Friday 30 September 2011

UK vets: tough talk on pedigree dogs

Current top winning show Bulldog: Champion Pringham's Eclair Glace

Above:  Leavitt Bulldog - outcrossed for a healthier phenotype  © Lonsdale Bulldogs

Bulldogs were on the agenda at the British Veterinary Association's annual Congress in London last week - as reported in this week's Dog World.

Controversially, vet Emma Goodman Milne - a long-time critic of pedigree dog breeding and author of The Truth About Cats and Dogs - called for Bullodgs and the other 14 breeds on the KC's health "watchlist" to be de-registered arguing that... “...there should be honesty about abnormalities, deformities and disease. These are being bred in." And she urged vets:  "We should be honest to owners and clients who breed. We always tiptoe around clients because we worry about losing business, but if we lose business we should say that that is the right thing to do.”

Emma also called for dog shows to be banned, arguing that the cost to the dogs is too great. “Showing is human entertainment at the expense of animals," she said. And she also believes that we should be promoting crossbreeds as an alternative to purebred dogs; that we should all be less obsessed with looks and learn to appreciate that health first, then temperament, are much more important.

I understand Emma's reasons for her strong stance on this but while appreciating the many benefits that crossbreed dogs can bring (and not least to the dog - dodgy designer-dog breeding aside),  we are not in the same place. I don't think we should give up on purebred dogs. I don't want to imagine a world without them and have always believed that we can have our cake and eat it too.

I have also not quite given up on dog shows being - potentially - a force for the good.  I have always been able to see the benefit of meeting up with others to share information, of seeing other people's dogs in action and to learn from those with more experience.  Combine this with finding a way to reward rude good health, fitness, and ability and I believe the dog show could be reinvented. There is, though, a long way to go.

Also speaking in the Contentious Issues debate on dog-breeding at the BVA Congress was Professor Sheila Crispin, Chair of the Dog Advisory Council that was set up as a result of the various enquiries into dog-breeding that followed Pedigree Dogs Exposed.  We are interviewing Professor Crispin next week for PDE2, so what she had to say was useful background research.

Professor Crispin sounded strong in some respects. She revealed she had been against the Kennel Club registration of Border Collies and believes the show version of the breed is diminished as  result. (There are many who would agree with her, dubbing the prettied-up showdog a "Barbie Collie".) She was also blunt about show Labradors: "“The working Labrador is lovely, smaller with fine bone and a head with a lot of brain in it. The show Labradors, males certainly, have huge, wide heads, and seem to have no brain at all. It really worries me because some breeds are not helped by showing at all.”  She also backs the compulsory microchipping of all dogs as a means of improving traceability - clearly a sensible suggestion (despite the Big Brother fears of some).

But I was a little worried to hear Sheila argue that more scientific evidence was needed before taking more action in certain breeds.  While this is true in terms of quantifying exactly what impact, say,  having a very long and heavy ear leather has on a Basset Hound - surely we already know that such ears impede air flow and increase the likelihood of ear infections?

I also think she was unncessarily negative regarding crossbreeding given the hybrid benefit they can bring. After PDE, said Sheila:  "...everyone jumped on the bandwagon and started breeding crossbreeds, designer dogs as they are called, and charging £1,500 to £2,000 per puppy. It became big business. I think HM Revenue and Customs might be interested in these people’s activities, as they don’t go through the usual tax processes.”

I am sure that Pedigree Dogs Exposed has fueled the "designer" dog trade to some extent, but it was flourishing before PDE and it is just as brisk, if not brisker, in the USA where PDE has not had much impact.  It is true that Kennel Club registrations dropped after the programme - which even the KC attributed mostly to the economy - but they have now largely recovered. You only have to visit epupz to see that ads for purebred dogs (most of them KC-registered) outnumber ones for crossbreeds. And as for not declaring income from puppy sales, I believe this is true of a great many small breeders whether crossbred or purebred - whereas larger licensed breeders (many of them breeding crossbreeds) are required to keep good records and have little choice but to declare their income.

Sheila concluded by suggesting that the answer to the KC bulldog was an outcross to a less conformationally-extreme breed. But of course this has already been done by those ahead of the game, eg: the Leavitt Bulldog (above). So how about the KC de-registering the Bulldog and embracing this healthier phenotype instead?

Yeah, I thought not...


  1. I'm dismayed that you're promoting a dog breeder whose animals live in kennels instead of in the home as companions. "Taking turns spending the day with them" (or whatever the exact quote on the Leavitt site) is a poor substitute. Very disappointing.

  2. If you could ask the dogs im 100% sure they would go for the kennel option with the added bonus of being able to breathe.....come on !

  3. I'm afraid I'm with Emma Milne. Seeing dog after dog after dog with breed specific health problems is soul destroying.
    No, "designer dogs" are not the answer, but this is not because they are a cross breed, it is because of the economical aim of the breeder and the parents who may carry breed specific diseases.
    I don't think she's talking about losing breeds, just losing the obsession with purity and specific types, measurements, colours...etc. I'd rather see a world of healthy mongrels and breed types than the world of pedigree dogs we have today.
    I went to a companion dog show recently and saw what I hope to be the future. It was a handling competition and there were five dogs in the ring. Three of them were complete mixtures, but were standing and being shown like the pedigree dogs in the ring. What mattered in that ring was an enthusiasm and love of dogs, not how long the nose was, the shape of the leg, or the height of the dog.

  4. Jessica - Lonsdale Bulldogs30 September 2011 at 22:37

    In regards to the 1st comment from 'Anon'.

    I appreciate your concern in regards to the kenneling of our dogs;

    Let me put your dismayed thoughts to rest;

    Yes we have kennels, Yes our dogs will sleep in their own beds in their (heated) kennels at night...... However they are out and about with me all day everyday either roaming our land or out taking part in various training classes from obedience to fly ball.

    They also all have one on one time with us as a family everyday whether it be to practice training, grooming, or just have to have a nice fuss and a cuddle.

    The dogs would HATE hate to be 'kept' as house pets they much prefer to be outdoors and busy with us doing things together than sat on the sofa - This to me is the qualities i would look for from a companion and i know they dogs want the same.

    You only have to take the time to have to look through our photos to see the intimacy between our dogs and our daughter.

    Our dogs are more than just a 'companions' they are our family members and beloved best friends.

  5. Hey . . .this stuff is complicated.

    Need to differentiate between DD's, new breeds, and outcross/backcross exercises. Most DD's are F1 hybrids. Many, but not all, come from 'puppy farms', some of which have high standards of hygene, veterinary care and health testing, some of which don't. The 'labradoodle' is, in some cases, moving toward registry as a breed (the breed will have a new name), but there are plenty of DD labradoodles out there, some from the worst sort of breeding. This is oversimplified. You'll also find, for example, breeders who are crossing pit bulls with mastiffs to try and create a better 'big game' hunter or 'protection' dog . . . and selling pups at high prices. Sometimes they go to F2 or F3. Google bandog or bandogge for more information.
    Personally, I am most excited by outcross/backcross exercises. Deliberate breeding designed to overcome some defect in a pedigree breed . . .as in the Toller or Dalmation breeding programs that have been described on this blog. The breeding of the bobtail gene into boxers, done a decade earlier, in part to get around bans on docking, is another fascinating example. See, eg

    For those of you who think the toller outcross was inappropriate . . . this guy crossed boxers with corgis . . . and it didn't take many to get back to true-to-type boxers.

