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Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show: French bulldog Bru wins non-sporting group

February 16, 2010 |  5:08 pm

BruIt's a great day to be a French bulldog lover: Monday night saw the breed's first-ever non-sporting group win at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Ch. Robobull Fabelhaft Im On Fire, a 2-year-old male Frenchie, bested a male Chinese shar-pei named Ch. Chaoyang Chick Magnet At Asia, a top-winning female bulldog named Ch. Kepley's Showbiz Razzle Dazzle and a male miniature poodle named Ch. Splash Di Caprio to take the the top prize for the group.

Im On Fire, who goes by the nickname Bru, is owned by Marion Hulick, S. St John and James Dalton. He was bred in Canada.

The popularity of the French bulldog breed in the U.S. has skyrocketed in recent years; it was the 24th most popular breed judging by American Kennel Club registration statistics in 2009, up from 73rd just 10 years before. Here in Southern California, it's even more popular, perhaps in part because its small stature makes it ideal for apartment living. French bulldogs were among the top 10 most popular breeds by AKC registrations in the city of Los Angeles last year and the fourth most popular in Long Beach.

Bru will compete with a whippet named Chanel, a toy poodle named Walker, a puli named Conrad and the as-yet-unknown winners of the working, sporting and terrier groups for the title of Best in Show on Tuesday night.

A standard poodle named Ch. Randenn Tristar Affirmation won the non-sporting group at Westminster last year.

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show: Day 1 in photos

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Henny Ray Abrams / Associated Press

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