All About French Bulldogs

About This Breed

The French Bulldog originated in 19th century France when people bred English Bulldogs with smaller French terriers. This was and still is a popular companion breed.

Physical Characteristics

French Bulldogs are short and close to the ground, with a compact body. They have erect, round-tipped ears that sit high on the head, and round, dark colored eyes. The head is square, and the nose and muzzle are very short. The lips droop down past the chin, so they look like they are frowning all of the time.

The French Bulldog is categorized as a brachycephalic breed, which refers to the short muzzle and “smashed” face. These dogs are more prone to breathing problems because of this, and they will snort and sneeze frequently. The skin is loose over the body and there are wrinkles present on the forehead and down the back. In its natural state, he tail can have a screw like appearance or it can be straight, but should not be curly. The tail is often docked (surgically shortened).

COLORS

The French Bulldog can be seen in brindle, bridle and white, cream, fawn, or black.

COAT

The coat of the French Bulldog is short and smooth.

Personality and Temperament

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Low

POSITIVES

The French Bulldog is sweet and affectionate. They like most everyone in the family, but they do tend to get attached to one person in particular. They do well as a single person dog, rather than a family dog.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

French Bulldogs are known to be stubborn.

Care

IDEAL LIVING SITUATION

This French Bulldog would do best in the country or city.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

French Bulldogs need to have the spaces between the wrinkles on the face and neck kept clean and dry to prevent skin infections, which are a common health problem. This is not a good breed if one wants a dog to exercise with.

Health

The following conditions are commonly seen in the French Bulldog:

  • Atopy
  • Heat stroke
  • Skin problems
  • Breathing problems

History and Background

As one of the popular dogs in England, the Bulldog was very common in the area surrounding Nottingham in the 1800s. Certain small Bulldogs weighed no more than 25 pounds so they were easy to carry along. Many of the 19th Century lace workers who went to France for work took these "Toy" Bulldogs with them.

The little Bulldogs, particularly the ones that had erect ears, fascinated the women of France. (Ironically, this same feature was not appreciated in England.) Dog dealers introduced many such clownish dogs to France, and thus these dogs, known as the Bouledogue Francais, created a furor in Paris. The breeders in France continued to develop the straight, bat ears, causing further annoyance to English breeders.

By the late 19th century, the upper class took a fancy to the breed and it got a place in many fine French homes. At about the same time, many of the Americans visiting France returned to the U.S. with specimens of their own. It was not long before breeding programs sprung up.

Despite the controversy over the correct ear type, an American club was set up and in 1898, the club sponsored a very elegant dog show featuring the French Bulldog. The wealthy American spectators were attracted to the stylish show and soon the French Bulldog had captured the hearts of many high society Americans. By 1913, this breed dominated many of the popular dog shows in the United States.

Even though other breeds have become popular since then, the “Frenchie” continues to have a great fan-following.

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