"It's hardly 

to be doubted that the love

to humans has become an instinct in

the dog."

Charles Darwin

 

 

At this point we would like to thank, and we are sure every "Conti" lover will agree, Imelda Angehrn, the founder of the breed,  for her courage and perseverance!

All other responsible Continental Bulldog breeders also deserve respect of course.

Formation

Imelda Angehrn, the founder of the breed Continental Bulldog

Presumably Imelda at that time never assumed that she will go down in the cynological history, certainly not with bulldogs! Her breeder's heart belonged to the Newfoundland.

It took many years for her husband Peter Angehrn to persuade her to visit an English Bulldog breeder, because Peter Angehrn had been wishing for some time to have an English Bulldog.

Well, as we all know, you can not resist the sight of a Bulldog puppy and the first English Bulldog, called Jonny, moved in with the  Angehrn family. It was clear Jonny should not be on his own for long so a lady called Hexli came along very quickly.

In 1966 the kennel "Pickwick" of the Swiss family Angehrn celebrated its first anniversary and the first English Bulldog puppies were born.

The health of her animals has always been important to Imelda. She has been trying to breed a lighter type of English Bulldog to improve respiratory and birthing problems. However, their attempts did not show the desired success.

This was made even more difficult by the fact that many of these lighter dogs were not approved for breeding because they were not deemed "very good" at exhibitions.

To top it off the lighter, free-breathing male dog was disqualified because he did not run in typical breed style. Imelda was very furious and decided to change something fundamentally.

In addition, at the beginning of the 2000s a discussion started in Switzerland about stricter animal laws and breeding regulations which should supplement the existing European Convention on the Breeding and Housing of Pet Animals. Part of the of the new breeding regulations said it was now “prohibited to create and keep animals with certain characteristics, in particular abnormalities in physique and behaviour ...". Thus, various breeds of dogs became endangered and were destined to disappear as an official breed. Imelda realised the English Bulldog was in danger too.

 

She consulted her friend, Dr. Hans Räber, and other cynologists and came to the conclusion that selection alone would not significantly improve the health of the English Bulldog. Only by crossing similar dogs the desired improvements would be achieved. 

So in collaboration with other well-known cynologists Imelda tried to get permission to cross the English Bulldogs with other Bulldog breeds. The motivation of Imelda was to breed a medium-sized bulldog which would do justice to all animal welfare regulations in order to later be used again.

Carefully selected, allied dogs became the cornerstone of the crossbreeding schemes, which were provisionally granted by the SKG in the year 2000 for three generations.

In 2001, the first intersection litter fell.

The results in terms of improving health were a great success.

However, a backcross in the English Bulldog failed due to the hostile attitude by the standard-giving country England.

Because of her commitment, Imelda quickly became a thorn in the side of the entire English Bulldog world. Titled as a nest spew, she was often hostile and eventually relieved of some honorary memberships.

But Imelda continued to pursue the goal of breeding healthy dogs.

Since the results and response were so great, in 2004 the SKG approved the breed as a new breed under the name Continental Bulldog. In the same year, the Continental Bulldog Club Switzerland (CBCS) was founded and already in 2005 the breed standard, as well as the CBCS breeding order was approved by the SKG..

Despite these hurdles, Imelda always believed in her goal, fought hard for the same and never gave up. In the end she had success.

Career

For a new breed, the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale, the world's largest cynological umbrella organization) demands eight bloodlines, which in the last three generations can not have a single common ancestor.

To meet these requirements it takes an enormous breeding material, a lot of time and a lot of commitment.

All this was done by the Angehrn family in record time.

Back in 2011, Imelda personally presented to the Executive Director the FCI eight folders on the required eight bloodlines, including all scientific considerations for the breed Continental Bulldog, to allow the breed to be recognised internationally.

But the FCI, which should have shown interest in a healthier Bulldog, delayed the permit for unexplainable reasons.

In 2014, the application for acceptance of the Swiss standard Continental Bulldog was unfortunately rated negative by the FCI Executive Board. The submitted documents were dubbed exemplary in their evaluation. Although SKG / CBCS had always deliberately renounced comparison with the English Bulldog, this was used by the competent commissions (standard and scientific) as well as the board of the FCI as an argument to be rejected. Despite clear specifications as to which conditions and criteria must be fulfilled when a member country wishes to apply for recognition the FCI states in its execution that it is reluctant to recognize and confirm new races.

To our great pleasure the Continental Bulldog is a VDH nationally recognized dog breed since 2015. Now it is also up to us breeders to further consolidate the type, the health values ​​and the essence of the “Contis” in order to breed a uniform breed image over the next generations.

We must responsibly handle Imelda Angehrn's life's work and continue to breed healthy, agile dogs of excellent character in hope that FCI's recognition of the breed will succeed in the short term.

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