KC Publishes Proposed Changes to French Bulldog Standard
The Kennel Club (UK) has published their list of proposed changes to the French Bulldog breed standard.
Any underlined text indicates a change or addition.
Square bracketed text indicates a deletion.
Characteristics Full of courage, yet with clown-like qualities. Bat ears and short [Delete ‘undocked’] tail characteristic [delete ‘essential’] features of the breed.
Head Head square in appearance and in proportion to dog’s size. Skull nearly flat between ears, domed forehead. The skin covering the skull and forehead should be supple enough to allow the dog to show facial expression. Well defined muzzle, broad, deep and set back, muscles of cheeks well developed. Stop well defined. Lower jaw deep, square, broad, slightly undershot and [delete ‘well’] turned up. Nose black and wide, relatively short, with open nostrils and line between well defined. Lips black, thick, meeting each other in centre, completely hiding teeth. Upper lip covers lower on each side with plenty of cushion, never so exaggerated as to hang too much below level of lower jaw.
Eyes Preferably dark and matching. Moderate size, round, neither sunken nor prominent, showing no white when looking straight forward; set relatively wide apart and on the same level as the stop. [Delete ‘low down in skull’].
Ears ’Bat ears‘, of medium size, wide at base, rounded at top; set high, carried upright and parallel, a sufficient width of skull preventing them being too close together; skin soft and fine, orifice as seen from the front, showing entirely. The opening to the ear canal should be wide and open.
Neck Powerful, [delete ‘with loose skin at throat, but not exaggerated’] well arched and thick , but not too short.
Body [Delete ‘Short’] Cobby, muscular and well rounded with deep, wide brisket and ribs well sprung. Strong, gently roached back. Good ‘cut up’. The body while broader at the shoulders should narrow slightly beyond the ribs to give definition to the relatively short, thick, strong, muscular loin.
Hindquarters Legs strong, muscular and relatively longer than forelegs, with moderate angulation. [Delete ‘thus raising loins above shoulders’]. Hocks well let down.
Tail Undocked, [delete ‘very’] short, set low, thick at root, tapering quickly towards tip, preferably [delete ‘either’] straight, [delete ‘or kinked’] and long enough to cover anus. Never curling over back nor carried gaily.
For comparison purposes, here’s the complete copy of the existing standard:
Sturdy, compact, solid, small dog with good bone, short, smooth coat. No point exaggerated, balance essential.
Full of courage, yet with clown-like qualities. Bat ears and short undocked tail essential features of the breed.
Vivacious, deeply affectionate, intelligent.
Head and Skull
Head square, large and broad but in proportion to dog’s size. Skull nearly flat between ears, domed forehead, loose skin forming symmetrical wrinkles. Muzzle broad, deep and set well back, muscles of cheeks well developed; nose and lips black. Stop well defined. Lower jaw deep, square, broad, slightly undershot and well turned up. Nose extremely short, black and wide, with open nostrils and line between well defined. Lips thick, meeting each other in centre, completely hiding teeth. Upper lip covers lower on each side with plenty of cushion, never so exaggerated as to hang too much below level of lower jaw.
Preferably dark and matching. Moderate size, round, neither sunken nor prominent, showing no white when looking straight forward; set wide apart and low down in skull.
‘Bat ears’, of medium size, wide at base, rounded at top; set high, carried upright and parallel, a sufficient width of skull preventing them being too close together; skin soft and fine, orifice as seen from the front, showing entirely.
Slightly undershot. Teeth sound and regular, but not visible when the mouth is closed. Tongue must not protrude.
Powerful, with loose skin at throat, but not exaggerated. Well arched and thick, but not too short.
Legs set wide apart, straight boned, strong, muscular and short.
Short, cobby, muscular and well rounded with deep wide brisket; roach back; strong; wide at shoulders and narrowing at loins; good ‘cut up’, ribs well sprung.
Legs strong, muscular and longer than forelegs thus raising loins above shoulders. Hocks well let down.
Small, compact and placed in continuation of line of leg, with absolutely sound pasterns. Hind feet rather longer than the fore-feet. Toes compact; well knuckled; nails short, thick and preferably black.
Undocked, very short, set low, thick at root, tapering quickly towards tip, either straight or kinked, never curling over back nor carried gaily.
Free and flowing.
Texture fine, smooth, lustrous, short and close.
Brindle, pied or fawn. Tan, mouse and grey/blue highly undesirable.
Brindle: a mixture of black and coloured hairs. May contain white provided brindle predominates.
Pied: white predominates over brindle. Whites are classified with pieds for show purposes; but their eyelashes and eye rims should be black. In pieds the white should be clear with definite brindle patches and no ticking or black spots.
Fawn: may contain brindle hairs but must have black eye lashes and eye rims.
Ideal weight: dogs: 12.5 kgs (28 lbs); bitches: 11 kgs (24 lbs). Soundness not to be sacrificed to smallness.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
On a personal note, I have nine French Bulldogs here at home. Of the nine, three have tails long enough to cover anus – Have fun with that one,UK breeders, considering that the previous version of the standard called for the tail to be ‘very short’. As well, I can’t even think of a single dog I’ve owned/known whose ears weren’t already wide and open.
