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Found 104 results

  1. In This Issue: News & Highlights Actions Around Brachycephalic Dogs: Reports, Research, and Legislative Developments in Several Countries Make a Donation Stay Informed!
  2. Come for the looks, stay for the personality? A mixed methods investigation of reacquisition and owner recommendation of Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, and Pugs ...is the latest analysis of data collected and reported on in a 2019 study - see - Great expectations, inconvenient truths, and the paradoxes of the dog-owner relationship for owners of brachycephalic dogs. As we said in that blog: "Popularity of brachycephalic (flat-faced) dog breeds is increasing internationally despite well-documented intrinsic health and welfare problems associated with their conformation." The previous study looked at aspects of the dogs and people that lead to such an intense bond. This 2020 article, based on the need for further understanding of the complexity of health and welfare of these flat-faced breeds, uses excellent scientific methods to explore data that explores emotions, beliefs, and feelings - i.e. human factors. They say: "Physical appearance is as a dominant factor attracting owners to brachycephalic breeds; however, whether these owners will choose their current breed for future ownership and develop ‘breed-loyalty’ in the face of health problems is not yet known." It is well-known that these breeds suffer with numerous conditions that result in ongoing, costly veterinary interventions. They may die young, and the whole situation is often heart-breaking for owners. And yet... do they want to get another one? Do they recommend the breed to friends and family members? Investigating these questions was the aim of this study. Study in a nutshell: included 2168 owners: (Pugs: n = 789; French Bulldog: n = 741; Bulldogs: n = 638) 93% of owners were highly likely to own their breed again in the future and 65.5% would recommend their breed to others there analysis showed that there was a tendency for increased attachment in first time owners, and that increased the likelihood of re-acquisition and/or recommendation however, those actions were decrease when the dog experienced an increased number of health problems, and dog behaviour being worse than expected people who thought their dog had better health than the average for the breed were less likely to get another or recommend so, when people have a dog with a lot of health issues, AND they perceive that this could be even worse in other dogs of the breed... they are less likely to reacquire or recommend of great concern was that owners say a great benefit of these breeds is their low requirement for exercise... that they have a sedentary nature Unfortunately, previous work by Dr. Packer, from years ago, and other studies since, show us that owners of flat-faced dogs tend not to recognize or admit that breed-typical characteristics like snorting, snoring, poor exercise and heat tolerance are truly indications of ill health, or of suffering. And as evidenced in the results of this study, they do not understand that reluctance to move and exercise might stem from clinical problems, e.g. inability to breath, rather than having a 'lazy' personality. Allowing dogs to become obese and not keeping them fit will only aggravate underlying problems. Do owners accidentally love them to death? The point of research like this it to learn about the people behind the breeds, so that we can develop educational resources and programs to help people understand the issues in the these incredibly population breeds. Their incredible surge in popularity, combined with the welfare challenges in individual dogs, are leading to heightened legislative regulations in Europe that may impact entire breeds, and, of course owners. Other relevant material: For more information on the Big Picture in French Bulldogs, see our Get a GRIHP! article. Owners' perception of 'responsible dog ownership' - blog by Dr. Brenda Bonnett DogWellNet section on Extremes of Conformation/Brachycephalics
  3. Finnish Investigation: Improving the implementation of animal welfare legislation in animal breeding Part II: Preliminary analysis of problems and means of intervention in the breeding of dogs Officially published in Finnish; unofficially translated to English. This investigation underpins the Finnish report: An investigation would curb problems with dog breeding through monitoring criteria and ethical delegation. (That link contains a translated Summary of the report written by the Finnish Food Authority as well as link to Kirsi Saino's Commentary, IT MUST BE POSSIBLE TO PROMOTE THE HEALTH OF DOGS EFFECTIVELY IN THE WHOLE OF FINLAND which was recently posted on the FKC's website.) The report outlines monitoring criteria with the aim is to eliminate dog breeding that causes the animal suffering and hereditary diseases. It is encouraging that the recommendations from the Finnish authorities are based on the excellent investigation described below and that they included authors and experts with a background in and understanding of pedigree dog breeding as well as veterinary science. For example, Katariina Mäki, PhD (animal breeding) and researcher, participated as an independent expert, and with the permission of Kennellliitto (the Finnish Kennel Club, FKK), where she is employed as a Breeding Expert. Through her role with the FKK, Katariina is a great collaborator with IPFD and has provided excellent content to DogWellNet.com (see below) and participated in the International Dog Health Workshops. Legislative and monitoring efforts for pedigree dogs and all dogs are more likely to be effective when efforts proceed collectively rather than unilaterally.
