FBDCA Quarterly Publication
July 1, 2019
The Yelp is back. Let's support it with member input...
We welcome and appreciate Amy Bell for stepping up to be our new Yelp Editor. Very important to remember FBDCA is successful due to all of the involved volunteers. Every phase of our operation is staffed by volunteers. Without the work that has taken place previously, currently, moving forward and beyond where would we be?
Beyond, meaning setting good examples for those working up the ranks. The examples we set... either invite juniors and new people or discourage them. There are so many new and talented Juniors on the horizon. Let's encourage them as they are our future as possible club officers, handlers, judges, or whatever their goal is to be. Show new people how to handle situations by taking the high road. Be kind and determined while realizing we are all in this together because of the breed we love.
Choosing the high road will always lead us to the correct path.
You may be wondering why you are getting a 2nd edition of THE YELP! in 2019 without having a 1st edition. Let me start out by assuring you that your are not crazy, nor did you miss anything, there simply wasn't a 1st quarter edition this year. Please allow me to explain, and to introduce myself. My name is Amy Bell and I will be taking over the Editor's position of THE YELP! Our former editor, Susan Cherwa, stepped down at the end of 2018 after doing an amazing job. I'd like to give her a heartfelt THANK YOU for doing this job so fabulously in the past. My hope is to be able to bring you valuable information and interesting articles that you will find helpful in your breeding and/or showing endeavors or to provide an educational tool if you are a fan or owner of the breed.
If there are any errors or corrections to be made please contact me with the corrections. If you'd like to submit an article for the next publication please email me and put "THE YELP" in the subject line. This is a community newsletter and we'd love to hear from you!
Thank you so much,
Amy Bell, Editor
The Basics of Line-breeding
: A compilation of published articles
and Q&As with Breeders of past and present top 10 Frenchies
Line-breeding is a very special form of breeding. It must be done with careful insight, intent and integrity. It is imperative that documentation of a litter is thorough, honest and unbiased in order to have a successful breeding program. The undesirable outcomes and traits must be documented with just as much detail and honesty as the desired outcomes.
What is the difference in Line-breeding vs Inbreeding?
Most breeders know about inbreeding and line-breeding but find it difficult to clearly distinguish between them. Usually inbreeding is considered to be breeding among immediate relatives (sibling to sibling, parent to offspring), and line-breeding is a more distant version of relatives being paired for carefully planned breeding within 5 or less generations. There is an art and science to proper line-breeding vs simply breeding between relatives.
A staunch believer in line-breeding was LLoyd C. Bracett who often times was quoted as saying, "never outcross when things seem to be going well, do it only as an experiment or when some fault or faults cannot be eliminated". He believed that out-crossing was the least desirable method because it introduced new genes into his pedigrees, which in turn produced differences and genetic variations among the offspring. *This is an excerpt of an article authored by Dr. Carmen L Battaglia titled "Breeding Better Dogs".
*The full article of breeding better dogs can be viewed by visiting
What is an outcross?
When you breed an animal outside of your pedigree (totally unrelated).
How do you do a Pedigree Analysis to determine a complimentary pair for a planned breeding?
Ancestors hold influence several generations back.
When looking at a pedigree I look at fathers, mothers, grandfathers, grandmothers, even aunts and uncles as far as they branch to see what I can find out about what they’ve produced (even as far back as 3-4 generations). By looking at and comparing the get it gives you a better idea of the structure, conformation and qualities you are going to produce. Look at as many puppies that the ancestors have produced. You’ll begin to see a consistency in what is produced (tail set, topline, bone, etc.) Research what each dog has produced and track it out as far as you can.
What is a planned breeding?
A planned breeding is a carefully thought out pairing in order to try and get a specific desired result. Breeding when a female is in season to a dog in close proximity or one who has the lowest stud fee should not be the top qualifiers for picking a stud. Also, in choosing the best dogs for a breeding, skilled breeders do not look at win records as the major deciding factor. It is the pedigree and how the individual dog “fits” with the breeding program that really counts. Correctly planning breedings should be based on the things learned from the offspring of a given pair by documenting what worked, what didn't and why. One can determine based on the findings of a litter if a repeat breeding is warranted. If a repeat breeding is not warranted, document why and what is desired for a future breeding. Always have a plan and keep detailed records.
