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Beagle Wins at Westminster but May Not Live to Tell the Tale

Written by PETA | February 15, 2008

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that selectively breeding dogs for certain “aesthetic” traits like a shiny nose, or perky ears—or whatever the hell it is that breeders are looking for in the animals they use for self-gratification and profit—isn’t good for the animals, and in fact can cause extreme health problems. All of the animals who won awards at the AKC-sponsored Westminster Dog Show this week have something in common beyond having been deliberately bred into a world where millions of animals are dying on the streets for lack of a good home: They’re all genetically predisposed to be highly susceptible to a laundry list of debilitating diseases.

In first place, we have Uno, the first beagle ever to take home the “Best in Show” honors at Westminster. As a beagle, Uno has a significantly higher risk of hypothyroidism, demodectic mange (a condition that occurs when a dog’s immune system can’t regulate the number of mites living in the skin), umbilical hernia, epilepsy, eye and eyelid problems, cryptorchidism, hip dysplasia, intervertebral disk disease, and luxating patella. But I’m sure his Westminster crown will console him when one or more of these ailments set in.

The two poodle contestants, Vikki and Remy, who were just edged out by Uno in the competition, probably won’t live as long as he does either: Poodles are prone to cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, allergies, severe skin disease, hip dysplasia, runny eyes, ear infections, Von Willebrand disease, bloat, and Addison’s disease—an adrenal gland deficiency which requires lifelong medication and monitoring.

Uno also defeated a Weimaraner named Marge (elbow dysplasia, bloat) a Sealyham terrier named Charmin (bronchitis, early tooth decay, poor digestion, severe spine problems), and an Australian shepherd named Deuce (hip dysplasia, blood disorders, digestive problems, epilepsy, chronic eczema, gastric disorders, spinal paralysis).

So everyone’s a loser. Thanks, breeders, for contributing to the problem. Can’t wait to see you guys next year.

Commenting is closed.
  • Krissy says:

    And humans DON’T have health problems?? last I checked most people “breed” with the same color so I guess that makes us all “bad” because we are purebreds and now we should all “mix” because then there will be no health problems…..say good bye to African, Chinese, Japanese and so on….we inbreed all the time with the same “race” as some call it, we have our own breeds so to speak Americans are probably the mixes. We may not “breed” with family members but we still have genetic defects. Pure Chinese may not do this and they still have defects. Thing is defects are part of life and to say a mutt is healthier is like saying Americans are the most genetically healthy people. Most people here don’t understand genetics too well that’s obvious. Here is a good question for you all…..if purebreds look the same and have similar traits are “inbreed” to look the same… do we get wild animals that look the same…..well crap they inbreed!!! (It shouldn’t surprise anyone that selectively breeding dogs for certain “aesthetic” traits like a shiny nose, or perky ears—or whatever the hell it is that breeders are looking for in the animals they use for self-gratification and profit) WOW could you be ANY more ignorant? Good responsible Breeders breed for a dog that is historical correct healthier and improved. And sorry NO, not all “breeders” breed for money….puppy mills do that….duh. By the way why the hell would a puppy mill waste their money paying for registrations, why not register the stud and a few females and call it good, that way if any buyer asks if they are registered they can produce papers. Simple fact is THEY DON’T. They don’t even register the litters they have so AKC has no record of them therefore the pups don’t exist and AKC doesn’t know they are a mill. No mill would risk getting shut down, they would even provide fake papers if need be. Also have to put this out there but the reason AKC says that “papers” don’t mean quality or that the dog is healthy is BECAUSE of the crooks that lie and cheat. They encourage people to do their research before getting any dog be that mutt or purebred.

  • lizzie says:

    Your words about beagles unoBIS Westminster breeders is very meanspirited. My beagle pup is all class and has a great personality and full of love. She is a pure bred beagle not a mangy dog from a puppy mill. Go after the puppy mills. They destroy all breds.

  • Maeghan says:

    Many of you state that dogs that are not worthy of showing or breeding are abandoned at shelters. This couldnt be farther from the truth. Dogs that are bred by breeders who participate in conformation are often sold to prescreened homes. They are on a spayneuter contract. Nearly every breeder who breeds for GOOD reasons screen their dogs for the breeds’ genetic health problems. I bet many of the beagles that you all say have health problems common with the breed were not bred by an AKC conformation breeder. They were puppy mill dogs. Found on the streets abandoned. I hate puppy mill and BYB people and all irresponsible dog owners. There’s a very concrete equation when purchasing a dog. 1. You know exactly what breed you want. You want to be prepared for any potential genetic issues and temperment issues. You’re looking for a healthy puppy. You want to show your dog. If this is the case contact a local reputable breeder. 2. You just want a companion with a matching temperment. If this is you ADOPT!

