Bullmarket French Bulldog Breeders

Crufts Judges – "be on the look out for unhealthy dogs"

Interesting implications for the French Bulldogs competing at Crufts this year —

This year, in an attempt to salvage its reputation, the Kennel Club has enlisted a team of 20 show monitors to scrutinise the judges’ decisions on breeds deemed to be at risk from health problems. Extra vets are also to attend the show.

At a private briefing in Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, Ronnie Irving, chairman of the club, told judges that they were now on the front line to ensure that dog shows and pedigree dogs survived the 21st century. He warned them that rewarding the health and welfare of dogs had to be paramount.

Fourteen breeds are deemed to be at risk from health problems: basset hound, bloodhound, bulldog, chow chow, clumber spaniel, dogue de Bordeaux, French bulldog, German shepherd, mastiff, Neapolitan mastiff, pekingese, pug, St Bernard and shar-pei. The club has issued new breed standards.

All the judges have been sent new rules on evaluating the dogs, and they will be briefed on potential pitfalls presented by each breed. They have been told to ban dogs if they shows signs of sickness such as lameness. They must also be alert to symptoms including shortness of breath, refusal to be handled, timidity or aggression. Any dog with features or symptoms that raise concerns will be examined by vets.

Read the rest here — http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article5817529.ece

This won’t be a popular thing to say, but I’m really not adverse to  judges excusing French Bulldogs who have obvious breathing problems. A healthy French Bulldog should be able to gait around the ring without hacking, horking and almost passing out from their inability to breathe. That said, my personal experience has been that UK bred French Bulldogs have some of the best breathing in the world, while still managing to have gorgeous head pieces. That, combined with the fact that anyone who has a clearly breathing impaired dog is now almost sure to stay home, makes me confident that we’ll see few, if any, excusals from the French Bulldog ring.

We won’t be able to watch the judging on television, however – the BBC has terminated their contract with Crufts, bowing to public opinion, and no little amount of pressure from the Animal Rights groups who insist that the breeding of any dog is a form of ‘cruelty’. Instead, you’ll have to make do with watching the live telecast, details of which are below.

The Crufts live web stream will be available throughout the four days of Crufts, from the 5th-8th March and will run from 8.30 in the morning through to the end of the Arena programme. The Crufts TV live stream will be free to view anywhere in the world by simply following the link on the Crufts homepage www.crufts.org.uk. For those who miss the action there will also be a catch up video on demand service for paying subscribers, enabling people to watch the replays of the action.

The rest of the media release is here.

What I’m curious about is whether the Crufts servers are prepared for this additional load — Westminster can barely manage to get their breed judging videos on line in a timely manner, and Crufts is jumping straight into webcasting? I’m skeptical, especially since the last few times I’ve tried to access the Crufts site, I’ve received failure to connect errors – and this before Crufts has even started.

10 replies
  1. Judith
    Judith says:

    I agree with your take on this, but am surprised (perhaps astounded would be the more appropriate word) that ONLY fourteen breeds are subject to this extra health scrutiny. Weren’t Cavaliers highly profiled on the BBC special? And I know many other breeds with fatal health flaws. But I guess you don’t need to present your heart monitor results, bloodwork or cancer biopsy results when you walk in the show ring. How will The Kennel Club be addressing those issues, the results of which are just as devastating to dogs and owners as the highly visible ones?

  2. Jenniferj
    Jenniferj says:

    Judith has an excellent point. MOST brachycephalic issues are worn on their sleeves so to speak. Bad knees or stifles, eye lid issues, nares and noisy breathing can indeed be seen in the ring and picked up on during the judging of most classes. Hell make ’em go around and extra time or two and the long palates and bad larynx and trachea dogs will be pretty obvious.

    While brachis can be prone to a particular set of issues, they are also blessedly conformational, not dependent on a single gene or group of genes. We can improve stamina by breeding for larger more open nares, steering clear of dogs which are noisy breathers or suffer from sleep apnea etc… My dogs now almost all boast far more neck and overall length of skull than in the past, the direct result of selecting for stamina and away from dogs with any airway constriction or obstruction.

    They have also picked up a more working dog type of rear and rear movement. Not technically correct for the bulldog but better for the dogs. The result of selecting for better angulation and tighter knees and hips.

    Am I suffering in the ring for these choices? Not really. The occaisional judge dings me for something. Most “old timers” from the breeder judge pool love the
    longer skulls and necks and let the extra drive in the rear slide as the dogs are sound sound sound.

    I would probably be flamed on some lists and blogs for saying it, but I personally would rather deal with issues that can be bred away from by simple selection of phenotype than the devastaing epilepsy and dilated cardiomyopathy that some breeders are fighting.

