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For the attention of judges, conformation experts and breeders
In all breeds the increase in the numbers carries the risk of derivatives with the onset of easily recognizable mediocre subjects with little type and others such as hyper types which are a danger for the breed even if they are admired by some adepts of canine showbiz.
We ask you to read again the recommendations of October 28, 2004 (Breed Club Committees meeting at Ham September 4, 2004), of August 5, 2004 (letter from the President of the Breed Club to judges) and of October 18, 2005 (following the appearance, in the same year, of a brown - chocolate coloured Dogue de Bordeaux).
Some complementary information gleaned from the superb show held in Ham on September 2 & 3, 2006: the breed is doing well - many exhibits are of good type, healthy and have stable temperament. They are adorable with their owners. Nevertheless, it is necessary to avoid extremes and, to accomplish this, to re-read the standard.
Head: The perimeter of the head almost corresponds to the height at withers. It can, therefore, be slightly less or slightly more. This means that one must not select heads having a perimeter which exceeds the height at withers by 20% on the pretext that they are spectacular. They are monstrosities.
Muzzle: The standard stipulates that "the limits" (maximum one third and minimum one quarter of then length of the head) are admitted but not desirable. Muzzles of hunting breeds are to be avoided; likewise those of bulldogs.
Incisors: very small incisors set irregularly in the gums constitute a definite fault.
Nostrils: Wide open nostrils are quality
A typical head is powerful, trapezoid (this seems to be disappearing), with the expression of a sphinx conveyed by the wide apart eyes, the well defined lover jaw and the inverted V shaped lips.
Height at the withers: Until now we have been very lax and some exhibits are the height of Mastiffs. Remember that old standard of 1921 stated: The Dogue de Bordeaux is not a giant of the canine species. The maximum height are 68 + 2 cm tolerance for males and 66 + 2 cm for females.
From now on a Dogue exceeding these heights should not be awarded an "excellent".
Colour: It is necessary to add a precision to the standard. The Dogue de Bordeaux has a fawn coat. This coat may have a black or brown overlay. The hair is "banded" and "agouti": part of each hair is fawn or pale fawn /Isabella) and the tip is black or brown. We have already explained that a brown coat cannot be accepted (graded "insufficient" and not confirmed to standard) in this case each hair is entirely brown (chocolate). In genetics a brown coat is different to a coat with a brown overlay.
In Dogue de Bordeaux the coat called "mahogany) is in reality a fawn coat with a brown overlay (the true mahogany is a red coat - see the Irish setter). The brown overlay should not invade all the body to the extent of giving an overall impression of brown. A Dogue de Bordeaux with a brown overlay should be a lighter colour on the inclined parts of the body, with the hair more fawn than brown. The hair on the shoulders, the ribs etc. may even be completely fawn. In any case the coat should never be dark brown (chocolate) but should remain luminous. The standard states: the coat is in the range of fawn.
- Chocolate coat: disqualified (hair brown in all its length)
- Coat with invading brown overlay giving an overall impression of dark: no "excellent".
For White, follow the standard: "non invasive white marks are permitted on the chest and the extremities of the limbs" (not on the throat= fault, not on the chin= disqualification, nor on the neck, head or body but everyone knows that).
Tail: Everyone knows that "a tail displaying knotted vertebrae but without a deviation constitutes a severe fault. It is therefore necessary to examine all tails, which is not always the case.
To end, the standard states that females have "identical characteristics but less pronounced. Females which resemble males by their corpulence and over developed heads are not good breeding purposes. They are perhaps spectacular for cynological music halls nut judges should prefer females of good type, healthy, with a lively gait... and feminine.
Honorary President SADB
President of the Standards Comission