In light of your recent posts on breeding ethics, especially about scottish folds (I had no idea about that one, glad I know now!), are there any more particular breeds of cats or dogs that we, as potential pet owners, should avoid?
Yes. There are many.
But I can’t really provide a comprehensive list; there are so many factors that can go into it. Some breeds are perfectly healthy as long as they come from a reputable breeder; some breeds are so badly genetically damaged that I would want to abolish breeding them altogether (the English bulldog comes to mind, as well as the pug and the Persian cat). And the very appeal of some breeds comes from a trait that significantly damages their quality of life, like the Scottish fold.
If you are considering adopting a purebred animal, it is really important and really your responsibility to carefully research the breed itself as well as the breeder. The information is out there and thanks to the internet it isn’t hard to find.
I will say that one of the most important things to look for on a breeder’s website is both an acknowledgement of the genetic disorders known to exist in the breed and a guarantee that their animals will not have them. When you talk to the breeder you should already be armed with an arsenal of research on the breed to be sure they can answer all of your questions.
Many people have sworn off purebred animals altogether and I don’t blame them. But adopting a mutt- while an absolutely wonderful thing to do- isn’t going to guarantee that you get an animal with no congenital issues. The value of purebred animals is the fact that their lineages are known and theoretically, they could be bred in a way that would eliminate genetic disorders.
This is unfortunately not always what happens.
Dog Breed Health: A great site for any potential dog owner. Includes advice on how to choose a breeder and what to do if your purebred dog has a congenital disorder.
Library of Inherited Disorders in Animals: Includes information on disorders in both purebred dogs and cats.
Genetic Welfare Problems of Companion Animals: Includes information not just on purebred dogs and cats but many other species.
Again, a google search will quickly net you many more results; just make sure that they are from reputable sources.