Showsight Presents the French Bulldog

WITH LUIS & PATTY SOSA, R

OBIN STANSELL & VIRGINA

ROWLAND

5. Any trends you are seeing which you’d like stopped? People breeding the “fad” colors or other “fads” against the standard. They are breeding blues, sables, black and tans and long coats because they sell for more money than non-disqualifying colors or coats. The “pet” popula- tion does not really care, they just want an exotic looking dog. After all, if it’s expensive, it must be good! The FBDCA recently voted for a standard change to dis- qualify additional colors and patterns such merles, long coat (woolies) and dogs with blue or green eyes or traces thereof (which to me is an obvious reference to merles and other FAD colors.) The standard previously and still disqualifies black, black and white, (black means without a trace of brindle), liver, mouse (blue) and black and tan. The revised standard augments these with DQs for eye color and reinforces the “nose other than black except in the case of lighter colored dogs” DQ by defining lighter colored dogs as “creams and fawns (without black masks).” In the past, the standard did not define a lighter colored dog, so many felt that a white and brindle pied would qualify as a “lighter colored dog” because of the white. Pied is a pattern, and not a color, so it was still a brindle dog with a pied pattern thus needing a black nose to avoid the DQ. Disqualifications for weight and ears are still applicable. 8. Any particular challenges breeders face in our cur- rent economic/social climate? As a small breed with a robust pet market, Frenchies have not been as affected to the degree that larger breeds have been. With an overall decrease in show entries, Frenchies have kept—and even increased—their numbers in some areas. Although we were traditionally an owner-handled breed we currently have a number of well financed dogs being shown across the country. This may be seen as putting a small breeder at a disadvantage. We maintain a breeding kennel with a fair number of dogs. We have a “closed” breeding program in that we seldom breed to dogs of other lines. You can see five to six generations of dogs in our kennel. Few breeders can claim to that and many unfortunately just cannot afford it.

9. What makes your breed the ideal companion in these 21st-century times? They are small, comical, low maintenance and good apartment dogs. They lie on the couch and watch TV, often with flatulence; traits some of us are accused of! 10. The enormous growth in popularity in Frenchies has made for huge entries and a vast pet market. How has that affected the breed in a positive way? In a negative way? The ability to sell pets frees up breeders to continue their quest to breed better Frenchies. Everytime a breed becomes popular, the quality of the dogs tends to go down. Numbers may go up, but not with quality. Unfor- tunately, since you can finish almost anything these days, many exhibitors have no incentive to breed a better dog because they can finish what they have. In a negative way, the high prices charged for fad color Frenchies has increased the number of people breeding unacceptable colors for the pet market. When these new owners show up at shows with their expensive AKC registered new puppy, they are disappointed when told that they can’t show their puppy at AKC shows. This person is probably lost to the show world. We try to explain to prospective pet owners why we don’t breed fad colors, but are often at a disadvantage against the color breeders who excel at promoting their dogs. 11. Do you feel the average judge understands the dif- ference in toplines between the Frenchie and, say, the Boston? This would at least explain why we see so many Frenchies with Boston toplines and Bostons with Frenchie toplines rewarded in the ring. They know that “flat” in a Frenchie is wrong, but often cannot assess other differences in a correct topline. The Boston Stan- dard describes the topline as level with the rump curving slightly to the set-on of the tail. The Frenchie Standard Revision defines the Frenchie topline as a roach back with a slight fall close behind the shoulders, gradually rising to the loin which is higher than the shoulder and

“THEY ARE SMALL, COMICAL, LOW MAINTENANCE AND GOOD APARTMENT DOGS. THEY LIE ON THE COUCH AND WATCH TV, OFTEN WITH FLATULENCE; TRAITS SOME OF US ARE ACCUSED OF!”

S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M AY 2018 • 275

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