Sunday, 12 May 2013

Goodbye George

George
 8 May 2003 - 11 May 2013
George the Pug died today. I felt ridiculously sad to hear the news.

George featured in the first Pedigree Dogs Exposed - billed as "the sickest Pug in Britian"-  so he did well to get to 10. Ten years and three days to be exact.

George had just about every ailment it is possible for a pug to have, as you can see in the clip below. But my over-riding memory of him will always be that he was such a sweetie.

The picture above was taken about a year ago when we were working on the sequel to PDE.  I find it enormously touching.

George was sired by Crufts champion Patsgang Sir Eastonite who won Best of Breed at Crufts in 2004. Astonishingly, George himself qualified for Crufts.

George was owned and loved with a fierce passion by Joanne Morris and her partner Graham. Joanne says they will never have another Pug.

I emailed Joanne this evening:
Dear Joanne 
I have just heard from Kate that you said goodbye to George today. I am so very, very sorry. I know he will be so missed. 
Thank you for allowing his story to be told in Pedigree Dogs Exposed. His legacy will live on, I hope, through generations of healthier pugs. 
A big hug here from me, Jon and all at Passionate Productions. 
And back came this:
I told him as he was PTS that he will go down in history. It was a wonderful peaceful ending after he had gone downhill. He had dementia, had been having fits and then his breathing went as well as his sight. He was ten years and three days old and a miracle after all the crap bad breeding had thrown at him. 
"He went with a wag and a tiny bit of George left. I miss him but the pain is now mine. When he passed so quickly he looked so happy and peaceful. An end of an era. Never again. It's been a hard ten years. I do really appreciate you contacting me and allowing George to be part of such a life changing, ground-breaking documentary. I am proud of his part."
Bless you, Joanne, for being there for George.

He will be remembered.


118 comments:

  1. Poor George :( He was born the exact same day as my dog.. I personally feel 10 is too young. I almost lost my dog to a spine mishap two years ago, but it was not due to a hereditary flaw or anything. I can't believe how quick he aged from the first pedigree dogs exposed.

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    1. OMG guys please. What is a good age for a dog to die? 20? IMO for a dog 10 is a pretty good age. What is the consensus here? I would love to hear what people deem to be a good age. Really. Sure everyone would love their pets to live forever, but this is not possible. No dog has ever outlived humans in years and the oldest dog I have ever heard of was 16, for the last 4-5 years of her life she was blind and had no darn teeth to eat with. Is this not also a form of abuse to an animal? what life did it have?

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    2. Anon 07:31

      Suggest you read Pukka's Promise by Ted Kerasote.

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    3. A good age at death for normal, healthy dogs, based on size:
      Small/Toy should be in the 13-16 range.
      Medium/Large should be in the 11-15 range.
      Giants, sadly, only live 5-10 years.

      So basically George got somewhere between a quarter and a third of his lifespan lopped off because of his health problems- I've seen healthier ten-year old pugs. George looks like a fourteen-year old in that picture.

      As to the dog you encountered: It's sort of case-by-case. Most older dogs actually do pretty well without vision/teeth, so long as the owners know to feed soft food and keep surprises to a minimum. It's the same with other old dogs, actually. Good dental care earlier in life makes a world of difference in their senior years- most tooth loss in dogs is actually due to gum disease, not old age, so being completely toothless at 12 (guessing based off your words here) was probably neglectful (dogs don't complain so most people don't realize that yes, dental care really is a big deal).

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    4. I know of a 20 year old dog - some sort of staffy mix I believe. She has all her teeth too.

      I also know of a 17 year old JRT/Corgi mix who is still loving her walkies.

      Neither are pedigrees of course....

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    5. 10 years is too few for a small dog. I have owned several Border Collies who have made it to 14+ and really only showed old age characteristics in the last year or two of their life. My last BC died at 12 from hemaginosarcoma and he was in excellent condition even then. My Papillon also lived long lives except the one with CHF who lived until 13 and was remarkably healthy for a dog with heart disease right up to the end. I had a Siberian hit at least 14 (she was an adult stray when we got her, she lived with us 13 years), and my Golden was 16. The Golden lost a few teeth but was pretty spry even as a 15 year old.

      So yeah, 10 is too young.

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    6. Really, 10 is way too young for a small breed. The two dogs we have had die under our care were a 15-year-old designer mix of two retriever breeds and a 12-year-old unregistered chihuahua.

      There is a purebred laborador retriever on our street that is 10+ years old. She is still running around and retrieving at the end of the street where she lives, albeit with achy hips and a white face. And she's probably a hefty 70-80 lbs and very fat.

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  2. Poor boy, it's a shame they have such sweet, stoical temperaments. If they became snappish due to their deformities, I'm sure they'd soon lose their public appeal.

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  3. 10 years too young....

    I am sure there are many more Pug owners out there with similar stories....some won't have lasted as long as dear George. What a darling. Crossed the Rainbow bridge.....with lots and lots of love.

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  4. Dear little George.

    Jo and Graham gave George such a wonderful life, full of love and with so much care.

    It was George that led me to be friends with Jo and we have shared many pug worries, helping and advising each other over the last few years. I have also seen what a wee little funny character George was, so full of fun and mischief. A true legend.

    "He went with a wag and a tiny bit of George left. I miss him but the pain is now mine. When he passed so quickly he looked so happy and peaceful. An end of an era. Never again. It's been a hard ten years. I do really appreciate you contacting me and allowing George to be part of such a life changing, ground-breaking documentary. I am proud of his part."

    The above from Jo just says it all for me.

    Sleep tight brave boy.

    We will NEVER forget you XXXXX

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  5. Rest in Peace, George. :(

    But I just have to say that I find it shocking how much he's aged in just four years - if that photo was taken last year, and PDE was filmed in 2008. He looks like he's 15, not 9.

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  6. Bless his little heart. My condolences to his owners, and thanks for letting him take part in the first film.

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  7. Rest easy, sweet George. I'm sure you will have been greeted at the Bridge by my golden retriever girl, Molly, who took her final journey 4 years ago tomorrow. Such a shame that your breeder thought it was OK for you to have such a flat face that you might pass out if you exerted yourself too much.

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  8. Terribly sad . I perfect example of inbreeding and the failure to take on board the fact the like us - dogs have hereditary disease. Instead of using the winning dog- use the one with the correct phenotype for the female . That in it self would do much to improve the health of our dogs

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  9. 10-years is a terrible age for a small breed dog. Small dogs should be living well into their teens (15-17).

    Condolences to George's owners. It's always desperately sad to lose a much-loved pet, but especially so when the dog's still relatively young.

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    1. Yes it is Terrible . Many people are in denial and would say that is a good age for a flat faced Toy Breed !
      I have seen the light however and realised its not right to start planning your dogs funeral when they reach 7.
      I don't want to have to worry about their heart packing in or some other horrible illness. I want a Dog I can expect to get into its teens. & I want a Breed where people are shocked when a dog dies young.

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  10. I shed tears when I read about George. I'm so sorry, caring for them when they are ill and grieving for them once they die is such a harrowing experience.

    Cyber hugs and kindest thoughts.

    H x

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  11. I ended up at the Radio Times article from last year when PDE2 was about to be broadcast:

    "[I]n 2010 the insurer Pet Plan paid out £1.5m for surgery to resolve breathing difficulties in dogs..."

    How about Petplan and other insurers just refuse to insure health wreck breeds? I truly wish there was an insurance company that exempted brachycephalic and other unhealthy breeds - I'm sure premiums for remaining owners would plummet as a result. Surely, there should also be reduced premiums for dogs from health tested stock? (With proof they passed!)

    Yes, the premiums for brachycephalic breeds are already higher, but not proportionally so. I am sick of responible owners subbing those owners who don't give a jot about the longterm health of the breed they buy.

    http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2012-02-27/the-woman-who-brought-crufts-to-heel

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    1. >Yes, the premiums for brachycephalic breeds are already higher, but not proportionally so.

      How would you know? You have access to data on payout to premium ratio by breeds?

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    2. No, it's how insurance companies work. Spread the cost of high-risk breeds over the dogs that are less likely to claim.

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    3. Sorry, that's nonsense. Risk is spread between those with the same risk profile.

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  12. "How about Petplan and other insurers just refuse to insure health wreck breeds? I truly wish there was an insurance company that exempted brachycephalic and other unhealthy breeds - I'm sure premiums for remaining owners would plummet as a result."

    Exempt breeds or exempt conditions specific to certain breeds?
    Exempt conformation related conditions or genetic? Or both?

    The above *could* exempt ALOT of breeds and crosses too.

    " I am sick of responible owners subbing those owners who don't give a jot about the longterm health of the breed they buy."

    Bit of a sweeping statement to be fair.

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    1. How about a compromise?

      Insurance companies will only insure those high-risk dogs from parents that have been health-tested for all known defects and passed? For Pugs that would include not just hemivertebrae, but also brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome, luxating patellas, skinfold dermatitis (lifelong), cherry eye (lifelong), Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, entropian. Pug breeders repeatedly tell us their dogs are perfectly healthy, so it's going to be a doddle for them to get their breeding dogs to pass...

      It's no different to health insurance for people - many insurance companies require a health test before they'll insure you.

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    2. I think it is too difficult.

      Two hemivertebrae free parents do not guarantee hemivertebrae free offspring.

      Brachycephalic airway syndrome....that would exclude all pugs. They all have the condition to some degree because they are "extreme brachycephalics". It is also mulitifactorial, progressive and under diagnosed in my view. It can also be exacerbated by lifestyle and has not yet be proven to be genetic, so there is no guarantee that two parent dogs with supposedly good breathing won't have offspring that go on to develop the condition.

      Skin fold dermatitis......again, not a genetic disease as far as I know and also down to owner daily care of skin folds?

      Entropion.....can two entropion free parent pugs really guarantee entropion free pups? Surely this is a polygenic condition, but I am not sure.

      You see most of the problems that pugs develop are purely down to their conformation which takes us back to the "whole" dog being excluded.......and many poor old pugs not getting the treatment and care they deserve to make their lives more comfortable.

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  13. I'm actually very grateful to pet-heath insurance providers who don't exclude coverage for congenital defects. Many people do not know what they're getting into and cannot afford corrective surgery to make these dogs' lives better.

    Yes, breeding healthier dogs is a must in the long run, but in the short run, there's no reason why sweet dogs like George need suffer more than they do.

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    1. NOTE THIS IS QUITE A LONG RESPONSE; I apologies in advance

      My family is in that Situation with our Black and Tan Dapple, Tweenie/Miniature Dachshund Bear (except Bear is no longer suffering because we took action to improve his quality of life).
      We are his third family his last owners were family friend's of our, and that family got him from a friend of the guy's brother.
      When we got Bear a month or so back we were told
      he has halitosis. and he needs to loose some weight, he also likes to snuggle." In a packet on info they had on him it mentioned something about him having food allergies. Bear is allergic to grains. Bear wasn't a very good eater and his breath smelled so bad we got him to the vet a couple weeks ago for a dental. He needed 2 rotten teeth removed, he had never had a dental in all his life. The vet gave us a free X-ray since we noticed he had knee problems and sometimes was hopping on his walks.
      Turns out Bear has good his and luxating patellas in both his back knees. He was supposed to just have a bit of halitosis instead we find out he had 2 rotten teeth, bad knees, was overweight, and had food allergies. After only a couple weeks with him he cost us like 200 dollars and that was with a free x-ray of his hips and both his knees. He would have cost us like 350 dollars with the x-rays. His previous family was busy and never took him outside to go potty/walk so they probably never realized he had bad knees. It didn't help he was like 15(?) pounds when he should be like 11/12 pounds, overgrown nails, and had full anal glands that made him constantly bite at his butt.

      After going on a diet, switching to Nutrisca grain free dog food, getting 2 teeth removed, and putting him on Cosequin, Bear doesn't really hop anymore, he is now a good eater and doesn't drop his food, and he doesn't smell anymore. Eventually we are planning to get pet insurance. Luckily Petplan would take him and out other dog despite chronic conditions. Our Carolina Dog Brandi has food allergies which we weren't told about (I just assumed because we were told she was a Korean Jindo mix and Jindos are known to be allergic to corn). WE WOULD BE SCREWED IF THERE WAS NO INSURANCE PROVIDERS THAT WOULD TAKE US. Bear might turn out to be a very expensive dog due to his breed so I'm glad there is pet insurance that would take him.

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    2. oops I just realized I misspelled hips I meant to say Bear had good hips and has luxating patellas in both his back knees

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    3. OOps last comment to add. Brandi does in fact have food allergies, she is allergic to wheat, corn, and dairy, and possibly soy. If she is given anything with these ingredients she gets very very itchy. When we switched her to limited ingredient Blue Buffalo her itching BASICALLY STOPPED, it only really starts up during this time of year since it is allergy season and she has seasonal allergies.

      She licks her toes so much I call her nakey toe she she gets naked patches on her feet, she also is getting tear stains because she gets eye goo from stuff irritating her eyes. It's costly to get allergy meds especially when it sometimes requires you to get meds to fight of yeast that has developed on her paws after her licking them so much. SADLY we haven't gone to the vet yet to get her anything for her allergies but we have an appointment set up for later this month (our vet is responsible and won't prescribed her meds without seeing her first so he can figure out what she needs).

      This is my last comment I promise :) I'll be quiet now

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    4. Agree Gina.

      After all, it is the poor old dogs that suffer as a result.

      Not forgetting the heartbreak the owners endure, often for years.

      To exclude dogs on their breed as Fran suggests, in a kind of serves the owners right for buying said breed, isn't fair on the dogs.

      Nobody wants their pet to get ill be it due to a known genetic condition or a breed conformation related illness or three.

      A pug can break a leg just like any other dog and I suspect *that* is the reason most owners take out insurance, like owners of any dog, be it a high risk breed or cross breed.

      I have two pugs. Both insured. One a rescue.

      With the first I certainly didn't expect so many problems to occur. Luckily for me and more for her, she was insured. Even if she had not been insured I would have found a way to help her. That's what having a pet is about.....doing your best.

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    5. Daniela Hielckert, if allergies are your dog's problem then I recommend checking-out Dr Jean Dodds' Nutriscan: http://nutriscan.org/

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    6. If the insurance companies advertise that they won't insure certain breeds, then that is a big red flag for people when buying a dog. If they exclude certain conditions only, then that can easily mean people insure their dog and only later find out that condition isn't covered (I have heard this happen for GSDs and Labs). It doesn't have to be all the insurance companies that exclude health wreck breeds, just one or two, however, I have a feeling the insurance companies that exclude certain breeds will be far more competitive.

      Heck, if they're not going to exclude them, at least do what the USA company, Embrace, does which is list the common complaints for each breed and how much it costs to fix:

      The Pug:
      http://www.embracepetinsurance.com/dog-breeds/pug

      Border Terrier:
      http://www.embracepetinsurance.com/dog-breeds/border-terrier

      All figures are based on their own claims data. Whopping difference between the two breeds!

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    7. "Nobody wants their pet to get ill be it due to a known genetic condition or a breed conformation related illness or three."

      So why buy a Pug or other breed where the odds of this happening are so darn high?

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    8. That is the million dollar question.

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    9. @Fran I desperately wanted to buy the Nitriscan test for both the dogs but it's really expensive. At this point and time we can't afford it so we are doing what we can for them and avoid things we know they could be allergic to.

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    10. Please note if it were up to me I would never get a Dachshund Bear is a sweetie and I am glad we gave him a home so that he wasn't sent to a shelter and euthanized but I dislike their dwarfism. His legs are so itty bitty he has trouble scratching his ears etc. so I have to help him. He trips and falls between curbs. With his legs being so tiny. His back is so long he has trouble scratching an itch on his back legs as well.
      The breed has too many issues for me. I'm sure their are lovely little Dachs but the breed is by no means a favorite of mine.While I recognize not all Dachs have this problem he does. I also wouldn't want a Corgis, any dog with dogs that are much to short for it's body is a dog I don't really want.
      I would prefer my Carolina Dog any day. TYPICALLY the breed isn't know to have any problems. Brandi doesn't have issues besides food allergies but she is a pariah dog so her tummy may not be used to processed junk. Also keep in mind she was found running the streets so god knows what sh could have gone through to make her skin etc. the way it is

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    11. Kate Price: So why did you get a Pug then? Did you research the breed and any known health problems? Would you consider getting another Pug?

      I'm just trying to understand why people buy Pugs. I find them ugly in the extreme, but then I don't go gooey-eyed over babies either. Several of my otherwise sane friends seem to think they're cute, but then quickly follow it up with "But I'd never get one because of their health problems". Is that why they're so popular? Their 'cuteness'?

      It's hard for me to understand their appeal - seeing as my reaction is to recoil in horror whenever I see them - so I have to ask someone who clearly does find them attractive.

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    12. I agree with Fran. They look like very weird teddy bears. I am quite saddened that sane human beings would want to own a dog simply because it looks cute (to them). Almost like they want a real life teddy bear. Some anthropomorphic coments on here - such as 'Pugs are like humans' - deeply troubles me too. There are some utterly clueless people who claim to 'know the breed' yet have a basic misunderstanding of the canine species; their behaviour and what they are actually cognitively capable of.

      I witnessed this strange Pug/Ted fascination the other day in my village high street - two pugs were being walked with their owner whilst I was behind them with my non-descript mutt. Two young children, accompanied by their mother, accross the street immediately yelled 'Awwwwwwww...' on seeing tham and ran over to the Pugs to force themselves into their personal space and pet them - uninvited, worryingly,(ignoring my extremely canine looking dog all the while!). The Pugs, bless them, with their seemingly stoic temperaments, put up with this. I say seemingly for a reason - Given their lack of normal morphology, it was pretty difficult to read their signals to see if they were uncomfortable with this behaviour or not. They have lost their ability to communicate properly with other dogs and us due to brachycephaly syndrome.

      The reason that some people think they are more human is because of their anatomically flat face which is actually abnormal for a dog. They possess a higher concentration of vision cells in a single area on the retina, called the area centralis. They lack the visual streak that longer muzzled dogs have, making their peripheral vision adapted to chase balls and prey etc. much more refined than ours and the Pugs. It's why Pugs are able to look at you close up quite capably and other longer muzzled dogs aren't. This is why people think they are more human like I feel.

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    13. Why did I get a pug?
      Well, if I am completely honest I fell for their character and cuteness.

      I bought at least 4 books on pugs and read mainly the health sections in these books. When I look back, I was mainly concerned, or thought, that their *main* problem was their eyes. I knew they were noisy breathers but thought that was normal for pugs.(Conditions such as BOAS were something else they developed). I went ahead and took the risk.....and I'm a vet nurse but to be honest having trained and worked at a large charity hospital we didn't really get any in during the time I was there.

      Now when I read my above paragraph today I shudder because I probably didn't do enough research and was just hoping that my pug would be AOK.

      You describe your friends as "otherwise sane", which implies that people like myself are insane for being attracted to cute dogs. I actually find that quite hurtful but *get* what you are saying.

      I think that the cuteness of these baby faced dogs is ABSOLUTELY what draws certain people to them. As for the underlying reasons why? I suspect there are many reasons.

      I don't like the look of certain breeds (but that has nothing to do with health).

      Would I buy another pug? Absolutely not.

      Would I rescue another pug? I just have.

      Why have I rescued another pug? Because I wanted to help him. My knowledge of their health issues has increased vastly over the last 4 years. He would have been snapped up in rescue *because* he is a pug and*because* he is cute. They wanted him to come to me because of my knowledge of their health issues. He is a dog from Cyprus. I had never met him other than seen photos, so a HUGE risk to take on health wise. I simply wanted to help him as best I could, given my knowledge.

      Does that make me doubly insane? Probably, but this time I wasn't drawn by his looks, just a desire to help a dog with potential problems (already blind in one eye, and I could see from photos he needs further work on his other eye).

      In fact I must be completely bonkers as if I had enough money I would take on as many rescue pugs as I could and get their airways and eyes sorted where necessary....

      I think sometimes we have to take a step back. Most people on this blog know the pitfalls of getting such a breed, the do's and don'ts when it comes to getting a dog, and it very easy to sit on our high horses and criticise those that "don't do as I do".

      I suspect however that the vast majority of people out there *still* need much more education on breed health and the right way of getting a new puppy.

      Hopefully things will change and hopefully people googling "pug" will come across this blog and others on here, sit and read and not take that risk that that I did.

