Showsight Presents The Bulldog

˃ullFo͖ With Doris BoyD, Gary L. DoerGe, FreD haynes, anne M. hier, John LittLe, roBert neWcoMB & roBin stanseLL q&a

that form follows function is totally understandable if one looks at a correctly built Bulldog. The big head with correctly placed ears, proper wrinkling over the muzzle and a correct, wide underjaw are traits that make this breed do what they were bred to do—hold onto a bull. The strong and wide front for strength and the lesser angulated rear for agility and nimbleness, the longer and lower Bulldog would have trouble being nimble enough to hold onto a bull. The slight arch over the top also makes the dog more flexible and nimble. It is really quite a simple breed to understand once one understands the function for which they were bred. My soapbox topic is the long and low Bulldogs that are being shown. This is a problem in many breeds and is very difficult to breed out once it is in a breeding program. FH: The ideal Bulldog will be made up of a series of curves, with one graceful curve gently flowing into the next. There should be no humps and bumps. Coming to the US from the UK, where most breeds are predominately judged by breed specialists, the Kennel Club there insist on a proportion of all breed judges to keep sense in the breed, i.e. to avoid exaggeration, which I accept breeder- judges can create by dwelling on certain things. Here in the States it is the opposite, most shows are judged by all breed or multi-breed judges, with a smaller amount of breed specialists, so whilst I don’t expect the all-breed judge to know every nuance of the breed, I do expect the breed specialist judge to look after and reward the breed points to keep us away from becoming generic. AMH: In May, members of the Bulldog Club of America voted overwhelmingly to add several new disqualifications to our breed standard. We are currently waiting for an effective date from the AKC Board of Directors. Considering that our standard has never been changed since 1890, this is a big deal. Unfortunately, the internet has allowed what we call “greeders” instead of responsible breeders, to create new rare colors in our breed, some of which never before existed in the gene pool. These dogs have been selling for astronomical prices and unsuspecting buyers have been told that these colors can be shown because they were not specifically listed as DQs in the standard (although any responsible breeder judge would withhold and excuse these for lack of merit, at present). Thus, all non-standard colors—including blue, lilac and merles (colors never before known to be in the gene pool)—will become DQs as well as blue, green or partially blue or green eyes. RN: The standard is being changed. The Bulldog Club of America Membership approved the change by a 90 per- cent plus margin to add disqualifications for eye and

coat color. All judges can go to the BCA website and educate themselves of the changes. RS: Like many breeds, the Bulldog is being exploited by “greeders,” who are producing dogs in a rainbow of non-standard colors for exorbitant prices. BCA has recent- ly changed the standard to eliminate designer colors. 7. And, for a bit of humor: what’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? DB: Funny things happen, but usually, not on purpose. Many years ago, a group of BCNC members decided to train and entertain with a “Bully Brigade”. They set out to do what no one else had ever done—train Bulldogs to perform a routine set to music. They never saw their names in lights but they brought us to our knees, on the floor laughing and holding our stomachs. Do you wonder why we love them? FH: I have many funny stories, but I always remember a specialty show where the judge that day was deliberating over Winners Bitch, after looking at his winners for quite some time, he finally brought 2 bitches forward for further examination. He then took another long time going over the 2 again, going through the whole process of checking jaws, necks and topline for what seemed like an eternity, he then jokingly turned to the ringside and asked my wife Caroline, “Which one would you give it to?” As quick as a flash, she replied, “The one my husband has just put back in her crate, that you only gave second place to!” JL: One of the most amusing scenes witnessed was at a large Specialty show in the 80s, when a well-endowed female handler bent over to stack her Bulldog and her upper anatomy fell out of her halter top (no bra). She very quickly (and unconcerned) reinserted the exposed portion and proceeded. RN: I guess this is one of the funnier things I’ve experienced at a show. I had very recently had major shoulder surgery. We were at a show in Houston and needed to ship semen. I had my left arm in a sling and driving in Houston traffic was not something for me to be doing. My wife, Nancy, left me at the show and was going to take the semen to the airport and be back in time to show the dog. Well, Houston traffic being what it is, she didn’t make it back until I was in the ring and the dogs had been examined. Not dressed in show clothes, I won BOB over a number of specials. I had no less than 10 people ask if they could use my sling for the next day’s judging. RS: Based on two unfortunate experiences, I always have a spare pare of trousers with me when I exhibit.

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