Short nosed dogs – time to stop…

A short piece by Jonathan Leake in last weeks’ Sunday Times regarding short nose (brachycephalic dogs) gave me cause for optimism.

Over the centuries, man has bred dogs to be more extreme in their appearance all for the benefit of fashion.  This has been to the detriment of the wellbeing and quality of life of the breeds of dogs affected.

All of these types of dog suffer.  British Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Pugs and King Charles’ Spaniels to name a few.  There are many more.  ALL of these breeds are beset with health problems caused by ‘breeding’ for a specific look.  In my view, this practice is cruelty, plain and simple.

The dogs that have been bred like this, all have difficulty in breathing, to the point where they cannot function properly – they can’t run, play and swim like other dogs.  They, simply, can’t breathe properly and are exhausted by ‘normal’ activities associated with healthy dogs. They often have behavioural issues because of this indiscriminate breeding.

The environment secretary, Michael Gove, has drawn up new legislation aimed at dealing with this practice. Breeders’ of these types of dogs will face prosecution if they breed dogs with unhealthy deformities – all of the aforementioned breeds must, surely, fall under the terms of the new legislation.

Of course, ‘lovers’ of these types of afflicted dogs will shout long and hard. Do I have any sympathy for these owners? Of course not!  If they were true animal lovers they would not be perpetuating this barbaric practice by fueling the demand for such dogs.

Jonathan Leakes’ article quotes Gufrun Ravetz, of the British Veterinary Association, who says ‘the new regulations are a significant step forward to crack down on unscrupulous dealers and put a legal duty on breeders to prioritise the genetic health of puppies.’  Well said but, I would go further.  The breeding and ‘future’ ownership of brachycephalic dogs or, indeed, any breed of dog with conditions bred into them that affects their quality of life should be banned.

All of those people that think these dogs are ‘cute’ should look beyond this shallow, ill-informed view and wake up to the fact that these dogs suffer their ‘whole’ lives.