The Kennel Club says it cannot simply ban “deformed” French bulldogs from entering its shows because unhealthy exaggerated traits would need to be confirmed in a personal examination by a trained expert.
As a result of the changes, judges at shows, including the world famous Crufts, must mark all dogs with the problematic traits.
A Kennel Club spokesman added, “Dog shows can be an important lever for change by ensuring that the public can see and recognize what a healthy and not overdone specimen of a breed looks like.
“We have training and education for judges who have been made aware of these updates to the breed standard and know that only the healthiest specimens will be rewarded at dog shows.”
Painful trouble breathing
The changes to the breed standard come after the Kennel Club worked with the University of Cambridge in 2019 to develop its Respiratory Function Grading Scheme to “support and encourage” responsible breeding of French bulldogs and other brachycephalic breeds.
The scheme rates a dog for the likelihood of having BOAS (Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome), which can affect some French Bulldogs and cause painful breathing problems.
But experts have urged animal lovers to do their part to undermine the market for poorly bred Frenchies and other breeds by avoiding irresponsible breeders.
Dr. Laura Hamilton, French Bulldog Veterinarian and Health Coordinator, added, “Many people love owning French Bulldogs, but it is important that the public be aware of the complex health concerns of the breed and that health takes precedence over what it is maybe consider it “cute”, admits. , and that breeders do everything possible to produce healthy puppies.
“While these changes to the French bulldog breed standard are important, social media can often affect the appearance of dogs these days to experts and find a responsible breeder who will examine their dogs for health.”