An Illustrated Guide to the Standard
Authorities differ completely about the origin of the Bulldog. They even have differing opinions as to the spelling of the name. Be it Bondogge, Boldogge, Bandogge, the final spelling is Bulldog. There are even those who dispute why he is called Bulldog. Is it the shape of the head or is it because of his use in the barbaric sports ofbull-baiting, bear baiting and dog fighting? Whatever the name or the origin, there is little doubt that centuries ago there was a canine resembling our present day Bulldog. This Bulldog was lighter boned and higher on leg, but with the courage, tenacity, and determination that still exists today. Over the years other breeds have crossed with the Bulldog to give these traits to their breeds, perhapsthe best known being the Greyhound. After bull-baiting, bear-baiting and dog fighting were prohibited in England in 1835, a few dedicated fanciers worked diligently to breed out the aggressive, vicious tendencies and to modify the Bulldog to look more like we see him today, shorter faced and heavier in structure. The first Bulldog Standard in England was drafted in 1864 and adopted in 1875. TheBulldog Club of America was formed in 1890 utilizing the English Standard. In 1896 a Standard was adopted by the Bulldog Club of America. It was revised in 1914 to declare the Dudley nose a disqualification. In 1976 the Dudley nose disqualification was redefined as a “brown or liver colored nose”. The Standard was reformatted in 1990 with no changes in wording.
FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION
The Bulldog,like all breeds bred to perform a specific task, is the result of intense selective breeding necessary to produce the conformational structure essential for the successful performance of its duties, in this case, the heinous “sport” of bull-baiting. The Bulldog’s most unique physical characteristic, the undershot jaw, held a lockjaw on the bull’s flesh, while the “well laid back” nose facilitatedthe dog’s breathing while retaining its grip. Forehead and face wrinkles directed the bull’s blood away from the nose and eyes of its adversary. The Bulldog’s low-to-the-ground forefront challenged the bull’s frontal attacks while the shortness of hocks provided excellent stamina. The looseness of the skin of the Bulldog’s body often served as a deterrent to penetration of the bull’s horns. Thephysical structure of the Bulldog allowed him to perform his duties with remarkable efficiency. He may very well be the most extreme example of genetic manipulation in the entire canine world.
OFFICIAL STANDARD of the BULLDOG
The official Standard, as accepted by the Bulldog Club of America and approved by the American Kennel Club, is typeset in REGULAR TYPE. The clarifications are set inITALIC TYPE.
The perfect Bulldog must be of medium size and smooth coat; with heavy, thickset, low-swung body, massive short-faced head, wide shoulders and sturdy limbs. The general appearance and attitude should suggest great stability, vigor and strength.
Sound sturdy limbs and the suggestion of great stability, vigor and strength are as important to the present day’sBulldog as they were to its ancestors. The disposition should be equable and kind, resolute and courageous (not vicious or aggressive), and demeanor should be pacific and dignified. These attributes should be countenanced by the expression and behavior.
SIZE, PROPORTION, SYMMETRY
SIZE – The size for mature dogs is about 50 pounds; for mature bitches about 40 pounds. PROPORTION – The circumferenceof the skull in front of the ears should measure at least the height of the dog at the shoulders. SYMMETRY – The “points” should be 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 deformed or ill-proportioned. Proportion and symmetry are of primary importance when evaluating the overall...
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