Working hypothesis: Due to inbreeding and improper breeding, the bulldog, french bulldog, pug, and the boston terrier should not bred purely for its looks.
- The Evolution of Petface
Eschner, Kat. “The Evolution of Petface.” Smithsonian.com, Smithsonian Institution, 31 Jan. 2018, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/evolution-petface-180967987/.
Petface is described as the youthful puppylike features that remain throughout a dogs life like big heads, smushed face, and bulging eyes. While breeding for these “favorable traits” it causes many juvenile behavioral traits, respiratory disorders, various skin conditions, and many reproductive issues. Dogs most commonly involved with this dangerous breeding include the pug, the english bulldog, and the french bulldog. As a result, these breeds tend to have higher than average amounts of veterinary treatments required. The love for the smushed, short face directly relates to the oddly shaped ears, wide, yet flat skulls, wrinkles over nose, and extra face wrinkles impacting the dogs ability to exercise, withstand heat, stress, and to physically breathe to decrease. The face wrinkles also can be prone to cause many skin problems, like yeast and bacterial infections. This type of breeding seems to be a double sided sword; desirable traits are met, with the downside of many genetic diseases.
- Although Purebred Dogs Can Be Best in Show, Are They Worst in Health?
Maldarelli, Claire. “Although Purebred Dogs Can Be Best in Show, Are They Worst in Health?” Scientific American, Scientific American, 21 Feb. 2014, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/although-purebred-dogs-can-be-best-in-show-are-they-worst-in-health/.
The roots of dogs genetically caused problems has skyrocketed as dog shows became popular, causing breeders to selectively inbreed for very specific features. These standards have been set by organizations such as the American Kennel Club (AKC) who dictate the standards for what each breed should look like. A tactic often used by breeders is line breeding which is inbreeding direct relatives such as father and daughter. Regardless of the genes being healthy or not, purebreds often suffer from inherited diseases, and elevated other health issues involving the dog’s body frame and shape. A good example of this involves the bull dog, which originally looked like today’s pitbull. When the dog shows came around, the bulldog was bred for a certain squat with shortened legs, and a big head with a flat muzzle. As a result bulldogs typically undergo artificial insemination, which may just cause the breed to go extinct. Jerold Bell, a geneticist at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, believes breeding practices are negatively impacted by the ignorance of genetic issues, since people see a cute dog and are instantly sold.
- Complete list of Boston Terrier health problems
Welton, Michele. “Boston Terrier Health Problems: Feeding.” Boston Terrier Health Problems | Feeding, http://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/health/bostonterriers.html.
Despite how well behaved the american gentleman breed is, they are bred purposely for a deformed structure. The average age of death for the boston terrier is 10.4 years old. Out of 675 litters, 86% were C- sections due to large heads, 9% of puppies died at birth or soon after, and 14% were born with birth defects. Another survey looked at 109 boston terriers who have passed, with only 9 dogs actually passing from old age. 20% unfortunately passed from cancer, mostly mastocytoma, and another 10% from epilepsy. Due to the short face, all bostons suffer from some sort of brachycephalic syndrome, the pathological condition affecting short nosed animals leading to severe respiratory distress. The boston can be susceptible to eye problems, skin problems, orthopedic problems, heart diseases, and inherited deafness.
- How to Save Inbred, Short-Faced Dogs Such as Pugs and Bulldogs from Poor Health
David Sargan Senior Lecturer in Molecular Pathology at the Department of Veterinary Medicine. “How to Save Inbred, Short-Faced Dogs Such as Pugs and Bulldogs from Poor Health.” The Conversation, 20 July 2020, theconversation.com/how-to-save-inbred-short-faced-dogs-such-as-pugs-and-bulldogs-from-poor-health-63341.
About half of pugs and bulldogs experience breathing problems that cause overheating,exercise intolerance, and sleep apnoea. Also they tend to have large heads and small pelvises, leaving no choice but artificial insemination, then C- sections. Not only can their skin folds become infected, but their exposed eyes are also very vulnerable to injury, with already 15% having prolapsed third eyelids. An investigation of genetic variation in bulldogs showed very little genetic diversity on both, mother and father’s side. In a new study, it was found that outbreeding, introducing dogs from outside breeders registers, by breeding back to normal head shape and less excessive skin rolls would help their disease problems. Breeders tend to reject introducing genes outside of their breed since they fear their breed will then “be contaminated”, implying the breed would lose its character, be introduced to new diseases, and change in temperament.
- French bulldogs’ cuteness comes at a steep cost
Brulliard, Karin. “French Bulldogs’ Cuteness Comes at a Steep Cost.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 1 Apr. 2019, http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2018/05/04/french-bulldogs-cuteness-comes-at-a-steep-cost/.
The french bulldog is one of the brachycephalic breeds, caused by human- selected flat faces and large heads. This breed has so much trouble breathing, many airlines refuse to allow them to fly in cargo. Of course these issues are terrible for the frenchie, but can also cause “dogdom”. The impact of these improper bred dogs will mean higher populations of dogs at veterinary clinics, more expensive vet bills, more dogs in shelters, and breeders breeding with no concern for the health or welfare of these dogs. Not only is this breed relatively newer, but also one of the most popular breeds. Out of 300 clinics, they were able to find 2228 frenchie files, revealing 72% having some sort of disorder. Also the breeds median age in 2013 was 1.3 years which is significantly lower than most dogs, whose median on average was about 4.5 years. Some of this disorders were found to be typical diarrhea and ear infections, while others include skin fold dermatitis ( a stinky bacterial infection that grows between dogs wrinkles), corneal ulcers ( painful condition due to bulging eyes not being able to fully close), and 25% being upper respiratory disorders.