There are breeds mainly bred to be cute – pugs and french bulldogs to name a few. But how do these physical traits affect your dog?
Put aside the never ending health issues (not being able to breathe, etc). How do these “cute” looks affect your dogs’ life?
Dogs are always reading every inch of another dogs’ body, taking in information. Many dogs who are bred with somewhat extreme (for lack of a better general word) physical characteristics, are unable to communicate like other dogs. Pugs are, I find, some of the worst bred dogs.
Their tail is always curled up and always communicating a state of high energy or authority. There is no way they can communicate anything else, unless they perform a very submissive gesture, because that is simply what having your tail up means in the dog world.
Facial expressions are limited. Other breeds have many tiny facial expressions. Dogs can read these and react accordingly. When it comes to pugs and similar breeds, dogs have a hard time reading them.
This leads to a very stressful social life – the most important thing in a dogs’ life. Is that fair? Should we really be breeding dogs who are suffering? Their health and social interactions are at stake… simply because we find it cute and endearing?
Rhodesian Ridgebacks don’t have many problematic physical features, but the raised hairs on their backs can send the wrong message more often than not. They are wonderful dogs and I like the breed. Raised hairs along the spine communicate defensiveness, insecurity and general tension. How does that affect him to have that permanently?
Before buying a dog, consider how physical traits will affect your life with him. Even dogs with excessively long hair have a difficult time with body language. People and dogs can’t easily read or assess a dog who has long curtains of hair covering him.
How would you react to a human who had a ponytail covering their face and a huge blanket around their body? You would have no way of knowing how to react around them. Would you trust them? Would you want to interact with them? How does this affect the dog?