WITH LUIS & PATTY SOSA, R
OBIN STANSELL & VIRGINA
“IT IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO ME TO BREED HEALTHY FRENCH BULLDOGS THAT CONFORM TO THE BREED STANDARD. QUALITY NOT QUANTITY.”
3. Any trends you are seeing which you’d like stopped? I see many incorrect toplines. There is to be a roach with the rise being centered over the loin. The Topline should not be level nor should the rise be too extreme. The rear legs are to be longer than the front legs but the forelegs should not be so short as to cause a “running down hill” appearance. The “Bat Ears” are a hallmark of the breed. They must be the correct type, size and if set too wide they create a “Yoda” appearance suitable for the next Star Wars movie. 4. Any particular challenges breeders face in our cur- rent economic/social climate? One of the greatest threats breeders face is the animal rights attack on brachiocephalic breeds. They seem to have infiltrated government organizations and some veterinary schools with their funding. Unfortunately, many veterinarians only see the unhealthy dogs bred by unethical breeders and have little or no experience with healthy well-bred dogs. 5. What makes your breed the ideal companion in these 21st-century times? Their size, appearance, temperament and personality make them an attractive breed to nearly everyone. 6. 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? Popularity is a double-edged sword. The positives include more experience by veterinarians, more research dollars are spent for more popular breeds and responsible breed- ers have a market for their dogs. However, popularity brings higher prices and quickly attracts unscrupulous breeder that take advantage of the inexperienced buyers. 7. Do you feel the average judge understands the dif- ference in toplines between the Frenchie and, say, the Boston? These breed standards are quite clear in their wording. The judges’ obligation is to know, understand and to judge by these standards. 8. What advice would you give a newcomer to the sport? A newcomer to judging? The first “mentoring” a new exhibitor receives is the constant ringside complaining about favoritism, incompe- tence, crooked judging etc. Please understand that 99.9%
of Judges are doing their best to do a good job. Learn to look for the positives and ignore the negative comments. Becoming a judge is not the end goal. You should con- tinually strive to become better. Just as you were not the best driver possible when you received your drivers license, you are not the best possible judge when first approved by AKC.
I live in Templeton, Massachusetts. Most of my activities have some connection to dogs, I am also very active in legisla- tive issues affecting dogs as President of the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs, judge, volunteer for ABARS etc. 1. Your opinion of the current quality of purebred dogs in general, and your breed in particular. There are many top quality French Bulldogs—going to a dog show is a wonderful opportunity to see these French Bulldogs, but it is of particular concern that our breed is now #4 in AKC Registrations, and I am very concerned by the number of Frenchies that are being bred that are dq colors/patterns. French Bulldogs should not be merle— until recently that pattern never occurred in the breed; and they shouldn’t be liver, blue, black and tan and any other color or pattern that is not described as acceptable in the new breed standard. 2. The biggest concern you have about your breed, be it medical, structural, temperament-wise, or what? French Bulldogs should be healthy in all respects; that being said more breeders should do health clearances before they breed. 3. The biggest problem facing you as a breeder. It is really important to me to breed healthy French Bulldogs that conform to the breed standard. Quality not quantity.
4. Advice to a new breeder? Don’t rush into breeding. Make sure the dogs you
breed have health clearances and conform to the breed standard. Advice to a new judge of your breed? Do your homework, we have a new breed standard that will go into effect June 5, 2018. Look to the parent club breed website frenchbulldogclub.org as a resource on the breed.
280 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M AY 2018
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