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Adorable Hazel and Why One Welfare Can Help Address Breeding Dog Challenges

Kelly Arthur

Viewed: 3,284 times

Starting this project made me ponder: 

  1. There always seems to be another perspective related to welfare and ethics that I had not thought of before. 
  2. There appear to be two camps online—those for breeding and those against (and there is little in between). 
  3. Veterinarians seem to be under-represented in the breeding dog public debate. 

This provides further validation for an aspect of my project – to create educational resources for veterinarians/veterinary students. 


In seeking resources, I came across One Welfare (see link below), a collaborative effort of veterinary schools in Australia and New Zealand to engage the veterinary community in animal welfare discourse. It highlights some of the questions I have been pondering related to the complexities surrounding dog breeding. 

Dogs have great species differences in size, color, and temperament and people can choose from registered purebred dogs to homeless dogs, and everything in between. One Welfare resources can be used to inform questions related to the adorable internet video posted below. Hazel is a purebred rescue. No one can deny that she is cute, well-deserving of a good home, and born with a genetic condition that leaves her challenged. Difficult questions still remain:  

  1. Is the breeding pair that produced Hazel still breeding?
  2. What genetic defects are in their lines? How could they be prevented or detected?
  3. Are we glorifying “disabled animals” because they are cute and not thinking critically about breeding practices?   
  4. Hazel has a happy ending, what is the outcome for other disabled dogs?


The goals of One Welfare and IPFD are similar—to engage in conversations that inform, raise awareness, and improve animal welfare. Check out all the resources on their page and look at articles we will be posting on IPFD for more details - for example: An Interactive Scenario from One Welfare to Illuminate Brachycephalic Welfare Challenges.


I hope my veterinary project generates greater understanding between veterinarians and breeders, so we can come together to improve the welfare of individual animals, understand the needs of breeders, and improve future generations of dogs. 



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"those for breeding and those against"

- there are many different 'types' of breeders - focuses, goals and approaches to breeding and selling/placing dogs -

I might count myself as one who was 'against' any dog breeding that was done recklessly without any regard for what traits were being perpetuated and what became of progeny once the sale is made - there are of course a number of other things related to breeding dogs that I could say made little sense to me given my sensibilities and observations of breeding practices which did not necessarily lead to what I'd call good outcomes for the dogs themselves or people/society at large. 


I wonder if those people who are categorized or identified as being 'against' breeding could be queried as to whether breeding any animal has any place in their lives - I'd wonder what their reasons are for being 'against' breeding dogs; and how do those "I'm against breeding" folks relate to animals or to the dog keeping people who don't think the way they think?


No planned breeding of dogs permitted = in 20 years very few domesticated dogs bred for purpose left. Next step...No horse breeding? No cat breeding, no cow breeding, no pig, chicken, goat, fish breeding either - are we to let 'nature' take its course - only unsupervised dogs running wild can meet up to breed? What a thoroughly dismal thought that is.


Man's best friend - that phrase says a lot about the ages old relationship.



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