Bred for looks - born to suffer
The way that dogs are bred today, in order to win shows, is having a huge impact on their health and welfare. This is why we’ve launched our Born to suffer campaign which seeks an end to the breeding of dogs based on looks.
But it's not just show dogs that may be suffering. Many pedigree dogs never appear in shows, but many are bred by breeders who want to produce show-winning animals, and who sell their surplus dogs as pets.
According to scientific studies some of the UK's favourite breeds of dogs have been bred to such extremes that they can no longer breathe or walk normally. For example, dogs with short, flat faces often have narrow nostrils and abnormally developed windpipes. They can often suffer severe breathing difficulties and may have difficulty enjoying a walk or playing. Dogs with folded or wrinkled skin are prone to itchy and painful skin complaints, and dogs with bulging or sunken eyes are prone to injury, pain or discomfort.
These are only a few examples and a recent study showed that all of the 50 most popular breeds have some aspect of their body which can cause suffering.
Join our campaign
There is something you can do. Sign our petition which calls for breed standards* to be changed so that they prioritise the health, welfare and temperament of a dog over its looks and help put an end to the avoidable suffering of dogs.
Thinking of getting a pedigree dog?
Many people are confused about what 'pedigree' actually means. We've produced a simple guide on what 'pedigree' stands for and, more importantly, what it doesn't.
Read more about the health and welfare issues of pedigree dogs.
* and reviewed independently by experts.