Bulldog Breed Magazine - Showsight

Bulldog Breed Magazine features information, expert articles, and stunning photos from AKC judges, breeders, and owners.


Let’s Talk Breed Education!

Official Standard of the Bulldog General Appearance : The perfect Bulldog must be of medium size and smooth coat; with heavy, thick-set, low-swung body, massive short-faced head, wide shoulders and sturdy limbs. The general appearance and attitude should suggest great stability, vigor and strength. The disposition should be equable and kind, resolute and courageous (not vicious or aggressive), and demeanor should be pacific and dignified. These attributes should be countenanced by the expression and behavior. Size, Proportion, Symmetry: Size - The size for mature dogs is about 50 pounds; for mature bitches about 40 pounds. Proportion - The circumference of the skull in front of the ears should measure at least the height of the dog at the shoulders. Symmetry - The "points" should be well distributed and bear good relation one to the other, no feature being in such prominence from either excess or lack of quality that the animal appears deformed or ill-proportioned. Influence of Sex - In comparison of specimens of different sex, due allowance should be made in favor of the bitches, which do not bear the characteristics of the breed to the same degree of perfection and grandeur as do the dogs. Head: Eyes and Eyelids - The eyes, seen from the front, should be situated low down in the skull, as far from the ears as possible, and their corners should be in a straight line at right angles with the stop. They should be quite in front of the head, as wide apart as possible, provided their outer corners are within the outline of the cheeks when viewed from the front. They should be quite round in form, of moderate size, neither sunken nor bulging, and in color should be very dark. Blue or green eye(s) or parti-colored eye(s) are a disqualification. The lids should cover the white of the eyeball, when the dog is looking directly forward, and the lid should show no “haw.” Ears – The ears should be set high in the head, the front inner edge of each ear joining the outline of the skull at the top back corner of skull, so as to place them as wide apart, and as high, and as far from the eyes as possible. In size they should be small and thin. The shape termed “rose ear” is the most desirable. The rose ear folds inward at its back lower edge, the upper front edge curving over, outward and backward, showing part of the inside of the burr. (The ears should not be carried erect or prick-eared or buttoned and should never be cropped.) Skull – The skull should be very large, and in circumference, in front of the ears, should measure at least the height of the dog at the shoulders. Viewed from the front, it should appear very high from the corner of the lower jaw to the apex of the skull, and also very broad and square. Viewed at the side, the head should appear very high, and very short from the point of the nose to occiput. The forehead should be flat (not rounded or domed), neither too prominent nor overhanging the face. Cheeks – The cheeks should be well rounded, protruding sideways and outward beyond the eyes. Stop – The temples or frontal bones should be very well defined, broad, square and high, causing a hollow or groove between the eyes. This indentation, or stop, should be both broad and deep and extend up the middle of the forehead, dividing the head vertically, being traceable to the top of the skull. Face and Muzzle – The face, measured from the front of the cheekbone to the tip of the nose, should be extremely short, the muzzle being very short, broad, turned upward and very deep from the corner of the eye to the corner of the mouth. Nose – The nose should be large, broad and black, its tip set back deeply between the eyes. The distance from bottom of stop, between the eyes, to the tip of nose should be as short as possible and not exceed the length from the tip of nose to the edge of underlip. The nostrils should be wide, large and black, with a well-defined line between them. Any nose other than

black is objectionable and a brown or liver-colored nose shall disqualify. Lips – The chops or “flews” should be thick, broad, pendant and very deep, completely overhanging the lower jaw at each side. They join the underlip in front and almost or quite cover the teeth, which should be scarcely noticeable when the mouth is closed. Bite – Jaws – The jaws should be massive, very broad, square and “undershot,” the lower jaw projecting considerably in front of the upper jaw and turning up. Teeth – The teeth should be large and strong, with the canine teeth or tusks wide apart, and the six small teeth in front, between the canines, in an even, level row. Neck, Topline, Body : Neck - The neck should be short, very thick, deep and strong and well arched at the back. Topline - There should be a slight fall in the back, close behind the shoulders (its lowest part), whence the spine should rise to the loins (the top of which should be higher than the top of the shoulders), thence curving again more suddenly to the tail, forming an arch (a very distinctive feature of the breed), termed "roach back" or, more correctly, "wheel-back." Body - The brisket and body should be very capacious, with full sides, well-rounded ribs and very deep from the shoulders down to its lowest part, where it joins the chest. It should be well let down between the shoulders and forelegs, giving the dog a broad, low, short-legged appearance. Chest - The chest should be very broad, deep and full. Underline - The body should be well ribbed up behind with the belly tucked up and not rotund. Back and Loin - The back should be short and strong, very broad at the shoulders and comparatively narrow at the loins. Tail - The tail may be either straight or "screwed" (but never curved or curly), and in any case must be short, hung low, with decided downward carriage, thick root and fine tip. If straight, the tail should be cylindrical and of uniform taper. If "screwed," the bends or kinks should be well defined, and they may be abrupt and even knotty, but no portion of the member should be elevated above the base or root. Forequarters: Shoulders - The shoulders should be muscular, very heavy, widespread and slanting outward, giving stability and great power. Forelegs - The forelegs should be short, very stout, straight and muscular, set wide apart, with well developed calves, presenting a bowed outline, but the bones of the legs should not be curved or bandy, nor the feet brought too close together. Elbows - The elbows should be low and stand well out and loose from the body. Feet - The feet should be moderate in size, compact and firmly set. Toes compact, well split up, with high knuckles and very short stubby nails. The front feet may be straight or slightly out- turned. Hindquarters: Legs - The hind legs should be strong and muscular and longer than the forelegs, so as to elevate the loins above the shoulders. Hocks should be slightly bent and well let down, so as to give length and strength from the loins to hock. The lower leg should be short, straight and strong, with the stifles turned slightly outward and away from the body. The hocks are thereby made to approach each other, and the hind feet to turn outward. Feet - The feet should be moderate in size, compact and firmly set. Toes compact, well split up, with high knuckles and short stubby nails. The hind feet should be pointed well outward. Coat and Skin: Coat - The coat should be straight, short, flat, close, of fine texture, smooth and glossy. (No fringe, feather or curl.) Skin - The skin should be soft and loose, especially at the head, neck and shoulders. Wrinkles and Dewlap - The head and face should be covered with heavy wrinkles, and at the throat, from jaw to chest, there should be two loose pendulous folds, forming the dewlap. Color of Coat: The color of coat should be uniform, pure of its kind and brilliant. Colors are

