Showsight Presents The Bulldog

conformation winners have achieved the platinum status—the highest award. Th ere 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 medical conditions that would diminish its quality of life. Th is requires no change to the O ffi cial Standard. Popularity Th e Bulldog’s popularity has surged in recent years. Th is has created many prob- lems for the breed, mainly in sub par qual- ity dogs being bred to fi ll the demand. Th ere is also a growing trend among peo- ple breeding for undesirable colors. Th e standard calls black undesirable and these new dilute colors are equally undesirable, if not more so. Th e marketing of undesir- able colors for retail without focus on the more important health and temperament aspects is creating dogs who are destined for problems. Living with Bulldogs Th e breed is generally known to be very tolerant of children. But it is not a breed that is easily pigeon holed or called “cookie cutter”. Th ey come in many sizes and a variety of colors and color patterns. Th ey can be bold and outgoing or shy and reserved. Th ey can be as active as is required of a normal family pet or be made into a lazy couch potato. Th ey are clownish and always draw attention in public. Quite clearly this is not a breed for someone who needs a long distance

jogging companion or someone who wants a dog to go hunting or swimming. Other than shedding, chewing and the fl atu- lence they are notorious for, this is an ideal pet for a variety of owners. Th ey are sur- prisingly versatile—from skateboarding to snowboarding to basic obedience to advanced. Th ere are Bulldogs competing in rally, coursing, carting and agility. Th ey are a competitive breed in the conforma- tion show ring, although most are exhib- ited by their owners, rather than by pro- fessional handlers, as is common in many other breeds. The Versatile Bulldog by Cheryl Knapp W ibly smart, athletic and willing to do anything I could think of teaching her. Rosie became my fi rst competition obe- dience dog, quickly earning her Com- panion Dog and Companion Dog Excel- lent titles with consistent scores in the mid-190s. Several others followed suit, garnishing placements in all-breed tri- als as they racked up titles with preci- sion, speed-and a touch of that Bulldog silliness that I love so much! Th e titles earned include 3 UDs (Utility Dog) and a UDX (Utility Dog Excellent) (with a few OTCH (Obedience Trial Champi- on) points for good measure). hen I brought home my fi rst Bulldog puppy, it soon became apparent that she was incred-

With my children now “out of the nest”, I have ventured into a variety of other doggy sports with my current boy, Gabe, who has added advanced Agility titles, Lure Coursing, Rally, a couple of Draft titles, Herding Instinct and a Th erapy Dog Title to what has become my usual obedi- ence repertoire (he recently earned his UD as well as one UDX leg). Gabe, a multi- champion, is also in training for his Track- ing Dog title, which I hope to accomplish within the coming year. And, I am not alone in choosing this versatile breed as a performance compan- ion—there are well over 100 members in the Bulldog Performance Group on Yahoo! with representatives earning titles in all manner of sports from fl yball, to weight pulls, dock-diving and freestyle dance. Bulldogs were among the fi rst breed to earn the new Coursing Abil- ity title o ff ered by the American Kennel Club, and last year they held the record for dogs earning the Coursing Ability Excellent title! Bulldogs have earned invitations to par- ticipate in the prestigious national compe- titions in obedience, rally and agility—and have represented their breed well, earning top placements among the best of the best of all breeds from around the country. More and more people are discovering what an animated and capable partner a Bulldog can be! For more information, visit the Bulldog Club of America website: www.bulldog- clubofamerica.org

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