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Amazing Dogs from the Westminster Dog Show
February 16, 2011 1:04 PM   Subscribe

The NYT coverage of the Westminster Dog Show.

Amazing dog photos. Hickory won best in show (no, not that one).
posted by anya32 (109 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
A lot of asses were checked out there.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:09 PM on February 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


I looked at these earlier today, and somehow missed that the Puli (the link for "dog" in "Amazing dog photos") was named "Ziggy." This pleases me.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:09 PM on February 16, 2011


Even "professional" border collies like Action look like they are ready to completely lose their shit and start chasing at a moments notice.
posted by davey_darling at 1:09 PM on February 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Thanks for posting! I love looking at all those poochies!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:11 PM on February 16, 2011


I just get all schmoopy inside when I see the big, slobbery jowls of the working group. I'm glad so many of them mugged for the camera.
posted by phunniemee at 1:11 PM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Okay so during the Dog Show in NYC you can see all these very fancy little doggies being taken for walks around Madison Square Garden and they all walk in this ever so previous and careful way. Very orderly and prim. Is that something they learn for the show or do some breeds just do it better then others and they're the ones that get in? And if it's taught, how do they teach it?
posted by The Whelk at 1:14 PM on February 16, 2011


Not the best???
posted by found missing at 1:15 PM on February 16, 2011


This is not a dog. It is clearly JJ Abrams' updated version of a Tribble.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:15 PM on February 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


No Corgis? Boo!
posted by kmz at 1:22 PM on February 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


The winner is obviously Rufus The Redbone Coonhound.
posted by amethysts at 1:23 PM on February 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


After the dozens of adorable dogs, the best part of a dog show is seeing the plump ladies bouncing plumply as they trot their animal around the ring.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:24 PM on February 16, 2011


This is where I post a picture of my roommate's afghan hound, Sesame.
posted by phunniemee at 1:24 PM on February 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


Seeing these awesome pictures makes me desperate for some animal liberation. Dog breeding is an evil menace. It's sad that these poor creatures are owned by a bunch of people who just a few years ago were still advocating culling of puppies.
posted by koeselitz at 1:24 PM on February 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


I almost had a seizure when that ridiculous Pekingese won in its section. That's not a dog, that's something I need to vacuum up from under my couch.

Also the naughty little podenco prancing relentlessly made my goddamn day. OH PUPPIES. ILU FOREVER.
posted by elizardbits at 1:25 PM on February 16, 2011


Is that something they learn for the show

Leash training, I presume - if they are not heeling then it is simple loose leash training.
posted by muddgirl at 1:26 PM on February 16, 2011


I watched. Lots of beautiful dogs but, as usual, I didn't really enjoy the terrier group:

I have a softcoated Wheaten Terrier, and they are absolutely the best dogs on the planet. In shows, though, they groom them to look like total dinguses - and then they never, ever make the final group.

So, waaah.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:30 PM on February 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


No German Shepherd pictures? Horseshit.
posted by COBRA! at 1:32 PM on February 16, 2011


Seperated at birth?
posted by munchingzombie at 1:32 PM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


That Belgian Sheepdog is 100% pure essence of female.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:34 PM on February 16, 2011


And to think that in some countries these dogs are eaten.
posted by brevator at 1:35 PM on February 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


Yeah. You're right brevator. This post is crap without recipes.

And Sports Section? Really?
posted by Keith Talent at 1:37 PM on February 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


The Burmese Mountain Dog is simply gorgeous.
posted by bearwife at 1:40 PM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]




Bernese.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:43 PM on February 16, 2011


From BERN!
posted by found missing at 1:43 PM on February 16, 2011


Sorry, Bernese. Doh!
posted by bearwife at 1:44 PM on February 16, 2011


I'm always torn about dog shows and breeding. On the one hand, it seems ridiculous and maybe cruel to breed (genetically manipulate) an animal for reasons of style and human taste. Docking of tails and such for non-working dogs seems even worse.

On the other hand that Peke just slays me with its widdle smooshy face...
posted by JoanArkham at 1:44 PM on February 16, 2011


the Puli (the link for "dog" in "Amazing dog photos") was named "Ziggy." This pleases me.

