Purebred dogs come first in most people’s preferences when choosing a pet. I am not here to argue whether this is right or wrong. Actually I am. It is wrong in so many ways. Not because of what you might think – all the mix breed unwanted dogs living on the streets or piled up in shelters, but because basically, insisting on bringing more and more purebred puppies to the world, when nature disagrees, is borderline abuse.
This is a personal blog, and I do not intend to copy other people’s words trying to convince you that nature knows better and that purebreds suffer from all sorts of diseases simply because we decided that we know better about which dogs should be allowed to mate and which should not. I will be speaking based on my personal experience alone.
bringing more and more purebred puppies to the world, when nature disagrees, is borderline abuse
I have three dogs – the ones in the header image. Well, technically I only have two. The third one is my foster girl, but she’s been sharing a life with us for months now, so I consider her my third baby. My three babies could not be more different.
There’s Laura, my first dog and the love of my life. She’s a French Bulldog (an adopted one). There’s Apollo, a mix breed hunting dog, who I found abandoned right outside my house three years ago. Although a mix breed, if you know a bit about hunting breeds, you can see some of them mixed in Apollo’s face, body and behavior. And then there’s Pela, my foster. She’s nobody. Not really a pariah, but she’s so mixed that she resembles one. Years of natural selection have made her resemble more to her ancestors, the wolves, just like the Dingos, the Carolina dogs and other formally recognized pariah dogs.
From a scale of one to ten, Laura’s healthiness is at two, Apollo’s is at 6 and Pela’s is at 10. I see it every day, I deal with their health issues and I know that owning a Frencie will make your vet bills raise sky high, while owning a “Pela” will make your life as easy as can be.
She doesn’t even have a tail to wag – how sick are we for breeding tailless dogs?
French Bulldogs are prone to almost any disease of defect you can imagine: cancer, skin infections, overheating, paralysis, gastrointestinal problems, eye problems (she did have her cherry eye sticking out her eyeball when I adopted her) etc. Her eyes need to be treated daily with tear cleaner and baby powder, her nose is very dry and needs daily moisturizing, she can’t reach her bottom so I need to clean it for her, she can’t stand the heat, she can’t stand the cold, she can’t go up and down the stairs without limping for a week after that, she can’t swim, she can only have special food which costs a fortune, otherwise she vomits ten times per day, she needs to be soaked wet before entering the car with full air condition on, or she’ll die, she can’t take long walks, she chokes every day on anything she eats… do you need more? She doesn’t even have a tail to wag – how sick are we for breeding tailless dogs?
Apollo, my hunter, is healthier – but not healthy. Hunting dogs were bred to have long and floppy ears so that when sniffing on the ground, the ears help the scents reach their noses easier so that they detect the prey. And no matter how ridiculously cute floppy ears are, they are sensitive and need to be checked often for otitis. His beautiful, velvety, reddish coat is so thin that Apollo freezes from cold even more than Laura does. And he’s becoming bald… His belly, neck and legs are practically hairless, which makes him even more sensitive to cold, parasites and injuries.
And last but not least, there’s Pela. She suffers from nothing, she needs nothing and she’s as healthy as can be, despite the fact that she’s almost ten years old. Her two layer coat protects her from the cold, the humidity and the heat. Her wolf-like ears are where they should be, her snout is of a normal size (not smashed in not sticking out like Apollo’s). There’s not a single food that can cause her diarrhea or stomach problems, her size is average, her weight is normal and her body makes it easy for her to survive in any environment – she did survive long years as a stray without a problem.
I’m not sure if what I wanted to say is clear. Health issues are not about us, the owners. It has nothing to do with vet bills of time consuming beauty treatments your pets will need and whether you are willing and responsible enough to spend time and money on your dog. It’s all about the dogs. Pela is healthier, because she’s the outcome of natural selection. He parents mated because they felt like it – not because we decided it. And nature should be respected. Bringing dogs with so many health problems to the world and at the same time saying that we love dogs are two things that are simply not compatible.
her body makes it easy for her to survive in any environment – she did survive long years as a stray without a problem.
I adore my purebred French Bulldog, but what I see every day before my eyes is how her own body is her enemy. Her own body makes everything difficult for her every single moment of the day, and seeing that makes me feel guilty. Because it were up to nature, Frenchies would not exist. Nature would never be stupid enough to maintain a species that has zero chances of surviving on its own. Humans did that to Laura. We did it and instead of being ashamed about it, we are even proud of our purebred dogs, as if this was some great accomplishment. It wasn’t. It isn’t. It is borderline abuse, like Adam says in his awesome video below – that I recommend you watch.