Dogs come in different sizes, forms, and colours. Unfortunately, some are more prone to catch serious diseases than others, simply because of their breed. If you are looking to adopt a dog, you should look into things like – Is pedigree good for dogs?
No, pedigree is not good for dogs in the longer run. Dogs that are closely bred, mainly referred to as pedigree, are a target of these diseases more. Diseases such as spina bifida, syringomyelia, and brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome, respectively.
People who want to buy pedigree dogs, should not only prepare for a new member of the family but also be well aware of the serious issues that might follow in the future regarding it.
Now that we know the answer, let us dig deep into this topic.
What Is a Pedigree Dog?
Pedigree means that a dog has both parents from the same breed; that it is purebred and has ancestors of its breed only. For a dog to have the title of a pedigree, at least three of its previous generations have to be bred within themselves.
The dog is also registered with a recognized club or society that will maintain its record of description. If your puppy’s parents are the same breed, then your dog is a pure breed but not necessarily a pedigree.
If your dog’s parents were two different breeds, then it is a mixed breed. Three or more breeds of dogs make your dog a mixed breed.
Why Are Pure Breeds in Demand?
For centuries, people have been breeding dogs for certain traits. These traits could be a suitable nature for companionship, hypervigilance for watchdogs, a detection dog`s exceptional sense of smell, or an ideal physique for hunting pests like badgers. Today, large organizations have set certain standards to foster the desired appearance of types of dogs and turn to inbreed that mate direct relatives.
And some people just like to brag about their dogs Infront of other. Part of a reason why people are always up to adopt a German Shepard or a husky – rather than a stray dog that does not have a defined breed.
Why Do Purebred Dogs Get Sick?
The reason that pedigree dogs are at risk of genetic disorder is the same that would be for any species: inbreeding. It’s when the mating of an organism is closely related to its ancestry.
Now, as much as we love a dog that inherits its pure beauty from the same ancestors throughout its generations, this beauty also brings with it a great disadvantage that puts their lives at risk.
James Serpell, professor of ethics and animal welfare, explains that historically, a breeder`s primary concern was to produce dogs that look like the standard breed. Even if they recognized any health problems, their owners were more concerned with producing dogs that were perceived to be of the most perfect breed.”
Experts have agreed that a big number of purebred canines have the potential of developing genetic disorders that bring harm to them. When a purebred canine wins the competition, it is bred widely whether the genes are healthy or not.
This results in increased incidences of inherited diseases as well as higher numbers of health issues due to their body frames and shapes some of which are hip dysplasia in bigger breeds like the German shepherd and the saint Bernard or continuous dislocation of the kneecap in miniature breeds.
Is Pedigree Better Than Mixed-Breed Dogs?
No, mixed-breed dogs are not always healthier than pedigree, and nor is a purebred dog healthier than a mixed breed. However, there is lesser susceptibility for a mixed breed to inherit the recessive alleles.
Generally, dogs that are mixed bred are medically healthier than pedigree dogs and they tend to have a longer lifespan because of a stronger genetic diversity.
Limited Genetic Diversity
The genetic diversity of a purebred is limited as compared to that of a mixed breed because of its smaller gene pool. Moreover, you cannot mix-breed a purebred dog for it to remain a pedigree, hence why the overall gene pool of a purebred is going to shrink eventually.
Why Is a Mixed-Breed Better?
We all know how genetic material is passed down half from the mother and half from the father when dogs breed together. After years of mating within themselves in a close gene pool. This way the chance of genetic disorders that are caused by recessive mutations passed down to the offspring increases.
Decreased chance of genetic diseases
A hybrid has been introduced into another lone of dogs outside its closed gene pool. This decreases the chances of inheriting defective traits to pass down to the offspring. Over decades, mating in this mixed breed naturally leaves out unwanted and defective genes. This is a result of how the dog now has a lot of other partners to select.
Dogs that are a result of this type of mating are called mixed breeds because their genotypes and phenotypes have mixed.
In 2013, a study was conducted by Bellumori et al in which various medical records from a vet clinic were studied. It consisted of 24,000 dogs affected by 24 genetic disorders both in purebred and mixed breeds. Results showed that:
|Purebred dogs had 42% of the genetic conditions|
|Mixed breeds had 4% of the inherited disorders|
|No difference was observed in 52% of the genetic conditions|
Life Expectancy of the two Breeds
|The average lifespan of a purebred is approximately 12 years. Larger breeds of dogs tend to live shorter lives than smaller and medium breeds.|
|There isn’t much of a difference between the life spans of the two types of breeds.|
There are numerous healthy ways to keep a dog’s breed pure as well as avoiding inbreeding at the same time. This could be possible by mating two dogs of the same breed but their ancestors’ decades or centuries apart. A method that could help carry this out successfully is to keep track of this process by documenting it.
So those who are buying a dog must consider whether they want a healthy, intelligent, active, and well-balanced dog or do they want a dog that is specifically designed that could be endangered by a hereditary disease.
Instead of going for the typical hyped-up pedigree that could result in more vet bills, and disappointment for you and your family, you should opt for a unique and beautiful mix of two different breeds.
To Sum It All Up
According to researchers, pedigree is not good for dogs since it restricts them to carry ahead the same restricted group of genes. There are higher chances for recessive or faulty genes to be inherited by the offspring.
These genetic diseases could cause low fertility, deformities which eventually result in extinction. Whether it’s pure or mixed, the primary purpose is that healthy dogs are to be allowed to mate. The pure characteristics of a dog can be maintained while improving its breed.
So, next time when you hop on the bandwagon to breed dogs, do not think that purebred dogs are better than others. And in the grand scheme of things, you are putting them at more risk.