Bonjour, Frenchie. UK Top Dog or Welfare Crisis?
For many years the UK's top dog spot has been held by the Labrador but recently the French Bulldog has been rising up the ranks. According to some sources, the 'Frenchie' has pushed the Lab into second place.
So what is it about the French Bulldog and why now?
Frenchies were created in the 1800's in Paris and are the result of crossing bulldog ancestors from England and French 'ratter' dogs. Now bred as lapdogs, they are typically very loving, friendly and willing to please.
Kennel Club registration data shows the French Bulldog has seen a colossal rise of 3,104 percent over the last ten years. Alongside other organisations, the Kennel Club believes the use of these types of dogs to advertise products and services has led to their rise in popularity.
However with a rise in popularity, there is concern from a number of dog welfare organisations and charities about a health crisis facing brachycephalic or 'flat-faced' dog breeds such as Pugs, Bulldogs and French Bulldogs.
Serious Health Concerns
Leading experts are warning that poor breeding has led to problems including breathing difficulties caused by anatomical defects in the upper airways, skin infections as a result of skin folds, eye disease, inability to give birth naturally or properly regulate body temperature, and spinal disease.
It is believed the true number of flat faced dogs in the UK is likely to be far higher than official figures show, due to undocumented and unregistered dogs.
Sudden boosts in popularity of dog breeds create a highly profitable marketplace, which can result in unscrupulous breeders focusing on profit over welfare, with puppies being farmed with little regard for their health.