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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

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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