How being more dog can help improve your Mental Health

Good Mental Health
Good Mental Health by being in the moment

Do you worry about the little things in life? Do you worry about what is going to happen in the future ? Why not improve your Mental Health by following the example of dogs. Read on to find steps to improve your Mental health

 

 

 

Sat on the sofa watching my French Bulldog, Dinky Daisy, in front of the fire on her bed, chewing her ‘antler’ toy – a favorite at the moment, it makes me think that she looks so content and happy.

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Dinky Daisy – relaxing x

As I sit, I am not completely happy, I always have that worry in the pit of my stomach – what haven’t I done, what should I be doing, I can’t cope with what life is throwing at me, I will not cope with what is coming up…

I am sat thinking that I am looking old, that I should be exercising more – my Joe Wicks book still sat on the shelf. I am sat feeling guilty that I am not a good enough wife, mother, sister and daughter – I haven’t sent my nephew a Birthday card…I should have done that. 

I have all the self help books,   ‘ overcoming worry’, ‘how to succeed in life’, ‘CBT to help anxiety and depression’ but maybe I am looking in the wrong places to  – I look down again at my feet where my French Bulldog is still chewing away stopping just to glance at me with love and happiness in her eyes, well she does also have a little ‘don’t you even think of having my antler bone – it is mine!’ but we will brush past that look – lets stick with the love and happiness look

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This may sound completely barking, excuse the pun, but maybe I should learn some lessons from my best friend, Dinky Daisy. I don’t know call it dog mindfulness, becoming more zen dog.

I understand that dogs do not have the pressures that we have as humans, but surely I can learn something from my dog, can’t I ? She is not anxious, depressed, she is confident and happy – so what can I learn from my dog ? 

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  1. Walking, Running, Exercise

Dinky Daisy needs exercise, she becomes stressed if I don’t take her out for a good old walk in the fresh air – she loves to run and she would be outside all the time if I let her. So how can I use that for improved Mental Health. Well it is a fact that exercise increases the feel good hormones, helps to relax and improves mood. Walking is great and having a dog makes you go out everyday, even if you don’t feel like it, I always feel better after being out on the windy moor where I live. 

2. Can sit quietly, completely content

Now this is something I know I can’t do, not like her, she can sit there on the sofa, still, happy, content and quiet – I do everything in my power not to sit with my thoughts as they are not very good company, they are my arch enemy – best if I stay busy. If I sit quietly I will start the self loathing cycle or the worry cycle – why would I want to do that – I can go from ok to feeling useless in less than 60 seconds just by sitting with my thoughts. I should make myself sit quietly for at least 10 minutes, empty my head of the bad thoughts and replace them with thankfulness and appreciation. Yoga meditation is great for practicing this and I have found many free Yoga videos posted online. 

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3. Staying in the moment

Dogs don’t think in the future, they are in the present, in the moment – worry is mostly about the future…I am going out with friends tomorrow night..great, I am so excited – but wait (let the worry commence), what if I can’t find the new pub we are meeting..Oh god, what if there is not a parking space and I have to parallel park, what if I am not on form and have nothing interesting to talk about..Oh no, I had forgotten about the ‘what am I going to wear nightmare’ I am sure I have put weight on since I last saw them – bet they will think I am looking ugly whatever I put on…and so it goes on – by this point I don’t want to go, I could call and say I have to work late, I have food poisoning…so by thinking about the future I have put myself off from going to what would have been a great night with my best friends.  So by not staying in the moment I have not only ruined tomorrow night but also today as I will now spend the next 12 hours worrying, that is a lot of hours to miss what is going on right now. 

4. Asking for what she wants with not guilt or embarrassment

Another thing I am terrible at doing, Dinky Daisy lets me know exactly what she wants. she doesn’t go around the houses when asking me to give her a cuddle, a toy, a walk – she lets me know that’s what she wants and needs from me. Me, if I need something I may feel guilty that I need it, afraid to ask in case the answer is no or I am seen as ‘silly’ asking – do you know what I mean? – example – I am feeling low, upset and all I want is some comfort from my husband, I want a cuddle and 5 minutes to explain that I am feeling low and not sure why- so instead of saying something to him I fester, nag about other things, get frustrated and start snapping at those around me, work myself up and get upset about the smallest things. If I changed that into letting those who love me know exactly what I needed and tell them ‘ I woke up feeling not great can I have a cuddle and talk it through for a minute’ he would most likely do it – this could be enough to change the whole day – make me feel supported, listened to and I might even be able to discover what it is that is upsetting me so I can move on from the feelings. 

