Bonnie Toogood's switch to AFLW expansion side Essendon adds to the star-studded list of Dogs players to have departed the Kennel across the club's short tenure in the league.

With further expansion thinning the talent pool across 18 sides, the Bulldogs have arguably felt the greatest bite across the AFLW's rapid growth.

The past week has seen both Toogood and partner-in-crime Isabel Huntington request moves elsewhere, with the latter on the verge of landing with the Giants in the off-season.

Toogood ended the 2022 season as the club's leading goalkicker, a feat that was held by Huntington the year prior as the dynamic duo combined for almost half of the club's 43 majors in 2021.

The pair of departures compound the known frustrations for the club and their fans, having now seen another key name from their 2018 premiership side find a new home and further stunt their hopes of a second AFLW flag.

“We’re in a difficult period in the AFLW’s evolution, where competition expansion means we’re exposed to losing key players, and we’re clearly not alone in this as the new teams establish themselves in the league," the Dogs' Women's football boss Debbie Lee said after Toogood's exit.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 21: Isabel Huntington (left) and Bonnie Toogood of the Bulldogs celebrate during the 2021 AFLW Round 04 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Melbourne Demons at VU Whitten Oval on February 21, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

“We’ve worked hard to create an environment which enables our players to flourish, both on and off the field, and we will continue to prioritise their development.

“In that context, while it remains incredibly frustrating to lose players during expansion periods, it’s also not surprising that our players continue to be targeted."

Even prior to their inaugural premiership win, the calibre of players that have found new pastures makes for ugly viewing for the Bulldogs faithful.

Between Libby Birch, Katie Brennan, Emma Kearney, Monique Conti, Meg McDonald and Jaimee Lambert alone, the Dogs have parted ways with a total of 17 All-Australian selections since 2017.

Kearney - a six-time All-Australian representative - is perhaps the most frustrating for the Dogs, having been the league's best and fairest winner in the same year she opted to leave Whitten Oval for North Melbourne.

Conti has quickly risen into a leading role for Richmond as one of the AFLW's most lethal ball winners, while McDonald and Birch are now cornerstones for the rearguards of Geelong and Melbourne respectively.

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Brennan has rekindled her career-best form across the past season, while Jaimee Lambert has continued to lead a young Magpies cohort across five seasons in the black and white.

While both McDonald and Lambert left the Bulldogs prior to their successes of 2018, the pair add to the 'what if?' theory that continues to surround Barkly Street.

Since the end of 2018 the Bulldogs endured an arduous run to secure a second premiership, having failed to make finals and recording 12 wins from 31 matches.

Now planning their seventh season, the Dogs will have a further four rivals to contend with while coming off the back of a 10th-placed finish and without the two main pillars of their attack, leaving Nathan Burke with an almighty hill to climb in hope of challenging for the top in the near future.