Tortured for our vanity and sport

This video is at times extremely difficult to watch, but I believe it’s something everyone who cares about dogs should see and consider.

I have long been a supporter of adopting mutts, primarily because they are usually in greater need but also because dog breeding has played an increasingly destructive role in both overpopulation and genetic disease.

While I’ve known that for a long time, this video includes a whole lot of specifics I didn’t know, and made me understand that the health situation for many breeds is far worse than I could have even imagined.

The video came to me by way of a breeder who is committed to responsibility and the well-being of her kennel’s dogs, and it seems obvious to me that the health disasters we are creating in dogs should be of primary importance to breeders and those people who are committed to adopting particular breeds. Needless to say, I hope all people who are involved with dog breeding – or who support it by buying specific breeds – will watch this video with an open mind and really consider the ethical questions.

This video also speaks to the increasing danger for all dogs: the genetic pools are growing so small – and the diseases so endemic – that mutts will be spared less and less. ‘Hybrid vigor’ can only go so far.

As for the breeds we love: what we are doing in dog breeding is not love.

Please watch.

It’s an hour that might just give you the impetus to change, and to educate others so our dogs have a chance at a healthy and pain-free life.

* * *

Special warning to Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Boxer owners: this video does show – in a painfully graphic way – the suffering caused by their particular genetic diseases. Bulldogs, Pugs, and German Shepherd Dogs too, to a lesser degree. I hope you’ll watch it, but also hope you’ll brace a bit.

Really, it shouldn’t be easy for any of us to watch.

Documentary – BBC – Pedigree Dogs Exposed [59 minutes]

Vodpod videos no longer available.


* * *


The documentary and its follow-up (Pedigree Dogs Exposed: Three Years On) do not seem to be available anywhere online anymore. (The copyright is held by BBC, and the films are available for purchase.)

However, you can read about the videos and the issues they address in the wikis for each, here:

Pedigree Dogs Exposed

Pedigree Dogs Exposed: Three Years On (what’s been done since the first film, and what has not)

You can also see updated information on the Pedigree Dogs Exposed blog.

Normal, healthy dog skull on the right. Brachycephalic dog (Pug) on the left.


5 responses to “Tortured for our vanity and sport

  1. OMG, so upsetting, but so crucial to know. Likely, this is also happening to cats now too….I have long been indignant over how they breed certain cats with *so much fur* …horrible, disabling hairballs (interfering with digestion) are simply inevitable. People are so ignorant–they treat animals like “brands”…

    I twittered this, sent it to my dog-loving daughter, etc. We must get the word out–thanks SO MUCH for posting this so that folks in the USA can see it too.

  2. Yes – the thing that struck me about cats was while I was watching the parts about Pugs and Bulldogs: Persians and some of the other cat breeds whose faces have been bred for flatness must have all the same breathing problems.

    It’s insane.

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