Friday, January 27, 2017

Bad News, Bulldogs

According to this article on Science Alert, the increasingly popular English bulldog is approaching a crucial tipping point due to their genetic similarity. In a study of 102 bulldogs, a group of researchers from the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine found that the genetic diversity of these bulldogs was so low that breeders are likely incapable of selectively breeding them with healthier phenotypes. Crossbreeding is the most viable option for selecting healthy phenotypes without risking the animals' health, however this may result in a breed that will not fit the English bulldog specifications. This means that the English bulldog as we know it will likely not be around for long since they will express traits of the breed of dog they would be crossed with.
As an aspiring veterinarian and all-around animal enthusiast, this is a topic that I have a considerable amount of experience with, namely family and friends who either own or have owned purebred English bulldogs. I also owned a bulldog mix, of which he had noticeably less medical issues due to his breed than the purebred individuals. It is well known that purebred breeds have significantly more medical issues than mixed breeds and the English bulldog is infamous for having an extensive list of such issues. I strongly believe that English bulldogs should be crossbred with a different breed in order to increase their genetic variability and significantly reduce the number of unhealthy, purebred individuals by educating the public on the suffering that purebred English bulldogs endure simply by existing.

1 comment:

  1. The English bulldog is definitely a good example of the dangers of extreme selective breeding. It seems that there is only one option in this case and although it will "pollute" the English buldog's line it will ultimately save the breed. I'm sure there are many other dog breeds that face a similar situation, maybe the bulldog can set a successful example for future breeds.