PDSA - caption please

UK Charity PDSA (People's Dispensary for Sick Animals) has featured the above picture on its Facebook page today.

Is it to illustrate the horrors of being an extreme brachycephalic breed like this pug? (After all the PDSA has ruled recently that it will no longer offer free/subsidised treatment to more than one purebred dog per household given the increased veterinary costs associated with pedigree dogs).

Or is it, perhaps, to spell out the horrors of dogs overheating in cars on a sunny day?

Or even to point out the dangers of stenotic nares (very narrow nostrils)?

Er no. It's a caption competition -  "for a bit of fun this Friday".

I'm sure they would welcome some suggestions.  You can do that here.

1/2/14: The PDSA has now removed the photo from its Facebook page. Response to my query from Head of PR Mary   Bawn:  "Dear Jemima. Apologies it was an error and has been removed. Thank you for flagging. Best wishes, Mary"

Designing stress studies, part 3: how do you get the pee?

Having discussed how to choose what substance to test for cortisol (blood, saliva, urine, feces, hair), and how to get the blood or saliva, I now move on to how to collect the —


I don’t have any personal experience with collecting urine for stress studies. How hard can it be, though, right? I certainly was sent to collect urine from patients fairly frequently as a vet student, and have fond memories of chasing male dogs around a yard with a cup while they would spray just two or three drops at a time. The best vet clinics have long-handled soup ladles which you can use to collect the pee. I have certainly never used my own soup ladle to collect pee from my own dogs to take in for analysis when they were doing poorly.

One of my professors this past semester analyzed estrogen in baboon urine. Apparently one waits on the ground while the baboon is in a tree and watches. Eventually the baboon pees out of the tree. It falls on the ground and voila. Confused, I asked, “But doesn’t it soak into the ground? How do you collect it?” She explained that usually it fell onto a leaf and you could use a syringe to get it from there. I thought to myself: your world is not my world.
Getting pee from cats is a whole separate story. You provide them with a litter box with nonabsorbable pellets, and collect the pee from that. It sounds simple in practice, but in my experience many cats will refuse to pee on a non-absorbable surface.
Of course, if all else fails, you can extract urine directly from the bladder of a dog or cat using a needle. This procedure, called a cystocentesis, obviously requires trained personnel, who may not be available to all studies.
No post on pee would be complete without input from the queen of pee, Julie Hecht. When asked, Julie had quite a bit of advice about urine collection in dogs. She pointed out that when the study in question is being performed using laboratory animals rather than pets, you can teach the dogs to pee on command. This is super convenient, but you’re less likely to have that option with pet dogs. She listed some pitfalls that she found with colleting pee from pet dogs:

  • Timing! If you need to collect pee before and after the particular event that you’re studying, it is problematic if the animal doesn’t feel the need to go at the right time.
  • If you are out walking with the owner and the dog, try not to act weird. Dogs notice when you act weird. Then they don’t feel like peeing. So make casual conversation, even though all you are thinking about is collecting that lovely, lovely pee.
  • Wind sucks. Wear plastic gloves.
  • If a dog has a lot of fur, finding the urine stream can be hard. She says succinctly: “That stinks.”
So that is the lowdown on pee collection, and the conclusion of my series on designing stress studies!

Huffington Post in a huff over mongrels

Huffington Post

Unthinking prejudice against crossbreed dogs always makes my hackles rise, and there was a bad case of it last week in the Huffington Post - a piece written by Jody Thompson.

Thompson referred to "designer dogs" as "just mongrels", said that it was a terrible idea to cross breeds such as the Labrador and Poodle and stated categorically that such crosses were no healthier than purebred dogs. She also advised people that if they didn't want to get a rescue dog, they should go to a Kennel Club breeder.

Not surprisingly, a few Doodle owners took exception in the Comments section and I whizzed off an email to the Huff Post to ask if they'd like a "counter".  The answer was yes, they'd be more than happy to consider a rebuttal.

So I wrote it and sent it to them over the weekend. But it turns out that Jody Thompson is the Huff Post UK's Blog Editor and as such has the say-so on whether or not to accept my piece. 

This morning, she got back to me and turned it down, saying I had twisted and misinterpreted what she'd written.  Ms Thompson says she is only interested in the piece if I take out the bits criticising her (she didn't think they were fair) and make it a more general article in defence of crossbreeds.

