Chin Up?

We start this post with a caveat. We are going to generalize.

That said, a casual observer outside a Bulldog ring at a dog show might notice many handlers doing this with their dog (click the link because we don’t have permission to share the photo here).

The “this” refers to a handler holding their Bulldog’s chin:

Bulldog, dog show, chin

Bulldog photo by mrks_v/AdobeStockPhotos

We asked some Bulldog fanciers about this, and it was pointed out to us that not all handlers hold their dog’s chin, so bear that in mind as you read on.

By and large, holding the dog’s chin is done to show the head in the proper position, the upsweep of the jaw line, as well as the breadth of the jaw which should look like a broad “U” rather than a “V”. The handler wants to show the roll over the nose, and the ears “rosed” and in a relaxed state so as to show that the eyes are as far from the ears as possible (per the breed standard).

As for the term, “rosed,” a Bulldog’s “rose ears” fold inward at their back lower edge, the upper front edges curving over, outward and backward, and showing part of the inside of the burr, the folds looking like rose petals, hence the term, rose ear.  When viewed from the side profile, holding the chin is to show the correct angle of muzzle to head, and when viewed from the front, lightly holding the chin shows the upsweep of jaw and roll over the nose.

The neck should be short, very thick, deep and strong, and holding the chin makes its folds evident.

For a show photo, gently propping up the dog’s head from underneath helps to show all of that by keeping the head in the proper position facing the camera lens, and to show the correct front.

As Bulldog rookies, we had assumed that holding the chin showed off the breed’s delightful (if unwarranted) “sourmug” face. Bulldogs are jovial, comical, and amiable, and among the sweetest of dogs. Still, it’s edifying to know the reason behind the fingers-under-the-chin we might see in a Bulldog ring.

Top image: Bulldog puppy by kozorogn – AdobeStockPhoto

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