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with a wider and more detailed description of how the standard text should be interpreted, preferably including pictures of dogs of correct and incorrect anatomy. This would be a very useful tool for education of show judges and also for breeders. The show judges play a key role in this matter, as they are the ones deciding which dogs will win prizes at dog shows. Functional anatomy, soundness and wellbeing must be the ultimate goal of the judging in the show ring. The countries of origin and the FCI has the overall responsibility for the written standard text.
The owners and breeders are the ones who actually keep and breed the dogs, and their opinion is largely influenced by the judges - and the looks of the dogs
that are appointed to win in the show ring. Even puppy production in puppy mills are influenced by the winners in show rings, as of dogs appearing in advertising campaigns and the media. Winners and media exposure of dogs with flat faces influence the consumers’ desire for a dog with a certain look. Flat-faced dogs are not only bred by kennel club breeders. The huge demand for these sets the ground for commercial breeders of non- pedigree dogs. The authorities should consider setting up breeding programs aiming for better health also to non-pedigree dogs.
Veterinarians must adapt their forms and routines to be effective and reliable in examining brachycephalic dogs in a way that will reveal breathing problems or other symptoms of disease. There is also a great need for systematic gathering of health data, both on individual dogs and concerning prevalence of relevant diseases
in the breed populations. Teaching the owners how to recognize breathing problems and other serious disease is a huge task for the veterinarians. Approximately 60 % of owners of dogs suffering from BOAS, do not realize their dog is sick and that the symptoms are signs of serious disease (2, 5). There is a continuous demand for education of the owners – both before they purchase their puppy, and throughout the rest of their dog’s life.
1. Hansen HJ. The Body Constitution of Dogs and its Importance for the occurrence of disease. Nord Vet Med 1964, 16, 977-987.
2. Packer RM, Hendricks A, Tivers MS, Burn CC. Impact of Facial Conformation on Canine Health: Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome. PLoS One. 2015 28; 10(10):e0137496. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0137496. eCollection 2015.
3. Packer RMA, Hendricks A, Burn CC. Impact of Facial Conformation on CanineHealth: Corneal Ulceration. PLoS One. 2015 10(5): e0123827. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0123827
4. Packer RMA, Hendricks A, Burn CC. Do dog owners perceive the clinical signs related to conformational inherited disorders as ‘normal’ for the breed? A potential constraint to improving canine welfare. Animal Welfare. 2012, 21(S1): 81-93 doi: 10.7120/096272812X13345905673809 ISSN 0962-7286
5. Liu N-C, Sargan DR, Adams VJ, Ladlow JF. Characterisation of Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome in French Bulldogs Using Whole-Body Barometric Plethysmography.PLoS One. 2015 10(6): e0130741. doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0130741
An Urban Experience

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