  6. p.s. I don't think Professor Crispin has it right re. Labradors. I brought a couple Labs from Australia to the US. They are from mostly show lines, pedigrees heavy on UK/Scandanavian lines. Big heads. Boxy. I find that US breeders in the hunting side of the show vs. field divide, are quite happy to bring in heavier dogs with bigger heads. General opinion: The English show lines are not as fast. But they're often great dogs in the field. (Ok, avoid the ones who don't like water and don't care about birds).

  7. Doesn't England have a ban on dogs like the Leavitt Bulldog? Any animal control officer seeing one of these would think "pit bull" in a heart beat.. not to mention that they look very pit bull like in type and even show some pit bull in their history. I like the dogs.. think they look great but wonder how they past the death chamber when so many that look like them do not.
    Meanwhile I think vets like Milne do what they do and say what they say for pure publicity and attention. Please tell me she is not related to A.A Milne..

  8. Professor Crispin is offically my hero. I went to Crufts and had a look at the Border Collies. They asked who my working collies parents were. When I replied 'Bob and Sally' they promptly dismissed me, saying that my collie was not a Border Collie and was a 'mongrel'. I was like 'Lets take our dogs out to the sheep and see who has the Border Collie then'

    When I was looking for a dog, I wanted a dog that I could both work and show (yes I show, we are not all bad :) ). The choice is rather limited and its such a shame. I have my flat coat now, and he is at home in both the field and the show ring, mainly because my breeder breeds for conformation and for working ability.

    I have to add this on here as well. I went to the park and met this owner with the most beautiful show German Shepherd. She had the horrible back end but she had a gorgeous face, obvious working ability and the hips of an angel. She kept up with my 6 month old Flat Coat and my (mongrel?) collie, despite being 7 years old! She was racing all over the park like a puppy, herding her ball. Do they show her....No! And why not...because she has long hair on the back of her legs so they wouldn't accept her in the show ring...madness, absolute madness!!

    I wish there was more in the show ring to promote the working abilities of the dogs that still work. Its sad that the natural abilities are being lost :(.

  9. As someone who owns a Dorset Olde Tyme Bulldogge, I would LOVE to give the KC the sharp end of my tongue. Whilst my dog's snout isn't as elongated as the Leavitt bulldog:

    img src="

    (Seen here having a face-off with our rabbit, and failing)

    It's still a damned sight better than the current champion.

    So much about dog shows make me incandescent with rage. It's all superficial bullsh*t, and the health of the poor dogs is cast away entirely. I don't agree that dog shows should be banned, I simply believe they ought to be promoting healthy dogs, with a healthy lifestyle, and not the cosmetic crap we see at horrors like Crufts.

  10. I’d love to see the show ring wiped off the face of the earth. Yes, it is important to have venues for interested and like-minded people who love dogs to meet, exchange information and have fun with their dogs, but such venues already exist. They are called trials, not shows, and they focus on ability – herding, retrieving, agility, obedience, protection etc. – not the production of cookie-cutter dogs.

    Deregistering breeds would be a good start but it would still be tinkering. The problem lies much deeper and will not be solved by such action. The real problem is kennel clubs. These organizations serve the interests of breeders, not dogs. The interests of the two parties are not the same and while kennel clubs around the world desperately try to convince everybody, including themselves, that they promote the welfare of dogs, they cannot in reality serve two masters. The breeders, who after all are the club, will always have their interests put first. The dogs will always suffer. They don’t have a vote.

    Kennel clubs destroy dogs. Tinkering will not fix the underlying problem. Ban kennel clubs.

    (It’ll never happen.)

  11. "Over nose wrinkle, if present, whole or broken, must never adversely affect or obscure eyes or nose. Pinched nostrils and heavy over nose roll are unacceptable and should be heavily penalised"

    Obviously this amended standard had not been read when awarding the above champion of the breed.

    Jessica, your Lonsdale Bulldogs look healthy and functional and you quite clearly care that your dogs live a fit and healthy life.
    May I ask you a few questions about the dogs in the project?

    How did Mr Leavitt achieve his original dogs looks? Did he outcross?

    Are you the only UK breeders in this project?
    Do you import semen/ dogs from other countries to breed with your lovely dogs?

    thanks and well done for CARING for the health of bulldogs.

  12. I seem to have upset Bulldog rescue:

  13. Jemima Harrison said...

    "I seem to have upset Bulldog rescue:"

    Here's the real issue for these people: "take away the only thing between indiscriminate breeding and the breed standard and my job will become a living hell, trying to work out what's a bulldog and what's verging on a Pit Bull." Gotta have a distinctive dog that can't be similar to other dogs. And definitely not a dog bred by one of 'those people' who aren't like us reputable show breeders.

    And this is priceless: "The dogs we have here right now are at no more risk of overheating than any other dog of any other breed."

    Yeah, right.

    The anti-crossbreeding rhetoric is becoming so tiresome and enervating that I have pretty much given up on my program.

  14. Nope not upset - you just need to get your facts straight. My offer of an interview still stands, you'll be hard pushed to find anyone with as much experience of "health problems" than me

  15. Sarah said "Ban all Kennel Clubs"......... can she suggest who else will fund so research into Canine health that is for the benefit of ALL dogs, who will provide the fund for so many rescues organisations (breed and non breed specific) and who else will deal with all the training/field trials/agility/obedience? Deal with training of children on how to behave around dogs, lobby politicain on dog welfare (the ban of electric collars), campaign and organise against local coucils who try and restict access to public land for ALL dogs? Well Sarah who?

  16. On her blog, BulldogLady writes: "as the temperature outside today hits over 25 degrees ...No they haven't been walked today, but no dog should be walked in this for the same reason you won't find me trecking for miles in extreme temperatures."

    How strange. My mutt's been out walking all day in this weather, seemingly without ill effect. As you're quite the health expert, BDL, how do you explain this exceptional dog?

  17. "Kennel clubs destroy dogs. Tinkering will not fix the underlying problem. Ban kennel clubs.

    (It’ll never happen.)

    Why not?? you Brits ban everything else.. you should change the name of your country to Bantain,the home of those who "know better than you do what you should be doing".. truly the "Political correctness " of Britain will drive all of you to ruin.. why not start with dogs.

    The way to change in anything is through education.. not a "ban".. but I guess I could support on ban on bans..

  18. oh don't worry about a small thing like funding health. hold a jumble sale.. that should do it..

  19. I have no doubt that BDL is sincere in believing her bulldogs are healthy. And of course some cope with the heat; some are able to mate and give birth naturally; some can skateboard with consummate skill; not all suffer from skin-fold dermatitis or cherry eye and some don't sink when they swim.

    The problem is that a great many others do - as has been very-well documented; problems that those in the breed are mostly de-sensitised to.


  20. There are lots of other photos of the bulldog on the web.. quite a lovely dog.. take a look.. not all of the pictures look like the "chosen one" here.. also lots of dead dog photos of dogs that look like the bottom picture.. no matter how healthy your dog is.. if it looks like this it has a good chance of being killed in todays world..which should be be more worried about?

