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I am attracted, yet wary of owning a brachycephalic breed. The smushed in faces are cute to me, but I once was in a vet’s waiting room and I heard what I imagined was a dragon snorting and puffing. It was a Bulldog having a panic attack! That guy needed a hug. Much was made of Thor’s conformation and physique. After our elegant poodles, he looked like he has a dad bod which luckily works for a Bulldog:)
 

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Lovely natures, severely damaged bodies - poor dogs have been bred to have problems nose (brachycephalic and so wrinkled that infections are a constant threat) to tail (genetic predisposition to screw tail), via cherry eye, the highest rate of hip dysplasia of any breed, skin allergies, etc, etc...
 

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I think he is a beauty! He looks quite magnificent for his breed. You see so many today that have been overbred and not near what they should actually look like. So nice to see one according to breed standard.
 

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While he is relatively sound (for an English Bulldog) even he was snorting and sniffling after his half a ring trot! I am sorry but I find it completely idiotic to put up that breed with the amount of pushback purebred dogs have today. Not a dog for a family (unless they have an unlimited budget for vet visits) not a dog to be enjoyed for a long while (most of them barely make it to 10). Why not put up beautiful healthy dog breeds with solid temperaments that would make good family dogs? The one selling point for the general public that does not care about breed history or function would be predictability and making sure you can score a great family companion. Why not put up a Bichon, a Vizsla, a Golden Retriever or Lab even (despite the cancer rates) or the Pharaoh Hound or any of the Gun dog Breeds...
 

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I love the bullies...mine are all brachys except the poodles and they are all very healthy. Not a hip, elbow, eye or breathing issue in any of them. Breeders are working hard to overcome the health issues. The charm is, they will cheerfully and without thought protect you with their life any minute of any day, but then the big puppy dog eyes beg you to lift the edge of the blankie so they can snuggle the moment you sit down. That loyalty and unquestioning love is quite addictive! I love them. Mine are Frenchies so not quite as extreme as the OEB, but still bullies


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I watched some of the show. Got to see the toy poodle- he or she didn't even win in the toy category :( Not really a fan of bulldogs (I go for a different kind of "cute" I guess), but congrats to Thor.
 

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I've never understood the appeal of brachycephalic dogs. To me they have more of a goblin look to them. I much prefer the dolichocephalic look. But some brachycephalic dogs are more sound than others. I don't think we should allow any breathing compromised dogs to be shown. This dog is better than many of the breed but I still think it's far from ideal. Leavitt bulldogs still aren't aesthetically pleasing to me but they are a lot more physically capable. Frenchies come in a range. Some seem to be fairly healthy and active, and others with very flat faces have major issues. I am relatively fond of bostons. They seem to do very well.
 

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Yeah I know what you mean...I love the line my girls come from with nice square frames and cobby without being too heavy. They have lots of energy without being hyper. And super cuddly! But some other lines look to me like their mom just gave them a haircut somehow...maybe too much forehead? Or ears not in balance? Something

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I understand your thoughts but it’s not a popularity contest or a good family dog contest. The dogs are picked from their group as having the best conformation according to their breed standard then those dogs compete again for best conformation and the winner is chosen. And it’s all I. The eye of the final judge. I agree though that it can be deceiving as a dog can win that may not be suited for families. He would. It have. He probably would not have been my pick.
 

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I am happy, if it can’t be a poodle, that it’s a breed that hasn’t won. Thor must have felt and moved better in the opinion of the judge, according to breed standard, (snorting and huffing, accepted) than the winningest fluffy, Havanese. Best in Show is the icing on the cake, Best in Breed is money:) Every dog wins just by being there.

Wouldn’t it be useful, if the announcer of the premiere shows gave clear eyed views on the health and longevity in addition to all the happy talk?
 

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SO happy he won!! I was shocked but so relieved!! My mom immediately hugged and kissed both of our English Bulldogs and told them congratulations!! Of course they both looked at her like "why are you waking me from my turkey nap?"

Funny story: My mom took one of her past English Bulldogs (I believe it was Betsy) to a dog show and I kid you not they awarded her the "Ugliest Dog Award". My mom still laughs about it to this day!! I wonder if she still has the ribbon they gave her. So stinking funny!!!
 