6. Time

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“canines are equipped with a natural instinct to live in the moment, despite having an understanding of the concept of time. It’s that devil-may-care attitude that allows them to forget about what happened yesterday — good or bad — and not worry a bit about what will happen tomorrow.” Click here to find out more

So dogs do have a concept of time, but not in the way us humans do – dogs tend to live in the moment and do not have an instinct to look to the future and worry – I live by the clock, time is either going to fast or slow – usually fast – I worry that I am not going to get everything done in the day – but do I put to much emphasis on time, I understand that we have to clock watch when we have to, for example, get to our  jobs, but on those days off – do I really need to clock watch and worry about what I am not doing, and when I am doing something thinking about the other things I should be doing or think I should be doing ! Living in the moment could lessen the anxiety that clocks bring to my life

5. Play

Dogs play, with out embarrassment,  watch your dog play with a ball – pure joy on their part – and fun for us humans to watch. Watch your dog chew at their favorite toy or drag their teddy around – they are completely focused on playing. When dogs are young they play to learn and practice new skills, but they still play when they are adult dogs – to me they continue to play as a release, they enjoy it – Daisy doesn’t care what I or anyone else thinks of her when she plays – Have you seen the TV where it shows wild animals play – why do they do it ? As adults we stop playing, why? Maybe we would feel a whole lot better if we did play – I am not talking all the time – but maybe we should incorporate it into our day – learn to do something we enjoy and do it once a day – live life, to not see playing as a waste of time but as a vital part of having good mental health so we can tackle the harder things that life throws our way…just a thought 

6. Have people around you that love you

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Dinky Daisy would not be as content and healthy if it was for not of the love of my husband and I – Dogs are only these things when they have a human family who love and care for them. This is the most vital point in her contentment – she has all she needs to flourish into a healthy. well-rounded dog that is provided by us. If this care is withdrawn the dog becomes anxious, aggressive, withdrawn – just look at dogs who have been abused by their owners…same for us as humans – we also need to surround ourselves with people who nourish us for us to flourish. 

motivation-1992299_12807. Transparent emotions /  show your happiness

When I have been at work all day and I walk through the front door I don’t even get the chance to put my handbag down as Dinky Daisy jumps madly onto me, her bum wiggling ( her  attempt to tail wag), running manically around the living room – if she could talk I am sure she would be shouting at the top of her voice …I AM SO HAPPY YOU ARE HOME !!  

on the flip side if she is upset, nervous, angry she shows me – she doesn’t hold back showing her emotions, non of this suppressing it – so why do I suppress my emotions ? 

After being at work I am happy to be home and see my family, but often this gets buried deep and for some strange reason I will walk through the door and start moaning, either about my day or the mess that is presented to me as I walk in – should it not matter more that I walk in showing the same as Dinky Daisy … you know the…I AM SO HAPPY to be home, that I have a wonderful family and I am now home with them…the human equivalent of the tail wag. 

10. Don’t worry or think about what others think if you

Example ; I feel fine leaving the house, I go into town and stop for a coffee – I have mobility problems which means I can walk funny -stiff with a bit of a swingy leg – a woman at the table I walk I think looks at me ‘funny’ – what is she thinking about me? is now all I am thinking about…if she is thinking it everyone else is noticing my swingly leg and thinking I look like like an idiot? I wish I hadn’t come out. Believe me those negative thoughts then start to spiral – bet people I have walked past have thought how fat I am, ugly I am, stupid I am, old…now I am not looking forward to my hot chocolate (with cream and little marshmallows), now I just want to run home and curl up in bed. So what happened – I let my perception of ‘what I think others are thinking of me’ to ruin my day. You know what, I bet that woman in the shop didn’t even look at me, you usually find, if we asked, most people are not looking at you and forming a negative judgement about you – it’s in your head ! 