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    14. Katie says: "You describe your friends as "otherwise sane", which implies that people like myself are insane for being attracted to cute dogs. I actually find that quite hurtful but *get* what you are saying."

      Sorry, I didn't intend to be hurtful; I was being flippant. I guess I was shocked that they admitted to liking Pugs despite knowing their health problems.

      I think you've possibly hit on something; the Pug has a charm all of its own, which many people find irresistible. Of those people, some will be turned off by the health problems and others will be willing to take the risk. There will always be those who don't research the breed first.

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    15. @Kate Price "To exclude dogs on their breed as Fran suggests, in a kind of serves the owners right for buying said breed, isn't fair on the dogs."

      I don't really see how it serves, owners like me, right. I didn't buy my little Doxie. What I did do however was save a 5 year old dog from being euthanized at a shelter. Most people aren't going to want a dog that has a history of going potty in the house, getting into things and destroying them, and barking at something whenever he got the chance, in addition to having food allergies and breath that WREAKED.
      It Would have been unfair if I didn't give Bear the chance at living a happy life. I was even told by my grandparents (who I live with)that if he wasn't house trained in a couple of months he was GONE. My grandpa had the opinion that he might never be potty trained because some habits can't be broken. THAT WAS NONSENSE, as soon as he figured out we had a dog door which gave him access to outside basically 24/7 he only had 2 accidents in the house. 1 was because the door wasn't open and he couldn't get outside and the second we aren't exactly sure of the cause. While it may very well suck to have bad knees Bear is HAPPY. He loves playing fetch, playing with squeaky toys,sleeping in bed with me, going on walks, eating yummy food, snuggling, and playing with his dog friends. He may have allergies but his luxating patellas are only a grade 1 or 2 and RARELY affects him anymore since he has lost weight and is on joint supplements.

      If it's wrong to give a dog a good home and save him from death, then I SURE AS HELL don't wanna be right. He is happy now just like he deserves to be. He is neutered so he will never produce unhealthy pups so we aren't adding to the breeds health problems. SO I really don't see how I am being unfair to ANY dog or person or how I deserve to be excluded.

      I am sure many of you might disagree with me but this is just my personal opinion.

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    16. Daniela, I think you are misinterpreting what I am saying.

      I do not think breeds should be excluded.

      The "serves the owners right" comment is based on what it might feel like to an owner who chooses a breed if that breed is not covered and something goes wrong.

      I have a pug who was bought as a pup from a reputable breeder. She has had nearly £5000 of treatment. All her claims were successful.

      I then RESCUED a pug. I had comments from people I know saying "you are a glutton for punishment" and "do you never learn".

      THAT makes me feel that if anything goes wrong with him then people would say it is my fault for choosing the breed again.

      So, I DO agree with you.

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    17. @Kate Price
      I am sorry that I have misinterpreted your words.
      I know I might have come off as a bit emotional with my last post but I was just frustrated. Thinking that someone would actually say I deserved to not have pet insurance because I unknowingly adopted a dog with health issues kind of ticked me off (I know I misinterpreted your words). As I said I am the type of person which is pretty disturbed by my dog's awkward proportions. I would never be able to buy a pug because when I see them I see their genetic defects I don't see the sweet dog because the smooshed faced and the bug eyes are so off putting for me. And suddenly here I am with my little Dachshund with his bad knees. If it was up to me I would never get a Doxie BUT at the same time I would not be able to live with myself if I let them take Bear to the shelter where he could be killed. So, I put my feelings against the breed aside and made him part of the family. Would I ever get another Dachshund most likely no. I still don't like the breed, they are "cute" I guess but they still are not for me.

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    18. The problem is that whilst insurers continue to cover sick breeds, people will still be willing to take a risk on them. If the dog gets sick; they won't be the ones paying out.

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    19. They already pay out in the form of higher premiums.

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    20. It depends on your policy. With VPI pet insurance you need to get the most expensive policy if you want to have coverage for chronic conditions. ASPCA pet insurance only covers hereditary and congenital conditions at level 3 and 4. Trupanion insurance and PetsBest insurance don't cover pre existing conditions. Either way most pet insurance has maximums after a certain amount you have to pay out of pocket for whatever it is you get for your pet.

      It really depends on the insurance and your policy, that is what really determines how much you pay and/or what conditions are covered.
      We probably will go with petplan insurance since both dogs had shown symptoms of their pre-existing conditions. Brandi has allergies both environmental and food related and Bear has food allergies and luxating patellas in both his back knees. Brandi is Most Likely a Carolina Dog and Carolina Dog are definitely NOT KNOWN for having health problems since they haven't been domesticated long enough for people to screw with their genetics.

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    21. It may be different in the USA, but in the UK, I don't know of an insurer that lists average insurance costs by breed. Most people don't tend to check the premium for a breed until they've bought the puppy. It's too late for it to be a deterrent by then.

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  14. Paula Robertson12 May 2013 at 22:07

    So sorry to hear of this story, may I offer my condolences to Georges family.

    I must ask though, what do you think the solution is to the pug breed? Do you outcross them to introduce a different temperament or look? I really don't know the answer, and would really appreciate others thoughts on this.

    My thoughts are with George and his familu

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    1. Pug outcrossing is irresponsible. It's wrong to pollute the progeny of normal dog with pu'gs deformities. There is nothing unique in the pug (despite the fanatic beliefs) that you could not find in other dogs and so precious, that it's worth of breeding a pug.

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    2. Only 10 years! Amazing. It's very little for The Dog. I have 9+ years old dog (mongrel), she is playful and happy and she's not going to die soon, I hope. But for The Pug it's an achievement (I guess, not for George only, but for any pug). Aren't Pug the Dog? (It's a rhetorical question, of course.) Anyway, pug - is the format of dog, which is compiled of such deformities, that they will have very low quality of life, compared to normal dogs, no matter how long they live and how inbreed they are.

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    3. Matus, why is out crossing in general so irresponsible for pugs? Personally, I have no problem with out crossing. It's worth a shot. As it is really sad with how inbred pugs are, I bet out crossing can help the breed. Yes, of course improving the breed standard and giving the pug a more healthier frame will also help the breed's health. I think the reason George had all these problems was (not only due to his conformation, but) due to inbreeding. A true victim of inbreeding, I should say. As I know there are certain breeds that are similar to pugs, they also have certain hereditary illnesses that will make this difficult to achieve. I know, it will not be easy convincing pug breeders and it will be difficult in conducting a well planned out-cross. But, I am not going to give up on the breed I love. If the pug goes extinct, I will be devastated. It will be tragic to lose such a sweet well tempered lap dog. I know that there are people on this blog that despise pugs with a great passion (because of the pug's conformation, and I can relate).
      If anyone disagrees with me, I just don't care how you feel. Unless if you are someone who is not giving up on the breed, and like me, screaming to pug breeders to improve the pug's health.

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    4. Anon 04:33

      Don't accuse people of despising Pugs simply because they despise the suffering that they have to endure.

      You are confusing a very fundamental aspect of what is being discussed here. I don't despise any animal. I just despise what human beings do to them in the name of some warped sense of beauty.

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    5. Anon 4:33.

      Matuses'(?) point is not that outcrossing is bad for pugs but that it's bad for the outcross breed. Cross a pug with breed X and you may get a dog that breaths better than a typical pug but compared to breed X, that dog may breath worse. Matus is saying that there is nothing of value in the pug that would make it worthwhile to produce more unhealthy dogs (relative to X) so that the pug can be made more healthy(relative to itself.)

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    6. Anon 04:33 is very typical show-dog-lover, who confused in his feelings.

      Pug is just a breed. Breed is just a label, brand, like brand of cloth or car. Why should anyone care about improving labels??? There are very many healthy dogs, that wasn't damaged with that stupid labels, doesn't matter are they purebred or not. If you breed a pug, you will deliberately produce a sick dog, who will occupy a place in life of an offspring of a healthy dog.

      If you are so blindened with that labels, that you don't understand why the "pug" label is the label of sickness, here you are the list of pug's deformities: well-known serve form of brachycephaly, serve micromelic achondroplasia (very shortened legs), very widened body and skull, shortened spine and screwed tail, loose skin and lop ears. Every trait, listed above, is leading for some amount of suffering: from light discomfort to tortures. It's a list of what dog should NOT have to be healthy. But this list is also what is implied by the word "pug".

      If your'e so blindened, that you don't know what is normal for a dog, here you are. Dogs must have long muzzles (lenth of muzzle is equal of length of the brain-pan), well-set eyes (not protruding and not too deep set), long legs, erect ears, tight skin (with no flews), normal hair (present, not broken, not too thin and not excessive), dog must be well pigmented (not Merle and must have no big white patches), must have right amount of fingers (no double dew-claws), must have tail, tail must be long and straight, must have sound proportional body, straight horizontal back, right setting and angles of all parts of the body. (Ask, if you don't understand some items of the list.) Unfortunately or fortunately, this is minimal compulsory anatomical requirements for dog's health, suggested not by people, but by nature. If you don't like it, don't get a dog. Find an animal of another species, that complies your tastes.

      You cannot improve pugs. First you should sort out is what you want to improve and what you mean by "improvement". If you care about dog's health, then you should not breed any dog, that can be called pug. If you care about labels, there is no adviser for you. You just follow your own tastes. If you looking for compromises, there is also no adviser: the level of deformity you breed will be inversely proportional to the level of your conscience.
      That's it.

