From the makers of Pedigree Dogs Exposed, the latest news and views regarding inherited disorders and conformation issues in purebred dogs.
One pug loving vet springs immediately to mind. If its him, the pug owners have absolutely nothing to worry about, should be a doddle.
I was out with a friend the other day when a pug came gasping along Is it supposed to be making that noise? He said.I think that says it all.
Well yes, apparently they are supposed to make that noise. The Pug Club has recently said that brachycephalic airway syndrome is not "a high priority" in pugs.This despite the breed being massively over-represented in all the research into the condition. Jemima
Jemima, what do you think the best course of action is for situations like this? I think if we banned dog shows, or made them socially unacceptable, then there will be no standards to breed a dog to. Surely this is the way forward to stop all this cruelty?
I think that banning dog shows is far too extreme. The thing to do is to have good ones, that is, the ones that are beneficial for both dog lovers AND DOGS. Check out this link. It is in Spanish, so I can summarize it here by saying that it talks about a dog show in which working dogs are given prizes for their work. In this case, they are guard dogs which live in the mountains of Spain protecting sheep from wolves. With their work, they make possible the survival of the sheep, the wolves (because they prevent predation and therefore wolves stop being perceived as a threat) and the breed in itself, because they are selected by their functionality. http://trashumandovoy.blogspot.no/2013/01/mastines-de-campo.html
I'd like to see the back of dog shows, myself. They've done nothing good for dogs. On the other hand, I've no issue with trials that prove a dog's ability to be functional and do a job. Of course, for working dogs, the ultimate test is the work itself.If you like LGDs, or working dogs in general, or even just dogs, this is a lovely little video about some sensible people using an age-old solution in which everyone, including predators, wins. It's in English too - LGDs are used here in North America. Enjoy!http://vimeo.com/60354527
Seems an objective way to assess pug health for the well being of the individual and breed. Snorrt.
I don't think it will do it. Lets be honest, they have done this before with very mild passion. Its more a presentation to shut people up.
Best to make dog shows socially unacceptable really - the BBC did try. Perhaps a petition to be discussed at paliament? 10,000 signatures guarantees a debate. I'd sign!
and you show your lack of knowledge. .dog shows are not the problem, a minority of breeders are. . .I show my dogs, recently went Reserve to a supported specialty with my girl who also has running titles. . my dogs are bred for performance first show second, so you won't see any of the sort of deformities you may see in the show only lines(over angulated rears and angel fished dogs for example). . .push to force some sort of performane/working title will help weed out those dogs who can't do what they were bred for due to deformities. . i'm not one of those anti PDE rabid people, Jemima had some good points, but not all breeders are like that.
Miel....I can't remember anymore hunt, what is your breed?, I had a dabble at the show scene with a working breed and I found and saw something quite different, judging on the whole was corrupt and breeders no better, sadly we will agree to disagree on the show scene I was completely staggered, have things improved I wonder?
Anon 08:15 here. I must admit, I've never been to a dog show! But from what I hear from people I know who have shown dogs themselves; from watching Crufts, PDE and from having a scientific understanding about genetics and canine behaviour in general, the evidence suggests that breeding and showing dogs for looks creates health problems. Miel etc. your point about performance/working is a good one I feel. It focuses on function over form and away from the breed standards and looks.
After every HPB passed the health test at Crufts this year, I figured they'd just been a PR stunt. Clearly the KC have no intention of changing and all their spiel about health and well-being is just lip service.I'm not quite sure what the KC are hoping to do by continually ignoring the fundamental flaw of breeding within a closed registry system. Ignoring reality doesn't make it go away. What kind of message are they sending out to those breeders who genuinely care about the health of their breed and are desperately trying to get other breeders on board? Even careful breeding within a closed registry will eventually result in the loss of gentic viability. And let's face it, linebreeding isn't careful and has already proven itself to be unsustainable. Shame on them.
It seems the only way to get Pug breeders to sit-up and take notice is for someone to sue them for vet fees spent on getting their dog to do what dogs should be able to do naturally: breathe properly.
It's interesting that litigation keeps cropping up on here. Has anyone sought legal advice in this regard? It would certainly seem sensible to get a viewpoint on how best to tackle this from the pet owner's perspective. It must be genuinely devastating to part with many hundreds of pounds to buy a pet Pug; bond with it and then spend the remainder of it's life worrying about the fact that it has actually been born to suffer and part with many more hundreds of pounds at the vet. What concerns me is that there isn't an information shortage with regard to the health issues associated with this type of dog - the information is out there with regard to brachycephalic breeds - it's just not being imparted by the people who should know better IMO - the KC.
"That should do it." LOL. Add to it chronic wrinkle fung, allergies to every known food source and the very air we breath and you have a perfect pug.
Fun loving criminals, rather than pug loving whatevers.
Let's face it, lots of vets are "pug-loving". Because pugs make money. Lots of money. One of my friends recently asked my opinion on her vet. Her hubby has a designer "Bugg" 3/4 Boston Terrier, 1/4 Pug. He is surprisingly healthy, keeps up with her Jack Russell mix, and I have observed the dog on many of our dog park excursions and 5 km walks. He's keeps up with the farm dogs on visits back home. His breathing is louder, but not labored, he snores, but seems no worse for wear after exercise than other dogs. In fact, he doesn't look like a Boston or a Pug. He's larger, and leggier for a start. Most people think he's some sort of "mini-pitbull".In short, she is extremely lucky to have purchased a dog from a "low-end", "designer" breeder who was not striving for extremes: he shows no sign of oxygen deprivation, no shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, open-mouthed breathing, gagging or exercise intolerance. Her vet recommended immediate palate surgery to widen his airways. Because he is a pug cross. They provided a moderate estimate ~$1,500 CDN. I told her that I could see no medical reason to have the surgery done at this time, and perhaps she should consider finding another vet. Maybe one who doesn't love Pugs so much.
ah yes much better to say a "pug hating" vet because that would surely get the pug owners out en mass . Did you not read what was written.. "a vet unknown to the breed" so of course it will not be the KC member you allude to.As for litigation no one forces a person to purchase a pug. NO ONE.as for "born to suffer" exactly what part of the RSPCA do you represent?Seabroker.. if a dog looks like a "mini pit bull" it will be illegal in many many places in the USA and not allowed at all in the UK where breed specific legislation is the sadly the norm. In many places the dog could be subject to immediate death.. Jemima.. isn't this better than nothing.. exactly what is you want the pug owners to do? Will anything less than eliminating the breed be enough for you?
