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[11/04/09 - 09:55 AM]
Pedigree Dogs Exposed - Shocking Discoveries Behind Some of Our Most Beloved Pets
The one-hour special premieres Thursday, December 10 at 8:00/7:00c on BBC America.

[via press release from BBC America]

PEDIGREE DOGS EXPOSED - SHOCKING DISCOVERIES BEHIND SOME OF OUR MOST BELOVED PETS

- U.S. Premiere on BBC AMERICA -

In a controversial UK documentary that divided the British dog world, the practices and methods for breeding pedigree dogs are exposed with heartbreaking stories. A pug gasps for breath because his face is too flat, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel writhes in agony because of a brain condition and a distraught owner holds his beloved boxer who is fitting uncontrollably. The fallout from this documentary led to the BBC dropping its coverage of Crufts, the UK's equivalent of the Westminster Show. Pedigree Dogs Exposed premieres Tuesday, December 10, 8:00 p.m. ET/PT

Two years in the making, Pedigree Dogs Exposed lifts the lid on the true extent of health and welfare problems in pedigree dogs. This in-depth investigation suggests they're in serious trouble, plagued by genetic disease due to decades of inbreeding. For millennia, man shaped the dog to his own needs - to hunt, retrieve, herd, guard and comfort. In 1873, the British Kennel Club was founded and, today, their guidelines on dog breeding have been adopted by 100 countries. However its opponents charge that those very guidelines have changed everything and instead of being bred for purpose, many dogs are molded purely for their looks and success in the show ring.

This documentary examines how many breeds have been so exaggerated they're unrecognizable from the fit and functional animals of a century ago. With international perspectives and testimony from top experts including The British Kennel Club, Pedigree Dogs Exposed unravels the historical, social and cultural reasons why purebred dogs today are in so much trouble.

Disturbing footage includes the Cavalier King Charles spaniel in terrible pain because they've been bred with heads so small the brain outgrows the skull and distraught owners trying to cope with their dogs' epilepsy - which in some breeds is 17 times the rate found in humans. Finally, the film offers up some options to dog lovers who want to safeguard the future health of their purebred dogs.

BBC AMERICA brings audiences a new generation of award-winning television featuring news with a uniquely global perspective, provocative dramas, razor-sharp comedies, life-changing makeovers and a whole new world of nonfiction. BBC AMERICA pushes the boundaries to deliver high quality, highly addictive and eminently watchable programming to viewers who demand more. It is available on digital cable and satellite TV in more than 65 million homes.





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