French Bulldog Champion Barkston Atom

Vintage French Bulldogs – Old Fashioned is Still in Style

Click to view film on British Pathe website

I found this gem in the British Pathe film library – it’s footage of the Richmond, UK dog show, and shows several breeds, including a French Bulldog named “Champion Baxter’s Atom”, owned by one of England’s most renowned, French Bulldog breeders,  Mrs. Townsend Green.

Mrs Townsend Green was one of the most respected Frenchie authorities in the UK. She was one of the nine founding members of the French Bulldog Club of England (FBCE). Her Roquet 96 (by Boule ex Boulette) won the first French Bulldog show in England, held on April 7, 1903 at Tattersall’s in London. Mrs Townsend Green’s renowned Barkston kennel was founded in 1897, had a great influence on Frenchie breeding in England in the 1920s and ’30s and continued until 1940. The good lady was president of the FBCE from 1926 to 1944 and died in 1951.

– Bonham’s Auction House

Atom, the dog shown in the Pathe film clip, is a solid, cobby,moderate backed little dark brindle bitch, with a reasonable amount of stop and nicely rounded ears (although for today’s taste they seem a little bit low set – partially a result of having a film camera shoved into her face, perhaps!).

In contrast with many other breeds, this bitch would still be ‘in the ribbons’ if she was shown in most countries around the world, and she’d certainly earn a place in most breeding programs. This is because, for the most part, French Bulldog breeders have held out against being persuaded that overly exaggerated features are necessary to win in the show ring (and to sell puppies to pet owners, many of whom are just as guilty of desiring extreme features as the most inept judges could ever be).

Moderation is a difficult thing to achieve – it’s easy to pick out the BIGGEST dog, or the FLATTEST face, or the SHORTEST back, because extremes ‘stand out’ and draw our eye. Moderation, that underrated virtue, can seem to ‘blend’ into the background, unless we can learn to value and recognize it. Remember, just because something is difficult, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth striving for.

As modern breeders, we have to ask ourselves – “Do we want to be the generation responsible for screwing up the French Bulldog?”.

Do we want to allow ourselves to be swayed for a desire for ‘extremes’ instead of the moderate, healthy, sound dogs that have survived virtually unchanged for over a hundred years? Let’s hope not – or a hundred years from now, there might not even be a French Bulldog, other than in film clips.  This is why it is SO important to fight back against breed clubs that attempt to impose arbitrary, cosmetic and potentially dramatically detrimental changes to breed standards that have stood the test of time.

Image below is of the trophy won by Mrs. Townsend Green’s French Bulldog  ‘Barkston FanFan’, awarded by French Bulldog Club of England for the Best Dog exhibited at their show June 19 1922

presented by the French Bulldog Club of England for the Best Dog exhibited at their show June 19 1922 won by Mrs Townsend Green's 'Barkston FanFan'

presented by the French Bulldog Club of England for the Best Dog exhibited at their show June 19 1922 won by Mrs Townsend Green’s ‘Barkston FanFan’


Say “NO” to a Revised Canadian French Bulldog Standard

This was originally posted in November, 2011. I’m reposting it so that people can see what the proposed (passed? sort of) changes to the Canadian French Bulldog breed standard consist of, and why so many of us vehemently and vociferously object to them. Bear in mind that these changes will affect EVERY breeder in Canada, and everyone in Canada who loves French Bulldogs and chooses to add one to their lives as a pet, a show prospect or a performance sport dog.

Oh, a note about the petition link – we garnered 375 signatures in total, and those 375 signatures include most of the top breeders in Canada, along with some of the top breeders in the world. Veterinarians, geneticists and presidents of French Bulldog breed clubs from around the world signed. Pet owners, obedience competitors, pet owners from across Canada – all signed.

And what good did it do? NOTHING. No one on the board of the Canadian club gave ANY weight to the signatures, or the opinions, of anyone else, even though THEIR decisions affected all of us. The Canadian Kennel Club politely acknowledged receipt, and then informed us that they ‘don’t like to get involved in club matters’.

This is why the revelation that the VOTE itself to change the standard may have been .. well, what term do we use? Held incorrectly? Wrongly tabulated? Faked? Whatever, this is why it’s all so incredibly disappointing and upsetting, and why we MUST see justice done.

related link: An Open Letter to the French Bulldog Fanciers of Canada

Canadian French Bulldog enthusiasts have been stunned by the recent move by the French Bulldog Fanciers of Canada (the Canadian Kennel Club parent club for the breed in Canada) to overhaul our current breed standard.

