|Astrid & Arnold Hendriks|
Interview with mr. Arnold Hendriks (bred french bulldogs since 1968. prefix vd Zuylenstede) by Alen & Manuela Lulic Galovic. This article was originaly published in Croatian Kennel Club magazine "Moj pas" on Croatian language
- The story of how you started breeding French bulldogs is really interesting and, to me personally, fascinating. Can you tell us the story for those who do not know it?
- After 10 years in a sporting career as a racing cyclist, I became happily married and had, at that time, two (later three) darling children. We also wanted a little dog, like so many other young families.
To me it also had another meaning. My father had been a very good breeder of German Shepherds before World War II. Because of the War, everything had been destroyed and my father had no courage to rebuild again, so I wanted to take up his hobby and breed dogs. My father advised me not to start on a popular breed but to choose one which needed to be renewed in our country. My choice became the French Bulldog.
My first acquaintance with a French Bulldog was at my Aunt’s who possessed one. He was a strong and active male, very friendly and playful dog. By chanceI read an add stating: “For sale two French Bulldog females aged 2 ½ years old”.
I went together with my father to view and we were astonished to see the two dogs sitting in a chicken house, hairless, their skin felt like leather and was in a bad condition. I felt so sorry for them and thought they had to leave there immediately so I bought them. I took good care of them and after about five or six months their hair grew back and they looked beautiful.
I had become a member of the Dutch French Bulldog Club in the meantime and learned that a famous French Bulldog breeder lived in the vicinity. We met and when he saw my dogs he informed me that they came from a fine bloodline. My bitches were in good condition and I decided to breed with them. They soon became with young, one having eight and the other one nine puppies.
With the sale money from the puppies I bought a beautiful young pied female Blanche v.d . Molenstal from the best Dutch breeder Mr. van Doorn. With Blanche I started my show career. At our first show, the Winner in Amsterdam 1969 she became Winster and Best Bitch.
Blanche won several shows and again Winster in 1970 in Amsterdam and eventual Dutch Champion.
Out of a litter of Blanche I bred a nice male called Boulotte. He won several prices and was noticed by Prince Ratibor from Germany, who liked him very much and was surprised that such a beautiful dog had been bred in the Netherlands. He invited me to visit Germany, which I did.
Whilst there I discovered at the shows that the beautiful dogs of Prince Ratibor had been bred from a certain English bloodline. He imported French Bulldogs from England around 1965 out of the Lancefield Kennel of Mrs. Muriel Walker and the Selholme Kennel of Mrs. Hugh Baker.
|Hendriks's children with frenchies 1972.|
During my holiday in England I visited Mrs. Hooton`s Little Coombe Kennels in Exeter. She had a young male, aged seven months, for sale called Topsham Mc Tavish. He had a bloodline from both parents of the male Bomblitz Edward Bear and that was just the type I was looking for. I didn’t have to think twice; McTavish came back to Holland with me. Mac as we called him, won several prices and won BIS at the Dutch Clubshow in 1976 out of 125 French and English Bulldogs. He was Junior Winner in Amsterdam 1974, Winner 1976 and Dutch Champion.
In 1975 I imported Quatt Pollyanna, a beautiful brindle female aged one and a half. As her ear had been damaged I could not show her, but she was from a good bloodline. I had bought her to combine with McTavish. Out of the first combination I bred Dutch Champion Amorous Belle v.d. Zuylenstede and Queen Annabelle v.d. Zuylenstede.
Daughter of Amorous Belle was Dutch Champion Girly v.d. Zuylenstede. Daughter of Queen Annabelle was Dutch Champion Alicella v.d. Zuylenstede Winster 1979 and BOB 1980.
Out of the second combination of McTavish & Pollyanna came the beautiful pied male International Champion Chico v.d. Zuylenstede.