    The changes made to standards are IMO worthless. With the possible exception of bit’s which specifically state things such as “as short as possible”Making participation in certain health screening tests mandatory for championship or breeding (I would not want the dogs to be eliminated based on results) and having those results be made public, would be far more effective. In the case of brachycephalis, trachea, upper airway and nares would top my list. I suspect that over a relatively short period of time the skull/muzzle/nose lengths would self adjust.

    The same goes for breeds which have straight stifles. If you want to prevent extreme exaggeration there, the dogs should be required to be tested for patella, stifle and hock abnormalities.

    I’d also personally like to see all dogs potentially used for breeding have to pass a “practical” exam at age 2. This would involve a physical, a workout to determine overall fitness and a baseline temperament screening. These could be tailored to breed and type and be a one time screening

    Of course I don’t foresee most people clamoring to make it all happen tomorrow!

  3. Jenniferj
    Jenniferj says:

    Thanks! We’re very proud of the boys.
    I am the worst about updating anything and while I have a stockpile of pictures filed away, posting on blogs about sums up my computer savvy.
    Hubby is a techie but very very busy so the websie, such as it is, just has been sitting.

    I have to get more pictures up, especially of the next generation. The problem with my younger crew is that they will not stand still for more than 2 seconds. I really want to get action pics of Joker and Holly, the young guns, flying over the downed tree in the back yard after the jackrabbit who lives by the fence. Every walk he comes out to taunt them. If they don’t see him he hops closer until they do then high tails it to his bolt hole with them in hot pursuit.

    I have professional photographer friend coming up in a few weeks, she is going to spend the night and take pictures of everyone so with luck by the end of the month I’ll have a few new pages added to the website.

  4. Marie
    Marie says:

    I agree that many other breeds have problems that can’t be seen and therefore won’t be addressed because of it. And people that think mixed breeds are healthier need to realize that NO statistics are kept on them. So that sorta skews the results of health in purebreds comparing them doesn’t it?

    The bulldog breeder I (finally!) found for my sister said that they should be able to run and be athletic and not collape because of it. They were originally bred to run after bulls after all. It took me over 6 months to find a bulldog breeder (east coast) that did any health testing at all. (I found 2 total including 10 e-mails to known Bulldog Club of America members.)

    I think the problem lies in the ignorance of puppy buyers. If they don’t know the questions to ask, or assume all breeders breed healthy dogs, then they are part of the problem. If we demand healthy puppies, and accept nothing less, things would change. At least I like to think so.

    Marie’s last blog post..Its all about the breeder

  5. Jenniferj
    Jenniferj says:

    Agreed. If the public could be turned on to “no screening? no sale.” we’d get a lot more people who breed any kind dog doing at least the “basics”.

    In bulldogs, there are some people I’d buy a dog from in a heart beat although they don’t OFA or CERF. They have vets they have worked with for decades and they have had the dogs checked stem to stern but nothing formal. Getting these folks to switch from informal to formal testing will be a huge boon as it will hopefully bring along a lot of the people they have mentored. I expect health screening to catch fire amongst the bulldoggers in the near future. But, yeah, the more puppy buyers who ask for it, the faster it’ll happen.

    Maybe we can get a few of the breed clubs together for a campaign?

    The motto of BCA Health is “expect a healthy dog”. No one expects bulldogs to run a marathon, but they should run and play hard, not go to the vet more often than any other dog and live at least 12-13 years.

    My first dogs were the fat, squishy couch potato dogs. The dogs I have now are hard muscled and frankly obnoxious. (a well behaved kind of obnoxious) A healthy bulldog with no skeletal issues, eye or breathing problems can be reminiscent the Tasmanian Devil from the Bugs Bunny cartoons, crossed with a house eating beaver, at least for the first year to eighteen months.

    It may sound silly, but we have had a few dogs come through rescue because they were way too much dog for the owners who were expecting a lay-about.
    Some basic obedience, exercise and a healthy dose of “knock it the hell off” and they were very placable.

    The “new” english bulldog can be a surprise to people.

    • frogdogz
      frogdogz says:

      The “new” english bulldog can be a surprise to people.

      Haha, you’d be surprised how often I hear that about my Frenchies!

      “Hey, I thought these were supposed to be couch potatoes – why are they climbing over my fences and chasing after rabbits?”

  6. Jenniferj
    Jenniferj says:

    My favorite call of all time:

    “That dog you sold us ate my stairs!!”


    “She ate my new redwood stairs!”

    “Um, why did she have access unsupervised to your new redwood stairs?”

    “Well, she’s two so she should not chew anymore!”

    “I told you they’re half termite or beaver. Are you saying that you don’t want her anymore? I’ll get my car keys.”

    “No no, we love her!”

    “Well no more leaving her outside all day if your not home.”

    “We don’t leave her out”

    “OK what about the deck?”

    “Two innings.”


    “My wife yelled at me for feeding her guacamole so I let her out for two innings of the game and she ate the stairs!”


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