Norway: British Bulldogs and King Charles Spaniels banned
Buster was left outdoors after his previous owner fell ill and was unable to walk him. The poor pooch is now hoping to find a place to call home after being taken in by South East Dog Rescue (SEDR).
Kymm White, founder of the Kent based non-profit organisation, said: “Buster was a well-loved family member, but the lady caring for him was too poorly to walk him.
“She said he had been kept outside for two years and she felt sorry for him as he spent his days looking through the window into the home. Once I heard this, I couldn’t not help.”
The lady’s son would walk Buster when he could, but the 11-year-old spaniel has difficulty with mobility.
When Buster arrived at SEDR’s centre, his hair was matted and he was crying out for some care.
Buster is looking for a new home
The spaniel spent two years shut outside
Kymm told the Mirror: “The most important thing is that he’s here and will get the help he deserves.”
According to SEDR, Buster is quite anxious and guarded about making new pals, though he is learning to trust staff.
He enjoys playing ball, but the team are wary of Buster overdoing it as they try to discover what is causing his mobility issue.
Once Buster has been checked by a vet, X-rayed and given treatment, SEDR staff will start looking for his next home.
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Buster has some issues with mobility but is to be checked over by a vet
An English bulldog
Kymm said: “He will need a quiet retirement home where he can still enjoy his walks and home comforts once again.”
Meanwhile, experts warned this week that English bulldogs should be bred to have less extreme body features – or risk being banned on welfare grounds.
A study has found English bulldogs are less healthy compared to other breeds and that many of the conditions they suffer from are linked to traits they have been bred for.
Researchers from the Royal Veterinary College compared the risks of common disorders using records from veterinary practices across the UK of 2,662 English bulldogs and 22,039 animals from other breeds.
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Milo the English bulldog enjoys The Family Pet Show 2019 at Media City, Manchester
Their research, published in the journal Canine Medicine and Genetics, found the breed is twice as likely to be diagnosed with at least one more disorder than other dogs.
They showed predispositions for 24 out of 43 specific disorders and were many times more at risk of breathing, eye and skin conditions, according to the study.
Only 9.7 percent of English bulldogs in the study were more than eight years old, compared with 25.4 percent of other breeds.
This supports the view a shorter lifespan for the dogs is linked to their poorer health, the report authors said.
An English Bulldog at the CACIB dog exhibition in Dortmund
English bulldogs were originally developed as a muscular and athletic dog for bull-fighting.
They were later bred as show animals and pets with exaggerated features, including a short skull, protruding lower jaw, skin folds and a squat, heavy build.
The breed has risen sharply in popularity over the past 10 years in the UK and remains popular despite the dogs’ physical features making them prone to serious health conditions.
Other countries, such as the Netherlands and Norway, have restricted the breeding of the dog in recent years.
The experts behind the study called for English bulldog breed standards to be redefined towards more moderate characteristics to enable the UK to avoid following the lead of other countries in banning the breed on welfare grounds.
Study author Dan O’Neill said: “These findings suggest that the overall health of the English bulldog is much lower than that of other dogs.
“However, what is most concerning is that so many of the health conditions English bulldogs suffer from – such as skin fold dermatitis and breathing problems – are directly linked to the extreme structure of their bodies that has been selectively bred for.
“Given the continued popularity of the breed, the body shape of the typical pet English bulldogs should be redefined towards more moderate physical characteristics.
“Doing so will not only improve the dogs’ health, but could also enable the UK to avoid following other countries in banning the English Bulldog on welfare grounds.”