I replied:
"I think you’re taking this a little too personally.  
"I have been a journalist for 30 years. I have written for all the UK nationals and been a commissioning editor for two of them. Alternative views are the lifeblood of the free media because they generate interest and debate. Of course, I shouldn’t have to tell you that. 
"Very unsettled to learn that the Huff Post censors in this way ie. employed editors who turn down material because they can’t tolerate an alternative view to their own.  I mean, really, what’s the worst that can happen? Some people will agree with you; some people will agree with me. Don’t think the world will end. 
"Your piece was on an area I specialise in and the comments to your piece make it clear that others interpreted it exactly the same way I have done. In other words, it is a fair challenge."
"I’ll publish both pieces side by side on my blog (two million pageviews by the way…).
Let’s see what my readers think."
So here we go.  First, you'll need to pop over to Huff Post for Thompson's article, which you can find here.

Read it?
Here's my counter.. let me know what you think.  I can take it on the chin, promise...
Six years ago, my documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed revealed the horrifying levels of deformity and disease in purebred dogs. The cause? A century of inbreeding and pursuit of show-ring ribbons under the auspices of a Kennel Club stuck largely in the scientific dark ages. 
We showed gasping Pugs, Bulldogs that couldn’t mate or give birth naturally, show-bred German Shepherds dragging wobbly back-ends, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels screaming in agony because their skulls were too small for their brains.  
The film had an enormous impact. The BBC pulled out of broadcasting the Kennel Club’s flagship show, Crufts (after 42 years). Crufts also lost its main sponsor, Pedigree. Then the veterinary profession, welfare organisations and three independent reports backed the film’s findings. The Kennel Club, finally, was forced to act to clean up dog-breeding. 
The film is often charged with sending puppy-buyers in their droves to buy “designer dogs” -  Labradoodles, Cockapoos and a host of other combinations often being sold under the “hybrid vigour” banner.  There is nothing more likely to give a purebred dog breeder the vapours than to tell them how much some of these pups fetch. How very dare someone just chuck a Pug in with a Beagle and cop £800 or more for the resulting mongrel “Puggle”.  
Yep, you’re allowed to charge money for a pedigree dog. But, the moment you take money for a deliberately-bred mutt you are by default morally and ethically bankrupt, however good a breeder you are; however healthy and personable the dogs themselves turn out to be. 
.Jody Thompson, whose family owned a purebred Golden Retriever, joined in on the designer dog bashing in the Huff Post this week. She turned a snooty nose up at the “Dorkie” (Dachshund x Yorkie) she met on the train and advised everyone that if they could not be persuaded to take on a rescue dog they should go to a nice Kennel Club breeder. The message was clear - purebred is good; these half-caste crossbreeds and mongrels are inferior, not worthy  - "...why even bother with a 'sort-of' dog," she wrote. 
I hope Thompson is aware of what she’s buying into here.  The reason purebred dog breeders hate designer dogs so much is because it undermines what they do... the belief, very deeply entrenched, that purebred dogs are inherently superior to mutts; that show-ring success and a pedigree as long as your arm somehow mitigate for trapping the poor creatures in tiny gene pools polluted by ever-spiralling rates of dysfunction and disease.  
And if all this talk of purity and innate superiority is beginning to make you feel rather uncomfortable, you have a reason to be. It is well documented by canine historians that Kennel Club breeding as we know it developed alongside the eugenics movement. 
Purebred dog breeders also love to tell you how combining two breeds will result “in the worst of both”.  This makes little sense scientifically.  Of course you can get some strange-looking results from crossbreeding, but on the whole Nature is a great moderator. A “dorkie”, or any other designer crossbreed, is likely to be a half-way house between its two parent breeds. A “dorkie” won’t have as long a back as a Dachshund (something which contributes to a 25 per cent incidence of back disease in Dachshunds) and it will be longer-muzzled  and have a bigger mouth than a Yorkshire Terrier, reducing the risk of the often severe peridontal problems that blight Yorkies.  
A first generation cross of these two breeds is likely to suffer from fewer single-gene disorders, too. Both breeds can suffer from eye problems - but they’re different ones caused by different recessive mutations. For the pups to be affected, both parents have to pass down the same mutation; much less likely if they are different breeds.  
In common with all crossbreed dogs, Dorkies are also statistically likely to live longer - a year or more extra on average (Longevity and mortality of owned dogs in England - O’Neill et al, Veterinary Journal, December 2013). This is good evidence of the hybrid vigour enjoyed by crossbreeds and many studies confirm it. 
