New figures show fall in popularity of pugs, bulldogs and French bulldogs
Statistics released by dog welfare organisation the Kennel Club have revealed that the pug, the French bulldog and the bulldog have all begun to fall in popularity.
The figures show that, in the first six months of 2019, there were 31 per cent fewer registrations of pug puppies, seven per cent less of bulldogs, and eight per cent less French bulldog registrations, compared with the first six months of 2018.
This is the first time in almost a decade these breeds - popularised by celebrities and advertisers - have seen a dip in their numbers. Meanwhile, registrations for miniature smooth haired dachshunds - a breed owned by singer Adele and YouTuber Tanya Burr - continue to soar, rising 23 per cent since 2018.
Dan O’Neill, chair of the Brachycephalic Working Group (BWG), said: “The dropping registrations for these key flat-faced breeds are a step in the right direction and we do welcome them, although with some caution.
“We hope this is a sign that more puppy buyers, owners and breeders are considering the health and welfare implications these dogs can face, especially if these dogs are bought on an impulse solely because they ‘look cute’ but with little understanding of their potential health issues, or that they are bred indiscriminately to meet demand.”
The health issues faced by brachycephalic dog breeds have created one of the most pressing welfare issues for dogs in the UK. In the last 10 years, French bulldogs have seen a staggering increase of 3,488 per cent, bulldogs by 135 per cent and pugs by 118 per cent.
In 2017, the BWG penned an open letter to advertisers urging them to avoid using brachycephalic dogs in their advertising campaigns. Most recently, the group has advised Disney in its film Patrick the Pug, and supported the BVA’s call on retailers to avoid using the breeds on Christmas merchandise.
Dan continued: “While we hope these figures indicate our concerns about flat-faced dogs may be starting to reach the public and that the unprecedented demand we’ve seen in recent years could be declining slightly, there are still thousands of flat-faced dogs being bred outside any umbrella of influence by irresponsible breeders and being bought by poorly informed owners.
“We will not rest on our laurels; we must continue to work together to protect the health and welfare of these still very much popular dogs, as many continue to suffer due to impulsive puppy buying habits and indiscriminate, opportunistic, profit-focused breeders.”
He added: “We’re also aware of extreme features in other breeds, such as Dachshunds, which now seem to be increasing in popularity and could become the new ‘breed of the moment’. Extremes of conformation in any animal are a cause for concern so we continue to urge puppy buyers again to really consider their decision before they buy a puppy, instead of choosing a dog because of fashion.”