The problem with purebred dogs

Inbreeding harms the animal’s gene pool.


Caroline Sommers/THE CHIMES

Tim Seeberger, Writer

The dream of owning a dog after graduation is a dream for many students. The allure of buying a purebred is always there. These specific kinds of breeds look visibly perfect. Although they may look pleasing, purebreds are extremely harmful for the gene pool of dogs. For students, adoption is a much better option.

Homegenized expectations

In regards to aesthetic qualities and behavior, purebred dogs are more predictable than mixed breed dogs. Since purebreds are selectively bred with the same genes every time, they retain the same behavioral traits and looks as their predecessors. Genetically, they are perfect.

This is why so many people are attracted to purebreds. This fact, though, comes with a cost. The perfect nature of purebred dogs is a result of inbreeding.

“Purebreds often times depending have many more health issues because they’ve been inbred,” said Lauren Kay, spokesperson from LA Love & Leashes, an adoption center that partners with L.A. County Animal Shelters. “So, often times in a shelter, when it’s a mutt, they’re a little bit hardier than a pet bought from a breeder.”

Under the skin

For example, pugs are one of the leading products of inbreeding. The gene pool of all pugs in the world only consists of 133.8 pugs. This means that all the pugs in the world share the genes of merely 133.8 pugs. This inbreeding results in deformed facial features such as a flat face, which leads to breathing problems within pugs. Although the folded-over skin on this breed may look cute, this genetic deformity causes bacteria to accumulate in the folds and cause skin infections.

On top of this, the immune system of purebreds are significantly weaker than those that are not inbred. If there is a genetic mutation within the gene pools, the chances of it spreading are much greater because the dogs breed with their own relatives.

Adoption is a much safer and cost-efficient outlet for students to purchase a dog. The cost for a dog adoption is around $100 for most city-affiliated adoption centers.

Beyond helping the gene pool of many different breeds, adopting a dog is a more cost-effective outlet of emotional support or catharsis.

“I would just encourage people if they’re thinking of bringing a new pet into the house to definitely think about adoption,” Kay said. “I would absolutely encourage adoption over purchasing from a breeder and there are breed-specific rescue groups as well, so if someone wants a labrador, doesn’t mean you can’t get a labrador.”

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