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The Bulldog: Dog-Breeding Gone Wrong

Bulldogs sure are endearing, and bulldog lovers may love their pets to death, literaly. You see, bulldogs are bred to look that way, and the lengths that people are willing to go to get that cute look is killing the breed:

“It is the most extreme example of genetic manipulation in the dog-breeding world that results in congenital and hereditary problems,” Pacelle said.

Brenda Bonnett, a consulting veterinary epidemiologist and a speaker at the conference, outlined the results of her study of Swedish dog-insurance data from 1995 to 2006. She told conference attendees that bulldogs are significantly more likely than other dogs to suffer from a wide range of health issues, including ear and eye problems, skin infections, respiratory issues, immunological and neurological problems and locomotor challenges.

Can the bulldog be saved? Benoit Denizet-Lewis wrote an interesting article for The New York Times Magazine about how the bulldog breed can redesigned ... and whether we should do so: Link (Photo: Andrew Bettles for The New York Times) - via PopSci


Most dogs that have been bred to have flat noses have serious issues with respiratory conditions and shallow eye orbitals. My brother has a pug and it's eyes pop out of the socket every once in a while and you have to push it back in again. I almost vomited the first time I saw it.

I would never own a pure bred or a dog that has been selectively bred for one trait like size (great dane-chihuahua). Individual dogs may be lucky and not have issue with their joints or breathing but in the long run these dogs are ticking time bombs of bad genes.

I have always and will always get the muttiest mutts I can find.
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Thanks for this article. I'm a volunteer for a German Shepherd Rescue, so I've had experience with misinformed owners and dogs on the receiving end of overbreeding issues like hip dysplasia.

I've been trying to follow the over-breeding bad-breeding issue ever since I watched the BBC: Exposed.

I really appreciated this read. Normally I follow Neatorama because the things are interesting, but this is the first time I've really appreciated being clued in and kept up-to-date on something important to me.
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@Sandi that's exactly what the article's saying...

Anyway, I like the Old English Bulldogge they show in the article better anyway. I always feel terrible for dogs like English Bulldogs in the summer...They can't breathe as it is, then adding the heat to that...
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I love bulldogs! I totally understand that breeders need to start "redesigning" certain dog breeds though.
We have a french bulldog designer mutt (2/3 frenchie, 1/3 boston terrier), and even w/ the cross we still had to get his nasal passages opened when he was a puppy. He's totally fine other than that though.
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LisaL - I think what they mean is to continue to breed for specific traits within the specific breed - as in Olde English or American - no any bulldog breeds together or mix breeds, like the so called "designer breeds" Those are mutts - nothing else. Breeding those for the purpose of calling them a designer breed is probably just as bad as the breeding this article is talking about. There are enough dogs in shelters as is without breeding mutts on purpose. Another thing is you cannot guarentee how a dog is going to turn out when they are from two breeds - you cant expect that it is going to keep specific traits from the mother or the fathers breed. There is no guarentee of it and the idea that people would breed mutts so "redesign" a breed is just stupid. You dont add sugar to flour in hopes of making the flour a better flour. Its a sugar/flour mix - nothing else - same with dogs.
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Okay I'm sorry, but I just have to say that I've always found bulldogs to be just downright ugly. Guess this helps explain why.
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Goats without ears, cats and dogs with no fur, bent ears, too much skin, really short legs, flat faces, fish with bloated heads and ridiculously long tails, an almost endless list of things that we do to animals that we think are "cute", but seriously undermine their quality of life. Never understood why we think deformities in animals are "cute" or in any way desirable.
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I thought the Selier family had been discredited from the AKC as bulldog breeders due to all the medical issues the UGA bloodline has.

You have litters where the dogs are blind and deaf, but then again, Georgia fans still buy them because of them being a UGA descendant.
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Puck, I'm not sure the bullies find you all that attractive either!

As with all matters, consider that this was written from one perspective (using some questionable, underpowered studies). There are many bulldogs who live healthy, happy lives and I've owned 5 of them! Backyard breeding, puppy mills and those looking to turn a quick buck off of the popularity of this breed amongst the uninitiated are responsible for many of the problems.

As for the nobody needs to buy pure-bred dog comments, get real. A pound mutt doesn't come with any guarantees.
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