I booked my tickets for Crufts dog show yesterday. The annual Kennel Club beauty show for pedigree dogs. Since a controversial documentary on the BBC a couple of years ago, there have been questions asked of the morality of breeding closely related dogs in order to maintain a 'breed standard' ie. what that particular breed should look like. Since looking into the study of dog behaviour and dog genetics I have been learning about how mankind first chose dogs to live with us because of what they could do for us rather than how they looked. Dogs that could guard us, guard our flocks, catch vermin.
These are all examples of 'sled dogs' they are bred because they have good stamina, thick healthy coats, even temperament, strong work ethic, healthy paws... not what they look like!
It is in their genetic nature to work for a living and to run and pull sleds all day. Allbeit this is now mostly for tourists but I found myself surrounded last week with more than 300 happy, healthy dogs. Doing what they were bred for, having their behavioural and social needs met.
I suppose nowadays in society we are brainwashed into looking up to attractive looking people as our role models (regardless of personality or ability) just look at this wonderful, eclectic range of mutt dogs, they love life, they are fulfilling their genetic purpose. Such a joy to see!