IFBA Co-Founder Peter Akkad about IFBA and the future

Maybe you might ask why we founded The International French Bulldog Club and why this has been necessary.


It was necessary, because our lovely breed needs a strong advocate in the FCI-world, especially in these days.


In my opinion, many of the existing breed clubs do not represent the breed adequately. There are certainly some clubs that are really trying. However, the breed clubs all have one and the same problem: In the end, it is not the need of the breed that dictates what has to be done, but the interests of the members of these clubs, because they elect the club board. And these people have their own interests, especially when the vast majority in the club are breeders, and even more so if, as it has been unfortunately the case here in recent years, they increasingly include xyz-breeders.com. These are so-called "breeders" who one would actually expect much more to be outside the FCI associations and clubs, but those people discovered, that they achieve a better price for puppies with FCI-papers than without. Here, different breeds are bred in parallel, of course breeds, where the puppies sell well because the breeds are popular, i.e. fashionable breeds.


Frenchies, because of their size and their nice character, are often held not free but boxed with these "breeders". But a Frenchie literally wastes away if held like that. However, these people usually do not appear alone, but bring along some "satellite breeders" to whom they leave dogs for breeding in order to increase the output of puppies even more. Those poor dogs travel through many kennels this way, having to produce puppies. This is how breed clubs are infiltrated and before you know it, these people get the majority and impose their rules on the others. It happened here recently. This is similar to a hostile takeover in business. The only thing that matters for those people is to produce as many puppies as possible at low costs. The result is a drastic loss of quality, according to the motto "quantity instead of quality". We could observe that the quality of our French Bulldogs has dropped massively here, both in terms of conformation and fitness of the dogs. In only 2 or 3 years, the achievements of the last 10-15 years have been wiped out in our breed here. Only a few breeders are left (not more than two or three), who have dedicated themselves to the preservation and improvement of the breed at the highest possible level and are breeding dogs to improve the breed and not to place their puppies on the market for profit.  


For mass breeders like described, the question, that there are harming themselves and the breed in particular is not relevant. It simply doesn't matter to xyz-breeders.com: Once one breed is run down, it's off to the next one, which is modern and promises good sales.


I often have been asked if the French Bulldog still has a future facing a situation like that. The answer is difficult, but hopefully, yes! It is encouraging that the advertising industry, but also feed manufacturers, in order not to get in the way of so-called animal rights activists - keyword "torture breeds" - are increasingly refraining from flooding people with pictures and advertising clips of our so delightful French Bulldogs, but are increasingly using dogs of other breeds for advertising.


The breed has improved a lot in the last 10 - 15 years, has become mostley really healthy in Europe, with local setbacks like here. The current FCI standard meets the challenges of the time in terms of breed health. The breed is not responsible for the fact that businesspeople have discovered the Frenchie for themselves in order to make money with it, nor is the standard.   


Maybe you ask, why this is not stopped. It is a fact, that we have an absolute  monopoly of the Kennel Club and the Breed Clubs here, with all the typical disadvantages of a monopoly. Only one club per breed here and no competition, no alternative. A situation like this has already been recognised as anti-competitive in many countries, for example in Germany. Monopolies tend to be abused. If someone breeds FCI dogs here, he or she has to apply for the pedigrees via the one responsible breed club. Those who are not members of this club are penalised with fees four times higher than those who are members of the club. This is price discrimination of the highest order, typical of a monopolist. Such high fees have already been deemed illegal several times in the European Union. In addition, there is hardly any service in return, often only harassment. These clubs naturally try to remain among like-minded people. Also, the clubs - including the kennel clubs - are often concerned with getting as many entries in the stud books as possible in order to earn income from the fees. Therefore, high requirements for breeding, even if they would make sense, are often not very desirable, because they could reduce the number of litters. 


But lets turn to the future of IFBA now. We are happy about the very large number of supporters we already have, practically from all over the world. And we are expanding, we are growing! Corona is slowing us down a bit, too, of course, but we're on it. We are working on measures to support breed health as well as on big events for the breed. We want to become an alternative and additional address for all those who have a genuine interest and love for the French Bulldog in the FCI world. The Frenchie is not a fashion item, but an extremely lovable breed and a cultural asset since 120 years!  


The IFBA is in the process of being put on a legal footing, which will make membership of the Kennel Club and/or the FCI possible. And we are planning international Frenchie events for the time after the pandemic. More is not revealed at the moment.