What are your final criteria for narrowing that field down to choosing just one stud?
After you've found several complimentary potential mates, it is important to narrow it down by emphasizing Health, Temperament and Breed Characteristics that will best offset the undesirable traits of their intended partner while complimenting the desirable traits. Using quality, healthy, dogs that are related to each other should result in consistent type all while preserving your pedigree.
Do you always like to see your perspective studs in person ,or is doing due diligence on pedigree, litter history, health records, photos and word of mouth information acceptable?
I absolutely want to see the dog in person and put my hands on him. Be prepared to walk away if the dog is not acceptable for the desired outcome you are looking for. For example: If the dog has a weak rear and you are looking to strengthen your rears you won’t know that without seeing the dog in person and having your hands on him. This is true of any other physical attribute that can be hidden in photos or that is unspoken by peers. The litter history, pedigree and health tests speak for themselves, but in my opinion it’s extremely important to see the dog in person and get a good look at their physical attributes, and always have a plan B if you decide to opt out of using that stud. Just because it matches on paper does not always mean it’s a good fit.
Why is Litter Evaluation so important?
It’s HUGE! I would venture to say it’s the most important thing. If you don’t evaluate a litter you don’t know what your line is producing that will affect your entire breeding program for years to come. It’s important to accept that you’re never going to have a perfect litter, but you have to look to see where the consistencies are and what’s been produced by the pair you’ve bred. Headpieces really cannot be judged during a puppy evaluation since they continue to grow for up to 2 years. While evaluating the puppies note all of their commonalities, (ex. Good fronts, good rears, plum, good bone), but also note undesirable commonalities (ex. topline, tail set, pigment, length of leg etc.) if present, then take the best pick for your breeding program. Remember, what my pick is might not be your pick if we have different things to tweak in our own programs. When you’ve made your pick, take the traits written in your notes and trace it back to where that came from and decide if you want to repeat that breeding or go to his father, or another relative etc.
How do you go about evaluating a litter and in your opinion what is the optimal age to do so?
8 weeks is the optimal age. If you can, get somebody knowledgeable who knows what they are doing to do the unbiased evaluations. Stack them on the table and go over their conformation notating plum lines, look for them to be sound and balanced, notate their front, rear, toplines, tail set, bone, ears, pigment etc. It’s also important to notate differences in their temperaments while evaluating show prospects.
Why is it important to mentor and to have mentors no matter how long you've been in the business?
It’s the most important thing…THE MOST IMPORTANT! No one knows everything, so it’s extremely important to listen to those that have gone before and who have made mistakes that you don’t have to repeat. We can all learn from others' mistakes. You’ll also make mistakes that you can learn from and teach others. The elders also hold knowledge of the pedigrees of the past and can tell you a lot about the dogs that are dead and gone that a pedigree or piece of paper just cannot express. It’s important to have instrumental mentors helping you with pedigree, what dogs have produced, and you can have multiple minds helping you make difficult decisions. Always be willing to learn and don’t be stingy with information when teaching a young mentee who is willing to listen. Honesty and transparency are key.
What is the best piece of advice from your mentors that you've been given over the years of breeding quality Frenchies?
The one thing that was pounded into me over and over again when I first started breeding was to “study, study, study pedigree and then stay within your line.” *Side note, studying pedigree is not just the dogs' names, it’s what they produced, health, temperaments etc.
What is a piece of advice you'd like to impart to your mentees?
Exactly what mine did…Start with a good line, the type that you like, and stay with it.
by Amy Bell
Gus Sinibaldi is an AKC judge living in Charlotte, North Carolina who started in Bulldogs over 22 years ago. He later downsized to French Bulldogs and is a Breeder of Merit. He has bred multiple Best in Show, Reserve Best in Show and Specialty show winners. He currently judges eight breeds and is continuing his passion for the judging of purebred dogs.
Question 1: What is your opinion of the current quality of purebred dogs in general, and your breed in particular?
Overall I find the quality of purebred dogs to be good. This quality is supported by responsible breeding and by the love and preservation of the breed. While the depth of quality is not always evident, there are times when the quality is in abundance, which makes judging and exhibiting really exciting.
