The Half-Breed Dog

Some background history
Since prehistoric times until the 19th century, dogs didn't really have a pedigree. It is true that in Egyptian tombs and Greek paintings there is evidence of dogs that are quite similar to many of the officially recognized breeds that we have nowadays, like the dachshund or the Greyhound, but the artist was just portraying dogs that were of his particular interest or that he considered artistically beautiful. However, none of these were actually members of a particular breed. Throughout the ages and all around the world, dogs multiplied without any control. They crossed and were crossed without any rigorous criteria. It was enough for a male dog to demonstrate good hunting skills for it to be crossed with a female dog of similar characteristics, with the hope that the cross would result in puppies with similar instincts. On secluded islands, or in vast rural properties of the Middle Ages, dogs didn't have the possibility of crossing with other "breeds" and, therefore, ended up procreating pretty similar puppies, both in appearance and in character. But not many people were concerned about aesthetics.

During the Renaissance period, people started to understand that in order to obtain good watchdogs or good hunting dogs, it was necessary to diligently select them, and that the qualities of a hunting dog were closely related to the aesthetic appearance. These empirical selections initially started in the courts and palaces. There they organized fabulous hunting games and people started wanting to have animals that had the ability to show their teeth when they were ordered to. And since then -- the 16th century -- there has been a sort of social inequality among dogs: the beautiful dogs of the rich and the ugly dogs of the poor.

In spite of the progresses of civilization, in spite of the fact that art and literature improved man's common sense, in spite of the fact that social structures had already become more organized, let's turn to the 19th century, time in which dogs that were not of a particular breed were subject to bloody and cruel games. Great Britain, however, was the first nation that prohibited dogfights which were such a common attraction amongst the "lower class".

At the turn of the 20th century, people's love for dogs increased, as well as their desire of possessing full breed dogs and winning prizes with their dogs. Only the world wars diminished enthusiasm and interrupted the breeding. But the subdivision of the canine world into more than 300 breeds, the foundation of the clubs that cared after their prerogatives, the creation of breed of houses with specimen of great lineage, the organization of expositions, have not resulted in the end of the mutt. On the contrary, they have transformed the mutt in a sub product. And that, although it can be justified from an aesthetic point of view, is the worst thing that can be said from a moral point of view.

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