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    7. Well Mutus, a pug like any other pedigree dog, is just a breed. Agreeable. A lab just a breed, a flatboat is just a breed, a cavi is just a breed. All of course do suffer from some kind of terrible illness that is threatening the breed's future. You can completely stop breeding any of the breeds, and start over. I am totally not confused with my feelings. It least I recognize that pugs do suffer from a lot of issues, and other brachycephalic dogs. Unlike other pug breeders who are not attempting to recognize and help the breed, and who are not willing to work together with welfare reformers. It does disgust me that they're not breeding pugs for better health are continuing the suffering. The pug breeders who are not willing to help the breed are letting the dog down, and the people who love the breed.
      " You cannot improve pugs. First you should sort out is what you want to improve and what you mean by "improvement". If you care about dog's health, then you should not breed any dog, that can be called pug. If you care about labels, there is no adviser for you. You just follow your own tastes. If you looking for compromises, there is also no adviser: the level of deformity you breed will be inversely proportional to the level of your conscience."
      As for improvements, more muzzle with indication for comfortable breeding, leaner body shapes, and less curly tails. This of course is debatable. And is been "hot" debates online and on this blog.
      Mutus, for the past five years, no side has agreed on anything. If no one compromises and works together, things will not move anywhere. You can't tell me your willing to work together with me? Just as bad as a lot of the hardcore showers who are not willing to work with the welfare reformers.
      I do understand your point. Dogs evolutionally have long muzzles and well set eyes (etc). In a nutshell dogs should not be molded into such extreme abstract shapes. Dogs that continue to be bred with such extreme dysfunctional shapes (and irresponsibly bred through inbreeding) will have bad health, of course, I'm no dummy. But you're not completely understanding my statement either.
      I don't have to restate my statement. Maybe I did not explain enough the first time.
      When I saw pedigree dogs exposed, I was shocked. It did take time to understand and accept it. I see the documentary demanding to improve the breed's health. If the breeders are not going to improve the breed's health, then you can just nail the coffin door shut on the breed. I'm sure you understand that. Yes, one point of the documentary is to see the dog first then the breed. The other part of the documentary was to improve the breed's health.
      I'm just one of those people who is not going to give up on the breed.
      And Anon 10:01..., I guess you misread my statement or maybe I was not specific enough, maybe I stated my response in a "overly emotional" way. That's because I love my breed. Jemima loves her flatcoats, and Margaret Carter loves her cavies. We all want to see improvements in our breeds.
      I said,
      "I know that there are people on this blog that despise pugs with a great passion (because of the pug's conformation, and I can relate). If anyone disagrees with me, I just don't care how you feel. Unless if you are someone who is not giving up on the breed, and like me, screaming to pug breeders to improve the pug's health."
      I was not pointing my finger and "labeling" Mutus as a "pug hater". Even if he is or isn't. But hey, if he admits, or you admit. It's all on you guys. What can I say? I was only saying there are people out there who hate pugs with a passion, want them to end. Mostly due to reasons with the pug's conformation. Unfortunately it was caused by the show ring. And I understand.
      I guess, I'm just arguing with intellectual snobs.
      And this is my point why SOME welfare reformers are not willing to work together with others...

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    8. First of all, I talk only about cultivated deformities. Not all breeds suffer from breed-specific conditions, because of breed standards.

      Honestly, I have no desire to cooperate, because I have no practical interest in pedigree dogs any more. I have just scientific interest for pedigrees but I prefer mutts.

      Your open-mindness is rely worth of respect. Keep being honest to yourself to answer important questions. The most important question is question Why. Why, why, why you want to breed pugs? Why don't you switch over to normal dogs? What serves for the obsession? Appearance? Mythical "pug's temper"? Does your fetish rely exist? And does it worth of increased discomfort of dog? Where is acceptable level of suffering or discomfort?

      For me, personally, no recognizable and practically recoverable level of increased discomfort or decreasing of physical faculties is acceptable. I just feel uncomfortable, when I see compromised dog, and I would feel ashamed and guilty if I would feel my participation in it. So that's my own feelings, that doesn't allow me to cooperate.

      Dog breeding will not move anywhere. There is already and there always will be different "acceptable" levels of dog's sickness. There will always be people with very different level of conscience and those with lowest will always breed the sickest possible dogs and breeds. The point is about ratio of people who realize and care and those, who don't. Sides cannot agree on something and go for compromise. People can only move from one camp to another.

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    9. I don't know why you say "labeling" and "point finger". You can treat me as a pug hater, cause I do hate pug's breed and want them to end, as any breed based on congential defects, was it bulldog, or mastif, or labrador, or maltese, or cavalier. Because there is as delicate, loving, inteligent soul inside the pug's body, as in any other dog's body. As any dog, pugs don't deserve to have deformities. And it makes me to hate breeds. I do hate, because I love dogs too much. Hearing this causes butthurt to people, who allow compromises between dog's health and stupid fetish. It makes people angry if they feel quilty.
      I don't know what do you mean by "pug hater". But for me, "pug hater" is a good word and "pug lover" is a bad word.

      P.S. And, by the way, it wasn't caused by the show ring. All deformed breeds already was there before dog shows. It was caused by ignorant snobs.

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    10. This was my first post:
      First of all, I talk only about cultivated deformities. Not all breeds suffer from breed-specific conditions, because of breed standards.

      Honestly, I have no desire to cooperate, because I have no practical interest in pedigree dogs any more. I have just scientific interest for pedigrees but I prefer mutts.

      Your open-mindness is rely worth of respect. Keep being honest to yourself to answer important questions. The most important question is question Why. Why, why, why you want to breed pugs? Why don't you switch over to normal dogs? What serves for the obsession? Appearance? Mythical "pug's temper"? Does your fetish rely exist? And does it worth of increased discomfort of dog? Where is acceptable level of suffering or discomfort?

      For me, personally, no recognizable and practically recoverable level of increased discomfort or decreasing of physical faculties is acceptable. I just feel uncomfortable, when I see compromised dog, and I would feel ashamed and guilty if I would feel my participation in it. So that's my own feelings, that doesn't allow me to cooperate.

      Dog breeding will not move anywhere. There is already and there always will be different "acceptable" levels of dog's sickness. There will always be people with very different level of conscience and those with lowest will always breed the sickest possible dogs and breeds. The point is about ratio of people who realize and care and those, who don't. Sides cannot agree on something and go for compromise. People can only move from one camp to another.

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  15. Margaret Carter13 May 2013 at 00:10

    These little dogs don't deserve what is happening to them. Thank goodness George had such caring owners.
    RIP Little Man

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  16. I was Georges mummy and I just want to say thankyou for all your comments and messages.my heart is broken.yes ten is young for a small breed but George had almost every hereditary illness a pug may have so I find ten acceptable.he was such a character.he loved people and everyone including the vets got a George ear suck.he was a brave happy chappy that put up with so so much.i am amazed he got so far.he faded so fast in the last few days of his life.he couldn't work out where he was and cried.he didn't always recognise me and he was so so so tired as he couldn't get as much air in so he couldn't sleep,he wouldn't even lift his head when i called his name.so i gave him what he needed.peace.it broke my heart.i miss helping him,being up in the night checking him.i miss his stinky breath and the way his feet tapped on the slate floor.i miss out evening cuddles and putting his bed in the sunshine as he loved to sunbathe.the pain is all mine.i do feel comfort in seeing him pass and seeing him so peacefull.not struggling anymore.i hope he is with my other pug Rupert who died age four of suspected pug dog emphecilitus. I hope they are happy and together.i love him.i am proud to have been his mum.thankyou for George for picking me all those years ago god bless you bandy legs from mummy

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  17. Oh bless you George's mummy. Your post moved me to tears and I am sure that George knew he was so very loved by you all. He was such a lucky boy to have you as his mummy and to be so loved and so well looked after.

    Healing thoughts and cyber hugs to you and your family.

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  18. Thanks for a lovely, moving post, George's mummy.
    For all their health risks, a very large number of people find pugs to be a very loveable breed. I would rather have a loveable, health impaired dog that lived a short live than an ill tempered but healthy dog who lived a long life.
    The pug, as a breed, is worth saving . . . so long as temperament is not sacrificed to bring on a healthier physique.

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    1. Which do you think the dog would prefer, Jennifer?

      Jemima

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    2. Wow! It's comments like this that make me feel closer to normal..what you state is fundamentally inhumane..you need to realize that..

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    3. Jennifer, you've made it an either/or. There are healthier, long-lived breeds with lovely temperaments already out there.

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    4. Does any pug-fanatic (or any other-breed-fanatic) can tell me what is unique in their breed's temperament, that you cannot find in other dogs? Can you describe it by words? And are you SURE, that it's feature of the breed, but not the peculiarity of single dog only and not the feature of all dogs?

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    5. By the way, you should consider, that not any side of behavior is the result of temperament, i.e. mental conformation. In pugs case and in other extremely brachycephalic or extremely loose breeds laziness and apathy are not the result of property of psyche, but the result of bad health.

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    6. It's to do with their flat face and lack of nose. It affects their vision - what is known as the visual streak. The visual streak is most pronounced in long-nosed dogs-the breeds developed to hunt and chase. But many of the short-nosed dogs like Pugs don't have this visual streak. Instead, they have high density vision cells arranged in a single spot on the retina, called the area centralis. The area centralis has three times the density of nerve endings as the visual streak. That makes short-nose dogs much better able to see and react to human facial expressions-or watch TV. Hence their charm to some people. I'd rather have adog with normal, healthy functioning canine morphology as nature intended.

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    7. I don't believe a dog's brain is equipped to ask or answer such a question. Personally, I'd rather live a short life with some pain than be chained in a yard and given almost no attention or companionship for the span of a long lifetime. I think we vastly underestimate the pain of depriving a social animal of company or amusement. And I think the cruelty of raising an animal that is very likely to be abandoned or euthanized due to aggressive or unstable temperament is greater than the cruelty of raising a dog who has difficulty breathing. This is all subjective. But in considering breed health, I think you need to look at temperament / adaptation to human company as well as physiognomy. I agree that pugs have been bred to have some deplorable physical features. But at the same time, they are friendly, good humored, social little dogs, with a lot of personality, and well adapted to small homes. I can think of few breeds better suited to the 21st century household. In sum, effort to relieve the physical defects of the breed is worthwhile.

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    8. Jennifer

      Your posts demonstrate a startling lack of empathy for the dog and a lack of behavioural understanding of the animal in general. Raising a dog with an unstable or aggressive temperament who may then be euthanised - why is the dog unstable or aggressive in the first place? Usually it's due to inhumane or mishandling by human beings. Rarely is there a bad dog - poor environmental management; poor training through lack of behavioural understanding and lack of exercise and stimulation usually will drive most dogs to get into trouble. You don't seem to understand that a dog left to spiral into aggression and instability is just as cruel as a dog not being able to breathe properly. Both relate to suffering and can cause a dog to be euthanised at a young age. Both are usually a consequence of human beings failing - poor breeding and lack of appropriate care. Your argument is flawed and does not consider the welfare of dogs as a species.

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    9. I had a horrible tempered dog with syringomyelia, I could cope with her attacking everything that moved , her barking & throwing herself at the front door until she got a walk. I still loved her despite her awful points.