red, white, fawn, fallow, or any combination of the foregoing. Patterns and markings may include brindle, piebald, ticking, black masks, black tipping, and a minimal amount of solid black in piebalds. All other colors or markings are a disqualification. The merle pattern is a disqualification. Gait : The style and carriage are peculiar, his gait being a loose-jointed, shuffling, sidewise motion, giving the characteristic "roll." The action must, however, be unrestrained, free and vigorous. Temperament: The disposition should be equable and kind, resolute and courageous (not vicious or aggressive), and demeanor should be pacific and dignified. These attributes should be countenanced by the expression and behavior. Scale of Points General Properties Proportion and symmetry 5 Attitude 3 Expression 2 Gait 3 Size 3 Coat 2 Color of coat 4 22 Head Skull 5 Cheeks 2 Stop 4 Eyes and eyelids 3 Ears 5 Wrinkle 5 Nose 6 Chops 2 Jaws 5 Teeth 2 39 Body, Legs, etc. Neck 3 Dewlap 2 Shoulders 5 Chest 3 Ribs 3 Brisket 2

Belly Back

2 5 4 3 3

Forelegs and elbows

Hind Legs

Feet Tail

4 39

Total 100 Disqualification: Blue or green eye(s) or parti-colored eye(s). Brown or liver-colored nose. Colors or markings not defined in the standard. The merle pattern.

Approved July 12, 2016 Effective August 31, 2016



B ulldogs undoubtedly have one of the most interesting histories of all dog breeds, a history that continues to evolve. An indigenous British breed, it is thought that the breed (or its direct ancestor) has been a part of Britain’s canine population for well over 1,500 years. References to a unique fighting dog in Britain date to Roman times. Theories abound about the origin of the breed, from being unique to Brit- ain itself, to a cross-bred descendent of Mastiffs or Mastiff types brought to the Island by Romans or other early invad- ers. Victorian scholars had spirited debates about which breed came first, Mastiff or Bulldog, and, which breed was the founder of the other. The more likely scenario is they share a common ancestor. The leading theory is that the breed is unique to Britain and is a descendent of a natu- rally occurring brachycephalic type of dog. Other native breeds, particularly terrier varieties, likely were added to the mix. What is certain is that this specific breed was developed from its ances- tors as a bullbaiting dog. Bullbaiting likely developed because this type of dog tended to chase down loose bulls and hold them until they were caught. Eventually this evolved into a “formal sport.” References to this activity date to at least the 11th century. The bull was tethered, and the dogs set upon him. Meat from a baited bull was desir- able and in some villages was required by law. The unique conformation of the breed evolved purely from this “sport.” The dog appears to have had no other purpose. The dogs best-suited and most successful at bullbaiting were ones selected for breeding and a definitive type evolved. Period writings describe the dogs in a bullfight as crouching, crawling and then leaping at the bull’s face. In fact, any dog that did not go for the face was immediately destroyed.


Purity of blood was of utmost impor- tance as “no dog other than an out and out Bulldog can be relied upon to go straight for the bull’s head.” At various times in history, Bulldogs were also used to bait monkeys, bears and even lions. While bullbaiting held prominence as a “national sport,” eventually, its cruelty led to discussion of abolishing the “sport.” In 1802, the first bill to ban bullbaiting was introduced in the House of Commons. After heated debate, it was voted down. Finally, in 1835, the “sport” was outlawed. The Bulldog was left with no real job. They were good ratters and this was likely the last job of the breed. The Bulldog was universally despised by most citizens, who wanted to see it eliminated. Bulldog-terrier crosses were creating a dog suited for dog fighting, a “sport” that was more easily carried out indoors, away from the eyes of the law. The breed earned the nickname “pot house dog,” as that was where the dog was generally found. The Bulldog was considered savage and its owners of highly dubious character. But these fanciers were devoted to their breed and cautiously guarded its purity. The introduction of formal dog shows in 1859 saved the pure breed from certain extinction. There were literally a handful of pure bred Bull- dogs at the time, and it was from these last survivors that our breed ultimately evolved. The early dog shows saw the Bulldog and Bulldog types of vary- ing sizes. Classes were often offered

