Do bulldog or Pekingese dog breeds touch you more than any other breed? And do you particularly like their little flattened heads? As curious as it may seem, there is a scientific reason for this! Find out which one.
Like Florence Foresti, who regularly declares her love for her dog, do you only swear by bulldogs? You are not alone and this attraction to flat-faced dog breeds, which we call brachycephalic, would have an almost primitive reason. This is what science tells us in a study published on September 21.
View this post on Instagram
Dogs who need you
The scientists compared the abilities of 15 English bulldogs and 15 French bulldogs with those of 13 Hungarian Mudis, shepherd dogs (with longer snouts). The 43 dogs were invited to open boxes containing food, specifically sausages, with their master placed behind them.
Given their flattened snouts, the bulldogs were less often successful in their task and were much slower: after just one minute, 90% of the Mudis managed to open the boxes, compared to only around 50% of the bulldogs. But faced with this difficulty, bulldogs were also 4 times more likely to turn to their owner, indicating the need for a stronger bond with humans than other breeds.
A vulnerability that makes us break down
For scientists, the fact that flat-faced dogs were less successful at opening boxes is not a question of smell, but of morphology, a shorter nose and neck which impedes movement. But this apparent vulnerability is not just a flaw, since it is precisely this character that makes us fall for it: vulnerability makes them more moving, more touching and challenges our desire to help. Like a young child who needs his parents.
But difficulties to know before adopting
If you are considering taking the plunge and adopting a bulldog, a Pekingese, or even a pug, scientists still want to warn about the real breathing difficulties caused by this flat snout. Being tender is not enough to take good care of these breeds:
“Although such motivation is marginal and far from the norm, it appears that, as in many other cases, humans find it difficult to cognitively override strong instinctive predispositions and continue to choose brachycephalic breeds, without holding considers future health and well-being issues”, they regret in their conclusion.
The French Bulldog website lists common concerns: “Like all its flat-faced counterparts, the French bulldog suffers from respiratory problems. This is due to an excess volume of the nasal veil which obstructs the passage of air. The symptoms are noisy breathing when awake and snoring. powerful during sleep which can lead to:
- Stenosis of the nostrils: to compensate for poor passage of air through the nasal passages, the bulldog can then breathe through the mouth;
- Sleep apnea;
- The elongation of the soft palate, the fleshy part acting as a buffer at the level of the larynx.
Depending on the seriousness of the cases, it will be necessary to carry out surgical operations.
Health information to know before falling for this (flattened) face of love!