How would YOU like to pick which French Bulldog was the best out of a group of 100 or so Frenchie puppies? It may sound like it would be an easy (and FUN) job, but I promise you, it is NOT as easy as it sounds.
I'm honored to be judging at the upcoming Great Lakes French Bulldog Club Sweepstakes very first speciality dog show. And yes, it is just like it sounds - only French Bulldogs will be judged at this part pf the show. It is held in conjunction with what we call all-breed shows, but the Frenchie part of it is limited to just Frenchies.
I'll be judging Sweepstakes...PUPPIES! To be eligible to be shown in sweepstakes they Frenchie puppies must be at least six months old, but not over 18 months old and NOT have their champion title yet. This is a great opportunity for breeders to showcase their up and coming superstars and get the little wigglebutts used to dog shows.
The classes are divided by boys and girls and by age. So, there are 6-9 months old boys, 9-12 month boys and 12-18 month old boys. Same for the girls, 6-9, 9-12 and 12-18. I will place them 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th for boys and then girls. Then the winners of each class all come back in together and I pick ONE PUPPY to be the Best Puppy in Sweepstakes. Then, if that puppy is a boy I choose a girl to be the Best of Opposite Sex and if my best puppy is a girl I choose a boy for the Best of Opposite Sex Puppy.
As a judge I have to check their structure, their gait (how they trot around) and most importantly how they compare to the standard or blueprint all Frenchies are held to. The trick is to judge them on that day. A puppy that may normally be a superstar could have an off day and not show well and vice versa, one who has never won a ribbon could be SIZZLING HOT that day and win it all!
Ands yes, SPARKLE and CHARISMA does come into play. When I read judge's critiques they often say, "He (or she) ASKED for it." Which means the dog was ON and seemed to be begging to get the ribbon.
Frenchies can be an all or nothing breed when it comes to showmanship. They are either superstars screaming LOOK AT ME or they ooze utter and complete boredom and contempt for the whole shebang.
I am so grateful to the Great Lakes French Bulldog Club for inviting me to judge at this specialty. And I look forward to seeing lots of old friends and making some new ones!