  4. Get a GRIHP! on French Bulldogs This article on French Bulldogs is part of a series to highlight the Big Picture of health, welfare and breeding. Concerns for the welfare of brachycephalic breeds, including the French Bulldog, have been the subject of much debate over the past several years. The popularity of French Bulldogs is undeniable; demand for this breed has soared over the past decade. Supply and demand has led to production of pups by less than scrupulous breeders who are not operating under the umbrella or direction of KCs and Breed club health improvement program recommendations. Extremes of conformation are recognized as contributing factors in development of health and welfare challenges. French Bulldogs are short-muzzled dogs - the breed has historically exhibited short noses. But over time, incrementally shorter faces and heavier, shorter-backed body proportions (related to spinal abnormalities) have become an accepted norm in the breed. Extreme examples of some brachycephalic breeds go even further than the drift that has occurred in the conformation rings over the past 100 years into the realm of essentially deformed dogs with almost no muzzle, deformed jaws, no tails, unbalanced proportions and poor skeletal structure. The catastrophic health problems associated with extreme conformations has been well documented.** Health management and breeding strategies constructed by Kennel and Breed clubs are focused on identifying the prevalence of and effective methods to address key health concerns in the breed. In some cynological organizations Breed Standard wording has been clarified to minimize the acceptability of extreme traits. In 2020 legislative action was taken by the Netherlands to regulate breeding of Brachycephalic breeds with the goal to enhance health and welfare. Additional legislative processes are underway in several other countries in Europe. Criteria for breeding outlined in the Dutch legislation involves the requirement to increase the ratio of length of muzzle to back skull (CFR). The information in this article will assist all stakeholders to see the Big Picture - internationally - for the French Bulldog. It should help the veterinary community to guide clients and to educate potential owners in determining whether a French Bulldog is the right breed for them. Sourcing of puppies from breeders who practice critical, rational, logical thinking about breeding decisions focused on health and welfare of the dogs produced and kept as companions is an important pre-purchase consideration for anyone with an interest in obtaining a French Bulldog. However, more than one research study has shown that people who are attracted to the appearance of Frenchies, do not prioritize health when they are acquiring one of these dogs, and, in spite of serious and costly veterinary care, as well as suffering for the dog and the owner, many indicate that they would purchase another one. Why do people choose the dogs they do - and what is the impact on dog health and welfare?