Viewing the picture in question, it pleases me that Ziggy is registered as Cordmaker Rumpus Bumpus. That is excellent.
posted by EvaDestruction at 1:45 PM on February 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Humane Society 2010 article on purebred dogs.
posted by anya32 at 1:50 PM on February 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


what the heck these people don't know how to properly name dogs
posted by Baby_Balrog at 1:53 PM on February 16, 2011


pjernese
posted by JeffK at 1:53 PM on February 16, 2011


> what the heck these people don't know how to properly name dogs

The AKC requires every dog have a unique name, which is why you see all those oddities.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:54 PM on February 16, 2011


Viewing the picture in question, it pleases me that Ziggy is registered as Cordmaker Rumpus Bumpus. That is excellent.

Coincidentally, my own middle name is also "Cordmaker Rumpus Bumpus."
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:55 PM on February 16, 2011


Bah, you want dogs? This is a dog.
posted by electroboy at 1:56 PM on February 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Previously.

Those poor poor dogs. I wonder how many will make it to 8 years old?

On a lighter note, I spotted at least 2, if not three dogthulhus. So maybe I don't need to worry about their heath, as they will soon rise and eat all the dog breeders. One can hope.
posted by Hactar at 1:57 PM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


god, some of these registered names.

Liontame's 1-800-Hotstuff
Windsor 18k Rolls Royce
Devils and Fairies Flesh for Fantasy
posted by sawdustbear at 1:59 PM on February 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is not a greyhound. This is a greyhound.
posted by specialagentwebb at 2:00 PM on February 16, 2011 [11 favorites]


phunniemee: This is where I post a picture of my roommate's afghan hound, Sesame.

I think you have mistaken a shag throw-rug for a dog. I see no defining features of a canine there, like limbs or a head.


Baby_Balrog: what the heck these people don't know how to properly name dogs

Behold, the AKC naming regulations, including: The AKC permits thirty-seven (37) dogs of each breed to be assigned the same name. I think all the Fidos and Rovers have been claimed already.


anya32:
Humane Society 2010 article on purebred dogs.


See also: Dog Breeds over Time, including this significantly stockier poodle from 1895 (via, and an AskMe question I can't currently find).
posted by filthy light thief at 2:02 PM on February 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


That Neapolitan Mastiff is RIDICULOUS.
posted by brand-gnu at 2:04 PM on February 16, 2011


Also, that's a really fat Lab. Someone should walk that guy.
posted by electroboy at 2:05 PM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


On the one hand, it seems ridiculous and maybe cruel to breed (genetically manipulate) an animal for reasons of style and human taste. Docking of tails and such for non-working dogs seems even worse.

Not to mention millions of shelter dogs euthanized each year.

Really, it's ethically indefensible. But the beauty of these animals tends to beggar rational argument.

DISCLOSURE: The author is a loving father to two whippets.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:06 PM on February 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


No standard poodle photo makes me grumbly, poodles are the best dogs but I hate the 'show cut' with a passion.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:08 PM on February 16, 2011


Speaking of tribbles, check out the pekingese....
posted by Melismata at 2:09 PM on February 16, 2011


From the humane society article:

[D]ue to prolific production to meet public demand, the most coveted dogs tend to have the most genetic disorders; Labrador retrievers, who’ve topped the AKC’s popularity list for 19 years, are prone to around 50 inherited conditions.


Sheesh.
posted by bearwife at 2:11 PM on February 16, 2011


No Corgis, irrelevant.
posted by thylacine at 2:12 PM on February 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Humane Society 2010 article on purebred dogs

Anecdote: my family had a toy poodle who was rather impressive, for the "defects" he survived. At 3 years, he had two eye issues that left him blind in one eye, and severely limited in his other eye, yet he was lively and playful until he was at least 8 years old, maybe 10. As kids, we kicked a soccer ball around in the back yard, and he'd chase after it, even though the ball would bowl him over if he got in its way. We moved when he was 6 or so, and his outside domain quadrupled in size. He wandered everywhere, to the point that I'd forget that he was so limited in vision, though you could surprise him if you moved in on him on his completely blind side. But he navigated around furniture and people without a problem, went upstairs and down, and leaped up on our beds at night. I think he started to decline at age 12, moving more slowly and less likely to go upstairs. He lived to be 14 years old. He died in the car, when my mom and sister were taking him to be put down.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:13 PM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the Dachshund wiki entry:
The first verifiable references to the dachshund, originally named the "Dachs Kriecher" ("badger crawler") or "Dachs Krieger" ("badger warrior"), came from books written in the early 18th century.[46] Prior to that, there exist references to "badger dogs" and "hole dogs", but these likely refer to purposes rather than to specific breeds. The original German dachshunds were larger than the modern full-size variety, weighing between 30 and 40 lb (Photo)
posted by electroboy at 2:15 PM on February 16, 2011


electroboy: Also, that's a really fat Lab. Someone should walk that guy.

