Due to centuries of selective breeding, and the efforts of breeders to keep the breed “pure,” the English bulldog has become so inbred it cannot be returned to health without an infusion of new bloodlines, a genetic study says.
The study, appearing in the journal Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, reached the stark conclusion that health issues created by human manipulation of the breed could lead to its doom.
“We tried not to be judgmental in our paper. We just said there’s a problem here, and if you are going to decide to do something about it, this is what you’ve got to work with, said co-author Niels Pedersen of the University of California, Davis.
“If you want to re-build the breed, these are the building blocks you have, but they’re very few. So if you’re using the same old bricks, you’re not going to be able to build a new house.” told the BBC.
Pedersen and colleagues from the Center for Companion Animal Health at UC Davis examined the DNA of 102 registered English Bulldogs and found an alarmingly low level of diversity.
That, they say, is the result of a small initial pool of founding dogs, and “bottlenecks” caused by breeding for “desirable” traits like a big head and a short snout.
Those traits have led to many of the breed’s health problems — difficulty breathing, poor mobility and reproductive issues among them.
The researchers say efforts to return the breed to health by using existing bloodlines alone are “questionable.”
Introducing new bloodlines, from outside the breed, are likely the only solution, but many breeders are resistant to that idea.
“The fastest way to get genetic diversity is to outcross to a breed that looks similar but is genetically distinct… Trying to manipulate diversity from within a breed if it doesn’t have much anyway is really very difficult,” Pedersen said. “If all your dogs are highly related to one another, which ones are you going to pick?”
One possibility suggested by the researchers is the Olde English Bulldogge, a 1970s attempt by an American breeder to recreate the healthier working bulldog that existed in England during the early 1800s.
“The English bulldog has reached the point where popularity can no longer excuse the health problems that the average bulldog endures,” Pedersen said in a statement.
The features of today’s English bulldog are the result of hundreds of years of breeding, but changes to the breed’s traits — flatter face, shorter nose, stubbier legs, more skin folds — have become particularly rapid in recent decades, Pedersen said.
Posted by John Woestendiek July 29th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, appeal, bloodlines, breed, breeders, breeding, bulldogs, diversity, dna, dogs, english bulldogs, genetics, inbreeding, mixing, niels pedersen, outcross, pets, physical traits, selective breeding, study, uc davis
Nearly 50 deaf dogs evacuated from a shelter threatened by a raging wildfire north of Los Angeles have gotten a warm welcome at a state prison.
The owners of Deaf Dog Rescue of America decided to evacuate the animals from their Santa Clarita kennel Sunday night as the Sand fire started moving closer to the property.
“We knew if we had an issue in the middle of the night, we would be here alone with 45 dogs to load up,” Lisa Tipton posted on the rescue’s Facebook page.
Deaf Dog Rescue takes in deaf dogs from across the country, trains them and places them in new homes. It also provides assistance to new deaf dog owners who need training advice.
The rescue was debating where it might take the dogs when the state prison in Lancaster — where Lisa’s husband, Mark, operates a dog training program called Karma Rescue — offered all 50 of them shelter.
“We arrived to find the man-cages ready for the dogs,” Lisa Tipton said, with “food, water, beds, and igloos.”
The hospitality didn’t end there, NBC 4 in Los Angeles reported.
“The inmates had handled breakfast beautifully. They were getting the dogs out for exercise and cleaning their runs…
“I have never, ever seen anyone clean up dog poop with such glee.”
Even the dogs that aren’t always comfortable around strangers were coping well, Lisa Tipton added.
“To see incarcerated men of all races working so beautifully together to help others is a really amazing experience,” she said. “If they had turned us away, with 97 degree [heat], we would’ve had dead dogs in the trailer.”
She said the dogs will probably remain in the prison through the end of the week as efforts to contain the fire continue.
(Photos: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)
Posted by John Woestendiek July 28th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, california, deaf, deaf dogs, deaf dogs rescue of america, dogs, evacuate, evacuation, evacuees, fire, inmates, lancaster, pets, prison, prisoners, prisons, rescue, sand fire, shelter, state prison, wildfire
True, some South Koreans still eat dog meat.
True, Samsung is a South Korean company.
But, no, Samsung does not sell and distribute a washing machine-like device with spikes in which dogs — sometimes alive — are spun to remove their fur.
Snopes.com has labeled the rumor false.
A call to boycott the South Korean multinational conglomerate — featuring a photo of the alleged device — has been widely shared over the Internet.
“The device pictured in the graphic is real, but the accompanying description of it is inaccurate,” says Snopes. “This device is not manufactured or sold by Samsung, and it was not used to skin a live dog.”
