Inbred Dog Problems
Inbreeding is a type of breeding where two or more unrelated individuals are combined together to produce offspring with similar characteristics. There are many types of inbreeding, but the most common type involves combining related animals such as dogs, cats, horses and other livestock.
Such combinations may result in some undesirable traits being produced due to genetic incompatibilities between the parents.
The main problem with inbreeding is that it tends to produce very small litters which tend to die out quickly because they have no other siblings to share their genes. If these puppies do survive, they will suffer from health problems and behavioral issues.
These same puppies may live into adulthood only to become unwanted pets, homeless or even killed by humans. Many times there is little hope for them at all.
Some of the major problems associated with inbreeding include:
Small litter sizes (fewer pups)
Health problems (such as hip dysplasia, eye diseases, heart disease etc.)
Behavioral issues (such as aggression, mental retardation etc.)
Types Of Inbred Dogs: The Types Of Inbred Dogs Are:
There are several different types of purebred dogs. Each of these types has their own unique set of problems.
Some are more prone to certain issues than others. This means that before you buy a purebred dog you should do some research on its specific traits and behavior. Otherwise you could end up with a pet which is totally unsuited for your family and way of life.
The major types of inbred dogs include:
Purebreed Dogs: These are the types of dogs which are specifically bred with other dogs which have the exact same genetic make-up (pedigree). This means that owners deliberately mate dogs together which are closely related to each other.
With each successive mating, the risk of inbreeding increases. In the long term, this can have a severely detrimental effect on the future generations of dogs.
Fake Purebreeds: These are types of dogs which appear to be purebred, but aren’t. The owners deliberately try to make people believe that their mixed breed dogs are actually a particular type of pedigree.
Since these dogs don’t actually have a purebred parent or parents, the chances of them having inherited genetic diseases is much lower. However, the danger still exists.
Mixed Breed Dogs: These are types of dogs which have parents of different breeds. They may also have grandparents, great grandparents or other relatives which are of different breeds.
The parents of mixed breed dogs don’t even have to be purebreds themselves. There are several advantages to owning a mixed breed dog rather than a purebred. For instance, the likelihood of them having inherited genetic diseases is much lower. They are also usually healthier and have more stamina than a purebred.
The main disadvantage of mixed breed dogs is that you never quite know what you are going to get! Their physical traits (such as size, color and temperament) can be very different than their parents or other relatives.
Even so, with a little bit of research it is usually possible to determine what breeds were used in their genetic makeup.
How Inbreeding Has Affected Dog Breeds: The Effect Of Inbreeding On Dog Breeds
All dog breeds are susceptible to inbreeding. Although some are more prone to negative side-effects than others.
Small dog breeds are more likely to have genetic diseases than larger breeds. This is mainly due to the fact that the harmful genes become more concentrated within their small gene pool. As a result of this, we see a higher number of genetic diseases among toy and miniature dog breeds.
Some dog breeds are more prone to certain types of genetic diseases than others. For instance, the blood disorder known as hemophilia is more common in English Bulldogs and Flat Coated Retrievers.
The hip and elbow dysplasia is more common in German Shepherds and Rottweilers.
There is also evidence to suggest that specific types of inbreeding have occurred with certain dog breeds. In particular, with some of the ancient types of dog breed which have existed for hundreds (or even thousands) of years.
For example, the Chinook-husky mix was bred specifically to develop an enhanced pulling capacity in the dogs. Over time, this has altered their gait to become more distinctive and caused other physical changes.
The problems with inbreeding don’t just exist with pedigree dogs. Even with mixed breed dogs, we occasionally see certain genetic traits becoming very prominent within a specific group of animals.
For example, a colony of street dogs in Mexico all suffer from a skin condition known as xeroderma pigmentosum. This is due to excessive inbreeding with only a few instances of interbreeding with non-problem free dogs.
Inbreeding and Breeding: How To Avoid The Problems Of Inbreeding
If we take one dog and repeatedly mate it with another dog over several generations, we are going to start seeing some major problems in the puppies which are produced. In an attempt to keep this page a reasonable length, only the most common problems will be discussed in detail.
If you would like to know more about the genetic problems associated with inbreeding, there are many books written on the subject.
Problems With Inbreeding: The First Few Generations
During the first few generations of inbreeding, we typically see an increase in the probability of offspring surviving. This is usually due to a combination of factors such as:
1. Individual puppies benefitting from being closely matched to their parents and/or grandparents in terms of immune systems, vital organs, etc.
2. The probability of inheriting bad genes becoming increasingly random as the parents breed with other inbred partners.
3. The dogs being so inbred, that most of them are infertile or partially infertile.
This means that there are less puppies to be born.
This increased rate of survival among the puppies will lead many owners to believe that inbreeding is a good thing. This could not be further from the truth.
In reality, the first few generations of inbreeding are certain death sentences for most of the puppies. The only reason why more of them don’t die before birth or soon after, is because the parents are so inbred, that there genes are no longer compatible. The chances of the various foetuses merging with each other and forming non-viable pregnancies increases significantly.
Of course, some puppies will still survive this process. The problem is, the longer we inbreed our dogs, the less likely it is that they will survive.
This is because the amount of inbreeding depression (the technical term for the loss in survival rate among the offspring) increases all the time. By the fifth generation of inbreeding, pretty much all of the puppies will die during the birthing process, or soon after birth.
Problems With Inbreeding: Fifth Generation And Beyond
If you do continue inbreeding after the fifth generation, you are likely to get some seriously deformed puppies. This is because most of the remaining genes are defective to some extent and there are very few “good genes” left.
While most genes have partners which are “dud” genes (that is why they are dud genes), after enough inbreeding, most of the genes will be dud genes. This means that when they merge during fetal development, they cause defects which prevent vital organs from forming properly.
These kinds of defects include things like:
1. Heart and artery defects.
2. Brain deformities.
3. Lack of formation of vital internal organs or underformation of them.
4. Deformities of the limbs, such as missing fingers and toes.
5. Bladder issues.
6. Respiratory problems.
7. Eye defects.
These conditions are often (but not always) fatal to the puppies, but even if they do survive, their chances of living a long and healthy life are significantly lower than a normal dog due to the deformities being passed on to further generations of offspring.
Sources & references used in this article:
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