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BVA issues statement on French bulldog winner at Crufts

14 Mar 2024


BVA has responded after a French bulldog with extreme conformation received top spot in the Utility Group at Crufts last week.

BVA issues statement on French bulldog winner at Crufts Image

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has issued a statement after Elton, a French Bulldog from Birmingham, won Best in Breed and the Utility Group at Crufts last week. While the dog scored 0 on the Kennel Club and University of Cambridge Respiratory Function Grading Scheme, meaning that it was free from signs of respiratory distress, concerns have been raised about his extreme features including severely pinched nostrils and a poorly defined muzzle.

Commenting on the issue following Crufts, British Veterinary Association President Anna Judson said:

“It’s very concerning to see a French bulldog with an extremely flat face awarded the top spot in their breed and group categories at this year’s Crufts.

“Watched by millions of people, high profile dog shows such as Crufts have a huge responsibility towards promoting the healthiest examples of any breed. This is particularly important in the case of flat-faced dogs that often suffer from breed-related health and welfare issues such as difficulty breathing, eye problems and problems giving birth. Success in the show ring can lead to a boom in popularity of those more extreme features, causing further demand for this look from prospective owners who may not be aware of the health issues, higher insurance premiums, and the extra care and treatment costs flat-faced dogs may require. 

“While breed clubs have taken some encouraging steps towards improving the health and welfare of flat-faced breeds in recent years, including changes to breed standards and the welcome introduction of respiratory testing from next year, it’s important that the show sector reflects these in its judging.

“For anyone looking to get a pet, the message from vets is loud and clear- always pick health over looks or Insta-appeal. We encourage anyone thinking of getting a dog to seek information and advice from their local vet on the right breed for them and to use the free online Puppy Contract to ensure you get a happy, healthy and well-socialised puppy from a responsible breeder.”

BVA’s #BreedToBreathe campaign is urging collective action by dog owners, the show sector, breeders and vets to improve the health and welfare of all brachycephalic breeds such as French bulldogs, English bulldogs and Pugs.

We also continue to work with the UK Brachycephalic Working Group to improve the population-based health of flat-faced breeds and amplify the message, ‘Stop and think before buying a flat-faced dog’.”


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