  21. Well are you gonna except Tania's offer of an interview? I would fine it strange if you didnt.

  22. Perhaps Tania would like to sketch out what she'd like to say in such an interview and tell me why my facts are not straight regarding Bulldog health?

  23. Hi Tanya BDL,

    I see on your blog that you do not believe that bulldogs suffer in the heat any more than any other breed?
    Can you give me the reasons why you believe this?

    Do you honestly believe that flat faced/brachycephalic dogs are not more prone to heat stroke, over heating, and respiratory compromise than let's say a labrador?

    Here is a video I found on you tube. One could say your average looking bulldogs having fun in the park. It's not a cyanotic collapsed gasping bulldog, just two dogs running around.
    It's not dubbed with the usual American surf music just a plain old vid.

    Please turn up the volume and enjoy;

    Bulldog lady, what are your views on the health and breathing in particular of these bulldogs?


  24. dodge and weave.. why would you need a "sketch".. afraid to go in "cold"?

  25. Well either that or because it's standard journalistic practice to try to get a rough idea of what someone is going to say - and the authority with which they say it - before committing resources to an interview, filmed or otherwise.

  26. No breed has ever come under as much scrutiny or been objected to as much negative press as our National Breed, the Bulldog.

    The breed standard has been radically changed by the KC since PDE but unless these changes are strongly enforced in the show ring and old school judges change their perception of the way the breed should evolve and award 1st places and CCs accordingly then people will still see certain winners/champions as typical of the breed when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.

    Yes a bulldog is more susceptible to heat if you're trying to exercise them in it but mine love nothing more than sunbathing all day and swimming when the weather is too hot to run. They breathe easily and run with friends labradors, people that have never come into contact with the 'average' bulldog have no idea how fit they can be but jump to the conclusion that bulldogs are an obomination and destined to die before the age of two.

    All pedigree breeds have their limitations, all have their unique idiosyncracies, but does that mean all dogs should eventually be morphed back to the original template...the wolf??

    What is needed is stricter control on breeding, any breed being bred by people throwing two dogs together without a thought to health testing but in order to fund a new car or a holiday is going to suffer eventually.

    Even the alternative types being advertised as 'the healthier bulldog' (Olde Tyme etc) are no more healthy. They come with a huge mixing pot of problems when dogs are just put together for looks, there are very few alternative breeders that fully health test their stock..

    Rather than trying to turn the Bulldog into an animal that, if a 100 people were surveyed and asked to name the breed, not one of them would say 'British Bulldog' ...why not spend some time with my dogs, or the dogs of 100s of people that I have come to know and realise that yes, there are those that have their problems just like ANY pedigree or 'designer' breed BUT in the majority the health of the bulldog has improved MASSIVELY in a very short space of time and will continue to do so with changes in the show ring, dedicated breeders and people like BulldogLady pulling together to save what is, after all, this countrys most well known Icon.

  27. At Kate
    --I see on your blog that you do not believe that bulldogs suffer in the heat any more than any other breed?
    Can you give me the reasons why you believe this? --

    I never said that, bulldog's do overheat - that is a well documented fact and the BDR web site and my book give clear advice on what to do if your bulldog does overheat - I'm not so stupid to beleive that they won't or don't, the point I was making was that none of them had to be shut away and were quite happy to laze around in the sun with no ill effect. None of them were laying in a constant stream of hosed water and no one was having difficulties

    --Do you honestly believe that flat faced/brachycephalic dogs are not more prone to heat stroke, over heating, and respiratory compromise than let's say a labrador?--

    Of course not, I've not been involved with Bulldogs this long and never experienced a bulldog over heating, and am fully aware of the risks of them doing so - but it's not the instant risk that some would have us beleive. I can't run around in the heat - does that mean I should be euthanized?

    At Jemima
    --Perhaps Tania would like to sketch out what she'd like to say in such an interview and tell me why my facts are not straight regarding Bulldog health?--

    I will answer truthfully any question you ask me. All I ask in return is that I see the "edited" version of the interview before it's aired because I'm not going to reply with (for example) Yes Bulldogs have health problems but ...... and you cut it before the but!

  28. BDL writes:

    "none of them had to be shut away and were quite happy to laze around in the sun with no ill effect. None of them were laying in a constant stream of hosed water and no one was having difficulties"

    If you think this is an acceptable bar to determine a healthy dog, then you really have become thoroughly desensitized to the problems that your dogs face.

    This reminds me of the crippled GSD puppies that featured in this blog recently. Apparently they couldn't run in temperatures of 25 degrees centigrade either.

    BDL, you have effectively said in your blog post that you would rather a dog have a flat face than be able to breathe properly. You are angered that someone might try and give this blighted breed its nose back, yet are blind to, or excuse the trouble this causes. You are breeding form over function. It is a disgusting practice, and you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

  29. Talk about putting words in my mouth. I suggest you take a step back and interpret what I was really saying. If comments are to be taken out of context then I will simply stop commenting. I have no reason to be ashamed and at least I was taught how to be respectful of other peoples opinions which you clearly are not. So we will agree to disagree? I am not angered nor blinded, I simply comment on what I have under my feet as I type.
    My offer to be interviewed is valid, we'll see what, if anything, comes of that and meanwhile I will not be posted here any more. I will leave you all to your blinkered opinions. End of

  30. Bulldog lady,
    do you not realise that all breeds with a brachycephalic skull ARE respiratory compromised?

  31. ". I suggest you take a step back and interpret what I was really saying."

    Well, let's see then. Let's work this one through.

    In your blog, you dismiss the Leavitt Bulldog. You say: "I don't want a Stafford look-a-like.". You state you want a flat faced dog: "I want a bulldog."

    You actively chose the form.

    The health problems this causes are obvious and serious. You have no comment on them other than to acknowledge them. Here is your total comment on Bulldog health problems caused by their flat face: "I'm not denying there's problems... bulldog's do overheat" and that's pretty much it. But you write paragraph after paragraph batting the issue away:

    "No they haven't been walked today, but no dog should be walked in this for the same reason you won't find me trecking for miles in extreme temperatures. The dogs we have here right now are at no more risk of overheating than any other dog of any other breed."

    "Of course not, I've not been involved with Bulldogs this long and never experienced a bulldog over heating, and am fully aware of the risks of them doing so - but it's not the instant risk that some would have us beleive"

    You choose the form, and you excuse the breathing problems it causes. You choose form over function.

    It's clear to me what you're saying, and where you sit on this issue.

  32. @ Anonymous 20:53

    You asked if I could provide suggestions for who would provide various services instead of kennel clubs. Here are just a few. I have provided websites to show you that the organizations are not figments of my imagination.

    Note: I live in Canada, hence the preponderance Canadian content. I believe other people in other countries are just as competent at organizing themselves, if not even more so.

    1. …provide the fund [sic] for so many rescues [sic] organisations (breed and non breed specific)…

    I volunteered in animal rescue for seven years. To the best of my knowledge, the CKC donates nothing to animal rescue in general. Rescue organizations raise their own funds. Individual breed clubs take care of their own but again, to the best of my knowledge, breed specific rescues also raise their own funds. I’d be very pleased to be proven wrong.

    I can’t speak to what does or does not happen in other countries.