Question 2: What is your advice to a new breeder and your advice to a new judge of your breed?
The advice I have for new breeders is to be patient, continue working with mentors that you trust, and make good, well-thought-out , long-term decisions that preserve the health of your breed. I ask that you understand any specific issues your breed is facing and to be part of the solution and not the problem. Please do not operate in the moment. Breeding healthy and good representatives of your breed takes time. It is a marathon and not a sprint.
To new judges and those with regular status my advice would be to stay connected to your mentors and be sure to have more than one. Diversity of thought is a good thing providing you different points of view. Remember, breed-specific standards can change. It is important to get in front of those changes. I recommend that you always consider the whole dog and look for balance. Understand the hallmarks of any breed you judge and do not get caught up on parts. And finally, create a good experience for the exhibitor. Be thorough and give everyone a good look and exam with a smile and remember to always point to the best dog.
Question 3: What is the most common fault you see when traveling around the country?
The most common fault I see is less about the dog and more about the exhibitor or breeder. Before ever thinking the system is against you, read your standard on a regular basis, and be sure that you too are evaluating the whole dog. When a judge looks at the entire package, they could be forgiving of a fault. If you want to lodge a complaint, speak to the AKC rep objectively and/or write to AKC Judges Operations. Complaining about something through social media or by bending your friend’s ear, may make you feel better, but does not change results. Regarding overall conformation I would say we should work on more bone and muscle, bites, and toplines. Sadly, I do see a number of wry jaws or jaws lacking turn up. I see toplines that are either flat or too extreme. And I encourage breeders to pay attention to movement. Are the dogs reaching and driving or are they taking many small steps?
Question 4: What are you most drawn to when a dog enters the ring prior to getting your hands on them?
A judge knows immediately if the dog represents the vision he/she has in their head for the breed entering the ring. For me I will immediately notice a heavy boned, muscular, compact and balanced dog from the profile. I then walk down the line and look at heads and expression expecting to see large square heads with dark round eyes and high set ears of good size. Work really begins when the dogs do not exhibit those attributes.
Question 5: Will you explain from a judge’s perspective why having your hands on a dog can yield a whole other opinion of the overall conformation rather than just viewing a lineup of dogs from a distance?
I like this question a lot. We can all be ringside critics and sometimes surprised when our pick doesn’t win. When the dog is on the table many things are revealed. The true eye shape and color of eyes, the muscle and tone of the dog, and the bite can all reveal something different on the table. A French Bulldog is not coated, so what you see is what you get. But overall structure and tone is best determined with your hands. And one more thing….. the eyes looking back at you speak volumes.
Question 6: How has being a breeder/owner/handler prior to being a judge shaped your ability to be completely objective in what some may think has become a political event or a popularity contest?
My first reaction to this question is that it hasn’t. I believe doing the right thing, taking your job seriously, and being ethical is innate. However, I do not lose sight to what it takes to breed and raise litters, care for them, pay for entries, take time off from work, and sometimes travel great distances. I take the responsibility to create the best experience possible for the exhibitor and to do right by the breed very serious. A judge must be thorough and give every entry their time and attention while managing their ring efficiently.
Question 7: When you are judging, what order of importance do you put on the handling of the dog, the temperament of the dog, the overall conformation, and movement and what areas are you more likely to forgive than others?
This may be a weak answer, but it truly depends on the quality of the entry. Beyond breed type which we discussed in a previous question, these are all important elements. I strongly believe a French Bulldog should move in an unrestrained, free and vigorous fashion with reach and drive. This goes back to structure. Overall type comes first with movement as a determining factor. Temperament in any breed is critical. We know that a French Bulldog should have an affectionate nature and be active and alert. As far as handling of a dog, a good dog will be found by a good
judge even when they are not perfectly behaved. I don’t care if they move on the table or take some playful steps. I want the dog to have fun too!
Question 8: Do you have a color preference or bias?
Absolutely Not! Conformation and breed type knows no color. As long as it is not a disqualifying color, coat type, or coat pattern, I love them all.
Question 9: To date, what has been your best show experience, and what is one goal you are looking to achieve prior to retirement in breeding/showing/judging?
