A look back: French Bulldog.
According to history, Bull-baiting was a popular sport that was outlawed in England in 1835. This resulted in different variations of Bulldogs. The French Bulldog Breed was developed from the English Toy Bulldogs in the mid-late 1800's. When the Industrial Revolution displaced some of English lace-makers to France, they took some of these fun little dogs with them, and soon the toy bulldogs became very popular in France, hence their name the “French Bulldog”. They were particularly popular with ladies-of-the-evening since these special little dogs were great conversation starters, and also because they were very content to lay quietly on the floor of a room for a few hours while business was being conducted.
These unusual and wonderful little dogs also caught the eyes of many wealthy Americans, who were doing the Grand Tour, so much so that many of these tourists brought a dog or two home with them. It was in America that selective breeding was done for the characteristic bat-ears. At this time in Europe, both bat-ears and rose-ears were prevalent.
After they were brought back to America, they continued to be known as the French Bulldog, even though the original breed was developed in England and much of the selective breeding was done in America.
Are French Bulldogs for everyone?
Frenchies are not going to be for everyone. First of all, French Bulldogs are not cheap, especially the rare colors like: blue brindles, blue pieds, and blue fawns; chocolate brindles, chocolate pieds, and chocolate fawns; and most especially the even more rare pure black (a/a), blue, lilac, lilac & tan, black & tan, and blue & tan French Bulldogs. There is a huge time commitment and expense that goes into breeding Frenchies. They almost always have to be artificially inseminated, have relatively small litters, and require C-secions which all contribute to the relatively high price. However, if color is not an issue, the standard colors of creme, brindle, fawn, brindle pied, and fawn pieds are relatively affordable; and they are all more than worth what ever the expense.
If you like to take your dog for walks or with you to run errands, be prepared for a lot of attention! Because of the temperament, beauty, body structure, and relatively scarcity of these great little dogs, you will likely be stopped where ever you go. It’s not just everybody who has one of these for a companion. It’s hard to believe how many people come up to us when we take any of our Frenchies out in public! Adults, as well as kids, want to pet them, to know what kind of dog they are , and where they can get one.
If you are looking for a combination pet/sporting dog, a Frenchie might not be the dog for you. First of all, Frenchies do not have great noses (probably because their noses are so short), generally can’t swim, do not have great stamina, don’t run all that fast, and don’t jump all that high. Frenchies are as happy as they can be with a short walk and backyard play-time. If you live in an apartment, Frenchies adapt extremely well due to the fact that they do not require a lot of space nor excessive exercise.
French Bulldogs do not tolerate temperature extremes well and should not be kept outside for extended periods of time during very hot or extremely cold weather. Fortunately, French Bulldogs are great inside dogs that are very content to lay on a doggie bed or couch and make themselves totally at-home.
However, all of our dogs do love to spend time outside – if they get too warm on very hot days, they have the sense to find some shade or splash around in the kiddy pool (with only 3 or 4 inches of water in it). On extremely cold days they run around and play or cuddle up to keep warm. But, these wonderful dogs should be considered inside dogs. While they can survive well outside in most climates, why would anyone want to make a sizeable investment in one of the wonderful little dogs and then keep it penned up outside?
If you are looking for a great companion dog with whom to share your home, that can provide you with more than a decade of dedicated love and affection, you’ve come to the right place. Your Frenchie should never be penned up for long stretches of time. He or she needs to be part of your life – they will insist on it. They love people and love to be around people all the time (we call them attention hogs).
The Breed Standard
The AKC states that the French Bulldog should have the appearance of an active, intelligent, muscular dog of heavy bone, smooth coat, compact build, and medium to small structure, that is well proportioned. It’s expression is alert, curious, and interested.
French Bulldogs are fairly small – 28 pounds or less, so they can function as lap dogs. They have a bully head which is large and square – generally being more pronounced in males than in females. Their two most noted features are (1) their characteristic bat-ears, which are broad at the base, elongated, with round top, set high on the head but not too close together, and carried erect with the orifice to the front, and (2) their short tail which is either straight or screwed.
