The Purebred Crisis: How dogs are being deformed in the name of fashion



It's the thrill of winning. It's the thrill of showing the world really good quality, healthy bulldogs. Love is blind. People see these dogs, they love them, they want them and they buy them. And then you're faced with those problems afterwards. And it's heartbreaking. Interesting. Wow. They got the tongue and the soft palate of a dog three or four times their size crammed into their throat. And they just can't breathe. The modern British bulldog, which struggles to walk, which struggles to mate it is not, in any way, able to fulfill its original function. I had 30 minutes to make a decision. To let my dog live, or to put my dog to sleep. Instagram loves these dogs. And everyone in this story does, too. But they're facing a health crisis. And no one can agree how to save them. I love French bulldogs because they're the most amazing dogs I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. You speak to any French bulldog owner and most of them have some kind of issue. Karin is my name. Karin Anderson. I have two French bulldogs. Stella is three years of age. And Boris is 16 months. Stella has had breathing issues since the day that I picked her up from the breeder. And, right from that moment I was told — even by the breeder: 'That's just French bulldogs. That's what they do.' So it's pretty stressful when you see your dog wants to play, wants to run, but every time she does she needs to stop and vomit. Stella ended up needing a tracheostomy. She now breathes through a hole in her throat can’t bark and can’t smell. Stella cost me $4,500. First round of airway surgery was $2,000. And then the tracheostomy, that was a further $5,000. So, a very expensive dog. So, we find just about every dog that is flat-faced has some degree of compromise. And nearly all of them benefit from some level of corrective surgery. With these little guys, it's so overcrowded that the teeth become infected and they often don't erupt properly. And if you don't get them out and they form a cyst then their jaw literally — it breaks but it doesn't crack when it breaks because there's not enough bone to crack. It just falls apart. It's devastating. Something as simple as: a trip up to the coffee shop, going to the beach, can be enough to overheat these dogs People didn't know what they were doing is dangerous They come in collapsed and they're cooking from the inside. And their organs are overheating. And there's some you can save in the ICU but there are lots that you can't. They're gone too far. We don't want that to happen to any more families. The Australian Veterinary Association joined up with the RSPCA to launch a campaign. Love is Blind seeks to raise awareness of some of the health issues that are associated with breeds with exaggerated features. Breeders need to accept that they exist and breed away from extreme features. What Bronwyn wants changed is a document known as a Breed Standard. It’s what they use to judge purebreds at dog shows. Most of them have been updated over the years but the one for British Bulldogs is pretty much the same as the day the UK Kennel Club published it back in 1873. Up until about the Victorian era, when it started becoming fashionable to have certain dog breeds those original grandfather stock of these breeds they had nice long legs, they were quite lean and they were fit for function. There's no exercise test, rather they're purely judged on a very superficial aesthetic. Thirty years ago, the UK Kennel Club changed the bulldog Standard. But Aussie clubs voted not to. And the peak body for purebred affairs, the ANKC has launched a counter campaign to Love is Blind. I'm Sharon Edmonds, I'm an all-breeds judge with the ANKC I have bred British bulldogs for 30-plus years. I love them. There's not a show in Australia I don't think my kennel hasn't won. The first bulldog I bought lasted three months. I was heartbroken. I did not ever want another dog to die on me so I have been adamant in my breeding that I choose sound, healthy dogs. A good breeder will always breed away from genetic trouble. They know the background of most dogs in pedigree so they'll breed away from that. But vets argue, even if neither parents have genetic trouble if they both have exaggerated features like the Breed Standard calls for then their puppies will likely have a specially exagerated features and develop health problems. So what I've got here in front of me is the ANKC Standard for the British bulldog. For a breed that already struggles with giving birth naturally we think this is just encouraging the problem. C-sections… Look sometimes they're just a necessity. But it's not just the short-faced dogs that have C-sections. It's across the board. It's the bitches, they just don't push. Come on, mate. Hurry up. Ideally, I would like to not hear the dog breathe at all. But, it's easily rectified. Not all dogs have their soft palate done I have not had a palate done in my yard for probably six years. If that dog presented to me in the emergency room I would be recommending that he went and saw one of the surgeons and had his nose trimmed and had his soft palate shortened. The dogs that are cross-bred, have more anatomically normal features. So, pugs that are crossed with Jack Russells they tend to have longer noses and less problems. Possibly. I'm not God, I don't know. I'm very happy with the Standard the way that it is. The problem I feel with the RSPCA is they're all textbook, they're no common sense. I recently went to a pound and I did not see one purebred dog in the pound. Most of the dogs I seen were crossbred dogs. The RSPCA's got a vested interest in the pounds. They have to make money, they have to be able to support everything. We certainly don't make money from selling dogs or cats from our shelters. Although we do charge an adoption price on most animals — a meagre amount in comparison to the amount of work that we put into these animals. Bulldogs, Frenchies, Pugs, Boston Terriers… They're the ideal dog for a small backyard for a family that's busy, that really want a little pet that want to love it to pieces. I haven't met a breeder who doesn't absolutely love their dogs And I think it's about understanding that some of the physical features we see have gotten to the point where they are doing their dogs harm. Something needs to be done to protect these dogs because there's so many health issues. It's crazy.

