Australian dog owners are opting for smaller pets, claims recent research from the University of Sydney. Findings published in the journal Canine Genetics and Epidemiology suggest that Oz has fallen in love with brachycephalic breeds such as pugs and bulldogs.
The report, which was co-authored by Professor Paul McGreevy and PhD candidate Kendy Teng, looked into changes in Australian National Kennel Council registration between 1986 and 2013. According to the University of Sydney, it accounted for just 16.5 percent of newborn puppies in 2014 so may only be representative of pure breed trends.
Smaller ‘designer’ dogs have also seen increasing interest in the UK. The RSPCA’s report Sold a Pup?, released earlier this year, suggested that registered breeders were struggling to keep up with demand for certain breeds. French bulldogs, Pomeranians, shih-tzus, Yorkshire terriers, and pugs were all noted for their popularity.
So, why are these smaller dogs so loved? Professor McGreevy suggests that their big-eyed, round-cheeked “infantile facial features” may be one of the factors to appeal to owners.