Snopes reported the photograph used in the graphic was taken by Swiss documentary photographer Didier Ruef in South Korea in 2002, who noted the device was being used to eliminate the fur from an already-dead dog.
The machine resembles a commercially available device that is used to de-feather slaughtered chickens, but it was more likely a homemade version, Snopes said.
“These machines are manufactured by Samsung to ripped (sic) the hair off dogs while they are still alive in the machine as it spins!
“Samsung supplies these machines to vendors and dog meat traders. Not only is Samsung actively helping the barbaric practice of dog eating to continue but are also contributing to the suffering of thousands of dogs that are being tortured and killed, by being boiled, blow torched or skinned alive, the most horrific brutal methods possible by the dog meat butchers.
“Samsung does not care! Their interest is only in profit.”
How Samsung came to be pinpointed in the campaign, and who is behind it, are both unclear.
There are petitions online that encourage boycotts of Samsung and LG products.
But those aren’t aimed at those company’s products — only at encouraging those companies to use their influence to help end the practice.
Having visited and been sickened and appalled by the open air markets in South Korea where live dogs are butchered and sold for their meat, I’m all for calls to end the practice, and all for well-aimed boycotts.
But such calls need to be culturally respectful, and they need to be based on truth — which is plenty horrible enough — not manufactured facts and made up scapegoats.
Posted by John Woestendiek July 27th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, boycott, butchering, campaign, companies, corporations, device, dog, dog meat, dogs, eat, eating, false, graphic, internet, lg, machine, markets, misinformation, petitions, pets, rumor, samsung, snopes, south korea, untrue
Where’s Stanley? Keep looking. Maybe tilt your head a little bit, or squint your eyes, and you’ll find him.
He’s right there — on the carpet, left of the baby.
But you might not want this close a match.
Deb Lythgoe and family say they sometimes can’t tell when their dog Stanley is asleep on the rug — and sometimes trip over him because his coat so closely matches it.
As first reported in the Mercury Press, Stanley’s affinity for the rug just adds to the problem. It’s the poodle’s favorite place to nap — perhaps because it resembles his mother or litter mates.
Lythgoe and her fiancé live in the borough of Wigan in Greater Manchester, England, with five children. So that could add up to a lot of tripping.
Lythgoe said she bought the rug in April, without giving the color match much thought.
“We bought the rug a few months ago and put it in the front room. Stanley straight away liked it and started laying on it,” she said.
“When he is there you actually can’t see him. Thankfully we’ve not had any serious accidents though.”
Lythgoe said the photos of Stanley on the rug, which she posted on social media, have been a hit with her friends.
Stanley, The Telegraph reported, doesn’t seem to mind being bumped into.
“Stanley is a really good boy, Lythgoe said. “He is really good with the kids and has a lovely temperament. While he keeps finding himself in trouble with the rug, it’s not his fault and it is the only problem he causes – he’s actually very well behaved.”
(Photos: Mercury Press)
Thirteen golden retrievers and a Brittany spaniel scheduled to take part in an Indiana dog show over the weekend died Friday from heat related causes.
The dogs, in town for Michiana Kennel Club AKC Dog Show, were spending the night inside the back of a truck, parked in a lot at the Quality Inn in Roseland.
The truck’s air conditioning, powered by an extension cord plugged into the exterior of the hotel, shut down when a circuit breaker in the truck tripped during Friday’s heat and humidity, according to WBST in South Bend, Indiana.
A kennel operator from Ohio, who was caring for the dogs during the trip, found them dead when she went to check on them Friday night.
The dogs — three of them puppies — were supposed to be a part of the weekend show at St. Joseph County fairgrounds.
“To have something this tragic happen, it affects everybody,” said Cheryl Crompton, of the Michiana Kennel Club. “It’s been very solemn all day. I’ve cried, just at the loss of life.”
“It was an unfortunate incident, that was not in any way the fault of anybody,” she added. “It was an accident, just like a car wreck. An unfortunate car wreck, where lives are lost.”
“It appeared it was just a very tragic accident,” said Lt. William Redman of the St. Joseph County Police Department. “It was difficult, no question.”
Some of the dogs belonged to the woman caring for the dogs, Cortney Corral of Lakesyde Kennels; at least eight of them belonged to other people who entrusted her to care for them during the show.
Necropsies will be performed on some of the dogs this week as part of an investigation by the St. Joseph County Humane Society.
National officers with the American Kennel Club will also be investigating the incident, Crompton told the South Bend Tribune.
The annual dog show, which began Thursday and concluded Saturday, is hosted by three AKC clubs — Michiana, LaPorte and Berrien Springs.
