Sunday 29 June 2014

French Bulldogs - from nose to... er...

Yep, no tail.. it's a clear risk for spinal/anal issues and yet Frenchies with no tails continue to be rewarded in the show-ring.

And so do those with no noses.. just look at this:

A dog with such stenotic nostrils should be penalised.  But what did this judge do at Windsor Championship Dog Show this weekend?

Breed specialist Jim Peach (Rosdyke)
Why, he gave the dog the Dog CC - and Best of Breed. Meet Ch Renuar New War Bonnet, one of the UK's current top Frenchies. Like many of the Frenchies at Windsor, he was not comfortable in the summer sun.

Last autumn, the Kennel Club announced that French Bulldogs were to be downgraded from a Category 3 breed (those that are subject to vet checks at champ shows) to a Category 2 breed which is not vet-checked.  (See blog here)

As I wrote at the time, this had nothing to do with the fact that Frenchie health had improved - it was some kind of misplaced reward for the French Bulldog Club appearing to be proactive on health issues. A Frenchie farce.

Because it's all about appearance for the Kennel Club. Always has been and always will be. And, really, it's not good enough.

Here are some more pix of the Frenchies at Windsor. The first three are of Geoff Corish's bitch Ch Boule and Onuba Zinderella at Sealaw who has featured on this blog before. Her noisy breathing was really evident at Windsor. Despite this, she still got placed - 4th in Open Bitch (a class of 10).

No tail

And the other end of the bitch above...what's with the flat skull?

Best Puppy- slightly better nostrils but struggling in the heat - Chelmbull Rumour Has It
And a reminder of what French Bulldogs used to look like before the show-ring got too great a hold of 'em.

They used to have tails, too.

If you feel as strongly about this as I do, please help keep the pressure on by emailing the following asking for stronger action. It makes a difference - it really does. 

• Kennel Club Chairman, Steve Dean -
• KC Breed Health Co-Ordinator Penny Rankine-Parsons:

I don't have an email for judge Jim Peach. But here's his snail-mail address:

Bankend Cottage
Boston Road
PE11 4NN

As ever, please keep it polite - it gives them less excuse to dismiss it.

Related posts

I say, I say, I say... your dog has no nose

French Bulldogs - an enviable life?

French Bulldogs Removed from KC's High Profile list


  1. I am shocked at how popular these dogs have become at the expense of the less exaggerated Boston terrier, which is our native toy bulldog. These dogs remind me almost of an attempt to turn a canine into a real live equivalent of Stitch from Lilo and Stitch-- and Stitch was just an alien who was pretending to be a dog!

    1. Er..the show frenchbulldog as it exists today is almost 100% an American invention. Even the bat ears were standardised in America, in fact the first standard for the breed was American, written up by some ladies club.

      It's from early frenchbulldog that you got the Boston too. Im not sure what it mans to be all American Im guessing it means to have changed shape from a European breed. In this case slightly better for the dog but they suffer many of the same problems as FB who character wise at least are more terrier than the Boston.

      Early Frenchbulldogs beloved of prostitutes were really cute, they didn't have extremely short compressed backs and hideously deformed muzzles, overly large heads and birthing difficulties etc.

      Im simply appalled that dogs like these above can win at a dog show, its practically ignoring the problems completely. How can you even show a dog with a hole instead of a tail its insane at least even bulldogs still have a deformed corkscrew vestige of a tail left.

      Continental European fanciers, judges insist on a tail and in their standard it must cover the anus at the very least......

      Seems like the poor messed up FB is still under debate within the fraternity I wonder if they are even worried about the fact it cant breath while they are still arguing about colours, ear set and size etc.

    2. The reason we argue about color is because there are additional health issues associated with certain colors (BLUE), and we are not all breeding dogs that can't breathe nor move, some of us are fully aware of what we inherited in the breed, and are breeding and health testing to improve the breed, so throw all of us under the bus is not productive, unless you are a PETA terrorist, then it is just "what you do"

    3. To river p. Think you need to take a look at the history again. First breed standard was written in France. And the French bulldog did not turn into its current form overnight nor will the problems be fixed overnight. People are trying!

  2. No hope of true care, enlightenment or progress in any breed if the KC don't stop this PR rubis (who do they think they are fooling) unless 'they' step up and really care NOTHING is going to change.. Breed clubs only want to keep things exactly the same..They don't want health progress. .They do not see anything that changes the the dog to be acceptable. .even if it makes life better for the dog!

