Did you know?
French Bulldogs were once favourites of the Parisian “Belles De Nuit” – the street walkers. The aura of notoriety that ownership of these dogs conveyed made them a fashionable way for the upper classes to show off how daring they could be, and they soon became favorites of the “artistic” set across Europe.
Therefore to this dog will I,
Tenderly not scornfully,
Render praise and favor.
– Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Although a close relative of the Bulldog, the French Bulldog’s unusual “bat” ears give him a unique and distinctive look. The breed can be traced back to a sub-family of the Mastiff, the “Bullenbeisser” which were used in the blood sport of bull-baiting. Once these “sports” became illegal in England in 1835, the dogs’ purpose became that of a companion breed.
During the 1800s, the dogs were crossed with terriers and pugs to reduce their size. These smaller Bulldogs became popular family pets especially in the midlands of England.
British lacemakers from Nottingham finding themselves unemployed due to the Industrial Revolution sweeping the nation took these miniature bulldogs with them to Normandy, France. As the dogs became popular in France, British breeders began to send over the dogs that did not conform to the breed standard, being too small or having ears that stood up. By 1860, there were few Miniature Bulldogs left in England.
Over time, the dogs developed into their own separate breed known as the Bouldogue Francais or French Bulldog. These dogs were as popular with the ladies of high society as they were with Parisian prostitutes. Today they rank #9 in the Top Ten Dogs in Canada, ranked by the Canadian Kennel Club.
Affectionately known as the “Frenchie”, this dog is compact and muscular and weighs no more than 28 pounds (10-13 kg). His easily-groomed coat is short and smooth and comes in all brindle, fawn, white, or brindle and white. The loose skin forms wrinkles in the head and neck area.
Originally both the Bulldog’s “rose” ear and the French Bulldog’s “bat” ear were considered correct. However, the “bat” ear has become the standard for the French Bulldog today.
The Frenchie is susceptible to temperature and therefore should be protected from excessive heat and cold.
Photos displayed courtesy of Marci Gouveia, Northenbullyes, Ontario
A quiet, well-mannered dog, the Frenchie is an ideal pet for the less active owner. In addition, he is an alert and friendly dog with a lovable soul. Since he is also playful, he is good with children. As a companion dog, the Frenchie is happiest as a house dog, part of a loving family, and is not the dog to be left alone for long periods.
Although generally not given to barking, he can make a good watchdog. He requires a patient, consistent master who is willing to persist when the Frenchie’s stubborn streak asserts itself!
If you can’t live with snuffling, snorting, and even snoring common among the short-nosed breeds, then this isn’t the dog for you. Finally, as a less active breed, the Frenchie is suited to many types of accommodation but he should receive regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight.