Ironically, the Kennel Club has been a main contributor in supporting the breeding of such dogs by helping to create the breed standards by which these dogs are supposed to be judged on.
But this raises the question should dogs be bred based on their looks?
Take for example the English Bulldog, this was a breed originally bred for hunting, fighting and baiting activities and was a naturally athletic, agile and a tenacious breed. Fast forward to the present day and the english bulldog is an embarrassment to its ancestors! Today the English bulldog struggles to breathe let alone hunt. The reason for this is they have been bred based on a standard of what they should ‘look like’ rather than how they should perform or function. Unfortunately this has led to the Modern English Bulldog becoming shorter, blockier and flat faced because according to their current breeding standard this is what signifies courage and strength.
Form Follows Function
It is a fact that dogs who are bred for performance are inadvertently healthier and more functional than dogs that are bred for looks. Take the dog Roach for example [pictured above]. He is an example of a new trending breed called ‘Exotic Bully’ in which XL American Bullies and crossed with French Bulldogs. The goal is to create an even Bullier micro version of the French Bulldog which is already a breed listed as having severe health issues.
Alternatively, when you breed towards a function such as protection work, agility or dock diving instead of a ‘Look’ you naturally select for functional performance traits such as agility, endurance or strength. Dogs that possess such functional movements are rarely plagued with structural faults and diseases.
Breeders must step up to their duty and begin breeding healthier dogs. They should do this by focusing on health not looks because form follows function, never the other way round. All dogs can be functional, just pick any of the dozens of dog activities and get out with your dog! Some activities you can do include the following:
- Dock diving
- Weight Pulling
- Legal Hunting
- Sled dragging
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!