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Playing with Genetics by Eurwentala Playing with Genetics by Eurwentala
A lot of text in this one, but I could not resist narrating it. It's a story about how humanity transformed a large predator into a doll in a few thousand years. Most of the changes actually happened just during the 20th century.

Many dog breeds have serious health problems that are caused not only by inbreeding but also because with such a distorted anatomy, it's simply impossible to produce a healthy animal. I think we have no right to cause such pain just for our own aesthetic pleasure, however lovely pets they might make.

I produced a series of these dog breed skulls for an article I wrote about the genetics of dog and fox domestication.

Update: the article is now translated and posted online. It can be found here: [link]
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:iconhelixdude:
Helixdude Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2014
Even though said overly exaggerated genetic traits do cause serious health problems they are still a fascinating case of how humans have managed to drastically alter the appearance of an animal in a few thousand years compared too millions of years of natural evolution. Top notch effort as usual Euwentala!
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:iconyo-dra:
Yo-dra Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I absolutely do not support such inbreeding or anatomy altered to the point where health is not possible, but I would like to bring up what I think is an interesting point (particularly with regards to your article) - humans themselves are the result of neotenous mutations. All human beings have what would be considered major neotenous characteristics in our closest relatives, the great apes. 

I think it's very interesting that we tend to, even subconsciously, alter animals to be more like us. 
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:iconbeadyeyedgirl:
BeadyEyedGirl Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Look at the mess we made :\
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:iconmattoosaurus:
Mattoosaurus Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
And that's why I prefer dogs more wolf like in appearance like german shepard  sand cattle dogs my fav breed is lab/ german shepard mix mutts r better
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:iconmarshmallowcreampie:
marshmallowcreampie Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014
It's kind of insane that people promote the breeding of traits that are outright harmful. Wanting a certain coat color, fine, certain ear type, whatever. But a smooshed-in face that makes it harder for the animal to breed? Stout figures that make it harder for them to run around and unable to mate and give birth without human assistance? Some of these animals practically look deformed.

The fox domestication project is an interesting topic. I can't help but wonder what other animals we could domesticate so quickly, if we put the work into it. And if we gave such projects thousands of years like we did with dogs, maybe they could even produce the same variety.
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014
Yeah, but apparently most people simply cannot see the animals they love and breed are suffering, however obvious it is to the outsider.

I think some animals (say, those that are social and docile to begin with) would be easier to domesticate than others, but I'm pretty sure that most mammals, at least, could be domesticated very quickly if we put some effort into it. And the foxes are already showing signs of dog-like diversity: they have an increasing number of piebald colors, floppy ears, curly tails and so on.
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:iconmarshmallowcreampie:
marshmallowcreampie Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014
I guess they grow to see that kind of thing as normal. I often see snorting being described as a "characteristic" of certain breeds like the pug rather than being called a health problem.

Agreed on the domestication thing. I'm surprised it hasn't been attempted more, since there are so many people who want exotic pets without having to put in the extra work it would be compared with a domestic animal.
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:icondinofuzz:
Dinofuzz Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I knew, they have problems with breathing and other painful difficulties, but looking at the skulls... Oh, my! So grotescuely deformed!
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:iconyusakujon3:
YusakuJon3 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
   I can agree that there's a bit too much of the "cute dog" mentality going on in breeding.  I'd rather have the dog with minimal health issues that actually looks like a dog, that'll use its pack instincts to guard the house and family, or be useful in things that it's natural ancestry would've made it fit for, such as hunting and keeping wandering children in the yard.  Here in the States, it seems that more people want "show dogs" than actual pets who serve purposes other than apartment furniture.
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2014
Personally, I'm fine with having a dog for any purpose, as long as the dog's well-being comes first.

Many people adopt a dog because they're lonely, or to serve as children they can't have at the moment, or to force them to go outside and exercise. And it's all fine, as long as the dogs are healthy and happy. Which they, unfortunately, often are not. 
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