for less than 20 pounds and over 45 pounds. Some breeders suggested that their large version of over 80 pounds was the “true” Bulldog. One breeder, Frank Adcock, imported a large variety of Bulldog from Spain, with the intent of making the breed larger. It was well-known among fanciers that the mid-sized dogs of 40-50 pounds were best-suited to the original job of bull- baiting. These fanciers saw cross breed- ing with other types, particularly with Mr. Adcock’s new breed from Spain, as a real danger that the pure type would become extinct. To guard against this, the first Bull- dog club was created on November 3, 1864. Objectives of “The Philo Kuon Society” included, “The perpetuation and the improvement of the old Eng- lish Bulldog.” The club’s motto was “hold fast.” This club only lasted three years, but it is credited with the first


attempt at a standard, referred to as “The properties of a perfect Bulldog.” This historical document served as the basis for the official standard still in use today. 1875 saw the formation in England of The Bulldog Club, Incorporated, which is still a thriving club. It worked to resuscitate the old club and to deal with the threatened extinction of the pure English Bulldog. The shows had provided a stage for dogs of “novel and ever-varying types, distinctly different to the specimens which had been gen- erally considered to represent the true breed.” Ultimately the goal was to pre- serve the one correct type of the Bull- dog. This was accomplished by creating an official Standard. The controversial point scale was then approved and adopted on August 5, 1875 and published on September 2, 1875. The Bulldog Club of America (BCA) was formed in Boston in 1890 and was one of the first breed clubs to become a member of the American Kennel Club (AKC). The BCA drafted the United States version of the Standard in 1894, very closely following the British docu- ment. The slight differences involved descriptions of neck length and move- ment. It was revised in 1914 to declare the Dudley nose a disqualification. In 1976, “Dudley” was redefined as a “brown or liver colored nose.” Final reformatting with no wording changes was completed in 1991. The Bulldog was among the first breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Ten Bulldogs participated in the first Westminster Kennel Club show in 1877 with the first champion of the breed being Robinson Crusoe, owned by Col- onel John E. Thayer, earning the title in 1888. People often remark at the drastic physical changes in the breed from the time of its existence as a supreme fighting machine to the docile, beloved companion we know today. There was much controversy at the physical direc- tion the breed was taking around the 1890’s to early 1900’s. Some fanciers were breeding a cloddy, exaggerated, often crippled individual. This was the source of many heated debates, with some fanciers calling for a reversion to the original type. The overwhelm- ing desire of breeders and owners was to move the breed away from any

suggestion of the horrible bullbaiting sport and resulting bad reputation of the past. Ultimately, the breed emerged as we see it today, with modern type being clearly set early in the 1900s. More recently, we have seen the breed’s popularity explode. While the breed was always popular, its emer- gence as a “top 10” AKC breed has cre- ated challenges for concerned breeders and for leaders of the BCA. Bulldogs have always been considered a unique breed. Unscrupulous and careless breeding has led to many dogs with a variety of health problems. Recently, a number of anti-breeding documenta- ries and media “exposés” have pushed the breed into the limelight as a poster child of sorts for the perceived corrup- tion of modern show dog breeders. Unfortunately, these media attacks have failed to shed light on the true nature of the breed and the hard work of the National clubs and dedicated breeders to constantly improve the breed, on all levels. The result is an unfortunate misun- derstanding that the breed, by design, is inherently unhealthy. This could not be further from the truth. The Official Standard emphasizes strong and vigor- ous good health. The first paragraph describes a “Perfect Bulldog” this way: “The general appearance should sug- gest great stability and strength.” Under Symmetry,” it reads: “The ‘points’ should be well distributed and bear good relation one to the other, no fea- ture being in such prominence from either excess or lack of quality that the animal appears deformed or ill-propor- tioned.” The description for movement is “unrestrained, free and vigorous.” The Bulldog Club of America (BCA) has made great strides in educating its members on the importance of health testing. In a relatively short period, we have seen a dramatic upturn in the number of Bulldogs in the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals (OFA) database. Several of our breed’s current top win- ners have tested above and beyond the minimal Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) requirements. We expect that even the world’s skeptics will take notice that the breed is healthy, thriving and vibrant. REFERENCES The Bulldog; A Monograph by Edgar Farman The New Complete Bulldog by Bailey Haines


Judge Priorities, Not Point Scales


T he AKC Bulldog breed standard was penned by the Bulldog Club of America (BCA) in 1890 and has survived with only two changes. At the request of AKC, the nose disqualification for “Dudley nose” was clarified as “liver or flesh colored nose.” More recently, in 2016, disqualifications were added for non-standard colors, and blue or green eyes, to eliminate so-called “rare colors” from competition (and preferably from breeding stock), even though most of these colors (particularly merle) had never occurred in the breed. The Bulldog breed standard has always had a scale of points appended to it, even as far back as 1860, in England, when Dr. John Walsh (one of the earliest promoters of organized dog shows) of The Field started putting various standards into print. When the Bulldog Club (England) was founded in 1875, point scales were commonly in use in conjunction with the written standards. Indeed, many of the early Bulldog shows were judged “on points,” which did not always lead to a satisfactory outcome. The current AKC Bulldog breed standard still carries a point scale. THE RISE AND FALL OF POINT SCALES If a written standard adequately describes the “ideal” or “per- fect” specimen of the breed, what is the purpose of a point scale? For the breeder and fancier, a correctly comprised point scale defines the priorities of type in the breed. Characteristics that are essential to breed type in various breeds are given the highest value. For example, the point scale for the French Bulldog was dropped from the standard in 1991. However, at one time, the point scale gave 8 points to ears (lack of the correct bat ear being a disqualification), 6 points to skull, and 6 points to jaws. Even without a point scale, anyone judging this breed today should be aware that these elements are high value areas of focus for assess- ing correct type in the ring. Point scales came into vogue with the increased popular- ity of dog shows in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As the spectator gate grew, point scales were distributed so that the audience could follow along with the decisions made in the ring. Newspapers even printed point scales for various breeds, with the statement that their readers would be able to recognize a quality specimen. During much of the 20th Century, most new breeds recognized by AKC originally came in with point scales appended to the written breed standard. In the AKC breed standard book published in 1935 (then titled Pure-Bred Dog s), 58% of the 102 breeds then recognized had point scales.