The neck is thick and well arched with loose skin at the throat. The body is short and well rounded. The chest is broad, deep, and full; well ribbed with the belly tucked up. The forelegs are short, stout, straight, muscular, and wide apart. The hind legs are strong and muscular and longer than the forelegs, so as to elevate the loins above the shoulders.
The coat is moderately fine, brilliant, short, and smooth. The skin is soft and loose, especially at the head and shoulders, forming wrinkles. Piedness is a recessive characteristic in French Bulldogs but is still relatively common (two pied dogs will produce only pied puppies, two pied carriers will produce 25% pied puppies, etc). A pied Frenchie is one that has a base coat of white with patches of a darker color which is brindled. Pied is a pattern and not a specific color but can come in all shades of standard colors. Standard colors are fawn, creme, red, white, and brindle (dark coloring with lighter hairs mixed in or the reverse) and are all acceptable colors in the AKC show ring.
Colors that are not accepted in AKC confirmation events include colors of pure black; black and white; and white with black (in these descriptions, black means without a trace of brindle) Rare colors of Lilac (brindle or fawn), Blue (brindle or fawn), Chocolate(brindle or fawn), Black and Tan, Blue and Tan, and Lilac and Tan, and any shade of the Merle pattern are also not accepted.
There are quite a variety of colors and patterns, which make them all so unique and special even among their own breed. Whatever your particular preference, we are sure to eventually have the dog for you in one of our breedings.
The AKC describes their temperament as well behaved, adaptable, and comfortable companions with an affectionate nature and even disposition; generally active, alert, and playful, but not boisterous. Frenchies absolutely love people and crave attention, but don’t constantly demand it. A French Bulldog will comfortably sit or lay at your feet, or in your lap if you prefer, or they will roll around with the little ones with great patience and never complain.
Other things to know about Frenchies:
Even though Frenchies are not excessive barkers compared to other breeds, they do make good watchdogs. They are alert and can become somewhat territorial and protective, which is what we want them to be.
Frenchies don’t require a lot of time or effort to groom. However, the loose folds on their faces should be kept clean and dry and their ears should be kept clean. Occasionally their nails will need to be clipped, but that’s about it. They do shed a little but they are short haired and single coated and shed less than most other breeds.
Frenchies do very well in small homes or apartments and do not require a large yard in order to get necessary exercise. They only need a moderate amount of exercise which can be accomplished by a daily walk.
Frenchies have good bladders and some can be stubborn to potty train. We recommend that you crate train your Frenchie and not leave them out unsupervised. They can eat something while your gone that can give them an obstruction (surgery is expensive and stressful to go through). Potty training will be easier on you and them if they are crate trained.
Frenchies can be moderately easy to train because they are so smart (and stubborn), although they can also be a bit stubborn and hardheaded, especially if you don’t work with them early on. If you make training a game, they’ll want to play all the time. Frenchies are considered people pleasers and love to be the center of attention. All of our Frenchies are a little different in temperament, just like people, but each of them loves to be shown attention. If you make your new Frenchie a part of your life, he or she will be a wonderful companion that you will enjoy immensely for many years to come.
Frenchies also tend to be a fairly healthy breed. Because they are a short-faced (“brachycephalic”) and dwarf (“chondrodystrophic”) breed, they have some health concerns every owner should be aware of. Their short face makes their breathing less efficient, so Frenchies have less tolerance of heat, exercise, and stress, as has already been noted. Like other dwarf breeds, the stocky Frenchie occasionally has abnormal vertebrae. Because of the good musculature, problems generally do not occur, especially if the use of stairs and jumping is limited.
Little fun Facts!
Bulldogs can also have occasional gas (the kind that can clear a room), especially if you feed them a dog food containing wheat products (we feed them a raw diet). However, this can sometimes be an advantage, in that you could always blame one of the Bulldogs for the stench that's lingering (assuming one is around).
Bulldogs can snore, and some do rather impressively. They can also make some strange noises, sometimes screaming sounds especially when they are excited or want something, but we think these noises are rather endearing, funny, and sometimes really annoying (depending on our mood).
Frenchies love people – all people, it seems. They will show a preference for their “owner”, but they are not above going to anyone willing to give them some attention. If you want your Frenchie to love you – and only you – you might be disappointed.
Lastly, French Bulldogs are addicting, once you have one you will soon want another and another.