Breeding quality dogs that do well in the show ring and to produce quality get is what drives me. I have been blessed with a number of great show experiences and some very proud moments. I want to be known as a successful breeder, a fair judge, and someone who gave back by mentoring many while shaping the future of our breed. Being on the judges panel for Mexico City’s Tournament of Champions was an incredible experience and one I won’t soon forget.
Question 10: From an exhibitor’s perspective what is the proper protocol for engaging judges conversationally? Speak only when spoken to, or exchange brief pleasantries while your dog is on the table, or do you find it refreshing when exhibitors approach you after a show to find out what you liked or didn’t like about their dog?
Please talk to me. I am friendly and will likely speak to the dog on the table. Some of you answer back on behalf of your dog which is quite amusing. Conversation at the table does not influence decisions. The dog decides that, but please have fun. When approaching judges about their decisions, please keep the following in mind. A judge may have just judged in excess of 150 dogs. If you have your dog with you, it will jog my memory. I really don’t care for the conversations that start with “What didn’t you like about my dog”? There may have been a lot I liked about your dog.
However, on that day another dog had more of what I was looking for. I personally am happy to share what I liked about your dog and where there could be opportunity. It is one person’s opinion, but I am always happy to share my perspective. But be prepared, I may ask you to share the virtues of your dog and if there are things you would change. I expect you to also know your standard.
Question 11: If you could impart one nugget of wisdom with the French Bulldog Community what would it be?
This is easy. Be nice. Be kind. Be humble. Be genuine. Be helpful. Be honest. And finally, be the person your dog thinks you are.
Noteworthy News for May 2019 FROM AKC
submitted by Theresa Wilson
The AKC has been busy creating new programs, working to advance the sport, along with our mission to protect and promote purebred dogs and responsible dog ownership. It is my pleasure to share some of these developments with you.
The AKC has expanded our FIT DOG program by recognizing clubs and organizations that provide canine
fitness classes and organized canine walks as AKC FIT DOG clubs. To date, we have had over 130 FIT Dog clubs participating in the program. AKC FIT DOG, which was launched in September of 2018, was created to encourage owners to walk with their dogs. The program adopted the American Heart Association’s recommendation of 30 to 40 minutes of walking per session for a minimum total of 150 minutes per week. Owners who achieve this level of activity for three months may apply for a free car magnet featuring the AKC FIT DOG logo. In the first five months of the program, over 1900 owners have applied for magnets. We are very excited about the growth of this program and its goal to create fit owners and dogs.
Now more than ever, fitness is important for both dogs and people. The most commonly recommended exercise to improve fitness is walking. Walking is considered a safe activity that improves muscular strength, circulation, memory, weight loss, increases energy, helps with sleep, and reduces stress. The American Heart Association recommends walking a minimum of 150 minutes per week. Participation in the AKC FIT DOG program will bring health benefits to both you and your dog.
If you walk with your dog on a regular basis, join the ranks of AKC FIT DOG and get your free (5-3/4 inches) FIT DOG logo car magnet.
The AKC FIT DOG magnet proudly declares to the world that you are committed to your dog’s health and fitness through regular exercise.
You can order your free magnet when you and your dog have met one of these fitness goals:
- Walked at least 30 minutes 5 times per week for a total of at least 150 minutes per week for at least 3 months. For dogs and people in good shape.
- Walked at least 15 minutes per session at least 10 times per week (e.g., two 15-min walks per day) for at least 3 months. For dogs or people who would benefit from a walk that is a shorter duration, e.g., senior dogs.
How to Get Your Magnet
- Complete your walks. Keep a record so you will know when you’ve met your goal. You can either keep your own records or use the form we have created for you, which can be located here.
- Complete the Magnet Order Form. It’s that simple! We’ll send your magnet.
If you are already taking your dog on regular walks, you may count those. Remember that before starting an exercise program for your dog, it is a good idea to consult with your veterinarian.
FIT DOG Clubs
NEW! We are pleased to announce the development of AKC FIT DOG Clubs!
September 2018, AKC launched the AKC FIT DOG program where dog owners who walk a specified distance with their dogs can receive a free AKC FIT DOG car magnet. It has been a great success and now the program has expanded to recognize AKC FIT DOG Clubs! These are local groups which meet and accomplish certain fitness goals together with their dogs.
