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Different breeds, different ailments

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

It is widely known that every dog breed has its own health problems. There are not many breeds that don't have any issues at all.




It is important to buy your dog from a reputable breeder, as it significantly reduces the risk of health problems, and this applies to all breeds. The ideal situation would be if breeders only bred dogs that are completely healthy. However, this doesn't completely prevent the existence of unhealthy purebred dogs because what if the new owners don't pay close attention to the type of food they choose, give them too many snacks, and allow the dogs to become overweight? The resulting ailments can be quite serious, and each breed has its own issues.


Brachycephalic breeds can develop respiratory issues, but breeds that are prone to hip dysplasia, such as German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Labradors, can experience serious back and joint problems if they become overweight. Even smaller breeds like Dachshunds and Corgis, with their relatively long backs combined with short legs, can suffer from unpleasant health issues if their weight is not properly monitored.


On the website of the Animal Welfare Foundation (Stichting Dier&Recht), you are referred to the "Rashondenwijzer" (Purebred Dog Guide). It lists all the health problems associated with each breed. As expected, according to the Rashondenwijzer, brachycephalic breeds fall into the "very high risk" category, but they are not the only ones. The first photo shows a selection of breeds that fall into the same "very high risk" category. If you browse through the Purebred Dog Guide, you might think that no breed is truly healthy anymore, and that animal welfare organizations are against all purebred dogs.





And in the second photo, you can see a few dog breeds that you probably missed in the first photo. But they fall into the "high risk" category, which is also not great according to the Purebred Dog Guide, judging by all the exclamation marks.


To us this raises only some question marks : Do the owners and lovers of all these breeds know what awaits them? When the negative campaign against brachycephalic breeds was in full swing, did they think, "fortunately, my dog is healthy"? Or maybe they even thought, "those short-snouted dogs can't breathe, let's get rid of them"?


Did they believe what was claimed, that no "short-snout" dog can breathe, and that it's due to their short snout? Will they agree later if a campaign comes out about their own breed, claiming that there are no healthy Labradors, Corgis, or Dachshunds?


There are healthy and unhealthy dogs in all breeds. Of course, we need to be careful not to make them unhealthier and do everything we can to keep them healthy. There should be responsible breeding practices, and we should ensure that our dogs do not become overweight.

We should also prevent people from impulsively buying a dog just because "it looks cute" and then trying to save money by rushing to the nearest puppy mill instead of going to a reputable breeder.

By doing so, we perpetuate the misery of puppy mills; they exist because apparently people still buy puppies from them. There are plenty of good campaigns that can be created around that issue. However, targeting and wanting to eliminate individual breeds, including some very old breeds, does not seem to be the intention, and it's quite strange when you consider that animal welfare organizations should feel love for animals.


It's unfortunate that animal welfare organizations can sometimes become too powerful and, through expensive campaigns, convince many people that certain breeds should no longer exist. It may sound convincing at times, until suddenly it's about your own beloved breed, and you know many healthy dogs of that breed. Then, it's a different story..




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