    2. …who else will deal with all the training…

    Community centres and private trainers (i.e. ones that offer group classes through a dog training business/club) currently do an excellent job for very reasonable fees. Large rescue groups such as SPCAs have access to trainers and can potentially provide classes – it’s in their interests to do so in order to increase the success rate of adoptions of rescued animals. One local group in my area offers free classes in the interests of promoting responsible dog ownership. Their trainers are just as good as those in the local kennel club.

    3. …field trials/agility/obedience

    The CKC is even less enlightened than the KC and refuses to allow any but registered dogs to compete in performance events. The enormous number of people excluded by this policy got together and formed their own associations, complete with trials (local, provincial and national) and titles.

    North American Dog Agility Council

    Agility Association of Canada

    Canadian Association of Rally Obedience

    If agility and obedience people can do it (along with the anti-kennel club stock dog people and the protection sport people), anyone can organize alternatives to kennel club activities if the need/desire is there.

    4. Deal with training of children on how to behave around dogs…

    Doggone Safe operates in both Canada and the U.S. It was founded by private individuals and is not run through or connected with a kennel club:

    The CKC does have a programme. If you try to find any information at all about it on their website, you will discover that you have to be a member and log in to get access to their materials. Useful and community spirited, eh?

  33. Response to Anonymous 20:53 Part Two

    5. …lobby politician [sic] on dog welfare (the ban of electric collars)…

    • Any organization that includes the initials SPCA in its acronym;
    • Various national/provinicial/state/local humane societies;
    • National organizations specific to individual countries, for example:

    The Blue Cross

    Battersea Dogs’ and Cats’ Home

    Various local welfare organizations such as:

    Various lobby groups such as:

    I am NOT going to get into a debate here about the weird and wonderful politics of animal welfare. The point is there are lots of groups actively involved and getting results.

    6. …campaign and organise against local coucils [sic] who try and restict [sic] access to public land for ALL dogs…

    Local organizations know the issues and the appropriate influential politicians/local groups/citizens to get on board as well as how best to approach them. For example:

    7. …fund so research into Canine [sic] health that is for the benefit of ALL dogs…

    So kennel clubs donate large sums of money to research purely in the spirit of altruism? I think not. Feel free to call me a cynic. I am.

    It’s blood money.

    Kennel clubs are NOT responsible for the presence of genetic disease. They ARE responsible for a high incidence of genetic disease and creeping inbreeding depression in purebred dog populations through the promotion and enforcement of detrimental breeding practices and an outdated and unsupportable concept of absolute purity. They ARE responsible for the suffering caused by health problems directly related to breed standards that they accept and reward. See the following:
    • the link to the study by Carboli et al in Jemima’s ‘Mate Defect’ post
    • Pedigree dog breeding in the UK: a major welfare concern?
    • The Bateson Inquiry Report
    • The Report of the Associate Parliamentary Group on Animal Welfare

    Rather than give up on the poor practices that are destroying the health of purebred dogs, kennel clubs donate money to research that they hope will solve the problem without forcing them to change their ways. I don’t believe it is the answer and am not impressed by their ‘generosity’. It falls into the same category as tobacco companies that sponsor sports.

    Research into health is important. However, while healthy breeding practices and breed standards that do not cause health problems will not eliminate naturally occurring health problems, they will do a lot more to improve the overall health of dogs than any amount of expensive research. As a bonus, they cost nothing.

  34. "I can't run around in the heat - does that mean I should be euthanized?"

    I found this comment very concerning. Do those who breed bulldogs really believe that opponents to the breeding of unhealthy animals wish existing specimens to be killed?!!

    All I wish is that people breed no more dogs that cannot breath properly.

  35. Us genuine people in the breed are all about improving the health of Bulldogs. Not for all those who dislike the breed, but for us. I certainly want to be happy that ive bred the healthiest dog and it wouldnt matter what breed that was. Its a pitty more are not like minded.

    My dog swims regularly (1 minute in the pool equivalent to 1 mile run) and runs around like a loon - I have a Bulldog. She is fit AND healthy. People often confuse health with fitness. These are completely different things. Im healthy but fit - NO! But thats okay isnt it cause I can breath clearly although ask me to do a 60 mile run (1 hour in the pool like my Bulldog) and id be struggling after a few minutes.

    Bulldogs stole my heart years ago and they will continue to do so, for all the right reasons.

  36. Retromodernist:

    Show me a pedigree dog without breed specific health issues??? And all that waffle to BDL about choosing form over function - is that not what every normal household does when buying a pet puppy bred to round up sheep?! Or collect shot game?! Or guard a tribe from a bloody Lion or Wolf??!! The fact is, the bulldog has been bred the way it is for years, and with responsible breeding, and knowledgeable owners, these dogs make the perfect pet for most average English household. I have seen mongrels with skin problems, boxers with heart conditions, Staffies with cleft pallets etc etc etc.... You can never eradicate 'health issues' from any breed of animal that is a direct result of selective mating, surely everyone understands that? Speak to an experienced bulldog enthusiast, any will advise to go for a dog with wide nostrils, straight tails, clear eyes and so on, its not like people are trying to get the biggest 'nose rope' widest legs, loudest snoring, and useless swimming dog money can buy - so all that form over function stuff from you is utter crap, it's not what she said at all. The function of the bulldog, isn't to fight bulls and other barbaric doings, it's to be a loyal, bold and caring pet. If you don't like the breed, then leave it to the people who do care for it and want to improve it the way it has been in the past few years....... and as for 'your mutt has been out walking all day with no ill effect.......' did it not have a drink? Did it not have a rest? As thats all my bulldog required after his walks today, not a defibrillator or oxygen mask as many of you would love to believe...... but a dog that walked ALL DAY in this heat??? I reckon you're either a careless owner, or you're being very economical with the truth........

  37. Over 25°C is extreme temperatures? Seriously?

  38. I know, Nanook! I can only conclude that KC Bulldog breeders are utterly deluded about what constitutes good health. If my dog started wilting at that temperature, I'd take him to the vet.

  39. "Yeah, I thought not..." quoting you Jemimna, surely if you want to get all dog breeders and the KC to take you seriously as somebody concerned about pedigree dog health to end an article with that phrase is not only juvenile but guaranteed to diminish any chance you have of working with the people you need to be speaking to.
    Another point is Epupz many breeders will not advertise on Epupz because they consider it the puppy farmer and back yard cash crop breeder. It seems to vary from breed to breed how Epupz is viewed.

  40. ANON 00:14 said....

    "You can never eradicate 'health issues' from any breed of animal that is a direct result of selective mating, surely everyone understands that?"

    The health issue of being unable to cool down properly and breathe properly without continuous strain on your soft tissues through panting and snoring, with the ultimate inflammation, stretching and eventual collapse of those tissues is simply down to CONFORMATION of these dogs. Surely those that breed these animals understand that?

    Then you say....

    "Speak to an experienced bulldog enthusiast, any will advise to go for a dog with wide nostrils"

    Sorry.......a common quote from all those that defend brachycephalics.
    Your partly correct, but only in the fact that wide open nostrils let the air in, but then this air hits a complete wall of crushed nasoturbinate bones, now found to play an essential part in the cooling mechanism of a dog.

    It's actually quite a simple lesson in anatomy, but one that is continuously ignored.

    "If you don't like the breed, then leave it to the people who do care for it and want to improve it the way it has been in the past few years"

    It's not about "liking". It's about the dogs health and those that have genuine concerns about the shape of the dogs head ( lack of muzzle) have science to back up their claims.