Groups that may be approved as AKC FIT DOG clubs include: AKC clubs, independent dog training schools, and other dog related clubs and organizations.
To promote health and fitness for dogs and their owners, AKC FIT DOG clubs will:
- Conduct at least 4 group fitness walks per year, or
- Conduct regularly scheduled canine fitness/conditioning classes.
In the fitness walks and classes, dogs and owners may participate at their own individual skill level.
Groups that are approved as AKC FIT DOG clubs will receive a free banner with the AKC logo and the club’s name.
In April the AKC Public Education Department launched the AKC B.A.R.K (Be A Reading Kid) program to get children excited about reading. The goal of the AKC B.A.R.K Program is to provide children with a fun, educationally enriching experience that also allows them to bond with a canine companion. In this program, children will read to a dog of their choosing and a parent or guardian will assist them in logging their hours on the AKC website. If a child does not own a dog, their parent/guardian can find a local AKC Canine Ambassador and arrange a visit. After reaching certain milestones, children will receive incentives for the hours they have read. Dogs participating in the program will be acknowledged with a certificate for their volunteerism.
To close out the month of April, we hosted the first ever AKC Agility Premier Cup presented by EEM at the NYCB Live at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Long Island on April 25th. The top 60 canine agility competitors and their handlers from around the country were invited to compete at the Invitational. Twelve dogs competed at each jump height (8”,12”, 16”, 20”, and 24”) for $10,000 in cash prizes. We congratulate the five dogs who rose to the top to win their respective jump heights. This family-friendly event was held in conjunction with the Longines International Masters Championship Cup and marked the first time a major AKC Agility event was held at an Equestrian event, demonstrating the extraordinary abilities of both horses and dogs in their respective sports. We appreciate the opportunity to work with EEM World and look forward to hosting this family-oriented event again next year. This is just a brief overview of some of the
recent happenings at the AKC and ways in which we are carrying out our mission. Look for more updates next month.
THE AKC ANNOUNCES CONFORMATION PUPPY OF ACHIEVEMENT PROGRAM ENHANCEMENTS
New York, N.Y. – The American Kennel Club is pleased to announce enhancements to the conformation
Puppy of Achievement (POA) program. After a successful pilot program in 2017-2018, the Board of Directors decided to accept the recommendation of staff to continue and enhance the POA program. A survey conducted at the end of the pilot program showed there was strong agreement that the program was successful in attracting and retaining new participants.
Puppy of Achievement points are earned by winning regular puppy classes or being awarded Best of Breed or Best of Opposite Sex in the 4-6 Month Beginner Puppy (BPUP) competition. Dogs that earn 10 POA points will receive a certificate for their accomplishment. For details regarding how points are awarded, please see the link at the bottom of this announcement. All dogs exhibited in the regular puppy classes or in BPUP competition are eligible to earn POA points. There is no special entry requirement and no fee associated with the program.
“Since POA points are earned in existing classes, there is no administrative impact on the clubs,
superintendents or judges,” said Bri Tesarz, Manager of Dog Show Rules & Programs. “Starting May 1, enhancements to the program include adding POA points to the Individual Dog Award Record and Points Progression report, which owners can access for free to check their puppy’s progress online. In addition, an encouragement email will be sent to owners when their puppy is half way toward earning its POA certificate.”
“New puppy owners sometimes need extra encouragement to maintain their participation,” said
Doug Ljungren, Executive Vice President for Sports and Events. “The Puppy of Achievement program is meant to provide a realistic goal that new exhibitors can strive to attain while they and their dog gain experience. Attracting and retaining new exhibitors is important for the future of the sport. The pilot program demonstrated that the POA program is a step in the right direction.”
How to Keep Your Dog Calm During Fourth of July Fireworks
Jul 01, 2019 |
The Fourth of July is coming up, meaning many dog owners will be dealing with howling, barking, and generally anxious dogs. It’s largely believed that Independence Day is the day
when the highest number of dogs run away
. But just what are the dogs afraid of?
