wiTh diane Burvee, James dalTon, anne KaTona, molly marTin, mary miller, desi murphy, virginia rowland, luis and paTTy sosa & roBin sTansell
based on the shape of its ears, and rightfully so. We are seeing plenty of ears that are too small, too sharp-tipped and without correct set/shape. The desirable bat-ear should be broad, tall, open and a round scalloped shape on top with a velvety finish. The Danish dogs have, unequivocally, the best ears. JD: It is very important to me as the correct ear size and shape is a hallmark of the breed and really completes the head and expression. Today we are seeing too many small, pointed, low set ears in the breed ring which gives the dog a sad, incorrect expression like someone just hit it on the head with a frying pan! AK: In my opinion, the Frenchie ear is unique; therefore, it is important in identifying the breed. For me, the bat ear is a breed characteristic—it is a DQ for any ear other than a bat ear! Does that not make it important? According to the breed standard, “the bat ear is broad at the base, elongated, with round top (tip), set high on the head but not too close together and carried with orifice toward the front.” I love Luis Sosa’s description of ear placement, “Set high on the head at approximately 11 and 1 o’clock.” How can a judge forget that description? MMartin: The ear shape is a hallmark of the breed, so the bat ear must be there. A low ear set throws off the whole look of the head. MMiller: The bat ears are one of the hallmarks of this breed—it is of extreme importance they be set properly on the head with correct shape and size. DM: The ears are a distinguishing characteristic of the breed. When the Standard had a point scale, eight of the points were for ears (two points more than any other feature). The Standard does not address the size of the ear, but it is universally agreed they are to be large. You cannot have the proper expression with a small ear. The shape call for a bat ear and other than being bat shaped, it is a disqualification. The set is high on the head, but not too close together. When alert it is generally agreed that they should be held at 11 and 1 o’clock. VR: The bat ears are a hallmark of the breed. They are very important. Everything about the French Bulldog should be in proportion so the ears should not look too big or too small when compared to the head. The ideal set should be 11 and 1. Expression and ear set should be evaluated on the ground. I never evaluate the set of the ears or their expression when the dog is on the table. On the table it is amazing what some dogs do with their ears. If a French Bulldog doesn’t have bat ears, they must be disqualified, and the dog should also be disqualified
if they are missing a piece of the ear of what otherwise would be described as a bat ear. L&PS: For me, the ear is important mostly to the effect that it needs to be a bat ear as anything else disquali- fies. I look for an erect ear that is broad at the base and rounded at the top, set high on the head but not too close together. I’m not overly picky as to how “rounded” at the top or how “large” as long as it is in balance with the dog. I’m more particular about the set, remembering that the ears should not point straight up, but rather be slightly out at 11 and 1 on the clock. Do not evaluate ears on the table. Frenchies have very expressive ears that will move all over. Don’t be fooled by ears that are always tight and straight up. It may look good on the table, but it can also take your eye away from head and topline faults. We would much rather have a smaller ear, than an overly large donkey-like ear. Different lines have slightly differ- ent ear sizes and shapes as well as European dogs have different ear shapes from the American dogs. Don’t get hung up on ears, we have much bigger problems in the breed. RS: Ears are a hallmark of the breed. Correct size and shape are critical to type. 4. How important is the topline in your evaluation of the dog. DB: Topline is important, as it is part of the essential silhou- ette that makes a Frenchie a Frenchie. But in my humble opinion, there is an excessive obsession with topline here in America—to the extent of overlooking the rest of the dog. I also don’t agree with how ‘roach back’ is used to describe the Frenchie’s topline, as it should just be a slight rise starting from behind the withers to a high- est point above the loin (not in the middle of the back), and a gradual fall to a low-set tail. I simply detest camel backs (that we are starting to see even in some of our specials). When one thinks of a correct topline in French Bulldogs, a very gentle slight curve should come to mind, with gentle and slight being the key words. Believe it or not, a flat topline is better than any incorrect toplines, as an exaggerated topline is not only incorrect, but can also harbor plenty of spinal anomalies. My best advice to my fellow breeders and judges is to evaluate the whole dog, and not get hung up on topline alone. Remember you should DQ a Frenchie if it does not have the proper bat ear, but you cannot DQ a Frenchie if it does not have the correct topline! So that said, where do you think you ought to be putting the emphasis?
“The BaT ears are a HALLMARK OF THE BREED.”
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