Interesting Question & Answer In An Old Bulldogger

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Interesting Question & Answer In An Old Bulldogger

I picked up more older Bulldoggers at the Southwest Oregon Bulldog Club specialties and was looking over them again and found an interesting Q & A where various well known and experienced breeders (many are now judges) were asked:

1) What is the most common fault in Bulldogs today?
2) What is the hardest fault to breed out?
3) Today's dogs, as a whole, are too ________________?

How would you answer these questions now? I will post some of their answers later.


biggest change I've noticed

is the overall quality and number of bitches being shown in the last 20 years. My opinion is that, bitches "in general" have improved.

hugobull's picture

Re: Bad Rear vs. Weak Rear

I suppose it depends on who yoiu are talking to.

a "bad rear" just suggests to me that there is nothing good about it.

A "weak" rear might suggest a formation that is not necessarily faulty, but maybe lacks conditioning.


Agree here too

I have the same problem with Stan he has a very nice front deep chest he has a very short back but great topline and he is spot on at 51 pounds. Does great under breeder judges or even all breed judges that have judged alot of Bulldogs. Put him in the ring with a bunch a big round dogs and he is the odd man out.

Jacinda and the bullies's picture

Bad toplines

I have noticed many straight back dogs in the ring today. Do you think it's because they have shorter backs? That's been my observation as a novice in the ring.

Myspace Comments, Glitter Graphics at

My Opinions

1) What is the most common fault in Bulldogs today?

In my opinion there are 3 very common faults.
a) Bad toplines, flat, high tailsets
b) Two-Planed Heads, shelfiness
c) Bad rear ends, bowed, pidgeon toed, incorrect movement

2) What is the hardest fault to breed out?

I would say the 3 faults I mentioned previously.
Ranking them Toplines, Rear Ends and Two - Planed Heads

3) Today's dogs, as a whole, have bad toplines.

From The Year 1990 (no message)

Some Of Their Answers

Changed my mind about posting some of their answers later, as more thought and possible conversation might arise if I post these now.

Various answers:

Question 1:

-lack of type
-tail placement
-level toplines
-bad rear ends
-every kind of rear end deformity possible
-lack of pugilistic glare
-wry jaws and high tails
-no flat skulls and no underjaws
-bad ears
-a bad gait
-poor toplines
-poor soundness
-size and bad ears
-incorrect toplines
-weak hind quarters
-incorrect heads
-improper layback

Question 2:

-square heads to brick shape
-bad fronts, bad ears, wry jaws
-wry jaw
-straight stifles
-bad tail set
-poor heads
-fly away ears
-bad ears
-lack of pigment and bad jaws
-bad ears
-high tail set
-short tails
-straight hind quarters
-tight shoulders tucked under
-weak hind quarters
-poor jaw and poor lower face development
-bad ears
-a bad bottom jaw
-high ear set with flying ears (almost erect)
-incorrect ears

Question 3:

-too mediocre
-too large
-too often incorrect in movement
-too overdone (too big, too heavy, too wrinkled)
-too LARGE
-too undershot without adequate turnup
-too big
-too many different sizes
-too large (at 70 lbs. +)
-not balanced
-I think the bulldogs are getting better today
-too dependent on veterinary care to survive
-too slab-sided; where did the barrel rib that made up the pear shape go?
-as a whole, have too many health problems; where do you find a good stud that isn't carrying the genes for some health problems?
-too tight fronted with no substance
-too often poor movers
-too fat
-poorly conditioned and lack proper muscular development
-too often graded as show quality when they are not, because of the high prices, and so we have a preponderance of very average quality dogs in the ring at this time
-too overdone
-too lacking in type
-too soft

ickytazz's picture

many all breed judges will pass up a good

chest and shoulder because they look wrong compared to what is in the ring.


Bosco, Bella, Breve' & Holly


Yes...Thank you!

Fronts are becoming like any other breed.

Bad Rear vs. Weak Rear

Elizabeth, could you eloborate on the distinctions between these two terms? I'm not as clear on these as I'd like to be. Do they generally refer to degrees of "incorrectness" in structure and/or movement of the rear legs, or are they exclusive of each other and mean different things?

brinsdenbulldogs's picture

A clearer pic - topline

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]

[linked image]

Otherwise known as "sourmug".. NM


brinsdenbulldogs's picture

This is a good topline to me, hope you can see it trying to find

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]

[linked image]

brinsdenbulldogs's picture

I agree Elizabeth. Its a shame I like a good front.


