Breeders breed dogs to avoid respiratory problems
If you’ve been on Instagram, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of brachycephalic dogs.
Brachycephalic means “shortened head” and refers to the short nose and flat face of dogs like pugs, shih tzus, and bulldogs, among other breeds.
These dogs are trendy and popular, but they also have significant challenges related to how breeding standards have changed their faces, muzzles, and throats over the years.
Some breeders have turned to “retro breeding” or “crossbreeding” to improve conditions for dogs.
Retro breeding is the act of breeding an animal to be more like previous iterations of this breed.
Over time, many brachycephalic dogs have been developed to have shorter muzzles, which gives them the breathing problems that people associate with pugs and other shortnose dogs.
Inbreeding is the act of mating individual animals from different populations, subspecies or species to introduce specific traits or qualities. Inbreeding can be part of the back-breeding process, such as introducing a dog with a longer face into the mix.
On Reddit, users have started sharing photos of what this change in breeding can look like. Reddit user _m_e_p_ shared a photo of an English Bulldog with a longer muzzle, compared to one of the more traditional flat-faced dogs.
Hawbucks French Bulldogs in the Netherlands have also previously shared their French Bulldogs which are bred to have longer faces.
The Feed spoke to Sharon Edmunds, a British Bulldog breeder who unfortunately lost her very first Bulldog after just three months due to poor breeding.
Since then, she has been adamant in her decision to breed healthy dogs rather than dogs that meet a certain standard.
Besides breathing problems, some of the standard purebred problems include eye problems and skin abnormalities.
The RSPCA says the best advice for potential buyers is to “don’t buy puppies with exaggerated characteristics that compromise their well-being.”
“Ask to see the parents of the puppies, to get an idea of their appearance and if their offspring could be prone to health problems related to an extreme appearance,” the organization says.
“You can ask the breeder directly if he is moving away from physical exaggerations to avoid health problems.”
In recent years, the RSPCA and the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) have partnered with the “Love is Blind” campaign which urges consumers to change the way they buy dogs.
“The current appearance of many breeds such as the British Bulldog and the Pug is not what they always looked like. Over time, they have been bred to have increasingly exaggerated characteristics, which are actually deformities, causing suffering and a poor quality of life, ”the campaign explains.
“These exaggerated characteristics were created as a result of deliberate selective breeding for a particular type or physical trait in order to conform to a pedigree breed standard.
“A breed standard is a set of strict guidelines describing the appearance of a particular breed, and they are used as judgmental criteria in dog shows.
“Breed standards prioritize appearance over the long-term health and well-being of dogs and may require dogs to have extreme physical features such as a very flat face or skin. very wrinkled. ”
As the pressure is on clubs to change their specifications, which are the guidelines many breeders are working towards, not all have been quick to embrace the change.