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Old 07-27-2017, 09:51 PM   #1
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Default Health consequences of selectively breeding German Shepherds

Interesting, and dismaying, reports of a study that examines the health consequences of selectively breeding German Shepherds:
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Old 07-28-2017, 09:26 AM   #2
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It is so sad when the health of a breed is threatened due to selective breeding. I understand selective breeding when the purpose is to eliminate health problems, but when it creates problems, that is terrible.

Last edited by Dunbar's Mom; 07-28-2017 at 09:27 AM.. Reason: typo

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Old 07-28-2017, 01:08 PM   #3
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Great care needs to be taken with breeding programs. Too many people without knowledge of genetics think they can do it. I am very sorry for the poor dogs that have to suffer for it.
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Old 07-28-2017, 04:56 PM   #4
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Not really sure what to think. It's surprising GSDs would be ranked second for health conditions, most especially for relation top breeding for cosmetic traits. When you combative breeds like Pug, English Bulldog or Frenchies that have numerous health problems and some of these are directly the result of being bred for a specific appearance.

reveals that GSDs are most likely to die from complications arising from musculoskeletal disorders (13.6% of cases) or the inability to stand (14.9% of cases).

What is the soecific cause? Narrowing it down gives a better picture. Especially "inability to stand"
Hip dysplasia? Degenerative Myelopathy? Injury?

A total of 263 specific disorder types were recorded in German Shepherds, the most common of which were inflammation of the ear canal (7.89% of dogs), osteoarthritis (5.54%), diarrhoea (5.24%), overweight and obesity (5.18%), and aggression (4.76%).

If those are the most common it's small percentage, it is a great number of dogs due to the study using almost half a million, but I believe the results are probably on par with most popular breeds.
Diarrhea can have many different environmental causes (and can be caused by genetic disorder too) and is one of the most common issues seen in all dogs. It's likely that one breed to another or a mutt a dog could suffer from diarrhea at some point in their life.
Overweight and obesity besides the few dogs that do have a health cause, most of the time it is caused by over feeding and lack of exercise. It doesn't have to do with selective breeding.

Unfortunately cancer is a big killer for dogs (as well as humans). There are both genetic and environmental causes. Hopefully one day cancer rates within breeds can be reduced.

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