First Deliberate Breeding of the Hairless French Bulldogs in The UK
First hairless French Bulldog litter in the UK raises concerns about "extreme breeding" practices.
Exclusive: British Veterinary Association says some breeders prefer breeding innovations over their animal’s health
A litter of hairless French bulldogs has been hailed as a worrying example of "extreme breeding" by the British Veterinary Association, which has expressed concern that some breeders favor "innovations" over the health of their pets.
The dogs are believed to have been bred in Scotland and result from a cross between French Bulldogs, Pugs, and Chinese Crested Dogs. They are considered the first litter of hairless French bulldogs in Great Britain.
But the UK’s national body for veterinary surgeons has warned that, while puppies could seem healthy, they could end up with countless problems, including susceptibility to sunburn and heatstroke, as well as difficulty breathing.
"Just because people like things to look a certain way shouldn't justify breeders doing things to those dogs that we know will cause potential harm, suffering, and health problems."
- Justine Shotton, British Veterinary Association’s president.
"I'm really disappointed to see things like this. I wish we could get potential owners to understand how much some of these extreme breeding practices really affect the daily well-being of these dogs," she added.
This is not the first time hairless French bulldogs have been bred. One such dog made headlines when it was imported into the US after apparently being bought from China. At the time of the report, veterinarians described the animal as a "monster." They expressed concern that it could increase the risk of painful acne, dermatitis, and skin cancer.
Shotton said the latest litter is just one example of extreme breeding. Adding a novelty factor, “cuteness,” or the opportunity to gather likes on social media may be among the motivations for breeding and buying unusual crossbreeds.
"We feel that many of these breeds, which are advertised as very rare or particularly unique, are bred only as a kind of popularity to potentially attract people to these dogs, because they are almost a status symbol, instead of thinking about the welfare of dogs themselves," she said.
Shotton added that while mixed breeds are often considered healthier than purebred dogs, this is not necessarily the case. She noted that crossing breeds with special health problems could mean that offspring will get the worst of both worlds.
"Unfortunately, in some crossings, veterinarians see a multiplication of problems," she said.
Hairless dogs can find it difficult to warm up and are at increased risk of sunburn and other skin problems. Flat-faced dogs are known to be at increased risk of breathing difficulties and prone to heatstroke, cherry eye, spinal problems, and skin disorders.
A study published in the journal Plos One by researchers at Royal Veterinary College found that flat-faced dogs are nearly seven times more likely to have third eyelid prolapse, or "cherry eye," compared to dogs with medium-sized heads. Many cases of this disorder can also be seen in “designer” mixes such as Pomsky.
If left untreated, veterinarians warn that the condition can lead to chronic problems, including inflammation or infection that can cause discomfort and pain.
Dr. Dan O'Neill, the co-author of the study, said the development of new flat-faced breeds with even more extreme characteristics, as would be the case with hairless French Bulldogs, contradicted the UK Brachycephalic Association's working group, which described such breeding as "unacceptable."
A spokesman for the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) said crossbreeding of certain dogs was a concern, adding that the organization had a confidential hotline for anyone concerned about breeding with questionable goals.
“The Scottish SPCA is extremely concerned about the increase in the number of unscrupulous breeders who breed dogs with excessive characteristics and try specialist medical procedures without training. We are leading a working group that will specifically address these issues. " they said.
World Dog Finder team