"Kaltrav Carribean Cruise" is a sound and suitable name.

And I got excited when I read "badger crawler" as "bagel crawler." But badger warrior sounds pretty good, too.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:18 PM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Siberian Husky looks fantastic, though I bet he is bigger than the photo makes him look!
posted by vidur at 2:20 PM on February 16, 2011


The AKC permits thirty-seven (37) dogs of each breed to be assigned the same name.

What a curious and arbitrary cutoff. I wonder if when the limitation was first imposed there happened to be a breed with 37 identically-named dogs, so they set the cap at that rather than require any name changes.

Then again, this is dog breeding, practically the definition of a curious and arbitrary competition, so maybe it just goes with the territory.
posted by jedicus at 2:20 PM on February 16, 2011


NSFW
posted by jeremy b at 2:25 PM on February 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


That Neapolitan Mastiff is RIDICULOUS.

That dog is huge, saw him at a show and all the other neos just paled in comparison. With "Della Vecchia" in his name, however it's almost a lock, famous Italian breeder renown world wide in the Neo business.
posted by Max Power at 2:26 PM on February 16, 2011


That Neapolitan Mastiff is RIDICULOUS.

Jesus, it's like someone left a Great Dane on a hot stove.
posted by electroboy at 2:27 PM on February 16, 2011


The Siberian Husky looks fantastic, though I bet he is bigger than the photo makes him look!
Probably not; Sibes are really medium-sized dogs and show dogs have to comform to the breed standard, which limits a male to the 45-60 pound range. He's probably about a 50 lb boy and around 21-22" at the shoulder. It's true that there are a lot of pet sibes that are too large and wouldn't be showable.
posted by Wolfdog at 2:27 PM on February 16, 2011


Excuse me if this off the subject a little bit, but just take a guess at how much I can bench press. Come on, what do you think? Take a guess. 315 pounds, at the top of my game, maxing out at 500!
posted by bonehead at 2:36 PM on February 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


As much as my mixed feelings and misgivings allow, I am delighted that not only a representative of the hound group but a sighthound won Best of Show. Congratulations, Hickory, you hairy hunk!
posted by vers at 2:48 PM on February 16, 2011


Snoop Dogg the Bedlington Terrier

That's awesome.
posted by axiom at 2:51 PM on February 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Great, but when is the cat show?

NOT CAT-IST
posted by reductiondesign at 2:54 PM on February 16, 2011


"Registered Show Dog or Scandinavian Metal Band" would be a fun game to play.
posted by Zozo at 2:59 PM on February 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


It's true that there are a lot of pet sibes that are too large and wouldn't be showable.

Yeah, my neighbor has two that are undoubtedly well beyond the show standards you mentioned. Beautiful, beautiful dogs though.
posted by vidur at 3:01 PM on February 16, 2011


I am evil. My wife had tickets to the second day (from work). I was all, dog show, you gotta be kidding me? So she didn't go. I am sad. I should have bitten the biscuit and gone. I guess I'm in the doghouse now.
posted by Splunge at 3:09 PM on February 16, 2011


I agree with wolfdog - that Siberian Husky looked nice and natural. A lot of the longer haired dogs at these shows tend to look way over-groomed. This year that struck me most with the Golden Retriever, though that's probably because I've had a couple of them in my day and didn't spend hours with the comb. As also said previously, the Lab looked like it had a few too many six packs watching football with me (so that's where all the beers went - thanks buddy). I was most interested to look up the German Short Haired Pointer, coz that's what our Vet told us that our rescue mutt most resembled. He's close, I guess, but obviously has some sort of terrier in him also, as well as a few other things. Happy birthday Chance! there's a chance he could be this, there's a chance he could be that....
posted by Sk4n at 3:11 PM on February 16, 2011


And to think that in some countries these dogs are eaten.

And to think that in some countries these dogs are shot, beaten, burned, kicked across rooms, humiliated, left in cages to sleep in their own waste, and abandoned on the side of the road.
posted by blucevalo at 3:14 PM on February 16, 2011


And to think that in some countries these dogs are shot, beaten, burned, kicked across rooms, humiliated, left in cages to sleep in their own waste, and abandoned on the side of the road.