  3. Poor freakish dogs. The previous 'style' did look very Boston Terrier like.

  4. That is right, the old style frenchie looks like a boston terrier. That is maybe why they don't want to give up the new deform style... the Frenchie would reverse to looking like a boston terrier! and the "frenchie people" would lose their identity.

    IMO dog breeding - the unhealthy, "fashionable deform" dog show standard kind - is all about human tribe-identity. If a Frenchie doesn't look the way everybody who matters have agreed a frenchie looks like - deformities and all (called by nicer names of course), then it is not a real member of the Frenchie tribe, and its owners/breeders aren't either. That is where the problem lies, it is simple sociology. It isn't that they don't care about their dogs' health problems (I presume), it is just that group-identity is a much more fundamental and important factor, so to avoid cognitive dissonance AND social exclusion they'll deny the dogs' suffering and their responsibility for it - and since it is a whole subculture doing that, it seems like the normal, natural state of things.

    I actually think pedigree dog breeding culture could make a great case study for sociology studies of group identity, cultural inertia, sects and subjects like that - because of its extreme contradictions: "loving dogs" yet systematically breeding dogs that suffer from pervasive health problems is an obvious contradiction to anyone outside the culture (at least if they consider it), but those inside the culture can't see it. Telling them doesn't help, because they don't want to know, and perceive the anyone who points it out as enemies. That pattern is very much like e.g. religious sects, only here instead of specific religious dogmas, the objects of idolisation are dog breeds, that are idolised while genetically isolated and abused. (I prefer religious sects - at least they are usually aware that they're religious, and don't harm animals in such large scale, systematic ways if they do harm animals at all)

    1. Old style Bostons looked like old style Frenchbulldogs, The Boston was created by using French bulldogs its more or less the same breed, just selected for different things over the years.

      Bostons I feel have their own set of problems a lot of the same as the Frenchbulldogs but they have particularly bad eyes and some have "push back" flat faces as bad as the FB. Take a look at this brindle and white :

      And at Sunny Ch Beacons Do-Go Sunny OF Sabe ROM********* and all the others

      Not much better than a FB. They look a bit freaky to me too having long legs and a racy body with a cut of dysfunctional face/head attached?

      Count me out of the showing cult, I've never understood form over function I will always opt for the healthier alternative in any breed if there is one available.

      Interesting that people who show dogs have often been through quite a few breeds too so you would think they could show some kind of broader outlook in retrospect, and it is often the case, usually the reason they "left" a breed, except this objective approach is never for the breed they are currently "in" but the one that didn't get them many ribbons instead.

      Apparently is takes quite a lot to break into a breed and be successful at breeding deformed dogs, you need mentors and people willing to part with their linbred inbred monstrosities other wise all is sold on spay neuter contracts etc etc.

      The jealously guarded formula to breeding unhealthy dogs.......

    2. MADOS

      No need for a study, just a confirmatory article on the theory put forward by Hendrick Gommer.

      His theory is that biological and natural laws repeat endleesly. The same laws that govern cells and D.N.A etc also govern human society.

      So, looking at human communities through a microscope, you see you see humans as " cells" , becoming more organized and forming specialist groups to acheive specific tasks more efficiently.
      Organizations can be likened to these specialist cells, and the same laws will apply.

      So, we have the K.Cs, an organization set up to produce a product for the whole body- Dogs.

      The charter and rules written for the organization is the genetic blue print for the organization.
      Going back to cellular biology and organization, what would happen if the cells programing was off, so that they treated their environment as as an antagonist? Think about it hard, because this is what the K.Cs have done.

      Dogs were created by communities, breeding for what has value to their own specific purposes, for their own specific environment, in their own back yards. THAT gave rise t pedigree dogs.
      Backyard breeders breeding for the requirements of their own backyards.

      The K.Cs ruled that no member may breed a dog that will ineligible for registration. They ruled against breeding outside of the K.C environment creating a doubly closed system.

      Simple biological will tell you that can not possibly work.
      The system will become ever tighter trying to define itself against its environment.
      The most influential organization for the procreation of dogs is actively antagonistic to its foundations.
      As it attacks those foundations it attacks the very base that supports it and could allow it to grow and evolve sustainably.

      I can provide examples of this is happening. It IS happening.
      The end result will be to remove dogs from the community. They are seen as the preserve of the K.Cs only. Yet without community input and involvement, they loose all relevence.
      We SEE the organization is not able to meet the needs of its environment, We can SEE that it becomes ever more stringent and closed in what it finds acceptable within the organization.
      While this ruling exsists, dogs are doomed.

      That ruling against its foundations was the 1st mistake of the K.Cs charter, but has given rise to many more, all unintentionaly designed to keep dogs out of the hands of the community, their environment.

