Veterinarian Explains Why Norway Banned Breeding Bulldogs And Cavalier Spaniels

Mason Joseph Zimmer
veterinarian superimposed over dog fur
TikTok | @cat_the_vet

You may have heard that earlier this month, Norway made the breeding of English Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels illegal, which all but ensures that the day will eventually come when you won't see these breeds at all in the Scandinavian nation.

And while this may seem like a strange decision to the uninitiated, it makes a lot of sense to veterinarians and animal rights activists. Because as much as the dogs within this world's most desirable breeds may be little bundles of joy to us, that doesn't mean they're the ones actually feeling that joy.

It's well-known that the breeding practices that brought us modern pugs have had some horrifying health implications for the actual dogs, but they're far from the only breed that faces a disturbing quality of life thanks to similar techniques.

Although this makes it easier to understand why the Norwegian government made the decision they did in the abstract, an informative video by a veterinarian provides a lot of insight into why they chose the breeds they did.

On February 6, a woman who goes by Cat the Vet posted a TikTok explaining how and why Norway came to ban English Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

veterinarian superimposed over English Bulldog
TikTok | @cat_the_vet

She doesn't spend too much time covering what's wrong with English bulldogs, as the skin issues and breathing problems they experience due to the flat faces they're bred to have are almost as well-known as the struggles of pugs.

As she put it, "The list is really long for this breed, unfortunately."

As for the spaniels, part of the reason they were lumped in with bulldogs concerns the fact that virtually all of them will experience heart disease or heart failure in life.

veterinarian superimposed over Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
TikTok | @cat_the_vet

However, that isn't the worst of it, as the domed heads the breed is highly prized for makes them susceptible to a brain condition called syringomyelia. This causes an excruciatingly painful buildup of pressure, particularly in the back portions of their brains.

In Cat's words, "Their skull is too small for their brain."

But while that makes a compelling case for why these breeds were banned in Norway, it's also worth going over how those bans came to be.

That's because Norway didn't draft a new law to make this happen, but rather enforced an existing one after a lawsuit by Animal Protection Norway against breeders and kennel clubs.

Those breeding English Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were found to violate Norway’s Animal Welfare Act, which states, "Breeding shall encourage characteristics which give robust animals which function well and have good health."

Although breeders have long argued that they're working to improve the processes behind problem breeds and should be left to do so on their own, Cat noted in the video available here

that there isn't enough biodiversity among these breeds to make this goal possible.

In her words, "Predictably, the kennel clubs and the breeders have been up in arms about how unfair this decision is, but they cannot say that they did not know about it or that they were not warned."