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How it all started…

70-06When my mother was still a child she was always surrounded by animals. Her parents always had some poultry, small livestock and all kinds of dogs in and outside the house. My father first contact with dogs were the different sheperds my grandfather trained for guarding and police purposes.

In 1972 my parents purchased a bitch by the name of Tarra’s Ninnette and that’s when they got bitten by the so called “frenchie virus”. They began showing in 1973 and they met of one of the most dominanting French Bulldog breeders, Dr. Alexander Prince Von Ratibor und Corvey from Germany. His dogs were different from the French Bulldogs they had seen and owned so far. They were heavy, sound and full of quality. They seemed to carry a unmistakable “stamp” which made his dogs “stand out” from other French Bulldogs. However the Von Ratibor und Corvey dogs got much competition from another German breeder, the Von der Grimmelsburg kennel. The Von der Grimmelsburg kennel was run by Barbara & Dr. Georg Grimm. Their dogs were heavy boned, sturdy and had much character.

Prince Alexander and Barbara Grimm’s spouse were both a veterinary surgeon and both had direct access to veterinary science which certainly gave them a headstart in terms of breeding and keeping French Bulldogs. Both, Prince Alexander and Barbara Grimm ,were dedicated breed judges aswell.

We must be honest and certainly not forget that the French Bulldog in the 70’s was certainly NOT as healthy as the ones we mostly see nowadays. In the years that followed the breed developed very well. The breeders had to take many hurdles in order to overcome health problems and public issues during those years. Fortunately they have been able to “create” a better french bulldog and this resulted in a more positive general and cynological opinion towards the breed.

My parents were determined to obtain a dog from both breeders in the hope to breed a healthy and good looking French Bulldog by combining the distinctive features of both breeders. After the first contact they had to wait quite some time before they finally got their first Von Ratibor un Corvey French Bulldog. They purchased Coco von Ratibor und Corvey and that was probably one of their most important decisions ever.
In 1978 Champion Voila Coco von Ratibor und Corvey was winner of the International FCI Show in Venlo; this prestigious win made him the first French Bulldog to win Best in Show (all breeds) in Europe. Coco formed the foundation of the ‘De la Parure’ French Bulldogs.

In the years that followed my parents developed a warm and friendly realtionship with both Prince Alexander and Dr. Georg and Mrs. Barbara Grimm which lastet untill the days they passed away. I spend my childhood several times wandering in and around the castlle in Unterriexingen where Sacha also kept a tremendous and immaculate French Bulldog collection. We spend many holidays with the Grimm family first in Bad Reichenhal and later in Walldorf Germany. Both personalities may not be forgotten since, in our opinion, they contributed a substantial part in the improvement of the French Bulldog. Their influence on the breed is still perceptible nowadays.

Von der Grimmelsburg

pametbarbaragrimmIn those (late) seventies and early eighties Barbara Grimm and Dr.Grimm played a very important role in the success of the De la Parure breeding program. Barbara quickly detected my mother’s interest and desire to learn. She taught her all the basics and the ‘do’s’ and ‘do not’s’ about the breed. All important matters such as mating, (self)whelping, feeding and raising french bulldogs were addressed.

She treated her like a daughter and my mother always refered to her as her ‘dog mother’. As a child I spent many pleasant holidays in Bad Reichenal and later in Walldorf. With pleasure I recall the hours, days and weeks with the Grimms. I’m happy to have known Barbara Grimm and proud she was willing and able to come to our wedding in 2000.
Miss Grimm was over 80 and I’ve never seen such a strong and energetic personality.

With Dr.Georg Grimm many health issues were discussed and reviewed. The (im) possibilities to improve the breed have always been a ‘hot topic’ at the Grimms. It’s not a secret that there was quite some competition between the Von Ratibor und Corvey and Von der Grimmelsburg kennel but ultimately my parents could convince them to reconcile in order to cooperate and improve the breed.
The Von der Grimmelsburg frenchies were (very) heavy boned and had particular massive heads, this applied to dogs and bitches. My parents were convinced that a combination of the two bloodlines would be of significance for themselves and the breed in general.
Barbara Grimm had to be considered as a breed specialist and in those days she judged on a regular basis. Barbara Grimm passed away in 2003. We still miss them both very much…

Some important and/or famous French Bulldogs of the Von der Grimmelsburg kennel were:

  • Champion Zartan von der Grimmelsburg
  • Champion Odilo von der Grimmelsburg
  • Champion Hubsi von der Grimmelsburg
  • Champion Coco von der Grimmelsburg
  • Champion Zeno von der Grimmelsburg
  • Champion Rani von der Grimmelsburg
  • Champion Theresa von der Grimmelsburg


It’s self evident that having the opportunities doesn’t mean success follows automatically. In my parents case it’s proven beyond any doubt that certain people accelerated their learning process concerning the french bulldog. In regards to showing, breeding, raising french bulldogs some people may be considered as their “teachers”. The meetings with them were always pleasant and the instructive conversations concerning the breed memorable.

