Described by the American Kennel Club as adaptable, playful and smart, the French Bulldog ranks 4th in Popularity out of the AKC’s 195 breeds. Ever considered owning a French Bulldog? Learn all about the breed and what makes them so popular!
Brief overview of the history of French Bulldogs
By the mid-1800s, a toy-size Bulldog found favor in some English cities, including Nottingham, which at the time was a center for lace making. This toy Bulldog became a mascot for the lace-makers. If you don’t remember your high school history classes, you might have forgotten that the mid-1800s were the height of the Industrial Revolution and during this time industries and trades like lace-making were being threatened by industry and mass production. Many craftspeople producing lace relocated to northern France, and of course, they brought these dogs along with them.
As this happened, the toy Bulldogs became popular in the French countryside where lace makers settled. Over a span of decades, the toy Bulldogs were crossed with other breeds. Including terriers and Pugs, which is how the dogs we know today got their famous bat ears. These dogs were given the name Bouledogue Français.
Eventually, the delightful breed that resulted was “discovered” in Paris, and thus began the Frenchie’s reputation as a city dog. The breed came to be associated with Paris café life, and with the bon vivants and fancy ladies who sought wild nightlife in Parisian dancehalls.
Well-known artists of the time, Edgar Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec depicted the Frenchie in paintings of the Paris demimonde.
By the end of the 19th century, these charming little dogs had grown in popularity across all of France and had started making their way to America. However, the breed was a much tougher sell in England. The Bulldog was a national symbol. It angered many Englishmen that their age-old rivals, the French, would dare adapt a national symbol to their purposes.
General characteristics of French Bulldogs
These wonderful pups are considered medium-sized dogs. On average they stand between 11 and 13 inches tall and weigh under 28 pounds. If you rent an apartment or travel with your dog, French Bulldogs will get by most size/weight restrictions your landlord, HOA or a hotel might have.
French Bulldogs have a muscular build. Even so, they don’t require an excessive amount of exercise. Because they are brachycephalic they are prone to issues with breathing. Avoid letting them overexert themselves if it is too hot or too cold!
Short, flat coat
Because of their short, flat coat French Bulldogs don’t require a complicated haircut or need a ton of grooming. They will need regular baths, about once a month or so as long as they are relatively clean as well as ear cleaning and nail trimming. Don’t let the flat coat fool you, these dogs do still shed.
The ears on these dogs are a dead giveaway. The French Bulldog is known for their large ears that stand straight upright.
Large, expressive eyes
To go with their distinctive ears, the French Bulldog also has large and expressive eyes. If you’ve ever interacted with a French Bulldog you might feel like you can see the emotions in their eyes.
French Bulldogs aren’t known to be excessive barkers. This makes them ideal companions for folks who live in more densely populated cities. Especially for folks living in apartments who want a quieter dog. Remember that if your pup doesn’t get enough attention or exercise, you might see them develop some demand barking or barking for attention. With some training and the right amount of exercise and attention this shouldn’t be an issue.
5 Temperament traits of French Bulldogs
French Bulldogs are very intelligent. They can excel as family pets, participate in dog sports or even work as therapy dogs. While these pups (like almost all others) should attend some obedience classes or get some formal training to learn the basics, they are fast and enthusiastic learners.
Since these pups were bred as companion dogs, it is no surprise that they are affectionate. They will bond with you easily and enjoy exercising with you or just lounging on the couch.
French Bulldogs are very adaptable. They can live in the city or suburbs and will be just fine in an apartment. They can live with people of all ages, including young children. Even though they make an excellent family pet, remember not to leave your pup and kids unattended.
Similar to their affection for their families, French Bulldogs can have friendly and outgoing personalities. When you walk a French Bulldog around town, people might want to say hello to your adorable dog - and French Bulldogs love that!
Although French Bulldogs aren’t big barkers, they are extremely alert and can still make superior watchdogs.
If you are looking to bring a French Bulldog into your home and family, consider finding a reputable breeder or breed-specific rescue. Remember to do your research and ask the breeder a lot of questions about their breeding practices. This can include how many litters per year they breed, information about the parent’s and grandparent’s health and if you can see where the pups are raised. A reputable breeder will also ask for a lot of information from you. This might include where you live, if you have had a dog before and for a reference from your vet if you have previously owned a dog.
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