Showsight Presents The Bulldog

A ‘HEAD BREED’ NOT TO THE EXCLUSION OF EVERYTHING ELSE!

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.

198 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, AUGUST 2021

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