Showsight Presents the French Bulldog

WITH DIANE BURVEE, JAMES DALTON, ANNE HIER, LO VIRGINIA ROWLAND, LUIS & PATRICIA SOSA, ROBIN ST

RI HUNT, DVM,

ANSELL & MARY WALSH

the ring without exhaustion. I also challenge folks to be sure when striving for “compact”, that they don’t sacrifice length and spring of rib. The compactness should come from the length of loin, among other things. L&PS: Breeders need to become more familiar with the breed standard. I read our standard every time I judge our breed (as I do every breed) and always pick up on some point I might have forgotten. Breeders need to work with each other to produce better quality dogs. Since most Frenchies are “finishable” largely because they are shown against dogs of equal quality, often there is no great incentive to improve quality. After all, you never know whose turn it will be to win on a given day. RS: Health and temperament are both “must” qualities. An ugly god can still be a loving pet but a poor temperament cannot and am unhealthy dog can cause financial and emotional strain. 10. The standard has a weight disqualification, but what is your preference in the breed’s size? Can the Frenchie be too small? How often have you called for the scale in your judging? DB: Always call for the scale if in doubt, as there are over- sized Frenchies being shown and even specialed! All weights and sizes within 28 lbs. is correct, but I have never found a diminutive small French Bulldog to be typi- cal as it would most likely lack bone and substance. So yes, I do believe a Frenchie can be too small and I would venture to admit as a breeder, I personally would not breed a bitch under 20 lbs. A Frenchie should be a sturdy, muscular and dense dog of small or medium stature. It should never appear teacup-ish or Toy-like. On the other hand, it should not be tall and rangy either. My ideal size for a female is between 22-26 lbs. and between 23-28 lbs. for a male. Remember secondary sexual characteristics are also very important, as the Standard specifically states that “due allowance is to be made in favor of bitches, which do not bear the characteristics of the breed to the same marked degree as do the dogs.” On top of size, a correct bitch should always look feminine and elegant without lacking bone or substance, while a male should appear masculine, muscular and substantial. JD: It is difficult to find a dog with desirable bone and sub- stance under 25 lbs. Most of the top-winning dogs today are between 25-28 lbs. as they should be, in my opinion. Although the standard does not have a minimum weight requirement, I absolutely do believe that a Frenchie can be too small. These are not Toy dogs, they are small Bulldogs. I prefer bitches in the 20-25 lb. range. Anything smaller than this and there is usually not enough bone and substance for me either in the ring or the whelping box. So far in my judging career I have not called for scales, but would not hesitate to do so if I thought it were necessary! AH: I have probably called for the scales and weighed more dogs than any other current judge. If I see a dog that I want to use and it looks close to the top of the limit I will weigh it to be sure. I will sometimes weigh a dog just to keep my eye fresh on size. My personal preferences on

size are irrelevant as long as the dog is in. I have rarely seen any quality Frenchies under 18 pounds but if there are dogs of quality in the ring it is not inconsistent to put up both large and smaller specimens in the same class. Indeed, the standard says they can be of both “medium or small structure.” I prefer the dogs weigh in but some- times they don’t. And I have weighed out more than a handful of specials. It used to be that ethical handlers or exhibitors would never take a dog of any breed in the ring that had a breed standard DQ. Now, when a judge weighs out, measures out or otherwise DQs a dog, frivo- lous complaints are immediately filed with AKC against the judge, usually alleging that the judge did not follow proper procedure. As a result, many judges don’t want to “get involved.” Others think it an affront to their judging ability if an exhibitor lodges a protest. Breeders or judges who are actually trying to protect the integrity of the breed standard are seen as the villain. I recently judged a 6-9 month puppy dog that was huge for his age. I said to the exhibitor, “You know, this dog is going to go over- weight.” She responded, “I don’t care.” And guess what? I recently saw this same dog, now significantly oversized, win a BOB. This will continue as long as breeders, exhibi- tors and judges don’t take seriously their responsibilities to the breed standard. LH: I have no preference, so long as the dog is substantial, muscular and of heavy bone (in good balance with its size) I have yet to call the scale, but am not against call- ing it if I am considering a worthy dog but an concerned about the upper limit. L&PS: As a breeder, my size preference is for a larger dog. As a judge, I try to weigh (pun intended) all sizes equally as long as I have the muscular dog of heavy bone that the standard calls for. Remember that the Frenchie is not a Toy breed and yes, they can be too small. I call for the scale whenever I have a dog that’s weight I question. I would much rather weigh, and if the dog weighs in, judge it accordingly; if it weighs out, disqualify it. I’ve actually had judges tell me that they try to “pick from the middle” so they don’t have to worry about having an oversized dog. Weigh the damned dog, don’t ignore it or put it at the end of the line! Judges who do not come from a weighable breed, need to weigh to set size in your mind. I probably call for the scale about every third or fourth time I judge the breed, and I weighed two dogs at the National when I judged it; and they both weighed in! By now, most exhibitors know not to show us oversized dogs. RS: My preference is “under 28 pounds.” I do not object to “small” specimens if they maintain correct substance, structure and proportion. Often extremely small speci- mens lose correct eye shape or size, head proportions pan the required heavy bone. MW: I prefer to see males in the range of 26-28 lbs. and bitches somewhere between 22-26 lbs. I don’t get hung up on weight. If I felt a dog or bitch is over I wouldn’t hesitate to weigh as our standard demands. So far, I haven’t weighed a dog during judging. What I am always looking for is a dog or a bitch with a wealth of desirable

224 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M AY 2017

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