11. Don’t judge others on appearance, religion, ethnicity, sexuality  and don’t let what others bother you

Dinky Daisy does not judge anyone by what they look like, who their partner is or what they believe – she judges others on how they treat her – Treat Dinky Daisy well and she will love you unconditionally, treat her bad and she will not want to be near you – simple. 

She doesn’t look at me sat on the sofa in my PJ’s and thinks oooo she should be dressed by now… no she comes over and wants a cuddle. My friend doesn’t believe in God but I don’t see Dinky Daisy going over and saying – “no don’t tickle my belly as you are a non – believer !” We definitely should learn that from dogs – not the belly rub thing, the non-judgement thing.

These are just a few of my late night thoughts on the subject and I will look at each one in more depth, and might even add some more as I continue to talk to people and read on the subject.

Please if you have any thoughts on this subject or would like to guest blog for me on the subject of Dogs and Mental Health then comment below or contact me via the contact tab.

Have a ‘More dog than human day’ and have fun…

 


Table of important dates of dog pregnancy – Milestones, behaviors and care

 

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Use the Table below to see the important days in your girls pregnancy – see below table to get more detailed information

 

IMPORTANT DAYS OF 63 DAYS OF PREGNANCY

 

 

NOTES – please see notes written below table for more detailed information
1st Day  start of 1st Month of Pregnancy

 

 

 

First Mating
2nd Day

 

 

 

1.       Count Birth date of puppies from in between 1st and 2nd mating – 63 days

2.       Do not increase food for Mum to Be

3rd Day

 

 

 

Second Mating
   
28th Day

 

 

 

       3.Ultrasound or Blood test to be done
   
30th Day 4.     Note all bitches show signs of pregnancy

5.     If pregnant changes in behaviour

31st  Day start of 2nd Month of Pregnancy

 

 

 

6.     Feed Mum to Be Puppy food

 

   
56th Day last week of Pregnancy

 

 

 

7.     Increase food intake for Mum to Be by 1/3 rd
   
62nd Day

 

 

 

8.     Puppies could be born
63rd Day

 

 

 

9.     Puppies could be born
64/65th Day

 

 

 

10.  Puppies could be born

 

Detailed Notes

  1. So what most people say when a Dam is having puppies is that it is a “63” day pregnancy – this can be hard to work out with much accuracy. A rule of thumb is to take the 63 day count to start from the date between the 1st mating and 2nd mating of your girl. So a healthy pregnancy is for 2 Months – in puppy development the puppies develop their organs and limbs in the 1st Month and then the pups will use the 2nd Month to grow in size.

 

  1. In the first Month of Pregnancy you do not need / or should you increase your females food intake, just feed a good quality feed – it is vital that you do not let her increase her fat (weight ) as it will just make it so much harder and lead to more complications when she is giving birth – None of this feeding for 2 or 3 or 4 business then??

 

 

  • On the 28th Day is Ultra Sound Day – You have to wait until 28 days to have a useful Ultra Sound done to see if she is 1. Pregnant and 2. How many puppies she is having because you would not see much before that – Did you know that all Bitches that have come into season think and show signs of being pregnant ? So in the first 30 days all females can have the signs of a. increased appetite, b. laid back behaviour and c. so changes in pecking order if living with other dogs …that explains a lot in our household at the moment – we have 2 females living together, who came into season at the same time, and it is like an episode of War and Peace going on – “I hate you…I love you…” Believe me it is an EPIC drama going on.

 

It is important to have a scan at 28 days so that you can also see how many puppies she is going to have – why? Well, if there are only a couple of puppies they have more room to grow and will become very large when she is due to give birth – if they grow too big it may be hard for her to give birth without help

If it shows up that she is having a over sized litter then the Bitch may struggle to get enough nutrition to support to produce all healthy pups – she may well need extra  nutrition in the form of Calcium ( but do not give this unless advised by vet)

 

Other than an Ultra Sound your female could have a blood test to test for the pregnancy hormone ‘Relaxin’ – Only Pregnant Bitches would show up Relaxin – but again this can only show up in the blood from 28 days onwards – of course this will only tell you if she is pregnant and not any more info…like how many.

