Why did a champion bulldog drop dead?
And where shall we place the blame?
In a dark storeroom, encased in plastic, we discover the preserved remains of a world champion British Bulldog named Bungie.
What is this once-famous Brit doing in the basement of a museum in Toronto?
He’s here because he died in Toronto, on a hot day in 1936. The cause of death wasn’t illness, or accident, or cruelty.
So why did Bungie drop dead?
The secret is revealed in Museum Secrets: Inside the Royal Ontario Museum.
The Secret of the Death of a Champion
Bulldogs, like many dogs, have been bred by humans for centuries. Breeding is a kind of unnatural selection for traits deemed desirable (by people – not dogs). And sometimes the results of breeding have unintended consequences.
The Bulldog has long been popular with breeders because it is extremely susceptible to the breeder’s art. Within only a few generations a skilled breeder can make a bulldog’s snout long or short, its stance narrow or splayed.
Bulldog owners who are reading this will probably already know (or guess) why the champion Bulldog named Bungie dropped dead on a hot summer day.
The reason was... no... we won't provide a spoiler here. But here's a hint: Bungie died because of an unintended consequence. A fatal flaw. One might say… a design flaw.
To learn about the unintended consequences of Bulldog breeding, we invite you to watch this Web Exclusive Video: Unnatural Selection.
Over To You
Do you have a bulldog (or other dog) that you suspect may have an inherited disorder? You can find information on known genetic disorders online in the Canine Inherited Disorders Database.
jason • #11 • 2011-02-27 01:00:18
if bulldogs live so short and are so flawed why do we continue breeding them
rufdoof3 • #46 • 2013-04-25 13:09:09
@ #11: Bulldogs do not live so \"short\" ... I just had to let go my 11 year 8 month old girl yesterday...this is NOT a short life span. Average age is 11 1/2 for me. This is not a short life span in the dog world. Learn about the breed ; not its