photo: Jim Dratfield
The topic of today’s BlogPaws post was The Case for Purebred Dogs from a different Perspective.
Since I’m a “breed blogger”, I felt compelled contribute my two cents to the conversation. Here’s what I posted in the comment section. Your thoughts are welcome!
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“As a “breed blogger”, I’m not unfamiliar with the voices on both sides of the purebred issue.
I believe the choice to select a purebred dog is a very personal one. Bringing ANY dog or other pet into your life is a very personal issue. As a breed enthusiast, I am partial to Welsh Corgis, and I’m not alone in my conviction that this breed chose me, not the other way around.
There, I (almost) said it: love. It’s not a rational thing, it’s a human thing. We run on emotions and intellect, both.
There is a consistency of character, temperament and behavior in this and other purebreds. While most Corgis no longer spend their lives as “working dogs” per se, this is partly due to the rapid changes in our (Western) society in the last one hundred or so years. Make no mistake, however: that working instinct, and the intelligence, liveliness and tenaciousness that go along with it, are put to good use. The Corgis themselves make sure of it. Just ask anybody who lives with one!
Like any dog bred for specific purposes, they’re not for everybody. Welsh Corgis are generally smarter than the average dog, they tend to be vocal, and they’re headstrong. Those suited to life with a Corgi consider these things a part of the whole package, or should before they decide to adopt or buy one. A good breeder will place to homes s/he has judged suitable, because they genuinely care.
It’s not unethical, or irresponsible, to have a preference for a dog with certain behavioral and physical characteristics. So long as we’re honestly willing and ABLE to accommodate ourselves happily to the genuine needs of that breed, it’s not inherently bad to choose a purebred. Or be chosen by one. (That pesky love thing again).
Beyond that, I don’t think purebred vs. “mutt” or mix is an either-or issue, and time spent in heated argument about it is ultimately not helpful to anybody — canine or human.
Neither purebred dogs, nor those who breed them responsibly, are the enemy: the root causes of pet overpopulation are. Puppy mills, widespread failure to spay and neuter, the limited availability of affordable spay and neuter services in many areas, the lack of public education on these issues, and sometimes just plain carelessness account for the majority of pets who end up in shelters. Yes, even purebred dogs.
Too many of them have their lives ended pitifully, because humans have failed them. It’s cold comfort for these poor souls who gave much and asked little, to say the very least.
When we domesticate an animal, and more so for the purposes (in part or whole) of companionship (which seems inevitable, given the nature of both the dog and the process of domestication), we take on a serious responsibility for lives not our own.
There’s a falling down on that responsibility, on a grand scale. It’s long past the hour for turning the tide on it.
Many good people are working at just that, and actual progress is being made.
Many of those people also happen to own purebreds.
There’s room for all of us who care deeply about these animals. We cannot afford to alienate one another, we must try to keep the lines of communication open, because our numbers are still yet too small.”