  5. Finnish report: An investigation would curb problems with dog breeding through monitoring criteria and ethical delegation As we have been reporting, there is a surge of regulatory efforts to address concerns about the health and welfare of pedigreed dogs, especially brachycephalic breeds, in several countries. The potential impact on not only dog breeders and pedigreed dog organizations, but also on dog owners and even veterinarians may be considerable, as well as on many stakeholders in the pet industry. It is apparent that some of these efforts are proceeding unilaterally rather than collaboratively, however, discussions about these issues have been ongoing for many years, without the change that many think is necessary. See, for example: Challenges for Pedigree Dogs: Regulatory Enforcement of Brachycephalic Dogs in the Netherlands; which includes links to responses from various other stakeholders and kennel clubs. The regulatory body (Finnish Food Authority) in Finland has published the Summary (below) on 02 Sep 2020. These are apparently recommendations based on an investigation (separately reported in an 89 page report in Finnish ). This report follows numerous other investigations and regulatory decisions being undertaken in numerous countries, prompted by concerns for dog health and welfare, especially, but not necessarily limited to, brachycephalic breeds. IPFD has been following and reporting on such developments, and where possible, adding links to actions being taken by national kennel clubs. The Finnish KC is an IPFD partner. Please see The Finnish KC's website for commentary on the Report at: KOIRIEN TERVEYTTÄ PITÄÄ PYSTYÄ EDISTÄMÄÄN TEHOKKAASTI KOKO SUOMEN KOIRAKANNASSA. (Finnish) Article Title, English Translation: IT MUST BE POSSIBLE TO PROMOTE THE HEALTH OF DOGS EFFECTIVELY IN THE WHOLE OF FINLAND. In her commentary, Kirsi Saino focuses on cooperation and "... emphasizes that health problems must be addressed in the entire dog population if sustainable results are to be achieved."
  6. The severity of Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) is assessed by means of walk tests. With the help of walk tests, individuals with the most severe symptoms can be eliminated from breeding.
  7. Facial morphology of brachycephalic breeds: evolution since the end of the XIXth century and current perspectives Authors, Claude Guintard1 and Hélène Denis2 offer insights into today's increasing attention on brachycephalic conformation related to health 'issues'. The short article "aims, from archival images, to try to objectify the changes in cephalic profile that may have occurred in the main brachycephalic breeds since the late 19th century." A focus on selection and development of the Bulldog, Dogue de Bordeaux and Pug breeds from the 1800's through today is illuminating in terms of how cranio-facial characteristics existed from the breeds' formation and how different breed's conformation has evolved. The article is to be published in the Société Centrale Canine's Newsletter soon. Many thanks to Hélène Denis who has graciously provided an English translation of this article for posting on DogWellNet.
  8. In Windsor (UK) in June 2019, the IPFD 4th International Dog Health Workshop (IDHW) took place (Pegram et al., 2020) a key recommendation was to initiate a multi-stakeholder International working group on extreme conformation, with an initial focus on brachycephalics . Premise: The International Working Group on Extreme Conformation in Dogs (IWGECD) will be a platform in which national and international working groups, experts and stakeholders join forces to enhance the health, well-being and welfare of all dogs by limiting the negative welfare impacts from extreme conformations in dogs. Mission The IWGECD will: Identify different approaches Collect, when needed review, and share scientific papers and other material Identify different opinions – agree that sometimes we disagree but that we can all grow in knowledge from these disagreements Share experiences and/or data Share new ideas Build on successes See how we can move forward together The international working group is not intended to forcefully harmonize national working groups but, as we learn together, it is likely that successful strategies will be adopted more widely. Members will also contribute to shared international strategy. IWGECD will offer a forum of information sharing and support that aims to enhance the work of each of the national and international members. Members Multistakeholder national working groups involved in breed-associated health problems due to their extreme conformation. In countries where there is a need, but no such group has yet been established, the IWGECD will promote and/or facilitate setting up national working groups National and International stakeholder organizations with the same aim including veterinary and charity bodies Individual experts Industry is also considered to be a stakeholder Academia Breed clubs and kennel clubs Government and legislative bodies The IWGECD founding board includes: Monique Megens DVM (chairperson)1, Dr. Dan O'Neill2 and Dr. Åke Hedhammar3. 