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Science Says This Dog Breed May Soon Be Extinct

Science Says This Dog Breed May Soon Be Extinct

Behind those adorable wrinkly faces, pushed in nose and squat bodies, the English bulldog is suffering in silence, and it may well be too late to save them – new research suggests.

According to the study published July 28, in Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, this dog breed is currently one of the unhealthiest creatures today walking on four legs because of its very low genetic diversity. The English bulldog is so deformed; they die young from physical and genomic abnormalities. The bulldog’s genome have been altered to create the breeder’s desired outward appearance, causing significant loss of genetic diversity in the region responsible for normal immune responses.

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What pet owners see as adorable and unique looks are really disabilities which have not have been highlighted. Niels Pederson, the study leader, and veterinary researcher at the University of California believes that there is little ‘wiggle room’ left to make additional genetic change for the breed to survive. “In our estimation, it will be difficult, and possibly impossible, to back off and reverse breed in the dogs,” says Pedersen.

Living in Disability

Brachycephalic dog breeds like the English bulldog have health problems that hinder them from functioning well. These dogs have tiny nostrils and windpipes which make it difficult for them to breathe and cool off through panting – a discomfort that increases the chances of bulldogs’ death by heatstroke during extreme temperatures. The only way to address this is through surgery and may even be dangerous if the dog’s airway is beyond the reach of laser or scalpel.

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The bulldog is laden with serious respiratory problems resulting to frequent fatigue, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Their wrinkly facial skin is prone to infection of yeast and bacteria. Their jaws are too short for their teeth, causing crooked growth and faster tooth decay. These docile, friendly creatures have bones and joints that are too short and malformed; they can’t give birth normally and are almost unlikely to live past the age of five.

The Dark Side of Breeding Dogs

Humans have been breeding dogs to highlight certain traits for more than a thousand years. Dogs were usually bred to highlight traits for hunting or better temperament for companionship. It used to be a good thing, until only two centuries ago, after the popularity of dog shows. Since then, dogs have been selectively inbred to have specifically desired physical features.

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It was believed that during fierce dog show competitions, many owners started ‘faking’ their dog’s appearance to make them look more desirable. They would trim the dog’s ears, color their coats, and shape their heads or bodies as to make them look bigger, more elongated, or smaller. As a result, many of these purebred dogs have inherited diseases and health issues from their ancestors including hip dysplasia, dislocations, and physical deformities.

The problem gets worse when breeders are not doing anything to better the health of these animals. According to experts, many of these breeders knew about the health complications caused by selective inbreeding dogs with unhealthy genes. They were simply unconcerned about the future of the animal, and prioritized breeding the traits that looked consistent with the “breed standard”.

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Is There Any Hope Left for the English bulldog?

Years of inbreeding have practically brought doom to the breed, and these unforeseen flaws may remain forever unchangeable. However, scientists believe there is still a way to save the breed, and it will include cross-breeding – a process that will alter the physical appearance of our short and stout bulldogs.

This is the only way to make sure that these dogs will survive and not end up becoming grotesque and deformed to the point of extinction. “Breeders have to realize they have a problem,” says Pedersen.

Bulldogs are wonderful pets that have brought joy and love to us for over so many years. From guarding our properties, helping us overcome depression, and simply being loyal companions – they have saved our lives in many ways. It’s time we pay them back and help them overcome this challenge. To save the breed and ensure that they live a longer and healthier life, pet owners must put the animal’s health first before their preference for consistency and looks.

Featured photo credit: Meredith Hunter via hd.unsplash.com

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Armela Escalona

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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