We are not a large scale breeder and breed approximately twice a year. This is to allow us to do the necessary research on the lineage of the parents, health tests and ensure that we can dedicate the appropriate time and support to the offspring.
Chrishell’s breeding philosophy is based on the following:
1) Health, mobility and balance and
2) NZ Kennel Club (NZKC) French Bulldog Standard
Health, Mobility and Balance
Without getting into the technical aspects, at Chrishell when we breed for health we refer to breeding a French Bulldog that can breathe well e.g. possesses large and well formed nostrils, that possesses no traits that may result in health issues at a later stage of the dog’s life and temperament. Why is good temperament healthy? Because a mentally well adjusted dog will make your life enjoyable and ensure that the dog interacts positively towards any environment.
Concerning mobility, a French Bulldog in short should be able to walk and run with no issues. It forequarters (front legs) should be straight from the front and side and short. The rear legs should be strong with slight angulation. All of these and other aspects contribute to a mobile dog. French Bulldogs despite their appearances should be mobile with that mobility forming part of their excellent companionship persona.
Balance essentially refers to the overall conformation of the dog. We look to breed French Bulldogs that are not are only physically healthy but mentally. We focus on this because the two go hand-in-hand in breeding either an excellent pet or champion. A dog that is not mentally healthy will struggle to produce results in the ring and clearly a physically unbalanced dog will never be able to enter the ring or could possibly present future health issues.
Overlaying our own breed standard is the NZKC French Bulldog standard which we breed to as a MINIMUM. This ensures that any one who receives our dogs will have the added comfort knowing that it has been bred in line with a recognised global standard.
The NZKC French Bulldog Standard can be found here:
In recent years many breeders have moved towards performing health tests on their breeding stock to ensure that the puppies produced have every possible chance of being as healthy as possible. At Chrishell we perform two tests involving x-ray and DNA checks.
Our x-ray test involves checking for hip dysplasia and hemivertebrae. The former checks the formation of the ball and socket joint in the hip and the latter vertebrae and spinal alignment. Concerning DNA testing we check for such traits as degenerative myelopathy (gradual mobility reduction in the hindquarters), hereditary cataract (development of cataracts leading to blindness) and unacceptable fad (blue, chocolate, lilac and black and tan) colours etc. using the Orivet Laboratory based in Australia.
We would like to emphasise that whilst health tests are positive indicators of the future health of a puppy they are not guarantees. In addition one needs to consider the longevity of the parents and grand parents and that is when our research and experience comes to the fore. The environment the dog is raised in also plays a major part in its future health i.e. correct levels of diet and exercise, mental stimulation and positive reinforcement etc. A puppy that comes from parents that have excellent DNA and X-ray results but is mistreated either physically or mentally will never be a healthy French Bulldog.