The very idea of 'breed purity' often strikes an unpleasant chord with modern animal fanciers because it is reminiscent of nineteenth-century eugenics notions of the "superior strain" which were supposedly exemplified by human aristocracies and thoroughbred horses. The application of theories of eugenics has had far-reaching consequences for human beings, and the observable phenomenon of hybrid vigor stands in sharp contrast.The idea of the superior strain was that by "breeding the best to the best," employing sustained inbreeding and selection for "superior" qualities, one would develop a bloodline superior in every way to the unrefined, base stock which was the best that nature could produce. Naturally the purified line must then be preserved from dilution and debasement by base-born stock. This theory was never completely borne out. It can be said that when the ideal of the purified lineage or aesthetic type is seen as an end in itself, the breed suffers over time. The same issues are raised in the world of purebred cats.
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