Showsight Presents the French Bulldog

“A QDQDOog\,oIWeQXseZKeQ,ȪQGsomeoQe not grasping our toplines is the following... ‘HOW WOULD YOU FEEL ABOUT A FLAT BACKED BEDLINGTON TERRIER?’ TheOLgKWEXOEmomeQWLsWKeQDSSDreQW.Į

Head —Bat ears. Nothing out of bal- ance, square head, good upturn, dark eye. Expression. Movement —When you have a specific body shape, broad front with heavy bone, not too tall not too short, we are not a Bull- dog or a Boston Terrier. Our shape will dic- tate how we move: four tracking, free and vigorous, with reach and drive. As breeders and judges we face chal- lenges that we must work with and around. We must be proactive to promote and pro- tect our beloved breeds that we hold close to our hearts. Each of us holds separate abilities in both breeding and judging. One thing we must not forget is we are all teachers and students, as we never stop learning and we need to always reach out and educate. I remember before I started to judge I asked Mrs. Anne Rogers Clark for some words of wisdom that I could use in my new venture. She said to me “Don’t leave your common sense at home.” Words I hold close and realize, that they are interchangeable with judging, exhibiting and breeding.

a slow process and keeping that in mind of where do we cut our losses, or do we decide to breed with our hearts or our heads. It is a dangerous distinction to hold. We hold judge’s decisions on such a high and now very public stand that Social Media has accelerated both praise and criti- cism on that final point or nod. We are too fast to criticize especially not knowing or understanding what compromises ones pri- orities a judge may have made. We would think that with a Standard it would be easy, but not always. Stand in the shoes of a judge for a day and I think you might have a new respect for the quick and thorough deci- sions one must make, especially when it is not a breed they have possibly spent each waking minute with over many years. That is what a breeder judge and exhibitor brings to the table, or so I would hope. I stand in all three places, I am in the whelping box, in the ring as an exhibitor and as a judge. We pick the best of what we have each time! In the whelping box I choose what I hope to be the best dog to represent my breed, I will then show what I consider

to be the best dog for the day and as a judge I hope to pick the best dog on the day that will be exhibited to me. In all three situations we are faced with compromises, choices and challenges. Without type what do we have? Type is truly the soul; no type, no soul. When a breed is as popular as the French Bulldog you see quality and type to be very varying so our job as a judge can become compli- cated and filled with compromises. Remember these three things and you will succeed. Silhouette —outline. Ours is very unique and specific. Remember, on a fence in the moonlight, what do you see? You can see it all here. Topline, head in profile, but most important, balance. An analogy I often use when I find someone not grasp- ing our top lines is the following “How would you feel about a flat backed Bedling- ton Terrier? The light bulb moment is then apparent. Of course we are not close to the extremes of a Bedlingtons topline, but it is a visual to help understand the importance of the correct outline. No topline, no Frenchie !

S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J UNE 2019 • 283

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