals discussing breeds they like and others they are not so fond of.

While my wife and I have rescued a number of basset hounds and greyhounds over the last two decades – and we have a special fondness for these dogs – I must admit if I have a slight bias, it’s for the mutts. Mutts are great and don’t get enough acknowledgment for their greatness.

I wouldn’t trade any of our rescued mutts for any of champion show dogs featured in the top national events. The first dog I’d suggest to anyone asking which breed might be best to adopt – is the mixed-breed.

Over the course of my years on the planet, I can think back on some very special dogs, mutts and purebred rescues, who have deeply enriched my life – from a collie-shepherd mix I grew up with up to a pit bull-lab mix and a lab-rottweiler mix who both passed away last fall.

Breed bias? – No, not me. They’re all great, but with the mutts holding a special spot in the animal kingdom.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by D Gary Grady on August 22, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    In animal and plant breeding there is a concept known as “hybrid vitality,” meaning that on average plants and animals with the least inbreeding tend to be healthiest. This is certainly not invariably true, but it often is. Many veterinarians say that mixed breed dogs tend to be healthier (again on average, not in every single case) than dogs of a specific breed.

    Alas, it isn’t just that a diverse genetic background can yield greater health, it’s that breeding dogs to an arbitrary breed standard based on exterior appearance can by itself lead to serious health problems, as for example in the case of breeds that cannot give birth to puppies except with surgery or bulldogs whose flattened faces make it difficult for them even to breathe.

    Reply

  2. I used to have a bias for Great Danes, and then I started walking dogs at our rural no-kill shelter a number of years ago. No-kill means some of the dogs become your friends because you walk them for months and months. (Our shelter has indoor/outdoor kennels and outside exercise pens so most dogs tolerate the environment well enough.) After a few years of dog walking and driving on dog transports you pretty much lose any biases you might have had. I was snuzzling up a lovable senior puggle girl named Peaches at my last transport, a designer dog type that I would have stuck my nose up at a few years ago.

    We have a senior Great Dane girl, a Walker-type coon hound boy, and an older bulldog-amstaff-type boy at home. I had a Sunbear Squad table at a Bark in the Park event recently and brought our coonie along. He looks like a beagle on stilts. He is a Walmart-greeter in a dog suit, and some people expressed surprise to meet a nice coon hound. Someone said, “I don’t really think of them as, like, dogs.” In our shelter, it seems like the pit bulls get adopted sooner than the coon hounds.

    Reply

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