Tralinka French Bulldogs

header photo

Our Desexing Policy

In recent years, the numbers of French Bulldogs puppies being bred all across Australia has exploded. Both registered and unregistered alike. The French Bulldog is not an easy dog to breed… properly. It’s only the top 1 or 5 percent of dogs that are appropriate for breeding. Finding those dogs is the battle. So when we sell a puppy as a pet dog, we expect that is what it will be: a beloved, pampered, family pet, who will live their days lazing under the air conditioning in summer and by the heater in winter. There is a very good probability that pet dog is NOT what we would consider appropriate for breeding. i.e. that it’s not an improvement on it’s parents and better in quality than the generations before it. What we don’t want is for these pet dogs to be bred from. That’s not the way to improve the French Bulldog, that only encourages the current downward decline of the health of the Frenchie.

The best way to ensure this is to desex all the pet dogs. Problem is, the unscrupulous can be extremely devious. We know from our experience with the Labrador, that if someone wants to become a backyard breeder they’ll tell you any number of convincing lies regarding themselves, their lives, and their intentions, in order to get a puppy. Once they have that unsterilized puppy in their hands, they can do as they please.

For this reason, among others, we decided that when we sold a puppy as a pet, that it would be desexed before it left our care. For us, that means we have a lot more work to do. French Bulldogs are relatively small dogs, and aren’t ready for routine surgery at 8 weeks of age. So, we have to wait until the pups are at least 10 weeks old. This means we must hold pups back longer, provide them with a second vaccination, run them down to the vet for surgery and back again. All this at our own expense, to ensure that our puppies aren’t any more expensive than other registered pedigree puppies in the market.

There has been plenty of research done over the years regarding what’s considered “early” desexing, and trying to find the truth behind all the propaganda can be difficult. It is generally accepted that a dog that has been desexed before sexual maturity (generally at 6 months or younger) will grow to be slightly taller. For a French Bulldog this is measured in millimetres and is not noticeable at all. Desexed animals will have less muscle mass than their “entire” (not-desexed) counter parts. This is true of ALL animals that have been desexed, regardless of how old they were when the surgery was performed, and is directly related to testosterone and how it bulks up muscle. Just like a human body builder will use steroids (testosterone) to improve their definition and mass, animals use testosterone to build larger muscles. Remove the hormone, and muscle mass falls (just ask Arnold Schwarzenegger).

As to desexing causing joint/muscle/bone problems… well that’s where the issue becomes quite murky. Most research is just too blanketing, and nowhere near specific enough, for proper outcomes to be determined. They may look at dogs that were desexed under 3 months of age, while NOT looking at the reasons WHY those dogs were desexed young. Most have come from rescue centres, and were malnourished, badly raised, abandoned or starving pups that have been rehabilitated. That bad start to life has a HUGE effect on their joint and bone development, regardless of when they were desexed. They may look at pups desexed at a certain age, regardless of their breed or adult size. Research that has been conducted with a truly open mind has found certain facts. 1. The larger the dog, the later they should be desexed, as the extra growth of their bones, coupled with the smaller muscle mass, can cause big issues. Smaller dogs have no bone or joint issues from early desexing. 2. Early desexing vastly reduces instances of dominance aggression within all dogs. 3. Early desexing will not prevent behavioural issues in dogs… this is up to the owner and training. 4. For every cancer risk that’s increased with early desexing, there’s another one that’s vastly decreased by early desexing. 5. Dogs desexed early live a “unisex” life, showing neither the marking or dominat behaviours of a male dog, nor the “bitch” attitude of a female dog. They live forever in the happy-go-lucky-I-love-everybody mode of a puppy.

While we would prefer that every puppy that leaves our care has been fully desexed, we do respect the rights of puppy buyers to make that choice for their pets. We are happy to offer a vasectomy for the boys, and a tubal ligation or ovary sparing spay for the girls. The vasectomy is a non-reversable procedure, but leaves the testes intact for hormonal and emotional development. A tubal ligation entails tying off the fallopian tubes to prevent pregnancy, but leaves the uterus and horns intact. An ovary sparing spay removes the uterus/horns but leaves the ovaries intact, preventing both pregnancy and the majority of bleeding during oestrous. The puppy buyer is then free to either complete the desexing procedure later on at their own expense, or leave their puppy sterilized but entire.