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Dog breeding

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Title: Dog breeding  
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Subject: Dog breed, Purebred, Askal, List of dog breeds, Puppy mill
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Dog breeding

A litter of puppies and their mother

Dog breeding is the practice of mating selected dogs with the intent to maintain or produce specific qualities and characteristics. When dogs reproduce without such human intervention, their offsprings' characteristics are determined by natural selection, while "dog breeding" refers specifically to the artificial selection of dogs, in which dogs are intentionally bred by their owners.[1] A person who intentionally mates dogs to produce puppies is referred to as a dog breeder. Breeding relies on the science of genetics, so the breeder with a knowledge of canine genetics, health, and the intended use for the dogs attempts to breed suitable dogs.


Three generations of "Westies" in a village in Fife, Scotland

Humans have maintained populations of useful animals around their places of habitat since pre-historic times.[2] They have intentionally fed dogs considered useful, while neglecting or killing others, thereby establishing a relationship between humans and certain types of dog over thousands of years. Over these millennia, domesticated dogs have developed into distinct types, or groups, such as livestock guardian dogs, hunting dogs, and sighthounds. Artificial selection in dog breeding has influenced behavior, shape, and size of dogs for the past 14,000 years.[3]

To maintain these distinctions, humans have intentionally mated dogs with certain characteristics to encourage those characteristics in the offspring. Through this process, hundreds of dog breeds have been developed. Initially, the ownership of working and, later, purebred dogs, was a privilege of the wealthy. Nowadays, many people can afford to buy a dog. Some breeders chose to breed purebred dogs, while some prefer the birth of a litter of puppies to a dog registry, such as [6][7][8]


Some dogs have certain inheritable characteristics that can develop into a disability or disease. Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, collect data and provide it to breeders, as well as to the general public. Conditions such as hip dysplasia can impact some breeds more than others.[11]

Some registries, such as American Kennel Club, may include a record of the absence of certain genetic defects, known as a certification, in an individual dog’s record. For example, the German Shepherd Dog national breed club in Germany is a registry that recognizes that hip dysplasia is a genetic defect for dogs of this breed. Accordingly, it requires all dogs to pass evaluation for absence of hip dysplasia to register their progeny, and records the results in individual dog‘s pedigrees.

There are BBC documentaries titled "Pedigree Dogs Exposed" and "Pedigree Dogs Exposed – Three Years On" that claim health problems in dogs from inbreeding. Problems such as breathing in the Pug breed and Pekingese breed, spinal problems in the Dachshund breed, and Syringomyelia in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed.

Some scientific researchers argue that advances in artificial reproduction technology for the purposes of dog breeding can be helpful but also have "detrimental impacts" when overused instead of natural selection principles. These scientists call for a deeper understanding of natural selection, leading to a more naturalistic approach in dog breeding.[12]


  1. ^ Seranne, Ann (1980). The Joy of Breeding Your Own Show Dog. New York, N.Y: Howell Book House.  
  2. ^ Darwin, Charles (2004). The Variation of Animals And Plants Under Domestication. Kessinger Publishing.  
  3. ^ Akey, Joshua M.; Alison L. Ruhe,Dayna T. Akey,corresponding author Aaron K. Wong, Caitlin F. Connelly, Jennifer Madeoy,Thomas J. Nicholas, and Mark W. Neffb (January 19, 2010). "Tracking footprints of artificial selection in the dog genome". Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 107. 
  4. ^ American Kennel club Staff (1997). The complete dog book. New York, N.Y: Howell Book House.  
  5. ^ Jabr, Ferris. "Changing Minds: Has Selective Breeding Restructured Some Dog Brains?" Scientific American Global RSS. N.p., 13 Aug. 2010. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.
  6. ^ "German Shepherd Dog Dog Breed Information, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts". Retrieved 2014-08-03. 
  7. ^ "Designer Disaster! Is Dog Breeding Contributing to More Unhealthy and Homeless Dogs?". Archived from the original on 2013-12-12. 
  8. ^ "The Truth About Purebred Dogs Will Absolutely Disgust You". 2013-12-07. Retrieved 2014-08-03. 
  9. ^ George A. Padgett (1998). Control of Canine Genetic Diseases (Howell Reference Books). New York, N.Y: Howell Book House.  
  10. ^ "Diseases by Breed". Retrieved 2014-08-03. 
  11. ^ "Hip Dysplasia by Breed". Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  12. ^ Vandeloo, John (2009). "Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research Volume 4, Issue 6, November–December 2009, Pages 245 Cover image The importance of intergrating natural selection within a detector dog selective breeding model". Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research 4 (6). 

External links

  • Extent of inbreeding in pedigree dogs revealed in new study Imperial College London
  • Flaws on paws - Welfare problems in breeding pedigree dogs New Scientist
  • Designer animals or breeding for welfare? (video) - British Veterinary Association Animal Welfare Foundation
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