I get the impression that half of these changes are arbitrary, short of those intended to call for less exaggeratedly short muzzles. I believe that more could have been done to encourage the breeding of dogs with free, clear breathing – words to that effect could easily have been added. I’d also not have been adverse to a prohibition against exhibiting dogs who have had palate clips, although I’m not sure if the KC’s scope would also allow for a prohibition against the breeding of dogs who have had palate resections.
Tell me what you think of the changes to the standard – good, bad, pointless?
And if your dog has a perfectly nice tail, but a really low anus?
OT, but it brings back my bully’s young days, when you had to catch her at the door to clean out the “cache” beneath her tail.
One day she discovered, to her amazement and ours, that she could lift her tail! We were overjoyed. No more vigils with baby wipes in hand. I’d have been perfectly happy if her tail had not covered her anus.
The standards for the German Spitz (mittel & klein) were also released today and were the most pointless EVER.
Instead of adding actually DOING something useful like adding the breed to the eye testing scheme (PRA & RD are the only major genetic problems of any note in the breed!) they added a line to the section about coat explicitly banning a curly coat (Um, what? We already had it calling for a straight coat) and ‘excessive’ length.
Way to go to ENTIRELY miss the point, KC. Make a POINTLESS token change when you could have actually you know, HELPED things.
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What the heck? Amelie has a tail so short, it appears as though she almost doesn’t have one. The other changes seem to clarify things a bit, but the tail part is dumb.
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The obsession with coat is in a few other breeds too. WTF? THAT is a welfare conecern? (are we going to penalize breeders if the dogs they make can matt? Now THAT is scary) And the changes to the Dal standard are inane and have nothing to do with health.
The tail thing in fenchies I do not get. So we want tails that catch poop? And a 11/2 to 2 inch tail is healthier than a 1 inch or less tail why?
The bulldog changes are a complete mishmash. Love the stressors put on soundness and breathing. Would have actually liked to see them adopt the AKC version for gait which is “unrestrained, free and vigorous.” The long palate/breathing issues in some bulldogs are not married to nose length. This is 15 years of bulldog rescue talking. I’ve had PLENTY of nosey, tight skinned leggy bulldogs who couldn’t breathe, had eye problems and or bad knees and skin. And I see an increasing number of “weather proof” bulldogs with heads not out of place in the show ring. Instead of “heavily penalizing” noisy breathers, disqualify them the same as a lame dog.
A real opportunity was missed to stress length of skull. Long skulled, as opposed to long nosed, english bulldogs almost always have better airways than those with round “pumpkin” heads and extremely short fore-faces and noses.
You want shorter flews and the lips to completely cover the teeth? then you really need to allow for turn up of jaw. The only dogs I know who have had “welfare” issues related to not being able to chew or use their jaws to catch, wrestle and play were wry or had flat jutting jaws lacking turn up. So this whole section smacks of pandering to the AR mentality that everything different is automatically bad to me.
Why not just write that the dogs be balanced, athletic, agile, in good physical condition and show no signs of difficulty breathing, moving or seeing. Put that in every standard and actually get the judges to abide by it and you would see a heck of good a start.
Frodogz, does the CKC allow palate clips to be shown? AKC does not, although it’s not well policed.
Just re-read my comment and to make it clear I do really like the new languae in the bulldog standard re: soundness and breathing. I sounds like I was being snarky or sardonic in the previous comment and it was NOT my intent. 🙂
Though I do still think a some of the changes to many of the standards are, well, silly, ill advised or useless 🙂
I really wish that the KC had gone about these changes in a more responsible, and respectful manner. Esp getting breed clubs, and breeders involved in decision making.
I know in my breed (Cardigan Welsh Corgi), there are many breeders who’re concerned with extremes of the standards being bred, and wishing the term “moderate” be emphasized more. Many breeders would be happy so see some minor wording change, simply to keep the breed moderate, rather than going off on fad tangents.
I feel these changes were rash, and not necessarily in the best interest of dog sports. To without questioning bend to the will of AR extremists, is not IMO that purpose of a breeding/show club, but rather to be the spokes minds for responsible breeding, and showmanship. While they could have made suggestion to breed clubs of requested changes, IMO it’s wrong to override, and go against the point of the Kennel Club.
All-in-all though, I’m not horribly unhappy with the changes I’m seeing *BUT*, most I am not at all seeing a POINT in, while other, possibly problem some cosmetics are being ignored. Coats ranking over movement, and body is IMO, BS.
I’d love to hear your in depth input, and opinions on the changes of the Frenchies, and whether or not you’d wish for the AKC to follow suit. I’m very interested in active breeders opinions on the KC’s standards changes. There’s been a lot of mixed input on them so far.
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Just watched this BBC video including an artists rendition of the new ideal EB. Honest to gosh, no breed has a head that small for it’s body. It looks like a micro-cephalic boxer.
Little known fact, unmentioned in any of this, in 2005 the KC asked the bulldog club and the pekinese club to revise their standards. The peke club refused, the bulldog club did, and were praised for it by the KC. They were assured that the changes made, which removed wording that encouraged extremes and emphasized health would protect them if this sort of shake up came to pass, three years later, without giving the changes anytime to bear fruit, the KC rolled over and Gutted the EB standard without giving them any input. I’d feel pretty let down and betrayed too.
Mention of the bulldog club’s cooperation is mentioned in the second to last paragraph in the first column of this interview with an official from the KC just this past November
That should say the bulldog club “didn’t refuse”
bad proof reading on my part. 🙂