While humans generally breed dogs to produce good-looking offspring, photographic evidence suggests that human intervention may have had the opposite of the desired effect. Dog blogger Mus Musculus has published a series of photos illustrating what certain breeds looked like in 1915, compared to what they look like now after a century of breeding. A quick look at the photos reveals that breeding has warped the breeds over time and some say, even “deformed” them.
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In the photo comparison, the blogger uses photos from the 1915 publication ‘Breeds Of All Nations’ by W E Mason. Musculus reveals that, ‘to be able to make an honest comparison, I’ve chosen pictures with similar poses and in a couple of cases flipped the picture to get them both aligned in the same direction. I had to skip some breeds I wanted to include because of the lack of detail in the older photographs.’ The photos feature breeds such as the St Bernard, Pug, Boxer and the Bull Terrier, to name a few.
While all of the breeds have transformed significantly over time, the St Bernard may have the most prominent transformation. In the 1915 photos, the St Bernard was a sturdy and athletic breed, where as now it a lot larger, suffers from overheating and is prone to disease. Karolin Kisko, a Kennel Club Secretary commented on the practice of breeding stating that, ‘dog breeding is a relatively unregulated industry, and for every responsible breeder producing healthy animals there is somebody breeding dogs for money and to achieve a certain fashionable look, who has no need to adhere to the health rules in the Breed Standards or to any other criteria.” Take a look at the before and after photos and let us know what you think!