Showsight Presents The Bulldog

1. Describe the breed in three words. DB: Worthy of admiration. GD: Underjaw; size; make and shape. FH: Determined, powerful yet gentle. AMH: Unique, beautiful and fun. JL: Fun, companionable and intelligent. RN: Loving, balanced and massive. RS: Sturdy, strong and resolute.

the eyes. We are seeing more dogs in the ring today that have a nose too long. A dog with a long nose could not hold onto the bull if bull baiting. Proportion and sym- metry (5 points), being an old livestock judge, I call it balance. If a dog is too long, too short, etc. he will not appear balanced. All body parts must be in proportion, one to the other. Skull and jaw are 5 points each. This is where the Bulldog really stands out. The skull must be very large and should be nearly the same width at both the top and bottom. Too many heads today are narrow in the muzzle, causing them to look more like Boxer heads. Shoulder and back are 5 points each; the roach back or wheel back is described in the standard as a very distinc- tive feature of the breed and is one of the strongest state- ments in the entire standard. Yet, over and over, I see judges award dogs with flat top lines again and again. On one occasion I had a judge come up to me and say, “I just love that flat top line of my Best of Breed.” The shoulders and elbows should be wide set and appear attached to the body. The Bulldog’s forelegs should not appear to be below the chest. Ears (5 points) that are not correctly set or have the correct rose shape will destroy the entire appearance of the dog. Ears carried erect, pricked or but- toned are very undesirable. Gait only receives 3 points in the standard. I say if they are lame, excuse them; if not, judge their conformation. The standard does a good job of describing the gait. Exhibitors who know me as a judge will not bring me a lame dog. They know they will be excused. RS: Soundness! Correct head—square head, broad straight jaw, open nostrils and dark tight eyes. Correct body— broad shoulders, heavy bone and correct “wheel” topline. Correct vigorous gait—moderate angulation with straight reach in front and correct characteristic roll. They should reach straight in front and move closer in the rear. The correct pear-shaped body with the rear legs higher than the front and a correct wheel back give the Bulldog a characteristic roll. This is a breed characteristic and should be present on any winning dog. Correct tempera- ment—kind, but calm and dignified.

2. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? DB: Gentle, but confident. GD: My must have traits in the breed are head and proper size. FH: My must haves in Bulldogs are heads, fronts and topline, but of course it takes so many individual breed points in the head alone to make a good head that I do tend to dwell on examining the head when judging. AMH: The Bulldog standard actually lists three specific musts. 1) “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.”; 2) “Tail must be short, hung low, with decided downward carriage, thick root and fine tip.”; and 3) “The action must, however, be unrestrained, free, and vigorous.” For me, personally, my musts in the breed are correct temperament, health, type and soundness. JL: Good temperament and soundness. RN: I want to see a balanced dog with Bulldog type that appears massive in relation to his size. The head equals 39% of the points in the standard. The dog’s head must have correct ears; wide and long skull; short nose; wide, well turned-up jaw, not wry; and correct wrinkle pattern. The dog must have a pear-shaped body, wide shoulders, well-sprung ribs and narrow in the rump. One of the most important traits to me is a correct topline. The stan- dard reads, “Roach back, or more correctly, wheel-back, a very distinctive feature of the breed.” The Bulldog standard contains a scale of points. That is how I determine the most important parts of the dog. Nose (6 points) must be black and set deeply between

“FUN, COMPANIONABLE AND INTELLIGENT.”

266 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J UNE 2017

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