In the United States, French Bulldogs are one of the far-famed dog breeds. With a huge popularity, it was discovered that the French Bulldogs have been extremely bred. On the other hand, some studies have proven that huge breeding has put French Bulldogs at a higher risk of health problems.
In fact, the distinctive French Bulldogs appearance also leads to serious health problems. There are so many health problems that French Bulldogs get, as the result of an extreme, huge breeding. If you are wondering about French Bulldog breeding problems, you can dive into our post to find out the information about it. Let’s check it out!
What Is the Problem of French Bulldogs Breeding?
According to some research, the selective breeding of French Bulldogs has proven that they have a higher risk of having 20 common disorders than other dog breeds. The researchers have found that French Bulldogs are 30 times more likely to have obstructive airways syndrome and 42 times more likely to have narrow nostrils, compared with other dog breeds.
One of the researches has been performed by the Royal Veterinary College, U.K that has been published in Canine Medicine and Genetics. The research looks at the health date on 2,781 French Bulldogs and 21,850 dogs of different breeds.
The French Bulldogs’ selective breeding that has been performed by some breeds stems from the desire of breeders who want to produce French Bulldogs with a better and more attractive appearance.
You may already know that French Bulldogs are a small and stocky breed of dog that has broad, square-shaped heads. French Bulldogs are described by their short noses and wrinkled skin around their shoulders and face.
A previous preference for the huge breeding has led to French Bulldogs to suffer a lot of health problems. They are known to face spine malformations, skin problems and breathing issues. Additionally, French Bulldogs generally cannot reproduce naturally that needs artificial insemination and frequently often caesarean section to give birth.
What Are Health Problems French Bulldogs Have After Breeding?
In the latest study, Dan O’Neill and colleagues identified some health problems at French Bulldogs. They looked at 43 health conditions on a veterinary database, comparing the proportion of French Bulldogs diagnosed with those of other breeds.
Their study showed that French Bulldogs were slightly less likely to be diagnosed with health conditions. However, French Bulldogs were significantly more likely to develop 20 of the 43 conditions studied. Some health conditions include obstructive airways syndrome, narrowed nostrils, skin dermatitis and ear discharge.
Those results identified ultra-predispositions with worryingly higher odds in French Bulldogs for some disorders, showing that the French Bulldogs health has diverged substantially from and may also be lower than, the health of the wider non-French Bulldog population.
That said, many of those predispositions are associated closely with the conformational extremes which define the French Bulldog breed. In this case, the typical confirmation shift of the French Bulldog population towards a more moderate phenotype is proposed as a logical chance to decrease the serious health problems endemic in the French Bulldog breed.
Furthermore, the researchers also proved that French Bulldogs were likely to suffer from lameness, obesity and undesirable behaviours. That said, breeding towards a healthier appearance would be able to improve the health profile of French Bulldogs overall.
When Was the Breeding of French Bulldogs Banned?
In March, it was announced that French Bulldogs ranked the second most popular dog breed in the United States. Whereas, in late January, a court in Norway banned the breeding of Bulldogs once an animal welfare group argues that an exaggerated body shape and chronic inbreeding was causing suffering for a lot of dogs.
French Bulldogs that have been bred will sometimes require surgery, since their flattened face and shortened airway can lead to respiratory issues. As a result, the court determined that breeding the Bulldogs should stop, unless it is to improve the health of the breeds or to bring in new genetics material.
Well, the rule is currently being appealed, but it has sent shock waves throughout the world, including the United States. It is known that some veterinarians and animal rights groups reveal that French Bulldogs breeders must be required to use genetic and health testing, so French Bulldogs with serious problems are not bred. They argue that French Bulldogs breeding aims to change the body shape of Bulldogs, like making their snouts longer.
However, Bulldogs breeding groups firmly oppose change, arguing that irresponsible breeders can cause health problems for dogs. The recent genetic studies indicate that French Bulldogs are so inbred. That means there may not be enough genetic diversity in the breed to get rid of some health problems.
Under purebred dog rules, French Bulldogs or Bulldogs can only be bred with other Bulldogs, restricting the overall gene pool.
The CEO of the Norwegian Society, Ashild Roaldset revealed that dogs are the best friend of humans, but humans are not their best friend at all. He also said that if dogs were your best friend, you would not want it to have all those conditions, so you would want it to have a better life.
What Is the Solution of French Bulldog Breeding Problems?
Recently, the Kennel Club in the United States changed its breed standard to support dogs with longer noses and away from those with flatter faces. Currently, one breeder in the Netherlands is working to reengineer the face of French Bulldogs by choosing those with longer muzzles in order to improve the health of the breed overall.
In this case, reaching meaningful changes to the typical appearance of French Bulldogs over time will really need buy-in from breeders and kennel clubs who post breeding standards. However, the biggest responsibility lies with owners who can ultimately demand dogs with more moderate features.
For more information, the Kennel Club have recently updated the breed standard for the French Bulldogs to keep further away from elements of extreme conformation with evidence of health ill-effects. However, this is a very positive stage in prioritizing the dogs’ health over human desires.