I didn't realize your laws were so strict. . . How are "pit bulls identified? http://www.nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/uploaded_files/tinymce/Pit%20Bull%20ID%20Poster.pdf? How does the recent public availability of DNA tests figure in? Thank goodness, this dog was bred in Canada where the random guesses of "most people" doesn't qualify as any sort of legal evidence. I suppose my point was that this healthy dog was the product of extremely bad breeding by Kennel Club standards. (And yes, all of his great grandparents were registered purebred dogs.)And there are vets more than willing to profit off of the current breeding practices of the Kennel Club.
sorry you have such a low opinion of hard working lifesaving veterinarians. You are not exempt from BSL in Canada if that is where you live Ontario has banned "pit bulls;' for many years.. and killed many many innocent dogs. the UK also bans "pit bulls" and several other breeds and they have killed many "pit bulls" in the UK.. many places ban them and other breeds in the USA.. seems none place is safe for these dogs to be free from bigotry and prejudice \How do they ID a "pit bull" by guessing that is how.. DNA is not a true representation of any "pit bull"so they just continue to kill them with reckless abandons The KC nor the AKC cares about designer dogs.. breed away.. you just cannot register them. Personally I breed Bull Terriers and register my litters with the AKC but do I care if some prefer a designer dog.. or want to cross breed .. no I don't
If the KC or the AKC DO NOT CARE designer dogs, then why don't they register them? The Arabian Horse Registry registers any horse with one full-blooded Arabian parent, and hosts just as many events for "Half-Arabians" as "Full-Arabians". These horses are not allowed to compete against "purebred" horses, at least not for points, but heck. . . The registry makes twice as much money that way. Kennel clubs are very much against Designer dogs, and crossbreeding. It is far too important for the Kennel Clubs to put that super special "purebred" label on their dogs, even if that means they get their money from registering puppy mill pups instead. As far as "Hard-Working, Life-Saving Veterinarians" go, I appreciate a veterinarian as much as any dog-loving, god-fearing owner. I just realize that vets are people too. If a large portion of my business came from KC registered dogs, especially the dependable (chronic) repeat kind of business, I'd feel honor bound to support the KC too. Or at the very least, I'd feel financially obligated to keep my mouth shut.
These vet checks are pretty superficial, and it's ridiculous that the breed club has to try to reassure their members by stressing that it will be a "pug loving vet". If they genuinely want to prove the health of their breed, it should be able to stand up to much tougher scrutiny that this and I have no idea why the KC thinks this is going to convince anyone.I guess you could say it's a start, but...No, I don't want to eliminate the breed. I want to moderate them. I want them to be less exaggerated - and for the breed club to be taking breathing issues *much* more seriously. What the KC and/or breed club needs to be doing is commissioning the research which helps with nailing the "tipping points" for breeds with extreme physical traits. How short a muzzle is *too* short? How wrinkled is *too* wrinkled etc.It is astonishing, when you think about it, that they don't do this. And it's primarily because they're scared of finding out that, currently, the cost is too great to the dogs and that they will have to moderate what they think is "ideal".In fact, some of this work is now being done y the RVC (Rowena Packer there) - work that should really help. Jemima
no nothing will ever be enough for you Jemima.. until pugs are no longer pugs but are "pugadooldes' and Pekes are "pekeadoodles' and so on.. because dogs that are pure bred are just that .. pure bred and you are not the be all to end all to make the decisions on how a dog should look. When I see you put a picture of a Bull Terrier from the 30's and wish all BT's looked like the Ingalls "working dogs" when I know that you have never bred a litter of anything,raised a litter of anything, have no degree in genetics or veterinary medicine and still hold yourself up as an "expert" I consider the source..
Quote.." because dogs that are pure bred are just that .. pure bred and you are not the be all to end all to make the decisions on how a dog should look."Bestuvall you are in the US right?Are you completely happy (you are also a judge right?) with your countries pug breed standard? Have the right decisions so far been made for this breed (based on looks) to prevent conformation related illnesses?Is it wrong to question a breed standard that clearly puts a breed at high risk of being born with or developing conformation related illnesses?People have a right to question it.
Here hee hee bestuvall do you really think Jemima or any of us that care about health issues in our dogs give a tinkers cuss about what it looks like? Nope as long as my dog can breathe she can look like sh**t for all I care, what kind of plonker thinks a dog shouldn't have a nose or an effectively functioning jaw? you know so they can smell stuff out and then pick it up, they so ain't blessed with hands are they. If you can prove that breeds absent of their noses are better off then you have an argument to discredit Jemima and the rest of us with some common sense. bestuvall please tell me why you would want to continue breeding these animals this way? just because you enjoy their looks and trotting round the ring doesn't mean they do - they are getting a really rough deal, shame on you :-(
Actually, Anon, I *do* care what my dogs and others look like. I think the world is a better place for the rich diversity of breeds.I can even see a place for pugs and bulldogs and pekes - just more moderate versions of them. I love my mutts. But to see a beautiful, fit, healthy pedigree dog in their prime still takes my breath away.Ever seen a saluki run? A flatcoat ford a river to retrieve a bird? Ever seen collies move sheep down from the hill or a livestock guardian breed protect them from harm? Sure, most dogs don't have a job beyond being a pet today, but there's no reason why we can't keep, enjoy and breed dogs of specific breeds - *just as long as they are not paying too high a price for pandering to our aesthetic*.That's the essence of argument here: that we can (in most cases) have our cake and eat it.Jemima
I agree in principle with what you are saying Jemima. Breeding dogs to herd the sheep, protect the flocks, sniff out cancer, therapy dogs etc. is absolutely fantastic and gives them a much needed job, but the reality is most dogs end up as pets in average homes, with owners of average canine knowledge of behaviour and health. Breeding dogs to function for work and then confine them to a life in the home and deny them their instincts and healthy outlets can be torturous for their wellbeing and ultimately their health. IMHO we need to breed dogs as pets that are healthy but also have the temperament to enable them to cope with modern life. The number one behavioural disorder that most dogs suffer from is separation anxiety according to a lot of dog behaviour experts. A lot of dogs are left all day at home alone in cages whilst their owners are out at work and may get minimal exercise on return; a lack of appropriate mental stimulation etc. What are we doing about that? Do we select for dogs with low anxiety who cope well when left alone when selecting for breeding for example? Is it ever taken into consideration? There are lots of considerations at hand and of course I respect your blog is about genetic health issues and inbreeding in pedigree dogs, but I would also argue that separation anxiety; inappropriate aggression related to under stimulation, lack of exercise and predatory outlets etc. are also problems that can affect the health and wellbeing of many types of these dogs in pet homes today. Of course you are only too aware that many dogs end up in rescue because of ‘behavioural problems', interestingly, a lot of them mutts. I have such a dog and despite the fact she is a mutt, she has the drive and the instinct of the hardiest terrier, the eye and the stalk of a BC and the softest heart for human affection of any Lab. She can be difficult to manage as a pet dog because of her predatory nature, but she is robust of health. The former is far more emotionally draining than the latter, but the latter kinder to her and my bank balance. So, like yourself, I am all for selective breeding of pet dogs but I empathise on a lot of levels because it’s not an easy thing to get right. I have no expertise in dog breeding and fear I am pontificating a bit (forgive me) but sometimes objectivity can be useful because I cannot for the life of me understand why any ‘breed standard’ is relative to the health and wellbeing of any dog today.
Actually Jemima yes, my sheep dogs work our 1,500 sheep and our 150 cattle, my pointer and cocker flush and pick up game and the pests my husband deals with, you missed my point though, never ever will I put looks before the health and welfare of my best friends/staff we couldn't manage without them.
