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Not long ago I wrote about the breeds I miss seeing, those that used to be more popular but no longer caught the fancy of the general public. It wasn’t an argument for those breeds to start filling the veterinary offices again — raging popularity has never been good for any breed — but rather a nostalgic yearning for the wonderful pets I saw more of at the very beginning of my veterinary career.
Yes, I miss seeing all those Collies, Cockers, Brittanies, Irish Setters and Scotties, but that just means I enjoy them even more when I do see one in practice these days. And that got me thinking about the breeds I see too much of, now that I am in my third decade of practice. I like these dogs; in fact, I own two of the five on this list. But I am still concerned about these breeds.
I love all pets. I wouldn’t be a veterinarian if I didn’t, and I celebrate the human-animal bond every day. I do look forward, though, to the day when these five breeds aren’t as popular. The reasons vary, but in many cases the problems are health-related, and overbreeding by puppy mills and other less-than-ideal operations has a lot to do with that.
What would help these breeds is for there to be a lot less of them. A couple of them need many more adopters and far less breeding, and all would benefit from people who are well-prepared for the challenges of owning a dog, and who make sure to look to rescue, shelters and reputable breeders for their pets.
As always, whatever pet you choose, we veterinarians are here to help you make healthy choices for life.
Bulldog: The Bulldog is the beloved breed of the advertising world, today more than ever. There’s no denying the adorability factor here, and I’m as much in love with the look of the Bulldog, French Bulldog and Pug as anyone else. But the exaggerated features of the Bulldog and other related breeds have produced a perfect storm of health problems that diminish the quality of life for many of these dogs, and often make them extremely expensive to own. Many need surgery to shorten their soft palate and enlarge their nostrils just so they can breathe somewhat normally. Must as I love them as individuals, as a veterinarian these problems make me hurt for these dogs and their families.
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