Press release: No more pedigrees for pugs and French bulldogs in the Netherlands


Dutch animal welfare organization Dier&Recht achieved a huge success in the fight against the breeding of short muzzled (brachycephalic) dogs. As of May 18th this year no more pedigrees are issued to purebred short muzzled dogs that do not meet the requirements of Dutch law. This will drastically affect the breeding of pedigree dogs like pugs and English and French bulldogs in the Netherlands.

Health problems caused by short muzzles

The short snout and stocky build of breeds such as the pug and the French and English bulldog cause a range of disorders: most of the dogs are chronically out of breath, are susceptible to heat strokes, and the nose fold which is typical for these breeds leads to skin and eye infections. They suffer terribly from the physical features that are intentionally bred into them.

Dutch law for minimum muzzle length

As of 2014 there is a law in the Netherlands that prohibits breeding with animals when they have physical features that may be harmful to their offspring. In March 2019 this law was supplemented with a number of clear guidelines for the minimum required length of a dog’s muzzle. Recently the government started to warn breeders who breed dogs with extremely short muzzles.

Dutch Kennelclub now issues certificates instead of pedigrees

All pedigrees in the Netherlands are issued by the Dutch Kennelclub (Raad van Beheer). Purebred dogs with short muzzles will no longer receive a pedigree from this umbrella organization for Dutch breed clubs. Instead they will receive a certificate of descent. The registration of these certificates will make it easy for the government to identify breeders that do not comply with the law.

Breed clubs worldwide are furious about the Dutch ban

All over the world, breed clubs express their horror about the Dutch law. They fear that this example will be adopted by other countries. Dogs without a pedigree are not allowed to participate in dog shows. This creates serious problems for breeders and could spell the end for these popular dog breeds.

Veterinarians and animal welfare organizations approve

Dier&Recht is pleased to see that the Netherlands is the first country in the world to champion the health of these dogs by prohibiting the breeding of short muzzled dogs. The scientific proof that these dogs are chronically suffering has been around for decades. Veterinarians and animal welfare organizations have warned about these problems for years. These institutions reacted positively to the recent developments in the Netherlands.

Dier&Recht hopes more countries will follow

Veterinarian Kelly Kessen of Dier&Recht: “This is fantastic news for all short muzzled dogs that suffer from the extreme physical features they are purposefully bred for. This will finally put an end to the breeding of short muzzled dogs in the Netherlands. We hope that more countries will follow and that consumers will stop buying them when they realize that these dogs are seriously suffering from their disorders and limitations!”

Dier&Recht is a Dutch foundation that is commited to the wellbeing of animals. The organization acts as an advocate for animals. For more information, contact Kelly Kessen: and phone number +3120 280 78 06.

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