 

  1. So the changes you could notice in your female dog are
  2. a) Appetite increase
  3. b) A Lower tolerance in exercise – especially in the 2nd month of pregnancy
  4. c) She can become more aggressive to other dogs in the household
  5. d) Can become picky with her food
  6. So this is the start of the 2nd Month of pregnancy and when it comes to food it is suggested that you feed puppy food, this is due to the nutritional concentration being very high , including the all important Calcium – Phosphorus – which is found in puppy food.

 

  1. In this last week of pregnancy you can increase food intake ( puppy food ) by 1/3 rd – that is all, she will not be able to fit too much food in any way as all room will be taken up with puppies ! Little and often and think quality not quantity as being the most important thing for her.

 

  1. So prepare for the puppies to be born on any of these days – If she is carrying fewer puppies then more likely to be on days 63/64/65 – if she is carrying lots of puppies then she is likely to give birth early – day 61/62 – It is suggested by experts that to work it out – Every puppy less will add 0.25 days and Every puppy more will reduce days by 0.25

 

Feel free to print this out and stick it up somewhere to remind you of next steps

 

Good Luck, and let me know how it all goes x


I Love my dog, but I do not want my house to smell of you know …”dog”

Becoming a expert in getting rid of that embarrassing dog smell in my house – time I won the battle one cleaning product at a time.

  1. OK, I am trying to get my 2 babies – Dinky and Grace, to toilet in the garden and on walks – Grace loves to go for walks and hold it in so she can wee and poo in the lounge for me – I’m sure she prides herself on it, sees it as an accomplishment. Alright, maybe a bit paranoid on my part, but come on…its not that hard to wee on the grass outside. Anyway, I have gone off track – as an owner of a dog who is finding it hard to grasp the concept I have tried and tested everything to get rid of the wee and more importantly the smell. For any puppy owners or ‘leaky dog’ owners I have been doing my own research on the web – this is what I have discovered, hope you find it useful too
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    Grace the puppy who is finding it hard to grasp weeing outside x

    Read More


Dinky Daisy meets her Stud – How to send your dog for studding

Are you wanting to have puppies? Do you know how to choose a suitable dog stud for your dog ? Read about our journey in finding a stud for our French Bulldog and the ups and downs of taking her to meet her new frenchie man. 

 

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My husband is driving us up to Wales to pick up Dinky Daisy from a week away from home – she has been staying with the Neibullshowdog family

Why, well we are hoping that she is now a pregnant Frenchie as she has been busy being wooed by ‘Gucci’ ,http://neibullshowdogs.co.uk/stud.html resident Casanova and Stud dog.

So a week after doing the 3 ½ hour journey we are all packed in the car again on our way to the Welsh Valleys to pick her up.

Now this is the first time I have done this sort of thing, and believe me it was gut wrenching when I left her – Neil from Neibulls is a professional in the Bulldog world, so I tried to play it cool when I walked in to his up-to-the-minute looking dog set-up and kennels -. Neil talked about hormone levels, not mine the dogs, just to make it clear and how he tested these levels, and he showed me a colorful  chart. To be completely honest I heard little of what he was saying as all I could focus on was where I was leaving my ‘baby’ and the size of the stud dog that was brought down by his son – HUGE, I mean he was 3 times the size of my baby – really…did I want that beast ( how ever handsome he was ) to,, you know, do the do with my little girl ( I know she is a dog but still ) – ok keep it together Emily…so smiling I handed Neil the lead and said goodbye to him and walked out to the car… sobbing. What was I doing… I got in the car and said to my husband …just drive, 1/2 a mile down the road  he piped up – wow glad you handed her over, I couldn’t have done it. Great thanks.

So on the way home I questioned myself about what I was putting Dinky through, I thought  about making money off my Frenchie ( a member of our family )  – was it unethical to do what I was doing?

Look I know the arguments around the subject of breeding, but I was questioning it on a smaller more personal level, was it wrong to be breeding her, leaving her in a kennel, somewhere in Wales.

I suppose, if you are thinking of doing it, just be aware, that if like me your dog is a member of your family and like me you get angry when people say ‘but they are just a dog’ when you know they are so much more, be prepared that is isn’t that easy to leave them with someone else for potentially  10 days who is going to mate them up to 3 or 4 times. Also don’t forget the costs involved, for me it has been – petrol to and from Wales, Stud fees ( £500) and many coffee stops, you could make a saving on the coffee – but I can’t get through the day without.

