A breeder in the Netherlands is demonstrating their efforts to completely ‘reengineer’ the face of the French Bulldog in an attempt to make the breed healthier.
It’s no secret that ‘designer’ dog breeds come with a whole array of devastating health complications. With the current obsession of purebred and pedigree dogs, we have inadvertently destined our dogs to a life of continuous vet visits and painful medical issues. However, French Bulldogs in particular have drawn the shortest straw.
The breed, has a severe skull malformation due to years of breeding selection that purposely makes their necks short and their noses and nostril openings even shorter.
This has lead to the breed suffering widely from Brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome (BOAS), which means they have trouble breathing, and it can cause death if it’s not treated appropriately.
According to the PDSA, their limited breathing system, combined with their single short coat, also means they have trouble regulating their temperature efficiently.
So, in an attempt to reverse the decades-long problem, a breeder from the Netherlands has been attempting to ‘reengineer’ the face of the breed.
Hawbucks French Bulldogs is trying to establish a new frontier. Run by Chantal van Kruining, who is a veterinary assistant and also passionate about French bulldogs. Hawbucks are trying ensure that French Bulldogs can live a happy and healthy life.
Their motto states: “We breed for health, not show.” This helps guide them to making the best possible French Bulldog through ‘time, effort, thinking, doubt, idealism, frustrations and hope. She wants to change the mindset of people so that they care more about their pets’ health instead of their appearance.
A picture of one of Hawbucks’ dogs was posted onto Reddit next to a comparison image of an award winning show dog. The difference was staggering.
The dog on the Left is award winning showdog named Arnie an AKC French Bulldog. The dog on the right is Flint, bred in the Netherlands by Hawbucks French Bulldogs – a breeder trying to establish a new, healthier template for French Bulldogs.
Incredibly, the Dutch breeder has been able to produce a French Bulldog that has a longer neck and longer snout. Though she claim this still isn’t the most perfect iteration of French Bulldog. Chantal admits there are still some health abnormalities, but she believse they’re on the right track.
They wrote: “We do not claim to know it all. The only thing we can do is promise that we will try our utmost best to breed health French Bulldogs. That is what we aspire. That is what we can hope for.”
French Bulldog’s have short muzzles only for aesthetic purposes. However, it’s not always possible to determine if the dog will have breathing problems or not, based only off this feature. However, it does greatly increase the risk.
Chantal says she would like to see French bulldogs more athletic and that can play and run without being out of breath.
“We strive for a French bulldog that is built a little more athletic. A French bulldog how they were meant in the beginning of the development of the breed. A dog that can run and play for several hours without trouble. A Frenchie that does not make a sound when breathing, under any circumstance.”
Chantal wants breeders to be more transparent about their breed’s health. And she is actively working to remove the mystery that surrounds dog breeding.
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