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sickbxy asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

Why does the AKC set breed standard that are detrimental to breed health?

I've been doing research on deaf dogs and came across this tidbit about Dalmations, deafness and breed standards.

"Research shows that Dalmatians with large patches of color present at birth have a lower rate of deafness, and breeding for this trait, which is currently prohibited in the breed standard, might reduce the frequency of deafness in the breed. One of the leading reasons patches are a disqualifying factor in Dalmatians is to preserve the much prized spotted coat--the continual breeding of patched dogs would result in heavily patched Dalmatians with few spots."

The Dalmatian Club of Americas "Red Book" states that 12% of Dalmation puppies are born deaf and recommends they are uthanized as soon as deafness is recognized.

"Deaf puppies should always be humanely euthanized by a veterinarian as soon as the condition is known and confirmed. Many people who are breeding Dals are unaware of deafness in the breed, unable to identify deaf puppies, and/or are unwilling to face the responsibility. Deaf dogs very rarely make acceptable pets. The startle reflex makes even the calmest, most reliable deaf dog extremely dangerous. Many, many incidences of bites have been reported by people who have otherwise been utterly pleased with their deaf pets."

I know several deaf dogs and their statement on deaf dogs is completely erroneous if the time is taken to properly train and desensitize the dog.


Patches of color which are shown to reduce the instance of deafness which they automatically euthanize puppies for are disqualifying traits under the DCA red book too.

Update 2:

Well... if the breed club sets standards, why the **** would they be ok with this practice... I almost think that they have the policy of euthananization to cover up their dirty little secret. People would start to think something is wrong if 13 - 30% of Dalmatians running around were deaf primarily because of the breed standard of breeding out color... Even if the AKC doesn't make the standards are they not just as guilty by continuing to support and enforce the clubs standards?

Update 3:

The more I read from this breed clubs stance on deaf dogs the more sick to my stomach i feel... This document was last modified in 2007 and it doesn't sound like there is any discussion to be had within the organization.

IF YOU ARE THE OWNER OF A FEMALE DALMATIAN, and plan to raise a litter, be sure that you are prepared to deal responsibly with any resulting deaf pups. If you have trouble identifying deaf pups, please ask for assistance from an experienced breeder.

IF YOU ARE A STUD DOG OWNER, be sure that your stud contract requires that deaf pups be properly handled.

IF YOU ARE THE OWNER OF A DEAF DALMATIAN, and are having problems with the dog, don't feel "guilty" about it. Consider starting over with a healthy, hearing pup. (And DO have the deaf dog put down.)

IF YOU ARE AFFILIATED WITH AN ANIMAL SHELTER, HUMANE SOCIETY OR DOG RESCUE SERVICE, PLEASE do not attempt to place the deaf Dalmatian puppies and adults that come in...

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The problem is that many, if not most, people treat dogs like status symbols or art objects instead of family members. This is understandable since dogs are animals, not human beings. On the other hand, i personally find it disgusting, cruel, inhumane, and low down dirty, to create a four-legged freakshow out of these beautiful animals.

    All breeders, backyard or professional, intentionally or unintentionally, are creating unhealthy freakishly deformed animals with freakish diseases. These people are delusional in their beliefs that they are actually HELPING the animals, when in fact they are causing untold misery and pain.

    Let's just say it like this: Killing or maiming 20 dogs so you can find one to win a beauty pageant or an agility trial is sick. Saying you do it for the betterment of the breed is delusional. In the future, people will look back on today's practices and see them for what they are: BARBARIC.

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  • Lizzie
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The AKC does NOT set the breed standards. The breed clubs do. The breed clubs are influenced by what the public wants and what the show judges demand. Breeders have an 88% success rate with correctly spotted dogs that aren't deaf. While I endorse reputable breeders, I don't endorse all breeds. This is one more reason anyone seeking to buy a purebred dog should Do Their Research. I have owned and loved a deaf dog and completely agree that there never was any startle response nor any sort of biting/snapping upon waking up, even if tne dog was rather rudely awakened. Somehow, we must petiton breeders and judges to allow the patched areas on Dals.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The AKC does not set the standard. The BREED CLUB does. Its one of the requirements for a breed actually being recognized as a breed by the AKC. Depending on the breeding the standard may or may not have been updated in the recent years. Many breeds have standards that have not changed since the day it was set while others have had recent updates as recent as this year - Yorkies for one.

    ADD: HOWEVER one the standard is in place the club if they wish to make changes does have to send a letter of intent to the AKC

    ADD2: The number of breeders who still cull their litters have gone down in the last several years. Any pups not within the breed standard is sold as a pet. special needs pups only go to qualified owners who have experience with the condition (deafness, blindness)

    ADD3: For the standard and current practices to be changed there must either be a unanimous or majority vote between the active members of the breed club.

    It often takes YEARS for any changes to be made. Its like getting a bill pushed through the house and senate. And simply because good breeders are trying to eliminate the problems of their breeds and bloodlines the AKC doesn't do anything.

    Many breed clubs have genetic databases to keep track of whats showing up whats not etc.

    ADD3: having read all of the deafness portion of the page I can understand their stance. When 101 Dalmatians(live action) hit the theaters there was a BOOM in the request for Dals, problem is a good breeder has one - three litters a year. Rather than learn about the breed and wait many people turned to petshops and BYBs < none of whom do BAER testing. The occurrences of deafness in Dals is most commonly genetic is it wrong to put down a deaf pup? Yes to many people it is

    HOWEVER the only way to change this would be to have all deaf pups sterilized to prevent any more generations and sending them to qualified homes but just like the dog over population problem there just aren't enough homes.

    Just as special needs kids often go unadopted so do special needs puppies and dogs the only difference is the animal are eventually put down because they are unplaceable.

    Its not fair but then life in general is not fair

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  • 1 decade ago

    I have wondered my self about some breed standards.Take the boston terrier.The structure called for actually sets them up for more possibility of c-sections.This is common in a number of breed standards.Or I heard of some breeders having problems with the reproductive ability of their breed of dogs so they just use a specialist for in-vitro ,ect.How does this help a breed?It makes it even more unstable.Just as breeding for certain color patterns create problems.All in the name of Beauty?

    Source(s): Breeder
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