Ironically, purebred dog breeders deny the science while enjoying the benefits of it on their plates. Your morning toast? Very likely to be bread made with hybrid wheat. Your steak for supper? It may say Aberdeen Angus on the packet, but it only has to be 60 per cent purebred to be allowed to use the moniker. Same goes for eggs, chickens, corn-on-the cob and lots of other types of food. 
The reason farmers use crosses is because the wheat grows stronger, the maize grows sweeter, the poultry thrives better and the cattle grow bigger. Indeed, the hybrid vigour so dismissed by dog breeders is one of the things keeping our farming industry afloat (if barely). That’s not to say that farmers don’t maintain purebred lines too – they do. But it’s often a more expensive business because the yield is less; fertility often diminished.  
Insurance company data also confirms the crossbreed health benefit. Most charge lower premiums for crosses and mixed breeds. This isn’t because they’re “anti-pedigree” – an accusation often levied at anyone who dares sing the health-merits of the average mutt. Nope, it’s the financial bottom-line that cuts the ice with the actuaries. They’ve calculated the risks by looking at their data (ie claim history) and priced their premiums accordingly. 
And yet despite all this, Jody Thompson berates designer dogs because they are “fashionable”, apparently unaware that the most currently-fashionable dogs are purebred Pugs, Bulldogs and French Bulldogs - dogs with faces so flat and nostrils often so pinched that many spend their whole lives in a state of oxygen deprivation.  
Worse, Thompson urges would-be buyers to eschew designer dogs (“just mongrels” as she calls them) and go to a Kennel Club breeder of purebred dogs for their puppy. 
But the issue here is not whether a dog is purebred or crossbreed. This is a question of responsible breeding independent of a dog’s genetic provenance. 
Are there shocking breeders of “designer” dogs? Yes. 
Do they make exaggerated claims about their health, happiness or hypoallergenic properties of their dogs? Absolutely. 
But the same applies  in purebred dog breeding too. Worse, the latter is given a veneer of respectability by an organisation that presents itself as a welfare organisation when it is actually nothing of the sort. The Kennel Club is a trade association; the equivalent of the Tobacco Manufacturers Association; there to defend the breeders’ not the dogs’ best interests. 
Certainly, a Kennel Club pedigree certificate is no guarantee of anything - over 80 per cent of licensed volume breeders (puppy farms) in Wales register at least some of their dogs with the Kennel Club and there are no health-test requirements for the majority of breeders.  Even the KC’s Assured Breeder Scheme, although better than it was, has holes in it.  There are breeders within it still indulging in the kind of inbreeding that would make your hair frizz and few mandatory health tests; none at all for some of the most blighted breeds. 
Dogs are amazing creatures. I have nine sitting here with me as I write this - a mix of purebred  and crossbreeds; loved and treasured equally; none better nor worse than the other.   The difference? I know the Flatcoated Retriever at my side has a 50 per cent chance of being dead from cancer by the age of nine (and many of them die long before that).  The mutts? They might live to 15 or they could be dead at four. Their muttness does not make them immune to illness.  But at least I don’t have to experience the cold curl of dread that I feel every time I look into a Flatcoat's eyes.
Despite popular perception, I am a huge fan in principal of the selective breeding that has produced the extraordinary variety of  size, colour and ability we see in our dog breeds.  Watch a Saluki run, a collie gather sheep, a spaniel bust a drug-smuggler or a Golden Retriever guide the blind and it is surely hard for anyone’s heart to not sing. 
It’s just that we have to  breed ‘em smarter - and that means learning from, not trashing, mutts.   In particular, we need to drop the “purity at all costs” meme and recognise prejudice towards mutts for what is is: a distasteful legacy from the early 20th century that has no place in a science-savvy, welfare-conscious society.

Designing stress studies, part 2: how do you get your sample?

I recently posted about how to choose what bodily substance to use to test for cortisol in a stress study: blood, saliva, urine, feces, or hair. Once you have your substance of choice, though, you have to actually extract it from the dog. This can present more or fewer challenges, you know, depending.


When people first started measuring cortisol, they used blood to do it. Blood is where cortisol shows up first. All the other substances that we measure cortisol in have had their cortisol levels compared to blood cortisol levels, to make sure that they correlate strongly. Researchers had to do studies to prove that these other substances worked for this measurement, which cost a lot of effort and money. They did this because blood is pretty hard to get hold of, in most cases. Sticking a needle in a dog will usually stress it out, and it's hard to get the blood extracted before the stress of the restraint starts changing the blood cortisol levels.

But even aside from that, sometimes a blood draw is simply out of the question. For my Master’s work, I had to cold-call hospital clients and convince them to let me enroll their dog (already in the hospital for some procedure or other, in other words, already having a bad day) in my study. If I had told them that the dog would need a blood draw too, I guarantee that most of them would have said no.

In a comment on the previous post in this series, Tegan pointed out that animals can be trained to submit calmly to blood draws. For some studies, this approach would be invaluable. For my study, again, it wouldn’t have worked. Training an animal to accept a needle is an arduous process, and I had access to those dogs once, on one night. For most shelter dog studies, this would also be an impossible hurdle. But it’s a pretty cool thing to do, if you can do it.

I wish I had a video of another approach to stress-free blood draws. I have seen other vets slide a needle into the lateral saphenous vein, the vein that bulges out of the side of a dog’s hind leg just above the hock. If the dog is distracted (say by someone feeding it), a competent venipuncturist can get it done using this vein with little to no stress. I have seen this technique used in shelter dogs who would not allow restraint for a more traditional draw. But it takes a dog with short, smooth fur and a particularly lovely bulgey vein. It does not work in little dogs. And it definitely requires a competent person to do the draw. After a few years of practice in blood draws, I was just getting to the point during my internship where I could do this one. There can’t be too much poking around to find the vein, or the game is up.

(I did find a video of a technician drawing from the lateral saphenous of a dog who is lying on his side, with an assistant holding off. This is the same vein as the one I am talking about, but in the procedure I’ve seen, the dog can be standing and you actually don’t need someone else to hold off the vein. You come at the vein from above, not below, in a standing dog. Just in case any of you blood-drawers out there want to try this yourself.)

Since blood was such a pain to get, people started trying other substances, figuring anything had to be easier than a blood draw.


Saliva is now used much more often than blood in human cortisol studies. You hand a person a cup and they drool into it. No needles, no added stress. Dogs are not so easy. You can’t ask a dog to drool into a cup; you have to get the drool out yourself.

For my study, I used Sorbettes, also known as eye sponges. The instructions say to put one Sorbette into the dog’s mouth for 30-60 seconds, and voila, it has enough saliva on it for an assay. You then put the Sorbette into a tube and spin the tube in a centrifuge to get the saliva out. You only need 25µg, which is hardly anything! What could go wrong.


First of all, when you are analyzing the saliva later on, you use 25µg per well in the plate of saliva samples, and you get one cortisol value per well. But it turns out that the assay is fairly imprecise, and gets it wrong a decent percent of the time, sometimes close to 10% of the time. So it makes sense to use two wells per sample (now we are at 50 µg per dog). This way, if you get two very different answers for your two wells, you know that the assay went wrong and not to use one of the samples. Wait, which sample is good and which sample is bad? To avoid that problem, just use three wells per sample (now 75µg per dog). Then you can throw out the bad one and keep the two good ones. I had to do this maybe 4-5 times total out of my 90-odd samples. Every time, I was really glad that I had three wells. With two wells I would have had to discard that sample (and that dog) from the study. With one well I would have included bad data in my results.

So 75µg is still not all that much saliva, but it turns out that it is enough to be pretty difficult to get, especially from dogs who are stressed out in a hospital. I used three Sorbettes and rolled them around in the dogs’ mouths for up to four minutes, at which point I had to stop in case the stress of restraint was affecting the cortisol levels. Even then, I had a lot of dry sponges. It was incredibly disheartening. In the end, we saved most of my samples by a) diluting them and changing our calculations, and b) showing the dogs cans of cat food to make them salivate.

I am currently engaged in an email exchange with other researchers who are having similar problems, particularly in small breed dogs and puppies. These days, the new tech to use to get saliva out of dogs is a small rope which the dog can chew on. I like that better than the little sponge-on-a-stick, which dogs could possibly break off and swallow (I had one come perilously close to doing just that). But even so, the problem of getting enough spit remains.

Could you give the dogs food? There is a study suggesting that cheese will not interfere with the cortisol assay, and would be safe to give. [1] It makes me nervous, though.

Could you condition the dogs to salivate when you present the little rope? This is currently under discussion, but some of us are concerned that messing around with the dog’s experience of sampling would invalidate the sample. It’s worth a small study to test it out, though, for sure. I hope someone does it.

