Working towards creating a bloodline that excels in health
Recently we agreed to partner with a trusted breeder within our network to use their stud, Hollywood (pictured below) in a series of 4 breedings. Hollywood is everything that I believe in and want in our bloodlines. From a phenotype standpoint, he breathes better than any bulldog I have been around which means he has a huge trach and no palate issues. His snout is extended slightly by about 1/2 inch which gives more room for his palate and reduces entropian issues. His eyes are perfect (no cherry eye or entropian) and he is the perfect size (I like my males between 50 and 53 lbs). His hips are tight as are his patella tendons. No allergies to speak of. Basically, he is my dream dog because of his health and is one in a million. He also just so happens to be a rare lilac color which places his value around 10k to 15k, which ironically has nothing to do with his health.
As we started to plan around these breedings, the thought was introduced that we could easily get into the rare color game with Hollywood’s offspring. All it would take is to find another rare color carrying stud and boom we would soon be producing very expensive, beautifully colored puppies as well. This is a thought that we have long mulled over but had been hesitant to act on, as our health criteria is the strictest in the industry and is what we are known for. As we began our search for this stud, we quickly became enamored with all of the beautiful, colored dogs. The lilacs, the blues, the chocolates..they are all truly beautiful dogs but we could never find the dog that fit our health standards AND carried the color we wanted. After stud shopping for several weeks, we eventually came to the frustrating realization that you really can only have one top priority. If you are searching for a rare color carrying bulldog, that will always be your top priority and health will come after. The selection criteria instantly becomes limited and forces you to make slight compromises even if it is not a cognitive realization.
If you are into mini bulldogs, that is your first priority. You are looking for bloodlines that are 35 lbs and less. If you are looking for health, then that is your first filter point. The more points of emphasis added to your breeding program, the more diluted it becomes. Breeding healthy bulldogs is complex and every small detail matters. From a 3/16 inch increase in nostril size to 2.5 lbs less weight on the hip structure, every single detail matters in creating the perfect, healthy bulldog. Rare colors are cool but from my findings, they also add one more huge hurdle in the attempt to rid the bulldog from their health issues. Am I saying I wouldn’t create a color bloodline if the perfect, healthy color carrying bulldog comes knocking at my door? I certainly would. Until that day comes, I am content working towards creating a bloodline that excels in health within a breeding culture that has somehow forgotten how important that is.