Thursday, 16 March 2017

CRUFTS 2017: Boxer noses

© CRUFFA

In January, I wrote to  the UK Boxer Breed Council Health Committee enclosing some pictures of Boxers taken at UK shows in the past couple of years. I pointed out that I felt that stenotic nostrils (nares) in the breed was a growing problem and that I hoped it could be nipped in the bud.

As some will know, I am currently on a bit of a mission re Pug, Frenchie and Bulldog noses via the CRUFFA Facebook page. Pinched nostrils are a huge problem in these breeds, particularly in Frenchies (a blog to come on that). 

We produced some nice stickers to help get the message across - and I even offered to let the French Bulldog club have the artwork without CRUFFA's name on it. Sadly, I wasn't taken up on the offer (we're the enemy...) and I was forbidden from distributing the stickers at Crufts. As it happens, just mentioning on CRUFFA that I wanted to, created a big and rather silly fuss in the dog press, so we managed to get the message across that way.



Anyway, I was delighted to get this reply from the Boxer Breed Council Health Committee.

"While the Boxer Breed Council’s Health Committee does not believe that pinched nostrils are a significant issue in Boxers we will take the opportunity of reminding Breed Clubs that open nostrils in the broad, black nose required by the Breed Standard are desirable. We will be doing this by circulating your original email together with this response."

I wrote back and thanked them.

Unfortunately, though, stenotic nares are now a major problem in this breed, as the picture above and those below show - all taken at Crufts last Sunday. 

© CRUFFA

It is astonishing that I even have to say it, but clearly I do:

While the show-ring continues to obsess about minor cosmetic points, completely ignoring basic necessities for life, it deserves all the crap it gets from campaigners like me. 

© CRUFFA

Dogs are obligate nose breathers. They exhale hot air through their mouths when panting, but all the air they draw into their lungs is through their nose, so a fully functioning nose is important.

© CRUFFA

Dogs don't sweat like we do, so their nose and airways are critical - and particularly in an active breed like the Boxer that suffers from heart problems. (NB we know that heart problems can be a consequence of the continual fight for air in the extreme brachycephalics).

As Professor Gerhard Oechtering wrote in the Guardian a few years ago:

"...the noses of wolves and dogs are not just for smell; they are an indispensable tool to control body temperature. Dogs are not able to sweat like humans or horses. They need the large mucosal surface of the nasal turbinate and a specific gland producing "water" in hot weather or when internal heat is produced after physical exercise. Vaporising this water on the large intranasal turbinate surface is the cooling principle; the tongue plays only a minor role in canine thermoregulation. This is the reason why dogs are obligatory nose breathers. No nose – no thermoregulation – no health – no animal welfare."

© CRUFFA

Meanwhile, the KC's Breed Watch has absolutely nothing listed as a health concern for the Boxer. 

© CRUFFA

Perhaps now the KC will add stenotic nares?  And while they're at it, the ectropion, too.

© CRUFFA

18 comments:

  1. I feel very fortunate that my probably pet bred Boxer has extremely open nares...he is so active I couldn't imagine how he would cope with such pinched nostrils.


    My first Boxer was slightly pinched, nothing so bad as those photos, but he had some trouble in hot weather.

    Nothing will change, if that's what is winning. It's nice that the breed club "acknowledges the problem", too bad they didn't see fit to do anything about it.

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    Replies
    1. Don't believe all you read, shes a witch this woman!!!! She will make sure she finds just enough to make her story sound realistic

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    2. "Anonymous 16 March 2017 at 21:28" you have just displayed classic breed club mentality. Anyone questions the breeding of your breed, and you point at them chanting "Witch." It's the 21st century, not the middle ages. Grow up!

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    3. @Anonymous16 March 2017 at 21:28

      Pinch your nose and pull your eyelids down, then go for a run and tell us how it feels.

      You calling her a witch is irrelevant. All the name calling in the world will never change the reality of the situation.

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    4. @ anonymous 16 March 2017 at 21;28

      No need to worry that I'm being gullible or misled; the photos demonstrate stenotic nares very clearly.

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    5. Melissa - as a boxer owner you can help: if anyone expresses interest in your boxer and talks about getting a boxer or asks about finding a breeder, recommend they find one who takes health into primary consideration and breeds for wider nostrils and longer snouts, and explain to the potential new owner why (you can point out your boxer has the wider nostrils and is healthier because of it).

      It may come with a lot more clout coming from a boxer owner than if the owner of another breed (without the smushed face) said it. The more people that go out and look for the healthier dogs the better - eventually there'll be no market for the pinched nostril dogs and the breeders will have to adapt to market demand.

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  2. Those pictures don't lie.

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    Replies
    1. These pics maybe not but what about the other 200 entries!!!

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    2. Good for the other 200 entries then. It doesn't change the fact that THESE dogs have a problem though.

      The good doesn't negate the bad.

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  3. I am disappointed with so many breed clubs.They really could not care less!Health of the breed should be the imperative,certainly not the "Crufts" look!
    Another breed that will soon die out due to so many typical money grabbing,ignorant breeders.

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  4. This problem in the UK Boxer has been noted many years ago by one of the most internationally respected breeder-judges. This website must be at least 15 years old now and just as relevant as ever; this article within it is there since about 2010:
    http://www.worldwideboxer.com/style10.html
    Contrast with the state of the nostrils of the North American Boxer:
    http://www.worldwideboxer.com/style9.html
    And the Boxers from Continental Europe typically trend towards an even shorter muzzle, also with pinched nostrils:
    http://www.worldwideboxer.com/style11.html
    However, this breed is in dire straits for a multitude of health reasons, and to be honest the nose issue is pretty much one of the least of them. I gave up on my 10-year quest to ever have a Boxer and switched to another breed, because it was just impossible to find a sound, typy dog without severe health implications in its pedigree. The situation has only got worse since I gave up. I feel so bad for breeders faced with the impossible task of rescuing this breed from the state it's in. I'm not sure it can be done.

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  5. Did you notice all the boxer faces were shaved and chalked... Isn't that against the show rules? Nobody cares at the show? What an unnecessary procedure.

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  6. Thank you for continuing to go after these breeders who don't really care about the dogs, just the ribbons. I am a former show breeder of whippets, and my breed doesn't have any of the ridiculous health issues that the bracy breeds do. But give them time, I am sure they will mess up my breed too.

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  7. Anonymous person above who attacked the truth, if you believe your position, why hide? You lack credence by be a coward. Wake up and look at your dogs. Jemima is RIGHT. Sorry you cannot see this!

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  8. Dog's nose is an important organ. Dogs sniff on a continuous basis and if that organ is not functioning properly then dog will not live a normal life.

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  9. Ectropion, stenotic nares and a shot jaw. and that's just the face.

    What a mess.

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  10. yo jemima, have you heard about the bmd vitality outcross project?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for bringing up the BMD Vitality Project. I hadn't heard of it until you mentioned it, but went to their website and read every page. They are doing an absolutely STELLAR job. I love that they are keeping the breeds and participants anonymous to outsiders, while keeping meticulous breeding and health records. I wish every breed with longevity issues would do something like this...

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