Since my Frenchie has been away I have been reading and watching videos, mainly from The Kennel Club website to learn as much as possible on how to be a good breeder, carer of this litter and my Frenchie mum to be – I am determined to become an ‘assured breeder’ which I will talk about in a following post and I will continue to read up on the subject so I can bring healthy, well socialised puppies into the world which will hopefully be a credit to the breed and me..

In the end I do think we did the right thing sending her to Neil,  and we did the responsible thing choosing a top stud dog to make sure we were breeding the most healthy next generation of French Bulldogs– Poorly bred French Bulldogs have led to a lot of health issues ,for example  breathing difficulties   – at least I have the knowledge that we are enhancing the breed not diminishing it.

So it is 7:30pm and we are all home, Dinky is fine and happy ( think the Mc Donald chips that we shared help to smooth over any Frenchie bad feelings she had  towards us ) . I look over to her sitting on her Dads lap in front of the fire – I still think that she gave me a look of ‘how could you’ when I picked her up – you know mum is the bad guy and dad is the good guy’ thing going on – Neil handed me a sheet to show the dates that she was mated – 4 times in the week and he said for us to get a scan in 24 days from the last date mated – so 28th Feb we will take her for a scan.

If you are looking for a Stud dog I suggest that this is a good first article to read – Finding a Stud dog

 

 

 


Breeding restrictions

It is vital that if you are having a litter of puppies that you make sure that you read and follow the Kennel Club Breed Restrictions below –

Breeding Restrictions

The Kennel Club will not accept an application to register a litter when:

1) The dam has already whelped 4 litters (as of the 1st January 2012 the limit changed from 6 litters to 4 litters). As of this date the Kennel Club will no longer register any further litters from any bitch which our records show has already whelped 4 litters. Therefore for any litter born on or after the 1st January 2012, the system will automatically check to see how many previous litters the Kennel Club has an account of. Where the number previously recorded is 4 or more, the application will be rejected, or

2) The dam has already reached the age of 8 years at the date of whelping, (relief from this restriction may be considered normally provided an application is made prior to the mating, the proposed dam has previously whelped at least one other registered litter, and the application is supported by veterinary evidence as to the suitability of the bitch involved in the proposed whelping), or

3) The dam was under one year old at the time of mating, or

4) The offspring are the result of any mating between father and daughter, mother and son or brother and sister, save in exceptional circumstances or for scientifically proven welfare reasons, or

5) (From 1st January 2012) The dam has already had two litters delivered by caesarean section, save for scientifically proven welfare reasons and this only normally provided the application is made prior to the mating, or

6) The dam was not resident at a UK address at the date of whelping.

There are further Kennel Club Rules and Regulations that may prevent a litter from being registered; the full Kennel Club Rules and Regulations are contained in the Kennel Club Year Book.

Breed Specific Restrictions

The Kennel Club does not accept the registration, including any imported dogs, of any merle Bulldogs.

Merle patterning – patches of lighter colour appearing in the coat – is the result of the M gene in the dog. There are two alleles of this gene: M (merle) and m (non-merle), with merle (M) being dominant to non-merle (m). In some breeds, the effect of the merle allele (M) is termed ‘dapple’. Unfortunately, the effects of the merle allele (M) are not confined to coat patterning and it is known that there can be an increased risk of impaired hearing and sight associated with it, particularly in dogs that are homozygous for M (dogs that carry two copies of the M allele).

As the merle colour is not a naturally occurring colour in this breed, and in view of the health concerns relating to the merle gene, the Kennel Club will not accept the registration of any merle Bulldog puppies.

Assured Breeder Requirements

It is strongly recommended that both Kennel Club Assured Breeders and non-Kennel Club Assured Breeders should use the following schemes, tests and/ or advice.

Breed Council – health certificate for breeding stock

The following other schemes, tests and/ or advice are available and should also be considered.

DNA test – HUU

The list above is not necessarily comprehensive, other available health tests can be found at http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/health/breeding-for-health/dna-screening-schemes-and-results/ or for further advice please contact your local breed club.

