Erm, interbreeding?

Is it just me of has The Times got this entirely the wrong way around?

But, as usual with humans, things got out of paw. They are not pack animals. The big cup goes to their heads. So they took interbreeding us poor canines to extreme ends, that gave Josef Mengele a dog\’s name when he tried them on humans. So they bred bassets with permanent backache, cavalier King Charles spaniels (the ones that were bred to be feisty) with skulls too small for their brains, pugs with breathing problems, bulldogs with breeding problems and boxers with epilepsy.

Isn\’t that "inbreeding" not "interbreeding"?

Interbreeding implies breeding across group boundaries, while inbreeding within them. And it\’s the latter that causes all the problems, no?

Perhaps it\’s just a case of the dog ate my vocabulary?

7 comments on “Erm, interbreeding?

  1. But, as usual with humans, things got out of paw. They are not pack animals.

    Come again?

    Is a pack not a hierarchical social group founded, predominately, on kinship?

    And did humans not evolve as social animals living in hierarchical social groups founded, predominately, on kinship?

    To be fair, its not quite as bad as the Catholic ‘bioethicist’ on the Groan’s god-botherer version of CiF, who clearly hasn’t caught on to the concept of speciation.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/jan/14/ethics-stemcells

    Can we not add ‘bio-ethicist’ to the list of legally protected professional titles and insist that anyone who wishes to be called by such a title should at least be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of biology.

  2. A more telling indicator of the general level of knowledge displayed is the use of the term “pack animal.”

    Horses, donkeys, burros, camels, and even elephants are pack animals. A dog is a pack animal only when it is used to carry a load on its back. (That’s what the term means.)

  3. Since we’re debating semantics here, shouldn’t horses, donkeys burros camels and elephants more correctly be called herd animals?

    As for dogs being pack animals only in the sense of load carrying, how does one explain their tendency to form groups when given the chance?

  4. As for dogs being pack animals only in the sense of load carrying, how does one explain their tendency to form groups when given the chance?

    You been hanging around the back-country nightclubs again, RM?

  5. Remittance Man:

    The term (“pack animal”) has meant what I described far longer then either of us has been alive. The fact that dogs, wolves, etc. asssociate in groups called “packs,” does not make them “pack animals” simply for the reason that the term’s already in use to mean something else.

    If we wanted to rearrange the social animals on the basis of the names we’ve given their groups, I guess we’d have to include sheep and geese together as “flock animals.” I didn’t make up the rules–just stumbled into ’em, same as you. And, if I wanted to change things around, I can think of others a lot more important.

  6. “I guess we’d have to include sheep and geese together as “flock animals.” I didn’t make up the rules–just stumbled into ‘em, same as you.”

    Q: What is the collective noun for a group of school headteachers?

    A: A lack of Principals.

    I’ll get my coat.

  7. Cleanthers:

    Yes–principals are grouped for tthat purpose with that Indian currency, the rupee.

    (That’s the answer to the question, “When is a lack not a lakh?”

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