@bestuvall She is not saying to alter the appearance of the breed beyond recognition. Only to make subtle changes that would drastically improve the quality of life of the animals, decrease the worry and guilt feelings of the owners, and possibly even help the breed have a more viable future as health problems are greatly reduced. I own a pug that happens to be quite energetic, playful,intelligent, loving, friendly to all dogs and people, and I think it is a wonderful breed for an indoor family dog. But my heart is heavy with worry and guilt over the fact that she may not be cooling herself as well as other dogs. What a narrow-minded way of thinking to imply that changing the length of the nose will destroy the character of the breed. I implore all breeders and dog show judges to really open their minds and do what is best for the well-being of the dogs and the future of the breed. A lot of people, even those who don't own dogs, see images from dog shows and become used to how a certain breed should look. So, yes, dog shows do have a responsibility in normalizing the perception of the general public of exaggerated features. I am appalled when I see show pugs, as well as model and actor pugs whose noses are halfway covered by the skin fold. And I am a person who sees a pug's face up close daily (and gets sneezed on accordingly :) (my pug happens to have a nose that almost sticks out. But I wish it was even farther out, for her sake.) Please change the breed standard so that all of these wonderful little creatures can live a normal dog's life.
I think that dog shows present a very good opportunity for lots of dog lovers to tell the breed clubs that they love HEALTHY dogs!
One thing is for sure and that is that when somebody who has bought a Kennel Club registered Pedigree Pug puppy which becomes ill because of the known breathing, heart, joint, skin problems and they personally have unlimited funds then the breeder and the KC better look out. Because that puppy owner is going to seek venegence that their dear little pug's life is compromised by bad greedy breeders who have been seen to be "supported" by the KC because they agreed to register this "sick breed puppy". How can this be? People decide on a breed, a pedigree KC registered puppy. They unwittingly assume that the KC have graded dogs for registration and it is only the creme de la creme who achieve that status which is where the "kudos" comes from owning such a puppy. They will be furious to learn that the KC have no rules and regulations to deny registration to a breed known to be high risk (not just Pugs). They will be furious that despite the KC being established for the welfare of dogs (all dogs) they learn that the KC is a political animal whose main concern is the greedy breeders who breed relentlessly and because of this fill their quaffers quite nicely thank you. Responsible breeders only breed occasionally and thus there is limited income stream from this souce. For the KC the bad breeders are the good guys. They don't seem to care where the puppies come from, they seem to do no policing, er maybe some would say that they do absolutely nothing except sup coffee and have back slapping contests about who conned who and how much money they've picked out of the pockets of the unsuspecting good breeders. Some clever lawyer is going to back a puppy purchaser on no win no fee and somehow, some way the KC is going to be included in the prosecution together with the breeder. Anyone breeding and selling puppies for profit need to be aware that they may well be the first case in the UK. There has already been one successful case in Holland, see the case about Sam an Irish Setter who died tragically from epilepsy, his breeder denied it was in their bloodline, until the next case came along. I'm sure Sam's owner didn't want, need or desire a court case, they just wanted a lovely healthy IS, I don't think they feel any gratification about the outcome, they loved Sam, they want him by their side today, but can't because of his greedy reckless breeder. Pugs are a lovely little breed and their breeders should take every care to make sure that future generations are able to have the pleasure of owning one and not be so short sighted and ignorant.
Certainly a breeder could be culpable, but the Kennel Club? If you buy a car and it is faulty who is to blame? The manafacturer and maybe the dealer, but the DVLA who is te rgeistration body? I dont think so! Also the puppy buyer has a responsibility too. Anyone wit any sense knows that certai breeds come with a health warning yet these same breeds increase in popularity year after year. I am not defendinm breeders or even the Kennel Club, but just because Jemimma made a film doesent mean she was right.Carol
No Carol, your analagy is out of kilter. Cars are inanimate objects and unless a car has been deliberately tampered with to look good but is a wreck then there will be a case to answer. Trades description etc etc. The manufacturer of the car has no responsibility whatsoever, nor the DVLA unless proven otherwise (unlikely). However, anyone who has an involvement with pedigree dog breeding will know that some breeds have become unfit for purpose (cynically, life even because of the dreadful afflicitions they have to cope with day to day). The KC would not be able to deny that they have registered a puppy from a sick breed, that should have their support and control. They are the ones who should have an accurate health overview of the "state of the Nation's pedigree dogs" They could quite easily restrict registration of high COIs, they should be made to develop full detail health databases so that breeders and purchasers can see exactly what is going on healthwise within any breed and what they are breeding/buying into. Having been able to research the breed then some of the responsibility would be removed from the breeder/KC because the people know what the true risk is. If not for the people, this should be their priority for the poor dogs who have their quality of life severely compromised because people breed for exaggeration rather than health. Someone, someday will jump. You refer to Jemima and the "film", do you mean television programme? One thing is for sure Carol and that is you have felt the need to respond, you may have discussed the programme with friends/associates so by your own admission you are spreading the word and the further it is spread and the more aware the general public who buy the puppies, and the breeders who bred the puppies become the better it will be for the DOGS.
Carol - right about what? The fact that the health of pedigree dogs is in dire straits? You may well disagree but the RSPCA and BBC didn't. Their influence goes a bit further than the average dog breeder fortunately. The word has and continues to spread regarding selecting for function over form, fortunately. Eventually, like a virus, it will become embedded into the DNA of the ethics of dog breeding. That is my fervent hope anyway! Sometimes it takes a generation to really see the change in effect.
Great posts Georgina. I wonder where breeders would stand that are continuing to breed dogs that are known to have health issues as part of their "make up"? Trading standards and suing under Sale of Goods Act is always a possibility. Clearly the breed club realises there are problems. They have now said that the breathing problems in pugs are not a priority. I wonder how they would feel if they had to gasp for every breath they took? It really saddens me...
Hi Annie, it makes me want to hand them a plastic bag to pull over their heads and then ask them to climb stairs backwards. Then they would realise how disabling the conditions a lot of pedigree dogs have to live with, day in, day out. They just see the words on the page, they don't relate them to pain, distress, death. There is something funny about the Sale of Goods Act because there is a get out for the breeders because they are classed as "hobbyist breeders". So there seems to be no redress. Sam, the Irish Setter is the first case that has been proven in Holland. The breeder denied epilepsy but another case occurred. Dreadful for the dog and his owner. If the breed clubs state that breathing is not a priority, it has gone too far, that is seriously dangerous and like you, it saddens me too that people can be so publicly ignorant.
I think the analogy isn't ideal but cars have to pass stringent tests before they are allowed to go on sale to the general public, an aesthetic that causes a safety issue would not be permitted. Serious faults result in recalls. How can proving (and improving) where possible the health of dogs not be a positive action for dogs and their owners. The KC has the power to register dogs that meet certain standards and that doesn't just mean having the right parents.Barbara
Many breeds were born to suffer. Pugs are just more conspicuous than most. Are breathing problems worse than high incidence of early onset cancer?
