Dwarfism in Dogs. - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-03-2012, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Dwarfism in Dogs.

Some of you know that I recently returned from another trip to Thailand. I have noticed in the past that, among the "street dogs", which are sort of the prototypical "dog" that you find in most developing countries, there were a significant number of dogs who were clearly dwarves. Now, whether this is CD, or some other form of dwarfism, I can't say, of course, but I thought it was interesting. Here is a group of dogs that is about as mixed as a population can get. They are probably about as close to the "ancestral" dog in type as it is possibly to get, yet there are STILL dogs with dwarfism... and quite a few, in the population. This was not in just one region, either. We have seen them in all parts of the country, from the Mekong to the Malaysian Peninsula.

I just found it very interesting, so thought I'd share. The third and 4th photos are of a very similar, but non-dwarf dog in the same Wat as this dwarf individual.
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File Type: jpg Thailand 120102 230957 0251.jpg (3.50 MB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg Thailand 120102 231014 0252.jpg (7.86 MB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg Thailand 120102 230429 0239.jpg (5.92 MB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg Thailand 120102 230459 0241.jpg (4.57 MB, 3 views)


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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-04-2012, 09:09 AM
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That's fascinating. I didn't realize dogs could be dwarfs. I wonder why it manifests so much in that population?
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-04-2012, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kalico View Post
That's fascinating. I didn't realize dogs could be dwarfs. I wonder why it manifests so much in that population?
It's a problem in many breeds, including Havanese. And, of course, some breeds, like Bassett Hounds, Dandy Dinmont Terriers and Dachshunds were specifically bred for the trait. Responsible Hav breeders work very hard to remove it from their lines, but it still crops up from time to time.

As far as these street dogs are concerned, I'm not at all sure it's "that population". I think it may be a gene that is simply present in the species. We've seen dogs like this in Taiwan, Central and South America. (though far fewer in the western hemisphere)

I don't think you see it much in Dingo populations, but they need to hunt, so a dog with short legs would be at a severe disadvantage. Likewise, another sort of prototypical dog breed, the Basenji, actually has rather long legs. But although those dogs are not bred in the carefully controlled way our "breeds" are, they are used as tribal hunting dogs, that must go around the prey and drive it toward the hunters. So there has been human selection away from short legs.

If I had to guess, my guess would be that since Thailand and the far east are areas that have been fairly heavily populated for a very, VERY long time. I suspect that as dogs scavenging on the fringe of human society, there is simply not a big disadvantage to having short legs. Except for tribal populations, South and Central America are still "the new world"... populated heavily (with people AND dogs) FAR after the eastern hemisphere.

I'd be interested to see what the feral dog populations look like in other long-populated parts of the world, like the mid east. Unfortunately, aside from the conflict in those areas, there aren't a lot of aquatic plants, so it's unlikely that I will get a chance to see in person.


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-04-2012, 12:48 PM
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I have some pictures of the street dogs in India, the pop exploded due to the problem of the Vultures dying off, the Vultures are back, it was awful lots of dieases were coming back to the cities. Anyway Dwarfism affects most of the asian type dogs and through careless breeding (and greed) it is seen here as some breeders did not recognise it and used them to breed smaller dogs, the problem is that dwarfism is not only small size there are a whole host of genetic dieases that come with it. So it goes back to the importance of good breeding practices and the knowledge of the breeder. Many of the Asian dogs were breed down and part of those genes make them the dogs they are today so you can entirely breed it out.

What I have noticed is that most of the dogs in those countries end up a red, even the Lhasa's and TT's are even mostly a red. The exception is the dog that is eaten it parts of the east it is born with both black and white puppies the white ones are long hair and remain small so they sell them as pets, the black ones have short hair and grow a bit larger are bigger boned and of course become very fat.

I will look for those photos they are on film.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-04-2012, 02:46 PM
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Like I mentioned recently, dwarfism is a selected trait in numerous breeds. This article I think mentions 12 AKC breeds. Pretty sad that this would be deliberately bred for. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0716141146.htm

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-04-2012, 03:01 PM
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Very interesting. I've seen these type dogs in my travels but had no idea they were the result of dwarfism . . .just assumed, like everything else different and unique in those regions, it was just their breed.

There are packs of feral dogs that roam in my area of the Texas panhandle, some of the dogs have similar squatty legs . . .though I don't recall noticing the long toes seen on these. Very interesting. I'm going to have to look into this as you have me curious to know more. Thanks for posting this, Karen




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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 09:03 AM
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Thanks for all the info, everyone. I've learned something! (love it when that happens. On the Bahamian out island I travel to there is a local type of dog that is very isolated genetically. I have not seen dwarfism there, and I wonder if it has to do with the particular ancestry of this type of dog (called pot cakes).
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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For those of you who do travel to developing countries, keep an eye out and take some photos for us. See if you see these traits elsewhere.

I don't think any of the "feral" dogs in the U.S. are far enough removed from "breeds" to be a fair representation of this type of dog. My brother has a short legged rescue dog that came from Kentucky, but the dog obviously has Bassett (as well as some other type of hound) in him.

The first photo below show another of these dogs, this one from the Malaysian Peninsula, before I had a Hav and was aware of dwarfism in dogs. I DID realize, even then, that this was a odd shape for a dog, and I saw a lot of them.

I don't think the Thai people eat much, if any dog meat. They seem very attached to their dogs. Even the feral dogs who live around the Wats are cared for in a rudimentary way. There are collection boxes around for their care, and you often saw the monks giving them hand-outs. There was also always a hose trickling into a basin somewhere for them to drink.

OTOH, the second photo is a dog in Taiwan, where I believe they DO, at times, eat dog meat. There were a number of dogs tied up in these concrete kennels, always black, and I suspect they were "meat dogs." The dogs conditions were clean, they had water and were obviously being fed, but I saw no signs that there was any socialization. neither did they act like "watch dogs"... they were very nervous of people, and just hid in their concrete pipes. No one will keep a black dog as a pet in Taiwan, so there are several western-run rescue groups that round up black dogs and export them to shelters in other parts of the world.
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File Type: jpg 2008 03 22_0085.jpg (714.3 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg 2010 12 10 Taiwan_0098.jpg (8.69 MB, 2 views)


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