The reason why – the real lover of the breed has become part of the Bulldog

HJ van der Merwe (Mervander Bulldogs)

The reason for this article - some breeders and some judges in SA overlook these problems: ectropion, entropion and flat briskets.


A man stood up in who was the spirit of the British Bulldog. His name: Sir Winston Churchill. The invasion of Normandy was the invasion and establishment of the Western Allied Forces. During this operation young and old who love the English Rose stood up in 1944, during the Second World War. They joined hands, to produce the force, to protect England.


The following words still ring in my ears. Words spoken by Sir Winston Churchill: “We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing strength in the air,

we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” He was the right man at the right time to stir all hearts and minds of a great people. Words I would like to repeat on behalf of our beloved BRITISH BULLDOG.









Let not conspiracy play a definite recognisable role in the tragedy of losing the expression of our beloved breed THE BRITISH BULLDOG. If those eyes are not giving full expression, if void of the beautiful Bulldog look and the eyes not focusing properly, but looking at you in pain; camouflaged by putting in a few eye drops. Should this then be ignored and overlooked by the breeder and the judge? Is this not cruelty to animals? I am referring as breeder and exhibitor to ectropion and the reverse entropion, the lid which rolls out or in - an inherited defect. If this be allowed, it shall be the main spring of every subversive movement in the breeding program of British Bulldogs.

I joined the Royal Navy and served the whole duration of the war in Burma. At the time of the attack at Normandy I served on HMS Caradoc, a C-class light cruiser of the Royal Navy. She was part of the Caledon group of the C-class of cruisers. I only returned home November 1945. I put the question to my first lieutenant: What makes the Caradoc so special? He looked me straight in the eye and the reply came: “The stuff she is made off and the men who made her.” His look reminded me of the Bulldog, the same look as that of Sir Winston. Guess what happened then? The Bulldog was born in my heart. There and then I knew within me, one day I shall own a Bulldog. I have come a long way with this breed and shall love them until my dying day. I shall go on to the very end to better the breed. 

Another fault we must look at critically is the typical barrel which makes the Bulldog so different. One day somebody asked: Why do you call yourself Mervander? My reply came, because of the capital “M” the name starts with. If you stand before a Bulldog and look between the front legs you must see the capital “M”. If it is not there, I know I am looking at a flat-sided barrel. Where is the deep brisket? If not there, shall I not know the dog will have breathing problems? One thing of the Mervander Bulldogs, they can breathe well, they can move well and they can see well. My song to them when I cuddle them: “If those eyes could only see and that heart can only feel my love which I have for them.” These are points that a judge and a breeder can never overlook. Never agree to disagree on these points. 

Let us all be the right breeder at the right time, to stir the hearts and minds of those great lovers and breeders of the British Bulldog. Together we shall stand and save this great breed and give honour to where honour belong: Great Britain, England, who gave us this great breed. May God keep and  Bless them.  

On behalf of the Mervander Bulldogs and the Specialist Club the Pretoria Millennium Bulldog Club.