  • Michelle says:

    learn more about beagles before you post health issues that ARE NOT associated with the breed the only true major health problems are obesity cancer ear infections and eye problems. do your resreach before you attack a breed.

  • Maya, C.V.T. says:

    Autumn Hi… No disrespect intended here but I’ve seen those lifetime contracts. They would often get handed to me when I worked in an animal shelter and the owner was giving up their supposedly “lifetime” pet. Just because the adopter signs a contract does not mean they will abide by it. I would tell these people that their breeder contract required that the pet be returned to the breeder and they would say they did not want to face the breeder again. Then they would threaten to dump the animal in the parking lot if we didn’t take it into the shelter. Then the surrendered purebred pet would get adopted along with all the other purebreds forcing us to destroy all the REAL homeless animals the strays that were found on the streets.

  • SusanHiggins says:

    I’ve been accused by some people that I dont love my rescue dogs as much as my “show” dogs. NOT True. Everyone is equal in my house. They eat the best food get the same vet care and go for car rides go to the park and play. My show dogs go to dog shows because it is FUN. Ask the dogs that have to stay home on those days! And If I’m making such a profit on my purebred dogspleaseshow me where my sprawling estate and collection of sports cars are hiding! MY philosophyIf you BreedYou MUST Rescue. And if I cant house a rescue dog I will donate money or supplies to my favorite rescue.

  • Amon says:

    lets not all forget that certain breeding practices can be good like breeding in a resistance to a certain disease or pest. its used commonly in agriculture and it can be used with dogs too.

  • Autumn Rose says:

    “hypothyroidism demodectic mange a condition that occurs when a dogs immune system cant regulate the number of mites living in the skin umbilical hernia epilepsy eye and eyelid problems cryptorchidism hip dysplasia intervertebral disk disease and luxating patella. ” True! Also true is most of these things are genetic which is why Beagles get them. Also true many of these problems can be SCREENED for via xrays and blood tests BEFORE breeding which is what RESPONSIBLE breeding is all about and reduces the likelihood the puppies will inherit these problems. If the parents and grandparents DON’T have these issues the puppies aren’t likely to get them either. On the other hand these issues AREN’T limited to Beagles… ALL dogs can get them including your mutts in the shelter whose parents and grandparents have NEVER been screened. DO YOU FEEL LUCKY? That is the point… give the pet owning population the CHOICE. A lot of people feel “holier than thou” adopting from a shelter and that is FINE. Some people have been there done that and don’t want to do it again they’ve been burned with nasty tempered sick dogs. They want a healthy dog that they KNOW what it’s going to grow up to be… and they have the right to have that option. No one is FORCING anyone to go to a good breeder… and a responsible breeder sells their puppies on a lifetime returnoption contract it isn’t THEIR puppies that end up in the shelters!

  • Betsy says:

    Sorry folks but you are missing the boat. The responsible breeding of purebred dogs is the most efficient way to preserve the remarkable diversity that keeps so many dogs alive and filling so many niches so well. If you want companion animals to be nonexistent as does PETA then yes it is rational to be against breeding purebreds. If you treasure the humandog bond however then the responsible breeding of purebreds is vitally important to preserving that bond.

  • Michele says:

    Brandon I’m sorry that I missed the part where you referenced Francione I guess I need to improve the quality of my speed reading So my corrected comment is “Brandon thank you for posting that essay it was fantastic!” I have a rabbit that was from someone who no longer wanted her I would never buy an animal from a store or a breeder. I also do not consider myself to be a rabbit “owner” she is simply a part of my family. I am just so glad that she now lives with a family who really and truly loves her but we are really the lucky ones because she is such a joy people can learn a lot from rabbits. I can’t stand the thought of people breeding more rabbits for money! There are already so many unwanted ones especially the ones that get purchased at Easter time…

  • Brandon Becker says:

    Michelle and Tamara The comments I posted on February 20 at 1056 AM was an essay by animal rights theorist Gary Francione. I mentioned this as I prefaced the essay. Needless to say I totally agree with Francione’s position on this issue. Abolition of the “pet” institution is the only moral answer which means stop bringing more into existence i.e. breeding and care for those already living always adopt!.