- In the mid 1800s, many lace workers from England went to France for work, taking their dogs with them. Bulldogs were fairly popular in England at the time, including undersized "toy" bulldogs.
- The toy bulldogs were a hit with French women. The ones with erect ears were especially sought after, despite this being considered a most undesirable trait in England. Dog dealers were quick to fill their orders, and the little Bulldogs became very popular in Paris-especially with French street walkers!
- The dogs became known as bouledogue Francais.
- By the late 1800s, French ladies also became enamored with the breed.
- In 1893, the dogs came full circle when they were taken back to England. Bulldog breeders in England were unhappy because they feared the French dogs would be bred back to their English bulldogs, introducing bat ears and other undesirable traits. Bouledogue Francais breeders were equally unhappy, fearing their dogs would be assimilated into the bulldog breed and lost. They formed their own club in 1902, breaking away from the English bulldog.
- In 1905, The Kennel Club in England recognized the bouledogue Francais as a separate breed. In 1912 they changed the name to French bulldog.
- In America, the little dogs were also a hit among society ladies. They fetched fabulous prices, and only the very wealthy could afford them. The Rockefellers and the J.P. Morgans petitioned for the AKC to recognize the breed, which the AKC did in near record time, in 1898.
- By 1913, French bulldogs were among the most popular show dogs in America.
- In recent years, the Frenchie has experienced another upsurge in popularity.
French Bulldog Behavior Concerns
- Makes a clownish and fun-loving companion.
- Playful and very good with children. However, children can hurt the Frenchie's back with rough play.
- Affectionate and amiable.
- Friendly toward strangers.
- Fairly friendly toward strange dogs.
- Good with other pets.
- Willing to please, but can be stubborn. May rebel against forceful methods.
- Does best with reward-based training using food or games as reward.
French Bulldog Suggested Exercises
- Makes a calm and trustworthy housedog.
- Requires daily exercise in the form of a leisurely walk or some backyard games.
- Extremely prone to overheating because of its flat face. Indoor games are preferable in warm weather.
- Its short coat does not protect it against the cold.
- Obedience and trick training provide essential mental stimulation.
- French bulldogs cannot swim!
French Bulldog Grooming
- The coat needs only occasional brushing, once every week or so, to remove dead hair.
- Shedding is average.
- Facial wrinkles, as well as any wrinkles around the tail, should be examined, cleaned and dried daily.
Suggested French Bulldog Nutritional Needs
- Has a decided tendency to be overweight.
- Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.