Showsight Presents the French Bulldog

FRENCH BULLDOG:

BY GUS SINIBALDI YOU’RE GONNA BE POPULAR!

P icture Westminster 1896, the first year that the French Bulldog was exhib- ited at this show. The breed was such a hit that it was featured on the cover of the Westminster catalog the following year. At this debut show, French Bull- dogs with both bat ears and rose ears were shown. The judge from England only awarded dogs with rose ears as those were the preference in Europe at the time. The American exhibitors were infuriated and, shortly thereafter, formed the French Bull Dog Club of America which resulted in the original standard with bat ears as the only permissible ear. In my opinion, if the club was formed as a result of the shape and carriage of an ear then it is reasonable to assume that this is a very important hallmark of the French Bulldog breed. This article will go deeper into the hallmarks of this spe- cial breed, but first it is necessary to understand why this breed has become the AKC’s fourth most popular breed. The French Bulldog, or “Frenchie” as they are affectionally called, is an active, intel- ligent, muscular dog of heavy bone and smooth coat. [The breed is] compactly built, meaning closely and neatly packed together or dense and of medium or small struc- ture. Simply put, this is a big dog in a medium-to-small, compact body. The charm of Frenchies lies in their temperament, which can range from a total clown and goofball to stubborn and headstrong. The antics of this breed can have owners laughing all day or feeling frustrated due to their mischievous pranks and misdeeds, topped off with daily doses of “zoomies.” Then when you least expect it, they become loving snoozing lapdogs that will melt the heart of even the most cold-hearted person. Once you have been smitten and fallen in love with one, having a Frenchie is like eating potato chips... you can’t have just one! Now, let’s factor in the hallmarks of the breed. The French Bulldog has a square head. It is not just square; it is large and square. When looking at the head you can see a square created by the top of the skull, which is flat, down to the muscles of the cheeks, which are well-developed, to a broad muzzle that finishes with an underjaw that is deep, square (here we go again with square), broad (just mentioned that twice), undershot, and well turned up. It is important to note that undershot and well turned up are not synonymous with a reverse scissors bite. Wry mouths and any bites other than under- shot are serious faults. When exhibitors show judges the bite, it is essential that judges see a bite that is correct for the breed. While we continue to talk about the head, we cannot ignore those ears. As previ- ously stated, the ears are important and are what got the French Bulldog’s American story started. Bat ears are broad at the base, elongated, with round top, set high on the head but not too close together, and carried erect with the orifice to the front. Elongated generally suggests that something is unusually long in relation to the width. Please look for those beautiful ears when the dog is alert and on the ground. Can the ears be too big? Sure, balance is important. However, the bigger problem is small ears that some refer to as teddy bear ears or dorito chips. The ears must be large enough to balance the large square head described earlier.

178 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, AUGUST 2020

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