43 Comments

  1. Just don't buy from the bloody breeders, get one from the Animal Shelter.
    They otherwise leave that place, or die. It may not be the dog you want to have, but you may the owner the dog has wished to have for its entire life!

    Make that wish come true.

  2. We humans have a flat faces I am surprise we don’t have these problems 😂

  3. "I don't see purebreds in pounds"

    No shit if they're worth thousands. The stupidity of this bulldog owner has me fuming.

  4. I am also wondering, i was wanting to purchase a japanese chin in the future, is that a healthy dog- or has it undergone torture-breeding? im curious, becauase i think theyre beautiful and intelligent, but i dont want to have a dog that puts me in constant fear of its health or support this. or, what are small-apartment dogs that havent undergone this kind of breeding or that are in otherwords healthy?

  5. I guess it's okay because it's not a human being

  6. In my case I own 2 bulldogs I love those dogs so much I think that the breeders not being looking for the perfect dogs just looking for a more healthy dog

  7. "The RSPCA are all textbook and no common sense…"

    More like the RSPCA are sick of cleaning up after you and watching the people who bought your inbred dogs cry when Snuggles dies from congenital deformities.

  8. beign a dog who can't smell sounds like a horrible life, smelling things is like the thing dogs do

  9. cute dogy

  10. I worked in a dog shelter in Belgium for 5 years and I saw a lot of purebred dogs there ! Like 60%. Ok, they were not fit to compete in shows but they looked and were pure.

  11. The show Judge and breeder seems very ignorant !

  12. Bulldogs to me are an example of a man made genetic monster that suffers for our entertainment

  13. There are many purebred dogs in shelters. If you want a purebred, adopt one ! Save a life !

  14. You play god when you breed.

  15. So the bulldog is incapable of delivering her own puppies without a C section and that is healthy HOW??

  16. If alot of dogs in a breed can't even mate or give birth on its own, that's mother natures way of saying these dogs shouldn't be bred. If a dog can't exercise regularly without almost suffocating or over heating, they shouldn't be bred. If the dogs breed features are what harm them so often, they shouldn't be bred. And its selfish, vanity crazed people who think they can play god that are causing these poor animals to suffer.

  17. 1:12 someone which this face .. looking at herself her whole life in the mirror .. would not find anything wrong with the face of a french bulldog .. if she had problem with the looks of a french bulldog she would have ended her life the very first time she look herself in the mirror !

  18. 1:05 i dont see a problem .. even Churchill looks like this .. and he wasnt euthanized

  19. Us humans just need to all die bruh

  20. This is heartbreaking 😥

  21. Outcrossing is a good way to healthier breeds. I don’t get why people don’t like it.

  22. This dogumentary was good but way too short. Not long enough to be convincing.

  23. She calls them good quality healthy bulldogs, LMAO a Chihuahua has healthier teeth than that bulldog itself

  24. Dog breeders = car salesman

  25. These people make me sick. They're like beauty pageant moms but also bringing more retarded dogs into the world. Shame on you, selfish cretin.