 

What do they mean when they say Merle – see below for brief description

Merle is a pattern in a dog‘s coat. “Merle” comes in different colors and patterns. Some have blue patches throughout and are considered blue “merle”; same with red, and chocolate, although some describe merle as only a “pattern”. DNA testing identifies the “Merle” gene but not the variety of colors and patterns seen in the coats of the dogs with the gene. A dilute black (BB or Bb) dog is generally known as blue, but a dog with a merle coat does not test BB or Bb but still is a blue dilute from the “merle” gene[1] The merle gene creates mottled patches of color in a solid or piebald coat, blue or odd-colored eyes, and can affect skin pigment as well. Health issues are more typical and more severe when two merles are bred together, so it is recommended that a merle be bred to a dog with a solid coat color only

Found on:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merle_(dog_coat)

 

Click here to find out more

 


Kennel Club – Breed Standards – Bulldog

I will be looking at the breed standard for Grace – our English Bulldog when looking for a stud. Bulldogs are also on the breed watch so I will be paying attention to that. See Below

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance including the correct colour of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Breed Watch section of the Kennel Club website here http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/breed/watch for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure. However if a dog possesses a feature, characteristic or colour described as undesirable or highly undesirable it is strongly recommended that it should not be rewarded in the show ring.

General Appearance

Smooth-coated, fairly thick set, rather low in stature, broad, powerful and compact. Head, fairly large in proportion to size but no point so much in excess of others as to destroy the general symmetry, or make the dog appear deformed, or interfere with its powers of motion. Face relatively short, muzzle broad, blunt and inclined upwards although not excessively so. Dogs showing respiratory distress highly undesirable. Body fairly short, well knit, limbs stout, well muscled and in hard condition with no tendency towards obesity. Hindquarters high and strong. Bitches not so grand or well developed as dogs.

Characteristics

Conveys impression of determination, strength and activity.

Temperament

Alert, bold, loyal, dependable, courageous, fierce in appearance, but possessed of affectionate nature.

Head and Skull

Skull relatively large in circumference. Viewed from front appears high from corner of lower jaw to apex of skull; also broad and square. Cheeks well rounded and extended sideways beyond eyes. Viewed from side, head appears very high and moderately short from back to point of nose. Forehead flat with skin on and about head slightly loose and finely wrinkled without excess, neither prominent nor overhanging face. From defined stop, a furrow extending to middle of skull being traceable to apex. Face from front of cheek bone to nose, relatively short, skin may be slightly wrinkled. Muzzle short, broad, turned upwards and deep from corner of eye to corner of mouth. Nose and nostrils large, broad and black, under no circumstances liver colour, red or brown. Distance from inner corner of eye (or from centre of stop between eyes) to extreme tip of nose should not be less than distance from tip of the nose to edge of the underlip. Nostrils large wide and open, with well defined vertical straight line between. Flews (chops) thick, broad and deep, covering lower jaws at sides, but joining underlip in front. Teeth not visible. Jaws broad, strong and square, lower jaw slightly projecting in front of upper with moderate turn up. Over nose wrinkle, if present, whole or broken, must never adversely affect or obscure eyes or nose. Pinched nostrils and heavy over nose roll are unacceptable and should be heavily penalised. Viewed from front, the various properties of the face must be equally balanced on either side of an imaginary line down centre.

Eyes

Seen from front, situated low down in skull, well away from ears. Eyes and stop in same straight line, at right angles to furrow. Wide apart, but outer corners within the outline of cheeks. Round, of moderate size, neither sunken nor prominent, in colour very dark – almost black – showing no white when looking directly forward. Free from obvious eye problems.

Ears

Set high – i.e. front edge of each ear (as viewed from front) joins outline of skull at top corner of such outline, so as to place them as wide apart, as high and as far from eyes as possible. Small and thin. ’Rose ear‘ correct, i.e. folding inwards back, upper or front inner edge curving outwards and backwards, showing part of inside of burr.

Mouth

Jaws broad and square with six small front teeth between canines in an even row. Canines wide apart. Teeth large and strong, not seen when mouth closed. When viewed from front under jaw directly under upper jaw and parallel.

Neck

Moderate in length, thick, deep and strong. Well arched at back, with some loose, skin about throat, forming slight dewlap on each side.

