Bull Terriers: Interview with an Expert
Simon Roff is an expert-pedigree of CAC FCI Bull Terriers from England, owner of the Bobuddy Bull Terriers cattery.
In the hustle and bustle of the exhibition, there was absolutely no time to talk more closely with the expert, so when the heat was already asleep, the dogs were judged, the winners were happy, and some of the guests from other countries went back on a long journey, we sat down comfortably and began to communicate. There were a lot of questions, because nobody really knows that closed bakery of England - the birthplace of bull terriers.
Hi Simon! The very first question for you, of course, regarding your unusual hobby is breeding bull terriers. How did you come to this?
It all started with buying a dog. Bull terrier is a very popular breed in England, and I just wanted to make a friend. At that time I did not understand dogs or kennels. This is how my first Buddy Bull Terrier came about. Of course, at first I had no thoughts about exhibitions and breeding. I’ll say that a little later I realized that my first bull terrier was Pet-class (pet-class - animals that are not intended for breeding and shows are used only for home maintenance as pets. Pet-class is characterized by deviations from FCI, IKU, for example: malocclusion, color mismatch, non-standard position and anatomy of the ears or tail, etc.). Then I just decided to make a girlfriend for Buddy so that he would not be so bored while I was at work. I started going to exhibitions, talking with breeders, visiting different nurseries. Gaining experience, I clearly drew in my head exactly the puppy I wanted. But still did not realize that I would have my own nursery. So, a long search led me to Chris and Carol Patrick with Kilakabar nursery. At that moment, they just had a litter. And I saw the very puppy that I was looking for all this time. Unfortunately, it turned out that this bitch was already promised to other people. I did not back down and got this dog, but not on simple terms. The condition was the following - a dog for breeding. I agreed. The dog named Bo (Bo) as you know, it became a prefix to Buddy and added the name of my kennel - Bobuddy bull terriers.
Wow. So you have the main job?
Yes, the nursery is just a hobby, a hobby. I do this for myself, and not in order to earn. The problem of most countries is that breeding is becoming the main work and people, in the pursuit of earnings, forget about the rules of mating. This happens with us, but not very often. Fortunately, I earn not very badly and can contain so many dogs.
If not a secret, then who do you work with?
The driver of a suburban train in London.
Tell me how many dogs do you have now?
So far, only ten)
So much? What do you feed them with?
I only eat them in natural. Mostly chicken necks, and I give only raw ones. I have a farm nearby and make arrangements with the owner, so I get large packages of chicken necks loaded at a very good price. A couple of times I give porridge, cottage cheese and spinach.
What about allergies? Chicken is considered a very strong allergen, and boules are prone to such diseases.
No, mine eat fine and without consequences, only one sometimes gets acne on my neck a little ... but only when we overfeed it).
As I know, you just had a son. How do they get along together?
In England, bull terriers are considered to be a family dog breed, namely a breed of mother and child. Of course there are no problems. Well, we all have enough space.
Let's talk about what you saw in Belarus? We will talk about dogs that were exhibited at the show of breeds such as Red Bulls 2017.
To be honest, everything is much better than I expected. I saw a lot of great representatives of the breed and sometimes the choice was very difficult.
How do you like handling?
Well, there are a couple of comments) The most obvious is the manual racks. In England, they never pose with their hands and do not straighten their stance with their hands. Do not hold dogs by the tail. It looked very ... strange. Even according to the standard of a bull terrier, it is customary to exhibit in a free rack. The dog should put its legs in parallel, either due to training, or from nature, anatomically. But not with the help of hands. It was also amazing that some used double handling, which generally contradicts all the rules.
What qualities do you pay more attention to?
For me, the main thing is that the dog is large and muscular. In general, I believe that a male should be in a bul-type - powerful, wide, with a strong front, wide muzzle. The bitch should be more feminine and graceful, with a beautiful head and proportions, that is, more in the terrier type. But when it comes to assessing dogs in the ring, as an expert, I am not inclined to any type anymore. I evaluate the dog as a whole in the type in which it is. That is, if the choice of the winner is between the average representative of the bull-type and a wonderful representative of the terrier-type, then I will choose a more harmonious and beautiful dog. That is, the terrier type. This situation was at our exhibition now in the standards among junior females.
What are the disadvantages?
For me, everything is important. I carefully inspect and feel the dog from all sides, so even professional handling will not help to hide flaws. Let's just say there is nothing more important. There are characteristics that exclude this representative from breeding, such as aggression towards people, improper position of fangs, serious health problems, etc. The rest: the bite of the incisors, spots on the body below the collar area, lack of angles, worthless ears, straight shoulders - all this is just one of the many shortcomings that form the dog’s rating.
To the question of exhibitions. What should a dog look like in a ring?
For us, an exhibition is a beauty contest. Accordingly, we appreciate the beauty of the dog. Now, if the girls went to beauty contests with unwashed heads and not made up? So it is here. The dog must be prepared. Clean ears and teeth (unless of course there is a little stone, it's okay, especially in dogs older than 3-5 years). We, the British, consider the bull terrier ready for the exhibition, if it enters the ring, shakes off and there is a white cloud of powder around it). All hock joints that are rubbed off by bull terriers, all spots and pimples should be smeared.
