|Help needed concerning skull shape in dogs
An animal welfare academic is planning to assess the relationship between the shape of a dog's skull and dental health.
Claire Mitchell, an animal welfare lecturer studying for a PhD at the University of Northampton, has developed the world's first dog skull classification system that may assist vets in the identification of dogs that are more likely to develop dental health problems.
She is collecting photographs of hundreds of dogs so that she can measure their heads. The measurements will then be used to establish groups of head shape that are more appropriate for the canine population.
The system will categorise the skulls into five categories including brachycephalic and dolichocephalic breeds. Ms Mitchell hopes that the research will lead to the development of new dental products for dogs.
She said, 'There isn't a dental hygiene product that takes into account a dog's head shape; there are just three categories based on weight.
'In other species, the height of the skull is related to how strong the bite force is and how the animal manipulates food. So, this research may find dogs need a different format of diet based on skull shape, for example.'