Pedigree Breeding

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The purpose of this paper is to discuss the trend of increased health problems in the modern canine being caused by inappropriate breeding practices.

Definition of Terms:

COI- Shows the relationship between two purebreds found by the formula:

Fx = Sum[(½)n1 + n2 + 1(1 + FA)] (“About Inbreeding”).

Dystocia- Painful and troubled labor (“Dystocia Definition”).

Elbow Dysplasia (ED)- Painful disorder in the elbow joint caused by improper bone growth (Maki).

Exophtalmosis- A condition in which the eye comes out of the socket (“Exothalmos”).

Hip Dysplasia (HD)- A loosely fitting hip joint, over time weakening the hip bone as a result of insufficient weight bearing (Maki).


Over the latter part of human history, man-kind has had a dramatic effect on the canine genome, using inappropriate breeding practices to achieve great changes in physical appearance while negatively impacting canine health (Arman). Because pedigree standards instituted by kennel clubs historically focused on appearance rather than behavioral or internal health, many breeders today incorporate breeding practices such as inbreeding and line-breeding to achieve an ideal pedigree (Maki). However, these breeding practices produce negative results by increasing the frequency of genetic disorders and decreasing the size of gene pools (“Animal Welfare”). Sensory, joint, and heart disorders have now become a mainstay amongst dog breeds (Bjornerfeldt). Because many breeds have characteristics that are in themselves unnatural and unhealthy for the individual dog, veterinarians must intervene to maintain decent health. Every generation these characteristics become more deeply in coded in the canine genome, perpetuating significant complications in ...

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Maki, K. "Population Structure, Inbreeding Trend and Their Association with Hip and Elbow Dysplasia in Dogs." 2001. Web. 13 Dec. 2011.

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Rooney, Nicola. "Pedigree Dog Breeding in the UK." RSPCA. Web. .
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