Showsight Presents The Bulldog

thOughts On the BULLDOG

ROBERT L. NEWCOMB

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 buttoned are very undesirable. 2. Are there any unforgivable faults in the Bulldog breed? Faults that seem to bother me the most are: wry jaws, a dog could not hold onto a bull’s nose if its upper and lower jaws are not parallel. Also, I really look at the top line for the reasons I stated earlier. If the dog does not have a proper top line, he is lacking in Bulldog type. 3. What, if anything, do you feel non-breeder judges get wrong about the breed? I feel the non-breeder judges make more errors in judging the heads. I have helped with many judges semi- nars over the years and it is clear many do not understand head structure. 4. Any parts of the standard need clarification? I’m sure, like most written documents, some parts might be made clearer, however, I am not in favor of changing the standard. I believe if you study it enough and talk about it with experienced Bulldoggers, you will under- stand its meaning. 5. Which health issues concern you as judge and/or as a breeder? I try to judge by the standard and health issues are not included. I am very particular about health concerns as a breeder. 6. Some say this breed has changed well beyond its original purposes. Do you agree? I say the standard has not been changed and the dog should be able to still perform it’s original purpose. 7. What do handlers do in presentation that you wish they would not? When presenting the dogs, handlers set them four square which is not correct and they bait them like one does for a Terrier. The Bulldog rear should be more narrow than the front, therefore the rear legs should be closer together than the front. 8. What traits do you see popping up these days that are

First I want to make a few points about Bulldog his- tory. Our standard has not been changed in well over 150 or so years, except to change the Dudley nose to read brown or liver colored our only disqualification. The Bulldog was bred for the purpose of baiting bulls, in the arena, as a spectator sport. Even though the sport has been outlawed for several hundred years, the Bulldog should still have the structure to carry out that task. In my judgment—until there are changes to the standard—the conformation should be as it was 150 years ago. 1. In order, name the five most important traits you look for in the ring. 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 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 symmetry (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 Bull- dog really stands out. The head where all his work was done for his original purpose. 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 dis- tinctive feature of the breed” and is one of the strongest statements 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.

going in the wrong direction? What’s getting better? One thing I see is too many breeders are using dogs with wry jaws as stud dogs. This we would never do. You can- not breed out your faults, if you continue to reproduce “Our standard has nOt been changed in well Over 150 OR SO YEARS...”

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