The Breeder not the Breed
Recently RSPCA Australia released an awareness campaign “Love is Blind” about Brachycephalic (dogs with squishy faces like Pugs, French bulldogs, bulldogs etc) breeds and their inherited health issues.
If you own a pug, like us you may disagree with the statement “they can’t breathe, walk or give birth normally. Many have chronic and painful ear, skin and eye problems. These problems prevent many dogs from having a normal and comfortable life”
We agree, that some of their physical characteristics have been exaggerated to conform with trends in the show ring – and are listed as “breed standard” with the ANKC (Australian National Kennel Club).
Some registered breeders focus on breeding pugs with similar characteristics with the aim of winning the lustrous title “Champion Show Dog”.
unfortunately this often results in pugs with close genetic parentage (line breeding) are bred to achieve the desired confirmation and win the title.
However, the result is that the gene pool is narrowed and increases the chance of a pug being born with genetic defects.
Not all registered Pug Breeders, breed based on these principles. Instead, focussing on breeding pugs for health and well-being, and their reward is peace of mind knowing they have given each and every pug born the best opportunity to lead a happy healthy life.
Just like some humans who elect to have their babies via c-section, many ethical dog breeders choose to have their puppies delivered by elective c-section, the reasons behind this decision can be;
* Labor pain & trauma can be medically managed for the comfort of the pregnant mother & her puppies
* The puppies are delivered in a controlled sterile environment with veterinary care on hand reducing the risk of neo natal death.
It is not only brachycephalic breeds that have whelping (birthing) problems it can occur with any dog breed.
There are claims that all brachycephalic breeds have “Health Issues” yes some may, but let’s not forget any dog can have a health issue as can cats and birds and humans.
Physical traits can pre-dispose certain breeds to particular health issues, however with responsible breeding, educated responsible owners, Veterinary care and genetic research there should be no reason that we cannot confidently adopt a pug that is a physically fit and active member of our family.