English bulldog is facing grim future

English Bulldog Is Facing Grim Future

The health of the English Bulldog species will likely not improve without crossbreeding, finds a new study.

Despite its popularity, the breed is susceptible to a variety of problems that can affect the hips, respiratory system, and eyes; it also tends to have a relatively shorter lifespan of about six years.

These and other issues have been exacerbated, in part, by inbreeding to "promote characteristics like its shortened muzzle and stature."

Researchers from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine agree, stating in their paper that "English bulldogs have very low genetic diversity resulting from a small founder population and artificial genetic bottlenecks."

The team came to this conclusion by comparing the genes of 102 registered English Bulldogs with 37 other members with health problems.

Based on their analysis, the researchers determined that some genetic diversity still exists but questioned whether it was enough to improve the breed's outlook.

According to Gizmodo, to try and counteract these deficiencies, some Swiss breeders have started crossing "English Bulldogs with the Olde English Bulldogge."

The BBC is reporting that "breeders differ widely on what should be done to tackle the illnesses. Some argue that any deviation from the breed's standards would no longer make it an English Bulldog."

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