From my point of view the relationship my parents had with these people was built on sheer confidence. For years these “teachers” entrusted my parents with their knowledge about the breed my parents never abused or misused their confidence. Two important “teachers” in the life of my parents have been (and in some way still are!) Alexander Prince von Ratibor und Corvey and Dr. Georg and Barbara Grimm. They are the ones who took my parents as their apprentices and teached them about the breed in the seventies and eighties.

Von Ratibor und Corvey


Alexander Prince Von Ratibor und Corvey must be considered as one of the most prominent connoisseur`s of the French Bulldog. He was a respected judge and breeder of: French Bulldogs, Bull Terriers, Leonbergers and Labrador Retrievers. He was a hard working member for the International Club for French Bulldogs of Germany of which he became President in 1982. Alexander Prince von Ratibor und Corvey had to be considered as a breed specialist but he was also recognised as All Round judge by the German Kennel Club. Alexander Prince has been one of the most important people during the foundation of De la Parure. He can be considered as my parent`s “teacher”. The prince played a very imported role in their (cynological) choices. After their first aquaintance, in the early seventies, they developed a warm friendship that lastet untill he passed away in 1989.

Alexander Prince von Ratibor und Corvey bred French Bulldogs successfuly since 1954. On his castle in Unteriexingen (Germany) he bred many beautiful dogs and impressed “friends and competitors” world-wide. His dogs won many National & International Championships and dominated at Clubspecialties all over Europe. His dogs contributed to the improvement of the French Bulldog breed on European level.

Some important and/or famous French Bulldogs of the Von Ratibor und Corvey kennel were:

  • Champion Raclette Von Ratibor und Corvey
  • Champion Duc Doux Von Ratibor und Corvey
  • Champion Flaubert Von Ratibor und Corvey
  • Champion Fernandel Von Ratibor und Corvey
  • Champion Gustave Von Ratibor und Corvey
  • Champion Hibou Von Ratibor und Corvey
  • Champion Nadine Von Ratibor und Corvey
  • Champion Voila Coco Von Ratibor und Corvey
  • Champion Uriel Von Ratibor und Corvey
  • Champion Zut Zola Von Ratibor und Corvey
  • Champion Watteau Von Ratibor und Corvey
  • Champion Toutou Terrible Von Ratibor und Corvey
  • Champion Ines Von Ratibor und Corvey
  • Champion Omelette Von Ratibor und Corvey
  • Champion Zeno Von Ratibor und Corvey

Coco Von Ratibor und Corvey









Duc Doux Von Ratibor und Corvey

One of my personal favorites was Duc Doux Von Ratibor und Corvey. Duc Doux was a delightful French Bulldog and he would certainly impress the most discriminating French Bulldog lover of nowadays. He obtained the following titles: German Champion, VDH Champion, International Champion, World Winner, 2x Winner of the German breed specialty.

Flaubert Von Ratibor und Corvey


Another striking and important “Von Ratibor und Corvey” was Flaubert. Champion and Club Winner Flaubert von Ratibor und Corvey was the first to win the bronze statue which was introduced as a “challenge-cup” at the German Club Specialty in 1978.

At De la Parure we show mutual respect for each other’s personal opinion on dogs.This has proven to be very important for our breeding program. One must not focus too much on only a single, positive nor negative, point/feature in a animal. If you do “magnify” these points you risk to loose touch with the reality.This so called  “kennel blindness” can be disastrous and has a immediate negative effect on a breeding program. Together we are able to relativize our views and form a good opinion in order to make a decision. Assessing the quality of dogs is a continous process which starts from the actual breeding of the two selected dogs untill the day we decide to keep a dog or offer the dog to a client.

We always try to let nature play a leading role as much as possible. Unfortunately too many breeders do not even give their bitches a chance to “get started” nor do they consider the possibilty of trying to let them self whelp. From experience with our own dogs we are certain that litters from bitches who were allowed to get close to labour or which have self whelped are certainly easier and therefore better mothers. Our bitches always get the chance to selfwhelp their puppies even if this means that you have to sacrifice a puppy in some cases. It’s pretty well possible that a bitch self whelps, for example, three pups but not able to whelp the fourth. And that’s often the “sore spot” for many……… the possibility to loose a puppy. This seems to count heavier then letting ‘nature find its way’ unfortunately.

Well nobody said that breeding, and French Bulldogs in particular, would be easy. Our main concern is the prosperity of the French Bulldog. It’s a challenge to ‘create’ a French Bulldog that is as healthy as it is beautiful. And as hard as it is sometimes you must be able to have a very critic look at your own dogs.
Well for now our philosophy seems to be quite successful looking at the amount of De la Parure champions and the national and international  influence of our dogs and their descendants.

We are flattered by the fact that so many people have a (secret) wish for a De la Parure French bulldog or a dog related to one of our dogs. Competition and co-breeders could not compliment us in any better way.

We travel to many places with our dogs, covering almost every show there is to attend in Europe. Showing Frenchies is a big part of our lives and we love every minute of it.

“Natural ability without education has more often attained to glory and virtue then education without natural ability”

Cicero – 106 BC- 43 BC