When AKC mandated standard formatting of all breed stan- dards some 40 years ago, parent clubs were pressured to drop the point scales from their breed standards. This was strongly suggested even if there were no changes to the standards other than simple reformatting. When it came time for BCA to reformat, AKC was advised that the club would only do so under the condition that the point scale be kept as part of the breed standard. Despite objections, BCA, with Bulldog-like tenacity, held its ground. This was possible because, unlike The Kennel Club or FCI, which control the content of the breed standards, Article IV, Section 4 of the AKC Charter and Bylaws is clear that it is the Parent Clubs—not the AKC Board of Directors—that have the sole power to define the “true type” and that no modifications can be made to breed standards of the various breeds without the express permission of the parent clubs. So, what is the big deal about keeping the scale of points for Bulldogs? Well, Bulldoggers have a long tradition and history, and that is the way it has always been. If it ain’t broke, we won’t be fix- ing it. More importantly, the point scale clearly shows the unique priorities of the breed. Those wishing to judge Bulldogs, who do not come from our breed, may assume that the head, as a whole, is a big priority. It is. On the point scale it is worth a grand total of 39 points. But which element do you think we consider the most important? Who would guess nose at 6 points? And it is not that the dog must have one—that’s a given. But historically, the nose was the key element for the Bulldog to be able to breathe while hanging onto the bull. The nose is large, broad, well laid back with a specific maximum length, and it must have large, black nostrils. The fact that the nose must be black is important, too, as brown or liver disqualify. Are judges really taking all this in when examining the breed? Next on the head we have 5 points each for skull, ears, wrinkle, and jaws. Additionally, there are 4 points for the stop, as the breed’s unique furrow is a key landmark of the skull. Whether or not you are aware of the point scale, judging the head by simply asking the exhibitor to show the bite and not actually physically examining any of these important features of type is not a breed-specific exam. Two other elements with 5 points each are proportion and symmetry, and shoulders, aptly described in writing in the standard proper. Unfor- tunately, looking at the numerous Bulldogs in the ring with incor- rect tight shoulders, one might not realize that the 5 points for this feature of anatomy are for the unique contributors to an essential stance—muscular, very heavy, widespread, and slanting outward.



Point scales were originally designed to be applied to positive fea- tures. In other words, assessing the dog was started at zero with points added for each trait. However, human nature tends to do the reverse, starting at 100 and subtracting. While most of the older standards described the point scales as positive, the Kerry Blue standard had both positive and negative point scales for many years. On the nega- tive, 10-point deductions were to be assessed for “bumpy cheeks” and “yellow or gooseberry eyes.” The Kerry no longer has a point scale, but it still faults bumpy cheeks and yellow eyes. “Gooseberry” has dis- appeared from the lexicon, and no reasonable person imagines today’s judges mentally deducting 10 points per fault, but rather, judging the whole dog in relation to the entire standard of perfection. In Bulldogs, one might think that gait is relatively unimportant on the point scale at only 3 points. However, all the points of body, and fore and hind leg construction that contribute to gait, add up to 39 points. The additional 3 points is a bonus. This is especially true per the written description of gait. The Bulldog breed stan- dard describes practically all traits as “should be.” Gait, on the other hand, is one of the few “musts.” Specifically: “The action must, how- ever, be unrestrained, free and vigorous.” POINT JUDGING IN ACTION Years ago, the Detroit Bulldog Club had a point match. All of the participants were given score sheets, and each examined and gaited all the dogs. When all of the scores were tallied, everyone had a good laugh at the final winner because it was universally agreed that she was not the best Bulldog there. How did this happen? This was a nice enough bitch of correct size. She seemed to have most of the features of type, but not to a great degree. In other words, she was quite generic. But how much do you deduct for eyes that could be a little darker, ears that could be a bit smaller, not quite as much rib spring as she could have, and so on? The answer is, “Not much in each area.” On the other hand, the dogs we all agreed were superior were subject to personal bias. If you are a breeder of perfect jaws, those with less than your ideal can expect to be hit hard on the score sheet. Further, these dogs may be superior in other areas that are not necessarily your top priorities as a breeder, so they might not be scored high enough. And the big problem with judging on points is that each dog is scored individually, without relationship to the other dogs in the ring. Lack of major faults is not a virtue, but it might get you higher up on the point scale overall. And the best part of the experiment was that our winner did have a major fault—her tail went straight up in the air when she gaited. But, the tail is only 4 points. And in the real world of judging, a Bulldog would have to be as close to perfect as possible to overcome the standard’s admoni- tion that “no portion of the member should be elevated above the base or root,” if it were going to be placed first. CONCLUSION Points scales are interesting historical documents. They show what the original writers of each breed standard considered to be the most important points of type. And that is how they should be used today: To understand breed priorities, but not to judge on points.