  26. Breeders are just lazy and can't be bother to actually get off their butt and work for money. They don't care about the suffering they cause 😖 this just proves that shelter dogs don't have more problems – that's a myth. Shelter dogs come first, they're the true animals who need us more

  27. Pugs cant breathe properly and it all because of breeders. U can't just breed any reed you want! No deny that breeders are greeders. They're 100% responsible for the dogs being gassed in shelters💔

  28. Breed standards should focus on functionality and health over looks.

  29. It's not across the board!… No palate problem in six yrs. out of 30+ yrs!…really!?

  30. That breeder is trying to ignore what they're telling her. Even when there's proof to back it up. It's extremely selfish. I understand liking the personality. But they should start breeding them with longer nosed dogs. And you can possibly keep the personality but make them healthier again.

  31. "Healthy bulldog" is a contradiction in terms.

  32. Here's a random idea: Don't make sibling dogs have sex! I know who would've thought of that as an option?

  33. bulldogs and the way they breathe reminds me of some animal from stalker

  34. Many people in the comments are equating purebred dogs with inbred dogs and that's just not the case. A purebred dog is not necessarily inbred, you can go back many generations and not see any related dogs. The difference is that purebred dogs are bred selectively for certain traits (i.e. breed standards) and in some cases, those breed standards may not be in the best interest of the dog's health.
    Think of it in human terms; if you're tall, come from a family of tall people, and want tall kids you should choose a partner who's also tall and comes from a tall family. Doesn't mean you both come from the same family, just means you both share trait (being tall) and it increases your chances of passing it on. Now being tall isn't harmful to your health, but what if you had something else in common with your partner, something potentially harmful like heart disease or cancer? Now say there's a history of heart disease in your family. You aren't going to go looking for a partner with a family history of heart disease because you want the best possible chance of your kids having heart disease. Sounds ridiculous, right? Now it might happen by accident, but people don't do this on purpose.
    That's the problem with some purebred dogs, people are doing it on purpose. They're selecting for certain traits, in this case smushed in faces, and it's not in the best interest of the dog's health. Breeders aren't doing this to be mean, but because they're trying to breed dogs that meet the breed standard or how judges are interpreting that standard (but that's a discussion for another time). So to change what breeders aim for you need to change the breed standard as they mentioned. This could eventually improve the situation, by rewarding breeders for selecting dogs with less of a smushed in face when choosing which dogs to breed which would improve their ability to breathe.
    Just because a dog is a mutt (mixed breed) doesn't mean they won't also have health problems. If you cross a French Bulldog with a Pug you no longer have a purebred dog, but you'll still have a smushed in face. You need to inform yourself about the health problems common to the breed you're looking at, carefully research breeders, and find those that do their best to minimize and screen for health issues. With mixed breed dogs you need to look into the health problems of both breeds because any of them could be found in dog. Both Golden Retrievers and Poodles can be prone to hypothyroidism and hip dysplasia, so it's not like you'll magically avoid the possibility by getting a Goldendoodle.

  35. I am disgusted by these breeds and I feel so sad for them. They need to be stopped or selectively breed with BETTER traits! Longer legs and snouts!

  36. They are called pure breeds but in reality they are mutants.

  37. that bulldog breeder only cares whether she can win the dog show, instead of truly caring about the health of her dogs, and when confronted by the question whether she wants to change the current breed standard, she said no, coz she was afraid of her dogs losing the dog show competition under a new standard, which promotes less extreme aesthetic features.

  38. 'The problem with the RSPCA is that they're too textbook' says the woman who agrees with breeding standards from 1800s.

  39. 100% an ignorant dog breeder.

  40. How tf are people paying that much money for disgusting lookin dog with health problem is beyond me

  41. That breeder is so selfish. She acknowledged the breathing, she knows its an issue, but still she chooses to ignore it. Sick.

  42. I have a pedigree bulldog

  43. I have a heeler mixed with a border collie. Two very healthy dogs that made a very healthy working dog. My dog is my best friend and I wasn’t willing to have a dog could have inbreeding issues

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