In almost every case that we are familiar with, a breed standard is changed in small, carefully considered increments – a single sentence change to a standard can take well over a year to finally come up for vote. This sounds unconscionably slow, to some people, but it is actually the correct way for such changes to be done. A single sentence can change the entire look of a breed, and create changes that can alter the appearance and structure of a breed for all future generations.

The French Bulldog Fanciers of Canada have pushed through not a single sentence change, nor even a single paragraph change, but rather twelve changes to the breed standard – changes which will, inevitably, result in an entirely different French Bulldog than the one we currently know today.

We are not personally aware of another single instance, in any breed, where so many broadly sweeping changes have been proposed for a breed standard. It is a monumental change, and worst of all, it is fundamentally flawed in numerous cases.

Most disturbingly, one change in particular could result in a skyrocketing instance of color linked deafness within our breed. At a time when other breeds are working within the confines of their breed standards to improve the health of their dogs, the French Bulldog Fanciers of Canada, through either ignorance of the genetics behind deafness, or a willingness to prioritize aesthetics over health, have made a change that could result in dramatically increased possibilities of deafness within our breed.

Dr. George Strain is the Professor and Interim Head of Comparative Biomedical Sciences at Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, and is considered to one of the world’s leading researchers into Canine Deafness. Here is his comment to me on the link between pigment and deafness in French Bulldogs –

I am confident is saying that deafness in Frenchies is probably greatest in those dogs that are nearly all white. The real issue is how strongly the piebald gene acts in a given dog. If it acts strongly there will be reduced pigmentation/increased white, blue irises, and deafness.

Morally, this is simply unacceptable. We are custodians of our breed, not just for today, but for posterity. Allowing a change which can have such sweeping consequences for all future generations of French Bulldogs is beyond the boundaries of what any of us should ever allow, let alone enthusiastically encourage.

Another disturbing change is the new emphasis on the word ‘powerful’ throughout the standard – this, combined with a removal of the upper weight limit, a newly added penalization of dogs weighing less than 9 kg (19.8 pounds), and the removal of the word ‘short’ to describe the body conjures the image of a completely different dog than the one we currently know today – a larger, longer, heavier, more aggressively built dog.

Is this the image that we want for this most ‘charming’ of companion breeds? Is this the image that you, as a fancier, envision when you think of a French Bulldog?

Shockingly, even with these objections being raised by Frenchie owners and breeders from across Canada, many with decades of experience in the breed, the French Bulldog Fanciers of Canada still voted to pass their proposed changes. This move, by a minority of Canadian French Bulldog breeders, will affect every single Canadian French Bulldog breeder, exhibitor, owner and enthusiast.

These changes will also affect French Bulldog breeders and enthusiasts from the USA who have traveled to Canada to show and exhibit their dogs, and who have incorporated Canadian bred French Bulldogs into their breeding programs.

Will the new, altered version of the standard make American bred French Bulldogs noncompetitive in the Canadian ring?

Will American French Bulldog breeders still want to use Canadian bloodlines in their breeding programs, if our entire breed alters so drastically from the US standard for French Bulldogs?

We ask you to join with us to make our objections to these changes known to the Canadian Kennel Club, so that the CKC can evaluate the feelings and concerns of ALL Canadian Frenchie fanciers before they approve these proposed changes. Please don’t allow a few people to speak for our entire breed.

If you are an owner, breeder or simply an enthusiast of French Bulldogs, please click here to sign our petition

link: Objections to the Revised Standard

link: Proposed and Passed CKC Breed Standard Changes

Below the cut, you will find the ENTIRE proposed changes, with annotations, along with links to word document format files outlining the changes, and our draft of our objections to the changes.

This letter of objection is endorsed by the French Bulldog Club of Western Canada, and the Eastern Canada French Bulldog Club (pending CKC recognition). PLEASE share this post, and ask your friends to sign the petitions. We appreciate your support, on behalf of Frenchies, and the people who love them.


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A Guide to Canadian Dog Shows for Americans

We love having American guests at our specialty shows and boosters, but I know that sometimes the whole show points/dog show entry thing can be a bit confusing. Since we have more events coming up soon, including our annual November Booster at Caledon, I thought it might help if I put together a quick guide to Canadian dog shows.

