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Brachycephalic breeds

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

Lately, many dog breeds seem to only come up in the news in a negative context. Many news articles write about the poor health of various breeds. To give some examples, if you believe these articles, all Labrador Retrievers suffer from serious joint problems and allergies, all German Shepherds suffer from hip dysplasia and a bad back, all Dachshunds struggle with unpleasant hernias, and dogs with shorter snouts cannot breathe.

On this website, we will mainly focus on this last group, the brachycephalic dogs.

Often we think of the English and French Bulldog, the Pug, and the Pekingese when we talk about brachycephalic breeds, but this group also includes the Boston Terrier, Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Belgian Griffon and Petit Brabancon, Yorkshire Terrier, Boxer, Bordeaux Dog, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Mastiff, Mastino Napolitano, and all their crosses.

There has been a lot of campaigning in recent months, by organizations such as Stichting Dier&Recht, in which they depict the image that no "short-snouted" breed can breathe. We want to counter this, because that image is simply incorrect. By campaigning in this sensational way, they not only present a wrong picture, but also create a witch-hunt, as people who thoughtlessly believe what they see in advertising/campaigns/talk shows start to label the owners of random short-snouted breeds as animal abusers.

Sometimes it goes so far that if you are walking with your healthy, very well-breathing French Bulldog, Shih Tzu, or Pug, you are verbally attacked by people, and you have to explain why you ever fell in love with that breed, and defend that you are not an animal abuser.

This, however, says nothing about the poor breathing of these breeds, it says everything about being able to run a well-funded campaign to convince the majority of ignorant people. And now the topic is the poor breathing of brachycephalic breeds, but next time it will be about German Shepherds and their painful hips and backs, also accompanied by the right sad photos and texts.

We think it's time to at least provide a small counter-argument to this campaign against brachycephalic dog breeds.

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