27 January 2022
‘The UK’s first litter of hairless French Bulldog puppies’, thought to be the result of crosses between French Bulldogs, Pugs and Chinese Crested dogs, have reportedly been bred in Scotland.
Following these reports, The Brachycephalic Working Group, made up of vets, welfare organisations, academics, breeders, Defra and other dog experts, is warning of the health and welfare implications of breeding for extreme characteristics, and urging the public to ‘stop and think before buying a flat-faced dog’.
“The UK Brachycephalic Working Group (BWG) is really concerned about the move towards increasingly extreme exaggerations in flat-faced dogs, like French Bulldogs and Pugs,” commented Dr Dan O’Neill, Chairman of the BWG. “It’s unacceptable for breeders or indeed owners to place what they believe looks ‘rare’ or ‘glamourous’ above the need for a dog to have good health and welfare.
“This report of ‘hairless French Bulldogs’ and development of a new flat-faced ‘breed’ is another example of harmful extreme conformation, which comes amongst others like ‘teacup dogs’ or ‘exotic’ or ‘rope nose bullies’. There is substantial evidence that extreme physical exaggerations in flat-faced dogs, which appear to be progressively getting more extreme over time – as this example of ‘hairless French Bulldogs’ shows – have very concerning health and welfare consequences.
“The bottom line here is that it is simply unacceptable. In fact, breeding, marketing and selling dogs with intentionally harmful and greater extremes is both against the law, and seriously worsening the already existing health crisis for flat-faced dogs.
“For the sake of the nation’s dogs, potential owners must stop and think – avoid being inadvertently sucked in by advertising to purchase an extreme type of dog – and we urge breeders to always and absolutely prioritise health and welfare.”
The Group has published a position statement on setting a limit for conformational exaggerations in dog breeds to halt the slide towards even more extreme conformations.