Not sure Jennifer what you are saying. We could all suffer from cancer does that make it right? When humans suffer an illness it is an "accident of nature", nobody deliberately bred us to be miserable with poor quality of life. Bad breeders do knowingly breed an animal which is going to be miserable with poor quality of life. Any health afflicition that causes pain and suffering and could be avoided by breeders is a travesty. Simple as that, comparing one shocking illness with another doesn't make one less painful than the other, they are both going to cause distress and agonising pain. So again I really don't what you are saying or trying to prove? Do you?
There are several breeds, Bernese mountain dog comes to mind, where the hand dealt by genetics makes an early death from cancer very hard to avoid. Berners have a lower life expectancy at birth than pugs by several years. I'd like to see the unhealthy, normal-looking breeds get attention alongside the brachy-breeds. I'm sure others out there can name a dozen breeds that, like the BMD, are genetically cursed, though normal looking. Such breeds deserve just as much publicity as pugs.
Hi Jennifer, your logic is right, I see what you mean, all pedigree breeds need health reviews and it is why I advocate a health data base be established for every single one of them. If the beautiful Bernese is affected thus, it is cruel to continue breeding knowing that the resultant puppies are going to have a terrible life then death. The breed cannot continue, it is not fit for purpose (quality of life). If the KC know this then they should stop it and refuse to register puppies until a kind, compassionate solution for the breed can be found. Their priority is for the wellbeing of the dog and they should be seen to enforce it. My passion is Irish Setters, take a tick list of sickness/physical abnormalities, and I bet it would be pretty well complete with the problems that are being experienced. Humans are responsible for playing God when they decide which dog to use when mating their bitches, and if they accept the role of "God" then they have to accept the responsibilities attached thereto. There is no escape, they choose, they breed, they take the money, they have to take the responsibility. Action/Reaction etc. As soon as people realise that the word cancer, epilepsy, hip dysplasia etc are not just words on a page, they are real, agonising, distressing, life reducing conditions, in short they kill. Sometimes I wish breeders experienced a short burst of these conditions and then they may be slightly more circumspect when breeding. Health would definately become their first priority when they had felt that pain and realised what they are inflicting on another species.
Bernese suffer from a very high rate of malignant histiocytosis. It typically hits them very young (around 5) and it kills quickly.A post about this to come...Jemima
That it is dreadful, how can the breeders continue to produce puppies knowing that they are going to suffer so much, they are sadists. The KC really should step in and stop further suffering. I feel quite sick about it, poor dogs.
I'm currently traveling in southeast asia, those pugs STILL exist here. Considering importing some when I get back to the states.
oh and I forgot about this little guyhttp://smg.photobucket.com/user/Pietoro/media/Dog%20Breed%20Historical%20Pictures/Pug/1902MISS-A-A-L-JAQUET-S-PUG-TUM-TUM.jpg.htmland this little pack.http://smg.photobucket.com/user/Pietoro/media/Dog%20Breed%20Historical%20Pictures/Pug/1902MISS-C-ROSA-LITTLE-S-PUGS.jpg.html
Pug loving = Completely blinded to the misery these little dogs are in.Has concerns for the welfare of seriously exaggerated dogs = Pug (or insert any high profile breed) hating.
I like this photo which has a Pug of original type sat beside a Pekingese of original type - a clear visual giving away their shared heritage.http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v485/Pietoro/Dog%20Breed%20Historical%20Pictures/Pug/1902_PugPeke.jpg
To be fair, if you look in to the history of Pugs you will find that during the 19th Century and way before there were also Pugs that resemble the Pugs we see today. Many of the longer muzzled Pugs seem to have come from Europe, whilst those with the flatter faces originated from China where they also selectively bred for flat muzzles.In fact at the end of the 19th Century in the UK, when dog shows first took off there was (according to historical references) quite a mix of Pugs "looks wise" but those with slightly longer muzzles or legs were basically accused of being crosses/mutts.Black Pugs were described as more "terrier like" and were in fact originally crossed with fawns by "the fancy" to achieve that more desired flat face that seemed to be their preferred "Pug look". Two early groups of Pug enthusiasts (which eventually became one, and known as the Pug Dog Club) bred pugs by following the breed standard which was actually an adjustment of a previous standard, although both were quite similar.Flatter faced Pugs *did* exist during the time of Chinese Dynasty's and throughout history.Sadly however this is because the selection and breeding for such flat faces also existed.This is the 21st Century........with increased knowledge and the science to back why breeding dogs with basically no nose causes problems.........you would think by now we would know better.
So the country that bound little girls' feet because it made them walk daintily as women - even though it also crippled them - brought us the flat-faced Pug. Foot-binding became highly popular because men found it attractive. Pugs have become highly popular because people find the flat-faces cute and baby-like. Kind of says everything...
I can't bear to think about China and dogs. I read that they kill up to 30,000 dogs a day for meat and fur. Clubbed to death apparently. Beggars belief what they to each other too but they say a civilisation is judged on how well it treats animals and the sick and vulnerable.
Fran, the Chinese habit of binding high-ranking girls' feet was to ensure that their future husbands couldn't make them work in the fields or do other manual labour involving standing or walking. It was supposed to ensure that they led lives of leisure.
So living a life of pain was akin to living a life of leisure? Warped beyond belief, but then we human beings are the strangest of all creatures with our cultural, religious and pedigree notions of superiority aren't we?
I'm a vet, I don't hate pugs. We see lots of them at our clinic and I am always frank about the problems these (and every other) dogs have. Out of a recent litter some are developing very pronounced nasal folds, others have stenotic nares, others are as good as a pug gets. The owners all bought these dogs knowing the potential pitfalls of being a pug. All are insured, but that isn't going to make me perform surgeries unless they can't live their lives well. No, they aren't athletes but most are more than capable of 2 45minute walks a day which is at least as much as their owners! Whatever rules the KC puts in place, however much blogs like this shout about the health problems people still want flat faced dogs...The KC could ban pugs or re-write the standard but they would still be bred...I hope the vet doing these checks feels bold enough to be honest and point out the dogs' weaknesses as well as their merits.VP
Maybe some will prefer flat faced pugs. But it will be a luxury that most people who want a pug as a pet cannot afford. The flat faced pug will become a pet owned by the elite because it will only be the well heeled who can afford to maintain the health of their pet. Normal people who would love a pug as a healthy pet will realise that longer nosed, less bulgy eyed, wrinkle free coats and slightly lighter frame pugs are cheaper to maintain. The breeders will breed to demand and I know which type they will want to produce, the latter? Especially when the general public realise that they may be able to sue the breeder for breeding a dog unfit for purpose (life) and the expensive lifelong health maintenace of same may also become a point for consideration as part of the claim. The sensible breeders will come to understand that it is kinder for the dogs and kinder to their new owners. Pugs are a great little breed and two 45 minute lead walks a day is a travesty, they are dogs and for dogs to be healthy they need to be able to be off the lead snuffling about, running, jumping, swimming, digging etc for an hour, by which time they will have exercised their brains and their bodies, all dogs are natural athletes. People shouldn't have to risk buying a pug knowing the potential pitfalls. That it is such a complacent statement and the exact trap the breeders fall into, the fact that this doesn't HAVE TO BE, THAT PUGS COULD BE BRED THAT ARE HEALTHIER and happier is what should be the aim, not complacency and possible litigation if they continue to do thus. Being insured is irrelevant, the insurance companies will load premiums and eventually refuse to insure completely because of the too high risk. Of course you shouldn't hate pugs or any dogs or any animal that comes into your surgery, what have those animals ever said or done to you. However, you should hate the breeders that breed the deformities for money.
