Thursday, February 4, 2010

Evolution of the English Bulldogs and its Effects

Has the evolution of the breed caused any physical and/or medical issues within the breed? Shouldn't evolution be about the betterment of a kind? Not in the dog world. We have breed for more problems over time.

Yes, absolutely. Today, we the English Bulldogs are a completely different breed from the Olde English Bulldogs.

Over the years, the bulldogs have evolved drastically. For one, their size. Originally bulldogs were taller in stature and the breed was derived from the Dogue de Bordeaux. Over time, after bull baiting become illegal and a sport of the "lower class," the demand for smaller English bulldogs was on the rise. The great bulldog of 90 lbs., which had been in vogue when bull-baiting was the sport of kings, was no longer desired. Additionally, the common-class population, who now had the sport in hand, could not afford to keep such huge animals. Much can happen to change a breed of a dog in fifty years and by inbreeding and breeding with a fixed purpose in view, between the years of 1686-1735, a dog of definite type and average weight of 50-60 lbs. was produced. .

... The dog of 1735 was smaller in skull than the bulldog of today (1933), longer in the face, higher in shoulder, not so wide in
front, and lighter in bone and body. Generally less exaggerated in every way. The bulldog gradually evolved in the years 1686-1735, though finally more than 40% smaller and lighter than his ancestors. And not only was he the bravest dog, but likely the bravest creature on the Earth, even to include the old English Game Cock. This was an indisputable fact, and was proven time and time again.

In Time magazine December 12, 1994, the cover article "That's No Way To Treat A Dog" describes the evils of selective breeding of dogs. Genetic anomalies abound in the quest for coveted characteristics. Plaguing the industry are hip dysplasia, congenital skin disorders, cataracts, and so on. These are brought on by relentless inbreeding done to achieve what the magazine calls "A Terrible Beauty" Carefully controlled isolation allows these to breed true to type. As genetic characteristics diverge, it becomes impossible for cross breeding between such different examples as great danes and poodles. Yet none denies that both are dogs.

Today the breed suffers from many health issuesL

1. Their loose, sagging wrinkly skin, although quite cute, cause all sorts of skin problems. They require to be cleaned, and dried out thoroughly to prevent infections; which is really hard to keep up with.

2. The sagging skin around their eyelids maybe the cause for Cherry Eye. Cherry eye, is occurs when the tear gland located on the inside corner of a dogs third eyelid pops up.

3. Cataracts

4. Hip displaysia: due to generations of poor breeding, abnormal structure and stature.

5. Brachycephalic Syndrome: breating problems related to the squashed nose, narrow nasal passage... causes over heating.

and much much more:

Eye Problems
Cherry Eye
Dry Eye
Corneal Ulcer
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

Heart Problems
Heart Murmur
Enlarged Heart
Valve Defects

Cleft Palate

Rear/Tail Problems
Tight Tail
Inverted Tail
Impacted Anal Glands

Respiratory Problems
Stenotic Nares
Small Trachea
Hypoplastic Trachea
Elongated Soft Palate

Skin/Wrinkle Problems
Staph Infection
Demodectic Mange
Hot Spots
Interdigital Cysts
Tear Stains
Yeast Infections (ears)

Structural Problems
Hip Dysplasia
Luxating Patellas
Spina Bifida
Elbow Dysplasia
Arthritis/Joint Problems

Urinary Tract Infection
Bladder Infection
Prolapsed Urethra

Bloat/Gastric Torsion


Michelle said...

This is really sad, but so true. I share my life with another of the most horrific genetic disasters there are - the Neapolitan mastiff. Some breeders are proud to breed the most functionally disastrous dogs in order to achieve the most grotesque and "desirable" pups. It's a disgrace, and I shake my head every time I have to run Grady to the vet for yet another health problem typical of these great dogs.

Teena Patel said...

Yes.... thats another breed line that suffers so much. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.