By the way, here’s all the details you need for the upcoming November show:
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French Bulldogs in the Thousand Islands

Dexter at the Eastern Canada French Club Booster in Orangeville


Can you think of a better way to spend a summer weekend than surrounded by hundreds of French Bulldogs? Of course you can’t, which is why you should be making plans to attend the Eastern Canada French Bulldog Club Specialty Booster in Brockville, Ontario. Brockville is convenient to the Western New York State border crossing, and is located in one of Canada’s most scenic tourist areas, the beautiful Thousand Islands Region of Ontario.

The ECFBC  Booster takes place on Sunday, August 19th, and our judge is R. Denis. We will be awarding prizes for:

Best of Breed
Best of Opposite
Best Veteran
Best Puppy
Best of Winners
Winners Dog
Winners Bitch
Highest Scoring French Bulldog in Obedience and Rally
And a prize for all class winners

Please consider donating a trophy!

This isn’t just about a single show, either – on one weekend, in a single location, you’ll be able to take part in:

The ECFBC French Bulldog Regional Booster
The French Bulldog National Specialty – Saturday, August 18th, judge Everett Mincey
Group Six Specialty
French Bulldog Booster
Three all breed conformation shows
Three all breed rally and three all breed obedience trials

These shows are held in Conjunction with the Thousand Islands Kennel and Obedience Club.

If you’ve never before entered a dog show in Canada, read this Guide to Canadian Dog Shows for Americans.

If you’re not a dog show person, there are still some great reasons to come out and attend the show.

You’ll get to see some of the best French Bulldogs in Canada, all in one ring, and you’ll get to speak to some of Canada’s best and most knowledgeable French Bulldog breeders. There will be French Bulldog themed shopping, including a booth to benefit Eastern Canada French Bulldog Rescue and Last Chance French Bulldog Rescue. There will be raffles and benefits, parties and fun, and all among a group of people who won’t find it odd at all that you’ve come all the way to Brockville just to hang around a bunch of Frenchie people.

 Accommodations (those around the show site are filling up fast – make your reservation soon! )

Comfort Inn Brockville – 613-345-0042 (request block with Thousand Islands Kennel Club)
Travel Lodge Brockville – 1-800-457-9419
St. Lawrence College Residence – 613-345-0452 (opposite the show site)


Campgrounds (most of these are within 30 minutes of the show site)

Ivy Lea KOA Kampground
Thousand Islands Pkwy, Lansdowne, ON K0E 1L0, Canada
+1 613-659-2817 ‎ ·

1000 Islands Camping Resort
382 1000 Islands Parkway, Lansdowne, ON K0E 1L0, Canada
+1 613-659-3058 ‎ ·

The Rockport Lighthouse Inc
900 1000 Islands Pkwy, Mallorytown, ON K0E 1R0, Canada
+1 613-923-5747 ‎ ·



Come out Caledon and Meet Some Frenchies!

Mark November 26th down in your calendar, because you’ll be spending it at the Caledon Kennel Club Dog Show, cheering on the French Bulldogs!

Eastern Canada French Bulldog Club is holding a supported entry, in conjunction with the Caledon Kennel Club. This means we’ll be offering some fab prizes for the class winners, including trophies and some spiffy rosettes! Better still, every Frenchie entered will be getting a super little gift bag, courtesy of Pets 4 Life and Poochini’s Barkery!

Even if you are a total dog show novice, you can still come out and have a good time! We’ll have dog show guides ready to hang out with you at ring side and walk you through the procedures. Within no time, you’ll be bragging about how you can spot a great bitch at two hundred paces, and how your pick for puppy was the best of the day!

Be sure to bring some cash, because we’ll also be having a day long Raffle for Rescue! Buy tickets, and get chances to win one of the prizes on offer, ranging from a custom photography session to daycare to gorgeous collar and coats, all courtesy of our sponsors.

We need your stuff, so if you have something we can raffle for rescue, please contact us, at . Your donations are what allow us to help dogs like Ema, Pierre and Mi Sun, so please dig through all your stuff, and donate what you can! Items do not have to be Frenchie specific, or even canine specific!

Ideas for raffle items include:

– restaurant dinner coupons

– gift cards to stores

– Collectibles

– Artworks

– Clothing

– Gift baskets

– Tattoos

– anything else you can think of!

Select items will be available for an online raffle pre show, so get ready to do some shopping!

More details on the show, including an entry form, can be found here –


More details on our great prizes, including a sponsor’s list, coming this week.