      The K.Cs are NOT defined by better practices. They are defined by what practices and animals will be EXCLUDED and in their quest for "betterment" that list of exclusions can only ever grow. They can only ever have a negative influence on their environment. They have passed a judgement on what is not within the K.Cs.

      How can I get this through to people?! Its happening and its preventable and fixable but maybe not for long.


  5. I would like to see an x ray of those tailless deformities.

    1. Yes apparently they are missing vertebrae and they have difficulties pooing properly as a result. The kakha drips or falls out. This makes sense if you watch a dog with a normal tail poo, they lift the tail which lifts and holds the muscles and anus into position. Instead it's a kind of flaccid tube with a sphincter at one end.

    2. Do you own or have you actually observed a frenchie in real life. I can assure you that they poo as normally as any other healthy dog. You really should check out the facts before adding to the rumour mongering going on here

    3. No I havent I've been put off by ther health problems. Yes I have.

      Those with a tail do those with just a hole for a tail cant? A dog with a hole istead of a tail is a man made freak.

      Whats your point?

    4. As the owner of a french bulldog with no tail that has to not only have his behind wiped after he poos, but is also has to take previcox due to spinal issues stemming from no tail, I agree 100% with this article. It's not right to make them suffer because humans think it's "cute".

    5. Not condoning either way as I think the standard with a least a little tail should be adhered to, but are you able to go to the toilet very well? Or do we also need a monkey tail to poop? Unfortunately the Frenchie, like EVERY OTHER dog is a man made and a manipulated animal, same as cats, a lot of birds, cows, sheep and many other "Pets" and food chain animals. The best thing you can do to stop your so called issues is not buy the animals if you think the genetics are cruel. Obviously if you are commenting on pages like this you have some interest in the breed, this is usually because you like their nature as well as their looks.

  6. A hundred years ago they were better, but still freakish.

    People think this whole purebred madness for dogs (and cats, pigeons, chickens, etc.) began in 1800's England, but the British got it from the Chinese, who had been screwing up not just dogs but also goldfish for centuries. This obsession with deformed domestic animals goes way back, but it has to stop.

    1. As long as they where healthy and athletic I don't think it matters if they look weird. Not all dogs in the past where perfect but that kind of comment makes people believe we just want dogs to look as feral and wolf/dingo like as possible. So people just get defensive that others think their puppy is ugly instead of looking at the real issues.

    2. Looking weird means functioning weird. Sure, today's brachycephalics have a lot of problems, including stenotic nostrils. But if a dog has a shortened muzzle, it's ability to breathe and cool itself is compromised. And then there are the problems with bowed legs, shortened tails, and so on. Dogs really do need to resemble their wild cousins to a certain degree in order to be healthy. This is not only about aesthetics; it's about health. We can't just breed anything we like and expect it to work. We have to stick fairly closely to the way nature designed these animals, or they won't do well.

    3. Its nature that has done this, because if it didn't we wouldn't be able to produce dogs/animals like this. They all come from a deformity that has been liked and bred from hence the many types of dogs that we have now. I not saying this is right but we have frenchies and they exercise with my GSD's and a Giant Breed and they keep up with them all the time. All my dogs are panting at the end of it but none of them are in distress. We could go on and on about this and there will always be controversy.. perhaps the first thing that all you critics should do is look at the tortuous cruelty in this world and work with people who are trying to prevent it like PETA, but dog showing is easy picking isnt it!!!!!

    4. By that logic we shouldn't punish domestic abusers because there are also rapists in the world and that's much worse.

      Why can't we pick on the showing world if there's something to fix? If it's such easy picking then it should tighten up it's ship!

    5. The word 'punish' sums it up. You just want to sit on your high horse and lump everyone with the same brush. A lot of us want to do the right thing and we are working at it...but Rome wasn't built in a day and you will always have people who do not want to change, if there was then we wouldn't still have dog fighting! And there are a lot of pet breeders out there doing this for money and they have to be reached too. Also everyone is critical but as yet not come up with a viable solution, if you could I would be most interested. Again in this country we have battery chickens, pigs kept in pens all there life, animals injected with substances before slaughter to make the meat tender for us to eat. Try these issues first and leave us responsible people to do what we know...yes there are some of us out there.

    6. All creatures are walking around with both helpful and harmful genes in them somewhere. What intensive breeders do is they pick out the ones they want when they appear, and select for them.