      I could not cope with watching her scream and rip herself to pieces in agony.

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    10. Flat faced breeds are more human in their behaviour , they have a comical side and understand & think more like a person.
      From what i've heard most bull breeds ( Bullmastiffs , bulldogs , pugs ) have this comical character.

      Saying that I love my dogs too much to make them suffer for looks so as much as I adore their Character Another breed with its own unique charm and personality will do for me ( i've taken a liking to poodles , they are different but nice in their own way)

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    11. I think, Jenifer is not a bad person, but she is deceived.
      "...they are friendly, good humored, social little dogs, with a lot of personality..." well, that is features of any dog, as I warned in my first answer. But.
      "... and well adapted to small homes."
      This is the only thing worth of discussion. It refers to my second answer. It's truth, that pugs are more adapted to small homes. Also, they are more adapted to lazy or busy owner, who have no time for dog. And this is due to their sickness. Pugs don't need a big home and long play time, because their problems with breathing and other deformities kill a DESIRE to play and walk. In other words, they are so sick, that they don't annoy their owners. And here is the key point: making this dogs more healthy will make them less adopted for small homes and lack of play time.

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    12. Matus - EXACTLY.

      A 'proper' dog with drive, energy and canine temperamant to chase, play, stalk, run, herd etc. This requires work, commitment and management by the owner.

      Anon 22:52 Flat faced breeds are NOT more human in their behaviour. That is because they are dogs. Read Anon's 19:30 post and learn. Anthropomorphise much??

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    13. I'm sorry to step in here Matus but you are COMPLETELY wrong.

      As an owner of two SICK pugs I will try to explain it from my experience.....

      "pugs are more adapted to small homes"....utter rubbish obviously based on a stereotypical view of a fat bread loaf shaped dog so fat it can't move.....that is down to the owner. That is down to the owner of any fat dog with a lazy owner.

      "they are more adapted to lazy or busy owner, who have no time for dog.".....AGAIN....this is a human induced problem.

      "And this is due to their sickness. Pugs don't need a big home and long play time, because their problems with breathing and other deformities kill a DESIRE to play and walk.".......It is the last part of your comment that is the saddest.......My two sick pugs have SO much desire to go for walks and play. THAT is the sad part.

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    14. Annie Macfarlane14 May 2013 at 12:44

      OMG....so you want to keep a dog sick so that it will fit in with your lifestyle? You want it to suffer because you think it has a cute character....probably because it doesnt have the strength to do anything other than be cute. I have never heard anything so downright stupid and cruel in my life. It would be a good thing if Pugs stopped being bought by people like you. they are not toys; they are dogs and underneath that poor sick exterior lies the brain of a dog...not a human....but a dog! Every dog is a dog and needs to be treated like a dog.

      It's not that dogs don't have the DESIRE to want to play and walk....it's that they simply can't! The desire is still there in their sick little bodies....they become so frustrated that possibly they just give up and take what life has given them.

      Do you have any idea what it's like not to be able to get enough air to breathe? Do you have any idea the fear that it causes you? I do and I can tell you.....it's the worst feeling on earth not to be able to get enough breath to sustain your body.

      I am so sorry for George and his family. That this little boy lived for 10 years is down to his loving family. How many Pugs are living with people who just take the inability to breathe as a "breed characteristic"? How many people take the fact that they can't let their dogs out on a hot day (not only Pugs!) as a "breed characteristic".

      Dog should be able to play, walk, run and be able to have the breath in their lungs to do that. Shame on all of you that think otherwise. You shouldn't even be allowed to own a goldfish!

      I feel very angry. I feel angry because I lost my old boy last week too...at the age of 16. George's owners have been denied the extra years of joy with him...purely because of his conformation and the fact that his conformation meant he had to live with conditions that he stoically dealt with. Just because a dog "gets on with it"...doesnt mean it's right. Stop apologising for the pain and suffering you are inflicting on these dogs and start to do something about it. Let George's legacy be that he was the catalyst for change...change for other dogs that will be bred so they can breathe properly and live a normal life.

      RIP little George....I am so sorry you were robbed of a third of your life due to crap breeding. My thoughts are with your mum and dad at this sad time. (((hugs)))

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    15. Kate Price, I don't assure, that all pugs are so sick, that they do not play and run at all. In the average, they behave more lazy, than the normal dog. But I also realize, that they do play and enjoy their time.

      My comment seems one-sided, because I tried to explain the origin of the pattern of not-energetic-breeds. Unfortunately, this pattern does exist and it works. People, who have not enough time for dog, try to choose a breed with "calm temperament". And it turns out, that "calm" breeds are the most deformed breeds, like bulldog, neopolitan mastiff, basset hound and so on. It looks like: "Oh, you don't want to spend N hours a day for trainign and excersizes with your dog? This breed is not for you... But we have a perfect solution for you! Try this one." I have read it many times in dog magazines and heared in TV-series about breeds. There's even an online tool on Animal Planet site, it calls "Breed selector". Just ignore all questions, except ones about dog's activity. Most suggested breeds are very-very loose, very achondroplastic and very brachysephalic. Try yourself. http://animal.discovery.com/breed-selector/dog-breeds.html

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  19. Really Jennifer?

    So a dog suffering in pain whilst fostering a nice temperament is preferable to a physically healthy dog who suffers no pain but is 'ill tempered' is it? Really? You would be happy with a dog who is suffering as long as it didn't harm anyone.

    Consider this. 'Ill temper' is also a health issue. Psychological and mental stress and suffering for both dogs and owners in it's extreme and unmanaged form. It can be genetic in it's origin or due to lack of socialisation and often is due to poor handling by human beings who fail to understand a particular dog and it's drives and needs. Ask a rescue organisation...

    Behavioural adjustment training using positive and negative reinforcement and is a painless, if stressful intervention, that ultimately benefits both dogs and owners. It doesn't require physical suffereing and pain for the dog and usually results in a better trained and better bonded pet. No endless trips to the vets for treatment, operations, drugs etc. I know which I would prefer...'ill temper' can be managed successfull IF people understand behaviour and how to train through understanding this. But the latter requires a bit of effort doesn't it?

    But why does it have to be one or the other anyway? Sensible, selective breeding for health and temperament is not beyond capability! It's just people who insist on dogs looking a certain way who let everyone down with their shallow and selfish vanity.

    Jeez...

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  20. YES, REALLY. EFFORTS TO REDUCE THE DEFORMITIES THAT MAKE PUGS UNHEALTHY ARE WORTHWHILE.

    I write based on many years running a dog boarding kennel in Western Australia. I have seen many things that make dogs suffer. We had a lot of pugs stay with us. Most were healthy, and very well adjusted dogs, and deeply loved family members. I agree. There is a need to breed away from extreme physical features. But I see the need to breed FOR good temperament as equally important.

    There are a lot of things that make dogs suffer. Some breeds suffer high frequency of allergies and seem always to itch, sometimes so badly that they scratch themselves bloody. Is that less of a torture than bad breathing? On average, pugs live a lot longer than great danes and most mastiff breeds, not to mention flatcoats and Bernese mountain dogs. Is dying before age 7 of some awful cancer better than living to 10 and having trouble breathing?

    I wish as much effort went to recognizing and trying to breed out the features that result in rescue organizations being awash with pit bulls in the US...and staffy crosses in Australia. (We tried to let dogs have group play in the kennel. Staffy X's were the dogs least likely to succeed in this; we had several incidents where staffies from the same household got to fighting and required vet care.)

    I like big dogs, and if I knew pugs only by pictures I'd dismiss them as ugly. But having known several, that uglyness has become good looking...because it is associated with individual dogs who are mellow, playful, not yappy, friendly, and generally easy to live around. Western Australia is HOT. Even in 40 degree weather,I didn't notice many problems with hot weather breathing.

    p.s. If you don't believe that breeding/genetics can produce more or less sociable dogs, I'd say you haven't known a lot of dogs. Of course, nurture is part of the question. Ill temper CAN be caused by health...but the high frequency with which some breeds end up in pounds or chained in the yard is not accidental. Why do you thin working dog fanciers stick to sires and dams with working temperament? Btw,. Don't ask a rescue organization. They need to place dogs, not to scare perspective owners away. In my preferred breed (Labbies) you should always look to the temperament of sire and dam when buying a puppy. If you get a pup from high-drive parents, eg, used in field competition, you are very likely to end out with a high-drive pup who suits someone who hunts or takes dogs running, but would be a difficult dog for a sedentary person or a mother whose hands are full looking after children.


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    1. "I like big dogs, and if I knew pugs only by pictures I'd dismiss them as ugly. "
      Funny, it always happens inversely to me. What looks funny and organic on pictures, turns unnatural and repulsive in reality. And impression getting worse when you hear how this poor thing breathes, and even worse, when you realize how every deformity affects this dog. My heart bleeds.

      "But having known several, that uglyness has become good looking...because it is associated with individual dogs who are mellow, playful, not yappy, "
      It's so trivial, so oppressive trivial. It's good thing when you love a dog despite his defects. But it's bad thing when you love it due to it's deformity. The substitution occurs. You wish to award dog with deformities (i.e. to breed existing deformed dogs), because of association with temper. But there is no real connection between them. And there's nothing unique in pug's temper, as I said. Try to communicate with another dogs to destroy this harmful association. All dogs are mellow, playful, friendly in very wide degree, that can satisfy any owner's preference.

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  21. "Is dying before age 7 of some awful cancer better than living to 10 and having trouble breathing?"

    How on earth can you ask such a thing?

    BOTH are awful and unacceptable. They cannot be compared.

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  22. You worry me Jennifer you really do...because your sentence 'shouted in capitals' wasn't what you originally inferred.

    'I would rather have a loveable, health impaired dog that lived a short live than an ill-tempered but healthy dog who lived a long life'.

    That sentence, above, is just plain nonsense. All the gesticulating, back peddling in the world ain't gonna make any difference. That is a pretty inhumane and un-empathetic way to look at caring for dogs IMO. As mentioned, that scenario simply doesn't have to exist does it?

    'Ill temper CAN be caused by health...but the high frequency with which some breeds end up in pounds or chained in the yard is not accidental. Why do you thin working dog fanciers stick to sires and dams with working temperament?'

