The dangers of Inbreeding – Dalmatians and hearing loss
Inbreeding of dogs is quite a significant problem. In the quest for getting the "Perfect Dog", breeders try and wipe out variations within breeds, and this leads to a progressively smaller gene pool to choose from. What this means, is that the pups that are born are more likely to have "defective" genes that manifest themselves as congenital conditions. That is why several thoroughbreds are not very healthy. I myself have lost a beloved dog - A German Shepherd named Candy - to a congenital defect when she was in the prime of her life at the age of three. Almost one third of all Dalmatians suffer from hearing disability due to congenital birth defects. This is a significant problem, as one third is a huge percentage. It probably can't be helped, but this fact should make people more sensitive to the issues that arise from Inbreeding and the detrimental effects it has on the health of the dog. Naturally, this also leads to a higher incidence of deaths and lowers the average life expectancy of pure breed dogs. It's very sad, and maybe what I'm trying to say is - don't complain if your dog has a few inconsistencies (unless you plan to show him/her in a professional competition). Inconsistencies mean that your dog is probably more healthy than one that is "really pure", and surely that is a small price to pay?