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Dr. Räber writes:


My first impression:

How quiet  it was in the hall. The incessant barking noises which are usual for dog shows  were pleasantly absent. Only now and then one of the dogs loudly expressed his  ill-humour about the long waiting periods.

All dogs present were extremely friendly and loved  being touched and caressed by strangers. Neither did I see a shy dog nor an  aggressive one. There were no macho demonstrations among the male dog. Therefore,  the goal to create a "socially amicable" dog has no doubt been achieved with the  Continental Bulldog.

Again, the goal to breed dogs without serious  breathing problems has been greatly achieved with the Continental Bulldog.  Especially notable was the fact that how effortlessly the dogs moved at a trot.  Apart from a few exceptions they showed excellent movement of the hind quarters,  the noisy shuffling, one of the customary trademarks of the English Bulldog, was  not to be heard. Also in this regard, a lot has been achieved towards the  creation of a "sound, mobile dog". It is of course understandable that a breed  at the outset of its creation cannot provide a uniform type. From breeds whose  creation is well documented (like the Eurasian, Kromfohrländer, Saarloos, the  Slovakian Wolfhound, Kaanan Dog, asf) it is well known that approx. ten  generations of strictest selection is needed until a uniform phenotype can be  obtained.

It is to be said that with the Eurasian it was  relatively simple to breed a uniform type as he was created from the Chow Chow  and Wolfspitz and also with the wolf hounds which came into existence from  crossing the German shepherd with wolfs; whereas with the Kromfohrländer, one  still cannot speak of a real phenotype as in order not to lay too much hardship  on such an achievement, a number of varieties are accepted.

The creation of the Continental Bulldog can be  compared with the problems in breeding the Kanaan Dog. There too, the first  breeders, Dres. Menzel, had to chose those animals that fulfilled their vision  of the new breed to the utmost out of a number of dogs mostly of unknown  descent. Based on this knowledge it was to be expected and is absolutely  understandable that various types were presented at the Club Show. The dogs that  were in accordance with the standard to a very high degree were in the minority.  However this will change from generation to generation and could be observed  already now. The dogs in the junior classes were much more uniform than those in  the open classes.



The following remarks shall not be construed as  pre-judgement or as in contradiction to the judge’s critics because from outside the ring quite a number of features that influence the judgement cannot be  properly evaluated.

With a larger part of the dogs I still miss the  aspired proportions of the body (height at shoulder vs. length of body = 1:1,2).  Many dogs are still too long and therefore, a number of them show too much fall  in the back. The same holds true for the ratio height at shoulder : depth of  brisket = 2:1, meaning that in many cases they are still too low to ground.  These proportions are very important with regards to the phenotype of the dog  and must be achieved in the future.

Many dogs, and among them the best, are at the  ultimate level of size. We do not want to have a "little boxer" but at the  utmost a middle sized bulldog; the ideal height is 42 to 44 cm. Most of the dogs  carried a straight tail, screw tails or even twisted ones were rare. To believe  that the form of the tail is an irrelevant detail is to forget that the tail is  the continuation of the spine. A crippled tail usually does not stand by itself  but correlates to a lesser or higher degree to a grave deformation of the discs  in the area of the lumbar vertebra. Deformed tails, therefore, must become  extinct.

A number of dogs have straight hind quarters thus  the croup is higher than the height at shoulder which spoils considerably the  overall impression.

Luckily with the Continental Bulldog the pear-shaped  body meaning the narrow pelvis which by the way is one of the causes for the  whelping problems has practically disappeared. However with some of them I still  miss strong shoulders and elbows that lie closely to the thorax. On the other  hand I did not see many weak pasterns and turned-out feet.

I was also pleased with the fact that many dogs had  a sufficiently long and strong neck and a nicely arched neck line and little  dewlap. Also in this regard a very positive progress has been made.

What concerns the heads I must desist from giving  any opinion as circumference, teeth, wrinkles and eyes cannot be judged from  outside the ring and I have to leave it to the judge to make his evaluations.  All I could say is that for my taste still too many dogs have an extreme stop  which can be one of the reasons for breathing problems and in addition is the  reason for being highly undershot.

In this respect breeders will not find an easy  answer to the problem. On the one hand we would like to be our dogs not or only  slightly undershot but on the other hand the typically large muzzle should  remain. Fact is however, that the length of the upper jaw und the length of the  under jaw are influenced by different and independently acting genetical factors  which means that the shortening of the upper jaw does not necessarily produce an  equally shorter under jaw. Occlusion means that a dog must be able to bite with  his incisors. However, with a distance of more than 2 mm between the upper and  the lower incisors, biting is no longer possible. A distance of 3 mm or more  must be regarded as a deformation of the skull. The aim is to obtain a well  marked stop without the deep dent and a straight nasal bone which must not be  too short.

Conclusion: The club show was an impressive parade of a developing breed and a young club.  Imelda Angehrn has certainly written a new chapter of the History of Cynology  with her Continental Bulldog which – I am convinced – will endure and I am  hopeful that the FCI will include the Continental Bulldog soon in its  nomenclature.

                                                                                                             sig. Dr. h.c. Hans  Räber



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