The English Bulldogs are genetically dying, and it is too late for scientists to refresh the gene pool. The sad condition in which the grumpy-looking breed is in can be blamed on breeders that focused more on the aesthetics of the dog than on its health.
The English Bulldog is an old breed. However, the cute wrinkled angry-looking dog didn’t always look like that. At first, the majestic, royal breed had a longer snout and stouter legs. The animal was taller and longer, and it looked more similar to a boxer than the way in which it looks today.
Through extensive inbreeding, mills managed to make the English Bulldogs shorter, their face flatter, and their bodies more compact. The once majestic pet is now a cute box-like animal that prefers to roll down the hill rather than walk for a long distance.
“Improving health through genetic manipulations presumes that enough diversity still exists to improve the breed from within. And if not, to add diversity, by mixing it with other breeds. We found that little genetic ‘wiggle room’ still exists in the breed to make additional genetic changes.”
Unfortunately, the “cute” features of the animal are harming it more than we believe. No aesthetic attribute can justify the physical stress and health problems that the pets must endure all of their lives. All in the name of having a cute pet.
Due to the physical modifications that the breed has suffered along the years, the Bulldogs over deal with respiratory issues, hip dysplasia, interdigital cysts, cherry eye, and cancer. Moreover, the folds that made it so popular make the animal susceptible to all sorts of infections.
The nasal cavity gives it a look of being constantly disgruntled, the only thing missing being a monocle. However, the same features make the animal predisposed to hyperthermia and overheating.
The genome of the English bulldog was considerably modified along the years, the result being so tangled, that researchers can’t find a way to make them better again, to ease some of the physical sufferings that come with the cute features.
Currently, “pure” English Bulldogs are mostly inbred, their genetic structure being even more damaged with every new litter.
Some breeders decided to cross the English Bulldog with the Olde English Bulldogge, but the Bulldog community disagrees with the result, stating that the animal doesn’t possess “classic” English Bulldog features.
Image source: Pixabay