Pedigree Dogs Exposed: Three Years On

Three years ago, Jemima Harrison set the dog world abuzz with the release of a controversial documentary of pedigree breeding practices that left many dogs with severe health issues. Since then, she’s become a campaigner for canine welfare and now, three years after the release of Pedigree Dogs Exposed, Harrison revisits the issue to see if improvements have been made. Although there have been some, the dog advocate says she has uncovered a depressing lack of progress.

The claims are made in a new BBC documentary scheduled to air Monday evening. The show is a follow-up to a 2008 release which highlighted many of the health problems faced by purebreds. The documentary drew immediate and intense fire from breeders, who claimed that Harrison had not been fair in her portrayal of the dog breeding community at large.

Some of those complaints were acknowledged by a broadcast regulator who partially upheld the complaints and ruled the program had been unfair to some of the breeders mentioned, and had not given the Kennel Club adequate opportunity to respond to allegations of a cover-up. Despite that acknowledgement,  several sponsors pulled out of Crufts and the Corporation canceled its coverage of the dog show after a 42 year run.

Whether or not this follow-up to the original will have the same impact remains to be seen, but it comes as no surprise that hackles are already up as breeders have expressed angst over the controversy being revived just before Crufts, which starts next week.

According to the Telegraph, “The Kennel Club themselves have been investigating the problem of inbreeding among pedigrees and early results of research carried out for them reveal just how vulnerable some breeds are to inherited diseases. The findings from a study of genetic diversity in some of the 210 pedigree breeds registered in Britain has revealed that Manchester terriers, Lancashire heelers, English setters, Irish red and white setters and otterhounds all have critically small gene pools.”

Pedigree Dogs Exposed: Three Years On airs Monday on BBC4 at 9pm.  Included below is the original release in its entirety.

19 thoughts on “Pedigree Dogs Exposed: Three Years On

  1. do you have the first part in the series? i had seen it a while back but would like to watch it again

  2. nevermind. looks like this is the original. should have clicked on it first. thank you for posting this! also, would we be able to see the second part in the US?

  3. That is heart breaking.. I watched the first bit on cavies. I have one and it’s so sad to know that such a wonderful breed was bred to sickness… She’s only four but she certainly acts a lot older than my other dogs.

  4. I watched this tonight. It was sad, but needed to be said. It’s a shame that breeders who are in a position of a responsibility seem to shun it, especially in the case of that boxer who had fathered 850 puppies and was linked with disease. I’m glad the breeders were named and shamed…now we need to do something about the problem.

  5. Wow………That is so sad…..To see them suffer like that…..I cant even stand see this dog suffer like this………Its so cruel yet very uncaring as well……I would rather have a healthy dog than a sick dog……in my family……I love happy, healthy, energetic, playful, & caring dogs… my life…..

  6. I don’t usually get involved in comments, but I have recorded the original of this program and I can tell you I was stunned by its content. The worst exposure was the poor Cavalier King Charles spaniels whose brains outgrow their head cavity. Disgusting!!!!

  7. Hopefully the BBC will actually do an objective job and not have the problems with journalistic fairness that the original program seems to have had. That kind of sloppiness just hurts the cause they are trying to support.

  8. Fair to the breeders? get real, most of the breeders in this documentary don’t give a shit about their dogs health proven by the fact that they continue to breed dogs with known diseases and passing their deformed genes on to countless offspring…and to top it off, killing all the pups that don’t fit the owners f…ed up guidelines. I haven’t been this pissed off since I watched the documentary on Monsanto’s evil agenda.

  9. Thank you for posting. I had not seen this nor was I aware how awful the in breeding of a pedigree dog could be in the UK. Brother to sister? Mother to son? It’s disgusting & saddens me. Those poor animals suffering in terrible pain because of one group of people’s perception of what is beautiful. A twisted spine, a brain encased in too small of a skull, skin lesions that enter the spine, what is beautiful about that?

  10. I have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Truly hope not ALL breeders are as bad as this reports. There is testing for the medical issues, so don’t breed dogs that are positive for this.

  11. Boils down to humans playing god to serve what they deem pleasing. Can’t do it with humans because it is against the law. But dogs…. No big deal. It is morally and ethically wrong! 🙁

  12. The responses by breeders were filled with overwhelming backlash, IMO. While I will admit that there are some decent (using that term loosely here) breeders in the States and abroad, the majority of AKC papered animals are over-mis-and badly bred, mostly due to personal selfishness and greed. The opinions on this main article ran the gamut but the one that stood out to me the most was that shelter dogs are simply the product of puppy mills and backyard breeding practices. How I wish I could send pictures of the AKC (because the CKC is a joke, not a registry) dogs that have been pulled from the shelter, some with papers on hand, some mailed in after research, testing, etc. Very often, papered stock end up on the back side of the euth. room and no one is the wiser. Just because breeders, and they are most often backyard breeders at best, were paid an astronomical sum for a (usually) badly-bred pup, the assumption is made that the dog will have an amazing home. Sorry folks, but money doesn’t buy a damn thing except convenience. I wish more breeders, potential breeders and buyers would properly educate themselves with local shelter statistics before sale/purchase or at least do some research on breed standards and ethical breeding practices before breeding and/or cracking open their checkbooks.

  13. I took part in this film, it was my boxers that were filmed. Sadly Roxy died from kidney disease at the start of 2016 from kidney disease.

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