Showing your French Bulldog in Conformation Shows
The Golden Rules of the Ring
Never position yourself or move between the judge and your dog.
.Always be polite to the judge and other competitors.
Be neat and clean in appearance, your dress should be suited to your sport.
Above all concentrate, but enjoy yourself and then your dog will.
Know all about the breed you are handling: size, conformation, weight and age
The triangle is used to show the dog's rear movement
(A-C), side movement (C-D), and front movement
During the movement the judge should not find it
necessary to move his position to obtain the correct
view of the dog. The triangle must not be so wide as
to be outside the judge's field of vision, nor too
narrow because the side view (C-D) would be too
The line (C-D) should cross the judge's line of vision
(A-B) at right angles to provide the perfect side view.
Be alert for the judge show moves position and line of vision, however slightly, and adjust your direction
and points accordingly
Straight Up and Down
Straight up and down is used to show the judge the rear and
front of the dog in movement. The dog must be moved along the judge's line of vision and returned along the same line, taking care not to slow or stop the dog's movement on the turn.
Watch the judge, your line to point B, and your dog
throughout the movement, being prepared for the judge who changes his position and line of vision during gaiting.
Round the Ring
This pattern can be used to see the handler's control or to compare several dogs together.
The handler must keep the dog moving at the correct speed, positioned on the left, in an anti-clockwise direction round the ring. The judge is usually positioned in the centre of the circle.
Care should be taken not to overtake the dog in front, but if it is slow moving, stop until there is enough space to gait your dog at his correct speed.
Having practised the basic handling skills, the handler should now move on to ring procedure.
Gaiting Around the Ring
With their dog on the left hand side the handlers gait around the
ring in an anti-clockwise direction.
Gait the dog at the correct speed.
Keep the dog on the left (judge's position permitting)
Keep your dog away from your legs so as not to obstruct the
judge's view with skirts, by extending your arm into a soft
Keep your eyes on your dog, direction and the judge for further
instructions, eg to stop gaiting.
Stop and wait for space rather than crowd the dog in front, and
gait on at the dog's correct speed.
Keep at a comfortable distance from the dog in front.
Crowd the dog in front.
Allow your dog to get too far in front or behind you.
Gait your dog too slowly because of the slower speed of the dog
Distract other exhibitors' dogs.
Standing in a line at the side of the Ring
Stand your dog correctly and quickly.
Keep control of the dog's head at all times.
Be ready to position your dog for examination. Unless otherwise instructed by the judge, do this whilst the dog before you is being gaited.
Do not be a distraction to that dog's performance, but be ready when the judge comes to you.
Crowd the dog in front.
Obstruct the judge's view of any part of your dog.
Allow your dog to lick, sniff or interfere with the dogs in front and behind you.
Position your dog in front or behind the line of dogs.
Become hidden from the judge's view by positioning yourself in a corner.
The handler must learn how to stand (or stack) the dog being handled as quickly and efficiently as possible, because sometimes there are only a few seconds and the dog must be "set up" according to the breed's stance.
In the case of a French Bulldog, this will include placing the dog onto a table for individual examination.
Be guided by the steward and judge as to whether the judge would like you to place the dog directly onto the table, or if the judge would like you to move in a circle, and then back to the table before placing the dog on top, for examination.
Have the dog standing ready for viewing by the judge immediately after completion of the previous dog's gaiting.
Have control of the head at all times, either by hand or lead and normally in the right hand.
Be ready to present the dog's head and show his bite on request.
Move to the rear of the dog, keeping lead control of the dog as the judge examines the front and
check the rear positioning of the dog.
Move to the head of your dog with main head control still in your right hand as the judge examines the rest of the dog. Check the dog's front, but at no time obstruct the judge's view or examination, and be ready to return to the dog's side to "stand" him for final viewing before
Block the judge's view of examination by having your hands around part of examined.
Impede the judge's view by being too close to your dog: always try to remain at arms length.
Delay after examination, be ready to move your dog to the gaiting position quickly.
A few helpful hints
To make showing easier and to ensure you show your dog to its best advantage.
Arrive at the venue in plenty of time, check the schedule if it's a split group or it could be a
show in reverse alphabetical order.
Locate the ring for your breed, keep a watch as to breed no's on before you.
Make sure you check in a catalogue that you are in the right class, ie if you have been put in
the catalogue & judges sheets as a puppy when you are in fact no longer eligible & should be in
junior, but go in the ring and be judged as a puppy even if there are no juniors anyway or no
other entries of your breed you will be disqualified.
As judging of the breed prior to yours is completing move closer to the ring and obtain a
position reasonably close so assembly steward can see you & you can hear your exhibit number
called. (only 3 calls are given & then you will be marked absent). If there is a lot in the group,
the assembly steward will be checking off numbers a few classes ahead of what is actually next
in the ring to keep things moving quickly.
Watch how the steward and judge are using the ring and telling the exhibitors what to do, i.e. if
there is only 1 exhibit in the class you might only ½ way around the ring, if several exhibits in the class it might be 1 ½ times around the ring before the judge goes over the first exhibit.
By watching the breed/s on before you, you can see how the judge running/managing/conducting his judging and where he wants the dogs to stand/run etc.
When the ring steward calls you into the ring follow their instructions as to whether you move
along the inside of ring (if possible STACK your dog now so that when the judge turns to look
you are already "showing" your dog). Sometimes you are instructed to gait your dog to in front
of the judge – then STACK your dog.
If there is more than 1 exhibit in the class after the judge has examined the first exhibit & it is
gaiting around the ring, move up to where the judge went over that exhibit and set your dog up
ready, so as soon as the judge finishes watching the other dog run they turn & see your dog all
If you are asked to go straight out & back. Look first at a point you are going to run straight to
& check as you go to run back to the judge as to where they are. They may have had to move
to watch you on your 'straight' run out & are not where they were when you left them. The
same goes for a triangle, take a moment to look at where you are & where you are going to run
your triangle in the ring before running off.
If there is several exhibits in your class keep watching the steward, judge, your dogs and other
dogs. Once the last dog is being judged start to set your dog up & make the most of him/her.
Choker up under chin, place front legs first then rear end. The aim is to show your dog to their
best advantage all the time you are in the ring.
If there is more than 1 dog in your class, try not to get to close to the other dogs when moving.
As well as disrupting the dog in front it also puts your dog off. The rings are large enough that
you do not need to run over the dog in front.
If the dog in front is extremely slow, mucking around or just not moving at all, go behind them
& keep running around as requested, then leave space for them to come back their position in
front of you. Or if you know your dog will move very easily and quickly, leave a few seconds
between when the dog in front takes off and you start your dog moving.
You will notice that the various breeds are shown differently, as do various exhibitors with
their own dogs of the same breed. It is all about making the dog you have look its best & as
each dog has its own good and bad points it is all about making the most of that individual
Some dogs have a good head/chest/front, others it is their body/outline, others it may be
slightly turned feet or soft topline you need to "hide".
NEVER leave the ring until instructed to do so by the steward.
If you have been awarded 2nd place don't leave ringside until breed judging is completed. If
the cc is awarded to the 1st placegetter from the class you were 2nd in your dog will be
required back in the ring for the judge to choose a reserve challenge recipient from the
remaining 1st placegetters & your 2nd place exhibit.