  41. As far as bullbreeds go, yes 25°C and above IS an extreme temperature. Bulldogs especially feel the heat very quickly.

  42. Personally I wilt at 25 degrees. I wouldn't be able for much at that temperature. That's a hot summer's day where I am.

  43. The lady in the other blog is correct in saying the bulldog hasn't really changed in 100 years as illustrated by the two pictures posted. However, by this time the working bulldog had been greatly changed during the 19th century by crossing them with the likes of pugs to achieve a dog much like the ones seen today, following the Cruelty to Animals Act 1835 which abolished bull baiting. A better illustration of the changes would be Reinagle's 1790 picture of a working bulldog

  44. Emma, do you think that that's okay? I mean, my 15.5 years old tibetan terrier happily goes for a walk at 25°C; does that mean he's more fit than a bullbreed dog of any age?!

  45. the Canadian who thinks all KC should be banned.......I fear has lost the plot as the options she suggest do little for dog welfare, and if she think a local politican will act for the benfit of dog owners when they are the ones who put such restrictions in place show just how little they know! as for call health research blood money name me anyone who has put in over £5,000,000.00 in to such research and welfare, the KC in the UK funds work that benefit both dogs and man around the whole world and ALL their profits go to such good work, check out their annual reports and accounts for the TRUTH.

  46. Here's are a couple of question for breeders/exhibitors: are you more influenced by breeder judges, who may know the standard of your breed or by judges who are "qualified" to judge your breed by attending seminars on your breed's standards and yet may be influenced by certain breeders who have dogs with the more exaggeration? Which judge will you show under?

  47. Any fool that walks their dogs in 25• is a prat I keep my none brachy breed out of the full sun and go for rambles in the cool morning or evening. Ic you let Amy dog out the back af that temperature they would quickly seek shade. I'm suprised you allow such foolish comments JH .

  48. to all those numpties, quoting and congratulating each other, for walking their dogs in temperatures over 25 degrees C....
    this may be okay in your part of the world but one has to remember that in a country that has an average 19 degrees summers day you will hopefully realise that a jump to 25 degrees is in fact an incredible increase.
    there are dogs in tenerife I know of who quite comfortably play in their back yards in temperatures of 25-30 but does this make them better dogs than a dog who isnt climatised to such heat?
    no.. so wind your necks in and think before you spout.

    on the topic of putting dogs to sleep because they cant function what they were 'created by man to do' how many of you labrador people know of dogs PTS because they dont like entering the water or are afraid of the gun noise?
    talk about that for a wee while and give the bulldog a rest from your blind venomous patter

  49. Wow. It takes a great deal of chutzpah to trumpet how creating and maintaining a breed with what amounts to serious physical deformities is a good thing and your breed should go unchanged.

    I like bulldogs. I have known maybe a dozen over the years that friends or acquaintances owned or that showed up for dog training classes I was teaching or involved in. Every single one was a charming, delightful dog, often excellent with their children and agreeable.

    However, every single one had some minor or major health problem (skin, dental, respiratory, cancer, orthopedic). The ones I knew belonging to friends all died at an age I would consider unacceptable (under 8).

    I can totally get why people like the breed because of their temperaments and personalities. What I can't get is the desire to turn them into some deformed picture of cuteness and wax poetic about it (oh! the wrinkles are so cute? isn't it darling when they snore whilst awake?). Why couldn't bulldog breeders take a step back and start moving towards a more reasonable face shape where the muzzle and head was more functional and didn't cause over heating and the teeth actually met in a functional bite (how in the hell do most bulldogs chew?), and the body wasn't so warped that 70% have HD? (

    You actually don't need to outcross (or end up with a 'Stafford mix' to fix the problem, you simply need to breed away from the extremes. Stop blaming judges and the KC, do whats right for the dogs that you love.

  50. Snoringbear said:
    "A better illustration of the changes would be Reinagle's 1790 picture of a working bulldog"

    Therein lies the problem, though. The dog in the picture is what we now call a Pit Bull. There is no option to legally go back to that in the UK and a number of other countries, even if it would be healthier.

    For the record I am in favour of improvement of the situation for Bulldogs - if that means outcrossing then absolutely it should be done. But those who say those outcross dogs, however healthy, could easily end up seized and destroyed do have a point. Remember that the "Pit Bull" is not so much a breed as a type. In the eyes of the DDA, if it looks vaguely like one it might as well be one.

  51. Walking your dog in 25 C doesn't make anyone a prat. If no one walked their dogs in 25 degrees where I lived NONE of the dogs would be walked for over 6 months out of the year! Generalizing to such a large degree only makes you out to be an ass. Other comment makes a good point, people and dogs adapt to their environment and if that tempt isn't a norm for them then of course people and dogs aren't going to go walking around in it. My dogs do fine in 25+, but they're used to those temperatures.

    As for dogs being PTS because they can't function, regarding bulldogs people mean function by living a normal healthy life, not function by working purpose as they haven't had one in years. There's a big difference between a dog that doesn't want to swim because it doesn't like water or doesn't run around as much, because it would rather putter around by your side. A bulldog doesn't swim without a floatation device, because they'd sink to the bottom and drown after its deformed limbs quickly tired from supporting its abnormally heavy frame. A bulldog doesn't run as far and as fast as other dogs, because it can barely breathe even when at rest. That is not a functioning healthy breed of dog.

  52. Well, Anon 12:26, I provided the alternatives requested and I’m not going to get mired in a boring exchange of insults and arguments about details that will convince neither of us of the other’s position.

    Regarding my original point about banning kennel clubs, let me put it this way. You can tinker all you want with a building, filling and painting over the cracks, but if the foundations are flawed, you are not addressing the real problem. You need to knock the building down if you are not prepared to deal with the inherent weakness.

    I believe kennel clubs are founded on flawed principles that belong to a past age. They are made up of people who are no better or worse than the rest of us, who love their dogs and who are genuinely interested in their welfare. There are breeders and clubs who work hard to function responsibly within the system. However, I also believe that too many are trapped in an outdated mode of thinking and an anachronistic system that they cannot escape, even if they want to. I know how long it takes to change a ‘company culture’, so to speak, and I think the best way to fix the problem when there is huge resistance to change is to disband the whole enterprise and start again.

    I never said I didn’t think there should be any organizations; I would just like to see kennel clubs replaced by organizations that are not founded on elitism, a concept of ‘purity’ and an emphasis on aesthetics divorced from function, which many, including science-based researchers, argue have had a detrimental impact on the genetic, physical and mental health of the dogs we all love.

    Oh Hell, you're right. I am in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

  53. So it's the climate that's the problem, not the way some dogs are built...

  54. alistair said:

    "does this make them better dogs than a dog who isnt climatised to such heat?"

    This would suggest that the issue with overheating Bulldogs is one of acclimatisation. That is clearly not the case. No matter how long the summer may be, Bulldogs will suffer because of their flat faces - flat faces that Bulldog breeders deliberately choose for their dogs.

    Tellingly, not one Bulldog breeder on here has yet to say a word on how to solve this terrible problem, or even to remotely acknowledge it is a problem. We're still getting the same rubbishy excuses, while the dogs they love gurgle and snort their way to an early grave after an unfulfilled life.

