Greetings blog readers. Frodo here. It appears whenever there is a serious subject, yours truly becomes the author of the blog. I’m not sure why that is. Then again….if I didn’t do it the Beatnik would. Need I say more…he’s not exactly the serious type.
Today according to some special holiday calendar, we mark the day as Endangered Species Day. A day to recognize call those unique species – whose populations have shrunk in numbers. According to the World Wildlife Fund, examples include the Amur Leopard, the Black Rhino, the Sumatran Elephant, the Sunda Tiger, the Blue Whale, the Chimpanzee, the Giant Panda, the Arctic Wolf and the Pygmy Sloth. There are numerous others on the list – which you can find here…
Many of these will come as no surprise to most of you. But what is not included in this list is dog breeds. And in fact, many breeds, due to their low numbers, are actually on the verge of extinction. For example, according to the AKC, there are more Giant Pandas in the world than Skye Terriers!
Sometimes breed numbers decrease because the function for which they were originally bred is no longer popular. An example is the Otterhound. Otter hunting was banned in the 1970s – so Otterhounds were no longer deemed “useful.” So their numbers decreased.
Sometimes things like war can actually affect breeds. For example, we PONs were nearly wiped out during the Second World War. If it were not for the work if Dr. Danuta Hryniewicz, and her dog Smok, the breed would probably have vanished. Smok sired ten liters of PONs in the 1950’s – and he is said to be the ancestor of all PONs in the world today.
Interestingly, the Picard also was in trouble after WWII. Again, committed breeders saw to it that the Picard would not disappear.
That being said, both PONs and Picards are still relatively rare breeds. Her highness likes rare. Rare steaks and rare breeds. One time our vet said to her “Do you use rare breed books as bedtime reading?!”
Humans have long bred dogs to help them and to serve a purpose – whether it was hunting, herding, tracking, guarding, or as companions. We KNOW that there are breeds that are in trouble. The world does not need NEW “breeds” – we have plenty – to go around – and we need to protect those that are currently endangered. SOMETIMES, when a breed has problems genetically, due to low numbers, a careful “out cross breeding” is done. But it is done carefully. And cautiously. It isn’t done because a malti-poo-oodle-errier is cute to look at and it would be fun to see what you get. It’s done to preserve a longstanding breed.
So on the day to recognize Endangered Species – don’t forget that there are dog breeds in the category too. And those dogs need to be recognized and heritage breeders need to be supported! Remember that list of “popularity” rankings we talked about the other day? Go back and look at those dogs nearest the bottom. Then compare it to this list from the UK – and you’ll get an idea about which dogs are really in trouble in at least two countries.
Finally – while finding loving homes for multi breed dogs is not a bad thing – because all dogs deserve loving homes – please think twice before you or someone you know spends large amounts of money on non-purebred flavors of the hypoallergenic, non-shedding month….Do your homework. Please.
I believe I just said something rather sassy…and it felt rather good.
Have a good one. Peace and paws up. Stay safe.