What’s Your Favorite Dog Breed?

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Section II: Going to the Dogs
(Or Cats)

6. What is your favorite breed of dog?

My favorite breed is extinct.

Back in the day, we had German shepherd dogs that were loyal, intelligent, healthy, and (mark this one) sane.

Today, you would be very challenged, indeed, to find a Gershep that fills all these bills. In fact, I would venture to say healthy, mentally sound German shepherds no longer exist.

The dog has been overbred to the point that any individual will develop one or more serious chronic ailments: hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, pannus, megaesophagus, DM (degenerative myelopathy), osteoarthritis, several types of cancer including bone cancer and lymphoma . . . it goes on and on. Additionally, many are dog-aversive—meaning they are unsafe around other people’s animals. And some suffer a kind of mental illness—this is how a vet described it to me—in which the dog will unpredictably go in for the attack. And no, we’re not talking about dogs that have been abused.

I’ve had a lot of German shepherds and loved them all, but after the last one passed on to her furry fathers, I gave up on the breed. Right now I have two corgis. For the nonce, the Pembroke Welsh corgi is pretty healthy. Don’t expect that to be a permanent state of affairs, though: unfortunately the breed is fast becoming popular, which means it also will be destroyed by irresponsible breeders.

Next dog will be a Heinz-57. Preferably more than 57.