There has been a lot of uproar lately about the French Bulldog breed and an increasingly widening division is developing between the pro and anti-groups. In fact, the division of opinions has become so deep and heated lately, that the anti-Frenchie side just cannot leave the loving French Bulldog owners alone to let them love their dogs and eat cake. Yes…I am making a pun out of the French Revolution because this is short of a bloody war.
The dictionary explains a revolution as a radical and pervasive change in society and the social structure, especially one made suddenly and often accompanied by violence. In our case, or the case of the French bulldog, it is their rapid increase in popularity causing the uproar in society and it is the anti-group causing the almost violent responses with their offensive attacks and strategies.
I am no Marie Antoinette that are blind to the health issues and I fully agree that the brachycephalic breed group is prone to several health issues for several different reasons, but I do not agree with statements such as “it is animal cruelty” and “ban the breeding of French Bulldogs”. Much has been said about people using this breed for their own vanity. All I can say is: right back at you fluffy!
The word brachycephalic is the scientific word used to describe any short-nosed animal. It is from Greek origin and literally means short head. Brachycephalic dogs have been bred to have short muzzles and because of this, are prone to have issues with their throat and breathing passage. Dogs included in the brachycephalic breed are the Pug, Pekingese, Boston Terrier, French Bulldog, English Bulldog, Brittish Bulldog, Boxer, Chihuahua, and also the Shih Tzu. Interestingly, not only dogs belong to the brachycephalic group, but there are also bats, cats and rabbits that fall into the brachy group.
My main and most important question, is this: why when there are several species classed in the brachycephalic group, does only the French Bulldogs get targeted with a passionate, all-encompassing almost hate from the anti-group?
The alarming and shameful answer is this: Because the anti-french bulldog group is using our beloved French Bulldogs for the exact same reason as what they are accusing us of: vanity. The Kennel Club reported a 2,747 per cent rise in the number of French bulldogs registered since 2004. They are set to overtake the Labrador as the UK’s most popular canine. Just for 2016 registrations in the UK alone for the breed rised from 14,607 to 21,470. In Australia they are the third most popular dog. In America they started their own breeding program due to the popularity which is very quickly pushing them up the most popular rank and they have already reached the top 10. They are indeed the fastest growing breed in the world. That translates into a huge opportunity if you consider all the entities that can make a pretty coin from this. This is the only answer I can come up with to the madness of singling out and targeting the French bulldog breed.
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Controversial topics sell!
Online media, magazines and social platforms will gain more visitors which will convert in more profit if more people want to read about a certain topic. And let us admit it: scandals draw crowds, so what better way to draw attention and reaction by accusing the French Bulldog lovers who are clearly on the rise, of animal cruelty? How much more clever can they be? Just do a search on the daily mail and the telegraph and you will see.
A shining example of someone waving the flag high and wild for the anti-french bulldog camp is Emma Milne, a practicing vet. She has recently appeared on morning AM, a UK television channel show and infuriated the whole French bulldog community with her outrageously shocking remarks. She drew criticism on herself comparing her a par to the not-so-loved Katie Hopkins from the UK. Funny that Ms Milne was quick to get a mention in about her new book being published shortly and are also trying to revive her old TV career. No advertising out there is bad advertising they say. Does animal cruelty not involve misusing animals? Touche?
Everyone wants to know what the celebs are doing
Another interesting point to consider is the increase of French bulldog owners among celebrities. If there is a 2,747 percent rise in ownership, then of course celebrities are going to be counted in among those numbers. God forgive us that celebrities are people just like ourselves that have cars, houses, friends and alas, dogs.
Buzzshare reports of at least 18 celebrities that own French bulldogs, including Hilary Duff, Lady Gaga, Hugh Jackman, Ashley Olsen, David Beckham, Holly Willoughby, and Leonardo DiCaprio. What better scoop then than to link a celebrity with animal cruelty?
Campaigners use two main themes to argue their point. One is that of the poor health of the breed and the second one is that we should rather adopt and help look after pound dogs.
More unhealthy dogs for a simple reason
Now let us make some calculations of our own. There is an undisputed increased number of ill French Bulldogs. Neither side deny that. If there is an increase in population it is common sense to expect that there will not only be an increase of healthy happy Frenchies, but also an increase in French Bulldogs that will need medical attention. An increase in illness relating to increasing in numbers and not to the breed is verified straight from the horse’s mouth, and quoted from the bluecross: “Not all dogs that are short-nosed will suffer from health problems relating to the breed. As these breeds grow in popularity, our Blue Cross veterinary hospital teams are treating more and more dogs of brachycephalic breeds….”
The relativity of ill dogs compared to healthy dogs, taking into consideration the large increase in numbers is well proportioned but failing to find other ammunition is used by the anti-group as their reasoning.
Don’t shop, adopt
Another argument in the camp is that the pounds are full and people should not buy but adopt. I applaud this well-meaning and humble opinion and see many benefits to this. However, why should responsible, loving owners be punished for backyard breeders and dog owners that abandon their dogs? If this was the case, we should all adopt orphaned babies instead of having our own children. And for most of us, our frenchies are our children! We won’t force anti-french bulldog groups to own a Frenchie so stop trying to make us feel guilty for saving up, putting tremendous time into researching a reputable breeder and buying the pup of our dreams. Each to their own.
Rather than slam one breed and call for a ban on their breeding, people such as Ms Milne and other nay-sayers could work closer with registering authorities and help to educate breeders and buyers alike. Breeding should always be to improve the breed and not for the sole purpose of profit, which most good breeders will tell you. Eradicating puppy farms and irresponsible breeding will do a lot more good, but is understandably a lot less sensational than accusing a celebrity of animal cruelty. We should focus on educating buyers not to buy from puppy farms and to research their breeder and make sure their dog is health tested (as you should do when buying any breed of dog).
Wikipedia reports that French Bulldogs have been around since the 1800’s. My bet is that they will be around for a long time as people discover not only how beautiful they look with their squishy faces and bat ears but also what absolute stunning little personalities and big hearts they have. They are incredibly loyal and very easy to train. They make great companions for individuals as well as families. Frenchies are great with kids and other dogs. Their small size makes them suitable for any living space and an added bonus is that they are not yappy so you are not liable to get any complaints off your neighbors.
They are very clever and are well known for their affectionate and playful nature. Sometimes they are also referred to as clown dogs. Their loving and playful attributes makes them a perfect dog all round. I am a loving French bulldog Revolutionist. My banner is white with a picture of my frenchie, making waking up every morning an unforgettable experience, and the sign reads as follow: If only more people could have the temperament of a Frenchie.