Showsight Presents the French Bulldog

wiTh diane Burvee, Jame

s dalTon, anne KaTona,

molly marTin, mary mil ler, osa & roBin sTansell

desi murphy, virginia ro

wland, luis and paTTy s

“MY IDEAL FRENCHIE is slighTly longer Than Tall.”

the National when I judged it; and they both weighed in! By now, most exhibitors know not to show us oversize dogs. RS: I will award the dog I feel best conforms to the standard, but find adult bitches under 18 pounds and adult dogs under 20 pounds to be less likely to have the substance and bone described in the standard. 10. The standard does not give us any specific length to height ratios, only that the dog “appears compact, well balanced and in good pro- portion.” Do you favor more of a “square” dog or one that is “slightly longer than tall”, or what is your preference? DB: I have always said breeding a Frenchie of correct ratio and proportion is one of the hardest things to do, as most of the dogs we see are either too low on legs and long in body (termed the ‘Squatty Frogs’), or too high-stationed, too short in body and too light in bones (termed the ‘French Terriers’). Whether a dog is truly square or rect- angular depends what point to point the measurement is taken from. A dog with more for chest and rear angles can appear ‘longer,’ than say the same dog with no fore chest, and a straight rear. The standard says, “Distance from withers to ground in good relation to distance from withers to onset of tail.” It tells me the dog should not be an exact square. Having said that, I would err on the side of a shorter-bodied dog, over a choo-choo train, pro- vided the dog could move freely without side-winding or crabbing. Remember, proportion is key in a Frenchie, as anything outside the desired balance spoils the outline. JD: The standard also says, “The body is short and well rounded. The chest is broad, deep, and full; well ribbed with the belly tucked up.” I think this perfectly explains exactly the type of balance and proportion required. “Slightly longer than tall” is just as incorrect as Terrier- like type. Neither are part of are standard and are completely undesirable. AK: When I started to study this breed to apply to judge them, my mentor was one who felt the breed should be 15% longer than tall to allow for the roached topline and the pear shape to be present. I still go by that rule of thumb if at all possible with whatever exhibits are in the ring to be judged. MMartin: My ideal Frenchie is slightly longer than tall. MMiller: As stated, since the standard does not call for either type of dog, I look for a balanced dog that moves well. DM: It is ideal if you can get a square dog with the proper outline. Most of the dogs with the proper outlines tend to

be just off square. When they are too short backed it does not allow for the correct outline. VR: I judge to the standard that says all points should be well distributed and in good relation. The dog should appear well balanced and in good proportion. In addi- tion, for calling for a dog to be compact it mentions that the front legs should be short and the back legs longer to elevate the loins above the shoulder. This is another tip to what is the ideal proportion. L&PS: Again, I reference my earlier comment that the Stan- dard was written for “dog people.” When this section of the standard was written in the late 19th century, the Frenchie proportions resembled more of a Staffy Terrier type of dog than what the breed looks like today. If you have an overly short (square) dog there is no room for the pear shape, or the roach topline. Although not described in the standard, I believe that most well proportioned Frenchies are between 10% to 15% longer than tall. The standard does call for the “Distance from the withers to ground in good relation to distance from the withers to onset of tail so that the animal appears compact, well bal- anced and in good proportion.” So even if this distance from the withers to the onset of tail were equal to the height at the withers, we would have a slightly longer than tall dog. I feel the most poorly written part of our standard is the phrase: “Forelegs are short…” how short and in comparison to what? In comparison to the hind legs (to elevate the loin above the shoulder) and give the correct roach topline; which the next paragraph clari- fies. Lack of understanding of this relationship by both breeders and judges results in short legged, flat backed caterpillars, too often seen in the ring. RS: I see an acceptable range, but find more dogs that are too long than ones that are too short. However, both extremes exist! 11. Anything else you’d like to add? DB: Please judge the whole dog in its entirety, and do not get hung up on one or two features at the expense of considering the whole picture. Don’t be overly critical of the topline, as there is truly so much more to Frenchies than its topline! Remember the bat ears, remember the silhouette, remember it is a moderate breed with bone and substance, and remember the function of the breed is merely to be a lap and companion dog. Also always remember that as judges or breeders, we are evaluat- ing breeding stocks, not awarding the best trained or handled circus dogs. Too much emphasis has been put on performance and showmanship when more should

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