A recent study analyzed the trend in the morphological traits of certain popular dog breeds. Through this study, the researchers are predicting the main health problems veterinarians will face in the near future. And it seems flat-faced dogs are the reason.
This study –leaded by Kendy Treng from the University of Sydney– analyzed the data of 180 breeds registered over the past 28 years in Australia. The results showed a continuous increase in the preference of shorter and smaller breeds with wider heads and flatter faces. This type of breed is called brachycephalic and it includes the Pug, the Bulldog and the Boxer.
The trend is not exclusive for Australia, in the UK these breeds are increasingly popular as well and according to this study, the trend is closely related to how people choose their companion dogs.
People choose a particular breed for different reasons, but they tend to reflect their human lifestyle. People living in a city in a small flat, will prefer a smaller dog. But it also happens that media exposure to a particular breed creates a fashion, and that can also increase the popularity of these particular breeds.
READ MORE: “DEFORMED” GERMAN SHEPHERD WON BEST IN BREED IN A DOG SHOW AND IT REMINDED US HOW MUCH IS IN STAKE IN THOSE SHOWS
However, this tendency predicts a change in the patterns of diseases in the near future. These breeds have many health problems like urogenital, degenerative and metabolic diseases, digestive disorders, multiple eye conditions, difficulty breathing and they are prone to infections because bacteria can grow easily in the fold of their skin.
“this issue is likely to become an increasing concern for veterinarians and dog owners in Australia and worldwide. In New Zealand, 4 of the top 5 dog breeds considered by veterinarians to be unsuitable for continued breeding due to compromised health and welfare are brachycephalic breeds”
Beyond how cute a particular dog may be, they are being bred according to the needs of the potential “costumers” and sadly, those needs don’t always consider the dog’s health. And that should always come first.