Vets welcome sharp decline in demand for flat-faced dogs
Flat-faced dogs might, at last, be falling out of fashion the Brachycephalic Working Group has said.
Overall, there was a 17% decline in Kennel Club registrations of all dogs in 2023.
However, new registrations of Pugs, French Bulldogs and English Bulldogs have declined by 42%, 39% and 34% respectively, putting these three breeds into the list of ‘top five fallers’ this year.
The Brachycephalic Working Group (BWG), which is made up of vets, national animal welfare organisations, scientists, and dog breed clubs has welcomed the news.
Dan O’Neill, Chair of the BWG said: “The drop in puppy registrations for these flat-faced breeds is a welcome step in the right direction, although these should be seen with some caution.
“We hope this is a sign that more and more puppy buyers, owners and breeders are considering the serious health and welfare implications for flat-faced dogs.
The three breeds are famed for their squashed skulls and wrinkly faces and scientists have long been trying to raise awareness of their health issues.
Brachycephalic dogs, or flat-faced breeds, suffer from a range of health defects caused by this extreme breeding, including breathing issues, eye infections and breeding difficulties.
Warnings about the poor quality of life these dogs face – which can include being unable to sleep, give birth and eat – may finally be getting through to owners, experts say, curbing enthusiasm for the big-eyed puppies.
Dr Dan O’Neill, the associate professor of companion animal epidemiology at the Royal Veterinary College and chair of the Brachycephalic Working Group (BWG), hailed the data as a “welcome step in the right direction”.
“We hope this is a sign that more and more puppy buyers, owners and breeders are considering the serious health and welfare implications for flat-faced dogs,” he said.