That happens to a lot of things.
posted by Max Power at 3:19 PM on February 16, 2011


And a lot of things are eaten too. That wasn't my point.
posted by blucevalo at 3:26 PM on February 16, 2011


And a lot of things are eaten too. That wasn't my point.

What was your point then? We should all be nicer or something? Stop irresponsible people from owning dogs?
posted by Max Power at 3:32 PM on February 16, 2011


COBRA!: “No German Shepherd pictures? Horseshit.”

Thank god for it, too. German Shepherds are one of the breeds most maimed by the breeding madness; all breed specifications are inane bullshit that have nothing to do with actual animals and the way they should look when healthy, but the German Shepherd standard requires that the best Shepherds are the ones who have the most sloping back. The result is a generation of show dogs that lack the ability to do anything but pretty much drag their butts on the ground.

To put it bluntly, the German Shepherds at Westminster are not proper German Shepherds. And watching them is enough to make anybody sad. That's probably why they're not included.

If you want a picture of a German Shepherd from Westminster, you may look at this poor creature.
posted by koeselitz at 3:38 PM on February 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


What on earth is this fight about? Bluecevalo was pointing out that many bad things happen to dogs besides being eaten. I.e. the juxtaposition of the gorgeous, super bred, super groomed, super celebrated dogs of the Westminster show and what happens to other dogs elsewhere is rather dramatic. Max Power was pointing out that this juxtaposition is true of other things too -- I thought immediately of women and children, myself. You both have good points.
posted by bearwife at 3:40 PM on February 16, 2011


Preview fail again. I meant to say you both have made good points though I do think you both have many fine points too.
posted by bearwife at 3:42 PM on February 16, 2011


Too many good points, and not enough fine points, actually. The breed standard is very clear that there should be just as many fine points as good points. I don't think you could show either of them.
posted by koeselitz at 3:44 PM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you want a picture of a German Shepherd from Westminster, you may look at this poor creature.

God, you're right. It looks less like a dog than a poorly built wheelbarrow.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:44 PM on February 16, 2011


a picture of a puli jumping. incredible koosh dog!
posted by anya32 at 4:09 PM on February 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oooh look at this big guy. How do his owners not spend their entire lives with their noses buried in all that fluff? He's clearly a snuggle machine.
posted by MadamM at 4:13 PM on February 16, 2011


I am here to remedy the inexcusable lack of corgis in the photo set.

Additional corgis for the RPG players among us.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 4:15 PM on February 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Zsuzsa, the Native Canadian Survival Dog. Good thing for all those other over-groomed poncy pretenders that this isn't on the AKC's list. They wouldn't stand a chance.
posted by bumpkin at 4:21 PM on February 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Also, that's a really fat Lab. Someone should walk that guy.

Unfortunately, that heavyset look is the current fashion for AKC labrador retreivers, or at least what they are supposed to look like if they are going to win in the ring. I fear they are well on their way to screwing up labs just like they screwed up GSDs.

This is my AKC* lab. He's from a hunting line (not the show lines nor the 'calm enough to lead blind people through traffic' lines) and looks nothing like those square headed lumpen blobs one sees jiggling around Westminster. *My first and last purebred dog.

god, some of these registered names

The names are ridiculous at least in part to AKC requirements. The names have to be total no more than 36 characters (unless you pay more $), they don't really allow duplicates, Roman numerals, certain words like "Champ" or the breed name and all names have to be approved by AKC. The breeder's kennel name is often but not always the first name (some breeders require it, some refuse to allow it). That said, I'm fairly sure my dog is only one in the registry named after a Vin Diesel character and movie.
posted by jamaro at 4:23 PM on February 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, as long as we are comparing our dog to breed standard . . . I'm sorry, my guy is far more beautiful.
posted by bearwife at 4:35 PM on February 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, I know the AKC requirements.

