Is there any scientific reason behind Pugs’ flat faces? - letsdiskuss
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Brij Gupta

Optician | Posted on | Science-Technology


Is there any scientific reason behind Pugs’ flat faces?


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Makeup artist at Jawed Habib | Posted on


Most people these days have gotten over the cuteness of big Labradors and have started embracing the flat-faced cuteness of Pugs. Those cute little, poor things, after getting featured in Vodafone advertisements have become really popular among dog-lovers. Pugs have even become the first choice of those who love to pet dogs at their homes.


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Scientists, researchers, and vets however, seem against the petting and breeding of these squish-faced pugs, because their facial features are one, not natural and two, give way to many health related problems in these dogs.

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Research has proved that pugs, bulldogs, and other flat-faced dogs have flat faces due to DNA variation. In most of the cases now, this is being done deliberately because of the high-demand of dogs with such facial features among dog-lovers.

Dogs with flat faces are called brachycephalic dogs, and they acquire such features due to a mutation in which a gene in their DNA, known as SMOC2, is suppressed. It is centuries of breeding by such mutation which has created the so-called “cuteness” in these pugs.

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(Courtesy: Daily Mail)

“One variation - found to disrupt the activity of a gene called SMOC2 - was strongly linked to the length of the dog's face. Animals with the mutation had significantly flatter faces, a condition called brachycephaly.” Says Daily Mail.

The health issues to which these flat-faced dogs are subjected to. Due to this disruption of SMOC2 are:

• The flat structure of the face makes the breathing passages very compact which causes breathing problems in such dogs.
• It gives way to excess snorting and snoring.
• Heavy panting, as these dogs are unable to regulate their body temperature properly.

Here's a video by Daily Mail:



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