1 Monique Megens DVM, Chief Operating Officer IPFD; Member WSAVA Hereditary Disease Committee; past-president FECAVA; Member Health Committee Dutch Kennel Club; https://dogwellnet.com/ipfd/who-we-are/leadership/ 2 Dr. Dan O’Neill, Senior Lecturer - Companion Animal Epidemiology; VetCompass Animal Surveillance; Veterinary Epidemiology Economics and Public Health, Royal Veterinary College; Chairperson UK brachycephalic Working Group; https://www.rvc.ac.uk/about/our-people/dan-o-neill 3 Dr. Åke Hedhammar Dipl. ECVIM - Companion Animals, Senior Professor Internal Medicine Small Animals, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala Sweden; scientific advisor to the Swedish Kennel Club. Initiator of the First Dog Health Workshop held in Stockholm 2012, Member WSAVA Hereditary Disease Committee; https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7048-3851/print PEGRAM, C. L., BONNETT, B. N., SKARP, H., ARNOTT, G., JAMES, H., HEDHAMMAR, Å., LEROY, G., LLEWELLYN-ZAIDI, A., SEATH, I. J. & O'NEILL, D. G. 2020. Moving from information and collaboration to action: report from the 4th international dog health workshop, Windsor in May 2019. Canine Medicine and Genetics, 7, 4 https://cgejournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40575-020-00083-x
  9. Ian Seath has again stimulated our 'little grey cells' and maybe even touched on some emotions, attitudes, and even deep-seated beliefs in his DOG-ED: SOCIAL ENTERPRISE post (23 June 2020): CULTURE EATS STRATEGY FOR BREAKFAST! Catchy title - firstly - where does that come from, and what does it mean? "Management Guru Peter Drucker famously stated that culture eats strategy for breakfast. So, What does "culture eats strategy" mean for you and your organization? In a very practical sense: No matter what business strategy or strategic plan you try to implement with your team, its success and efficacy are going to be held back by the people implementing the plan if the culture does not support it. " from: SME Strategy Management Consulting Ian's article draws on his extensive knowledge and background in business, strategy, and change management - as well as his fantastic dog expertise - to examine topical international information on COVID-19 and to draw comparisons with challenges in the dog world. He wants to encourage us to think about various aspects of health and welfare in dogs. Further moving his title discussion into the dog world: it means that if those needed to implement and drive change (in attitudes or practices) aren't passionate about the change or at least willing to embrace change or - even worse - if they deny the need for change at all (i.e. deny the existence of 'a problem') or are apathetic to the issues, then you stand no chance implementing a plan. Ultimately it is all about the people. Denial or apathy or resistance to change may occur if there is great passion for and attachment to an existing culture. In terms of the complex problems of the dog world, IPFD exists because it is clear that these issues have many stakeholders who bear responsibilities for the challenges and the solutions. And each of the stakeholder communities has their own culture - and that influences their views and actions and even willingness to collaborate. Ian goes on to describe bench-marking, i.e., ways to define, measure and characterize issues and actions on 3 levels. Let's further describe this relative to the dog world, and with a few possible examples: Metrics (statistics, measures) - tell you “what the performance is” or define and quantify aspects of the issue. E.g., prevalence and increased breed-specific risks of disease in various populations based on quantitative analysis vs. anecdote from personal experience (e.g. MY dogs are healthy!) Challenges: differences across regions, types of dogs, etc.; lack of consensus on how much is too much; perspectives of those who see dogs from different populations - e.g. veterinarians in practice vs. show judges. Lack of comprehensive, clear evidence fosters a reliance on culture-based interpretations...spin! Process (how the situation came to be, or what has influenced those levels): E.g. the influences of breeding practices (how diligently have breeders prioritized health and longevity). It must be noted that these processes have certainly been driven by culture. E.g., breeding for performance vs. for the conformation show ring vs. for companion dogs vs. for the trendy puppy trade E.g. health programs implemented by breed and kennel clubs (Ian gives some good examples) Challenges - the perception of the need for and time frame of change; and the amount of change; the acceptance of any authority over practices and processes from within or outside a community or culture. There is a tendency to look for simple solutions to complex problems - and then to be surprised that the outcome wasn't ideal. Culture tells you the story behind the processes...and that includes attitudes, tradition, beliefs, and habits...of the people involved. Those within a community (e.g. show world, veterinarians, the wider public) may share one culture...or there may be various cultures within a wider community. Culture can change. There are many cultures and communities in