CREATING BREED CONSISTENCY
If you are reading this, we assume you fancy the Epagneul Breton. 😎 That makes you part of a special breed that holds true to its roots outlined over 100 years ago. You don’t have to define your dog as a “field” Breton or “hunting” EB. It’s just expected to be the norm that our dogs perform, look and act like an EB.
As the national breed club, part of the CEB-US mission statement is to protect and promote the breed. What does that mean? 🧐
In short, it means the Epagneul Breton follows the bird dog standard adopted in 1907 France 🇫🇷 and slightly modified over the last 100+ years. There is an expectation that an EB meets a standard form and function ensuring past, present and future EBs remain the same.
All EBs are great dogs, but that does not mean all EBs should be bred.
📐Let’s start with Confirmation. Confirmation or getting a dog confirmed is a CEB-US driven event. It is not a competition but rather an evaluation of your EB by an Expert Confirmateur to see if it fits within the written conformation standard of the Epagneul Breton. Confirmation is a pass/fail test and the dog is required to be intact.
If your dog fails (does not confirm) it does not mean there is anything wrong with your dog other than it does not fall within the written standard. Common reasons for a dog not to confirm include, but are not limited to, height at the shoulders (can be too tall or too short), incorrect bite, incorrect coloring and more. If your dog does not confirm it can still be registered and still compete in any UKC event.
The EB breed and the CEB-US are one of the only hunting breeds that performs this type of measurement evaluation. Our standards were translated from the EB parent club in France.
CONFIRMATION VS CONFORMATION
While sometimes construed as a typo or auto-correct, there is a difference between Confirmation and Conformation.
Conformation or a Conformation Show is a competition where dogs compete against each other under a judge who decides which dog best represents their interpretation of the written standard. Dogs who do well in multiple shows are able to earn Champion of the Show titles in the UKC.
To compete your dog must be registered or have a temporary listing (TL) number. Your dog does not have to be confirmed; however, having your dog confirmed by an expert confirmateur is good starting point and a good source of information on your dog and how it fits into the written standard.
Finally, you may have seen ratings for respective EBs. Ratings are also exclusive to the CEB-US. The best place to have this done is at the CEB-US National Conclave where you can get your dog confirmed and entered in the specialty conformation show. The rating is simply a rating of your dog and how it compares to the written standard. Ratings include C-1 Excellent, C-2 Very Good, C-3 Good and Insufficient.
One of the CEB-US goals for 2023 and the future is to host at least 4 Confirmation events. This year, we have hosted confirmation evaluations in South Carolina and Iowa. We will be hosting an evaluation at that National Conclave in Oklahoma and are trying for one more.
IT’S ALL IN THE DATA
I’m not a breeder, why should I care? 🤷♂️ While definitely not an expectation or obligation, by having your dog confirmed you are providing a data point for the breed. There are numerous examples of famous, titled dogs in other breeds that do not pass their best characteristics down a pedigree. Breeders end up chasing an empty line resulting in generations of puppies continuing to stray farther from the original dog. Though modern science, a stud dog can continue to produce offspring decades after the stud passes, so we want to do our best to ensure we chase the standard and not just shiny trophies. To combat this, the CEB-US promotes confirmation as one way to ensure breed pairings are chosen to optimize the breed across all breed traits (performance, form, function, personality, drive, temperament, etc.).
Mother Nature 🌎 still holds the final say, so while the CEB-US and breeders can try to stack the deck in our favor by combining the highest traits possible there are no guarantees in breeding. Which leads us back to the start in that we need to continually test and measure the breed to ensure the breed holds true for generations to come.
You can find a list of confirmed Epagneul Bretons on our website. Click here.
Want to learn more? At the 2022 CEB-US National Conclave, the Epagneul Breton Foundation hosted a Confirmation Clinic presented by Reynald Lefebvre. You can watch a video of the clinic here.