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It's official: the UK no longer favours Bulldogs and Pugs, the flat-faced breeds

Pug in the arms of an elderly person
© Pixabay

Dogs such as the French Bulldog and Pug are fast falling from grace, thanks in part to vets and animal welfare campaigners who say the breed is a victim of breeding.

By Nick Whittle, 7 Oct 2019

For millennia Pugs have been the dog of choice, especially of the ancient Chinese ruling class. Their size, disposition and laziness were seen as perfect traits of the lapdog. Over the course of the last decade their popularity has soared among Westerners.

The Pug’s new-found fame is matched only by that of other “squashed-face” dogs such as the Bulldog, Boxer and Shih Tzu; breeds that are often seen with celebrities on social media platforms (there are over 23 million #frenchbulldog posts on Instagram alone).

Times are a-changing

But today The Sun reports on a decline in the popularity of Pugs and Bulldogs. According to research carried out by the UK’s Kennel Club, French Bulldog and Bulldog registrations have fallen by 8% and 7% respectively while Pug registrations have dropped by 31%.

The work of charities that campaign against flat-faced dog breeds appears to at last be having an impact on the prospective dog owner’s choice. The Kennel Club, Brachycephalic Working Group, and Blue Cross among others have publicly warned against the purchase of a brachycephalic breed.

The British Veterinary Associationlast year even launched their #breedtobreathe campaign to highlight the health problems the breed suffers as a result of their disfigured skull.

Health problems

Brachycephalic breeds encounter an array of debilitating health problems due to their appearance. The flat-faced breeds are prone to skin disorders, eye conditions and breathing difficulties among other problems.

Bill Lambert, senior health and welfare manager at The Kennel Club said, “We urge any prospective owners to do thorough research on the breed they are thinking about buying, considering whether it is the right fit for their lifestyle and ensuring their decision isn’t made on a whim.

This is especially important with flat-faced breeds like the pug due to the health issues they can have.