the dog world! From those who believe pedigreed dogs are the most important and breed standards are essentially inviolable; to those who feel there is room for evolution and flexibility, even within existing registries; to those who feel pedigreed dogs are not necessary. From those whose culture defines dogs as commodities or chattels; to those who accept dogs as sentient beings with some rights; to those who think they should be essentially be accorded human-level treatment. Challenges - all those attitudes impact what that community, culture, or group accepts as reasonable levels of welfare or disease or longevity. In fact, when cultural influences are strong, they may impact the willingness of those inside the culture to objectively view metrics, or to embrace processes and programs. And let's face it - a group or individual's attachment to their culture may be so strong, that they tend to view it not as one view, but the only acceptable view. 'Cultural norms' may be very different across communities. Rigidity is a major barrier to collaboration. Keys to moving forward Firstly, reflecting sincerely on how YOUR culture influences you, and then, if you want others to respect your culture Being aware of the differences across stakeholders - in their culture (attitudes, attachments, basic beliefs, approaches, etc.) wouldn't if be great if we could respect all views? but at least we must be aware of whether our disagreements are arising from different interpretation of the metrics and evidence OR from a different approach and process OR from the cultural sphere Taking the brave step outside cultural influences - embrace collaboration and collective actions while never assuming there is a one-size-fits-all solution. Leadership from various cultures and communities is needed. The ultimate question is - do we have common ground on which to advance? For IPFD, that would mean that even if we have slightly different definitions on the specifics, everyone comes to the table with a desire to enhance the health and welfare of dogs. Human aspects are critical as well - but there must be a balance.
  10. This article is a summary we (IPFD) have created describing the issues, the dialogue and challenges around regulatory actions in the Netherlands as of June 2020. The issue is having a polarizing effect across stakeholder groups, and it is our belief that the best results for all dogs are to be achieved by collaborative efforts. IPFD also promotes the considerations of impacts on dogs, breeds, and people when programs are put in place, given the complex nature of issues of health and welfare. This article is a compilation of resources for those who are exploring the situation. Table Of Contents Key points of the situation and background from 2019 Dutch Kennel Club - Breeding Criteria Documentation (English) Stakeholder Responses DogWellNet Coverage and Dog Health Workshops Resources Kennel Club Programs Questions & Moving Forward... (also a good summary of major issues) Some key points: The government of the Netherlands has created a set of criteria about the conformation of short-muzzled dogs and regulations that prohibit breeding of any dog when one is of these is exceeded, regardless of the other criteria. Although the regulations apply to all breeders, as for other issues, pedigree dog breeders who register puppies with the national kennel club (Raad van Beheer, Dutch Kennel Club, DKC) are the most visible and traceable and there is an emphasis on the DKC to enact and enforce these guidelines. And it does not restrict ownership of these dogs or purchase and importation of dogs. Controversies and challenges include: In the 12 designated breeds, pedigreed dog breeders account for a very small proportion of puppies of these breeds being sold in the Netherlands; most are from non-pedigreed breeders and imports. How will the legislation help the majority of dogs? The 12 breeds: i.e., • Affenpinscher • Boston Terrier • English Bulldog • French Bulldog • Griffon Belge • Griffon Bruxellois • Petit Brabançon • Japanese Spaniel • King Charles Spaniel • Pug • Pekingese • Shih Tzu - although sharing some similarities in facial conformation do not have similar risks for Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome, based on available statistics. As stated by the DKC in their response to the proposed legislation: The government's criteria restricting breeding describe exaggerated conformations, which DKC agrees are not desirable and the DKC has concurred with almost all criteria and is supportive in monitoring the breeding stock of pedigree dogs. (See table in Breeding strategy proposal Dutch KC, below). However, the DKC does not agree with the breeding-prohibiting criterion of the Craniofacial Ratio (CFR), stating that, “This criterion would make it impossible to breed certain breeds while the prognostic value and the reproducibility of the CFR are being questioned among scientists.” The scientific evidence for the use of the CFR in the way proposed by the government and their experts is not robust for the breeds studied or should at least be subjected to further review. The government criteria may overemphasize only one aspect of the