I still maintain that there's a slight, but notable, difference between registering your dog as The Professor and registering your dog as 1-800-Hotstuff.
posted by sawdustbear at 4:39 PM on February 16, 2011


Never before have I gazed upon a photo that made me so immediately think "God, what a bunch of rich upper-class assholes."
posted by tehloki at 5:23 PM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


On further reflection, I'm really displeased with the conformation of the greyhound pictured; it appears his hindquarters are circling the same drain as the AKC GSD. In the spirit of things and in comparison to AKC greyhounds, here are real dogs.
posted by vers at 5:28 PM on February 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh we all know the Humane Society are in the pockets of Big Mutt, right?
posted by Space Coyote at 5:35 PM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank god for it, too. German Shepherds are one of the breeds most maimed by the breeding madness; all breed specifications are inane bullshit that have nothing to do with actual animals and the way they should look when healthy, but the German Shepherd standard requires that the best Shepherds are the ones who have the most sloping back. The result is a generation of show dogs that lack the ability to do anything but pretty much drag their butts on the ground.

Which is true, and I always look askance at the butt-dragging Shepherds I see at the dog park. But honestly, I'm just mad that the most identifiable component of my very healthy mutt wasn't represented.
posted by COBRA! at 5:48 PM on February 16, 2011 [3 favorites]




(My first post is about a preternatural dog. Cool.)
The Gothamist reported of the Westminster winner:
"Judge Paolo Dondina of Italy said of Hickory, "This animal is like in the heavens. It's not of this world.""
posted by Bunsen Betty at 6:48 PM on February 16, 2011


These are show Labradors.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 7:06 PM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


the German Shepherd standard requires that the best Shepherds are the ones who have the most sloping back.

I had this very discussion with my family watching the show. German shepherds were quite popular when I was growing up, and I don't remember these sloping backs at all. Thought I was going nuts.

My wife had tickets to the second day (from work). I was all, dog show, you gotta be kidding me? So she didn't go. I am sad. I should have bitten the biscuit and gone.

It's really fun to go during the day (if you're not anti-dog show). Spectators are allowed in the benching area, where you can walk around meeting the dogs and talking to the handlers. And you can go right down onto the floor to watch the best in breed.

Breed standard vs. shelter dog. Yay, tollers!
posted by stargell at 7:14 PM on February 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Loved that best in breed pic, stargell. But I don't get the yellow sign, "BEST OF OPPOSITE SEX." ???
posted by taz at 8:41 PM on February 16, 2011


Here's our Best of Various Breeds Who Apparently Made It Over or Under the Fence for 30 Seconds of Love, registered* as "Lucky's Sky Dancer 1-800 Feed Me Treats." More pix.

* Not actually registered. She has papers, but they're mostly newspapers and take-out menus.
posted by taz at 8:58 PM on February 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


In the breed competitions they hand out three awards—Best in Breed, Best of Opposite Sex, and Award of Merit (honorable mention I guess; sometimes there are two of those). So if the winner is male, the second prize goes to the top female, or bitch, and vice versa. And yes, you hear matronly ladies saying "bitch" all the time at the dog show. It's disconcerting.

Then each award winner gets its picture taken. The photographer yesterday had a little wind up Finding Nemo toy that he would throw along the ground to catch the dogs at their most attentive. Worked every time.
posted by stargell at 9:03 PM on February 16, 2011


Ah! Thanks, stargell!
posted by taz at 9:04 PM on February 16, 2011


And yes, you hear matronly ladies saying "bitch" all the time at the dog show. It's disconcerting.

It gets worse/more disconcerting. With a little luck, you might hear one of the Crazy Dog Ladies saying something like "I sure did like the rear on that black bitch in the pen."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:23 PM on February 16, 2011


Millions and millions of dogs (including many purebreds) die painfully, alone and terrified, in shelters every year while these useless, brain-dead dog show shitstains spend insane amounts of money and time on creating and showing off their fucked-up frankendog monsters. How many people see this garbage on television or in the NYT and decide they MUST have a specimen of some adorable, neurotic, congenitally damaged purebred? So off they go to the pet store or the breeder, supporting puppy mills directly or indirectly by adding to the demand for particular breeds, and ensuring that one more shelter dog is held down while a burning, deadly chemical is pumped into his veins while he screams and shits himself in pain and terror. There is no anesthesia and tranquilisers because that costs money, which shelters don't have.

If you MUST have a particular breed, there are breed rescue organisations all over the place. You might have to wait a while, or accept an older dog instead of a puppy, but if not having a dog immediately or not having a puppy is a deal-breaker, you're probably getting a dog for the wrong reasons.
posted by Wroksie at 12:28 AM on February 17, 2011


How many people see this garbage on television or in the NYT and decide they MUST have a specimen of some adorable, neurotic, congenitally damaged purebred?

