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.
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.
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.
(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: