BREED STANDARD FOR THE FRENCH
BREED STANDARD FOR THE FRENCH BULLDOG
The French Bulldog has the appearance of an active, intelligent, muscular dog of heavy bone, smooth coat, compactly built, and of medium or small structure. Expression alert, curious, and interested. Any alteration other than removal of dewclaws is considered mutilation and is a disqualification.
Proportion and Symmetry--All points are well distributed and bear good relation one to the other; no feature being in such prominence from either excess or lack of quality that the animal appears poorly proportioned.
Influence of Sex--In comparing specimens of different sex, due allowance is to be made in favor of bitches, which do not bear the characteristics of the breed to the same marked degree as do the dogs.
Size, Proportion, Substance
Weight not to exceed 28 pounds; over 28 pounds is a disqualification. Proportion--Distance from withers to the ground in good relation to distance from withers to onset of tail, so that animal appears compact, well balanced and in good proportion. Substance--Muscular, heavy bone.
Head large and square. Eyes dark in color, wide apart, set low down in the skull, as far from the ears as possible, round in form, of moderate size, neither sunken nor bulging. In lighter colored dogs, lighter colored eyes are acceptable. No haw and no white of the eye showing when looking forward. Ears. Known as the bat ear, broad at the base, elongated, with round top, set high on the head but not too close together, and carried erect with the orifice to the front. The leather of the ear fine and soft. Other than bat ears is a disqualification.
The top of the skull flat between the ears; the forehead is not flat but slightly rounded. The muzzle broad, deep and well laid back; the muscles of the cheeks well developed. The stop well defined, causing a hollow groove between the eyes with heavy wrinkles forming a soft roll over the extremely short nose; nostrils broad with a well-defined line between them. Nose black. Nose other than black is a disqualification, except in the case of the lighter colored dogs, where a lighter colored nose is acceptable but not desirable. Flews black, thick and broad, hanging over the lower jaw at the sides, meeting the under lip in front and covering the teeth, which are not seen when the mouth is closed. The under jaw is deep, square, broad, undershot and well turned up.
Neck, Topline, Body
The neck is thick and well arched with loose skin at the throat. The back is a roach back with a slight fall close behind the shoulders; strong and short, broad at the shoulders and narrowing at the loins. The body is short and well rounded. The chest is broad, deep, and full; well ribbed with the belly tucked up. The tail is either straight or screwed (but not curly), short, hung low, thick root and fine tip; carried low in repose.
Forelegs are short, stout, straight, muscular and set wide apart. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet are moderate in size, compact and firmly set. Toes compact, well split up, with high knuckles and short stubby nails.
Hind legs are strong and muscular, longer than the forelegs, so as to elevate the loins above the shoulders. Hocks well let down. Feet are moderate in size, compact and firmly set. Toes compact, well split up, with high knuckles and short stubby nails; hind feet slightly longer than forefeet.
Coat is moderately fine, brilliant, short and smooth. Skin is soft and loose, especially at the head and shoulders, forming wrinkles.
Acceptable colors - All brindle, fawn, white, brindle and white, and any color except those which constitute disqualification. All colors are acceptable with the exception of solid black, mouse, liver, black and tan, black and white, and white with black, which are disqualifications. Black means black without a trace of brindle.
Correct gait is double tracking with reach and drive; the action is unrestrained, free and vigorous.
Well behaved, adaptable, and comfortable companions with an affectionate nature and even disposition; generally active, alert, and playful, but not unduly boisterous.
Any alteration other than removal of dewclaws.
Over 28 pounds in weight.
Other than bat ears.
Nose other than black, except in the case of lighter colored dogs, where a lighter colored nose is acceptable.
Solid black, mouse, liver, black and tan, black and white, and white with black. Black means black without a trace of brindle.
Approved June 10, 1991
Effective July 31, 1991
COLOR AND THE FRENCH BULLDOG BREED STANDARD
The Constitution of The French Bull Dog Club of America says: "The objects of the club shall be . . . to urge members and breeders to accept the standard of the breed as approved by the American Kennel Club as the only standard of excellence by which French Bulldogs shall be judged.
Our Standard has included basically the same color requirements and disqualifications since they were added in 1911. During the intervening 97 years, it has listed the following as disqualifications: solid black, black and white, black and tan, liver and mouse color. In the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) Standard, the term "mouse grey" is used (Mausgrau in German, gris souris in French). Since our color disqualifications were added the same year that a Conference of French Bull Dog Clubs of Europe, at which our club participated, developed the European countries' standard, it is clear that the "mouse" in the US Standard referred to the mouse-grey coat color shown by dogs expressing the recessive "blue dilution" (D/d) gene.
The genetics of canine coat color is complicated because there are several genetic loci involved, some of which control the color and intensity of the pigments, and some of which control the pattern of distribution of these colors.
Briefly, there are two types of pigment in dogs— a light pigment (phaeomelanin) which may range from reddish through yellow to pale cream; and a dark pigment (eumelanin) which is either black or brown. French bulldogs should carry only the gene for the black type of dark pigment and therefore should have only black noses, lips and paw pads. Brown pigment in the coat or nose/lips/pads is
unacceptable (and is the "liver" that our Standard deems a disqualification; it is also a DQ by the FCI standard). The light pigment gives rise to a range of fawn coat colors — all phaeomelanin, but in various degrees of concentration to produce the range of pigmentation from red through fawn to cream. Some fawn Frenchies have a black mask, which is a recognized and acceptable coat.
There is a "pattern" genetic locus that gives rise to brindle coats. Brindle Frenchies have a base coat of fawn hairs through which black hairs extend in bands to produce a coat ranging from a "tiger" brindle in which the fawn hairs predominate, to the more common dark brindles in which the black hairs predominate. In some of the latter, the black hairs are so numerous that there may be only a small number of fawn hairs arranged in one or more bands. Our standard refers to "a trace of brindle," which should have enough fawn hairs to demonstrate this pattern. There is no such thing as a "brindle hair" since brindle is a pattern consisting of a mixture of black hairs and fawn hairs.
Another 'pattern" gene produces pied (piebald) in which the coat is white with pigmented patches most commonly located on the head, tail base, and "saddle". The pigmented patches may be either fawn or brindle, but in a brindle pied dog there must be enough fawn hairs visible in at least one of the pigmented patches to provide the brindle pattern, so that it is not the disqualified "white with black."
Another pattern gene gives rise to black-and-tan (black with tan points), also a disqualification in both the US and the FCI standard. While there have been some black and tan Frenchies, these are rarely seen.
The color that has become more widespread in recent years, and which some are promoting as "rare," is the "blue" coloration caused by the recessive gene called "Blue Dilution" (D/d). This gene can act on both the dark (black or brown) and light (red to yellow) pigments.
In a brindle or a brindle pied dog, what should be black hairs (as well as black pigment on the nose, and paws) is a slatey blue-grey color. In a fawn or fawn pied (white with fawn markings) dog, the fawn hairs are a silvery fawn and the nose, the dark mask (if there is one) and paw pads are slatey blue-grey. Any French Bulldog that has mouse colored hair - whether on a brindle or a fawn dog- should be disqualified as mouse. The coat color constitutes a disqualification - as does the nose color.
Although some people find blue Frenchies attractive, neither they nor their offspring should be sold for show or for breeding, as they all carry a disqualifying genetic fault. If a blue dog (d/d, with two copies of the recessive "blue gene") is bred to another blue (d/d), all of the resulting puppies will also be blue (d/d). If a blue dog (d/d) is bred to a non-blue who is NOT a carrier of the blue gene (D/D), ALL of the puppies will be carriers of, but will not express, the blue gene (D/d). If a carrier of the blue gene (D/d), is bred to a non-carrier (D/D), 1/2 of the puppies will be normal non-carriers (D/D) and 1/2 will be carriers (D/d). If two carriers are bred together (D/d X D/d), 1/4 of the puppies will be blue (d/d), 1/2 will be carriers (D/d), and 1/4 will be normal non-carriers (D/D).
Some people mistakenly believe that even though a dog may have a blue dog in its ancestry, that if no blues have been produced in several generations that means that their dog can’t be carrying the blue gene. This is wrong. It is not like mixing paint in a bucket, progressively diluting out the undesirable gene. A recessive gene will keep passing hidden and unchanged through an infinite
number of generations of carriers. The insidious thing about a recessive gene is that carriers pass the gene on to about 1/2 of their offspring, producing another generation of carriers; then those carriers pass it on to 1/2 of their offspring, and so forth, so that the gene spreads unnoticed through the gene pool as people unaware of an affected ancestor breed its descendents. It will only surface when a carrier is bred to another carrier (or to a blue), which happens when people do linebreeding. This is one of the beneficial things about linebreeding; it exposes the presence of undesirable recessive genes in a line, so that responsible breeders can undertake to eliminate them.
French Bulldogs of Distinction
Breeder of Quality AKC Registered French Bulldogs
Idylls French Bulldogs, Ingrid Gleysteen