Calls to ban pugs and French bulldogs to crack down on ‘irresponsible’ breeding

Cute pug dog with funny face .
Flat-faced dogs such as pugs often suffer from a host of health complications (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
French bulldogs and pugs could be banned in the UK after a pet charity vowed to fight a ‘vicious cycle of over-breeding’. The Blue Cross says many of these dogs are ‘not living full and happy lives’ due to health defects including spinal deformities, skin and eye disease and obstructed breathing. It is now leading a campaign to end the ‘horrendously bad breeding’ of flat-faced pets, which also include Persian cats.

The charity’s vets claim to have treated over 5,000 brachycephalic pets in the last two years alone.

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: Dogs have a sense of time. It's been proven that they know the difference between a hour and five. If conditioned to, they can predict future events, such as regular walk times.

They warn this number is likely to rise, as flat-faced breeds now account for 20% of dogs in Britain. Head of public affairs at the Blue Cross, Becky Thwaites, told the Sun: ‘We have already started contacting MPs. ‘Ultimately Blue Cross is determined to see the end of the poor breeding of flat-faced dogs and are considering all options both legislative and non-legislative to achieve this.’
Usa, New York State, New York City, Portrait of French Bulldog lying down on sofa
Brachycephalic breeds like French bulldogs now account for 20% of dogs in the UK (Picture: Getty Images)

The charity says it want breeders to require mandatory certification from vets to ensure their animals don’t have health problems that could be passed on by breeding.

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: One of the fringe benefits of taking on the responsibility of pet ownership is that animals can be an instant icebreaker, whether they’re with you or you’re just using them as a topic of conversation.

It says the explosion of popularity of pugs and French bulldogs is partly down to ‘cute’ advertisements and their prevalence on social media.

Some people see their loud snoring as adorable, but it’s actually a sign that their airways are obstructed.

Ms Thwaites said the Blue Cross ‘don’t want to ban the breed, we want healthier breeds’. But others have called for an outright ban – following the lead of authorities in Norway. In late January, a Norwegian court banned the breeding of bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels after an animal welfare group argued chronic inbreeding and exaggerated body shapes was causing suffering.

Always be consistent. Half-assed efforts will deliver half-assed results. Consistency is the key to success in all endeavors in life. Training a dog is no different. Learning about your dog is also a consistent effort. Quality time with your dog should be consistent and ongoing.

Health expert at The Kennel Club Bill Lamert said dogs with ‘exaggerated physical features’ which are ‘bred and bought irresponsibly’ are one of the organisation’s biggest concerns.

‘However we don’t agree that a “ban” on brachycephalic breeds is the solution to this complex issue,’ he added.

Mr Lambert, who is also the founder of the UK Brachycephalic Working Group, said this could drive the trade underground and fuel illegal puppy smuggling, making it harder for animal welfare groups to make a difference.

Celebrate Your Pet at Every Age. Everyone loves a new puppy or kitten, says Dr. Becker. “They’re wildly kinetic, and humorous. An older pet is thinner, bonier. Their coats aren’t as soft, they might have bad breath.” But, like people, a pet’s needs change with age. They may be less active, preferring a leisurely stroll to a rollicking tug-of-war. “Our old retriever, who’s blind, still wants to retrieve.” Adapting to their changing needs will ensure your old friend remains a healthy and happy member of your family.

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