Showsight Presents the French Bulldog

“THE BAT EARS ARE A HALLMARK OF THE BREED, AND JUDGES SHOULD PAY PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO THEM.”

Pay attention to shrewd handlers that “create the illusion of topline” by pok- ing at their dogs to make them “hunch” on the stack, as well as dogs that tend to overstretch and flatten out their topline. We want no exaggeration in this breed, and this applies to topline as well. When you look at an exhibit, and if all you are drawn to is its topline, my guess would be it is an overdone incorrect topline, as “no feature being in such prominence from either excess,” and “all points are well distributed and bear good relation one to the other” meaning they should flow and fit harmoniously instead of an element standing out like a sore thumb. A correct topline is usually finished by a subtle and low tail (set). HEAD & EARS Much of the breed’s popular- ity is undoubtedly due to the wonderful Frenchie headpiece. Th e standard does call for a large and square head, but in my opinion, the emphasis should be on the square aspect. Too many dogs in the ring are exhibiting the huge round watermelon heads that are so incorrect. When it comes to heads, don’t be a “size queen”. Breed- ers will tell you that square heads should trump over huge round heads every time! Most of the overdone round heads often come with a huge backskull but lack in fill and width of muzzle, making them more like apple or wedge-shaped head that is heavy on top, and often, wider-spaced ears due to the rounder skull. Kindly look at the head in profile as well for the correct upturn of underjaw, and muzzle layback which are so desired by Frenchie fanciers. Also, pay attention to the desired wide inverted “u” underjaw. Th is feature ensures the desired width to the underjaw. When you look at the Frenchie head, it should appear SQUARE with correct ear carriage, heavy wrinkles forming a soft roll over the extremely

short nose, good cushioning, luscious width of muzzle and flat between the ears. You may find dogs that are nosey (long or low set noses), down-faced as those without upsweep and layback, and ones lacking the proper roping of the beauti- ful overnose wrinkle and fill that finish the face. Eyes should be healthy, round, dark, and expressive to conform to their alert, curious and interested nature. Bug- gy or bulging eyes that show eye whites or white haws are unattractive and incor- rect. Th ey totally spoil the breed’s desired intelligent expression. Judges should note that it is common to see slight white haws in the pied dogs.

Th e bat ears are a hallmark of the breed, and judges should pay particular atten- tion to them. Not only should they be set correctly at 11 and 1 o’clock, they should be the quintessential bat ears of correct shape and size. Remember that anything other than bar ears is a disqualification, and how many judges have actually DQ’d a dog based on incorrect ears? Ears that are set too wide apart (10 and 2) are just as wrong as those that are set too close and vertically parallel. Ears should be broad at the base, elongated, and round top. Th ese days, far too many ears are sharp-tipped, small and triangular like the Teddy Bear ear. On the other hand, we also do not

A proper SQUARE head with correct bat ears set at 11 and 1 displaying the alert, curious and interested expression. Well- cushioned with tremendous width of muzzle and the desired inverted "U" finish and upsweep of underjaw.

224 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A PRIL 2015

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