problems in some of these breeds. Most of the 12 breeds were not part of the key cited study. The DKC is now under pressure from the government and welfare critics and members of the show world for meeting government demands. The situation is being hotly debated through much of the pedigreed dog world and beyond, with some expressing the concern that this regulatory approach is defined in a way to eventually eliminate these breeds and may lead to further restrictions for other breeds. Unfortunately, there are some voices dismissing compelling evidence that there are health problems in certain breeds. It may be that groups who support, in general, attention to the health and welfare of brachychephalics, and have spoken in support of the legislation, may not have carefully considered the evidence or wider impacts. Some are worried that other counties may follow the lead of the Netherlands, without careful consideration. Background: Health and welfare management of brachycephalic dogs is the issue; there are implications are for all dogs and owners. The health and welfare of brachycephalic dogs is a highly complex situation - and yet current reactions and efforts tend to be rather narrow. Positions on various sides seem to becoming entrenched. When narrow or unilateral solutions are enacted without adequate participation of all stakeholders, conflict rather than collaboration or collective actions is often the result. The intensity in published statements and discussions online these days, sometimes extending to hostility, will not lead to an improvement in relations and certainly not to an improvement for the health and welfare of dogs. Responsibility lies with all stakeholders. Simple solutions to complex problems are unlikely to be effective and generally produce unintended consequences. For background and commentary on the recent situation in the Netherlands, please see Dr. Brenda Bonnett's Blog from August 2019, where concerns are expressed that the proposed legislation in the Netherlands was not likely to achieve its goals and the balanced report of the Dutch Kennel Club was presented: Brachycephalic dogs in the Netherlands Since then, the government of the Netherlands has enacted its regulations, to address what they consider to be a pressing need to protect the health and welfare of brachycephalic dogs. Unfortunately, the proposed solutions do not seem to have taken into account the full scientific evidence about the problems nor possible solutions; they may not tackle the full range of concerns; and the focus/enforcement on pedigree breeders may not achieve population-wide benefits for the majority of dogs. While these regulations are under the mandate of one country's government, there is the potential for more harm than good to come from these efforts, with broad implications for owners, dogs, and breeders, both within and beyond the Netherlands. Raad van Beheer (The Dutch Kennel Club, DKC) has translated information on the background and particulars of government regulations regarding breeding brachycephalic dogs - effective in the Netherlands as of May 18, 2020. Links to extensive coverage of the issues are located on the Fokken met kortsnuitige honden page on Raad van Beheer's website. Links to the eight documents that are are available in English (accessed June 2020) are listed below. Below are compiled resources on the 'discussions' and issues as well as resources, including those calling for inclusive and collaborative discussions. This resource page will be updated as the situation evolves. ...
  11. English bulldogs have been in the spotlight of authorities and media for a long time. The breed has a striking appearance and is often mentioned when health issues in pedigree dogs related to their appearance are discussed. With this background and as a starting point the Swedish Kennel Club in collaboration with the Swedish Club for English bulldogs have recently launched a new breeding strategy for the breed. The strategy presents hands on advice for breeders on how to make visible progress over the coming five year period by focusing on the main health issues associated with the breed.
  12. 2020... Hélène Denis from the Club du Bulldog Anglais shared the French Kennel Club's BREATH Protocol (BRachycephalic Exercise Aptitude Test for Health) - SCC Service Santé et Gestion des ressources génétiques
  13. FECAVA: Healthy Breeding Brachycephalic issues: shared resources (multiple country's resources) Extreme Breeding Infographic BREEDING FOR EXTREME CONFORMATIONS - What is the problem? & What can we do? Causes, consequences... Raising awareness about health and welfare issues associated with excessive breed-related traits such as brachycephaly is important to FECAVA. The Federation has recently adopted a Europe-wide position paper on this topic. The Cambridge BOAS Research Group opened their new website in 2016. Great information on their programs and progress. Also background information on BOAS at a level for informed breeders, veterinarians and others. There are possibilities for dog owners and breeders in the UK to participate in and support this work. Owners and breeders: See the flyer for an overview.
