Dear Mr. Obama – Leave the Frenchies Alone

Dear Mr. Obama:

I know you’re getting a lot of advice right now about what breed of dog to get for your kids, and I’ve seen a few news outlets suggest that you should consider getting a French Bulldog.

Mr. Obama, as a committed owner and breeder of French Bulldogs, I’d like to offer my own advice to you about your choice of dog –  do NOT get a French Bulldog.

Look, I’m not saying this lightly — I have a lot of really, really good reasons why there is no way in hell you should even, for one minute, think of getting a Frenchie. Since I know that you’re a busy guy, I’ve organized them into bullet form for you:

  • Perceived ‘sympathy for France’ will be bad for your image. France is still wildly unpopular with some Americans (remember the whole “Freedom Fries” fiasco?).
  • Frenchies will ruin the White House carpets. Frenchies are notoriously, ridiculously hard to housebreak. Imagine the field day Fox News could have if, one month into office, Michelle has to order new carpets for the entire place?
  • French Bulldogs are stubborn, tenacious, and difficult to train. Forget Barney nipping a reporter – your Frenchie will jump on, bark at, chase and otherwise paparazzi-ize every reporter within a five mile range. A badly trained dog might be used to insinuate you are unable to provide strong leadership – again with the Fox News opportunities.
  • Frenchies are expensive, which could lead to charges that you’re elitist. In this time of economic crisis, no one needs that sort of analogy being made (probably by Fox News).
  • King Edward owned a French Bulldog. This could lead to allegations you’re a closet Monarchist.
  • Toulouse Lautrec owned a French Bulldog. This could lead to allegations you’re pro syphilitic alcoholics. Or even worse, pro Artist.
  • French Bulldogs were favored pets of Parisian Prostitutes. This could lead to allegories about Kennedy and Clinton. Wait, that one might not be all bad. On the downside, you could be perceived as being pro Jimmy Swaggart.
  • French Bulldogs chew stuff, and the White House has a lot of stuff that would be more expensive to replace than the pine broom closet my puppies just ate. If you think Neiman Marcus suits are expensive, try pricing an Oval Office desk.

The best reason for you to not get a French Bulldog, Mr. Obama? It’s because we don’t need the publicity. We’ve already got Ellen, and Martha, and slew of other celebs getting their faces splashed all over the newspapers, usually with dogs that they bought on a whim at a pet store. Our rescues are already swamped, our breed over run with poorly bred, badly tempered dogs that make all of us worry about the future of the dogs we love so much.

So, please Mr. Obama – don’t get a Frenchie. Get a shelter mutt — better still, a private rescue mutt. One of no determinate heritage (although it would be nice if there was a preponderance of Pit Bull in there, just for the good press in it for you and for Pitties in general). A nice little Pibble would be an asset to your kids and to  your peace of mind (the world can be a scary place, and a Pit Bull has nice, broad shoulders for your family to lean on). Just don’t put lipstick on him or her, and it should all work out fine.

Just please, leave the Frenchies alone — we have enough problems as it is.

Thursday Thirteen – 13 Most Useful Books on Dog Breeding


Thirteen Things Most Useful Books for Dog Breeders

I should note here that I don’t think that any book can ever replace the best source of information and advice on dog breeding, and that’s a mentor. A mentor is an older dog breeder who ‘takes you under their wing’ and offers hands on advice, help, suggestions (and usually really good gossip).

That said, I’ve also gotten a lot of useful, practical advice from the following books, including a crash introductory course on canine genetics.

A caveat: books with asterisks beside them are pretty much French Bulldog specific only.

1. Born To Win: Breed to Succeed
Patricia Craige’s book is a really great crash course on how to go beyond just ‘dog breeding’ and start breeding to win.

2. Genetics of the Dog
Malcom Willis’ book is considered to be the classic ‘layman’s’ guide to canine genetics. Invaluable for understanding – or at least trying to understand – coat color genetics, in particular.

3. Canine Reproduction: The Breeder’s Guide
Patricia Holst’s book is a wellspring of practical, no nonsense advice and tips. I refer to this book at least once per litter.

4. Successful Dog Breeding: The Complete Handbook of Canine Midwifery
Offering more than just practical advice, Chris Walkowicz emphasizes the ethics and responsibility that goes along with breeding.

5. The Whelping and Rearing of Puppies: A Complete and Practical Guide
A great book that covers all of the ‘what ifs’ and best and worst case scenarios. Spiral binding makes it a breeze to use in the somewhat hectic conditions of the whelping room. And no, I’m not saying that just because Muriel is my editor at ‘Just Frenchies‘.

6. Puppy Intensive Care: A Breeder’s Guide to Care of Newborn Puppies
This is just about the most useful book for a novice breeder. It comes along with shopping lists, and a companion CD showing video illustrations on such topics as tube feeding and a live delivery.

7. Breeding Better Dogs
Long time breeder and judge Carmen Battaglia shows you how to apply canine genetics to your specific breeding program.

8. Another Piece of the Puzzle: Puppy Development
This useful little paperback helps breeders to develop the absolute best puppies possible, utilizing puppy’s varying developmental phases to enhance temperament and behaviors. Really useful and simple to follow.

9. The Joy of Breeding Your Own Show Dog
This book, like “Successful Dog Breeding“, shows you how to plan out a breeding with the ultimate goal of producing a show winning litter. Helping you to see beyond just what’s down on paper, to what’s actually within your dog’s genes.

10. Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook
Every dog breeder needs a good, basic, simple to understand veterinary handbook, and this one does an exceptional job at being easy to read and follow.

11. The Healing Touch for Dogs: The Proven Massage Program for Dogs
This might seem like an odd choice for a list on dog breeding, but I’ve found that using massage on pregnant moms, moms in whelp and on puppies enhances their health and wellbeing. New, nervous moms can be calmed into accepting their pups more readily if you use massage while introducing them – especially useful if mom is shaking off the effects of anesthesia from a c-section.

* 12. The French Bulldog by Steve Eltinge
Yes, we know this book require deep pockets, but this is the classic book on French Bulldogs, and contains some fantastic photos of dogs you’ll find behind the pedigrees of most of the top show dogs in North America. Put it on your wishlist.

* 13. The French Bulldog (Kennel Club Classic)
Pockets not quite deep enough for the Eltinge book? Muriel Lee’s new book is a fantastic, more up to date alternative. Covering health, history and much more on the Frenchie, it’s an essential addition to the library of any aspiring French Bulldog breeder.

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