Breeder Is Reengineering French Bulldogs’ Faces To Make Them Healthier

While they may seem cute and trendy, many of the dog breeds popular today were created by humans and the animals suffer for it. To make these little furry guys and girls more visually appealing, they were bred with unnatural traits which lead them to experience serious health problems. Take, for instance, the French bulldog. Their squashed faces may look adorable on Instagram photos, but the breathing problems they experience because of it are anything but cute. Thankfully, Chantal van Kruining is ready to revolutionize French bulldogs with her own breeding business called Hawbucks.

  1. van Kruining is a veterinary assistant who’s passionate about helping animals. She loves French bulldogs and decided to found Hawbucks to “breed for health, not show” and change people’s mindsets about the breed.
  2. French bulldogs can really suffer. They often develop Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS), causing them to struggle to breathe and overheat and begin panting even during short walks. This is because of skull deformities that cause their nostrils to be too narrow. The condition can be so serious, the dogs can die from it.
  3. It’s not all about the short muzzle. As van Kruining explains on the Hawbucks French bulldogs website, the risk of having breathing problems increases with a shorter muzzle, but it’s not necessarily the only parameter to look at. It’s also important that breeders ensure the animals’ trachea and throat cavities are wide enough, the tongues aren’t too long, and the nostrils are open.
  4. Breeders have never really cared about the dogs’ health. Because breeders are usually operating solely for profit, their main priority was making sure the Frenchies looked cute enough to be scooped up, not to ensure a long, healthy life. Thankfully, van Kruining did her research on the breed’s genetics and got started on a new journey.
  5. French bulldogs should be able to play and run without breathing difficulties, Hawbucks says. They want to see the breed become more naturally athletic and to be able to achieve a healthier physique. “We strive for a French bulldog that is built a little more athletic. A French bulldog how they were meant in the beginning of the development of the breed. A dog that can run and play for several hours without trouble. A Frenchie that does not make a sound when breathing, under any circumstance,” van Kruining says.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill