Chondrodystrophoid dog breeds, or dogs with short legs, are afflicted with a condition in which the development of their leg bones was disrupted, resulting in a type of dwarfism. These short legged dogs can exhibit deformations in the appearance of their legs, and many of these breeds are forced to carry the weight of a disproportionately long back on these stubby legs. This places any short legged dog at an elevated risk for developing intervertebral disk disease at a young age. Here are some popular beloved breeds that are affected by chondrodystrophy.
With its exaggerated long torso and particularly short legs, the dachshund is a perfect example of the chondrodystrophic physique. These short legged dogs were developed in Germany as scent hounds for hunting and retrieving badgers and other animals that lived in burrows. Dachshunds are available in standard and miniature sizes, and there are three different coat types to choose from, which are smooth-haired, longhaired and wirehaired.
Another one of the low-slung dogs with short legs is the basset hound. Like the dachshund, the basset hound is a scent hound. It was developed in France for the purpose of tracking rabbit, hare and badgers. The basset hound is one of the most lovable dogs, making it a good choice for families with children and other pets.
There are two types of corgi breeds, which are the Pembroke Welsh corgi and the Cardigan Welsh corgi. Both of the breeds are dogs with short legs, but the Cardigan Welsh corgi has a slightly longer torso and heavier bone structure. Both corgis are powerful dogs that have been utilized throughout their histories as farm dogs for herding cattle and sheep. Both corgis are happy, friendly and playful.
The bulldog was originally developed in England to be an agile and victorious competitor in bull fighting rings. Although modern bulldogs still possess the massive heads, wide jaws, low-slung torso and short legs of their ancestors, they are not as athletic. Today’s bulldog has become a popular household companion that prefers to lounge on the sofa or play with the kids than to fight.
Developed in China, the Pekingese has long been treasured as a companion. This toy breed has short legs, but it has a rolling gate as it struts along and exudes a regal demeanor. Weighing less than 14 pounds, the Pekingese makes a cozy lap warmer.
Some additional breeds in which chondrodystrophy has been noted include:
One of the most important proactive steps that you can take with your short legged dog is to maintain its healthy weight. Obesity has numerous negative effects on any dog’s health, but keeping your chondrodytrophic canine fit and trim will place less strain on its spine and less weight for those jaunty little legs to move.
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