Note: I’m having a hard time embedding this video on my post. You can view it here: https://www.facebook.com/PITSTAFS/videos/799382846812222/?fref=nf
This short video clip is stirring up lots of controversy among my French Bulldog friends on Facebook. Comments range from “those owners are so cruel!”, to “they’re going to kill that little dog making him do that!!”.
Personally, as soon as I saw it, my first thought was “go little guy, go!”. You can tell he’s having loads of fun – his little bum is wiggling as he pulls. His parents are clearly not forcing or coercing him to do this – they’re encouraging him and calling to him. Also, hello? Have you ever tried to force a French Bulldog to do anything he really doesn’t want to? Good luck with that.
I think the ‘controversy’ arises because more and more fanciers see Frenchies as somehow not ‘real’ dogs. We’ve always heard the well meaning but illogical advice not to ‘let’ Frenchies jump on or off of the couch, which has now extended to owners (and a handful of breeders) insisting that agility and obedience are also ‘cruel’ and not suitable for Frenchies.
Should dogs with injuries or degenerative disc disease be doing weight pull or agility? Of course not – but then again, just because humans with injuries shouldn’t run marathons or play tennis, doesn’t mean that no one else should, either.
A healthy French Bulldog in the prime of his life can enjoy sports like weight pull or agility, just as much as any other breed of dog. Any exercise that means owners and their dogs spend more time together is a wonderful thing.
Of course, I might also be prejudiced – one of the French Bulldogs I bred has his weight pull title (along with seventeen other titles, as well). Since he’s still going strong at fourteen, I think it’s safe to say it hasn’t done him any harm.
Either way, watch the video yourself, and let me know what you think in the comments – is weight pull a fun sport for a healthy French Bulldog, or a form of cruelty to animals?