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The French Bulldog is a delightful little dog that evolved from the English fighting Bulldogs of the early 1800s and today shows few remnants of its gladiator ancestry. With the abolition of bullbaiting in 1835, the Bulldogs of the era fell into decline but dedicated fanciers of the breed modified the temperament to make them more suitable as companions. The resulting small dogs became very popular in England with the lacemakers of the mid 1800s. After the Industrial Revolution there was an exodus of lacemakers to northern France and they took their little Bulldogs with them.

Most of these dogs from England were tiny, weighing below 10kgs. French breeders of Bulldogs seized upon the best and bred them with the local small bBulldog breeds and commenced the development of what is now known as the French Bulldog. The prevalence of pricked ears became a feature desired in the French Bulldog or Bouldogue Francais, but in the closing years of the last century, the breed was nondescript in size and substance.

These little fellows became increasingly popular in France in the latter 1800s and were especially favoured by prostitutes of the era as lap dogs. The female glittoratzi of the time took to owning 'Frenchies' in an effort to be daring - hence the advance of these charismatic little dogs to the upper classes.


In 1893 a member of the Bulldog Club in England imported French-bred dogs and exhibited them at the Kennel Club show. The breed greatly appealed to the ladies of the day with its comical 'bat' ears and it was not long before the new breed became popular and was allowed into the Kennel Club Stud Book as the 'Toy Bulldog'.

With its popularity came commercial breeding; the breed degenerated and soon faded from the public eye in England. However, the French, who had disclaimed by now all connections with the English Toy breed, produced their own example of the French Bulldog, attracting the attention of American tourists in Paris who took specimens back with them to the USA. The American breeders are credited with developing the cobby, massive-headed and square-jawed specimens which have become the ideal for this breed.

The French Bulldog is not a common breed. Generally a fairly sound dog, the breed has a few structural problems that need to be noted and that breeders need to be aware of. Being a brachycephalic breed that is fairly short and compact with a screw tail, the "Frenchie" is prone to the associated problems these conformational characteristics will bring.


It is an active, intelligent, little dog that is small but solid in stature. A gentle and affectionate companion, the 'Frenchie' is very out-going and friendly to people, obedient and very responsive. An excellent family dog, it will entertain itself when necessary. It is not yappy, but will make a willing guard dog. It is also able to exercise in small surrounds, yet enthusiastically take a long walk. It is patient and has an amazing sense of humour. It is easy to groom, with a coat that is short, thick and smooth. 'Frenchies' do have a tendency to snore, however.

The French Bulldog will be totally devoted to you, gain its affection and you will be loved to bits. Its existence will be solely based on pleasing you and if it can get you to laugh at its antics, even better!

Further Information
  Books - French Bulldog Pet Love
  Gallery of French Bulldogs

Petcare Information and Advisory Service Australia

Last Update: 22/08/08 09:41 Views: 8508

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