[linked image]

thanks! n/m

hugobull's picture

Re: Hardest fault to breed out

The ability to "breed something out" had a lot to do with the system of breeding.

If a breeder stubbornly refuses to correct issues in a line breeding program, certain traits seem impossible to correct.

If a family is notorious for certain issues, those problems become a nightmare for years.

And when you breed into that family, you too get straddled with those issues.

Any bad fault can be classified as difficult to weed out.

Personal priorities come into play too.


hugobull's picture

Re: Pictures of proper front?

These two are good;

[linked image]

[linked image]

This is not. It is full and deep, but has no width and no turn of shoulder;
[linked image]

Hardest fault to breed out

I read recently that improper skeletal structure is one of the hardest traits to breed out. Can anyone comment on that?

Pictures of proper front?

Do you have any pictures you could post that represent a really good front?

hugobull's picture


many people don't even know what a good front is anymore since so many of them have no turn at all with elbows directly underneath them, like a boxer or Am Staff.


hugobull's picture

Re: Differences in the standard interpretation

they can be properly short and still have a shapely topline.

Too many people want them so short and discount the flatness.

Interpreting the standard is not often done by many breeders. For some the standard is merely a suggestion, many, many people don't read it at all, go with "what I like"

What people "like" is very often very wrong.


hugobull's picture

too cute?

lack of under jaw, low set noses, down faces that have limited layback do not have good bulldog expression.

Some one back then called them "baby doll" faces (and they were being complimentary).

The breed has modified to the point that many people now would not like a good sour faced bulldog.


hugobull's picture

Re: Definition of Pugilist ...

It is all about the expression that is desireable in a bulldog. Not having to do with the dog Pugilist, but with a fighter (a pugilist).
Some of us call it "piss and vinegar" expression.

Dogs these days are too "cute"

This is what was meant.


Soft can apply to temperament, too.

Can't interpret the initial meaning as put forth in this post, but I've seen a lot of "environmentally sensitive" bulldogs. Much of that could be due to lack of proper socialization. Hard to tell.

I concur ...

Our dog has a good topline, too, but what really is catching my attention lately is the head. I have seen some very shelfy heads, which really just ruins expression IMHO.

Jacinda and the bullies's picture

Thank you Sue

Trace has a pretty decent topline as well and maybe that's one reason I notice the straight backs on the "competition". The high tail sets, lack of a tail and incorrect ears are a problem I notice as well.

Myspace Comments, Glitter Graphics at

too soft??

sorry confused on the last statement.. to soft?

meaning inability to build correct muscle tone, OR soft expression??

Definition of Pugilist ...

Just looked it up. According to Mirriam-Webster, it's a noun meaning "a professional boxer".

Maybe we can liken it to a determined, intense, challenging look and/or expression?

brinsdenbulldogs's picture

In our country the answer to question 1 would be

that many of our Bulldogs here are oversized, have poor ear placement and
no tack on shoulders.

[linked image]

Differences in the standard interpretation

Having only come into this breed about a year, I've tried very hard to study the physical representation of the BCA standard, and compare it against the dogs I see in the ring. Granted, my exposure to dogs is limited compared to many who've been in the breed many years, but what is most obvious to me are incorrect toplines, high tail sets, and shelfy heads (just had this discussion the other day with someone).

I echo Jacinda's comment/concern about whether the desire for very short-backed dogs has adversely affected toplines/tail set.

Seems like many of the problems from 20 years ago are still concerns today?

ps - Jacinda, a couple of months ago you posted pictures of your dog Trace. He was in an alert position and had one of the prettiest, most proper looking, straight heads/laybacks I've seen.

pss- Jay, did you ever get my email after the SD specialty?

Me Too

Hi Sue,

I've not really come across that description before either but the person that wrote that is no longer with us so we can't ask him what he meant. If I were to make an educated guess, it would be an expression like Pugilist. It could also be a sour expression.


"Shelfy or Two-Planed"


The bottom left picture is what is commonly referred to as "shelfy" or "two-planed." The terms are obviously not found in the Standard. These diagrams are from the Illustrated Guide.


[linked image]

Pugilisitc Glare

What is that? I've not run across that description.

Hello, What is


brinsdenbulldogs's picture

I agree Vicki it happens all the time for us

we have a boy who I would consider to be very close to standard but because he looks so different and a lot smaller (he is bang on standard weight) than the others in the ring it is very hard for him. It sux!

[linked image]

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