Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The National Dog Show Salutes a Genetic Wreck

Tomorrow, on Thanksgiving Day, NBC will be featuring "The National Dog Show Presented by Purina" which will introduce the newest American Kennel Club-sanctioned breed, the Dogue de Bordeaux.

What will not be said: the dog is a complete genetic wreck and has been heavily inbred from a small gene pool in the U.S. following the rapid popularity of the dog after the Tom Hanks movie "Turner and Hooch" came out in 1989.

Some numbers from the UK Kennel Club (N = 76 dogs) gives a glimpse of the extent of the health problems associated with this newest dog to be ushered into the American Kennel Club's parade of defect, deformity and disease:

  • The average Dogue de Bordeaux is dead from disease or veterinary intervention at the age of 5.48 years.

  • The median age at diagnosis for all Dogue de Bordeaux disease occurrences was just 9 months.

  • Most Causes of death in the Dogue de Bordeaux:

    . . . . ** Cancer (28 percent)

    . . . . ** Cardiac (22 percent)

    . . . .** Kidney Disease (11 percent)

    . . . .** Epilepsy (4.4 percent)

    . . . .** Hepatic Disease (i.e. chronic liver failure)

    . . . . ** Skeletal Disease (i.e. OCD and dysplasia)

Is this this dog the American Kennel Club intends to showcase at Westminster?

Is this the dog the U.K. Kennel Club intends to showcase at Crufts?

If so, excellent, for it is a perfect case statement for everything that is wrong with the American Kennel Club and the British Kennel Club.

Once again the Kennel Clubs embrace and elevate a breed without any health considerations what-so-ever.

Once again they continue the tradition of ushering forward canine misery for the sake of human vanity and amusement.



retrieverman said...

The Dogue has become a nightmare. At one time, each French region had its own Dogue. In fact, it's been suggested that the Beast of Gevaudan, which turned out to be two unusual wolf hybrids, were actually wolf/Dogue crosses that had been trained to kill people. (Not that much of a stretch when you consider that the Spanish were using the Dogue's cousin, the War Mastiff, to "dog" Idians in the New World.)

Last year, the breed they showcased, if memory serves, is the State Dog of North Carolina, the Plott hound (the AKC registers them as "The Plott", not the Plott hound, for some reason). Unlike the Dogue, the Plott is still used for its purpose hunting bears, cougars, and other game. I wonder how long it will be beofre the Plott Hound falls apart. (In West Virginia, this dog is called simply "the bear dog.") These dog is derived from the same ancestral stock that gave us the Hanoverian Schweisshund, the German forester's bloodhound. It was brought to the North Carolina mountains by a German family named Plott (Anglicanized from Platz). It's the only American scenthound derived from mainly German stock.

Dogue de Bordeaux had issues with a fad status a few years back with that film "Turner and Hooch." People bought these big mastiffs, assuming that they wereto mature into an avuncular slobbering beasts, like the boxer or the Great Dane/Deutsche Dogge/German mastiff. Of course, many of them wound becoming too dominant and aggressive for the novice to handle. This breed has a great deal of the old molosser temperament.

Dogue means mastiff in French, as does Dogo in Spanish and Dogge in German. In other Germanic languages, dogs are known as hund, hond, and houn (in German, Dutch, and Frisian respectively). Hunting in the UK and Ireland means killing animals with the use of scent hounds and is derived from teh word "hound." The reason why we call canis familiaris a dog is because in Anglo-Saxon England, the most common dogs were mastiff-types (Dogca in Anglo-Saxon) and the word became the word for all animals in the species.

Sam said...

What is the most diseased (perhaps a top 5?) dog breed?

While, say, 100% of dwarf dogs are diseased, I'm more interested in the unintentional inbred diseases.

If I had to venture an uneducated guess I'd say the toy breeds with their toothless mouths, or those collapsed noses and throats.

Or maybe I want to know about non-structural diseases, like myopathy in Dobermans or deafness in Dalmatians.

So disgusting.

Anonymous said...

As long as there are bear, cougar, boar, and coon hunters that use Plotts, they are in no danger of being totally ruined by the AKC. They will simply diverge into working strains(as registered by the UKC)and useless AKC conformation show strains. Just like the only other "coonhound" the AKC has registered for years, the Black-and-Tan. No hunter even pays any attention to AKC Black-and-Tans. Just like the working strains of Labradors, Siberian Huskies, Australian Shepherds, Border Collies, Etc. etc., etc., ad naseum, vs. the show strains of these same breeds.......L.B.

Amber said...

Mr. Burns-

Not only is it sad they would showcase a breed as genetically distraught as the Dogue de Bordeaux, but I fear the day they showcase a breed I've known and loved, and now hate- the Cane Corso.

The Cane Corso has not even been accepted into AKC misc. for very long (less than a year) and long before has been a breed prevalent with health issues. A breed that only needs to have (and not even always as it's consistently excused because they are a molosser) passing hips to be worthy to be bred. Heart problems run rampant in this breed, along with PRA cropping up and many lines have epilepsy through them as well. However breeders do not test for this, as if they do not care! I have owned several breeds throughout my lifetime and I must say of all of them, the Cane Corso was the biggest genetic nightmare!

I enjoy your blog very much, and look forward to the day when you feature the breed that I love more than any other, but also despise more than any other.