December 06, 2013

'A Giant Suffering Mass'

A series of photos compare purebred dogs from a century ago and now. Compare, for example, the change in the St. Bernard "from useful happy work dog to giant suffering mass." (You could say the same thing about Newfoundlands. too.)


Carolee said...

I have to disagree with this one, Chas. There is much more to the purebred picture than this snippet. Ethical, responsible breeders do everything they can to breed only healthy, sound dogs in any breed, and most breed standards are specific that the dogs that are put up for CH dogs and above are those which are true to what the breed is supposed to be able to do. While it's true that in some breeds the "working" lines have diverged from the show lines--and golden retrievers are an example of that--many breeds are much sounder and better working dogs than they were a century ago. Any generalizations you draw from just a little big of information like that without looking at the whole picture are bound to be flawed, as this one is.

Chas Clifton said...

The point here is that every breed in the show ring has degenerated, I think. Who could get any "work" out of one of those frog-like AKC German Shepherds? And I don't think that there is such as thing as a "working" English bulldog, nor has there been one for many decades.

Steve Bodio said...

All closed studbooks lead to genetic loss, period.

God knows, as a breeder myself, I "believe" in breeds. But if no allowance is made for new genetic material any good type will degenerate.E very geneticist and population biologist recognizes this. (See the maps created to maintain diversity in rare species). Only dog breeders cling to a deranged Victorian idea of "pure" breeding.