Showsight Presents the French Bulldog

French Bulldog Q& A

“WE SHOULD CELEBRATE THOSE FRENCH BULLDOGS THAT ARE HEALTHY AND TALENTED.”

What I feel the condition of the the Frenchie breed is today? Cons are definitely that the breed is now fourth in AKC registra- tions (and the number one breed in the UK). We don’t have accu- rate statistics from the AKC but many, many of the Frenchie being bred today are a disqualification color/pattern. Pros: a well bred, healthy French Bulldog is a wonderful companion and the dog’s size makes it ideal for people of all ages. Breeders need to concentrate on making sure that before they only use a dog for breeding that they have passed health clearances for knees, eyes, backs, heart, cystinuria and hips. French Bulldogs can and should be very healthy. Breeders need to promote their commitment to breeding healthy dogs as well as dogs that conform to the breed standard. Does popularity help or hurt in the long run? I think this is defi- nitely not helping as many of these French Bulldogs are being bred by people who are only interested in making money and breed dogs of the DQ colors/patterns and don’t do all the health clearances that are recommended for French Bulldogs. Puppy buyers spend a lot for these Frenchies and have high expectations. They aren’t mentored well by these breeders and because they have spent megabucks for their puppy think it’s fine to breed them etc, some even enter them in dog shows and are disappointed when the dog is DQ’d Many vets are very negative about French Bulldog health. They fail to appreciate that as health care professionals, people rarely bring healthy Frenchies for vet care—except for annual shots, HW test and health clearances—people bring sick dogs for help. Brachycephalic breeds are getting a bad rep. How I think that will affect the future? If responsible breeders promote their commit- ment to breeding healthy, correct French Bulldogs, this bad reputa- tion can be corrected. Many French Bulldog owners say they do health clearances, but don’t take the trouble to register these results with organizations like the OFA. If more owners did this, there would be more appreciation of how healthy French Bulldogs are and better statistics could be generated about the incidence of patella problems, hip dysplasia, cystinuria etc. in the breed. My favorite dog show memories are of judging the French Bull- dog National. It was such a thrill having the opportunity to judge so many dogs of superior quality at one time. French Bulldogs are wonderful companions and many excel and enjoy performance events. We should celebrate those French Bull- dogs that are healthy and talented. GUS SINIBALDI Gus Sinibaldi is

• Nostrils—we should be able to see some nostrils and not just a little slit. If a dog can’t breathe, it can’t function properly. Does popularity help or hurt in the long run? While the pub- licity has helped generate a lot of interest in the breed, it has also hurt the breed in many ways. Many enterprising opportunists are capitalizing on this increased popularity to jump on the bandwagon to make some big money. And this is not just limited to color breed- ers or puppy mills, as even some of our well-known breeders are tarnishing the reputation of the breed by selling sub-standard and unhealthy dogs to China and Latin America for big bucks! I sup- pose that explains why when they can’t breed any dogs of their own good enough to campaign, it is an easy shortcut to import some ran- dom dog from overseas with no type, no pedigree and shady color to show, win, and be in the winning circle so they can command big prices for their dogs and stud fees. Litters are indiscriminately bred with no real thought process put into it and the breed is sadly bastardized by so many. Worldwide, brachycephalic breeds are getting a bad reputation. How do you think that will affect the future? In some countries, they are promoting longer noses, bigger nostrils, more muzzles and less exaggerations to compensate for some of these flat-faced breeds’ disorders. While health is of utmost importance as it is not use hav- ing beautiful unhealthy dogs, we must also not lose breed type in the process. I think it is a tricky balancing act and as breeders and judges, we must do our part by looking for good breathers, open nostrils, correct unexaggerated topline and such. My favorite dog show memory? I have so many as I just love the ambience and camaraderie of the dog shows, especially the high profile events such as World Show, Crufts, Westminster, etc. Some of my favorite memories have always been seeing a dog so extraordi- nary in any breed that it just makes my heart skip a beat and leaves me breathless. We need to focus on the positives: the Frenchie is not an easy breed to breed nor judge. In fact, it is one of the most difficult breeds. But nothing worthwhile having comes easy! There are good judges who enjoy/understand the breed and actually judge dogs without getting influenced by politics, advertising or handlers. There are good ethical honest Frenchie people that actually care, that actually want to better the breed and are not in it just for their self-glory or money. And there are actually some beautiful good dogs/bitches and clever breeders out there so don’t give up when the going gets tough as the French Bulldog is indeed a very unique and special breed with lots of charm and character to captivate any! Viva Frenchies! VIRGINIA ROWLAND I’m currently a member of the FBDCA Judges Education Com- mittee and am show chair of the FBDCA specialties held in asso- ciation with the New York Metro Specialties in New York City, the Saturday and Sunday before Westminster. I previously served as FBDCA President for four years. I am currently President of the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Clubs and on the board of the Ladies’ Dog Club. I live in Templeton, Massachusetts. I am retired, most of what I do has some connection to dogs. I have judged Frenchies for 20 years, I’ve been active in showing them for 30 years and I breed an occasional litter. The secret to a successful breeding program is a thorough understanding of the breed standard, a respect for published health clearances and knowledge of pedigrees.

an AKC judge who started in Bulldogs over 20 years ago. He says he then down- sized to French Bull- dogs in 2000. He has bred multiple Best in Show, Reserve Best in Show and Specialty show winners. He currently judges eight breeds and is continu- ing his passion for purebred dogs. We moved to Char- lotte, North Carolina

S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J UNE 2019 • 289

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