Dogs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes from the very small to the very tall, and some dogs also have quite a disproportionate build and appearance when it comes to the length of their legs in relation to the size of their bodies. Sometimes, this trait is due to selective breeding to produce a change in the appearance of dogs within a breed line, a type of artificial human manipulation that would not occur naturally on its own.
However, some dog breeds with short legs and a disproportionately larger sized body look the way they do because of a form of achondroplasia or partial achondroplasia – or dwarfism.
If you are wondering which dog breeds naturally exhibit a form of canine dwarfism, this article will introduce five of the best known breeds that fit the bill. Read on to learn more.
The Bassethound is perhaps the first dog breed that most of us bring to mind when we think about dogs with short legs and long bodies, and this occurs because the Bassetbreed naturally exhibits the traits of achondroplasia or dwarfism. This trait is perhaps more pronounced in the Basset than it is in other breeds, and whilst many of us that don’t see Bassethounds regularly sometimes think of them as being small dogs as a result, this is not really the case.
Bassethounds have very short legs, but they also have quite large and long bodies, as well as large, long heads too. All of this adds up to give the breed its rather unusual appearance, and is a great part of their appeal to their followers and enthusiasts.
The Dachshund is another well-known dog breed with very short legs in relation to their bodies, and Dachshunds too have the canine form of achondroplasia. Dachshunds are smaller and rather lighter than Bassett hounds, and come in two varieties – the standard and miniature Dachshund respectively.
Dachshunds are also sometimes known as sausage dogs, because their bodies are so long and cylindrical-looking in relation to their legs. If you are considering buying a Dachshund, it is important to be aware that this long body can potentially lead to spinal problems, so choose your breeder carefully and select a dog with a moderate conformation and without an overly long back.
The Welsh corgi comes in two variants just as the Dachshund does, but there’s more to this difference than just size! These are the Pembroke Welsh corgi and the Cardigan Welsh corgi respectively, and these two variants have a number of subtle differences in their core appearance and traits, despite their common origins.
Both the Pembroke Welsh corgi and the Cardigan Welsh corgi share the same traits as the other breeds mentioned, however, which are expressed as a form of canine dwarfism that causes the dogs to have short but strong and muscular legs, and larger, longer bodies.
Corgis were originally bred and worked as farming herding dogs, and their unique conformation made them excellent for cattle work, as their low profiles reduces the risk of them accidentally being kicked by a cow!
The Dandie Dinmont terrier is a dog breed that few people in the UK will have seen in the flesh, as they’re not hugely common and are rarely offered for sale. This is a native British dog breed that is actually classed as being so rare as to be vulnerable in terms of the breed’s ongoing viability, due to the small number of unrelated dogs of the breed left in the UK.
Dandie Dinmont terriers were originally kept for hunting and pest control, mainly working to cull and manage wild badger populations. The breed’s short legs and longer, leaner bodies gave them just the right sort of build to be able to get right down into underground badger setts, and their fearless natures meant that they were bold and confident enough to take on even an adult badger without being daunted.
The pug is the UK’s third most popular dog breed, and so there’s plenty of them around and a lot of information out there to be found about the breed as a whole. However, not all dog lovers – and not even all pug owners, for that matter – realise that this dog breed too has some of the traits of dwarfism, which is something that can be seen by viewing their builds objectively.
Pugs have moderately short legs in relation to the size of their bodies, although this is not as pronounced as it is within the other breeds on our list. However, pugs tend to have fairly rotund bodies with finely boned legs, and there can be quite a range of variation in pug sizes, with some appearing more disproportionate than others.
If you are considering buying or adopting a pug of any type, it is important to choose your breeder and puppy carefully, as the pug breed as a whole is prone to suffering from quite a wide range of different health issues.
Many of the common pug dog health problems develop due to conformation exaggerations, so as well as looking at the build of the dog’s body, ensure that they do not have overly narrowed nostrils or an overly short muzzle either. Also, choose a dog from a breeder that undertakes pre-breeding health tests on their dogs, to give yourself the best chances of buying a healthy pug.