Showsight Presents the French Bulldog

“BEAUTY AND HEALTH GO HAND IN HAND WITH FORM AND FUNCTION.”

slightly inside of the lines of the straight tracking front. While the larger breeds’ fast-paced, open side-gait with excessive reach and drive is flashy, and seems to seduce many judges, one should always remember the purpose and function of the French Bulldogs. Th ey are bred to be Man’s loyal and clown-like com- panions—so moderation is key even in movement when it comes to Frenchies. JUDGING Another area the Standard does not address is faults, so it is understandable why some judges find this breed a quan- dary. Judges need to learn the breed com- petently, and not just award dogs based on performance and flash. Find and reward dogs that conform as closely as possible to what the Standard specifies. Th is includes calling for the scale if there are questions about the dog’s weight and not guessing at the weight, as over 28 lbs. is a qualifica- tion, and there are big dogs around. Having judged and watched Frenchies in many countries around the world, I am proud to say the best American French Bulldogs can hold their own anywhere. Since the Frenchie is still an evolving breed in the US, judges will note that homogeneousness is not often found in a large entry. To me, the following are areas needing more focus by judges: • Finding entries with proper rear angulation • Finding entries with correct bone and substance • Understanding and rewarding the correct topline • Finding square heads with correct layback, wide underjaw with upturn

While most judges try their best to adjudicate, it is not uncommon to see an average specimen that displays flashy showmanship being rewarded, while a less seasoned but more typey dog is over- looked. If the fundamental purpose of dog shows is indeed to evaluate breeding stock, then as judges, we should always walk into the ring armed with the in- depth knowledge of the breed the breed- ers deserve, and judge dogs according to the priorities of the characteristics that define the individual breed. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Diane Burvee is Diane became the very first breeder in the world to have successfully bred a dual-sire French Bulldog litter of three champions, utilizing imported frozen semen from two dif ferent countries. Breeding on a very lim- ited basis, Ms Burvee has bred/owned over 50 Champions in French Bulldogs, Peking- ese, and Afghans combined, plus a top-win- ning Toy Poodle and Brussels Grif fon. She has owned, handled and bred some of the current top-winning French Bulldogs, and is the owner/handler of the reigning French Bulldog National BISS winner. Diane Bur- vee will be judging the FBDCA French Bull- dog Specialty at Santa Barbara, and the Norwegian French Bulldog Club national specialty later this year. licensed by the AKC to judge French Bulldogs, Pekingese, Afghans and Poodles. She has judged specialties and all- breeds shows in Asia- Pacific, Europe, Mexico, and United Kingdom.

A large and impressive but incorrect head commonly seen in the ring that fools many judges. Wide skull but narrower muzzle forming an ‘apple’ head, with ears that are set too far apart. It lacks fill under eyes, and a lippy finish of mouth without the desired upturn of underjaw.

desire extra ginormous and long ears that remind us of the Jack Rabbits’ either. Nose other than black is a disqualifica- tion. A lighter colored nose is acceptable in the lighter colored dogs, but the Stan- dard clearly states it is not desirable—a point both breeders and judges seem to forget! Speaking of nose, open nostrils are important, and dogs that cannot breathe well (i.e., can’t walk around the ring in moderate temperatures without that awful audible raspy struggle for breath) should not be rewarded. If the point of showing a dog is to make it a champion, which pre- sumably means it is worthy of being bred, then healthy breathing apparatus should be considered foremost. Beauty and health go hand in hand with form and function. MOVEMENT One area the Standard is not very clear on is movement. Dogs should be able to move soundly and freely with reach and drive while holding their topline on the move. In fact, the topline should be eval- uated while the dog is moving; not just when it is on the table. Th e front should be wider with a narrower rear action which means that the rear will track

FOR FRENCH BULLDOGS, REMEMBER THE 4 S’S:

1. SILHOUETTE (Outline, proportion and balance)

2. SUBSTANCE (Bone and muscles)

3. SHAPE (Square head, square front and pear-shaped body)

4. SIZE (Nothing over 28 lbs!)

S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A PRIL 2015 • 225

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