    Your fundamental error in the above paragraph is that you are equating 'ill temper' to a working temperament. If the latter is given appropriate or re-directed drive by a responsible, caring and knowledgeable owner, then the 'behavioural' issues usually cease. Other behavioural issues related to poor selection of dams and sires temperaments for breeding do exist, but most problems stem from lack of appropriate socialisation and lack of appropriate exercise, mental stimulation and redirected predatory outlets for working dogs in general. This is hard wiring we are talking about here.
    There is also hard science and behavioural adjustment programmes using counter conditioning and relaxation protocols widely available these days - we know more about the behaviour of the domestic dog and how to modify it than ever before. Also, most importantly, because we are so familiar with the dog as an animal, we sometimes forget that most people, including so called 'professionals' are still utterly clueless about their very canine nature and their needs. Otherwise, why would anyone get a working dog as a pet and then be surprised when it exhibits behavioural problems when they don't honour its basic requirements?

    'Btw,. Don't ask a rescue organization. They need to place dogs, not to scare perspective owners away.'

    So, you are implying that rescue organisations deliberately lie to prospective adopters then about dogs?

    Pit Bulls were selected for 'gameness' in the US - hence the reason they tend to fight and the main reason they are a banned breed in the UK. Terriers are generally known to be predatory and not the most sociable with strange dogs. However, there are well socialised terriers that do get along great with other dogs. It's all about management and understanding your individual dog's ability to socialise and maintain self-control...This is really about selecting appropriate types of dogs as pets. If you want a low maintenance, low drive dog and you aren’t prepared to manage it appropriately - don't get a terrier! Sometimes people’s unrealistic expectations of a dog’s capabilities get them into trouble!

    This blog is all about breeding for the right reasons - health and temperament. But you venture into some areas where the natural nature of the dog is KNOWN to be reactive (terriers, guarding breeds) and potentially aggressive in the wrong human hands anyway. The argument should surely fall down to which dogs are more appropriate as pets. And there is no doubt about it, some dogs by their very nature are easier to live with. But do not use the excuse that a dog in physical pain is OK for you to live with because he isn't aggressive. You are not thinking about the dog - you are thinking about yourself.

    If I had a dog, I'd be sure not to board them with you.

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    1. "'Btw,. Don't ask a rescue organization. They need to place dogs, not to scare perspective owners away.'

      So, you are implying that rescue organisations deliberately lie to prospective adopters then about dogs?

      Many do; owners come to see me saying "The shelter said he was good with cats" or "They told us he's housetrained" or "We were assured he's used to children" when it turns out the dog chases cats, wees and poos all over the house and grwols at children in the street.

      Yes, sadly many DO lie to get the dog off their hands.

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    2. 'Yes, sadly many DO lie to get the dog off their hands.'

      Dogs are not fluffy robots. They are sentient beings with very real emotions. Try and imagine the stress they endure in a shelter environemnt.

      Their behaviour will be assessed as best as possible in a reputable organisation, perhaps even temperament tested. Even then, I would take make my own assessment of a dog when I got it home. I certainly wouldn't automatically trust an unknown adult dog around other animals and children until I had made my own assessment anyway.

      What is unusual about a dog chasing a cat FFS!? A history of attacking and killing cats would be a very different scenario, one that a reputable organisation would probabbly make you sign a disclaimer over anyway before agreeing adoption.

      Is that really a behavioural problem! And as for wees and poos all over the house......teach the dog where to eliminate in it's new environment.

      Ther are some worryingly unrealistic expectations of dogs expressed on this blog...

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    3. You misunderstand; some rescues WILL tell lies to get a dog into a home, whether or not that home is suitable for that particular dog's needs. That's one reason why so many dogs get returned. It's not a sign of an unrealistic expectation of dogs - it's a sign of a trusting and kind-hearted person being duped and a dog screwed up even further.

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    4. It is sadly a sign that people DO have unrealistic expectations of dogs that rescue organisations have to lie to people to get rid of them - because of 'behavioural problems'. A lot of People seem to think that a dog shouldn't take up too much of their time. Almost as if it can be somehow magically fixed and it must be easier to give into that expectations for some of these organisations perhaps. Otherwise, they'd never be able to rehome a lot of the dogs that require some serious TLC. Canine behavioural problems on the whole can be traced to human beings unrealistic expectations; lack of knowledge of the species and lack of appropriate training and behavioural understanding, it's a sad truth that a lot of dogs end up with inappropriate labels often. 'aggressive' being the number one. Aggression is normal behaviour and for an emotional animal some "species normal' aggression has to be tolerated and got into some relevant context. It's almost like expecting a human being never to have an argument, write a lette to a solicitor or get divorced. Dogs don't write letters. They use their teeth, given the opportunity. It would appear that any sign of aggression shown by dogs is now completely forbidden in our society. That is an unrealistic expectation too. Sensibly, behaviour should always be taken in context. For example, a dog may be fearfully reactive when confronted by large, unfamiliar dogs in her personal space. That does not make that dog generally aggressive. She could be confident and friendly with strange humans and children But some people will generally label a dog aggressive anyway if they are pushed over threshold.

      The reason they have to lie is they realise that a lot of people lack knowledge and the experience to really do what is required for some rescue dogs who haven't been taught kindly or cared for appropriately. It can take years and sometimes you have to reconcile yourself to the fact that your dog will never be a social superstar and keep your expectations realistic.

      People are great at screwing up dogs aren't they?

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    5. I wouldn't say shelters lie, just that they tend to be advocates for the dogs they are trying to place. Buyer beware.

      On the internet there tend to be a lot of people trolling for opportunities to pronounce judgements.

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    6. Anon 21:56: Er, no, rescues should not lie, exaggerate or misrepresent the dogs, no matter what their perception of the general public.

      Jemima also runs a rescue and she doesn't have to lie to get her dogs rehomed. She has a waiting list of people wanting to rehome one of her rescue dogs. If I had to choose between rehoming a dog from a rescue which honestly assesses the dog, or from one that bullshits, I know which one I'd choose and which one I'd avoid at all costs.

      I was lied to by a rescue - they swore blind there had been no sign of dog-aggression problems whilst the dog had been in their care. I phoned the previous owner's vets, which was on the back of his old vaccination card (odd in itself, seeing he was supposed to have come in from the pound), who confirmed his dog-aggression problem. The rescue continued to deny all knowledge when I confronted them. I'm sure this rescue justified their actions in the same way you do.

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    7. Fran - some, not all, can twist the truth in their use of language. Working with someone who advises a well known organisation on dogs, allows me to see how sometimes the use of language can be critical when it comes to interpreting behaviour. 'Grumpy with other dogs' actually means will rip a dog's throat out when challenged etc. The temperament testing while a dog is stressed and in a shelter may not reflect the true nature of a dog. Fostering or having a trial period before adopting should always be advised and encouraged, particularly for dogs with behavioural issues.

      Also, it is critical to understand that labelling a dog a certain way rather than describing the behaviour in context is neither helpful to the dog or potential owner. Or for formulating a structural behavioural treatment plan. So a rescue organisation worth it's salt probably won't use aggressive as a general label on any dog because they really shouldn't be allowing truly aggressive dogs to be adopted out in the community. However, a dog - dog reactive problem is a treatable and manageable situation in the right human hands.

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    8. "However, a dog - dog reactive problem is a treatable and manageable situation in the right human hands."

      Maybe, but the COAPE dog behaviourist we sought help from, advised us to take him back - clearly she didn't think it was such an easy problem to treat. She was convinced the rescue had lied to us. To not tell the potential owner of such a serious problem is downright dishonest. There is a world of difference between getting a rescue dog and knowing that the dog has a problem, so you can be prepared. Rather than being told 'it's your fault', when the dog turns rabid on the end of the lead and will bite any dog that comes within biting distance.

      We found out more accurate information from one 5-minute phonecall to the vets, than the rescue were able to tell us after having him for a month. They had his old vaccination card (so clearly him coming in from the pound was also a lie!), so why couldn't they have phoned the vets?

      My previous dog wouldn't go for a walk when we first had her, as she was too scared. We worked hard to overcome that, which included getting up at 5am to walk her when there were no people and dogs around. I am not the kind of owner to just give up on a dog for no good reason. Aggression is beyond my remit though and we specifically told the rescue we didn't want an aggressive dog.

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    9. Fran - sorry to hear that. Genuinely, because if a COAPE qualified person advises that, the future for the dog is truly bleak indeed. Who else is therefore going to help the dog? Euthanasia?

      True dog aggression can arise for a number of reasons, but as you are probably aware, most aggression stems from fear. Usually due to poor handling and lack of appropriate socialisation. De - sensitisation and counter conditioning, working under threshold help, in the vast majority of cases. As does BAT. But not if the new adopter isn't prepared to put in the months or years of leg work it usually takes to allow the dog to become confident and to give the dog some space to learn to make more appropriate decisions. A dog to become 'rabid' at the end of a lead sounds like the dog perhaps had failed to alert you with body language before hand? If so, then dogs like these are ticking time bombs and deserve to be in the hands of people who truly understand what it takes to help them. They should not be given to people who clearly have stated that aggressions is beyond their remit.

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  23. I'd like to say that pugs do generally live to an average age of 12, and often longer, the same as most small dogs. Yes there are some sad early deaths, as there are in almost all breeds of dogs so I find it quite misleading to keep saying that 10 is old for a pug!

    As for being lazy,that would be the owners fault, not the pugs. They can walk and play for as long as you would let them and are now well known for competing in agility.

    Far too many of the comments here portray them as ALL being lazy, unhealthy dogs that die at an early age. This is a sweeping generalisation which I'm guessing is made by the comments being written by people who do not know the breed.

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    1. Anon 12:57

      'Far too many of the comments here portray them as ALL being lazy, unhealthy dogs that die at an early age. This is a sweeping generalisation which I'm guessing is made by the comments being written by people who do not know the breed'.

      No. That is absolutely NOT what people are implying on here. Do you actually bother to read around the issues or any of the comments on this particular thread?

      And as for 'knowing' the breed - you don't have to! I can read and form objective views deduced from scientific and anecdotal evidence thank you very much. Some of those people who actually claim to 'know' the breed are the very people who seem to fail to understand the suffering this poor dog endures. You're biased to the point of blind ignorance.

      There may well be healthier versions of Pugs out there than poor George, but the issue is, should a dog with these morphological deformities continue to exist in its current form, given the suffering it can and does endure?