“It can be the smell. It can be the noise and the flashes of the light,” says Judy Morgan, DVM, of Dr. Judy Morgan’s Naturally Healthy Pets based in Woodstown, New Jersey. Your dog may “tremble, shake, shiver, howl, and bark — some of them get frantic.”
If you are unsure of how your new dog might react, Morgan says that pups that don’t cope well during thunderstorms are likely to get scared of fireworks. The good news is that there are steps you can take to help your dog. Here are nine expert-approved tips to prevent your dog from freaking out during fireworks.
1. Keep Your Dog Away From Fireworks
“First of all, don’t take your dogs to fireworks shows,” says Morgan. “And don’t leave them outside during fireworks.” Keeping your dog inside in the evening on the Fourth of July is the best idea, especially if you fear they might not react well.
2. Make Sure Your Pet Has Proper ID
Ensure that the information on your pet’s collar is current and
make sure your dog is microchipped
and has a GPS device. “If they escape, there’s a better chance they’ll get returned,” says Morgan.
3. Create a Safe Haven For Your Dog
Morgan recommends creating a place where your dog will (hopefully) feel comfortable. “You should get your pet used to a calming environment beforehand. Dogs are den animals — they’re looking for that cave to get away from it all.”
Try setting up an area in a quiet space away from windows — such as a basement or a larger closet — so that they can’t hear or see fireworks. Use a crate if that’s where your dog feels safe, and make sure to provide your pup with familiar toys and treats (Morgan will freeze bone broth in ice cube trays).
4. Play White Noise
You can try leaving a fan,
, or radio on to help mask the sounds of the fireworks. “There’s some classical music called ‘Through A Dog’s Ear’ that has been shown to have calming effects for dogs,” says Jenn Stanley, certified behavior consultant and professional dog trainer, and co-owner of Awesome Pawsabilities Pet Training & Behavior Consultations based in North Carolina.
5. Comfort Your Dog
If you can, try staying home with your dog or leaving them in the hands of a trusted person. One of Morgan’s relatives usually stays with her dog in the closet to help soothe the animal.
“You absolutely can and should comfort your dog if he’s afraid,” says Stanley. “The key here is in how you do so. It’s important to remain calm and use a soothing, even tone. Petting them can be comforting — long, slow, firm strokes along the length of their body are typically very soothing.”
The one thing to avoid? Seeming frantic in any way, says Stanley. Rapidly saying, “It’s OK, it’s OK, it’s OK” in a higher-than-average pitch may make your dog think that there really is something to fear. Try your best to remain calm and reassuring to help your canine companion.
6. Walk Them Before the Fireworks Start
Head out for your long walk before the sun sets to increase the chances that you’ll avoid the sounds. When you do go out, you’ll want to ensure your dog is secure on a leash before your walk.
“Double-check the fit of your dog’s collar or harness before going outside. A leash, even if you have a fenced-in area, is a great added safety measure to help keep your dog close to you and under control should they get startled,” says Stanley.
7. Desensitize Your Dog to the Sounds of Fireworks
If you suspect your dog will freak out at the sound of fireworks, try playing sounds of fireworks (softly) so your dog is used to hearing them. Try pairing a video of the sounds of fireworks with a treat your dog likes, suggests Stanley, in a process called counter-conditioning.
“The volume should be low enough that your dog can notice it, but does not show signs of stress like panting, pacing, leaving the area or trying to hide,” says Stanley. “We call this keeping the dog ‘below threshold,’ and it makes it possible for learning to take place. If the dog is overwhelmed, they’re looking to escape the situation and are not going to be nearly as capable of learning that it’s not a threat.” Her other tips including increasing the volume gradually, varying the source of the sound, and using different recordings.
8. Talk to Your Vet
If your pet’s anxiety is severe, consider booking an appointment with your vet so you can discuss a medication that could help soothe your dog’s anxiety. “If you have a dog that is bad enough and you haven’t done any prep work, and you know your pet is going to be in panic, try true therapeutic treatment,” says Morgan.
9. Consider Hiring a Trainer
If fear is negatively impacting your pup’s life, consider enlisting the expertise of a trainer, says Stanley. “You can
work with a trainer or behavior consultant
to desensitize your dog to fireworks or other fears gradually — it’s never too soon to start planning for next year.”
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