While the breed is significantly popular in the UK and other parts of the world, their physical attributes make the English Bulldog prone to serious health issues, indicated a VetCompass study.
English Bulldogs have a distinctive look, muscular in built with skin folds, brachycephalic or short skull with pushed-in nose, short ears and an undershot jaw. These physical attributes often cause serious health issues in this dog breed.
Some conditions outlined by VetCompass include skin fold dermatitis, cherry eye, brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome, interdigital cyst and protruding lower jaw.
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Study calls for “moderate physical characteristics”
The study suggests that “the overall health of the English Bulldog is much lower than dogs.”
“These findings suggest that the overall health of the English Bulldog is much lower than that of other dogs. However, what is most concerning is that so many of the health conditions that English Bulldogs suffer from, such as skin fold dermatitis and breathing problems, are directly linked to the extreme structure of their bodies that has been selectively bred for,” stated Study author Dan O’Neill.
“Given the continued popularity of the breed, the body-shape of the typical pet English Bulldogs should be redefined towards more moderate physical characteristics. Doing so will not only improve the dogs’ health but could also enable the UK to avoid following other countries in banning the English Bulldog on welfare grounds.”
In view of serious health issues that this dog breed is prone to, some countries including the Netherlands and Norway have already restricted the breeding of English Bulldogs in recent years.
Meanwhile, based on research the study also points towards English Bulldog owners being “undeterred” by the serious health issues of this breed. “Prioritising their characteristic appearance, personality and perceived suitability for certain lifestyles, often based on their low exercise requirements/ability.”