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This bioethicist says those cute little dogs on TikTok are often suffering because of breeding

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Thursday, April 20, 2023 - 12:50pm

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There's something physiological that happens to us when we see something cute with a round face, big eyes, a small nose, soft skin and fuzzy hair. This reaction is designed to ensure a parent takes care of their child, but the same innate reaction also applies to dogs. 

Currently, most popular dog breeds are well-liked because we think they are the cutest, such as pugs, miniature dogs and teacup dogs.

While we find these breeds cute on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, Jessica Pierce, a bioethicist and faculty affiliate with the Center for Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Colorado, says it's not healthy for dogs, who are often suffering as a result of harmful breeding practices. 

She’s also the author of several books about dogs and the All Dogs Go to Heaven blog for Psychology Today. The Show spoke with her about what she calls the "de-dogging of America." 

Jessica Pierce hugging her dog, Bella.
Anna Oberg
Author Jessica Pierce hugging her dog, Bella.

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