herebelife  asked:

I keep forgetting you're an Aussie. So, for breed thing: Bull Arabs, let's get the local hog dogs on the radar please 😉 Also common issues you've noticed? For your tax, I already done that earlier so Um. What's your fave fish? Mines the goldfish. They're cool.

Local Hog Dogs it is, but first the disclaimer:

These posts are about the breed from a veterinary viewpoint as seen in clinical practice, i.e. the problems we are faced with. It’s not the be-all and end-all of the breed and is not to make a judgement about whether the breed is right for you. If you are asking for an opinion about these animals in a veterinary setting, that is what you will get. It’s not going to be all sunshine and cupcakes, and is not intended as a personal insult against your favorite breed. This is general advice for what is common, often with a scientific consensus but sometimes based on personal experiences, and is not a guarantee of what your dog is going to encounter in their life.

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The Bull Arab is an Aussie breed developed for pig hunting from bull terriers, greyhounds and pointers. They are a relatively recent breed and not yet formally recognized, but the breed clubs have been fairly pro-active about genetic and temperament testing, so I have fairly high hopes for this dog overall.

Gathering information on this breed is compounded somewhat by the fact that shelters will label anything that looks a bit like this breed as a bull arab cross, whether or not they really are. So while I’ve seen many dogs from the shelter and backyard breeders labeled as bull arabs or their crosses, I can’t been completely sure that that’s what they are, instead of something like a great dane or pit bull cross.

That said, there are a few things I’ve noticed with dogs labeled this way, whether they’re definitely  real bull arab or not.

These big dogs can get hip dysplasiab and elbow dysplasia, though not as commonly as other purebreds. When they do get it though, they seem to be badly affected.

They have proven themselves to be fairly accident prone, and while that’s not a structural fault, it is a common reason for them to present to the clinic.

I have seen more than their fair share of skin cancers, especially on the underside of the chest and abdomen. Whether this is a combination of bad luck and a result of bull terrier heritage, or whether the high UV of Australia is a factor I can’t be sure, but I do see a number of different skin cancers in these dogs, especially if the have a white belly. 

Some of these dogs are highly reactive to small mammals and birds, and while they seem to make good family pets I wouldn’t necessarily trust them with, say, chickens or rabbits.

It will be interesting to see how the breed develops over the next twenty years, without the historical hangups of many other classic breeds and the current focus on at least athletic ability and temperament. However they are a big, tough looking dog and there will continue to be those people who breed ‘bull arabs’ because they want a ‘tough dog’ and are not selecting for a friendly temperament, so time will tell how the public respond to this breed.

As for fish, pearl gourami are my favorites, but bettas were my first addiction.