by   David Hancock

Introduction: This was an important historic event -- the first show of a new society, the first get-together of like-minded enthusiasts and, most important of all, the first public airing of a newly-created healthier and more historically correct Bulldog. Many now famous and well established clubs have started in such a way. This show represents a huge step forward in the promotion of the traditional English Bulldog and one able to live a less stressful longer life.

General Points: There were enough dogs on display to provide a sound genetic base for future breeding programmes but great care needs to be exercised to avoid breeding fault to fault, thereby sealing a fault in future generations. Breeders must be honest about their dogs and not undermine the future of the breed through casually-conceived unwise potentially harmful matings. Selection of breeding stock is the secret of success in the breeding of all livestock.

Faults: These I list in an attempt to highlight potential problems; I did not fault-judge but tried to identify the good points in each exhibit. The length of this list must be seen as constructive NOT destructive; a problem acknowledged is one half-solved.

 Most serious faults: Severely undershot jaws.

                      Lack of turn of stifle.

                      Lack of muzzle length.

                      Too narrow at the hips.

Serious faults:       Plaiting in front movement.

                      Cow hocks.

                      Out at elbow.

                      Thin necks.

                      Ribs not carried back far enough.

                      Inadequate 'spread' or frontal width.

                      Lack of drive in rear action.

Other faults:         Tiny teeth.

                      Small heads (in adult dogs).

                      Weak loins.

                      Lack of bone in frame.

                      Too deep a 'stop'.

                      Lack of substance,i.e. size/weight ratio.

Some of these faults were present but not to an alarming degree; it is vital however to avoid breeding common fault to common fault. It is vital too that a fault is not ignored in an otherwise good dog. Seal in the good points; gradually eradicate the unwanted features. Don't be 'kennel-blind', i.e. overlook faults in your own dogs, or be led by your own preferences -- there can only be one breed blueprint.

Good features: temperament, coats, ears, eyes, feet, shoulders and front actions.

Conclusion: It was a privilege to act as Best in Show Judge at this inaugural meeting and to have the pleasure of meeting such sporting and well-intentioned exhibitors. I congratulate Ken Mollett and Martin Moran on the success of this first show. We all owe Ken a vote of thanks for all his work over many years to bring sanity back into the Bulldog world. May the Society go from strength to strength.


                                    David Hancock

                                        June 2000.