Out of the combination Chico & Alicella came the fawnfemale Chemera v.d. Zuylenstede. Unfortunately, this colour was not recognized in Europe so I couldn’t show her but I kept her and mated her with an imported male called Brickett Jacarinda, son of Gangour Oss.
With this combination I bred Zappa v.d. Zuylenstede, which I sold to a family in Germany. This beautiful male has only been shown once at the Bundessieger, where he was awarded reserve Champion. In that time, I had sold more beautiful dogs to people who wanted pets and were not interested in showing.
|USA: Hendriks & American Champion Charlotte vd Zuylensteden|
- When you started breeding French bulldogs, they were very rare breed. How do you explain the enormous growth of their popularity?
- On every street corner you can buy nowadays a French Bulldog. Today's breeders benefit from the dogs of previous generations. Many famous people also have a French Bulldog. David Beckham, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lady Gaga, Sharon Stone etc. They appear in films and television programs “William”- Bringing down the house, “Stella”- Modern Family. On top of that breeders also ask high prices for a puppy. I think that also goes along with the breeding of the contemporary French Bulldogs.
- What kind of problems did you encounter with the first litter? What were the most common health problems? Were these puppies born naturally?
- The first litters I bred, with the two sisters, were born naturally. They were caring mothers and the puppies ate independently after 4 weeks. I have never experienced this again. With Blanche vd Molenstal, the beautiful pied female I wanted to breed her first litter after she became Dutch Champion. Her pups had to be taken with Caesarean section. Her breeder, Mr van Doorn had already told me this when I bought her. The chance that she could naturally give birth was small.
4 weeks before the delivery I went to see, who I thought, was the best veterinarian at that time. We talked about the possible caesarean section so he could take it into account.
When the time came I called the clinic but the wife of the doctor answers the phone. She told me that her husband was not there at the time and that I had to come to the consultation hour that afternoon.Well, of course I could not wait for that. The female was already pressing but without result. I had to hurry. I called my own veterinarian who called the University clinic for companion animals in Utrecht. He checked if it was possible to come with my female for a caesarean. When I arrived, a student took the female and told me to come back after 4 hours…
When I finally came in after a long wait, they brought me a bag of 3 dead pups and the mother still under heavy narcosis. They told me “sorry but luckily we managed to save the mother during the operation”. All and all it had taken too long and because of the full narcosis of the mother, the pups suffered and died.
I was severely disappointed and I wanted to prevent this tragedy for the future. I talked with my veterinarian about it.
At a next pregnancy with Blanche, my veterinarian did the caesarean section in new way. He told me that he would contact the university and present them new procedure. The newly graduated veterinarians now carry out the caesarean section on this manner.
- How did the breeders at that time deal with the problem of bitches who were having hard labour? I suppose there were not many veterinarians who performed a caesarean section at that time?
- In the years that followed, there were many problems with caesarean sections. The older vets had no experience with the new way of operating the French Bulldog. The breed was not as popular as today. Many puppies and mothers died in the 70’s to the 90's because vets had no experience of operating French Bulldogs, especially in the countryside. Breeders told each other which vets performed well with cesarean sections and where you could best go. After I came to live in France, I have never lost so many dogs.
- Tell us something about the colours of the French bulldogs. Fawn French bulldogs have long been unauthorized in Europe and you have had some of the first fawn champion dogs. Do you expect one day for Blue French Bulldogs to be accepted just the same? How do you explain their enormous popularity?
- When I started breeding, the French Bulldog colours were according the standard; light brindle, dark brindle with white breast, pied with dark brindle plate and mantel checke (3/4 dark with white legs)
Because I was breeding with English lines, there was FAWN in the 5thor 6st generations in the pedigree. In England this colour was very popular. In 1944 Ch Mark of Millhouse, Cherub of Silpo and Keysoe Ambassadeur out of American bloodlines, inherited the fawn in England. Because England was not a member of the FCI, as the American Kennel Club (AKC) have their own Kennel Club rules, this colour was allowed in the breed.
