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

great detail describing the correct topline. This descrip- tion of the Bulldog topline I feel is equally applicable to the Frenchie. RS: Again, this is a unique feature of the breed. As with all features there is an acceptable range with the midpoint being perfection 5. Do you feel there is a color preference, and if so, which colors and why? DB: I have most certainly found there to be more depth of quality in the brindles (the primary staple color) than any other allowed colors. You can call me a brindle fan, but I have a soft spot for a double-hooded, crystal clear pied, and a glorious rich black-masked fawn as well. While the purist in me doesn’t really care for the creams and fawns, as they are dilutes and generally lack proper pigment. Having said that, all allowed colors should be judged equally, as long as they have the correct corresponding pigmentation. Certain colors are definitely favored in different parts of the world. The popular American self- masked fawns and creams, for instance, are not usually seen in Europe, as the FCI Standard calls for black nose, eye-rim, lips and so forth. The American Standard states, “in the case of the lighter colored dogs, a lighter colored nose is acceptable but NOT DESIRABLE.” As a judge, I have used all colors for top awards, but as a breeder, I conscientiously choose not to breed any dilutes, as it is my staunch belief that most dilutes come armed with a compromised immune system, plus I prefer the luxuri- ous jet-black points, over the self or lighted nose that can look washed-out, and sometimes take away from the smart, alert and inquisitive expression. JD: I do not have a color preference within the accepted colors of the standard. I will take type and quality in any color. At times it seems like one color, say brindle, may be more popular than another, for example fawn or cream for a period of time and then it will switch. It is, however, usually more difficult for some colors like pied or black masked fawn to win at top level because in general it is more difficult to find quality in these colors. AK: As far as I am concerned there is no color preference within the stated acceptable colors in the breed standard. MMartin: No. MMiller: No, I do not notice a color preference and to me color should not take precedence over a quality dog. DM: As judges we should not have a color preference. Many breeders and exhibitors do prefer certain colors. I do think that certain characteristics are more prevalent in certain colors. For example, I see more paddling in Brindles than other colors; pied shows more white in the eye than other colors, etc. VR: There are a lot of color DQs in our breed standard and we hope all judges understand these as there are now many breeders of these so-called rare colors; those colors

JD: The topline is very important both standing and on the move as it defines the silhouette of the French Bulldog. I find that when mentoring judges, too many do not under- stand the correct placement and degree of the roach, or rise, over the loin, which is interesting because silhou- ette is so important and easy to see in this breed. AK: Topline is part of a breed’s outline and/or silhouette. I am an outline judge—in my mind, each breed has a correct breed outline. A dog of whatever breed must fit within my outline! For example, a Frenchie with a level topline, and/or cobby body, does not fit within the breed’s correct outline in my mind. MMartin: We are seeing more and more incorrect, flat toplines and I try not to reward them. However, some- times when judging the total dog, I might put up a flatter topline than I prefer if the headpiece and other parts of the dog are really good. However, having the correct outline is very important in every breed. MMiller: This is another integral part of this breed. The standard calls specifically for a roach back with a slight fall close behind the shoulders. DM: In judging any breed the outline is so important in determining breed type. This includes topline, underline, balance and proportion. The topline is a distinguishing feature of the breed. A perfect topline is one of the hard- est features to breed. Many have good toplines, but very few have perfect toplines. VR: The topline is another hallmark of the breed. It is very important that, in silhouette, they have a roach back—in other words, a slight arch over the loin; and the tail set should be low. L&PS: It’s quite simple: no topline, no Frenchie. The topline is one of the defining characteristics of the breed. It defines the outline, but is also one of the most difficult characteristics of the Frenchie to breed. This difficulty and the fact that our standard is not very specific “a roach back with a slight fall close behind the shoulders” is probably the reason we find such a plethora of differ- ing toplines in the ring. The Bulldog standard goes into “as Judges we SHOULD NOT HAVE A COLOR PREFERENCE.”

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