This is such idealism, there are people in the world who require government support to afford their own children yet they still have a new iPhone and the kids have an xbox, or iPad or whatever they want brand new! So by what standard are we suggesting that people will consider the possible health problems of a pug and select one less likely to develop problems? I think that all we can do is ensure that sensible people who care about the breed are attending shows and not allowing the bad breeders to turn Crufts and shows like it into their cult parade.I fully intend to get a dalmatian from Julie Evans at some point, support the project for gene pool widening and show it to ensure that the best of the breed was there to choose from for BOB.
Unfortunately I think it's unrealistic to expect that only those that can afford high medical bills will purchase these dogs. At the vet clinic I work at brachycephalic dogs are very popular - particularly pugs and bulldogs. People will spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars to buy the pup, and then ignore the dog's health problems for the rest of its life. I have seen too many dogs with skin turned to leather from chronic infections, ear canals swelled shut from inflammation, eyes (the eye itself, not the lid) completely covered in scabs and mucus and ulcers from years of untreated dry eye, dogs that turn purple at the least provocation because of their awful airways...we have some bulldog patients that those of us in the back of the clinic can hear when the dog has entered the lobby because their breathing struggles are that loud. You wouldn't think people could stand to look at, listen to or smell these awful health problems for years at a time, but they can. At least in my area.
VP, your pragmatism and empathy probably serve you very well in your profession. the whole debate really falls down to an ethical and moral debate, not a legal one. Just because the canine genome IS so malleable, it doesn't mean we SHOULD breed animals like Pugs, who suffer terribly because of their deformities. But if people desire them then the demand is always going to be there. As a Vet, taking the moral high ground isn't going to change people's opinions of this breed. In fact, when you polarise opinions you can actually reinforce in people exactly what you are trying to change. Best thing to do is for people to support the great work Jemima is doing, keep chipping away at it. Nothing stays the same. We are living in an era where so many people are no longer willing to put up with cruelty in any shape or form. That can only be a good thing for the future of the domestic dog.
" Pugs are a great little breed and two 45 minute lead walks a day is a travesty"Well at least that is more than the KC suggest for the breed.30 minutes A DAY!If people follow that advice it is no wonder that there are so many over weight pugs, which of course helps their breathing no end.
It's also a great deal more than most dogs get or most owners want to do. I have said before I often see people who'd be better off with a Tamagotchi or stuffed toy than a real dog in my clinic but once they've got the dog I have to support them as best I can!VP
Hmm Kate, perhaps the KC would be better suited as toy shop retailers where they could sell millions of wind up Pug dog toys, set them on the floor and have a jolly good time whilst the little clockwork dogs bib and bob for oh, 45 minutes? Wow. And then with great satisfaction, they can pat them down and put them back in the box, and then put that box back on the shelf, that would be such super, jolly good fun wouldn't it. And just think oooo, I'm getting quite excited now, when the next customer comes in they could do it all again. Fab. Like you I think it is a travesty to expect any dog to be happy with 45 minute lead walk twice a day along some miserable rain soaked, gum stained pavement. Great. I'm glad I am not a dog owned by one of the members of KC elite if they really truly believe that is acceptable..
True, and the fact that you are making them aware that a dog does need to be exercised is good and any other welfare issues. Sort of a stone in the shoe approach! But it is very worrying that people buy a dog when really they want a piece of inanimate merchandise. I'm afraid that I was very rude to the purchasers of my puppies in so far as I grilled them. My passion are Irish Setters (lost my last one 5 years ago) and anyone who breeds them has to be doubly cautious about the people to whom they sell. But all dogs have needs and all breeders have responsibility towards their dogs and their issue, not the money from the issue that can buy them the next flat screen tv or fast car or whatever. Their claims that they don't profit from breeding dogs is laughable, if it didn't pay they wouldn't do it. It has to be controlled for the welfare of all dogs.
So who is to blame here?Those that demand the breed and/or those that produce the breed.I thought the BVA/RSPCA Universal Puppy Contract was meant to help towards sorting that one.In fact, what has come of that? It was a year ago that a press release came out.It might sort out who can sue who.....but it doesn't actually help the dogs does it.
If there was no demand for Pugs in their current form no-one would breed them. Even breeders who don't breed 'for money' (the hobbyist who breeds every few years to keep one back to show, work etc.)need to be able to rehome their puppies.People need more education and it is great that blogs like this get information out there but educated people still do the research on pugs (and other 'problem' breeds) and see something in the breed which makes them take that gamble. Some pay out a fortune and still....buy the same breed again. I'm not sure we can change that anytime soon :-/ But educating buyers and supporting any positive move by breeders will get results faster than shouting 'ban the mutants' I'm sure!Now I'm off to enjoy training my spaniels in the sunshine.VP
Agreed. It's futile trying to blame someone or an organisation when there are so many variables involved. It's a case of supply and demand but I would say that if a breed standard didn't exist in the first place perhaps some more common sense would be applied to selection for function and not form? It takes time to get new ways of thinking embedded into a culture. And the way that you try to change things is as important as what you are trying to change. I'd imagine that in the next ten years or so Jemima's work and others who support it will really get to a grass root level as it IS based on science and research.
Oops,my second sentence should have ended with a question mark, and not read like a statement, as it was based on the above comments on education and blaming breeders/puppy purchasers.My reference to an organisation was merely asking if any one had heard any more on the universal puppy contract.The universal puppy contract I believe could be a positive step for *some* breeds/crossbreeds but since we are talking about pugs, I do not think it will really help this breed. The contract asks the breeder to list known conditions in the breed and then provide evidence that they have done their best to ensure these have been screened for etc. If they haven't then hopefully the purchaser will walk away and find a breeder who has.HD, ED, and many genetic eye related disorders spring to mind.For pugs however, many of their *conformation* related illnesses/injuries probably will not be present at (let's say) 12 weeks old. Brachycephalic airway syndrome for example is progressive. Most pug eye issues are down to direct trauma (according to an opthalmologist at their health seminar).Yes of course education is the answer but so far I do not think it is working. KC registrations for pugs are soaring with an increase every year. And those are just the registered ones." educated people still do the research on pugs (and other 'problem' breeds) and see something in the breed which makes them take that gamble."......I'd say it was their beautiful and endearing characters. Never met such a lovely breed temperament wise."educating buyers and supporting any positive move by breeders will get results faster than shouting 'ban the mutants' I'm sure!"I for one wouldn't call my two mutants or ever want the breed banned, just slight adjustments to the length of their muzzle would help (based on science and research).The German breeders are trying, so let's hope the UK ones will in the next ten years follow suite for the pug's sake.You can see improvements overall in pugs bred by caring breeders......less bulgy eyes, less wrinkle on top of the head and wider nostrils. The latter being supposedly all that is needed to help with breathing........roll on ten years.