  14. Consequences and Management of Canine Brachycephaly in Veterinary Practice: Perspectives from Australian Veterinarians and Veterinary Specialists Fawcett, et al., including Paul McGreevy, University of Sydney, Australia Animals 2019, 9, 3; doi:10.3390/ani9010003 https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/9/1/3 For: Veterinarians, health care professionals, all stakeholders Review: Brenda Bonnett, DVM, PhD This comprehensive review covers the health problems and welfare issues in brachycephalic dogs highlighting a veterinary perspective. The text of the paper comprises 19 pages and includes a wide-range of topics. This paper is an excellent resource for veterinary health care professionals and clinicians. However, topics in this paper are also important for all stakeholders involved with the brachycephalic issue in dogs. At the end of the paper, there is an important discussion of the ethical challenges for veterinarians, both as individuals and the profession as a whole. Concerned that readers, especially those who are not clinicians, may not persevere through the clinical information to reach this important section, I will highlight the importance of that discussion below. First, a general overview: “Simple Summary: Canine and human co-evolution have disclosed remarkable morphological plasticity in dogs. Brachycephalic dog breeds are increasing in popularity, despite them suffering from well-documented conformation-related health problems. This has implications for the veterinary caseloads of the future. Whether the recent selection of dogs with progressively shorter and wider skulls has reached physiological limits is controversial. The health problems and short life expectancies of dogs with extremely short skulls suggests that we may have even exceeded these limits. Veterinarians have a professional and moral obligation to prevent and minimise the negative health and welfare impacts of extreme morphology and inherited disorders, and they must address brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) not only at the level of the patient, but also as a systemic welfare problem.” The broad range of topics include: · Concern that “Despite well-documented conformation-related health problems, brachycephalic dog breeds are increasing in popularity.”; · Detailed enumeration and description of associated health problems; · Behavioural impacts of brachycephaly, as well as · “substantial evidence that brachycephaly compromises the welfare of affected dogs”, highlighting insurance data and research findings; · Problems for individual dogs and their owners as well as for breed populations; · Immediate concerns as well as future perspectives; · Clinical diagnosis and management of BOAS and other problems in brachys, and · A thought provoking discussion of “Ethical Challenges Associated with Brachycephalic Breeds” and the role of veterinarians. Understanding the Complexity – the veterinary perspective Past all the discussion of clinical findings and approaches, the section on ethical challenges has excellent coverage of the concerns and conflicting interests for veterinarians. For example, the best resolution for competing issues is not always clear, e.g.: · the best interests of an individual dog, in general, and in relation to a specific health event; · its owner’s attachment, attitudes, wishes, needs, and ability to provide care; and · concerns for the breed overall, as well as · the practical reality of the veterinarian as both a caregiver and a business person. Two of the authors have also provided this summary: “Vets can do more to reduce the suffering of flat-faced dog breeds”: February 12, 2019 2.16pm EST http://theconversation.com/vets-can-do-more-to-reduce-the-suffering-of-flat-faced-dog-breeds-110702 It is important for all stakeholders to be aware of the challenges facing others as the dog world moves toward doing is what is best for dogs. Also see: DWN's Extremes of Conformation Category Latest on brachycephalics from Sweden Approaches to Breed-specific Extremes
  15. Updated information from the FKK: https://www.kennelliitto.fi/en/about-us/news/finnish-kennel-clubs-walk-test-helps-eliminate-dogs-severe-breathing-problems-breeding The Finnish Kennel Club (FKK) has today released information about a ongoing project 'Fitness examination being prepared for Bulldogs' [Dated link; see Internet Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20151012050702/http://www.kennelliitto.fi/en/news/fitness-examination-being-prepared-for-bulldogs]in the English Bulldogs. This is a collaborative program between the kennel club, the breed club and The University of Helsinki Veterinary Hospital. Thirty English Bulldogs are being monitored for breathing, balance, a walking test, skin problems and x-ray'd from head to tail. The FKK has bought some equipment for the project and will pay for the study of the 30 dogs that the Breed Club has chosen to be tested. The aim is that this test could be used to evaluate dogs that would be suitable for breeding. Ultimately, the idea is to decrease health problems in any brachycephalic breed.