I don't know how many, and I'm curious what the actual number is. Is there some quantifiable connection between dog shows and the number of dogs in shelters?
posted by bluefly at 6:26 AM on February 17, 2011


Is there some quantifiable connection between dog shows and the number of dogs in shelters?

No, but people like to think there is. The vast majority of dog show people (and yes, I have a dog in this fight since I am one of them) are ethical dog breeders, that means they take responsibility for every single puppy they produce for its entire life. I know many, many breeders who have had dogs come back to them at 10 or even 12 years of age, due to the death or major life upheaval of their owners. Ethical breeders require puppy buyers to sign legally-binding contracts to this end, and also have stipulations about whether or not (usually not) the dog can be bred, and if it can, under what circumstances (health tests required, etc). I know many breeders personally who have driven hundreds of miles or spent hundreds of dollars to get a dog they bred back because the owner couldn't keep it. The overwhelming majority of dogs in shelters and rescues come from puppy mills or other unethical or ignorant sources (like random people who want their dog to have a litter so their kids can see the "miracle of birth" or other idiotic reason), not from ethical dog breeders, who screen homes carefully and breed at most once or twice a year, and who stay in touch with their puppy buyers. Wroksie should point his/her (understandable) hate and rage at puppy mills and irresponsible backyard breeders, and at those members of the public who keep such folks in business by buying from pet stores or mall parking lots, when five minutes of research on the internet would have shown them why they shouldn't. There is nothing at all wrong with shelters or rescues, but they are necessary in large part because of irresponsible and unethical breeding practices, not because of show dogs and ethical dog breeders.
posted by biscotti at 6:53 AM on February 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


My dog eats socks.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:53 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


My dog eats rocks.
posted by infinitywaltz at 8:32 AM on February 17, 2011


"Ethical" dog breeders still select for traits that may be incredibly unhealthy for the animal in order to maintain the breed standard. "Ethical" dog breeders still create animals that do not need to exist and who take places in homes that could be filled by shelter dogs. "Ethical" dog breeders and the people who show the dogs still create a demand for certain breeds, and that demand WILL be filled by puppy mills and the pet stores that the mills supply, because most people can't afford "ethically" bred dogs and even if they could, it's much easier to get a puppy from a shop that doesn't ask questions. Most people don't care to go through the screening process that "ethical" breeders insist upon.

"Ethical" dog breeders occupy a higher place on the moral scale than puppy mill operators do. But they're still a huge part of the problem.
posted by Wroksie at 8:41 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


biscotti: “The vast majority of dog show people (and yes, I have a dog in this fight since I am one of them) are ethical dog breeders, that means they take responsibility for every single puppy they produce for its entire life.”

Dog breeding is unethical not simply because it sometimes kills puppies. Dog breeding is unethical because it destroys and bankrupts canine bloodlines. It constitutes a shoddy, morally corrupt method of animal husbandry: breeding on the basis of absolutely arbitrary and most times harmful characteristics.

Breed standards are a large part of what makes dog breeding evil. Breed standards are arbitrary and ugly views of what animals should look like. Dog breeding as it exists today twists these poor animals into malformed mutations of what they ought to be and once were. This has been confirmed by science, it's been confirmed by biology, it's been confirmed by genetics, and yet dog breeders still seek to mutate animals in unhealthy ways.

Breed standards should be scrapped, and dog breeders should go back to doing what ethical, thoughtful breeders did for centuries: mixing breeds to make animals stronger and healthier.
posted by koeselitz at 8:47 AM on February 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Breed standards should be scrapped, and dog breeders should go back to doing what ethical, thoughtful breeders did for centuries: mixing breeds to make animals stronger and healthier.

There are actually ethical, thoughtful breeders doing this already; Ken Mollett in the UK and David Leavitt in the USA, for example, with their Victorian and Old English bulldogs, respectively. Both are efforts to restore the bulldog breed to something robust and healthy, as opposed to wheezy and sickly. But yes, I agree that breed standards should be scrapped, or at the very least reformed to focus on healthy traits rather than arbitrary cosmetic ones.
posted by infinitywaltz at 9:03 AM on February 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


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Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies
Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies
Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies Doggies DOGGIES DOGGIES!!!!!!!

WHO'S a good dog? Who's a SWEETIE dog? Who's just the BESTEST DOGGY IN THE WORLD?! Yes, you are! YES, YOU ARE! YOU'RE JUST A SWEETIE! You're just as SWEET AS YOU CAN BE!

