Dog breeding leads to problematic popularity trends

Ash Catalan, Graphics Editor

Human-like faces that make a constant noise, filling up your home. It sounds like a goblin- could it be a monster in your house? No, it’s just your $5,000 French bulldog struggling to breathe.

Frenchies, English Bulldogs, and Pugs are all adored dog breeds and perceived as cute, but I think the opposite. Whenever I come across them, I feel bad for them. With numerous health risks in brachycephalic dogs like infections in their face wrinkles, obstructed airways, and overheating if exercised too much, it makes you wonder why humans continue to breed these dogs with a life of not so silent suffering. lists 28 separate health concerns for these dogs.

Why do people continue to shell out thousands to get a purebred Frenchie? Some of it has to do with status. Lots of celebrities including Lady Gaga and Megan Thee Stallion own Frenchies. Being able to say that you paid a high amount of money for a dog is a flex and a way to be included in an exclusive club of prestigious dog owners. The other part is because a Frenchie’s head requires C-section at birth, an expensive veterinary procedure. Part of the breed’s popularity is based on how easy they accommodate an urban lifestyle. They are small, don’t require exercise, and can be trained to use a litterbox or a turf of grass indoors.

Honestly, I think these dogs are a reflection of how little humanity cares for the health and longevity of an animal if it means high demand, cuteness, and some cash in your pocket. It’s a little narcissistic. With Frenchies, their bat ears and face make it seem like they are always attentive to you. I don’t blame anyone that owns one. I think they don’t realize how much these dogs can suffer if they are pushed too far in exercise or are born unlucky.

*DISCLAIMER: This image is for humorous purposes and in no way endorses animal abuse or literally smashing a dog’s head in. (Ash Catalan)

A great alternative is to rescue a pet from an animal shelter. Austin is a pet-friendly city, and we have places like the Austin Animal Shelter, Austin Pets Alive, and Austin Humane Society. They are great resources for adopting pets that need a permanent home. Or if you’re not looking to adopt, you can always foster. I feel like rescuing a dog is more rewarding and helpful than buying out a breed. All it takes is some research, some willingness to care for a dog, and these dogs will be your best companion for life.