JUDGING ON POINTS The problem with judging on points is that, frankly, it cannot be done. All judges have inherent biases for certain features. This is certainly heightened among fanciers in their own breeds. And even with only a written standard to work from, these breeder preferences (and judge preferences) must always be kept in check. Otherwise, they lead to the worst of all judicial sins—fault judg- ing. This becomes even more obvious when dogs are judged only on points.


5 3 2 3 3 2 4 5 2 4 3 5 5 6 2 5 2 3 2 5 3 3 2 2 5 4 3 3 4


























39 TOTAL 100


Anne Hier, JD MFA, has been involved as a breeder and exhibitor of Bulldogs (and later French Bulldogs) in conformation and obedience since 1975. Since 1988, she has been an approved judge and adjudicates 12 Non-Sporting breeds. She is a member of the Bulldog Club of America and, among other things, previously served as chair of the Judges Education Committee. Hier is a Life Member and current President of the Detroit Bulldog Club and AKC Delegate for the Companion Dog Training Club of Flint, Michigan. She is a professional artist and writer, and her articles and illustrations have appeared in numerous books and magazines since 1977. She is the author of Dog Shows Then and Now: An Annotated Anthology, and has won three Maxwell Awards from the Dog Writers Association of America.



T he Bulldog Club of America (BCA), the Parent Club for Bulldogs in the US, was founded in 1896. The official BCA/AKC standard was written in 1896 and is still in use, with only a format change and a DQ added for untypical colors (coat and eye color). ORGANIZATION BCA is divided into eight Divisions, with each Division acting as its own club with full Executive Committees and Boards as well as Committee Chairs. Within each Division, we have local specialty clubs, again, with full Executive Committees, Board of Governors, and Committees. There are four clubs that are AKC Member Clubs with AKC Delegates. Much of what is accomplished by the Club is done through the work and effort of our Club Committees. There are two types of Committees: Standing and Ad Hoc. Standing Com- mittees are established by the BCA Council; Ad Hoc Com- mittees may be established by either the Council or the BCA President. Chairpersons, unless specifically appointed by the Council, are appointed by the BCA President with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee. Committees include Legislative, Health, General Educa- tion, Judges Education, Communications and Publicity, Hall of Fame/Gallery of Winners, Long Range Planning, Audit and Finance, Archives and Historian, National Guidelines, Standard Operating Procedures, Rescue, and Performance. Our National publication, The Bulldogger , is issued three times a year. Plus, we have an excellent website as well as a presence on Facebook and Instagram. The Council meets once a year at the National Specialty. Also held during National Week is the Annual Awards Ban- quet where we recognize individual achievement in both members and dogs. We have a Hall of Fame for Breeders, Stud Dogs, and Brood Bitches. We recognize Performance Dogs as well as Platinum and Diamond Level Ambassadors for Health.

CHALLENGES The breed currently faces two big issues.

The first one involves the sudden, rapid, and explosive rise in popularity of dogs of non-recognized colors. In some areas, these strange dogs and their breeders outnumber BCA breeders by a dis- turbing margin. Not to even mention that, in some cases, these dogs are not even purebred. Their breeders have no real knowledge of the breed, and our rescue groups are getting filled with these dogs at an alarming rate. The basis for the popularity of these dogs are the terms “rare” and/ or “exotic” as well as a very aggressive marketing strategy. The very alarming truth is that the correctly bred, health-tested, and breed- typical Bulldogs are now, indeed, the “rare” ones. The other problem comes at the hands of the animal rights people and the very aggressive “anti-brachycephalic” people. They have stated very emphatically that they do not believe our breed should be allowed to exist due to what they call poor health, a short lifespan, and an inability to reproduce on their own. Unfortunately, BCA has never been contacted by any of these groups to open a dialogue of any sort. The AR people don’t recognize our Health Ambassador program and completely ignore the growing number of successful performance Bulldogs. As for lifespan, there is now an entire Facebook page devot- ed to celebrating the Oldest Bulldogs Around the World. A recent post featured a 20-year-old Bulldog, with many “teenage” Bulldogs featured regularly. The constant barrage of negative reports about Bulldog health has done absolutely nothing to help. Instead of reporting on the grow- ing number of Bulldogs gaining their Health Ambassador status, they continually mention the worse problems the breed can potentially face. The breed maintains high popularity despite the negativity. If the AR people would report on the potential the breed has as far as out- standing health, it could educate and, hopefully, inspire the general public to seek out and demand a healthier dog. BCA and its members continue to do their best to educate peo- ple and promote the breed in its best light. With luck, the breed will emerge on the other side of this popularity boom in good shape.


Elizabeth Hugo Milam is a lifelong, second-generation, Bulldogger who has bred/owned over 50 Champions. She is a BCA Hall of Fame Breeder and has been involved with BCA Judges Education since 1990. Elizabeth is currently BCA Judges Education Chair and she’s the current President and AKC Delegate for the Bulldog Club of Philadelphia. She is also Vice President of the World Bulldog Club Federation (WBCF). Elizabeth has been a Judge of Bulldogs since 1993 and a Breeder-Judge of French Bulldogs since 2011. She has judged the BCA National Specialty three times (Intersex once, Bitches and Junior Handling twice). Elizabeth has judged WBCF twice (in conjunction with the WDS in Budapest and Leipzig) and has judged numerous US Independent and Divisional Specialties. She has judged National Specialties in the following countries: Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Brazil (twice), France, Spain (twice), Holland, Italy, Bulgaria, and Hungary. Elizabeth has judged Championship Shows in England twice, awarding CCs at both Blackpool and the Junior Bulldog Club, and she will judge the British Bulldog Club’s 135th Anniversary show.



