Bulldog breeding has come under fire after experts called for urgent action to stop the dogs from a ‘lifetime of suffering’.
Royal Veterinary College (RVC) says an overhaul of breeding practices is needed to prevent the UK from joining the list of countries where the breed is banned.
The current trend to breed flat faces and large bulging eyes into bulldogs causes health issues and short lifespans, a new RVC study found.
Bulldogs are part of a boom in popularity of other pedigree pets that are plagued with health problems.
Not only are the vets asking for bulldogs not to be promoted on social media, they have also urged people not to buy them and two other ‘designer’ dogs – pugs and French bulldogs.
There are currently four types of dog breeds breeds banned in the UK – Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro.
Here’s more on breeds possibly at risk of being banned in the UK.
Pugs, which are known as a brachycephalic breed for being shorter-nosed and flat-faced, are prone to a lot of health problems.
Like bulldogs, pugs have been selectively bred to be even flatter-faced to their detriment.
Animal welfare charity Blue Cross says 20 percent of the dogs in the UK are now flat-faced breeds. It is ‘determined’ to see the end of their poor breeding.
The charity believes the rise of ‘cute’ advertisements on social media has prompted the rise in demand, which has led to the increase in cases of French bulldogs and pugs being diagnosed with health problems.
Having an exaggerated flat face means pugs are sadly more likely to suffer from severe difficulty breathing and problems with their eyes and skin.
Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) is a group of breathing problems affecting flat-faced breeds like pugs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and Boston terriers.
Whereas dogs with normal upper airway tracts breathe quietly, those with BOAS snore and snort.
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Also known as Frenchies, these popular dogs stand at a foot tall and can weigh half as much as their English counterparts.
The French bulldog is also a brachycephalic breed that can develop BOAS.
Selective breeding for flatter faces have compounded health issues like poor breathing and issues with their eyes and skin folds.
A UK study from December 2021 found the hugely popular dog is linked with many serious health issues.
It found that the health of Frenchies is ‘largely much poorer’ than other dogs, adding: “Many of these differences are closely associated with the extreme body shape that defines the French Bulldog breed.”
The study, which was published in the journal Canine Medicine and Genetics, recommended shifting their body shape to become more moderate to reduce the current serious and common health issues in the breed.
Highly intelligent, athletic and energetic, the Belgian Malinois have starred in John Wick and 2022’s Dog, which starred Channing Tatum.
The shepherd breed could be added to the UK list of banned dogs, according to Jacob Morgan, founder and trainer of the YorkshireCanineAcademy.co.uk.
The expert has trained more than 2,500 dogs and owns five himself – but worries this particular breed could become anxious and lash out at their owners if not looked after correctly.
“It takes thousands of hours of training to make a Belgian Malinois a ‘regular dog’, so many are being bred to have a ‘nervy edge’, which is being mistaken for a willingness to protect,” Jacob said.
“This breed has strong herding and guarding instincts, and genetics make it need to chase and bite things.”