  55. I quite frankly find your small minded, uneducated comments truly remarkable !! I can only imagine that as a struggling ( and I can see why ) journalist you think this kind of sensationalist reporting is the only way to get your name mentioned anywhere. Well congratulations Jemima, we have all heard your name, so please do everyone a favour a crawl back under that biggoted little rock you crawled out off. You are not interested in any balanced reporting, and this pathetic onslaught you continue to push is quite frankly the only way you find to keep your sad little existence in the public eye. If only we Ccould ban your type of BREED !!!!!!!

  56. "Perhaps Tania would like to sketch out what she'd like to say in such an interview and tell me why my facts are not straight regarding Bulldog health?"

    JEMIMA, isn't that your job? if you where any good at it?!

  57. can't wait to see the Bulldog /Toller cross back crossed to the Australian Shepard with a bit of Poodle thrown in for hypo allergenic properties.... the perfect dog will undoubtedly be created..and you will see it here.not the dogs ..but the actual breeding. ( for the titillating aspect).and later cute pictures of the robust vital healthy puppies at six weeks old. LOL

  58. Thank you for this blog Jemima.

    After filtering out the nasty and rude comments directed to yourself (rudeness is all that can be used when one doesn't have anything constructive to say), this blog just shows the scary level of denial about serious conformation issues.

    It's just so sad.

  59. Well 20.09 this is a uk blog and 25• over here would be a very hot summer which our dogs are certainly not used to, were told time and time again to keep them in during the hottest part of the day si yes I would say anyone over here who did walk them in full sun is most defiantly a prat.

  60. Katie Price said "After filtering out the nasty and rude comments directed to yourself (rudeness is all that can be used when one doesn't have anything constructive to say), this blog just shows the scary level of denial about serious conformation issues. " think she is quite deluded herself and as shown in the past has know understanding or knowledge on canine health, she picks on people and trys to blame others, no that is a person witha real case of denile

  61. I love this blog....its informative and often points me towards articles and info I would never have found.
    The pathetic and rude comments always seem to come from one side !
    No-one looking at that pic would want to walk a minute in that dogs shoes ( nor any of the other 30 odd pics of the breed )

    Ive said this before....of course people want a Bulldog, they love its temperament ....but if you asked them if they would prefer one with a slightly longer muzzle , one that could breed as well as breathe etc they would. The public dont like what has been done to the breed BUT they cant find one thats close in looks and temperament without the exaggerations of the show dogs.
    Yes they want Bassets BUT not ones dragging their sterums along with Nora Batty wrinkles...they want a Labrador ...but NOT a great 10 stone lump, a daxie...not one with legs so short it will soon have to drag its sternum along the floor, a Pug yes ..but one with eyes in its head
    All pedigree dog breeds have the support of the Public...they want one, they would I guess also prefer one bred by experienced breeders rather than anything else but they are breeding to win and thats the sole reason they look like they do.
    I know personally of many breeders in a wide range of breeds who dont even like the way their breed is going BUT if they dont breed similar then they dont win. So do they continue to breed the dogs they like....not if they dont win they dont

  62. Nanook, like people, different dog breeds have different metabolisms, and some are able to handle heat better than others. When it's too warm to walk my dog at a certain time of day (temperatures change over the course of a day, that much is obvious), I wait until it's cooled down to walk them. If it remains too hot even into the later hours of the day, I find other ways to give them exercise.

    I have a garden hose which I feed outside and switch on, and play with my dogs in the water, so they can drink and stay cool in the process. Or, I can take them down to the river for a swim.

    As long as I put sunblock on their noses and exposed areas, I can exercise my dogs in the warmer months simply by using common sense. I don't have them running about when the sun is at its hottest, and I keep their skin protected, give them lots of water and make sure they're not overheating.

    I would not keep my dogs inside indefinitely during the warmer months, I merely find other ways to exercise them. It's not bad form to miss one day of walking, but it is to miss entire seasons. I don't like that dogs are bred with ANY health difficulties, but they are; and so we can fight that, AND do what we can to keep them safe and healthy along the way.

  63. Emma, I agree, but it's not the temperature that's the problem, it's the dog. And if someone claims 25°C and up to be extreme temp. for dogs of a specific breed (or even dogs in general?), then for me that means that there's something wrong with the breed, not with the temperature itself.

  64. Jessica - Lonsdale Bulldogs6 October 2011 at 11:43

    Hello Katie,

    David Leavitt started his breeding program in 1971 his aim was to recreate the a breed that resembled the original bulldog without the ferocious temperament; He wanted to create a bulldog that was free breathing, athletic, a dog with a less exaggerated appearance that is well structured and most importantly able to give birth naturally. He out crossed from a British bulldog to 3 other breeds that all have the old Bulldog in their history Bull mastiff Pit Bull American Bulldog.

    We are the only breeders of the Leavitt Bulldog in the U.K we are a very active part of the Leavitt Bulldog Association, both in Europe and the USA. With the breed association all working so closely together it works in our favor, as should anyone be interested in the breed and contact breeders abroad they will be directed to us as the UK representatives - This is important to us as breeders as it helps us to protect the breeds future here - The Alternative Bulldogs that are being created left right and center are very much the latest fashion for the idiots on the street. We see it as our absolute duty that our Bulldogs are protected from the culture and their future protected her in the UK. Many of these new Bulldog creations are normally Staford's x to mastiffs, bulldogs etc they and are no way healthier than a show bred KC reg Bulldog - They may look less exaggerated but normally come with a wealth of heredity illnesses from the crossing out to other breeds, other health issues are introduced that may not be present in the Bulldogs. Unless as a breeder they are actively health screening and testing their dogs they can't claim to be healthier or 'an improved version' of a KC Bulldog.

    In regards to our breeding program we will use males from Europe and the USA. We are in no rush and will take our time when planning a breeding it has taken us 6 years to even get to our 1st breeding that took place last year - we have to fully health test that offspring at 18 months before we can even consider moving on to our next generation. Health, temperament and genetic diversity is our main concern as breeders.

  65. I am purely a pet owner and I have kept several different dog breeds, over my life time. Of all of them, I have to say, the KC Bulldog has the best temperament and personality. I would hate to see this breed outcrossed, god knows what would happen, to its friendly disposition. It taken many years of careful breeding to achieve this and I wouldn't like this to change. Although I own two healthy dogs, I will admit there are health issues within the breed, but doesn't every breed. We now have responsible breeders, that health check their breeding stock, which is more than I can say about some others. Unfortunately, you will always get the back yard type breeders, more interested in the £. there again every breed has this problem. LEAVE OUR BULLIES ALONE.