By the way: I heard a story, which may be apocryphal, but I will repeat it anyways (and maybe someone out there can corroborate): supposedly a rhino salivary cortisol study used the procedure of collecting saliva with a very long-handled spoon. If true, it is awesome.

To come: urine, feces, and hair, oh my.


[1] Ligout S., Wright H., van Driel K., Gladwell F., Mills D.S. & Cooper J.J. (2010). Reliability of salivary cortisol measures in dogs in training context, Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 5 (1) 49. DOI:

Designing stress studies, part 1: what do you sample?

Apparently I am an expert in designing stress studies in dogs using cortisol, because I have published one paper about it. Here are some of the words of wisdom I have to share from my extensive experience. You may also be interested in my previous post from several years ago, Why cortisol sucks as a measurement of stress. As I have so many words of wisdom to share, I am going to start with a post just on what you should sample in order to get some cortisol levels. (I intend more posts to follow. But you know how these things go.)

You can measure cortisol in blood, saliva, urine, feces, or hair. We consider the blood (plasma) measurement to be the gold standard: when the adrenals release cortisol, they release it into the blood. This is the hardest to get (you have to stick a needle into the dog) and the fastest to change. Blood cortisol starts increasing only 3 minutes after the onset of a stressor. Practically, this means that since sticking a needle into a dog is likely to stress the dog, you have to complete the blood draw (probably including catching and restraining the dog, unless it is a very mellow dog) in under 3 minutes! [1] This can be possible to do with some dogs and impossible with others. Either way, it requires someone who is very competent at blood draws.

After cortisol is released into the blood, it diffuses into the saliva. This process takes about a minute, so you should collect the saliva less than 4 minutes after you stress the dog by restraining it. [1] If the dog really doesn’t mind the restraint, you can take longer, but I found that sticking things in a dog’s mouth to collect saliva tended to get them excited. In a hospital, just walking into the dog’s run got most dogs excited!

Blood and saliva are the best ways to measure the immediate response to a stressor: take a baseline measurement (in under 3-4 minutes), stress the dog, wait some period of time, then take the post-stress measurement (in under 3-4 minutes, in order to be sure you’re measuring the correct stressor). Taking a single measurement of blood or saliva is not going to tell you as much: there is no known baseline of cortisol for any species, including dogs. It varies too much hour to hour, not to mention that some individuals just start at a different level when they are unstressed. [2]

So take one sample before the stressor starts. After the stressor starts, how long do you wait to sample again? Definitely the same amount of time for each dog. Studies have mapped the time course of cortisol’s rise and fall after a stressor: it seems to go up for an hour or so and then come back down [3]. This is almost certainly dependent on the stressor, of course. My personal rule of thumb is that 20 minutes is a good amount of time to wait to make sure that the cortisol levels have come up enough to be a good reflection of the dog’s reaction to the stressor you’re measuring. (So, just to be super clear: the 3-4 minute rule is just about the beginning of the rise in cortisol levels. The rise will continue for a while.)

If you are interested in how an animal is responding to a chronic stressor, like a few days or weeks in a shelter environment, you’ll be more interested in some measurement of cortisol which covers a longer time period than 20 minutes. Saliva and blood are awful for this kind of study, because their cortisol levels change so fast that you aren’t getting a good overall picture of daily cortisol level; you’re getting more of a snapshot. You could take hourly samples, but that would be difficult in terms of collection and expensive in terms of analysis.

For this kind of study, most people use urinary cortisol. Technically this is the cortisol to creatinine ratio: what is the ratio of cortisol to a standard urine molecule, creatinine? Measuring cortisol this way standardizes your measurement so that it isn’t affected by how dilute the urine is. Urinary cortisol levels will provide something like an average cortisol measurement over however long the dog has been filling up its bladder, probably about 4-6 hours. Urinary cortisol has  been used as a measurement for chronic stress in shelter dogs [4], where you are interested in average stress levels, not an immediate stress response. (For more on measuring stress in shelter dogs using cortisol, see the excellent recent review by Hennessy. [5])

One interesting study looked at elevations in urinary cortisol after dogs had had a trip to a veterinary clinic [6]. In this case, I worry that measuring a specific stressor that has a beginning and an end prior to urine collection is difficult with this method. When did the dogs start making that urine? Before they got stressed, while they were stressed, after they stopped being stressed? When you are comparing different dogs’ urinary cortisol, are you comparing the same thing?

