I ran across this on my blog feed. (thank you Peter for the link)
“OK Rep. Palmer (R-AL), You Want to Talk Dogs? Let’s Talk Dogs”
“As all they are concerned with is superficial conformity to an artificial standard created by people with no care for what the dogs actually are designed to do, nothing else matters. Hips, EIC, cancer, allergies, intelligence, drive, instinct – non of these things matter to the Bench people in the USA – and increasingly elsewhere as our bad habits spread.”
There’s more here.
I agree wholeheartedly. While my personal experience is with cats, not dogs, I have seen similar in the cat show rings.
Remember the Disney movie “The Aristocats”? Dutchess was, iirc, a Persian Cat. Take a good look at the Persian cat winning today. That cat looks nothing like Dutchess. The nose break on the modern Persian leads to respiratory issues.
The cat of Siam was purported to be a temple guard cat. This was a proud, stout, breed with very dense musculature. What is winning in the show ring is rail thin and has a narrow, triangular, head. I look at that cat and think “there is no way this cat could guard anything”. Fortunately, there are breeders that have maintained the old “apple head” lines.
Even my beloved Manx cat is not spared. I look at photos of cats living on the Isle of Mann and I look at the Manx that sleeps on me. She was bred to be round. Her island cousins are more cobby than round.
Show Breeders breed for what wins. If what is winning is extreme, then breeders seeking ribbons will start to breed extreme animals. The more extreme the animal gets, the more its health is compromised. That is why I cringed when I heard the Blue tick hound and the Redbone coonhound had been accepted into AKC. I fear for their future. Adding to the problem is when a breed becomes “popular”. Puppy/Kitten mills, those breeders whose animals you see on the SPCA commercials, will mass produce a certain breed just to make a buck. They do not care about the health or quality of their animals and they destroy the look, and reputation, of the breed.
“You get what you prioritize, breed, and pay for – and in America we screwed up our priorities when it comes to dogs, especially working dogs.”
This is a problem that is not limited to dogs or cats or even nations. I’ve been told that puppy mill breeders are destroying some Australian breeds.