It's always important to choose your next pet carefully, but especially so if you plan to show your dog. Show standards can be very particular with a breed like the French Bulldog, so you'll want to go into choosing a show specimen with some knowledge behind you.
French Bulldogs for show are more than just a center-stage conversation piece. They are also valued and loved family members just the same as French Bulldogs bought only as pets. But buying a French Bulldog as a pet is a much simpler matter, because there are not restrictions on color and conformation when the dog is to be only a companion animal.
The Show Standard For The French Bulldog
French Bulldog 'fanciers', as they are called, who are buying a dog with the intention of showing should first know where they plan to show the dog and under what standard the dog will be judged. As a general guide, a specimen that falls within the guidelines of any noted club standard, such as the AKC, should be a versatile show animal worthy of any club; however, there can be some slight variations in different club standards, so it is a good idea to go into buying a French Bulldog for show armed with the standard most applicable to you.
Some qualities to look for as per show standards include
Proportion and Symmetry—the French Bulldog should show even proportions, with no one point dominating another; height and weight should be evenly distributed. This is a compact, muscular dog.
Size—the French Bulldog should not be any heavier than 28 pounds, or it will be subject to disqualification; females tend to run between 20 and 24 pounds, males between 24 and 28. The height of the male normally falls around 10 inches, although this is not detailed in the AKC standard.
Head and ears—special attention should be paid to the head and ears of the French Bulldog (remembering, however, that the head should be proportionate to the body); the head should be square and large, eyes should be dark, set low and wide, and the top of the skull should be flat between the dog's ears. Only a black nose-color is allowed. The ears are extremely important, as only the bat-ear is considered acceptable for the French Bulldog, even though there is the possibility of a rose shaped ear presenting in a pup of inferior breeding.
Legs—should be short, muscular, and straight, set wide with hind legs being longer than the front.
Coat—should be short and smooth with a fine quality to the hair, grown in skin that is soft and loose. Special attention should be paid to coat color as some colors are cause for disqualification.
Choosing The Show Dog
Some features of the potential French Bulldog show candidate will be obvious as a young pup; others, such as adult stature and overall quality, will not. In order to get a good potential show animal, you will have to take care in choosing the breeder. A good breeder of French Bulldogs for show will be able to give you a wealth of history regarding the parents, and will hopefully have both mother and father on-site for you to inspect. Absent of both parents, the bitch at least should be available with young pups along with photos of the dog, and any applicable award and/or certification information on each parent should be related.
If you find your breeder to be uninformed or of little help choosing a French Bulldog of show quality, you should consider looking for another breeder, as there is a very good chance this breeder is unfamiliar with breeding French Bulldogs for show, and so, is unfamiliar with selecting favorable show traits when pairing males and females. When buying a French Bulldog, choosing the right breeder is just as important as choosing the right pup.