Aussie Bulldog (High Risk Brachycephalic Breed)
Originally an offshoot from the British bulldog, these dogs were bred by mixing with other breeds including Boxers, Mastiffs, Bull Terriers and later American bulldogs.
While the intent was to breed a bulldog type more suited to Australia, including the Australian heat, almost all breeds they were crossed with were also Brachycephalic breeds in their own right and the resultant varieties known as of Aussie bulldogs, Australian bulldogs, Bosdogs and more lately Southern Cross bulldogs are all still considered Brachycephalic. However it is recognised that there is great variation between these dogs and many may not be affected by BOAS to the same degree as the original British Bulldog.
As a Transporter, we are wary of all Bulldog breeds and this continues to apply to the Aussie bulldog because they are regularly crossed back to the original British bulldog. We do work with breeders that produce dogs that are clearly more robust and healthy but at the same time have often been told by breeders that their Aussie Bulldogs were not affected by BOAS or were better, only to find that they suffered the same apparent issues as most British Bulldogs. We recognise that there are many Breeders working hard and successfully breeding dogs true to the original intent with a greatly improved health but their efforts are unfortunately diluted by those breeding less diligently.
All Bulldogs are Brachycephalic and all have BOAS to some degree. BOAS is believed be clinically significant in 45% of them and it is known that signs of BOAS may be common from 5-6 months of age. It is recommended that Bulldogs are tested early and where required have corrective surgery at around 10-12 months of age. In a small number of cases surgery will be recommended as earlier due to the condition hypoplastic trachea.
Health issues common to Bulldogs are:
- Brachycephalic obstructed Airways Syndrome including:
- Stenotic nares
- Long soft palates (extending unnaturally into the larynx)
- Swollen laryngeal saccules (further occluding the windpipe)
- Swollen tonsils (restricting the room for these dogs to breathe)
- Thickened palates (restricting the room for these dogs to breathe)
- Hypertrophic intranasal and caudal aberrant Turbinates
- Hypoplastic tracheas
- Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) (associated with a corkscrew tail)
- Eye Issues (A variety of issues and more susceptible to Eye injury)
- Skin fold Dermatitis and Skin Infections (likely less than English bulldogs)
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia & Arthritis
As a transporter our priority is the safety of your dog while it is with us. All Bulldogs are at the top of the list of high risk dogs due to BOAS. But even for those with lower BOAS risk, in any situation where they become anxious or are stressed for any reason, including due to any other unrelated health issue even mild BOAS will cause more difficulty breathing and could lead to low oxygenation and increased body temperature which will dangerously exacerbate every problem.
Additionally as Bulldogs age or if they are overweight they tend to be less tolerant of heat and may have a range of chronic health issues.
We have no restrictions on the transport of puppies under 4 months of age but Bulldogs above that age will only be booked for transport with proof that your Pet is fit to travel and following completion of our “Brachycephalic Information & Consent Form – High Risk Breeds” and a conversation with our Customer Service consultants regarding the risks for your particular pet. We will make transport decisions as best we can based on the information provided by the owners but in many cases we will not be prepared to transport Bulldogs on our more common express services.
Please visit our Brachycephalic Breed Policy page for full details
Our Premium services, while more expensive, are better suited to the transport of higher risk dogs as the driver always has less animals (Max 8 at a time) to care for, time for more frequent stops, and all animals are in the van where the driver can hear their breathing, and talk to them at all times.