Vets ask people to stop buying English Bulldogs; here’s the reason why

Although adorable, the french bulldog is at great health risk.

English Bulldogs, or British Bulldogs, are adorable for their sturdy yet tender aesthetics, their soft fur with wrinkled texture, as well as their charming look, among other characteristics that make them unique.

However, they are one of the most delicate breeds due to genetic modification. According to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons of the United Kingdom (RCV), these dogs are “compromised” by a “high rate of problems related to their body shape.” As a result, specialists have called for “urgent measures” to reduce the health problems associated with and reflected in their image.


Health problems English Bulldogs face

It is now well known that dogs belonging to the pug breed have major genetic problems due modified inbreeding. English Bulldogs are no exception.

The RVC’s VetCompass program compared the health of random samples of 2,662 English Bulldogs and 22,039 dogs of other breeds, which found that the former were more than twice as likely to suffer from one or more disorders in a single year than the other breeds.


The specialists pointed out that “the popularity of the English Bulldog has increased considerably in the United Kingdom during the last decade.”

They added: pug

Among the major problems, they detected in English Bulldogs were the following:

  • Skin fold dermatitis.
  • Cherry eye (a prolapsed eyelid gland).
  • Protruding lower jaw.
  • Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (severe respiratory problems related to the flat shape of the dog’s face).

The origin of English Bulldogs

At first, the English bulldog breed was planted in England where they had a great presence in bullfights; however, its appearance was not like the one we know today, its head was small, it was not so robust, and its skin was smooth.


They were powerful and small dogs; in fact, in 1835 they were on the verge of disappearing, and for that reason, they were forbidden in dog fights. The breed was saved.

In the same RCV study, the veterinarians, in addition to pointing out the problems of the breed, also made a call to stop buying them, and above all, to love them for their natural image: “In the future, the English Bulldog should be recognized and loved for having a longer face, a smaller head and a non-wrinkled skin, which represents a more moderate and healthy conformation.”


Professor Dan O’Neill, the lead author of the research, said that “every dog deserves to be born with equal and good innate health by having a natural ability to breathe freely, blink fully, exercise easily, have healthy, flat skin, mate and give birth.”

“In the case of breeds like the English Bulldog, where many dogs are still conformed in extreme ways with little innate health, the public has a big role to play in demanding moderate and healthier conformation dogs. Until then, prospective owners should consider this before buying a flat-faced dog,” he added


The study was funded by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, of which Bill Lambert, health, welfare, and breeder services executive, is a member, who also called on society to raise awareness of bulldogs: Stop thinking so much about aesthetics and focus on their health and welfare.

“A collaborative approach to addressing these problems is crucial; we must continue to work together with breeders, veterinarians, and welfare organizations to reduce and ultimately eliminate the health problems faced by brachycephalic (flat-faced) breeds, as well as to reduce the mass demand for these dogs,” he determined.


English bulldogs are a breed that has won human affection for their “cute” and “cuddly” appearance; however, the alterations they have suffered in their genetics over time is something alarming for the breed, which we should keep in mind.

In conclusion, the great advice is DON’T BUY, BUT ADOPT... no matter the breed. And if at some point you decide to take care of an English Bulldog, remember to love it for what it is, give it all the care it needs and deserves, and remember that it is a very delicate breed and its health problems are very serious, we can not do much about the alterations they present at present but we can help them to have a better quality of life without demands or selfishness.


Story originally published in Cultura Colectiva in Spanish

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