Forequarters

Shoulders broad, sloping and deep, very powerful and muscular giving appearance of being ’tacked on‘ body. Brisket round and deep. Well let down between forelegs. Ribs not flat-sided, but well rounded. Forelegs very stout and strong, well developed, set wide apart, thick, muscular and straight, bones of legs large and straight, not bandy nor curved and short in proportion to hindlegs, but not so short as to make back appear long, or detract from dog’s activity. Elbows low and standing well away from ribs. Pasterns short, straight and strong.

Body

Chest wide, prominent and deep. Back short, strong, broad at shoulders. Slight fall to back close behind shoulders (lowest part) whence spine should rise to loins (top higher than top of shoulder), curving again more suddenly to tail, forming slight arch – a distinctive characteristic of breed. Body well ribbed up behind with belly tucked up and not pendulous.

Hindquarters

Legs large and muscular, slightly longer in proportion than forelegs. Hocks slightly bent, well let down; legs long and muscular from loins to hock. Stifles turned very slightly outwards away from body.

Feet

Fore, straight and turning very slightly outward; of medium size and moderately round. Hind, round and compact. Toes compact and thick, well split up, making knuckles prominent and high.

Tail

Set on low, jutting out rather straight and then turning downwards. Round, smooth and devoid of fringe or coarse hair. Moderate in length – rather short than long – thick at root, tapering quickly to a fine point. Downward carriage (not having a decided upward curve at end) and never carried above back.

Lack of tail, inverted or extremely tight tails are undesirable.

Gait/Movement

Appearing to walk with short, quick steps on tips of toes, hind feet not lifted high, appearing to skim ground, running with one or other shoulder rather advanced. Soundness of movement of the utmost importance.

Coat

Fine texture, short, close and smooth (hard only from shortness and closeness, not wiry).

Colour

Whole or smut, (i.e. whole colour with black mask or muzzle). Only whole colours (which should be brilliant and pure of their sort) viz., brindles, reds with their various shades, fawns, fallows etc., white and pied (i.e. combination of white with any of the foregoing colours). Dudley, black and black with tan highly undesirable.

Size

Dogs: 25 kgs (55 lbs); bitches: 23 kgs (50 lbs).

Faults

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.

Note

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Breed Watch for English Bulldog

 

Particular points of concern for individual breeds may include features not specifically highlighted in the breed standard including current issues. In some breeds, features may be listed which, if exaggerated, might potentially affect the breed in the future.

Prior to 2014 the features listed below derived from a combination of health surveys, veterinary advice, a meeting of Kennel Club Group judges, feedback from judges at shows or consultation with individual breed club(s)/councils via the breed health coordinators.

From 2014 the structure of Breed Watch will allow for a greater involvement by judges in the reporting on and monitoring of the points of concern.

Points of concern for special attention by judges

  • Excessive amounts of loose facial skin with conformational defects of the upper and/or lower eyelids so that the eyelid margins are not in normal contact with the eye when the dog is in its natural pose (e.g. they turn in, or out, or both abnormalities are present).
  • Hair loss or scarring from previous dermatitis
  • Heavy overnose wrinkle (roll)
  • Inverted tail
  • Lack of tail
  • Pinched nostrils
  • Significantly overweight
  • Sore eyes due to damage or poor eyelid conformation
  • Tight tail
  • Unsound movement

 


Kennel Club Breed Standards – French Bulldog

Breed Standard – For a French Bulldog

So when looking for a stud dog for Dinky Daisy, our French Bulldog, I found it useful to look at the Kennel Club Breed Standard. Looking at faults that Dinky Daisy may have and looked for a stud  that had as many of the Breed Standards as possible – Whilst looking at the Breed Standard I realised that the Kennel Club also have conditions that they find unacceptable which is on the Breed Watch – please see Breed Watch post under the Breed Standard.

Last updated August 2015

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance including the correct colour of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Breed Watch section of the Kennel Club website here http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/breed/watch for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure. However if a dog possesses a feature, characteristic or colour described as undesirable or highly undesirable it is strongly recommended that it should not be rewarded in the show ring.

