Watching a Breed of Dog Implode

Over the years I have seen various breeds reach astounding popularity then you almost never see them anymore.

Recently I have been sent many articles about German Shepherds and how they have “had their day”. It seems law enforcement and military all over the world are now replacing this breed with the Belgium Malinois.

Policeman and German Shepherd

Malinois doing bite work

The German Shepherd dog led the way through the 20th century for loyal and vigilant work. This breed was a hero in World War I and dogs like Strongheart and Rin-Tin-Tin captivated the hearts of millions. They were a leading breed as Guide dogs, rescue and tracking. I have always said that there are very few breeds with the reliability and stability of the German Shepherd.

Rin Tin Tin


So how does this happen to such a great breed?

Over breeding:

With popularity comes over-breeding. Where there is a market, people being the creatures we are, will do what we can to profit. What happens with over-breeding is lack of caring in regards to health and temperament. You want a better dog for work; this is what you focus on. You want a better dog for show; this is what you focus on. In many cases temperament, health and structure suffers. We are the ones that create the dog that the judges look at. When people fall in love with a breed such as this they want to produce more without actually learning the principles of responsible breeding.

German Shepherd dog

Puppy Mills:

A “puppy mill” or “puppy farm” is a large-scale commercial breeding facility that focuses on profit without considering genetic quality. According to the Humane Society of the United States, in 2008 and 2009, they assisted in the evacuation of nearly 5,300 dogs (and many other animals) from 24 puppy mills across the U.S. and in Canada. It is said that 98% of dogs sold in pet stores come from puppy mills.

puppy mill


Cocker Spaniels, Shar Pei, Dalmatians, Jack Russell Terriers, Rottweilers, are just some of the breeds that have become popular over the years and I have watched these breeds literally “implode” after the temperament or health issues have become so out of control from over-breeding that the breed falls off the map. I don’t mean this literally but what I do mean is you just don’t see them around anymore. Right now the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is having severe problems with “Syringomyelia” which is a disorder of the brain and spinal cord, which may cause severe head and neck pain and possible paralysis. As soon as a breed becomes extremely popular, you can almost watch the trend.

Cavalier King Charles

The problem is we see a dog and want one. We know very little about a breed and we fail to do research. It’s like movie stars. We adore someone acting but don’t actually know who or what they are about in “real life”. A trained dog or a dog actor are always seen in the “best light” and we fail to realize what training is involved in creating the dog we see.

Eddie the dog

It is human tenancy to want what is popular. It’s a good thing when an over-popular breed begins to fade from the spot light. It’s too bad that it is the dog that suffers for it.


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