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Discussion Starter #21
I had to look up stenotic nares (narrow nostrils)! Really had no idea what bull baiting could mean, so thanks for that history lesson, Raindrops. Sounds cruel to both the dogs and the bulls! I zoomed in on Thor’s nostrils as close as I could and as best that I could see, they look fairly round. Maybe that was his edge.

I feel it’s the duty of the breed clubs to amend their breed standard if they aren’t Fit for Function. Remember the furor at Crufts a few years ago with the German Shepherd winner that looked like a kangaroo? It hurt my eyes to look at him/her.

I believe in contingency planning regarding vet expenses. A dedicated health savings account, pet insurance or investigating before you need it, some of the credit financing options. It can be worked out. The hard part is being clear eyed about outcomes, since so many tests, scans, surgeries and specialists are available.

SamieNorman, how cool your parents are breed aficionados, can afford good ones and any health issues. I envy you having hugged a few. Very fair and important point, is to do the breed research. A fun read, for vet cost tolerance testing is “Breedfreak: The Dog Breed Guide for Normal People with Real Lives, Families, House’s and Budgets”, by Wright. He’s not a fan of Frenchies. They are everywhere. English Bulldogs are not, and well bred ones are easily twice or three times the price of a Spoo.
 

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Mfmst - I looked that book up and it seems to be out of print 😞 The cheapest I could find on Amazon was a used copy for $59.

If you know of any similar, do let us know! Sounds really good.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I got mine from Apple Books. He’s a fool not to have it on Amazon!
 

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I have looked into that book as well! Looks highly amusing!

I tried to look at Thor's nostrils as much as I can. To me, he looks like he probably has moderate stenosis of the nares rather than severe which you see in most show bulldogs. So maybe it's a slight improvement... but I'd sure love to see one with open nares! Here's the best reference I can find.

I also agree bull baiting was horribly cruel. Unfortunately a lot of breeds got their starts in sports like bull and bear baiting. A lot of the bully breeds like pit bulls and the ancestors of boxers. The shorter snouts allowed a better grip on the bull's nose.

In Miami we have tons of all the bulldog breeds. Frenchies, English, and American. Though they are all very poorly suited to our climate. You can actually find Frenchies and English in shelters here fairly frequently.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Maybe all English Bulldogs should be bred in high altitudes like Peru. If there were ever a pure bred anything in Houston shelters, it would be gone in 60 seconds, if a breed rescue hadn’t already snatched it. We have sad seniors, and pit bull crosses.
 

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Forgetting about the cost of dog-health issues, I'm still not a bull dog fan - or a fan of any brachycephalic dog. As someone with asthma, watching another creature struggle to breathe is heartbreaking. I know exactly what it feels like to be unable to draw in enough breath during exercise or exertion, and I wouldn't wish that terror on any human or any dog.

I strongly believe that breeding dogs for a physical trait that causes them to struggle to breathe or live an active, normal life is highly unethical and inhumane.

Any dog that " today couldn't run half a mile!! Let alone 50 feet without being winded" is an unhealthy dog. I dislike many other brachycephalic dog breeds, including some boxers, shi tzus, boston terriers, Cavalier King Charles spaniels, etc for the same reason. I dislike the slope-backed shepherds for similar reasons. Any selective breeding to provide an "attractive" physical trait at the expense of the health and well being of a dog is unethical, and should be banned from competition.

Most of the brachycephalic dogs I have met seem pretty miserable. They still have the inner drive to want to be active dogs, especially as puppies, but are held back by their odd face shape and difficulty breathing. I've seen a few at the dog park, and they basically run until they collapse or have to stop and breathe while their owners laugh at their "cute" snuffling and snorting noises. That's not cute, it's heartbreaking, watching a dog fighting to breathe! It's possible to develop a dog breed suitable for a low energy family without resorting to crippling their ability to draw breath. (apparently it's not just the nostrils, it's also the upper palate)

I'd like to see minimum standards for dog shows for physical fitness (like - dog must be able to run 500 m in x seconds with a normal gait) or whatever. Perhaps physical fitness guidelines may need to be tailored for different breeds, but there really should be a "function" part of breed club standards, not just form.

From https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/things-think-about-buying-flat-faced-dog. "While some bulldogs are able to give birth naturally, 86 per cent of English bulldog puppies, and over 80 per cent of French bulldog puppies, are delivered by C-section in the UK (Evans and Adams, 2010). Without assisted births, these bulldog mothers would likely die in pain during the birth and their offspring are unlikely to survive, too. Caesareans are major operations for any dog, but the risk increases for dogs who suffer from brachycephalic-related breathing problems." - that's heartbreaking too.

I'd like to see a rule that unless a dog was born from a natural birth, it cannot be shown. That should select back towards dogs with heads small enough to fit the mother's birth canal!

Most of you have probably seen this collection of images, but here it is again for those interested. I find it really interesting that a lot of non-registered "pure breds" (for example, my family's St. Bernard, who lacked a pushed-in face and droopy skin folds) look more like the earlier pictures than the modern show-type dogs.

https://dogbehaviorscience.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/100-years-of-breed-improvement/

Here's his collection of historical bulldog photos - you'll note they seem to have been one of the fastest dogs to turn "weird" and get those odd sideways pointing legs
https://smg.photobucket.com/user/Pietoro/media/Dog Breed Historical Pictures/Bulldog/1817_Bulldogs_CribAndRosa_AbrahamCooper.jpg.html?sort=9&o=0

I've attached the most telling image to me... From 1904, showing the change between "traditional style" and "new style" bull dogs.

And here are his collections of poodles (he also has folders of historical photos for pretty much every breed). https://smg.photobucket.com/user/Pietoro/media/Dog Breed Historical Pictures/Poodle/1805_Poodles_MiniStandard.gif.html?sort=9&o=0 Poodles seem to have managed to avoid most of the odd changes - my personal belief is it's because breeders are too busy worrying about hair :D
 

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Our shelters have their fair share of pits as well. But you'll also find anything that's trendy (in smaller numbers). Miami's full of people who think they can keep a husky or malinois in their apartment. :argh: I think the breed rescues are pretty good about getting them out though.
 

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The more I read here, the more upset I'm getting. My old girl Gracie's last 24 hours were spent struggling for breath. The thought of intentionally subjecting any animal to that sort of torture (for aesthetic reasons????) is just too much for my heart to bear.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
As I posted earlier, I wouldn’t own a brachiocephalic breed, but I do think some of them are stinkin’ cute. Pugs, Boston’s, Frenchies and obviously Thor caught my eye. For What, those are some dramatic differences in morphology over the years. Thanks for sharing those links. The head shape of the Bull Terrier is drastically different today. I believe the current head size of the English Bulldog head is one of the reasons for C-sections. Again, blame the presiding breed organization and the breed confirmation judges for determining what shapes win, without factoring in health ethics. Would I have wanted to hug an original English Bulldog with Thor’s markings? Probably. They still had those bandy legs!
 

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I've heard about all those c-sections too but all my little brachys were born naturally. To each his own, this breed isn't for everyone of course but just like with poodles there are good healthy lines. I was reading on FB about someone else who wrote that breeding or having a brachy breed was cruel, while watching my little guys out the window, sprinting all over the back 40 hopping over things, chasing each other, having a heck of a good time with no difficulties at all, and I thought, well they're sure glad they're born! And a couple of mine are seniors. But I'm kind of glad not everyone has succumbed to the bully's huge loving heart and unfaltering loyalty...the curse of a breed is often its popularity :) So yeah! Horrible breed, tell everyone you know to never get one ;)


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