*HUGS ALL THE DOGGIES*
posted by magstheaxe at 11:42 AM on February 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


Breed standards should be scrapped, and dog breeders should go back to doing what ethical, thoughtful breeders did for centuries: mixing breeds to make animals stronger and healthier.

As much as I'd like to see that, I don't know if that's a realistic hope. Most dogs aren't working dogs, so people are selecting for mostly cosmetic traits when they choose a pet. I guess the UKC is more oriented towards dogs that engage in competitive sports and they've been pretty progressive about genetic testing and ensuring that only healthy dogs are bred, so that's something.

I'll admit to a bias against registered dogs though. Why pay thousands of dollars for some inbred with a ridiculous name, when you can get this for $65?
posted by electroboy at 12:40 PM on February 17, 2011


Electroboy, bred dogs are not "inbred" dogs. They are carefully bred. A pet-store or shelter dog is far likelier to be inbred. Also breeders get a lot of flack for breeding "arbitrary" traits when in fact those traits were already present in the dog, not ones that they enhanced to some gruesome degree for the perverted joy of aficionados. And the hip dysplasia and other conditions found in dogs are found in many kinds of dogs. A good breeder has often found ways to eliminate these genetic problems, not enhance them, as some seem to think.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 1:49 PM on February 17, 2011


Breed standards are a large part of what makes dog breeding evil. Breed standards are arbitrary and ugly views of what animals should look like

Well actually many of the breed standards are for what a dog DOES. Of the seven classifications for different dogs, 5 of the classes: sporting, hounds, working, terrier, and herding, are so named because these dogs are breed to function at a task. What good is my ratter if it's too big to follow rats?

Many breeders in these classes also breed their animals for function and use dog shows to show their product. Not all of them are going for exaggerated features and with most breeds when overdone those features become major flaws. The super wrinkly Shar Pei ( comes with entropion guaranteed!) and the German Shepard with the hip dysplasia tendencies are well know examples.

But the reputable breeders are aware of health issues with what ever dog they breed and try to produce the healthiest animal they can.

Go ahead and get a shelter dog or mutt, whatever, why was THAT dog bred? Is it somehow more pristine because "neighbor A's" dog got loose and found "Neighbor B's" dog; with neither wanting the results?
posted by Max Power at 2:44 PM on February 17, 2011


Electroboy, bred dogs are not "inbred" dogs. They are carefully bred. A pet-store or shelter dog is far likelier to be inbred.

Cite?
posted by electroboy at 3:10 PM on February 17, 2011


Max Power, what good is a ratter if it’s too big to follow rats? What good is a ratter at all, these days? When you see a rat, do you call someone with a ratter or do you call an exterminator? Dachsunds were bred to fit into badger burrows, but there’s not much badger hunting going on anymore and those long bodies and ridiculous little legs are nothing but a liability leading to all sorts of painful muscular and skeletal issues. I’m sure that the selection for and exaggeration of many “working” traits in other “working breeds” are equally useless and dangerous these days. Even if some of the preferred traits aren’t dangerous or unhealthy, breeding dogs specifically for jobs that no longer exist, or that barely exist at all, is an extremely unpleasant hobby that creates animals which don’t need to exist. There are plenty of dogs to go around. No one thinks that a mutt at the shelter is "pristine". That’s ridiculous. What most people think is that they would like a dog, in the shelter there is a dog already exists for whatever reason, it’s some combination of cute, friendly, likeable, and funny and it needs a home.
posted by cilantro at 1:59 AM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll stick up for the utility of ratters. Our shelter pit bull would hunt rats all day, if we let her. And given the terrible rat problem we have in Baltimore, it certainly wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. She enjoys it and it keeps the rats out of our chicken coop.

That said, I don't find the form follows function argument to be very convincing anymore. I'd wager that a tiny minority of dogs actually perform the tasks for which they're bred, unless there's drastically more shepherding and stagecoach guarding going on than I think.
posted by electroboy at 10:23 AM on February 18, 2011


I can't count the amount of times I've been dragged out of snowbanks, half-dead, and then revived with brandy by helpful Saint Bernards.
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:25 AM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just noticed something: guys, did you know that "in some places these dogs are eaten" was a Best In Show quote? It was...a joke.

And I admit now that I'm just posting this to continue the "yay dogs" trend.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:15 AM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Building on EmpressCallipygos's post, here's my favorite doggie-ful ad of all time.

Stampede!
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 4:43 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


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