Re: UPL: Dogs and Domestication
Sat, 4 Dec 1999 11:08:45 EST

In a message dated 12/4/99 7:46:31 AM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

> <<Yes, but you can see some of their reasoning on the latter, no? I mean,
> if
> you breed for certain traits you might produce a dog that has trouble
> breathing (as in pugs), hip problems (in the larger breeds), and other
> quality of life issues.>>
> Actually, I would tend to agree that these are bad things, though usually
> unintended consequences of the desired trait. I would argue that breeding
> should focus on rectifying these maladaptations that cause dogs so much
> trouble. You could use genetic engineering to speed up the process. Of
> course, your fixes to the problems may also have unintended side

The problem, as discussed recently in the Atlantic, is that dog breeders became racist about 100 years ago and changed the definition of each breed from "dogs with certain characteristics" to "dogs descended from particular pedigrees". This stopped crossbreeding and as a result of that plus breeding show dog winners all breeds have become highly inbred. Dogs, like us, take poorly to inbreeding and so they're getting sick.

If we threw out pedigrees the problem would go away in a decade or so.