Bruiser Bulldog Health and What That Means For You


Bruiser Bulldog Health and What That Means For You

There is nothing like tooting your own horn right?  Some days it seems like our health “message” feels exactly like that; self-complimentary and aggressive.  We repost testimonials that tout the extraordinary health and experiences past adopters have had.  Most of the content on our YouTube, Instagram and Facebook is never too many steps away from a nice reminder that we are different in our approach to breeding.

Part of this reasoning is the disgust that simmers in our hearts as we have watched how the bulldog has been bred over the years.  Part of it stems from the low key shock we experience when we rub elbows with fellow bulldog breeders that do not carry our same values for breeding a healthy bulldog.  Sometimes we forget and then we are reminded when we see a bulldog on the street that is wheezing for precious air.  We want to say nice things when they hear we are bulldog breeders, but it’s hard.

I guess a good summary for our approach to the health messaging is that we really are different so why not focus on it.  This is probably smart but occasionally an unintended consequence occurs when the message props up our bulldogs as bulletproof.  I think a qualifier is good to provide perspective and realistic context.

The one thing I can absolutely, positively promise you is that our process is elite and pure.  There is no breeder that I know of that demands the type of health criteria that we do.  We highlight our criteria in many different places on social and our website, so I will not dive into the specifics.  The basic point is that we health screen all of our parent bulldogs with very tough criteria and do not compromise these screenings.  If a parent fails a major health screening they are retired.  Simple as that.  Additionally, we compile offspring data that affects our breeding decisions as well.  If an adult bulldog throws puppies that consistently have health issues, we retire that line.

If you combine a responsible screening approach with many generations of bulldogs the result is a substantially reduced number of health issues in our bloodlines.  It really is all punnett square biology and probability.  So reduced health issues is great and something to really toot our horn about right?  Well kind of, with a qualifier.

The key word is that it substantially “reduces” health issues.  Some Bruiser Bulldog puppies occasionally do still have health issues.  It is not a big number, it’s really quite small compared to the bulldog average, but it does still occur and believe me it’s not fun for us or the adopter.  The underlying problem stems from recessive genetics.  Hidden in the genetic makeup in all bulldogs (and humans for that matter) lies recessive genetic problems.  Even if we screen for phenotypical health characteristics (traits that we can see) in our parents, they might still carry a recessive gene that is passed off to their offspring.  Whether or not this characteristic is passed and shows up as a health issue depends on whether both parents carry the recessive trait.  To make things more complicated, a recessive carrier does not consistently pass on their negative health traits to their offspring in a linear manner, rather it is hit or miss.

Sounds confusing?  It really is.  I always say genetics are messy business.  The key is to have a macro approach and move your bloodlines slowly in a healthier place.  After ten years of breeding bulldogs, I can honestly tell you our bloodlines are at a very elite level.   Elite however does not mean perfect, and as the realities of life will have it, quite frankly never will be.

For the adopter looking to purchase one of our bulldogs, know that our health and process is like no other.  This is what makes us special.  We really do care. Also, have context.  Know that a Bruiser Bulldog is not perfect.   Part of responsible dog ownership is being mentally and physically prepared to be there for your bulldog when they need you the most.  It is all a beautiful part of what it means to own a bulldog.

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