Dog breeder is ‘reengineering’ French Bulldogs’ faces to make them healthier

Due to many years of selective breeding, French bulldogs have developed shorter snouts and devastating breathing problems – Chantal wants to change that.

Dog shows emphasize appearance, so dog breeders have tried to make dogs look more appealing over the years by cross breeding, even to the point of neglecting a dog’s health.Consider French bulldogs. They actually have breathing issues, so people are attempting to re-engineer those faces.Chantal van Kruining is obsessed with French bulldogs.

The veterinary assistant’s vision is to “Breed for health, not show,” with the hope of changing people’s minds so they care more about their dog’s health.

French Bulldogs suffer from Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS), which causes them to pant and stick out their tongues even when out for a short walk. The syndrome is caused by a skull malformation caused by selective breeding.

Because of the skull malformation, the nostril openings were too small. The dogs also have a long soft palate and relatively narrow tracheas, which contributes to their breathing difficulties. It is grave enough to result in death.

But there are people who really care about this issue, one of them being a veterinary assistant named Chantal van Kruining from the Netherlands. She fell in love with the breed, but her heart was broken seeing all the pain her dogs were in because they were born with a body type that was designed by humans not taking their health into consideration.

You may believe that the Frenchie’s short muzzle is the source of the entire problem, but this is not the case. According to Chantal’s website Hawbucks French bulldogs, the short muzzle is only for aesthetic purposes, but the length of it does not indicate whether a dog will have breathing problems or not. It does, however, increase the risk.

It would be preferable if breeders would ensure that the trachea and throat cavities are sufficiently wide, that the tongue is not overly long and thick, and that the nostrils are open.

Because Chantal didn’t want to see French bulldogs suffering anymore she dived right into the breeding world. The sad truth she saw was that breeders didn’t give that much attention to dogs’ health and for Chantal it was so important to change that.

This woman researched genetics, studied abnormalities that occur in the breed, and even though she doesn’t claim to know it all or to be breeding perfect dogs, she feels that she is on the right path.

On Hawbucks French Bulldogs, Chantal shares her vision for the type of dog she and her team hope to develop from the French bulldog: “We want a French bulldog that is built a little more athletically.” A French bulldog as they were intended at the start of the breed’s evolution. A dog who can run and play for several hours without getting tired. A Frenchie who, under any circumstances, does not make a sound when breathing.”