Why You Should Not Buy an English Bulldog

He is considered a national symbol, but there are calls for a drastic change in the breeding of the English Bulldogs in the United Kingdom. There are good veterinary reasons for this.

Researchers at the Royal College of Veterinary Medicine in the UK have been studying UK veterinarians’ data since 2016. They compared 2,662 English Bulldogs with 22,039 other dogs. Three-quarters of the Bulldogs suffered a condition. According to the findings published in the journal Science, they (at least one) were found to be twice as likely to have the disease. Dog Medicine and Genetics Appeared.

Dogs are especially at risk for eye, skin, respiratory and jaw disorders. This is not surprising because these diseases are related to the physical characteristics they select and cultivate: a short nose, a long lower jaw, striking skin folds and a reserve. The numbers are clear: the risk of skin fold inflammation is 38.12 times higher and the risk of eye disease commonly referred to as ‘cherry eye’ is 26.79 times higher. With all these diseases the age of the English Bulldogs is low. Less than 10 percent of the dogs in the sample were over eight years old. In other categories it was a quarter.

Bulldog should not be

“It has been known for some time that this species is prone to health problems,” said Dan O’Neill, a researcher and co-author of the study. ‘But this study proves it with tough numbers.’

This was confirmed by Nadine Buys, a pet geneticist at KU Leuven. ‘British researchers were able to draw up an enormous database I had never seen before.’ She thinks it’s awful to focus on one race. It gives a slightly distorted image. Compared to all other breeds of English bulldog, some conditions are naturally unique. The same thing happens with the German Shepherd compared to all other breeds.

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Bullfighting

The English Bulldog was once developed as a muscular dog fighting with bulls, hence its name Bull dogHowever, from the 19th century onwards, he was bred for shows and competitions and as a gentle companion animal.

Race is preferred. Nine out of ten British Bulldog owners will choose the same breed if they get another dog. O’Neill explains that most people like this dog precisely because of its complex characteristics. “Yes, he is handsome, with a big head and a small body. But as a result, most births are by caesarean section. Yes, it can seem fun when he spins in circles. But it has to do with his hard spine. The animal itches in its stomach and cannot release it. It suffers. ‘

The need for bulldog exercise is known to be low. Some more seated owners have him for that reason. But like all dogs, he has a moving nature. He could not breathe and could not walk long distances because of his bandage. ‘

Disgusting truth

The characteristics of this purebred dog are tied to certain standards, dating back to Victorian times. The authors argue in favor of changing the breeding standards for the breed. “Intensitys need to go out and more moderate traits need to be put forward,” O’Neill says. ‘This race is the invention of man, and the same man must now give him one Remodel Lessons. ‘ According to him, a healthy bulldog does not have a short muzzle, short skin folds, a tail and long legs.

‘Inheritance characteristics
Grown in it, we can make them there
Reproduction ‘


Nadine buys

Pet Genetics Professor KU Leuven

O’Neill hopes that the difficult truth about the bulldog will finally be made available to the public. ‘Our advice: do not buy them again until they are healthy again. For a long time we thought dog lovers would only want something healthy, and wearing fur like that has gradually become unacceptable in society.

If this twist does not happen, he believes that sooner or later the ban on breeding will threaten for animal welfare reasons. In Norway, after a court ruling in February this year, this bulldog breeding will not be allowed. In the Netherlands, a ban on breeding ‘breach-snouted’ dogs, including English and French bulldogs and bucks, has been in place since 2020.

Negative advice

The English Bulldog is in Flanders Not in the first twenty According to data from the Flemish government, the most commonly kept varieties (French). In Belgium, about 300 people are born with heredity each year.

The Belgian English Bulldog Club reports that breeders are already making great efforts to breed healthy bulldogs today. ‘There are still well-meaning people, unfortunately there are others,’ says Vice President Bianca Impense. ‘From September we will introduce respiratory testing and select enough animals for breeding.’

Flemish Animal Welfare Minister Ben Waits (N-VA) is working on a plan to increase genetic diversity in all dogs and cats, which will reduce disorders related to hereditary traits. KU Leuven and UGent are involved for the scientific foundation, which is coordinated by Nadine Buys. ‘Ultimately, we want to create a database where all breeders can register. In this way it is possible to map the genetic abnormalities of all dogs bred in Belgium. If the combination of a male and a bitch poses a higher risk for health problems, there will be negative advice to breed. Hereditary traits are nurtured in it and they can be reproduced.

Ferdinand Woolridge

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