There are many disagreements and opinions about the bite. I would like to know more about the English standard.
I don’t really understand why they pay so much attention to this. Wrong bite - this is just one and far from the main of many shortcomings. Why does everyone care about the correct bite and absolutely do not bother with a completely flat shoulder? In my opinion, this and that is important, just do not focus on one thing, you need to be approached comprehensively. Of course, overshot is very bad, such a dog will not be allowed for breeding. Snack and "ticks" do not greatly concern experts and breeders. I would like to note that it is in England that dogs with irregular lower fangs are most often not allowed for breeding at all, that is, they are sent to a pet class. Why is it important? The correct position of the fangs determines the width of the lower jaw. And this is just the correct dog anatomy. Therefore, if the fang goes into the gum or bends into the jaw altogether, this greatly reduces the dog’s rating and most likely you will receive an och choir at the exhibition.
Why then do many of the champions of England and the winners of Trophy have obvious problems?
Hmm) This is rooted in trophy relations with specialty shows. No one wants to jeopardize their authority. Want to make sure? Choose troubled bite champions of England and see how many victories they won before Trophy. And how much after))
But what about the specialty shows that take place in Russia, Ukraine, and in Poland? They don’t find fault with teeth there. Even the same pedigrees from England.
Here the fact is that there is no pressure around) In England, such a case will create a strong resonance and make the whole bulletin of the island gossip. There are always a lot of observers at exhibitions. Those who are just waiting for you to give slack. We are very afraid of such reviews, since most often this becomes the end of a judicial career. In other countries, it’s easier) Nobody stands and does not look after each of your mistakes, and if he does, then he is unlikely to shake your authority in the Kennel Club.
A little surprised by the case in the ring, when a miniature bull terrier snarled and rushed at you, and you did not disqualify it. Why?
The answer is simple - I see how almost every dog behaves outside the ring, I notice everything. I saw how this bull terrier absolutely adequately reacted to strangers and became furious only when I approached. Maybe I didn’t like the smell, maybe just me. But honestly - I did not see aggression towards people in the dog.
And what about in England to bull terriers that are aggressive to other dogs?
It's not a problem. The dog does not have the right to rush at people, and their relationship with their own kind is purely their business.
In Belarus, as in Russia, you are likely to receive a disqualification ...
If in England a zoo-aggressive bull enters the ring, which is literally ready to bite all the dogs in the ring, then the owner or handler will inform the others about this when they enter the ring. Then this bull terrier is left at the opposite end of the ring, the bulk is judged, and then the aggressor is judged. By the way, this very rarely affects the assessment and champions are not infrequently famous for their cocky temper. By the way, Chris Kilpatrick had such a bitch) Absolutely the most delicate creature, and into the ring She was taken out under the armpit, as she simply unbearably behaved. This is certainly not very good, but nevertheless she was not disqualified.
Question about health. And tests. What does buli suffer from? What health tests can help?
Bull terriers are prone to various diseases. Kidneys, heart, joints, hearing ... I test my every dog once a year for everything. Moreover, I never knitted my bitches with males who did not pass these tests. DOPLER (for heart disease) and UPC. Tests are usually done from 18 months. A hearing test - BAER, in puppyhood, it helps to rule out deafness.
There are many rumors that now the selection of bull terriers in England is in crisis. Why?
This is all politics) If, for example, two nurseries that have a bad relationship with each other have perfectly matched bull terriers, then there will never be any mating. From the principle. Therefore, we have lost so many opportunities to improve the breed. It's funny, but for the most part this problem came from social networks. Someone on their wall simply left some kind of thought or reasoning of a negative nature, and someone immediately took it into their own account: that is, he himself came up with, he was offended. And no one finds out the relationship, they immediately put a blank wall between themselves. At the moment, I personally single out the nurseries Teirwgwyn, Kilacabar. These are the main favorites, besides my own, of course.
How do you assess the future development of the breed in the future? Maybe there are any wishes for Belarus?
As I said earlier, boules in England are very popular. I wish that in your country and in others, this wonderful breed is also gaining popularity. I think there is some media fault that creates a negative image for these dogs. You have already taken a big step forward to dispel this strange myth. In my homeland, no one will ever put a bull terrier to guard the house)) They are too friendly and not capable of aggression. You have very worthy representatives of the breed, develop them, bring more foreign strong blood to nurseries, do not stand still and communicate with each other. I wish you good luck and hope that every year at the specialty show there will be more and more beautiful and worthy dogs)
Thanks a lot, Simon! It was very nice to chat. We will take into account all the wishes and will try to comply with the real, true standard of the breed!
A cool wind blew, clouds came in, it became cold, and we, tired but insanely happy, it was time to pack our way from Rudensk to Minsk. Everyone who was in this conversation left us with a dreamy and thoughtful face. After all, there is still so much to do)
Interviewed by Alexandra, organizer of the Red Bulls exhibition