BY ELIZABETH HUGO MILAM “T he Bulldog is a ‘Head Breed.’” being a “Head Breed” and for each, the description might mean some- thing slightly different. I am fairly confident, however, that in all or nearly all of them, Bulldogs included, it also means: “Not to the exclu- sion of everything else!” We are certainly familiar with this term in our Bulldog world. We have been hearing it as a breed description for decades. But how accurate is that statement? If you refer to the BCA point scale offered within the Standard, head properties (22 points) and body properties (22 points) don’t offer a clear conclusion. Remember, there are those critical body points in the breed that you could successfully argue would make the Bulldog also a “Front-End Breed” or a “Topline Breed.” We hear this comment often, but what does it actually mean? Several breeds can and do lay claim to That being said, a full 39 points on head alone is extremely significant. Our standard offers this passage in the opening ”Symmetry” state- ment: “…no feature being in such prominence from either excess or lack of quality that the animal appears deformed or ill-proportioned.” This caution reminds us that a Bulldog cannot be so strong in only one feature to the exclusion of all else. Rather, all features are within the context of the breed. The Bulldog is a breed that has clear definitions of just what is considered correct, some of which stress features that are definitely impressive in their natural, ideal proportions. A quote I’ve grown to love in describing this part of our standard is: “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” In other words, we don’t want to “moderate” the breed out of its own unique existence.

And if you are the “head hunter” type, please be sure that you are choosing the correct heads! A Bulldog head is not only about the jaw. It is not only about large size. The breed’s head is a complex feature that has several key points that are critical towards making up a head that can truly be considered correct or, even better—ideal! The Official Standard has a very precise description of head properties. If you are seeking clarification on any of these points, please contact an experienced Bulldogger to help explain.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Elizabeth Hugo Milam is a lifelong, second- generation, Bulldogger who has bred/owned over 50 Champions. She is a BCA Hall of Fame Breeder and has been involved with BCA Judges Education since 1990. Elizabeth is currently BCA Judges Education Chair and she’s the current President and AKC Delegate for the Bulldog Club of Philadelphia. She is also Vice President of the World Bulldog Club Federation (WBCF). Elizabeth has been a Judge of Bulldogs since 1993 and a Breeder-Judge of French Bulldogs since 2011. She has judged the BCA National Specialty three times (Intersex once, Bitches and Junior Handling twice). Elizabeth has judged WBCF twice (in conjunction with the WDS in Budapest and Leipzig) and has judged numerous US Independent and Divisional Specialties. She has judged National Specialties in the following countries: Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Brazil (twice), France, Spain (twice), Holland, Italy, Bulgaria, and Hungary. Elizabeth has judged Championship Shows in England twice, awarding CCs at both Blackpool and the Junior Bulldog Club, and she will judge the British Bulldog Club’s 135th Anniversary show.


Lines From Linda

Passionate Fans: Bulldog Club of America Team Works to Protect Their legacy BY LINDA AYERS TURNER KNORR

T he Bulldog, the fourth most pop- ular breed due to its kind charac- ter, and friendliness to dogs, cats, children and adults, has been under attack by the popular press. The source of these stories is a paper: “A Genetic Assessment of the English Bulldog” released on July 29, 2016 in the jour- nal Canine Genetics and Epidemiology (Pedersen,

Pooch, & Liu, 2016). Dr. Niles Pedersen’s study theorizes that the Bulldog is lacking in genetic diversity which may mini- mize the ability to breed healthier dogs. The Bulldog also has its passionate fans as the mascots of universities such as my own alma mater the University of Georgia, the Citadel, Yale, Georgetown, Gonzaga, Butler and Gardner Webb just to name a few. However, no group is more passionate about the breed than the Bulldog Club of America (BCA). The BCA immediately engaged its Communications Committee under the leadership of Annette Nobles to investi- gate the paper and to counteract the adverse press. Annette Nobles developed a team comprised of geneticists: Dr. Michael Hughes, a long-time Bulldogger and Dr. Peter Photos, a French Bulldogger to analyze the paper. Annette and fellow committee member, breeder/judge Cindy Stansell,



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Lines From Linda: Passionate Fans


then organized the findings into a posi- tion paper. This position paper can be found on BCA’s website. This team discovered that the study was based on a small pool of Bulldogs that are specifically bred for exotic col- ors that are disqualified under the stan- dard. They also found numerous studies that put the Bulldog in the mid-range of AKC breeds for genetic diversity. (So if the Bulldog at the mid-range of diversity should not be breed, then the breeds that are lower are even more in jeop- ardy!) They also found that the health problems cited were not based on sci- entific information but on anecdotal

information such as blogs. The BCA found that contrary to the information in the paper, the average age of the Bull- dog has increased and that BCA mem- bers, by health screening their dogs for a number of health issues, are produc- ing healthier dogs than ever before. The BCA team has been proactive in promoting the true characteristics of the Bulldog by working with AKC Vice President of Public Relations and Communications, Brandi Hunter and Dr. Jerry Klein, AKC Chief Veterinarian. Robin Stansell, former AKC Vice Presi- dent and breeder judge, was the BCA’s spokesperson with various news media.

