Continuing Controversy over AKC Breed Standards

Nightline produced a controversial piece on the
breed standard practices promoted by the AKC,
following the controversy over breeding that started
in the UK.

Of course they feature the Bulldog as a prime example
of inbred genetically caused health issues.

You can see the video here:
http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=7064046

I have mixed feelings about this because I love my
bulldogs and the Bulldog breed, but I have had a very
compromised bulldog and I also hear so many
sad stories from people who have sickly bulldogs.

It’s unfortunate that our breed has to be one of the
targets for criticism but I’m afraid it’s also well documented
how many health problems they have.

So go watch the video and hug your bulldog!

your bulldog pal,
Jan

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Comments

  1. Jan
    March 14th, 2009 | 3:12 am

    Thank you so much for forwarding this video to me.
    I watched the video and I agree wholeheartedly with what they said.

    As the owner of English Bulldogs since 1990 and having lost one due to his inability to breathe and cool himself I am saddened by the plight of this magnificent animal. But scientists are correct, if a species can not breed by itself without artificial insemination and c-sections, then evolution is sending us a message, basically, the bulldog is an animal that would be extinct if it was without human intervention.

    Each one of my many bulldogs has cost us at least $20,000 in health care costs in their lifetimes. My female has had two cherry eye surgeries, skin fold surgery and has severe hip dysplasia and is allergic to literally EVERYTHING. My male has Flank Alopecia and a soft pallet and gags every time he eats and he had a genetic patellar joint dislocation that had to be surgically repaired along with tendon tightening.

    My male that passed away due to a massive coronary caused by his inability to breathe correctly, ruptured his ACL and had a $10,000 surgery to repair it a year before he died, he also had cherry eye surgery.

    My first female had a thyroid condition and she was the
    first bulldog I owned and luckily, she made it to age 12 before dying and of all my bulldogs, she was the most “perfect” and we have never been able to duplicate that.

    I informed my husband that in order to help the breed, we will no longer own the breed once Denny and Roxy are no longer with us, I can not stand to watch Roxy limp around on her bad hips and her red swollen eyes from allergies and poor Denny and his Alopecia and his gimpy left knee and his gagging every time he eats. Much sadness.

    I hate to say it, but something must be done and if not buying a “pure bred” bulldog helps, then so be it. They need a snout to breathe. Give them air.

    Mary

  2. Jan
    March 14th, 2009 | 3:14 am

    My husband wants to add his thoughts, he couldn’t watch the whole video because it made him upset.

    He feels the Bulldog in its present state SHOULD be allowed to continue on as a breed because that is what makes them so gentle, caring, loving and unique as a breed.

    He thinks if critics stop the breeding of this great animal
    then it is akin to saying that humans with diabetes shouldn’t be allowed to procreate or that any species with any type of genetic disorder shouldn’t be allowed to exist.

    So, I guess I can see his position, especially since I am surrounded by my two bulldogs at this very moment who are contentedly chewing on their toys, on their beds next to me as I type this.

    Without their grunts, snorts and slobbers I would be one very lonely gal. They do provide me so much joy and they seem to be happy in their lives as they know no other way than to just “be”.

    So now basically, I am confused, because I do so love the breed, and that is what makes them, them.

    Mary

  3. Jan
    March 14th, 2009 | 5:51 am

    The problem I have with these sorts of programs are that I can’t imagine that the information is fully true. There are no complied complete information kept and cataloged on health issues of mixed breed dogs like their are for pure bred dogs….. I have known many ppl who have mixed breed dogs with just as many allergy issues and problems as pure bred’s have…..

    What we have to remember is that the animal extremists like PETA and HSUS are pushing for programs like this to be “uncovered”, when in fact I feel one of the reasons there is so much info on pure bred dog diseases are because of breeders who are working to eliminate those types of issues……. breeders are submitting samples of affected dogs to health studies while mixed breed dog owners are not…… The ultimate goal of PETA and organizations similar to them are that no one will own any pets….this is just the start of their plan…. to first make the “general” view of pure bred’s as bad and then move on from there……

    Someone mentioned to me another interesting fact…… Here is what they said and it makes a lot of sense too. Has anyone talked about inbreeding in nature? What about wild horses, wolves, deer, and the other herd animals that have tight gene pools naturally? Is their health compromised?
    I’m sorry you have had a Bulldog with issues…. I would ask you, did the breeder you bought your Bulldog from health test their female prior to breeding and did the stud also have health testing performed? Did the dogs mother or father have any issues?

    Unfortunately there are so many breeds being mass produced by people who’s goal is to gain a fortunate at the expense of the dogs…… many toy breeds are plagued by this sort of mass producing as are our beloved Bulldog. There is no care about health with this type of producing you can imagine the long list of issues their offspring may suffer from 🙁

    I think that like with anything there is the good and the bad….. there are good and bad Bulldog breeders……. I do not breed a dog just because it has a good pedigree on paper….. that dog must be healthy…. I also seek out stud owners who health test their dogs as well. I am thankful to know so many wonderful Bulldoggers who take pride in the responsibility of the next healthy generation of this wonderful breed. It has been through their mentoring that I have developed my ideas and goals for my own breeding decisions.

    Before deciding to breed our female I had the following tests run on my female, all of which she passed….. trachea x-ray through OFA, OFA patella, OFA cardiac, OFA thyroid and had her fully examined by our vet who see’s several Bulldogs. Her mother is a healthy great breather free of allergy issues, her father is an AKC champion and healthy as well and the only issue I am aware of with him are an occasional inter digital cyst…..

    My females parents are now the ages of 9 1/2 and 11 yrs of age…. they are both doing great and her mom goes for 2 mile walks up and down a path at her home each day with her owners……

    It is crucial that breeders are diligent and choose dogs that are wonderful representations of the breed and are healthy examples of the breed. To do anything less is a detriment to the breed in my opinion……

    I bought a female that was a show prospect…. she had a knock out pedigree, she was a healthy girl for the most part, however she did have some allergy thing going on with her face…. she would rub her face frequently when her allergies would act up…..she was a great breather and a very sound girl structurally. I also started health testing on her as well and she passed her OFA trachea x-ray as well.

    I did decide however decide to spay her and to place her in a wonderful pet home and not breed her….. she didn’t turn out to be suitable for the show ring and I worried about her passing her allergy to her offspring……

    The only thing I do have to say negatively about Bulldogs in general is that the mind set of a lot of breeders in the past and most now have been that health testing is not important, that is changing thankfully. Unfortunately I am the only member of my local Bulldog club who has had trachea x-rays on my dogs and I am the only member in our local club who has a dog who has her CHIC number….. with 3 dogs who will have their CHIC numbers to come 🙂 We have several members who’s dogs could pass the tests, I would imagine most of them would….. it’s just always been the mind set that, they know their dogs are healthy, why test them….. I understand their thinking as well but we are being bombarded by ppl who are trying to be so negative about pure breeds in general that I feel scientific proof of health through testing will be one of our biggest tools to prove them wrong.

    Don’t give up on this wonderful breed 🙂 Choose wisely who you buy your next companion from and insist on a breeder who health tests their dogs for various things and is a responsible, ethical breeder who puts the breeds health at the top of their list when making breeding decisions.

    Melissa

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