standard mention harlequin French Bulldogs or green or blue eyes. Despite how the akc.org website currently reads, the two most distinctive features of the French Bulldog are the bat ears and the silhouette of the dog in profile. JUDGING THE FRENCH BULLDOG Th e characteristic head profile/lay- back of muzzle, bat ears, extremely short nose; arched neck, the compact (refer- ring to the loin) body with the character- istic roach back/moderate arch over the loin and straight or screwed tail hung low in repose; hind legs longer that the short front legs to elevate the loins about the shoulders, for both front and back feet the toes are supposed to be compact with short stubby nails, the slightly lon- ger hind feet that are hard to detect when compared to the front feet. Th e standard does not say the dog is supposed to be square, o ff square, 15% longer that tall, long. Th e reference to short stubby nails is the only mention of a possible groom- ing requirement in the standard. Some people clip/scissor the hair in the ears and around the tail. Putting Vaseline® on the dog’s nose to soften it is fine too. Using a chemical to make a nose black is not fine but there is no way to prove a nose color doesn’t occur in nature unless the dye comes o ff on a tissue. For judges of the breed we recom- mend first evaluating the dog in profile remembering that the standard requires that everything be in proportion—all points so well distributed that the dog does not look poorly proportioned. If the dog does not have bat ears he should be disqualified. Judges are not supposed to be veterinarians so interpreting the DQ for mutilation could mean a dog that has a piece of ear missing/drop ear; a dog that is obviously blind or has ulcer or some other eye deformity; judges are not supposed to have the expertise to determine if the dog has other mutila- tions such as entropion surgery, throat, nose or mouth surgery. If there is any question about the dog’s weight, this would be the time to call for the scale to allow the superintendent/show sec- retary time to get the scale to the ring. Weight DQ is important, the only way to correctly figure out the weight is by calling for the scale. If there is any
question on how that is done, once a judge calls for the scale, the AKC rep will also be called to the ring to assist with the procedure. Unfortunately AKC doesn’t have requirements on scales. Of course there must be a weight to cali- brate the scale. Th at being said, some of the scales that superintendents have at shows are literally bathroom scales. Th e dog should have the option to stand or sit on the scale, with or without his collar on and some of these scales are so tiny the only option for a (large) French Bulldog to try to get comfortable is to sit and its impossible for a lot of big French Bulldogs to stand on these small scales. Approaching the dog from the front, the judge should be sure to remember the standard calls for heavy bone. Looking at the legs/front there should be a square. Th e standard allows for dogs of small or medium size. As long as the dog does not weigh over 28 pounds, there should not be a concern with a bitch being larg- er than a male. As long as the dog does not have a color DQ, color should not be considered in the determination of which French Bulldog is placed first/BOB. MOVEMENT Th e French Bulldog standard has nev- er assigned a lot of importance in terms of points to movement (when a descrip- tion of movement was added to the breed standard, the 1991 standard revision eliminated the point scale). Th at being said, a French Bulldog should be able to move with reach and drive; he should not look sickle hocked. Listening to the dog as he moves, there should be no sound of breathing/palate issue. Th eir pear shape body means that coming and going the rear legs would move closer than the front. Th ere should be no sign of patella issues which are a problem in the breed. Moving in silhouette is the best place to evaluate the dog’s profile—does the dog have a roach back or did an expert exhibitor create a roach when the dog was set up on the table. To truly evaluate the dogs expression, ear carriage, that is to be done not when the dog is set up on
“FOR JUDGES OF THE BREED WE RECOMMEND FIRST EVALUATING THE DOG IN PROFILE REMEMBERING THAT THE STANDARD REQUIRES THAT EVERYTHING BE IN PROPORTION...”
the table but on the ground. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Virginia Rowland is President of the French Bull Dog Club of America and Chair of their Judges Education Committee.
S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A PRIL 2015 • 219
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