The question is if there are any breeders who are breeding pugs within the KC and AKC with less exaggeration, and more athletic frames. If there are of course - then there is not many. The UKC has revised the pug breed standard. However, my high guesses are that there are not very many pug breeders who are breeding the UKC lines (though they revised the breed standard in 2012). One solution is to search high and low to find the real reputable breeders and highly recommend the ones who are breeding pugs for better health. The other option is where you go to a pug rescue, and rescue pugs.
One last comment for my argument. My point in saying is that it's very hard to find better and healthier pugs. If any of the blog readers know of any reputable pug breeders (that are breeding pugs for better health, and it is evident that the pug lines are healthier) recognized with the KC accredited breeders scheme. Feel free to post photos or videos of your or their pugs. I would love to see (and have been waiting for a very long time since Jemima blogged about Able Mabel). - Dee.
Anonymous27 April 2013 06:03.......It is interesting when you look at AKC, UKC, and KC standards.The AKC standard is brief although a more illustrated version can be found on the Pug Dog Club of America's website here....http://www.pugs.org/indexIllusStandard.htmIt still encourages exaggerations with "massive head, short muzzle (as flat as possible) and large, bold and prominent eyes". It does however say that eyes shouldn't protrude. Not sure what the difference is between prominent and protruding. It does warn about pinched nostrils but then goes on to show dogs in their (ideal pics) with stenotic nares.Now the UKC, whilst adding warnings about features that might affect sight and breathing (wrinkles and muzzle and nostrils), still includes "massive head, large and prominent eyes, short muzzle".The KC standard has thrown in the word "relatively" before large head, short muzzle and large eyes.All three still include a double curled tail although they vary the wording.The AKC describes the tail "as tight as possible" using the word "perfection" for a double curl. The UKC describes the tail "as tight as possible" using the words "ideal" for a double curl.The KC describes the tail "tightly curled" a double being "desirable". One of the main issues with those concerned about pug health is breathing, which has been scientifically proved to be related to a short flat muzzle.Now the KC amendments have added the word "relatively". What that means is debatable. How are breeders to know what the new standard calls for with the addition of the words "relatively" added?Here is an attempt to create a new illustrated pug standard based on the amendments.Scroll down the pics and read the final and last sentence. http://nouveaupaps.co.uk/pug18.htmNow unless I have read this incorrectly it is basically saying the amendments do not work together.With regards to "athletic frames". That to me would be a leaner pug. A pug slightly longer on the leg.All three standards call for a compact and cobby dog. A square. They even penalise against a lean and leggy dog.As far as "less exaggeration" is concerned, I think in general the UK show breeders are breeding for smaller eyes and less wrinkle (to the top of the head). They also see the importance in "wide open nostrils". All improvements.However, as far as muzzle length is concerned I see no change.......but how will there ever be if they *still* deny it is a problem and their own amended breed standard *doesn't work*?
Kate, same anon again. As for what I mean by 'less exaggerated' with fewer wrinkles and etc. I do of course believe pugs need more muzzle. And, agreeing that it is debatable with length size. I don't think both sides will agree on anything, so both sides (welfare reformers, and pug show breeders) should be persuaded to compromise and work together for the sake of the pug's future. Thank you so much for posting the 'D1-D12' illustrations. They are really helpful. The illustrations give me a much better picture of pugs with longer muzzles. Of course I did see a blog post that Jemima did about the MRVP pugs in Germany.
Here's a link to a newspaper report of a purchaser that sued a BMD breeder re hip dysplasia.http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/animal-lover-sues-former-wildlife-1028290
Will read this with great interest, thanks Annie.
Hi Annie, I just posted it to facebook. Slightly confusing in so far as it starts off that the BMD's owner is sueing, whereas at the end the breeder says he hasn't been to a solicitor etc. But the BMD's comments are interesting and exactly why all dog breeders need to be much kinder to their dogs and prospective new owners.
Exactly right Kate. In reality nobody wants to sue anybody. We don't buy something, anything with the intent of putting ourselves and another through an expensive hellish experience. It would be stupid and the only beneficiaries would be the legal eagles.But if sueing a greedy, careless breeder helps the breed in the long run then so be it. In essence good breeders who love their dogs (millions out there) will be as shocked as the purchaser that a health issue has arisen, those breeders will do everything, anything, offer absolutely unlimited help and kindness, towards the puppy they bred and were paid handsomely for and the new owner. They are compassionate dog lovers. It's the bad breeders who will take the hit and become the first example that reckless breeding doesn't pay in the end. And I'm afraid I would be the first to cheer because at last pedigree dogs are going to start getting better. Pugs don't have to be "fragile little old ladies, nursed from one calamity to the next" they can become rufty tufty go getters, seize the day, exalt in being a dog, not just a Pug. I think it was The Field or Shooting Times where I read an article about shooting with Pugs, their enthusiasm, delighted many who started off sniggering probably, but the Pugs proved their capabilities otherwise. I don't have or ever had a Pug, but I have had Cavs and they were mischevious, rascally little devils. They led the life of riley and threw themselves into being dogs. Pugs would do the same given a fair chance. There has to be a legal platform to protect the innocent from the corrupted and I do feel that it would "actually help the dogs" in the long run.
'protect the innocent from the corrupted' - legally this doesn't make sense. And I am not a dog breeder, dog shower or a lawyer.How can you be 'innocent' when there is so much information out there regarding the breed, it's deformities and the health issues involved? You don't have to buy a dog do you? It's a moral issue. For sure, if you were a breeder who had a contractual agreement with a puppy buyer that you had taken all reasonable steps to ensure that the Pugs you bred were screened for known disorders then you may be able to have a case. But when a breed standard exists that advises people to breed for said deformities, how can that be a legal issues?
Hi anon 15:19 and that is why in a previous blog said that they KC across the World may be included in a court case. They are knowingly allowing dogs to be bred that are sick, and they are seen to condone this action by registering them which then gives the breeder the kudos to sell for higher prices and continue breeding unethically, immorally. The KCs know the health issues, they have the power to start instigating health databases, similar to BASCO (as described by another blogger) it would help puppy buyers and breeders. If a purchaser buys a puppy from a breeder who is shown on the database with a poor health record, then there would probably no case to answer. However a bad breeder who is unregistered with the database but is still allowed by KCs to register their sick stock will have to be very wary and insure themselves to the hilt. A GOOD BREEDER who is registered on the database and an illness occurs with a puppy sold will do everything and anything to put right the problem both because they care for the puppy and respect the new owner. They will be just as shocked and saddened by the event. The new owner will feel supported and will not wish to pursue that breeder. By being honest and open will have such a good effect on pedigree dogs that future generations will be able to enjoy having dogs, mutts or pedigrees in their lives that are happy and healthy. Simple as that.