  66. I have a lot to say... Unfortunately.... Animals (ALL ANIMALS) like humans have imperfections, that's life. Dogs evolved from the wolf with the help of mother nature, as we humans did from the apes!! Humans don't go around choosing who they partner with by looking through the DNA... We on the other hand can look into the make-up, temperaments, genetic abnormalities when we're looking at breeding our dogs. Even with the best breed line (Doesn't matter breed of dog or animal) Imperfections will still happen!
    I'm always hearing the opposite... That breeders are being very careful in their selections when preparing for their broods next mating season.
    What worries me about this talk of cross breeding other breeds in... You'll have inexperienced dog owners jumping in to see who can concuct the best breed (Only in it for the money) and not take into consideration different breeds characteristics/temperaments etc etc thus ending with more dogs added to the "dangerous dogs" list :(
    Take Guide Dogs For The Blind for example...... Even after 70 years of them breeding and training... Mistakes are still made. Careful selection of pairing a brood and a stud (with fantastic hip scoring etc etc) Will NOT garrantee you the perfect litter. I had a black Lab (Guide Dogs) who'd sired 4 litters... His 4th litter all had overshot jaw lines which then resulted in him being retired as a working stud dog. We can't get it right every time and maybe these narrow minded people who seem to have it in for the nations BRITISH BULLDOG should go back and get some more education on EVERY breed before pointing the finger at just one.... Because every breed has issues.

  67. Nanook,

    I personally don't like temperatures over 20C, never mind 25. I prefer a cooler climate, much like many other people and animals, but does that mean there's something wrong with us?

    Comparatively, those animals who thrive in hot temperatures and dwindle in the cold, does that mean there's something wrong with them too?

    There are plenty of health issues that the bulldog has, down to the shape of its head, its body and stature, so I'd be more concerned about those, than I would ones brought on by temperature, especially when we're more able to control when they're exposed to those temperatures. We can control the health issues if we address the breed genetics themselves, but then they wouldn't be bulldogs by KC standards. Breeding for appearance and not health shouldn't be allowed, but it is, and this is why have nightmares like Crufts, and other horrors.

  68. "Because every breed has issues. "

    It is quite true that every breed has issues, however, in comparatively healthy breeds, specimens born with such issues, or throwing puppies with such issues, are either not bred from, or are withdrawn from breeding programmes when issues arise.

    In dogs which are bred to be profoundly brachycephalic, the entire breed has issues, and presumably there are no ‘normal’ animals (ie dogs with muzzles) to breed from. Which is why outcrossing seems a practical solution to many people.

    Out of interest, I wonder if any bulldog owner posting here actually thinks that the appearance of the champion dog whose picture appears at the top of this thread is an OK looking dog. Or would you say that this is an extreme and undesirable example of the breed?

    Would you be happy to see a muzzle say part way between the Leavitt dog and the one above? Or do you prefer the face without any muzzle at all?

    Incidentally, I can’t believe that so many people would wish to hide their identities. I therefore wonder if many posters here are ‘anonymous’ because they cannot post in any other way using internet explorer. If so, you may find you are able to post using your name if you use a different browser. Chrome seems to work well.


  69. I think there are many who choose to remain Anon, but there do appear to be some issues with Blogger Comments at the moment, with people finding it impossible to post. Frustrating, as I've seen on other sites that people think I am censoring Comments. I'm not (as I hope would be evident from those that have got thtrough) other than the odd one that is just pointlessly rude or clearly defamatory.

    If anyone is having problems, please feel free to email me your Comment ( and I'll try to post it for you.


  70. But don't you think that "Anonymous" is no different to just giving the name "Pippa" ?? It means nothing to me. Or are you wanting more specific details?
    With regards to the above photo.... It's not a good shot.... There is a hand on the dogs head causing the dogs eyes to shut. I was brought up with bulldogs and have been familiar with the breed for nearly 30 years. I have never witnessed one bulldog struggle with it's breathing. No more so than any other breed of dog in stiffling hot weather! I've watched them grab the rope of a sledge and pulled it a far distance and chased snow balls in the winter... I watched them play with the hose pipes in the summer and tear around the garden, no differently to a labarador would do. The bulldog isn't the only breed with short muzzles either. We could go on forever with this... Cross breeding/out crossing is ludicrous. Your condemming a breed where breeders are trying their best to improve. Bassetts fall over their own ears, Dalmations are lucky if they can see, Great Danes constantly crack their tails, Countless breeds have forms of dysplasia, cataracts, Atopy, Heart mumours. The list is endless.

  71. In reply to the question " I wonder if any bulldog owner posting here actually thinks that the appearance of the champion dog whose picture appears at the top of this thread is an OK looking dog."

    Personally I prefer a split nose rope. Both my bulldogs have split ropes which means there is no heavy roll across the nose and a very slight stop to the muzzle. It gives a completely different side profile.

    Bulldogs come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes depending on their lines, condemning the breed on the basis of one bad photo or what a stereotypical bulldog conjures up in most peoples minds is totally wrong.

    Spend time with a huge cross section of the breed and you will realise that the really unhealthy ones are few and far between these days and as long as the judging at shows continues to get stricter and stricter on conforming to the new standard and any obvious problems are penalised then the bulldog will only get better and better, there is no need to outcross it, just improve what we already have.

  72. Whats the average lifespan of a KC bulldog?
    What is the average lifespan of a Leavitt Bulldog?

    I believe the difference is about 3 years in favor of the Leavitt. Puts it in perspective for me.

  73. "Bulldogs come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes depending on their lines, condemning the breed on the basis of one bad photo or what a stereotypical bulldog conjures up in most peoples minds is totally wrong. "

    Do share...all the "show" bulldogs I've met meet the "stricter and stricter" conformation standard...

    There is NOTHING wrong with outcrossing!!!! Why are so many people against it?? As long as you end up with a beautiful HEALTHY breed type at the end why fight something like that?
    All breeds are the product of crossing and mixing breeds, by not allowing it you are immediately cutting down the gene pool available to an animal due to its phenotype, not its actual potential.

  74. curious.. how does the Leavitt dog get away with not being a "dangerous breed" and how do you cross to the "pit bull" ( a lovely type of dogs no matter what the idiots in government say0 when they are illegal in Britain.. what is being done to rescind the DDA .. and what is this blogger doing about it?

  75. I could be mistaken about this, but I think at the moment that any dog seized by the animal warden in the UK is taken to the local rescue and by law it must remain there for 7 days until claimed. Even if the police *think* it's a "dangerous breed", the owner can still rightfully claim it within that 7 day period without penalty. If unclaimed and the police deem it a dangerous breed, which is by all accounts subjective and based on looks alone, it is euthanised. I would imagine a Leavitt dog just as any innocent American bulldog or Mastiff crosses, etc. are all vulnerable. Having said that, my understanding is that the police can do nothing while the dog is in your possession and not posing a credible threat to society.

    The RSPCA, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Dogs Trust, and a few others are at the moment campaigning to have the DDA changed. The fact is that it has proven an exercise in futility since backstreet breeders continue to breed to produce dogs resembling pit bulls. The only things accomplished by this legislation so far is the fairly indiscriminate destruction of dogs on looks alone.

    I personally like the looks of the Leavitt bulldog. Sadly one must be prepared to have people on the street discriminate against it due to selective reporting by the media regarding bull breeds.

  76. Well Anonymous 5 October 2011 13:06, this is a UK blog on the WORLD WIDE WEB read by people all over the world, so when you say that anyone who walks their dogs in such weather is a prat that is understood to be a anyone in the most general sense.

    Let's just agree that it's not common sense for someone in your area to walk their dogs in temps it's not adapted to.

  77. Jessica - Lonsdale Bulldogs7 October 2011 at 14:19

    I would just like to take a few moments to address the confusion regard the DDA law and the Leavitt Bulldog.

    In regards to appearance our dogs are no more or less at risk of being seized under BSL laws than a KC boxer would be, certainly much less risk than a KC reg Stafford.