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  24. In reply to the above: I retiterate what I said earlier, a lot of people here seem to see pugs as a really ill/sick breed, dying at 7, lazy, not being able to exercise, etc - this is not the minority of pugs you are talking about.

    And YES you do have to know the breed well to understand this.

    I just wanted to state the fact that the majority of pugs live to 12/15 and are perfectly healthy and active.

    My point in posting was to tell you first hand that pugs are not all unhealthy, yet no one ever focuses on the merits of the pug and not one person has replied with positive comments on their exercise capacity and agility standards, just a negative comment from someone who obviously does not know the breed and discriminates on sad stories.

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    1. According to the 2004 KC Breed Survey, the average age of death is 11-years. Pretty awful for a small breed dog. They're also diagnosed with health problems at a young age.

      http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/download/1615/hspug.pdf

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    2. You are right I don't have much first hand experience of pugs , however the last one I met was a gasping snorting mess, that even drew comments from my non dog owning companion " are they supposed to sound like that"

      The Pug prior to that i spent time with at a grooming shop. the poor thing could barely breath and had ulcerated skin folds. We had to dry it on cold so it didnt die of heat exhaustion.

      previous to those where pugs at a show who where not much better. One in particular I was amazed they would be seen in a show with as its back legs where awful , bulging eyes and gasping.

      So Have I just been really unlucky then and only come across the only unhealthy pugs in the country ?

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    3. Nobody ever claimed that all pugs are unhealthy, so what's do you think you are achieving by telling people that not all pugs are unhealthy? If someone says that drunk driving causes accidents, nobody will try to defend that by saying not all drunk drivers get into accidents. If someone says that men are taller than women, nobody will try to refute that by noting that some women are taller than some men. To say that pugs are unhealthy, men are taller than women, these are generalizations. You cannot disprove generalizations with exceptions.

      The claim that the majority of pugs live to 12-15 is just bullshit. The KC/BVA survey gives a median of 11.25 years. If you take the mean(average) it is only 10 years. It's when you look at those that die of old age that you get about 12-15 years average, and only 25% had old age as cause of death.

      Finnish database(http://jalostus.kennelliitto.fi/frmTerveystilastot.aspx?R=253&Lang=en) gives average of 8 years 8 months overall and 12 years 1 month for old age death. Only 25% classed as old age death. Even if we limit year of birth to dogs born 2000 and before to control for right censoring(http://veterinaryrecord.bmj.com/content/163/15/457), the overall average is still only 10.5 years. Old age death is unsurprisingly barely changed at 12 years 2 months, although it now accounts for 35% of deaths.

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    4. Thank you for pointing out that the Finnish data is now available in English for look up. Wonderful!
      You have to put the Finnish pug data in context of other breeds in the same database. As I remember, most breeds look worse in the Finnish database than in most databases. . . probably because the Finns keep extremely good records. Overall averages for other toy/companion breeds aren't so great on that site. I picked two at random:

      Russian Toy, "alltogether" lived 4 yr 11 mo, old age 12 yr 4 mo, but only 3 of 36 dogs made it to old age
      Maltese, "alltogether" lived to 9 yr 9 mo, old age 11 yr 3 mo, 29 of 80 made it to old age.

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    5. p.s. If you look at causes of death for the Staffie on the Finnish database you find that only 10% make it to old age, almost 10% are euthanized due to behavioural problems, just over 10% die from accidents, and the overall age at death is 6yr 2 mo.

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    6. To JH. Please correct last post. I said Staffie. I posted stats for Am. Staff. Staffie stats look much better.

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  25. Is there any way of setting-up a 'bad breeders' log, without being sued? Even if it's just a case of listing breeders who have bred from the same dog 3 times in less than 2-years, or have registered lots of litters in the same year (this information can be obtained via the KC Breed Record Supplement, but it costs £29/annum).

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    1. There's little consensus on what constitutes a 'bad' breeder. In my book, over-frequent breeding is less of a sin than breeding from dogs who shouldn't be bred from . . . or routine use of inbreeding / line breeding to 'fix' traits (especially unhealthy, extreme traits). Many many many leading studs are used more than three times in 2 years. Many (most?) reproductive specialist vets say it's healthier to breed a bitch often and early, then spey, as opposed to spreading out pregnancies over a long period. A bitch who has had four litters by age five under good care, then rehomed, is quite likely to live to old age in a forever home. A bitch who is 'rested' for 18 months between litters and has four litters has a much higher chance of reproductive complications . . . and will have a lower chance of finding a good home as a retired breeder. If someone had a healthy (less brachy, good airways, good joints, not inbred, etc.) pug at stud, I would hope he would be used more than 3 times in 2 yrs. No one is going to make a dent in the problem of badly bred dogs unless some breeders turn out a large number of pups bred from healthy stock without inbreeding.
      I don't like lawyers...but if you do what you're proposing, I'd say you deserve a lawsuit.

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    2. Why do I deserve a lawsuit, Jennifer?

      I meant using the same bitch 3x in 2-years - my fault for not being clearer. Additionally, geneticists would advise that to ensure genetic diversity, each stud bitch and each stud dog should only be used... once. Never happens though does it? What you're proposing - the 'healthy' pug being used as often as that, is otherwise known as popular sire syndrome. The use of popular sires is the reason why so many breeds are in genetic dire straits.

      It wouldn't even have to be a bad breeders log. All it would take is a public log of how often a dog or bitch was used, whether it was health tested and passed, age of death of ancestors, any health problems of stock, etc. Really, information that should be in the public domain anyway so that puppy buyers can easily make an informed choice.

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    3. Popular sire syndrome usually involves a stud being used hundreds of times, and showing up ramified through a breed for as long as you can follow pedigrees. The 'Wycliffe Effect' in standard poodles is a classic example. See, eg.
      http://www.dogenes.com/poodle/wycliffe.html
      Or go to the Borderwars website and read about inbreeding in border collies and tollers. See, eg. http://www.astraean.com/borderwars/2011/10/pedigree-collapse.html
      Please name even one geneticist with publications the in peer reviewed literature who advocates only one mating for each dog and bitch.
      If you read the literature on genetic problems in pedigree dogs, you must have heard some advocacy of outcrossing. Outcrossing will do nothing if the outcrossed lines have very few progeny. It may seem paradoxical, but unless good, health-and-temperament focused breeders produce more puppies than they do now, there will be no improvement in the average health condition of pedigree dogs. For breeds, like the pug, where exaggerated physical traits have become the rule, it's going to require systematic (to avoid inbreeding), but heavy use of quality breeding stock . . . outcrossed if that turns out to be necessary. Having one fine, free-whelping bitch turn out one lovely litter of pups and then retire is not going to cut the mustard.

      Breeding a bitch 3 x in 2 years (ie, back to back breeding) -- provided the reasons behind the matings are sound and provided that the bitch is not bred before she is mature and pups are given excellent care -- could be a good thing. Back to back breeding actually reduces the risk of some diseases, such as pyometra, endrometriosis, and breast cancer. Sure, without good diet it can lead to decalcification, but there is little or no risk with a good diet and exercise. Please provide one reason why it is immoral.
      Anon 15:25 It looks to me like Fran is advocating a blacklist on some arbitrary principles coming from the Animal Liberation agenda. It would be just for someone to be sued for libel for doing such a thing.

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    4. Why are they arbitrary Jennifer? How are the results of health tests, age of death, and diseases afflicting the offspring, arbitrary?

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    5. Poor Fran, I hear what you are saying. I have been advocating a Health registry breed by breed, administered by an independant body to avoid any malicious input. But publicly, easily accessed by whoever and all. All information supplied would be litigation free and would be considered for the whole, entire, complete benefit of the breed, not the owners. So if an owner/breeder breeds honestly and fairly the whole world can see their record and they become a good breeder if there are few problems and obviously more problems indicates a bad breeder. The facts will speak for themselves, even if the "good" breeder breeds a litter that are sadly affected by some illness/disability. But that breeder will realise what has happened and will use every endeavour to avoid a repeat. The "bad" breeder won't care less what he/she breeds just as long as the money keeps pouring in but, of course, in a very short period of time, their records will disuade future puppy purchasers, stud enquiries from buying/using their stock. Eventually the "bad" breeders will either die off because of lack of income or they will realise that to survive they have to breed and be kinder to their stock. Simple? I don't know why other contributors have to become rude and unkind when the fact that everyone logging in has an interest and care for dogs. It is much better to unite and share for the common good of dogs all ideas and experience.

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    6. Jennifer, I certainly look forward to anybody being sued for libel on the grounds you named - making correct information accessible to the public. So I decide to breed my poor dysplastic or never-had-an-X -ray bitch every time she is in season for two years running, and incidentally increase my income by selling the puppies to people who may never have heard of dysplastic hips, while I praise my practice as good because the bitch will then have lower risk of pyo or mammary tumours when I "rehome" her. So, Fran starts a blog and tells people that´s what I do, stating the facts correctly, so that people have a chance to decide where they want to buy a puppy. And you will then decide to sue Fran for libel? Ever thought of sueing the Swedish KC open registries for that? Might be a buck to make, because there is plenty of info to be found here :-)... By the way, the very suggestion of using a bitch in breeding for all she´s worth, and then when she is past being useful to me, "rehome" her to thank her for her service - THAT must be libel. Of any decent breeder.

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    7. This statement is arbitrary, Fran:

      "I meant using the same bitch 3x in 2-years"

      There are many reasons why a bitch may be bred three times in two years, or on three heats in a row. She may be of a breed that regularly has only 2-4 pups per litter. She may not produce the desired sex or type of pups wanted for the breeders own program. Pups can get sick and die. She may have a singleton. Or a combination of factors.

      Here in the US it is considered a perfectly okay practice for a bitch in good condition to have back to back litters. It is recommended by the repro vets here. In the UK, this practice is anathema, a sign of a puppy farm.

      If you're going to be subjective and arbitrary about what numbers of litters for bitch is okay, either back to back or during her lifetime, then what else are you going to be subjective about? All that subjectivity has gotten us into a passel of trouble with dog breeding laws here in the US. It's the same in Australia; some of the current proposed legislation there states that a bitch can't be bred after age FIVE, which is stupidly arbitrary. Large sighthounds are commonly bred after five; my next litter is planned with an eight year old bitch.