Elizabeth developed memes (images with captions meant to be shared online) and short videos fea- turing seniors (Bulldogs over 12) and Bulldogs active in companion sports. Bob Newcomb, BCA’s AKC delegate, along with Cindy Stansell (the Finnish Spitz Club of America’s AKC Delegate) spoke to the delegate committees about the media attacks on purebred dogs and the Bulldog specifically. They suggested that the AKC develop a public relations response team that can quickly work with any parent club under attack. They also suggest- ed that each parent club assess their Hugo-Milam

Bulldog Club of America AKC Delegate Bob Newcomb and UGA Bulldawg Dr. Nancy Rose Newcomb

Robin and Cindy Stansell with Ch. Rocyn’s Hot’Lanta are big cheerleaders for their breed. S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M AY 2018 • 269

Lines From Linda: Passionate Fans


membership to have a team in place of qualified and diverse talents: geneti- cists, veterinarians, lawyers, writers and PR professionals. Dr. Pedersen is advancing the idea that breeds should be crossbred for health reasons. The person who has bred “Uga”, the University of Georgia’s mascot, just announced that he would be crossbreeding now because his dogs have been plagued with health issues. The BCA, especially UGA Alumna Dr. Nancy Rose Newcomb (a veterinarian and long-time Bulldogger) has offered both assistance in analyzing potential

breeding animals and acquisition of healthy dogs. In light of these press attacks, the BCA will need the tenacity of their beloved breed to educate the public on how to choose a Bulldog that is healthy as well as loving. The Bulldog Club of America and their team of experts are working hard to guarantee the future of the Bulldog. Do your part to guide naysayers to their website. It is one of the best I have ever seen! We must protect this magnificent symbol of winners.

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T he Bulldog is considered to be a classic symbol of cour- age and tenacity. They are a breed of dog universally recognized as one of gentle devotion and endless fascination. This breed undeniably has a long and fascinating history; believed to have been a part of Britain’s canine population for well over 1500 years. Historians agree the Bulldog owes its name to the fact they were once used to guard, control and bait bulls. The sport of bull baiting con- tinued for centuries until declared to be illegal in 1835. With no “job” left to do the Bulldog nearly became extinct in the years following the ban. Fortu- nately, true fanciers focused on breed- ing the Bulldog for its worthwhile vir- tues and qualities which we see and appreciate in the modern Bulldog of today. After a few starts and stops an official Bulldog Club was formed in England in 1875 and an official Standard finalized. The Standard used in the Unit- ed States and Canada today is the clos- est to the original Standard approved by the Bulldog Club Inc. (England).

The Bulldog Club of America (BCA) is adamantly opposed to any changes. Today the Bulldog is frequently seen in movies, commercials, television shows and on social media, often with their famous owners. Known for their congenial and people pleasing person- alities Bulldogs have become one of the super stars of the dog world and their popularity reflects this status. Bulldogs are a breed that cannot be easily defined as fitting into one mold. They come in many sizes and a variety of colors and color patterns. They can be bold and outgoing or shy and reserved. The Bull- dog can be as active as is required of a normal family pet or be made into a lazy couch potato. One thing is certain; no matter where you go the Bulldog always draws public attention with their wrin- kled clownish face. The Bulldog is not a breed for some- one who needs a long distance jogging companion or someone who wants a dog to go hunting or swimming. Even though the Bulldog may be notorious for shedding, chewing and exhibit- ing excess flatulence, they are actually




a dog of many talents and are surpris- ingly versatile. The Bulldog may be a family friend and loyal companion or a clown who is an expert in a vari- ety of activities from skateboarding to snowboarding. Bulldogs are mascots for more than forty American Colleges and Universi- ties, as well as the United States Marine Corps and many businesses. Two Bull- dogs have called the White House home. Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Warren Harding both owned Bulldogs during their presidencies. Bulldogs serve as both service dogs and therapy dogs. Service dogs are defined as “any guide dog, signal dog or other animal that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the ben- efit of an individual with a disability”. Just ask Rebecca Burlage of Mineral, VA. Confined to a wheelchair with a number of disabilities Rebecca’s constant Bull- dog companion, Diesel-Joker, confirms how amazing and trainable a Bulldog can be. Diesel-Joker opens doors, helps her dress, brings her tools and helps her get in and out of her chair. Diesel-Joker is truly an amazing dog; he accompa- nies Rebecca on speaking engagements at schools and churches, where the top- ic is “Being Successful and Never Giv- ing Up”. Bulldogs have in recent years become valuable members of Paws and Strips, an organization which pro- vides veterans with service dogs. These Bulldogs live with family members and assist veterans dealing with PTSD and other mental and cognitive disabilities. A number of organizations qualify dogs, including the Bulldog, as therapy dogs which are trained to give comfort and relieve loneliness and boredom. These Bulldogs visit nursing homes, hospi- tals, psychiatric wards, shelters and schools providing a welcome change in routines and form lasting friendships with patients. At the performance level Bulldogs are not just another pretty face in the conformation ring; their inherent strength and vigor has led the Bulldog to successfully compete in rally, cours- ing, carting and agility. This versatile breed can be a wonderful performance companion. Bulldogs consistently earn titles in all manner of sports from fly ball, to weight pulls, dock-diving and freestyle dance. Bulldogs were among the first breed to earn the new Coursing Ability title offered by the