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I read some other replies to this post and I see some things that has unfortunately bothered me enough to speak up. I wrote a much longer post than this but shortened it to get the point across without wasting anyone's time.

Bulldogs are a beautiful breed and they deserve to be on stage just like the rest of these breeds do. Should never matter if they have health issues, if this is the case, then there needs to be a long list of breeds that "are not allowed". All breeds have health issues, some “higher risk” than others which is true. Why limit which breeds can attend? What will this change? People will still buy these breeds you disagree with. Will taking them out of shows make you feel better?

Also. English bulldogs are AMAZING family dogs. A previous English Bulldog of ours, Bonnie, lived until she was 15. Life expectancy should never change their love-ability nor does it change whether they are a family dog. EVERY pet owner should have an unlimited budget for their pet, no matter how high the risk. If you don't think you can afford them, then you're not a suitable pet owner for that specific breed. If you do your research, you will know whether its the right breed for you. My parents have owned around 9 bulldogs throughout their marriage (most in pairs, very few were fosters). All in all, they are suited for their lifestyle. They paid what they need to for their family pet. With now 5 children, they continued to own English Bulldogs and currently have 2. With my SPoo, I will pay whatever I need to to keep him healthy and happy. Different health risks, sure. But all breeds are capable of having serious issues which brings me back to my statement of "every pet owner should wish to have an unlimited budget for their pet!!!" If you dont think you will have the money for any situation, you're not suitable for the breed. Their cost does not define the ability to be family dogs. End of story!!

Lastly,
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
 

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I read some other replies to this post and I see some things that has unfortunately bothered me enough to speak up. I wrote a much longer post than this but shortened it to get the point across without wasting anyone's time.

Bulldogs are a beautiful breed and they deserve to be on stage just like the rest of these breeds do. Should never matter if they have health issues, if this is the case, then there needs to be a long list of breeds that "are not allowed". All breeds have health issues, some “higher risk” than others which is true. Why limit which breeds can attend? What will this change? People will still buy these breeds you disagree with. Will taking them out of shows make you feel better?

Also. English bulldogs are AMAZING family dogs. A previous English Bulldog of ours, Bonnie, lived until she was 15. Life expectancy should never change their love-ability nor does it change whether they are a family dog. EVERY pet owner should have an unlimited budget for their pet, no matter how high the risk. If you don't think you can afford them, then you're not a suitable pet owner for that specific breed. If you do your research, you will know whether its the right breed for you. My parents have owned around 9 bulldogs throughout their marriage (most in pairs, very few were fosters). All in all, they are suited for their lifestyle. They paid what they need to for their family pet. With now 5 children, they continued to own English Bulldogs and currently have 2. With my SPoo, I will pay whatever I need to to keep him healthy and happy. Different health risks, sure. But all breeds are capable of having serious issues which brings me back to my statement of "every pet owner should wish to have an unlimited budget for their pet!!!" If you dont think you will have the money for any situation, you're not suitable for the breed. Their cost does not define the ability to be family dogs. End of story!!

Lastly,
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
Every owner should have an unlimited budget? I appreciate the sentiment behind this, but it's rather cruel. Who but the wealthiest folks could have an unlimited budget? Part of life with animals is sometimes making very hard medical decisions for our pets. And sometimes, yes, cost is a factor.

As far as bulldogs go....look at them 100 years ago vs. now. Why are they being bred in such a way that their physical well-being has suffered so dramatically? I think it's entirely valid to be concerned about this.

I understand your passion for the breed. They are wonderfully funny companions, and I've known some wonderful ones.
 

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Every owner should want to have an unlimited budget, how is this slightly cruel?? Dogs can be expensive. Some people have bigger budgets, some dont. Why is this wrong to want and desire to have an unlimited budget for your pet? I did not mean to state that it is required for a pet owner to have an unlimited budget, it is clearly impossible.
Also, why would anyone go into buying a breed, after researching them, and not have a suitable budget for the possibility of having health issues? Some people make it work with smaller budgets its true, but my point was regarding bulldogs specifically. They can be expensive. I've experienced it! One of our bulldogs right now, Maggie, is a handful and has had costly vet visits. Sometimes its due to the equipment they use, not the health issues she having (if that makes sense I hope I typed that well). Certain tests are higher cost. We make cuts in other areas in our lives and make it work because we knew what we were getting into after research and experience.

