Tag Archives: dog breeding

Dogs: Breeding and Overbreeding

Just for you: a chapter from If You’d Asked Me…the ultimate collection of bathroom or waiting room reading, A new chapter appears here every three weeks, usually by Friday. You can get a complete copy, right now, in PDF format, or, if you like, as a paperback. For details, visit our Books page or send a request through our Contact form.

Section II: Going to the Dogs
(Or Cats)

10. What do you think about breeding dogs to be better for things like being guide dogs?

Possibly if “skills” (i.e., a propensity to do certain things better than others) can be bred in . . . maybe this makes sense.

In so-called “First-World” countries, we overbreed dogs for certain characteristics—usually appearance or protectiveness—and create monsters. Sometimes these results are unintended; sometimes they’re just stupid. But frequently (maybe even invariably?) they create health and temperament problems that harm the animal and create risks and expenses for their humans.

Why not simply select puppies—regardless of breed—that exhibit temperament and characteristics suitable for service dog or seeing-eye work?