Friday, March 16, 2012

When You Put Your Dog on Display

Apparently, the folks who put dogs on display at dog shows are a little unclear that their dogs are on display (hence the word "dog show") and can be photographed by others at these shows, and that those photographs are then the property of the people who took the photos, not of the dog's owner.

What this means is that if you breed and show dogs that look like miserable wrecks, don't be too shocked if photos of them appear on the Internet as examples of morphological dysfunction.

Now, I consider it bad form to single out the owners of these dogs by name, and I generally do not name the dog itself, as it's always best to focus on principles rather than personalities. That said, when a dog wins at a show, the animal's name and the owner's name are trotted out all over, so if a dog is a monument to dysfunction, perhaps it should also work the other way around? I can see the point, though I myself chose not to observe it.

The dog here, of course, is a Dogue de Bordeaux with pinched nostrils (I do not think the term "stenotic nares" does much to illuminate the issue with the public) who will be in some form of respiratory distress almost every moment of its life.  Other breeds that frequently have the same problem include the English Bulldog, the Boston Terrier, and the Pug, to name just three. 

What's it feel like to be this dog? Basically, every moment of your life would feel like you were being "water boarded" or nearly suffocated.

But don't take my word for it; go ahead and pinch your own nostrils almost shut, and then try to breathe like that for just 10 minutes on the watch.

How's that working for you?

Yet the Kennel Clubs have whistled past the graveyard with this problem for decade after decade. 

And no, the term "graveyard" is not a metaphor.  The average Dogue de Bordeaux is dead at just  5 and half years of age.

Let's be clear that intentionally breeding dogs like this is institutionalized animal abuse.

No wonder the Kennel Club is now terrified of cameras at dog shows, and no wonder that owners of dogs like this don't want to be identified.

Who wants to me associated with keeping dogs in permanent misery?

Who wants to be associated with breeding defective dogs that will require expensive surgery to not be in permanent misery?

Of course, the solution is simple: Stop breeding dogs like this, and start disqualifying dogs that look like this from participating in shows.

Dogs shows, after all, are supposed to be improving dogs.

It's hard to see how anyone can say that is actually being done when breed after breed is selected for such obvious defects as smashed in faces, wrecked backs, dysfunctional coats, dwarfism, excess skin, coat colors associated with eye and ear dysfunction, and even baldness, to say nothing of the requirement that these dogs then be inbred within laughably small closed gene pools in order to preserve the painful and misery-causing mutations and dysfunctions.

Breeding better dogs?

Better for WHAT?

Not for health, which is afforded ZERO points.

Not for temperament, which is afforded ZERO points.

Not for work, which is afforded ZERO points.

If dog owners and the Kennel Club are proud of these creations, then they should not fear the camera, OR the veterinary evidence.

The fact that they are NOT proud, however, tells you quite a lot -- it shows a certain level of mens rea or scienter -- the kind of thing a court might consider if animal abuse charges ever were filed against the Kennel Club or a dog breeder.

1 comment:

Dan said...

A while ago, a spoof website called "Bonsai Kitten" was created, purportedly showing the creation of grotesque kittens by confining them in glass bottles during their growth stages. It caused an understandable outcry, especially amongst people so deficient in wits as to have trouble distinguishing between fantasy and reality. Even for smarter people, it wasn't actually very funny and now likely doesn't exist.

I would pose the hypothetical question, though, of how the Kennel Club differs from what Bonsai Kitten purported to be doing?