President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö recently revealed in Yle’s Open Question podcast why his and his wife Jenni Haukio’s Lennu dog has not been seen in public for a long time. The Boston Terrier Lennu belongs to the dog breeds bred into short snouts.

– He hasn’t been in public for four years. When we acquired Lennu, we had no idea what the problems were with the breeding of blunt beaks, Niinistö stated in the podcast.

The problem with short-nosed breeds is a variety of diseases, such as short-muzzle airway deformities and consequent respiratory distress and thermoregulatory problems.

The Boston Terrier is also one of three breeds with a mutation in the DVL2 gene. According to current knowledge, this mutation causes developmental disorders in the skull, spine and limbs.

– When this came to consciousness and Lennu was in public a few times, it became possible to see if it was worth bringing so much to the show, Niinistö said in the podcast.

Fresh In the column of the Society magazine Jenni Haukio takes a stand on dog breeding.

– Breeding at the expense of dog health, which focuses on appearance features, is clearly wrong, Haukio says.

He believes that dog breeding should be addressed through the development of legislation.

In his column, Haukio also considers who is ultimately responsible for bringing animals suffering from serious hereditary diseases to the market.

Haukio states that they and their husband did not have a Lennu dog at the time when they took enough information about the health problems inherent in the Boston Terrier.

– When we got a dog almost 10 years ago, health information was available, but not nearly to the extent and degree of concreteness that we have today. Fortunately, the situation is now different and independent information can be found from numerous different sources. Our own dog is basically a person for us, an individual, our own self, not so much a representative of his species – and that is why he is immensely dear, Haukio writes.

– Unfortunately, health problems affect many different breeds other than short-skinned and there are many serious health problems – even those that are not visible to the outside of the dog, Haukio explains.

In his column, he calls for comprehensive protection of animal welfare.

Flight boom

When the presidential couple’s Lennu dog was first seen in public in 2011 and repeatedly thereafter, the popularity of Boston Terriers also rose. When in 2009 120 terriers were registered in the Kennel Club register in Finland, in 2013 there were already 200 registrations.

Boston Terriers Association, Suomen Bostonit ry In mid – September, Iltalehti told Iltalehti that the breed ‘s popularity did increase in Finland ten years ago, when other brachykephalic breeds were also popular.

– Unfortunately, the popularity also brought with it negative side effects. The puppy was acquired from where it was possible to get it without unreasonable waiting times. Unfortunately, this also allowed for less responsible processing.

For this reason, the association says it understands that the President of the Republic does not want to present his dog in public.

– Although the popularity and registration numbers of Boston Terriers have leveled off from the peak years, the dogs of public figures have often seen an increase in the popularity of different breeds. The popularity is often accompanied by other side effects related to unethical breeding and with it also the health status of the breed.

The association says that it promotes breeding in Finland and also closely monitors the development of breed health. Work is also being done for the health of the breed, the association says.

– The most significant concrete action has been the inclusion of the Boston Terrier in the Hereditary Defects and Diseases (PEVISA) program in 2008.