General Appearance

Sturdy, compact , solid, small dog with good bone, short, smooth coat. No point exaggerated, balance essential. Dogs showing respiratory distress highly undesirable.

Characteristics

Full of courage, yet with clown-like qualities. Bat ears and short tail characteristic features of the breed.

Temperament

Vivacious, deeply affectionate, intelligent.

Head and Skull

Head square in appearance and in proportion to dog’s size. Skull nearly flat between ears, domed forehead. The skin covering the skull and forehead should be supple enough to allow fine wrinkling when the dog is alert. Well defined muzzle, broad, deep and set back, muscles of cheeks well developed. Stop well defined. Lower jaw deep, square, broad, slightly undershot and turned up. Nose black and wide, relatively short, with open nostrils and line between well defined. Lips black, thick, meeting each other in centre, completely hiding teeth. Upper lip covers lower on each side with plenty of cushion, never so exaggerated as to hang too much below level of lower jaw.

Eyes

Preferably dark and matching. Moderate size, round, neither sunken nor prominent, showing no white when looking straight forward; set relatively wide apart and on same level as the stop.

Ears

’Bat ears‘, of medium size, wide at base, rounded at top; set high, carried upright and parallel, a sufficient width of skull preventing them being too close together; skin soft and fine, orifice as seen from the front, showing entirely. The opening to the ear canal should be wide and open.

Mouth

Slightly undershot. Teeth sound and regular, but not visible when the mouth is closed. Tongue must not protrude.

Neck

Powerful, well arched and thick, of moderate length.

Forequarters

Legs set wide apart, straight boned, strong, muscular and short.

Body

Cobby, muscular and well rounded with deep wide brisket and ribs well sprung. Strong, gently roached back. Good ‘cut up’. The body while broader at the shoulders should narrow slightly beyond the ribs to give definition to the relatively short, thick, strong, muscular loin.

Hindquarters

Legs strong, muscular and relatively longer than forelegs with moderate angulation. Absolute soundness essential. Hocks well let down.

Feet

Small, compact and placed in continuation of line of leg, with absolutely sound pasterns. Hind feet rather longer than the fore-feet. Toes compact; well knuckled; nails short, thick and preferably black.

Tail

Undocked, short, set low, thick at root, tapering quickly towards tip, preferably straight, and long enough to cover anus. Never curling over back nor carried gaily.

Gait/Movement

Free and flowing. Soundness of movement of the utmost importance.

Coat

Texture fine, smooth, lustrous, short and close.

Colour

The only correct colours are: Brindle; Fawn; Pied;

Brindle – Colour pattern caused by a mixture of black hairs and fawn hairs. White markings permitted provided that brindle predominates. Eye rims, eyelashes and lips black.

Fawn – Clear, self-coloured fawn with or without a black mask. White markings permitted, provided that fawn predominates. Cream and red shades less desirable. Eye rims, eyelashes and lips black.

Pied – Brindle Pied: White predominates with brindle patches. (The brindle as defined above). Fawn Pied: White predominates with fawn patches.

Whites are classified with pieds for show purposes.

In pieds, eye rims, eyelashes and lips should preferably be black.

Any white in the above colours should be clear with no ticking or spots.

All other colours highly undesirable, including solid black, black and white, black and tan, mouse, grey/blue, liver/chocolate and all patterns of these colours (see Introductory Paragraph).

Size

Ideal weight: dogs: 12.5 kgs (28 lbs); bitches: 11 kgs (24 lbs). Soundness not to be sacrificed to smallness.

Faults

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.

Note

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.


 BREED WATCH
“Particular points of concern for individual breeds may include features not specifically highlighted in the breed standard including current issues. In some breeds, features may be listed which, if exaggerated, might potentially affect the breed in the future”

Points of concern for special attention by judges

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Exaggerated roach in the top line
  • Excessively prominent eyes
  • Hair loss or scarring from previous dermatitis
  • Incomplete blink
  • Incorrect bite
  • Inverted tail
  • Lack of tail
  • Overly short neck
  • Pinched nostrils
  • Screw tail
  • Signs of dermatitis in skin folds
  • Tight tail

 Whilst looking for a stud for Dinky Daisy I paid special attention to the Breed Watch points
Breed Standards and Breed Watch can be found on the Kennel Club website