Inbreeding, a phenomenon in which animals that are related to one another are bred together, is a major problem in many breeds of dogs at this point in time. In an effort to maintain true blood lines in certain breeds, and given the problem of having only a very limited number of dogs that can be bred to one another, many breeders and other dog specialists have turned to breeding dogs that are too closely related to one another. While this does maintain the purity of a blood line, it results in a great number of different health problems that may come up.
Problems with Inbreeding Dogs
The main problem that inbreeding causes is that it does not provide the offspring of a mated pair with a substantial genetic variation. The mixing of different genes and traits is necessary in order to produce an animal that has a full range of health and behavioral attributes. By limiting the genetic stock that is used to produce offspring, you therefore limit the various attributes of those offspring as a result.
Dogs that are inbred often have a much lower immune system function than other dogs. This means that they'll be much more likely to suffer from illnesses and harmful conditions of all types, from minor infections and colds to serious conditions. The inbred dog has a weaker immune system that is less able to fight off these infections than dogs that have a wider range of genetic diversity.
Many inbred dogs of larger species are also predisposed to certain harmful mutations and conditions. Hip dysplasia, one of the most severe and potentially fatal conditions in young dogs, is much more common in purebred large breeds of dogs than it is in mixed large dogs from different breeds. The same can be said of a number of other predetermined health conditions that are based not on diseases, but on inborn features and traits.
Dogs that are inbred often have a number of different behavioral problems. One of the most important of these to consider is that inbred dogs are often significantly less intelligent than ones that come from a wider genetic stock. This manifests itself in a number of ways, but the most important to many owners is likely to be the fact that less intelligent dogs are much harder to train than smarter ones.
Dogs that are inbred are sometimes much more aggressive than their mixed breed counterparts. This can result in behavioral problems including biting, chasing cars and other animals, escaping and playing too roughly, among many others.
In order to avoid inbreeding in dogs, you may wish to look for potential pets that are not purebred dogs. If you are set on a purebred dog, be sure that you know the family history and that the dog comes from a wide enough mix of genetic stock before you purchase him.