  78. every single breed of dog will have its problems when not bred properly,a lot of bulldog breeders breed for health and strive to improve the health of their pups,they spend huge amounts of time and money achieving the healthiest bulldogs they can,there are too many people who condemn this breed just simply because they see a badly bred bulldog,to cross a buldog with another breed is just asking for future problems ,there are so many crossed purebreds now but it is storing up problems for future litters of these designer dogs,i do not see a bulldog as a designer dog at all ,but do agree it must be bred for health and not just looks,

  79. "Whats the average lifespan of a KC bulldog?
    What is the average lifespan of a Leavitt Bulldog?

    I believe the difference is about 3 years in favor of the Leavitt. Puts it in perspective for me."

    ...... Whats the life span of a hamster??? What's the life span of a Great Dane??? No different to human life.... We all go at some point, whether it be through natural causes or unfortunately through disease. All breeds differ in life spans. Does anyone actually know what causes the Bulldog's end of life? No blooming different to any other breed of dog.... I've seen plenty of other breeds Go too early due to gentetic disorders
    Anyone comparing a Bulldog as a designer dog should really take a closer look at the Poodle!!

  80. The average lifespan of a Leavitt Bulldog is around 10 - 12 years old.
    A couple of the foundation dogs and their offspring lived until 18 years old.

  81. The difference is ALL hamsters live a short life, compare Bulldogs to the average age of death for dogs as a species
    Would you be as happy if they died at 4 ?

    Its unjustifiable !

  82. Hamsters are extremely inbred and suffer in various ways as a result. Pet-trade hamsters are half the weight of the original wild-type and have about 1/10th of the vitality.

    There is far too much acceptance of short lifespans in some breeds. If we bred for longevity (ie breed from long-lived dogs with long-lived antecedents) and selected more strongly for proven health and vigour, I believe the age of death could be increased considerably in some breeds.


  83. Syrian or golden hamsters that are available on the pet mark descend from a single litter that was captured in the 1930's near Aleppo by Jewish Zionist zoologist named Israel Aharoni. It was a female with a litter of seven young. Because she was stressed, she ate one of them, which is a very common behavior with this species. Then she died, forcing Aharoni to hand-rear the litter. Only four of these survived.

    All Syrian hamsters that you can buy as pets today descend from these four founders.

    Wild rodents tend to have evolved with low genetic variation within a region, so they have a certain amount of inbreeding tolerance. Rodents really don't disperse very far over their lifetimes. That means genetic diversity within an area is going to be quite concentrated.

    That said, Syrian or golden hamsters are not a good example to make the argument that "inbreeding is fine."

    I used to raise these hamsters. The get quite a bit of cancer, and they actually do suffer from a mutant transmissible cancer.

    There is a colony of golden hamsters in Germany that has 19 founders from Syria, which are unrelated to the pet and show stock.

    I would have totally been into hamster showing if it had been more common when I was a child.

    These were my favorite little things to raise. I did lots of cross-breeding experiments with coat and color phases. I still think the wild-type coat is the most handsome.

  84. yes please get off dogs and onto hamsters. do us all a favor

  85. Why am I seeing hamsters compared to dogs?

  86. Emma, I am not talking about other animals, I'm talking about bulldogs and the "fact" that 25°C and up is considered extreme temp. for bulldogs/dogs (in general?). It's the dog that's extreme, not the temperature.

  87. 7 October 2011 01:18

    To Anonymous:

    Just to pick up on your point about the police and powers with dogs suspected of being subject to the DDA. I know of a neighbour calling 'the authorities' of a suspected Pit Bull as it was stood on its own front lawn with it's owner - and being seized the same day, and ordered to be destroyed by a court, along with the owners other 3 dogs :-(

  88. That is just disgusting to be exterminated because of race. That is dog racism in the biggest degree! Sensationalists condeming a certain breed due to their origin or looks and to sentence dogs to death as a result is pathetic and a clear example of what journalism can cause. Singeling out the Bull Breed as aggressive will result in a total ban of these breeds and possible extermination as a result. Why not educate people properly rather than sowing seeds of misconception with the public. Another point to make is do you really think trying to force or enforce rules onto breeders will stop dog breeding? It will only open the doors to backyard breeding where there will be NO CONTROL at all.

  89. To Anonymous
    (10 October 2011 13:26):

    Were the dogs destroyed then? I thought the law only applied to dogs abandoned and not claimed and only applied to so-called DDA dogs in the company of the owner if they posed a threat (like attacked another pet or human)? If all it takes is a phone call to the authorities by a vengeful owner, that is indeed disturbing. I'll be so happy to see that law changed.

  90. Its very unlikely that a dog would be seized and destroyed on the bases of what it looks like now - Maybe when the law 1st came into play then yes, but not now. They can be siezed bt not destroyed the way some are explaining here

    An extensive will be needed to prove if a dog is 'of type' and the descion as to whether the dog will be destroyed is down to the temperament. There are pitbull types being seized and returned to their owners every week, they are simply spayed tattooed and registered and required to wear a muzzle in public. Still ridiculous but there are only a few high profile cases were dogs are destroyed for looking like pit bulls - Normally due to temperament issues or owners willingness to fight for their dogs.

  91. It will be a relief to see the law changed. At the moment so many dogs finding themselves in animal shelters are destroyed simply because they're not claimed and the police make a subjective decision that they're a dangerous dog under the DDA. No tests are done, no pedigree papers exist...for all anyone knows they could be any number of perfectly legal breeds, but it's anyone's call depending on what mood the officer is in that day. They could have the sweetest temperament, even be still a puppy, but shelters are legally obliged to destroy them if they're flagged. It's heartbreaking to witness.

  92. I totally agree with comments re: labs.
    The show ones are too heavy, not drivey enough and many are shown in an overweght body condition, perpetuating the myth that labs are destined to be fat, lazy dogs. I've also seen a distrubing number of labs who have no interest in water, even hate water and show no interest in retrieving.
    The UK and America have some lovely working line labs that are conformationally sound and fit for the purpose.

    With regard to temperature- I've lived in both the UK and Australia though I am currently in Australia. if I didn't exercsie my dog when it got over 25 degrees, she would only get out maybe 2 months of the year! She is a black labrador from working lines and exercises and trains all year round.
    Additionally I've had border collies in the UK they were out walking every day of the year. They certainly didn't suffer in 25 degree heat.
    Its ridiculous to say NO dog can work in anything over 25 degrees.

    It is commonly accepted that brachy breeds suffer MORE than other breeds in the heat. This is due to their inability to move air effieciently, interefering with cooling. In Australia many brachy breeders will not sell puppies to people who don't have an air conditioned house!

  93. When will you all understand the 'proof' of natural selection. Anyone can remove any animal from its natural competitive environment, e.g. zoos and kennels (which I believe are called genetic bottlenecks) and claim that you are modelling a perfect animal. You are, in fact, fighting against a natural process which is far stronger than you/we are.

    If you chose to model dogs according to attributes that you think are favourable, then your quest will be non-ending .. although I suspect that this will be favoured by the Kennel Club's bankers. It has taken 4.5 billion years for nature to model the current world, and anyone who thinks thinks they can 'direct' the development of any iving organism is as stupid as they are arrogant.