Showsight Presents the French Bulldog

THE CATCH 22 OF BECOMING A POPULAR BREED

by LORENE SCHETTINO

T he French Bulldog has quick- ly become one of the Ameri- can Kennel Club’s most reg- istered dog breeds—rising from 58th in 2002 to 6th in 2017. You can walk into any department store and find merchandise with a Frenchie on it. You can turn on your television and see numerous commer- cials with our little clowns front and center. Even the American Kennel Club (AKC) uses our frogs in a myriad of advertising campaigns to promote itself. While it’s fun and exciting to find Frenchie items everywhere, this sud- den surge in popularity comes with a host of issues as well. This rise in popularity and registra- tions has been matched by increasing numbers of people who are breeding the French Bulldog, as well as dogs entering the show ring. While some may consider this a good thing, others consider this an attack on our beloved breed. This is because too many of those whom now are starting to breed Frenchies are motivated by money, not by improving the breed. The American Kennel Club is primarily a registry and dogs with disqualifying factors may be registered despite the objections of the French Bulldog Club of America. This is by no means an attack on the AKC, the AKC needs to run a business in the black if we as a fancy wish to continue with our beloved sport. I encourage all readers to search “French Bulldog Puppies” on the inter- net and see what results are generated. Unfortunately, most of the websites that pop up are color breeders (or “greed- ers” as the ethical breeders like to call them). The “greeders” are breeding pri- marily for their income and personal gain. They are not breeding to our stan- dard, nor are they breeding for health. The brachycephalic breeds are already under attack by the animal rights move- ments. The influx of unhealthy dogs

“THE COMMITTEE HAS BEEN WORKING DILIGENTLY TO PREVENT DOGS WITH DISQUALIFYING FACTORS FROM ENTERING THE SHOW RING AND OBTAINING AWARDS.”

being bred is just another reason for them to attack. It has become imperative for the French Bulldog Club of America to take action on the numbers of dogs with disqualifying factors entering the show ring and the breeding pool. The only way to do this is to come forward as a united front. It is important to educate the public and it is especially important to educate AKC judges. The first step the parent club has taken is to form a standard revision committee. The committee has been working diligently to prevent dogs with disqualifying factors from entering the show ring and obtaining awards. The goal of the committee is to clarify the standard to aid breeders, judges and Frenchie owners. The revisions that the standard committee is propos- ing involve stressing the hallmarks of the breed, clarifying nose and eye color and specifying colors that are allowed thus making any other color a disqualification. The next step that the parent club has taken is to work with its Public Education Committee to expand its social media presence. This committee will focus on teaching the public that exotic colors have no genetic origin in

the French Bulldog, so really a “rare” color is a mixed breed. They will also be working with any advertising cam- paigns and AKC published advertise- ments to be sure that only French Bull- dogs that conform to the standard are used in their publications. Finally, the club’s Judges Education Committee will be educating future French Bulldog judges on the impor- tance of recognizing and taking imme- diate action on disqualifying factors. While judging, it easy to become dis- tracted by all the different specimens in the ring. A judge should first and foremost know, understand and be able to identify disqualifications. Given the numbers of breeders producing DQ col- ors, this has become imperative. The member breeders of the French Bull Dog Club of America are keenly aware of the color issues in the ring and they carefully note which judges are also aware of color issues. In closing, the French Bulldog Club of America considers these our goals to protect the breed we love. We look forward to a time that we can look at the each French Bulldog in the ring and say, “Wow, what quality representa- tions of the standard are being shown to the fancy!”

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

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