      The problem is that you and Georgina are taking quantifiable, objective items, also known as facts, (number of litters, health tests) and loading them down with YOUR moral baggage (how many litters is too many, for one bitch, or one breeder, bitches being unsupervised during birth, which market to produce puppies for, etc.) Why, I just recently watched a breeder on a message board, based in the UK, get excoriated for a) having two litters at one time (common practice) and b) one of them was an accident (shit happens.)

      If you conflate your specific moral considerations with the objective facts, you WILL HAVE PROBLEMS. It is an objective fact that I produce crossbreeds. There are many, many people for whom that qualifies me as Bad Breeder. Even the concept of 'health testing' as a litmus test for 'good breeders' becomes questionable.

      The Finnish database is not a 'bad breeders' log, any more than the OFA database is a 'bad breeders' log. There is no stigma or judgement attached to the *facts* in the database. This is an entirely different proposition than a 'bad breeders' log which would 'out' 'bad breeders' according to their practices, some of which are being interpreted in an entirely subjective manner.

      Let me just put it this way: if *I* appeared on the Bad Breeders According to Fran site, over some subjective bullshit like breeding a bitch on two or three consecutive heats, or breeding what Fran considers to be too many litters, or for skipping a health test that Fran feels is important but that in Objective Reality Land doesn't really tell me anything in regards to future health for that dog or its offspring, YOU BET I'D SUE (if I had the cash. Most people don't. I didn't, for instance, sue the idiot that wrote that article libeling me in the SGHC magazine.)

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    8. OK Jess, you can state your point without eating me alive.

      In the UK, breeding back-to-back is frowned upon by the KC (read their 'registering your litter' blurb), and yes, it does strongly suggest that person is a puppy farmer. The reason why it's so frowned upon, is that it's fiendishly difficult to distinguish who is a reputable breeder and who is just breeding for the money and without care for the puppies they produce. Therefore, the more litters produced, the more likely that person is to be seen as in it for the money.

      There's also those breeders who do most of the right things, but then still breed dogs with COIs pushing 25% and 30%, just because they want to win in the showring. There's also plenty of BYB who can appear perfectly bona fide until you've bought the puppy and then they don't want to know. This is why I was trying to find some way of distinguishing 'good' from 'bad' breeders. All I was trying to do was make it easier for people to find a reputable breeder.

      In the Whippet breed, it is the pet breeders who are keeping the average COI down. Most of the show bred dogs have COIs over 15% (over 10 gens) and many are pushing 25%. If you would like to check this for yourself, pick the results of any recent champ show and look up the COIs of the dogs on The Whippet Archives (under pedigree analysis). When I was looking for a puppy, I checked all the ABS breeders near me and the COIs of their litters instantly put me off wanting a puppy from them. (Again, this can be checked on TWA, by looking up ABS breeders and then doing a search for the breeders' names on TWA.) If I don't want a puppy with such a high COI, then that severely restricts me to a small handful of show breeders, which I may not know about, and/or they don't breed very often. Or I turn to the pet breeders, most of which don't heart and eye test (not that many of the show breeders do), and probably don't know anything about any health problems in their dogs' pedigrees. Of course, there could be really good pet breeders out there, but it would be hard for me to tell who's good and who's just a BYB. It's easy for breeders to answer your questions in all the right ways.

      I'd be happy with something akin to the Finnish database, which would make it far easier to sort through all of the breeders and find a puppy based on whatever criteria I might be looking for.

      I definitely don't want legislation either, in case you thought I did, but I have a nasty suspicion that because so little has been done to stem the tide of poorly bred dogs, we're going to get it anyway. If it's anything like the DDA, it's going to be a disaster, that will then take decades to repeal. I'd far rather have a database of breeders instead.

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    9. Mmm, Jess, the main problem about breeding too many litters from one bitch/stud dog is because the effect it has on the genetic pool in any one breed, hence the suffering and misery caused to many puppies and their unsuspecting new owners.
      There can never ever by a justification for overbreeding - none. Dog breeding is a privilege and the effect humans can have on another species and currently in the UK it is now proving to be catastrophic. Bearing in mind outside influences i.e. feeding products from an "unknown" source aka, horse meat being found in human food sold by major supermarkets in the UK, drugs fed to poultry/livestock, none of which can be monitored by you and me or anyone else outwith that industry. We buy dog food and hope that 90% of which details as ingredients is accurate and harmless to our dogs. So in order to breed good quality, happy, healthy puppies everyone involved has to be much more circumspect with their plans. The frequent breeders are farming their dogs, no question. To breed a litter for a puppy to show, one does not need to breed more than one litter from a bitch, the next litter should be two years later from the puppy kept for showing. Simple. Otherwise if one were to state that they had a waiting list for puppies, then they are trading, breeding to demand, the puppies are stock just like goods in a shop. That is running a busines, that is farming puppies. Stud dogs slightly different, but for the health of a breed there should be constraints by his owner not to be tempted to take the stud fee, but remember that if he sires two or three litters (subject to breed but proportionate to that population) thirty puppies could be bred and the spread of those genetics should be used intelligently if those puppies are bred on. I'm sorry Jess but on the whole I disagree with much of what you have said because it opens the door to those who are less diligent and respectful of their dogs who would see your words as a green light to breed, breed, breed. For the international/worldwide population of dogs a high percentage of those dogs who have unbearable, cruel, wickedly painful lives, the dogs who share our lives are fortunate, in the main, and we are lucky to have them, but don't be disillusioned that what you do, you decide, you create just affects you and your local neighbourhood, no Jess whatever anyone of us does these days in a hugely shrunken world affects us, humans, and other species too. I too do not advocate legislation but health data bases set up without fear of litigation, containing honest, voluntary facts by the breeder is all that is needed, the database being maintained by an independent body to avoid malicious input. The only way a person would be deemed a bad breeder would be by their own hand if they consistently breed sick puppies. The only bit of legislation I would suggest would be that to register puppies with the KC the breeder has to voluntarily update their health information. The main problems with dog breeding are HUMANS, because of their lack of honesty, morality, intelligence and integrity.

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    10. Georgina, you say "To breed a litter for a puppy to show, one does not need to breed more than one litter from a bitch, the next litter should be two years later from the puppy kept for showing. Simple."

      In fact it's not quite that simple because you might not know for a year or so whether the sire and dam's genes have combined well for the retained puppy to be worthy of breeding from in her turn. You might know sooner but often you have to wait until the pups are adult. It's usual to breed another litter from the bitch but using a different sire to get a different selection of genes to increase the chances of one good enough (bearing in mind that only a small proportion of dogs/bitches are suiable for breeding) to continue a line.

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    11. Yes, and I have done the very same so can't disagree, however, the genetic pool bank in the puppy who may not be good enough for the "beauty parade" aka showing, is still valid. I accept that the puppy may have developed a physical, undesirable, trait i.e. over/under shot, hd, epilepsy, entropian etc etc that may not manifest itself until age 2, and in the event that this was the case, to breed from the dam again would/should be undesirable unless the next litter was sired by a totally unrelated dog from the first litter and the COI is very low. But in the main, providing all was well physically with the next generation, then I would definately advocate restraint and just have one litter per bitch.

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  26. Deserve a lawsuit to warn people about immoral activity?

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    1. Say you believe homosexuality (or interracial marriage) is immoral and publish a list of businesses run by homosexuals (or mixed race couples), with the explicit intent of causing people to boycott those businesses. You deserve to be sued for defamation, and you will be. You can probably get away with publishing a comprehensive data set that happens to include sexual preference (or breeding statistics). But designing material explicitly to defame based on your own sense of good and evil is walking into a legal minefield with a lot of live mines.

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    2. Jennifer, in a rational society (of which we don't live), racism, homophobia, etc, wouldn't be an issue, because people would not base their assessment of people on arbitrary principles like skin colour, or sexual preference, rather they would base their dealings with people on rational principles of trade, i.e. whether the person was honest, had integrity and was offering an item of genuine worth to that person.

      If an irrational person didn't buy an iPhone from Steve Jobs because they thought he was a hippie, well really, that's their loss. Others would decide whether the product was good based on rational, reality-based principles, directly related to the quality and user-experience of the product.

      If a company decides not to hire a brilliant engineer because of the colour of his skin, in a rational world, he'd be snapped-up by a company that hires people based on their ability to do the job. The company that hires people based on their skin colour has lost-out.

      The problem, of course, is that people aren't taught how to reason, so still base their decisions on stereotypes.

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    3. Yes Jennifer, but if information was supplied voluntarily for the benefit of all breeds as outlined in my response to Fran, there is no litigation possibility whatsoever. Obviously anyone deliberately identified unfairly would have a case, but on the other hand someone who deliberately breeds substandard puppies who cruely suffer and that cause their new owners a great deal of sadness and expense is leaving themselves open to deserved litigation. In this age of trading standards and the rest of the EU piffle there will be increasing numbers of court cases against these dreadful, cruel people. The puppy farmer in Ceredigion who has just been licensed for 78 breeding bitches is shocking, sickening. It isn't just 78 bitches, think of the hundreds of puppies that will be produced in a short period of time, and whilst those puppies are being born, the number of bitches whelping without assistance or kindness at the same time is deplorable. Say 10 litters being born in a week, how are they being managed and helped, how many knowledgeable people employed to help the bitches if there is a problem, can you imagine the suffering and anxiety for all of those dogs, I have written to the Ceridigion council outlining my real and true concerns for the bitches but have had no response. Breeding so many puppies when there are so many dogs in rescue worldwide, the barbaric cruelty is sickening I'd advocate a lot less breeding and a lot more care and concern for the dogs in our care i.e. worldwide awareness that dogs/animals have a right to be respected and have a quality of life.

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  27. Too young! Toy breeds should live to at least 13! My (pedigree) bearded collie is 13 yrs 2 mo and is fit for fight. She has never been sick in her life. No aging problems showing in either joints or skeleton (her vet is thrilled), and she constantly fools people that she's 1-3 years old. She also swims 600 metres per week without getting tired... only thing age related is that she now is almost deaf. All her closest relatives have died at age 16-17.

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  28. I can't watch the video. Ironically, the error message says BBC Worldwide have blocked it on copyright grounds...

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    1. Yes, that is a little ironic given that it's actually my copyright. Ah well.

      Jemima

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