French Bulldogs are known for their flat noses, big eyes, and wrinkly faces. But many Frenchie lovers are surprised to discover that the breed didn’t always look this way. It’s possible to breed French Bulldogs and other brachycephalic breeds with longer noses and wider nostrils, but sadly, many people don’t think that look is as “cute” or “trendy.”
Flat-faced dogs might look adorable, but they’re prone to many more health concerns than dogs with longer snouts. They can easily have breathing troubles, infections, and many other issues. So, the UK Kennel Club is encouraging dog breeders to avoid exaggerated features on French Bulldogs from now on.
Changing the Frenchie Breed Standard
For many years, French Bulldogs with flat faces and pinched nostrils have won awards at dog shows, which encourages other people to buy similar dogs. But in an attempt to promote healthier breeding, the UK Kennel Club has updated the standard for Frenchies. The updated version emphasizes the importance of avoiding extreme features on these little dogs.
The risk of breathing problems is greatly reduced if a dog’s muzzle is at least 1/3 the length of their head. Of course, not all French Bulldogs have breathing problems, but with squished faces, they’re much more likely to than dogs with long snouts. By breeding Frenchies with healthier features together, more long-nosed French Bulldogs will appear.
“Certain health problems in French Bulldogs have been impacted by their huge increase in popularity, and we continue to be extremely concerned that exaggerations which are perceived to create a ‘cute’ look or sound, have gradually become seen as normal and even desirable,” said Kennel Club health and welfare expert Bill Lambert.
However, this change is only for the UK Kennel Club breed standard, so it doesn’t affect the American Kennel Club’s regulations. Experts still believe this is a step in the right direction.
Will This Make a Difference?
At first, this change might not make a huge impact. French Bulldogs in dog shows only account for a small portion of Frenchies in the UK. However, experts believe that these new regulations will have a big influence long-term.
Having French Bulldogs with longer snouts in dog shows will help encourage more people to want dogs that look similar. A lot of dog lovers watch these competitions, and they learn a lot about dog breeds from them. So, even though it will only affect a few dogs short term, it will benefit the breed as a whole in the long run.
“We hope these amends send a strong message about the importance of ensuring that the puppy that you buy does not have exaggerated features,” said Lambert.
Of course, brachycephalic dogs are cute like every other dog, but choosing a furry friend is about so much more than appearance. UK Kennel Club officials are hoping to encourage more breeders to focus on the health of their dogs rather than what’s trending. After all, dogs are members of the family, not objects.