Genetics of Dogs Essay

Submitted By bobby981
Words: 536
Pages: 3

Genetics for dogs
By Mohammed Rahman 9v

If a giraffe is an animal designed by committee, a bulldog must have been put together by a vet facing large house payments. Newborn bulldogs typically have heads so out of proportion to a mother's birth canal that they have to be delivered by caesarean section. By the time they become adults, their skulls are as big around as the dogs' height at the shoulder. Bulldogs also frequently have bad hearts. "I have a friend who's been trying to breed bulldogs for years," says Janice Koler-Matznick, founder of the Primitive and Aboriginal Dog Society. "She'll get a litter of three puppies, all of which die, or they'll all have bad hearts, and she'll have to put them down. It's just heartbreaking."

Koler-Matznick isn't too keen on German shepherds, either, at least not the ones that win at dog shows. "They have this wonderfully long rear end, which is also crippled," she says.) Or blood hounds. "They've been selected to be a giant nose on legs, but unfortunately those legs don't work too well.") Koler-Matznick isn't naturally cranky, and she doesn't hate purebreds. She has spent decades as a dog trainer, a professional handler at dog shows, and a dog breeder, among other things. But she likes her dogs healthy and hardy and has come to believe that much of dog breeding is bad for the species, engendering not just design flaws but also a terrible propensity toward genetic disorders. She's not alone. If you think of creating purebreds as a kind of genetic engineering—employing intensive artificial selection to increase the frequency of desired genes—then Koler-Matznick is part of a reverse engineering movement. Along with a few disillusioned breeders, veterinary researchers and even geneticists are looking for ways to undo the problems humans have created.

Dog breeding is the practice of mating selected specimens with the intent to maintain or produce specific qualities and characteristics. Dogs reproduce without human interference, so their offspring’s' characteristics are determined by natural selection. Domestic dogs may be intentionally bred by their owners. A person who intentionally mates dogs to produce