Born to Suffer Campaign
New RSPCA research shows that many people still think pedigree dogs are healthy, quality animals that come from good breeding stock. In reality, pedigree dogs are vulnerable to unnecessary disease, disability, pain or behavioural problems because of the way they are selectively bred, primarily for how they look rather than with health, welfare and temperament in mind.
The way that dogs are bred today, in order to win shows, is having a huge impact on their health and welfare. This is why the RSPCA have launched their Born to Suffer campaign which seeks an end to the breeding of dogs based on looks.
The RSPCA is concerned that people are continuing to buy puppies that are prone to serious health and welfare issues because they are choosing dogs for the way they look, such as the current trend for toy breeds and ‘handbag dogs’, and aren’t doing enough research before they buy.
Bred for looks - born to suffer
It's not just show dogs that may be suffering. Many pedigree dogs never appear in shows, but many are bred by breeders who want to produce show-winning animals, and who sell their surplus dogs as pets.
Studies show that some of the UK's favourite dog breeds have been bred to such extremes they can no longer breathe or walk normally. Dogs with short, flat faces often have narrow nostrils and abnormally developed windpipes. They often suffer breathing difficulties and may have difficulty enjoying a walk or playing. Dogs with wrinkled skin are prone to itchy and painful skin complaints, and dogs with bulging or sunken eyes are prone to injury, pain or discomfort.
These are only a few examples and a recent study showed that all of the 50 most popular breeds have some aspect of their body which can cause suffering.
Join the campaign
There is something you can do. Sign the RSPCA Born To Suffer petition which calls for breed standards* to be changed so that they prioritise the health, welfare and temperament of a dog over its looks and help put an end to the avoidable suffering of dogs.
RSPCA: "If you agree that the health, welfare and temperament of dogs should be prioritised over their looks, please join our campaign now. The first step to protecting pedigree dogs from suffering is adding your name to our petition to change breed standards."
The above is taken from the RSPCA website. For more info please visit www.rspca.org.uk/borntosuffer
* and reviewed independently by experts