German shepherd puppy with exaggerated ears

This cute German Shepherd puppy has strange ears. They have been pushed together on the top of his head. It almost looks as if they are held together by an invisible cord. So, what has happened? The only thing that can have happen is that the breeder of this longhaired or long-coated German Shepherd is that the breeder in following the breed standard has exaggerated the positioning and erectness of the ears. This is a selective breeding process over probably many generations. The breeder wanted to create a dog which is “too type”. And the kennel club states that the ears of a German Shepherd should be: “Medium-sized, firm in texture, broad at base, set high, carried erect, almost parallel, never pulled inwards or tipped, tapering to a point, open at front. Never hanging. Folding back during movement permissible.”

German shepherd puppy with the strange ears
German shepherd puppy with the strange ears due to selective breeding. Screenshot.

The key words are “set high, carried erect, almost parallel”. That is what we have in this puppy but it is exaggerated. It caught my eye immediately. And it doesn’t surprise me that this breeder has decided to go to an extreme appearance as I would call it. Perhaps he or she would disagree with me but I don’t think the ears of a German Shepherd puppy should be touching each other and growing straight out of the top of the animal’s head as it is very unnatural. No doubt they will alter shape and become more natural looking as the dog grows into adulthood but in the meantime, it is an unusual appearance.

Selective breeding of dogs to an extreme appearance is a common failing of the dog fancy (dog breeders and dog associations). The best or worst examples are the very popular French bulldog and English bulldog. Both of these purebred dogs carry many health problems due, essentially, to extreme selective breeding. The purebred of dog or cat should never have inherited health problems but sadly, they often do. It’s a failure of the whole concept of purebred dogs and cats and I expect other species of animal.

RELATED: 21 genetic diseases inherited by the French bulldog. Are they always in pain?

A typical health problem was in The Times yesterday. It’s a story about the English bulldog with poor health issues which plague the animal. The breeder is considered to be a national treasure but adopters are being asked to stop and think before they purchase an English Bulldog. They are asked to research the breed first because research indicates that they are twice as likely as other dogs that have health problems. They are at a higher risk of 24 out of 43 common disorders. They are 38 times more likely to get dermatitis in skinfolds. They are very 7 times more likely to get cherry eye and 20 times more likely to have brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome.

Dr. Dan O’Neill of the Royal Veterinary College said that the UK needed to “dramatically reduce” the number of English bulldogs and advised owners to make health and welfare a priority when choosing a dog. Lewis Hamilton has an English bulldog.

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