(Photo: Michael Caterina / South Bend Tribune)
Posted by John Woestendiek July 25th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air conditioner, akc, american kennel club, animals, dead, deaths, die, dog, dog show, dogs, golden retrievers, heat, humane society, indiana, investigation, kennels, lakesyde, michiana kennel club, pets, show, st. joseph county, truck
Bubba, a Jack Russell terrier-Chihuahua mix found high on methamphetamine in a seedy California hotel room four months ago, is headed to a new home.
No sooner was he pronounced healthy, drug free and available for adoption Wednesday than a couple walked into Orange County Animal Care and adopted the seven-month-old dog.
The couple, who had been following his story, asked not to be identified, though they did allow a photo to be taken of the new happy family.
Bubba had been at the shelter since March after being rescued by animal control officers from a drug-infested motel room in Tustin. He was only eight weeks old at the time.
Tests later show he had ingested methamphetamine and heroin.
His owner, Joshua West, 40, of Mission Viejo, was arrested on an outstanding warrant and suspicion of possession of methamphetamine, heroin and drug paraphernalia and booked into Orange County Jail.
Another southern California man was arrested last week after his Chihuahua, named Jack Sparrow, was found to have ingested methamphetamine.
After months of treatment, Bubba’s test results came back clear for the first time, prompting the shelter to put him up for adoption, according to Jennifer Hawkins, shelter director and chief veterinarian.
“They were a really nice couple and told us that Bubba would have a sister,” Katie Ingram, assistant director of OC Animal Care, told the Orange County Register. “Bubba bonded with them immediately.”
“It made it more meaningful that they were able to help him out because of his rough start in life,” Ingram added. “We were happy they are home quite a bit. It’s what he deserves.”
(Top photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register; bottom photo courtesy of Orange County Animal Care)
Posted by John Woestendiek July 22nd, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animal welfare, animals, arrest, bubba, california, chihuahua, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, drug, drugs, heroin, hotel, ingested, ingestion, jack russell, methamphetamine, motel, orange county, orange county animal care, pets, room, seized, shelter, tustin
Just as Uber will whisk you where you need to go, the folks behind the new app Pooper — that’s right, Pooper — promise to pounce on and dispose of your dog’s poop, for a small fee, of course.
If it sounds like one of those hoax apps, well that’s entirely possible.
But until it’s exposed as such, I’m going to take it seriously — I, after all, having come up with the idea of poop valets long ago.
True, my idea was a bit more fanciful, and didn’t have an app; and true my idea was clearly tongue in cheek, unlike Pooper, whose professional-looking website leaves you thinking, hey, this might be real.
There, if they are to be believed, they have recruited the on-call staff necessary to answer your call when your dog answers nature’s.
Actually, no call is even necessary, assuming you are a subscriber. Just take a photo of your dog’s mess and send it on to the app. The location is sent out to all members of the local scooping team, who we we can only presume are standing by excitedly.
One of them accepts the mission — we assume they are on a first come, first served basis — and goes to the scene and cleans it up.
Pooper, as the ad above puts it, allows you to put “your dog’s poop in someone else’s hands.”
Three kinds of monthly “subscriptions” are available, according to the pooperapp website.
For $15 a month, you get two scoops a day within a 15-mile radius; for $25, you get three scoops a day over a 30-mile radius (and yes, you can rollover unused scoops); for $35 you can have the “elite plan,” unlimited scoops, unlimited radius.
Pooper says the service is good for the environment.
And just like Uber drivers, Pooper scoopers — for whom we don’t imagine there will be too intense a screening process — could cash in.
Scoopers will be able to sign up for scooping duties, though the website says no more are needed during the Beta period.
“Anyone with a smart phone can scoop for us. Scoopers are paid per-scoop, use their own mode of transportation – car, bike, scooter, hiking boots – and scoop on their own schedule,” says the website.
Even though they ripped off my idea, I hold no ill will against the people behind Pooper — at least not until they get unbelievably rich. (Then I will have all kinds of ill will.)
In today’s world, such intellectual thefts have become commonplace, though I must admit they run counter to my very personal belief that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them.
Besides, I’m busy brainstorming a new project that just might put Pooper out of business, if they are really in business to begin with.
That involves coming up with a way to get all those people already walking the streets while playing Pokémon Go to pick up dog poop for free.
Bonus points, maybe.
(Photos and video from Pooperapp.com)
Posted by John Woestendiek July 21st, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, app, clean up, dog, dog poop, dogs, feces, hoax, pets, pick-up, Pokémon, pokemon go, poop, poop valet, pooper, pooper app, scoop, scoopers, scooping, uber, waste