American Kennel Club. Bulldogs have earned invitations to participate in prestigious national competitions in obedience, rally and agility—and have represented their breed well. More and more people are discovering what an animated and capable partner a Bulldog can be. As people recognize the versatility of the Bulldog, popularity has surged in recent years. According to AKC they consistently rank in the top ten breeds. Unfortunately, this popularity has actu- ally created many problems for the breed, mainly in subpar quality dogs being bred to fill the demand. There has been a culture of acceptance that has evolved over the years that implies the Bulldog is inherently unhealthy due almost completely to his unique confor- mation and ultimately the official stan- dard for excellence. The casual breeder often regards health issues as “typical” for the breed and propagates these health issues by careless breeding prac- tices. Accepting buyers have been told for decades that these health problems are somehow “normal” for the breed and veterinarians see in droves the result of these careless practices. There is a growing trend among people breed- ing for “designer colors”. The Standard calls black undesirable and the new dilute colors are equally undesirable. The making of undesirable colors for retail without focus on the more impor- tant health and temperament aspects is creating dogs who are destined for problems. The reality is that it should nev- er be expected that a Bulldog will

be unhealthy. We live in an age of pro- gressive technology with health testing techniques and genetic research being more advanced than ever. The Bulldog Club of America (BCA) actively pro- motes health testing for all breeding stock. The BCA is a CHIC member and requires the following tests for those interested in entering the database: car- diac, patella and trachea. Tests recom- mended but not required include; hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, autoimmune thyroiditis, CERF (Canine Eye Registry Foundation) or OFA (Orthopedic Foun- dation for Animals) for eyes, BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response) for deafness and Hyperuricosuria. The BCA has implemented the Ambassador for Health program, which rewards dogs for their participation in health testing. Many top performance and con- formation winners have achieved the platinum status—the highest award. There is an active campaign among concerned fanciers to perpetuate the breed as it was originally intended and described by the Standard—a vigorous, sound and healthy dog free of any medi- cal conditions that would diminish its quality of life. This requires no change to the official standard. When considering a Bulldog, puppy or adult, first and most important is to be patient and not rush the process. Before adding a Bulldog to your home one should do extensive research on the breed. The Bulldog Club of America has the breed standard, breeder referral services and other educational informa- tion available online at: www.bulldog- clubofamerica.org.



By Elizabeth Hugo-Millam & Cheryl Knapp

Living with the Bulldog by Elizabeth Hugo-Millam T he Bulldog, classic symbol of courage and tenacity. A breed of dog universally recognized as one of gentle devotion and endless fascination. Th is breed is all of these things and so much more. History Th is breed has a fascinating history that can be divided into three sections. It has its beginnings in the ancient and brutal sport of bullbaiting. Th is horri fi c sport, at one time the National sport of England, is the one and only job the breed was bred to do. Breeding selections were made purely on the dog’s ability to perform. It was from this sport that the breed’s very unique con- formation sprung forth. A tethered bull was set on by a Bulldog who was expected to crawl on his belly to the front of the bull, leap up and not only grab, but hold onto the nose of the bull while the bull tried furiously to shake the dog o ff . Th e dog has to be nimble enough to not only withstand the shaking but also the tossing. He also had to be small enough that a waiting handler could possibly catch him and save him from further harm.

Th is sport continued for centuries until it was declared by an act of parliament to be illegal in 1835. Th is act ushered in a very tenuous time for the breed. With no “job” left to do and with only the lowest classes of people left as devotees, the Bull- dog nearly became extinct in the years fol- lowing the ban. It was the dog show era, beginning in 1860, that helped keep the breed from disappearing forever. Th e shows attracted “Bulldogs” of all types from the very small to the very large. Th e last of the pure Bull- dog breeders saw a need for a standard to preserve classic features, which also includ- ed the very important size aspect. Th e Bulldog is a medium size dog and this was of critical importance during this tumultu- ous time. After a few starts and stops an o ffi cial Bulldog Club was formed in England in 1875 (and is still in existence) and an o ffi - cial Standard fi nalized. Th e standard used in the US and Canada is the closest to the original standard approved by Th e Bulldog Club Inc. ( England) and he Bulldog Club of America (BCA) is adamantly opposed to any standard changes. Health Th is is a contentious issue surround- ing the breed. Th ere has been a “culture

of acceptance” that has evolved over the years that implies the Bulldog is inherently unhealthy due almost completely to his unique conformation and ultimately the o ffi cial standard for excellence. Th e casual breeder often regards health issues as “typical” for the breed and propagates these health issues by careless breeding practices. Accepting buyers have been told for decades that these health problems are somehow normal for the breed and veterinarians see in droves the results of these careless practices. Th e reality is that it should never be expected that a Bulldog will be unhealthy. Th e BCA has actively promoted health testing for all breeding stock. BCA is a CHIC member and requires the follow- ing tests for those interested in entering the database; Required tests; Cardiac, Patella, Trachea. Recommended but not required; hip dysplasia, elbow dys- plasia, autoimmune thyroiditis, CERF (Canine Eye Registry Foundation) or OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Ani- mals) for eyes, BAER (Brainstem Audi- tory Evoked Response) for deafness and Hyperuricosuria. BCA has also implemented the Ambas- sador for Health program, which rewards dogs for their participation in health testing. Many top performance and

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