The Pug Dog Club lists only hemivertebrae on its website as a health problem of the Pug. For other articles you have to join the Pug Dog Club; clearly the breed club is not going to openly provide you with the information a puppy buyer is going to need on health. http://pugdogclub.org.uk/about-pugs/pugs-health/
Fran, don't you think that this information should be in the public domain? I guess, these days most people have access to a computer and could search for a lot more varied resources on a Pug's health. But the body who is supposed to uphold the 'standard' for health and function keeps that information to itself, unless you pay a subscription. I wonder what a lawyer would have have to say about this? I still wouldn't call any puppy buyer 'innocent', but you may be able to argue that the breed club 'withholds' essential information from the public domain on the health and wellbeing of the animal, which may be detrimental to it's welfare in the hands of an inexperienced/uneducated owner.
This topic, whilst full of the missinformed claptrap, has suddenly become interesting. Georgina feels that only giving a pug two, 45 minutes excersise a day is a trevesty. So, I wonder, what dog does Georgina have and how much excercise does she give it?The wonderful thing about Pedigree dogs is their variety (depite what Jemima might tell you)and you can select one to fit your needs. That level of excersise would see fione to me for a Pug. In fact I would suggest that it is more than most dog owners give. Dalmatians are know to be one of the most active dogs and could probably cope wit 4 hours of excresise a day. But how many people can provide that. An hour exersise, twice per day is more than adequate for the majority of dogs and I doubt thyer are mnay out there that get that, and certainly not in the winter,Carol
And, of course, brain-work such as training and games, is more tiring than physical exercise. Long walks often mean you end up with a dog who's just as bored and destructive but very fit!
Carol - having a mixed breed dog with high energy, the minimum exercise she requires is two hours. I maintain that with a very serious attitude indeed because if I don't, it affects her mood and temperament and resulting behaviour. Today, however she'll probably get about 4 hours and I'd say that for her personally, that is heaven! Of course, having a mutt, I've had to figure out for myself her exercise requirements, but given her temperament and lack of 'off' switch, I'd hazard a strong guess that she has some working lines in her. I would have thought that a Pug who gets two 45 minutes walk a day is a lucky dog. My neighbour's spaniel is lucky if he gets 30 minutes.....but he seems happy enough fetching his frisbee like a maniac in the back garden too. What I don't understand is why you would get a BC or a working cocker if you are a coach potato and then complain when the dog exhibits 'behavioural' problems. The other important aspect is mental exercise - that is very important to fulfil for pet dogs from working lines IMO too.
While I agree that if you choose an athletic, high energy dog you need to be happy to devote time and energy into exercising and playing with your dog, I have to say, DANG. I have owned high drive dogs for many years and have *never* owned any dog who required 2 hours daily. In fact I don't know any dog including working Border Collies, Malinois and Dalmatians who were athletic and busy and didn't need that much exercise! I would seriously consider seeking the help of a veterinary behaviorist if she needs 2 hrs of exercise to not have behavioral problems.
Thank you for your advice - she has been given up to rescue on three occasions. I have sought help from a behaviourist and am now on my to becoming qualified as a behaviourist myself. The problems manifest as stress related. As she simply hates being warehoused all day. Bit it isn't unmanageable, especially with lots of training and mental activities. I would say that 2 hours exercise for a border collie from working stock was not a lot! Perhaps you have just been lucky. My dog isn't the product of great breeding either. It's as if she has indefatigable drive to work,
I forgot to mention that those two hours of 'exercise' consists of walking, running, ball retrieving, scent work. It varies! The other important point to mention is that rest time for a dog is also important too. The problem with my dog has been that it has been quite difficult for her to learn that it's OK for her to relax! You can't change what is hard wired, but you can teach the dog to have an 'off' switch. Important when your dog has trouble maintaining self control and arousal levels too. I have a theory that some dogs are adrenaline junkies - I think my dog has some of this. Playing fetch has to be managed so that she is not too adrenalised so even though she loves it, some days we simply don't play it. Scent work is much better as while the dog is using it's nose and brain, It's much less excited and aroused than when it is chasing after something.
Beth F, you sound as if you had multiples of dogs at any one time and that in itself is stimulating for the dogs and allows them to be dogs. They probably wouldn't need 2 hours of free running a day if that is their background. However, a dog that is a singleton, that is traumatised and lost, needs to have something to let off the energy and the Border Collie lady is admirable in her efforts and dedication. She clearly loves her dog, sees her as a dog and wants to treat her as a dog, just like you and I and many others do. The toy breeds are also dogs, but so often their needs are not met. They want to swim, dig, chew, eat wild herbs and grass, scent, run etc etc etc but they are not allowed to either because their owner misunderstands them or the dogs are physically incapable of so doing. It doesn't mean that they don't want to does it? It is the quality of life, and exercise whether brain or physical, preferably both, that is so important.
Well, I am glad your dog has you, then.Do notice I didn't say my dogs *couldn't* work for 2 hours, but that they didn't actually *need* to to be relaxed and happy. In reality they have days that they get a nice 20 minute runabout and maybe 15 minutes of training because I have a busy day at work or really not much at all except a snuggle because I am really busy and the weather is crap; then other days we go out for a long off lead run and then some training and then yard time at home and we are busy all day. Even on "no activity" days they are usually pretty relaxed, because other days they are busy. And working BCs are not going for 2 hrs straight usually, they go, then hang out, then go, then hang out. Move the sheep, wait...etc. I wouldn't say I have been lucky because theres been a lot of dogs through our house in the past 25 years including fosters. Most of my BCs were from working lines as I do not care for sport line or show line BCs (the rest were rescues so no idea on thei breeding).Have you done any scent work with her? Nothing tires out any dog better than scent work ime. My BC could be active with agility, ball, off lead running, swimming etc, for 2 hours easily, but he could never track or do nosework for more than 30-40 minutes without being very tired. And they love it! Tracking involves traveling to open areas to lay tracks but nosework is just hiding containers which is easy to do at home.
Many thanks Beth - I feel privileged to be able to help her and give her a better life to be honest. She has settled down a lot. I think she has spent a lot of her life feeling anxious and I have no idea what has happened to her, but she was like a little barrel when I got her and her behaviour at age 3 certainly suggested she hadn't really been exercised, stimulated or trained. I have been doing some scent work with her recently actually as too much fetch can get her over aroused. I started in the house - hiding food in cardboard toilet roll holders and have progressed to the garden. I also do this with her balls while out and about on walks, hiding them in the undergrowth. Do you have any advice on how to get started with tracking?Most days she gets an hour in the morning (off lead, lead walk a bit of scent work or fetch) and then another hour in the evening with a walk and either some clicker training or a bit more scent work. At the weekend, I like to take her for a hike for a couple of hours. I thoroughly enjoy being outdoors so I really wanted a dog who would enjoy a fair bit of exercise. She is much better at relaxing and switching off now but I think a lot of that is because she is getting exercise and mental stimulation.. Actually, down time for a dog is just as important as exercise I feel. It's been tough trying to teach the latter to my dog! It's been a steep learning curve and I didn't realise what I was actually taking on, but I wouldn't swap her for the world.
