Meet Tiger. He’s the star of a Vice feature called “Tiger is a Three-Year-Old German Shepherd With Dwarfism.”
Wanna see some photos? We’ll do that first, then get to the story.
So what is doggy dwarfism?
Pituitary dwarfism affects dogs in much the same way as humans. It’s a genetic disorder predominately found in purebred German Shepherds that reduces the production of growth hormones. This means the dogs stop growing at an early age, and live out their time as almost entirely proportionate bonsai. The result is undeniably adorable and puppy-like, although up close the dwarves don’t really look like infant German Shepherds—more like a Corgi crossed with a raccoon.
Yea it does. Let’s look at him again.
Sadly, doggy dwarves are not all fun and minigames.
Cuteness aside, German Shepherd dwarves come with various health issues. They face infertility, a shortened life span, and problems with growing skin, teeth and adult fur. They can also become overtly anxious or aggressive. It’s pretty hard to sell a puppy destined for health issues and small man syndrome, so most breeders just euthanize the dwarves a few weeks after birth.
But Darren Northcote decided to keep Tiger and the other little pups and now, we get pictures! Read the rest of the great story here.
[Images via Darren Northcote]