In 1994 the Fawn colour was accepted by the FCI. My fawn male Louis Louis vd Zuylenstede won BOB at his first show in Rouen, France.
There were not many fawn colours in Europe at that time. A brother of Louis Louis vd Zuylenstede, Felipe vd Zuylenstede was sold to America and later his son returned to Germany. "Coeur de Pantoufle" Unfortunately this male was not approved for breeding in Germany, he got a breeding ban. The male was later sold to a breeder in the Netherlands and she has done many studs with this male. Many descendants of this male were born in Eastern Europe. In the pedigree of almost every fawn there is my male Felipe vd Zuylenstede.
I myself see it as a big problem these bad colours. Especially if pedigrees are given to these dogs, but I am convinced that serious breeders will avoid these wrong colours from their bloodlines.
|Roquefort vd Zuylenstede: The First French Bulldog of the European Continent to become an American-Canadian Champion (he become American and Canadian Champion within thirty days)|
- What do you think is the biggest problem of French bulldogs today?
- There are too many problems with dogs that are anxious with breathing. Also nervous dogs with stress. These dogs should be excluded from reproducing.
- What is your biggest concern about today's breeding, what are the characteristics are neglected and which are better than before?
- I think that the piedFrench Bulldogs, bred with one eye black and one eye whit out pigmentation around the eye and the eye angle, should be crossed with a dark brindle dog. To avoid this characteristic problem for the next generation. Pied dogs inherit this fault. A too black colour French Bulldog without any brindle is also a fault, black is dominant. It is difficult to breed back the brindle colour. It is important to breed the tail back, more attention must be paid to this. The tail is an extension of the spine. A good roach back reduces a steep hindquarters and will improve the movement. Breeders should pay attention to these faults in the breed.
When I started breeding there were not many French Bulldogs in Europe except in Germany, and England. After 2000, the East Europeans have seriously mixed in the show and breeding programs. This was an asset to overall kynology in Europe and the rest of the world. It brought more competition and interesting interference with good types. By means of the internet, breeders can now find each other more easily and you have access to the pedigrees, many generations back.
|Girly vd Zuylenstede|
- If you could pick up some specific dogs that you think are important to the breed, which ones are those French bulldogs?
- I can not name specific names. In all those years there were always new breeders with new dogs, new names but on the pedigree you can see that the background of these dogs originated from Daulokke, de la Parure, A'vigdors, Kingfriend lines. These breeders all made use of each others bloodlines nice type of dogs. I will of course forget to mention other good breeders. I have respect for breeders that go for quality not for quantity.
- Do you think that the world of kynology was once more fair?
- I think that certain people everywhere are not good, so also in the kynology. It is well known that over the years people such as board members, members of breed clubs and certain judges are influenced, unfortunately at the expense of the breed. I find this very unsporting.
- Do you fear that dog breeding in the future will be endangered by an animal activists or someone else?
- Yes, I think that in the future problems will come from different sides regarding the progress of breeding problem breeds. There have already been several TV programs in the Netherlands that have paid attention to it. Activist animal rights organizations want a breeding prohibition of the short-sighted breeds. Even a stop of dog shows like the Amsterdam Winner show, one of the oldest dog show in Europe!
|Judging in France (Longchamps 1998.)|
- Are you afraid that breeding French bulldogs could be banned for allegedly frequent breathing problems?
- In the Netherlands it might be a problem. The committee and some breeders of the Dutch French Bulldog Club have to defend the breed soon in front a tribunal.
- What was most important to you in breeding? What would you say today to the breeders?
- My goal was to breed the French Bulldog to become a healthy breed with improvements through precise breeding according the standard. Always health as the most important indicator. With a small population of dogs of about 5 to 6 dogs I manage to do so as good as I could over 50 years.
|Judgin in Zagreb, Croatia, 2018. Toy Breeds Specialty: Hendriks and Puppy BOB Obi Van Kenobi Totegnac|