If you don't have someone nearby that tracks you can start with a book, I was recommended and like both About Tracking Dog Training by Betty Meuller and Tracking Dog: Theory and Methods by Glen Johnson.(and thanks, Jemima for letting us veer off topic here)
Yes - many thanks Jemima! Seriously off topic indeed! Great Beth - I'll source those books.
Anon: I couldn't help but wonder if the food you're feeding your dog is making her hyper. I'm sure with your qualification you're not feeding kibble containing artificial colours or sugar. However, have you tried omitting grains from her diet?My first dog was a rescue mongrel with similarly high energy levels. He had 3 walks a day, totalling more than 2-hours and he was still hyper. I'm inclined to think now it was the artificial colours in the food I fed him. (This was 20-years-ago, I hasten to add.)
Interesting because I used to feed a brand of dry dog food and that had a high maize content. One of my Irish had a skin irritation under ears and some of the others were itchy and hyper too. My ve,t again 20 years plus, suggest removing that food and using another, no maize content. Hey presto, the irritation disappeard as did the slight erratic behaviour. Tots the Dalmation, had a skin/tummy problem prior to my owning her, and the vets put her onto Chappie, and she has never had a reoccurrence of either tummy or skin problems.
Hi Fran - she is fed an organic, grain free diet. She also gets a few raw bones a week too. I use Lily's Kitchen. Not tempted to go completely raw though. I increased the physical and mental exercise regime for her on the advice of a behaviourist and it has improved her behaviour no end. She is just so much more relaxed and less reactive. The main change was getting up an hour early to exercise her properly before i leave for work - although she isn't left all day, she goes to work with my partner. It's also helped me drop two dress sizes so it's win win! :)
The topic of how much exercise is enough is a fascinating one! I have three working English springers. in the winter they work; middle dog was working 3 days a week this winter, 5 hours a day. Of course they can't get that every day all year as I have a job! Their usual day involves a 45-60minute fast lead walk for fitness and their feet and 15-20minutes each of 'training' (hunting, retrieving, obedience or agility practice) which may be one at a time or all three out together. But on a bad day at work they may get 2X 20minutes and some clicker training or be used for nurses to practice bandaging! They have to be flexible and I find they can be more easily satisfied with a tough retrieve or two than by 2hours of free running at the beach (which they also get to do). Quality, not quantity of exercise is key.VP
Exactly. I have found that an hour of training class while being indoors with other dog's (which she finds challenging) will exhaust my dog more than an hours hike. Scent work is another great way of combining physical and mental activity and is pretty tiring. I have also found that if my dog accompanies my partner when he is visiting clients out and about that also tires her out too. Quality, variety and intensity are all variables that are important in keeping the dog satisfied when I comes to exercise. Understanding your individual dog's ability to maintain self control is important too. Too much exercise and stimulation can also cause problems too.
The exercise mine get is completely dictated by the weather and working around it.Both pugs. One has had surgery on airways, one about to (he's a rescue).I'd say they get more exercise in winter, although last summer was so poor weather wise I got my female pug out more often and I was the only person in the UK not complaining about the rubbish summer.On a good day at the beach (under 12 degrees C) we can go for two hours plus, with little breaks in between for the boy if he's puffing. I adjust it to their needs.If the weather is predicted up to 15C (a complete no no for my boy at the mo although my girl could just about cope), we have to go very early down the woods (5/6am) before the temps rise for about an hour on some days, otherwise a 40 minute lead walk around village before work and after.The worse thing is that the male ABSOLUTELY LOVES his walks and cannot get enough of them, but you cannot explain to a dog why they cannot go out weather wise.Not complaining. My choice, but trying my hardest to keep the fit and stimulated can be difficult.Pugs are not sluggish couch potatoes. They, like any dog LOVE exercise both mental and physical.
Thanks Kate, you are trying to give your dogs a stimulating, interesting life and they would, could do so much more if the bl... breeders hadn't bred for such exaggeration. Pugs are so sweet, bustling about, self important little things and it is the quality of the exercise that is so important. That was what I was trying to say VP is correct too, the dogs are fulfilled in their need for stimulation, it may not be everyday but the dogs are given something to "think" about rather than listlessly lying around waiting. Their senses have been fired up and when asked to do whatever they can respond. The lady with the border collie, my goodness she needs some credit. That BC is so lucky that their paths have crossed, it takes absolute committment to perservere with a troubled dog. It will pay off in the end, and the need for the pent up energy to be released with subside as the BC understands herself and her owner. My love are Irish Setters, they are not mad, they just need the correct people to love them and this is the case with so many breeds/types of dogs. Don't forget the saying "Rarely a bad dog, but definately a bad owner" is why so many dogs are in rehoming situations. I have a 14 yr old Dalmation that I rescued when she was 8. Why her owners discarded her, I do not know, she is vocal, she is greedy and grabs food, but nasty, a killer, no. Just misunderstood and despite her reputation, she looked after my little parson russell terrier puppy very sweetly and the recent new puppy a working cocker she has been equally understanding and patient. She could have eaten both of these puppies, but never a growl or a grumble. Lately, the pr is now 5 and the wcs is 18 months, Tots has asked them to leave her alone and if they don't she does get cross. They back away, they understand, she is doddery now. The vets, from whom I rescued her, cannot believe how wonderful she is and has been, for six years, she has been by my side and I hope for another six years - not that I'm greedy or anything!
This blog always assumes the vast majority of pugs are unhealthy, have breathing problems, are overweight. I agree that some pugs fit that profile, but they are hardly the norm. Pugs can be fit, healthy, active dogs, ideal companions who need an amount of excercise which fits in with family life, but are happy to have much more if it is offered. Here in the North East we have 25 pugs in training for agility in our club, some already competing successfully at KC Agility (and winning against other breeds). We organise walks and get togethers where dozens of pugs attend and play happily for 2 or 3 hours - lots of fast play and running around. Pug get togethers happen all over the UK, last Sunday a pug meet-up in York had around 100 pugs in attendance and I didn't see or hear any of them with breathing difficulties, even after 2 hours of dashing around together. I'm not in denial, I have met pugs who have had problems, but the impression being given by PDE is that a healthy pug is almost non existent, and if found it will have a long muzzle and longer legs. In fact breed standard pugs can be as active and healthy - our most successful pug is Agility Gr. 5, and was successfully shown at Championship level.
Anon 11:32Do you have any videos of these pugs playing and performing agility so that people can objectively observe, evaluate and decide themselves if these dogs do not exhibit breathing problems when exercising and playing? Have you thought about inviting Jemima along to one of your Pug-feasts? I'm sure she would report what she observed honestly and openly and with the welfare of the dog at the heart of her report.