I just came across an interesting article in the New York Times about the problem with bulldogs. The articles focuses on Uga VII, who would rather take naps than perform his official duties as the school mascot for Georgia. In short, the bulldog’s face is too short—just like humans. One of the sought-after features in bulldogs is a flat face, something that experts speculate may mimic humans faces, thus adding to their appeal. In fact, bulldogs are now the 6th most popular breed in America, just behind golden retrievers.
The problem with bulldogs is that they’re much more prone to medical ailments than many other breeds. They can suffer from ear and eye problems, skin infections, respiratory problems, immunological and neurological problems. They also have the highest rate of hip dysplasia of any breed. Bulldogs are also notorious for very loud snoring, and a variation of the uvulopalatopharyngoplasty procedure is commonly performed for this condition.
Having a flat face can cause major breathing problems, as evidenced by the very high rate of obstructive sleep apnea in modern humans. The ability to talk made things even worse for us. Shrinking of the jaws is known to cause crowding of the soft tissues in the upper airway, as well as facial wrinkling. Could it be possible that bulldogs have excess facial skin due to significant shrinkage of the underlying facial bones, that would normally stretch out the facial skin?