Showsight Presents the French Bulldog

French Bulldog Q& A

“French Bulldogs can be found competing in conformation, obedience, agility, rally, tracking, scent ƆorĨ, ƞeld events and earning civic achievements.ǜ

almost four years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The dogs are loving the cooler weather and we are loving the change of seasons. Outside of the dogs, I have worked for a major financial institu- tion for 31 years. I am grateful for the leadership development my company has provided which has benefitted me as I participate in various breed clubs. Overall I find the quality of purebred dogs to be good. This quality is supported by responsible breeding and by the love and preservation of exhibitors and breeders. While the depth of quality is not always evident, there are times when the quality is in abun- dance, which makes judging and exhibiting, really exciting. My biggest concern today would be the misperception of brachy- cephalic breeds. With responsible breeding and health testing we produce active and healthy dogs that live well beyond what may be written in reference materials. French Bulldogs can be found com- peting in conformation, obedience, agility, rally, tracking, scent work, field events and earning civic achievements. In my opinion, one of the biggest problems facing breeders would be the ongoing legislation. This impacts the ability for responsible breeders to continue to build upon their programs. This could fuel the efforts of non-responsible breeders thus diluting the quality and health of our beloved breeds. A big thank you to all the fanciers who work diligently to protect the rights and voice of breeders. More specifically in French Bulldogs we face non-standard color and coat breeders. This requires us to continue to protect and preserve purebred dogs. The advice I have for new breeders is to be patient, continue to work with mentors that you can trust, and to make good well thought out long term decisions that preserve the health of your breed. I ask that you understand any specific issues your breed is facing and to be part of the solution and not the problem. Please do not operate in the moment. Breeding healthy and good representa- tives of your breed takes time. It is a marathon and not a sprint. To new judges and those with regular status my advice would be to stay connected to your mentors and be sure to have more than one. Diversity of thought is a good thing providing you different points of view. Remember, breed specific standards can change. It is important to get in front of those changes. I recommend that you always consider the whole dog and look for balance. Understand the hallmarks of any breed you judge and do not get caught up on parts. And finally, create a good experience for the exhibitor. Be thorough and give everyone a good look and exam with a smile and remember to always point to the best dog. The most common fault I see is less about the dog and more about the exhibitor or breeder. Before ever thinking the system is against you, read your standard on a regular basis, and be sure that you too are evaluating the whole dog. When a judge looks at the entire package, they could be forgiving of a fault. If you want to lodge a complaint, speak to the AKC rep objectively and write to AKC Judges Operations. Complaining about something through social media or by bending your friend’s ear, may make you feel better, but does not change results. My other advice is to remember to have fun, make new friends, support newcomers to your breed, be kind to one another, and to genuinely congratulate when other

exhibitors win. As they often say, it is a dog show and you will win some and lose some. The biggest problem at dog shows is when you stop having fun. Year’s ago I was bringing out new puppies and excited to attend a particular show. I packed the RV, bathed and groomed all the dogs and arrived early to the show grounds. Things didn’t appear right, as I was the only vehicle at the event. Could they have changed locations? Good thing the location did not change, however the event was scheduled for the following week. People know that I am typically early for everything. This might have been a bit extreme. LUIS SOSA & PATRICIA SOSA

Luis Sosa grew up with Standard Smooth Dachshunds, which his father worked in tracking and field in Cuba in the 1950s. Luis obtained his first Miniature Longhaired Dachshund in 1972 out of English bloodlines. He met Paul Tolliver (Taunuswald) in the mid 1970s and co-bred with Paul until his death in 1992. Luis obtained his first French Bulldog in 1975, and for the past 27 years, he has bred French Bulldogs, with his wife Patty under the Bandog prefix. In addition to Frenchies and Dachshunds, Luis has also co-bred Champion Bullmastiffs, Afghan Hounds and a Mul- tiple Best in Show winning Standard Poodle (20 BIS). He is a former President of the Bayou Dachshund Club of New Orleans, a member and former Vice-President, and Judge’s Educa- tion Committee of the French Bulldog Club of America, and Presi- dent and AKC Delegate of the Louisiana Kennel Club. He is also a member of the Morris & Essex Kennel Club, the Dachshund Club of America, the Bulldog Club of America, the Boston Terrier Club of America and the American Bullmastiff Association. Luis has judged the Morris & Essex Kennel Club, Inc. in 2010 and 2015, the Xoloitzquintli Club of America National Specialty 2015, the French Bulldog Club of America National Specialty 2014, the Boston Ter- rier Club de Alemania in 2012, the Dachshund Club of America Host Club shows in 2006 (smooths), 2010 (longs), 2018 (wires) Patty Sosa obtained her first Bullmastiff at age seven as a pet in New York. Since that time, she has bred, owned and showed Bullmastiffs under the Bandog prefix. Bandog under Patty’s

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

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