This Blog Post was originally published on adagia.org.
Years back I saw Cats & Dogs on VHS. Ever since I have been obsessed with dogs and in a hate relationship with cats. I can remember myself wanting a puppy but ever never got one. I did get a greek tortoise when I was in elementary school and a second one years later. Both of them are living a happy life at my parents' home.
But the thought of a puppy never ceased to exist. Recently I started watching some dog grooming videos on Youtube, as they provide some kind of relaxation for me (Don't ask me why I don't know myself). And suddenly the interest in dogs sparked up again.
Being a 26 (well, almost 27) year old adult I now know why I was never allowed to have a puppy at my parents' house. A young dog is probably the same work as if you're setting a child into the world and I know it is also expensive. Also, living in an apartment on the 2nd floor doesn't help either, or that I'm working at least 8 hours a day.
But the thought persists, and probably will so for at least another few weeks. It is a great test for my self-control and I also get excited reading about dogs in general. For the upcoming cruise, I bought a german book on 250 different dog breeds, I'm already looking forward to finding out about the many different types of dogs there are existing now.
But, there is one downside to the whole dog breeding business, which also lead to the title of this post. Knowing a few dog owners myself and knowing the "typical" races in general, I don't get why dogs are sometimes bred to suffer.
Sure, a pug looks cute, but the cuteness brings a fault in its head form. There is a whole german Wikipedia (the English one is more general as I've seen from a quick look) page about dogs that have a hard time breathing just in normal day to day activity.
Another common thing is problems with the hips and general moving parts. The more you look at "work" dogs, the less the problems get (as they have to, or had to, fulfil a "profession"), but when it comes to more "enjoyable" races, the problems get worse.
I wonder how those genetic problems will advance over the next years, basically, nothing is stopping us from playing God and messing around with dog genes via CRISP/CAS9 and other methods still to come. Maybe one day I will get an "über" dog where I can select the traits I want? Who knows?
For now, I will happily live on without a buddy on four paws.