If you cannot afford the medical issues, then you have to make your own personal decisions. My only point was that its wrong to state that you need an unlimited budget for a bulldog. Why just this breed? Also why shouldn't all pet owners be expected to have proper budgets? Why is it the costly breed (such as a bulldog) that is under scrutiny?

Yes they look different you're right! There is no doubting this, but also their lifestyles have changed completely, like I stated in my post. There are few that are still cattle herders. But ones that are in the photo look like our current ones. They aren't outside wrestling bulls lol!!

If you look at humans hundreds of years ago, we have also adapted to our new environment. We are no longer hunters and gathers in our daily lives. We have an obesity issue in our population. We no longer are as hairy as we use to be cause we have the ability to warm ourselves with coats and heat. Bringing my point to the bulldogs. They look completely different because they are no longer being used for their original intent. a normal bulldog today couldn't run half a mile!! Let alone 50 feet without being winded. This is just how it has become. They have completely adapted to their new lifestyles they are in today. They are couch potato, truck rider companions, and big lapdogs.

Of course you could have an argument that Poodles (the majority of them) are not longer used for their intended breeding use. But I have to respond to that by saying their are usually brought into more high-energy active homes. Bulldogs are normally brought into more relaxed homes.

I am in no way trying to be rude. I just think it is unfair to say a bulldog is not a family dog due to health issues or budgets. That is all up to the potential adopters and if they can manage it! Families come in all shapes, sizes, and budgets! A perfect breed for one family does not have to be a perfect breed for another family.
 

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Samie, I was responding to the statement: "EVERY pet owner should have an unlimited budget for their pet."

I didn't think the words "EVERY" and "unlimited" left any room for interpretation, but I apologize if I took you too literally.

This topic's a sore spot for me, as I've had to make hard health decisions for myself, for financial reasons, since moving from Canada to the United States.
 

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I understand you completely!! Unfortunately typing is not my strong suit and I am not great at articulating what I mean in some situations. Such as this one!! Every pet owner should have the proper budget (after research!!!!) for the pet, this is what was meant by this and so this is my fault for giving the wrong impressions. I completely understand your response if it is assumed everyone should have an unlimited budget, it's not possible.

As for the subject it is a sore one for many. We love our pets to the fullest ability, but sometimes in some circumstances we can no longer support them financially. Its heartbreaking. I think that it was wrong to call a English bulldog (or any breed) non suitable for families due to their health risks and the costs that come with it. Which led me to my statement that every pet owner is responsible for researching a breed! Every family has different budgets and some can support high-risk dogs. My parents are blessed to have a budget for bulldogs, I am not! I do though have a budget for me and my Spoo. I only meant to say that all breeds have risks, some high than others. Whats possible in finances for one family may not be for another.
 

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I don't agree that bulldogs can't be family dogs. I hear they have excellent temperaments. Yeah, their health care might be expensive but their owners must commit to it. SamieNorman I'm sure your parents' dogs are lovely and they have good caretakers. What I disagree with is a judge choosing a "best representative of the breed" that has a morphology that impacts its quality of life significantly. Poodles are not exempt from this, but their more moderate morphology does not generally cause them any significant issues. And I will disagree with anybody who tells me that stenotic nares don't impact quality of life. There's a long list of breeds that have issues that impact their quality of life. Stenotic nares are one of the main issues. Another would be shar pei bred to be so wrinkly that their eyelids curl inward against their eyeballs. Or basset hounds bred to have bodies so low that their genitals drag on the ground when they walk.

Maybe this was genuinely the fittest bulldog in the lineup of bulldogs. But best in show? I disagree with that choice. The Kennel Club has introduced the "Fit for Function" rule that requires dogs to meet certain checks that they can "see, breathe, and walk freely." I don't know if the AKC has such a program. I know the KC bulldog standard was altered along with the change to make it less vague, as the vague wording left too much to interpretation. I believe the AKC one remains the same. I would like to see the AKC work to make similar changes to improve breed physical health.

Also, side note: Bulldogs never herded cows. They were bred for the sport of bull baiting in which dogs were set against bulls with the objective of the dog grabbing the bull's nose in its jaws to immobilize it. Because people believed it made the bull's meat more tender. It was outlawed for animal cruelty in 1835, and bulldogs were then kept as companions as they had no more jobs.
 
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