I rarely see studies using fecal cortisol to assess stress in dogs, beyond the proof of concept study [2]; these studies are mostly done in wild animals, because poop is the only thing you can easily collect from them. I have always thought that fecal cortisol might actually be a really good approach to stress measurement in shelter dogs, though: easier to collect than urine, and measuring a longer period of time than urine (since dogs urinate more often than they defecate), so therefore presumably getting a better average. Today as I was looking on Mendeley for some references for this post, I encountered a new study using fecal cortisol to assess stress in cats. [7] Cool.

You can actually measure cortisol in hair as well! I have not seen this done in dogs. It would be a good measurement of even longer term stress levels, over months. One fascinating study measured cortisol levels in archaeological hair, to determine cortisol levels in prehistoric humans. [8]

So, in summary: saliva or blood are good samples to take for a response to an acute stressor, usually one you have control over. Take a sample before the stressor begins and then about 20 minutes after the stressor has begun. Be careful to take your samples very promptly to make sure you are not measuring the stress of the sampling. Urine and feces are better measurements for chronic stressors, and provide a several hour summary of what the cortisol has been doing in the dog’s blood. You can take just one sample of these to compare to your control group.


[1] Kobelt A.J., Hemsworth P.H., Barnett J.L. & Butler K.L. (2003). Sources of sampling variation in saliva cortisol in dogs, Research in Veterinary Science, 75 (2) 157-161. DOI:

[2] Schatz S. & Palme R. Measurement of faecal cortisol metabolites in cats and dogs: a non-invasive method for evaluating adrenocortical function., Veterinary research communications, PMID:

[3] Vincent I.C. & Michell A.R. (1992). Comparison of cortisol concentrations in saliva and plasma of dogs, Research in Veterinary Science, 53 (3) 342-345. DOI:

[4] Stephen J.M. & Ledger R.A. (2006). A longitudinal evaluation of urinary cortisol in kennelled dogs, Canis familiaris, Physiology & Behavior, 87 (5) 911-916. DOI:

[5] Hennessy M.B. (2013). Using hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal measures for assessing and reducing the stress of dogs in shelters: A review, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 149 (1-4) 1-12. DOI:

[6] Vonderen I.K., Kooistra H.S. & Rijnberk A. (1998). Influence of Veterinary Care on the Urinary Corticoid: Creatinine Ratio in Dogs, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 12 (6) 431-435. DOI:

[7] Gourkow N., LaVoy A., Dean G.A. & Phillips C.J.C. (2014). Associations of behaviour with secretory immunoglobulin A and cortisol in domestic cats during their first week in an animal shelter, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 150 55-64. DOI:

[8] Webb E., Thomson S., Nelson A., White C., Koren G., Rieder M. & Van Uum S. (2010). Assessing individual systemic stress through cortisol analysis of archaeological hair, Journal of Archaeological Science, 37 (4) 807-812. DOI:

Lewis Hamilton is an idiot

First for buying a Bulldog. Second, for buying another one. Third, for not recognising that one of them is in trouble.

Given how dangerous it is to hurtle - pointlessly if lucratively - round a track at 200mph, I guess it's probably better to not think about stuff much. But Lewis Hamilton's comments on  Instagram two days ago display breathtaking ignorance.

On a snowy New Year break with his Bulldogs Roscoe and Coco, the Formula 1 driver wrote:
"Today, I went hiking up the mountain. Thought I'd take the dogs. Roscoe was fine but Coco, she walks about 20 meters & sits down. She doesn't want to go anywhere unless she's carried. Lazy ass bulldog Lol so I put her in my backpack.....she literally snored the whole way up!!'
Mr Hamilton.... Coco is less than a year old. No dog of that age is ever "lazy".  Ever. And that snoring? It isn't snoring. She can't bloody breathe. 

A pound to a dollar, Coco will be at the vets for a soft palate resection within the year.

Hamilton's other Bulldog, 14-month-old Roscoe looks quite the athlete body-wise - slim and fit and relatively long-legged. There are very few pix of him gasping either - good to see.

Nevertheless, four months ago, Roscoe almost died from pneumonia  a breed-related problem that is a direct result of the Bulldog's impaired respiratory system.

He recovered, but will never overcome the basic handicap of being born a Bulldog - something that Hamilton clearly thinks is cute and funny. Have a look at this:

It's clear from Hamilton's posts that he adores Roscoe and Coco. 

He's in for a lot of heart-ache.