  16. 2020... The Brachycephalic Working Group has posted resources on Bulldogs, French Bulldogs & Pugs... VetCompass developed infographics, which summarise brachycephalic breed research... What's available? Bulldogs in the UK: Facing up to some challenges + full paper; French Bulldogs: Soaring UK popularity + full paper; Pugs: Weighing up health priorities + full paper
  17. As many of you may know, there has been a lot of focus of health and welfare issues in brachycephalics and in the spring information about Pugs in the Netherlands. The situation of government regulations on dog breeding is a complex one, and without appropriate inclusion of all relevant stakeholders, we cannot be sure that the best interests of dogs will be served. Our partners the Dutch Kennel Club have been working intensely with various groups and have come out with their thoughtful and evidence-based recommendations in the attached breeding strategy document. Thanks to veterinarian Laura Roest for sending us this communication. Dear reader, Enclosed you find the translated proposal the Dutch Kennel Club ‘Raad van Beheer’ has sent to the Dutch Government. This is not a certified translation, but gives us the opportunity to inform the international community. Please feel free to ask questions regarding the document. In March 2019, the report “BREEDING BRACHYCEPHALIC DOGS*" was published in The Netherlands (in Dutch) with enforcement criteria for the breeding of brachycephalic dogs. These criteria were active from that day onwards. The Raad van Beheer concurs with almost all criteria and wishes to adapt them in its own regulations, in close collaboration with the involved breed clubs. The Raad van Beheer does not agree with the Craniofacial Ratio (CFR) as a prohibiting criterion for breeding. This criterion would make it impossible to breed certain breeds while the prognostic value and the reproducibility of the CFR are being questioned among scientists. The Raad van Beheer wants an exception for the regulated pedigree breeding, so these breeds can be bred in The Netherlands in a healthy form and with the effort to achieve a longer muzzle. We hope to receive soon a positive reaction on our proposal from our Government and we will keep the International Dog World posted! Kind regards, Laura Roest, DVM and Gabri Kolster Board Member Raad van Beheer Breeding Commission Dutch Kennel Club ‘Raad van Beheer’ Translated version: English... Breeding strategy brachycephalic dogs in the Netherlands.pdf Also see: background articles/resources: Stricter rules for breeding brachy dogs https://dogzine.eu/en/newsarticle/stricter-rules-breeding-brachy-dogs *FOKKEN MET KORTSNUITIGE HONDEN (Dutch) Fokken_met_kortsnuitige_honden_.pdf Utrecht University posted an article in January 2019... Criteria for breeding healthy short-nosed dogs https://www.uu.nl/en/background/criteria-for-breeding-healthy-short-nosed-dogs "New animal welfare criteria The report Fokken met kortsnuitige honden ["Breeding with short-nosed dogs"] by the Expertise Centre Genetics of Companion Animals outlines a limited number of enforcement criteria and describes numerous additional criteria that can further help vets and breeders to select for healthy parent animals. The report is available Dutch and has been translated into English and German." Internal English - eng_breeding_short-muzzled_dogs_in_the_netherlands_expertisecentre_genetics_of_companionanimals_2019_translation_from_dutch.pdf Internal German de_zuchten_mit_kurzschnauzigen_hunden_-_kriterien_zur_durchsetzing_-_ubersetzung_aus_dem_niederlandischen.pdf
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