A new study from the academy calls for “urgent action” to reduce many of the serious health problems it says are linked to the breed’s “exaggerated traits”, such as their flat faces.
Veterinarians hope the study shows that English bulldogs are more than twice as likely to suffer from a range of health conditions, which will deter people from breeding and buying dogs with the design.
In a press release posted online, the academy said: “The English Bulldog’s popularity in the UK has grown dramatically over the past decade. However, its distinctive and exaggerated short snout, protruding jaw and stocky build are associated with some serious Health and welfare issues, including breathing problems, skin and ear disorders, and eye disorders.
“Sadly, many of the breed’s problematic traits, such as a very flat face, deep facial skin folds and noisy breathing, are still often considered by many to be ‘normal’ or even ‘desirable’ novelties rather than significant Welfare issues.”
RVC’s VetCompass program compared the health of a random sample of 2,662 English Bulldogs and 22,039 dogs of other breeds. It found that pit bulls were more than twice as likely as other breeds to develop one or more diseases within a year.
Some of the most common health problems include skinfold dermatitis, cherry eye (a prolapsed eyelid gland), protruding jaw, and brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (a serious breathing problem associated with a dog’s flat face), which The incidence is 19 times higher than other dog breeds.
Bulldogs were developed in England centuries ago to fight bulls. When dog fighting was outlawed in 1835, the breed, characterized by a powerful and often vicious character, all but disappeared. Zealots, however, saved it by nurturing its ferocity.
The vets believe the public should embrace the breed’s more natural appearance, saying: “In the future, the English Bulldog should be recognised and loved for its longer face, smaller head and wrinkle-free skin, representing a more Gentle, healthier body shape. . . ”
Dan O’Neill, lead author of the paper and associate professor of companion animal epidemiology at RVC, said: “Every dog should be born with equal and good innate health due to their natural ability to breathe freely, blink adequately and move easily. Healthy flat skin, mating and childbirth.
“For breeds like the English Bulldog, many dogs still have extreme body sizes and innate poor health, and the public can play a huge role by requesting dogs of medium and healthier size. Until then, the potential Owners should ‘stop and think – face the dog’ before buying an apartment.
The research was funded in part by The Kennel Club Charitable Trust. Bill Lambert, The Kennel Club’s Director of Health, Welfare and Breeder Services, said in the statement: “As this study shows, an increasing number of pit bulls are being raised in some way outside of any sphere of influence because It is considered ‘cute’ with little regard for health and wellbeing. A collaborative approach to addressing these issues is critical; we must continue to work with breeders, veterinarians and welfare organizations to reduce and eventually eliminate the health problems Brachycephalic (flat) breeds face, as well as reduce the high demand for these dogs. “