      There's always going to be some variety, with some dogs being a bit bigger or smaller, a bit longer or shorter in the muzzle, etc. Moderately short-faced dogs (molossers) have been around for thousands of years. They were large and powerful, and used for guarding properties and fighting in wars. Dogs and other carnivores naturally have looser skin than people (since they don't sweat), and this came in handy for molossers because it helped protect them from serious injury.

      What modern conformation breeding has done is taken some of those existing traits - like a shorter muzzle or looser skin - and continued to exaggerate them with each generation. Beyond a certain point, those traits are not only not helpful, they're actually harmful and would be selected against, except that people intervene again with medicines, surgery, C-sections, etc.

      So no, Anonymous, it's not nature that has done this. It is man, and we can undo it, too - not for those individual dogs who are victims of this breeding programme, but for other dogs to come.

    7. The word punish was in relation to criminals in the analogy above - not dog breeders!

      Dog breeders need education and some real standards for registering pedigree dogs. All too often some breeder or person unwilling to see the benefits of the simple change we ask for (which by the way is breeding for healthier stock and genes not for rolls of skin and missing vertebrae or saggy eyelids. That's the ... ahem.... viable solution you're looking for.) will cite the problems with back yard breeding or with malicious animal cruelty but this has nothing to do with those issues.

      "Try these issues first and leave us responsible people to do what we know"

      Do you mean "Leave us alone!" by this, Anon?

  7. what are the exhibitors of these dogs thinking when they look at their faces? do they not notice the lips 'smiling' ie drawn backwards and upwards in an effort to drag more air in? Do they not notice these dogs have slits where they should have actual openings for nostrils? Don't they hear the struggle to breathe these great temperamented little dogs are having? Shame on them and the judges who continue to reward them with a ribbon of any kind.

  8. I notice all the 'old-time' Frenchies had the same shaped skull as the modern ones.

  9. Frida, I opened the last image you posted of the original bulldog in the office just there and a colleague came over to comment on what a stunning dog he thought it was and to ask what breed it was!

  10. Retrieverman: perhaps the preference for French Bulldogs over Boston Terriers is due to temperament differences? I am not familiar with Bostons (very uncommon breed in Spain so far) but they seem to be very active, excitable little dogs, so perhaps not the kind of easy, calm dog many pet owners want?

  11. You are all so naive!!! I was at Windsor dog show, I experienced the beautiful HOT weather. Dogs such as whippets were panting under the heat, does this mean they have problems too? No, get some real evidence before you accuse!

    1. Maybe you should too. That will akin to torture for brachycephalic breeds given the EVIDENCE.

      You are implying that because it's hot and dogs are panting, then that makes it ok. The fact is they are in an environment that is causing them unnecessary distress. A stupid dog show.

    2. Anon 4 July 2014 17:23

      A show isn't an environment that causes unnecessary distress, any more than being in their own garden causes them unnecessary distress. Dogs are (or should be) happiest when they're with their owners, not left at home alone.

  12. Pls go to check the nostil of Crufts BOB 2014, Wildax Monnypenny....

    1. They are a sheer disgrace. That dog has slits in it's nose smaller than gills

  13. Frenchies are cute. But it is cruel to write standards that ask for dogs to suffer. It is simply cruel to breed dogs that have to breathe through nose slits instead of normal nostrils. A few small changes to the standard would be like a visit from Santa Paws to the French Bulldogs.

    Open nares, normal tail and spine, less extreme head, muzzle, back, and tail - can Santa pull those out of his magic bag? No, we must work to improve the standards, and that starts with educating good breeders, and nudging the selfish breeders to bestir themselves to learn, grow, and change for the sake of their dogs, and their breed.

  14. what is wrong with these critics the pics they are saying dog struggling in heat please be aware all dogs will puff and pant in the heat regardless of what breed Yes there are some issues with braccys but all breeds have issues including crossbreds Seious breedres try and do all the right health tests for the breed to improve so do not Categorise everyone who breeds frenchys or any braccy breed in the same basket

  15. The soft pallets on these dogs are so messed up, not only are they struggling to breathe like a couple of bellows (and by the way snoring is NOT cute..some humans are put on air machines at night for this reason so they don't die!) but they also get food caught, spit up regularly (NOT normal for a dog), can't squat properly, short legs and bulbus muscles. Don't get me started on what their poor spines go through. If you believe your Frenchie doesn't have problems it is because they are only managing the best way they can?! what choice do they have?? Any that are put on a plane usually are dead by the time they get to the other end, most can't swim because their head is too heavy and they sink like a stone and they can't even give birth without human intervention. I'm sorry but some of these traits absolutely HAVE to be bred out! How would you feel if with every breath you take you can never get quite enough air to be happy!