On Sunday, 2012 Westminster Best In Show winner, Palacegarden Malachy, will be receiving his adoring public at the Petco in Union Square, NYC. Do you think Malachy is a “great dog”? I certainly do not.
I wrote a post about Malachy when he won last year. This dog has a 14.9% coefficient of inbreeding (COI), which I was handily able to research through Mate Select since he is a UK born dog. The average COI of a Pekingese registered with the UK Kennel Club is 7.4%. Dogs that have high levels in inbreeding suffer from immune system disorders, reproductive problems (small litter sizes, higher incidences of infant mortality & reduced sperm motility) and an increased risk of having genetic disorders.
Inherited Disorders Common to Pekingese Dogs
Patellar luxation, Brachycephalic (Flat-faced) syndrome, Cataracts, Cleft lip/palate, Cryptorchidism, Dstichiasis, Ectopic cilia, Entropion, Fold dermatitis, Hydrocephalus, Keratoconjunctivitis sicca, Mitral valve disease, Progressive retinal atrophy.
Inherited disorders commonly seen in show dogs that are bred for conformation are: Brachycephalic syndrome, Fold Dermatitis, Exposure keratopathy syndrome and Entropion.
Looty, was one of the original Pekingese dogs “looted” from the 1860 British raid of the Chinese Summer Palaces in Beijing. Looty was given to Queen Victoria as a gift. Notice that he has a suitable muzzle for proper breathing, appropriate legs for a dog his size and an acceptable hair coat. It only took about 150 years of selective breeding to turn the Pekingese into a dog that cannot walk at a reasonable pace, has a ridiculous hair coat and has serious breathing problems due to the lack of a decent muzzle.
When Malachy was in the show ring, he walked so slowly that his handler was allowed to make a smaller lap around the ring. Not only would it have taken forever, the dog probably would have succumbed to heat exhaustion and collapsed on live TV. Malachy gets so overheated on his little show ring jaunts that he must be placed on a blue cooler pack. Having a dog that looks like a gasping guppy out of water from the slightest exertion is bad optics.
Here’s hoping to a “healthier” winner this year. Somehow, I don’t think so, but one can always hope.