Bred to be a companion dog, the French Bulldog (“Frenchie”), as we know it today, is a cross between toy bulldogs from England and Ratters from France. They date back to the 1800s as domestic pets with a friendly and mild temperament.
As of 2019, these dogs were the fourth most popular AKC registered breed in the United States.
History of the Breed
Modern French Bulldogs can be traced directly back to the dogs of the Molossian people, an ancient Greek tribe. Following trade routes, the dogs spread throughout the world. In Britain, the breed was further developed in the English Mastiff. Bullenbeisser is a sub bread of Mastiff that was explicitly for bullbaiting. As bullbaiting was outlawed in 1835, the sporting-bred dogs were now jobless. This became much more common after being bred as a companion dog since at least 1800. At this time, they were crossed with Ratters, a type of terrier, to reduce the overall size of the breed.
As early as 1850, these toy bulldogs were commonplace. In 1860, they started appearing in dog shows in England and Europe in 2 weight classes – 16-25 pounds and under 12 pounds.
Workers displaced by the Industrial Revolution began settling in Normandy, France, in the late 1800s. With them, they brought their dogs, many of which were Toy Bulldogs. So popular was this breed in France that an export market was created, and there were few bulldogs left in England and a very healthy population in France. Gradually, these smaller dogs from France were recognized as a breed and were named Bouledogue Francais. Translated as French Bulldogs, they were highly sought by high society and Parisian ladies of the night.
Further records of the breed’s development do not exist from this period. It is known that additional terrier stock was introduced, resulting in the trait of long straight ears.
From Ancient Greece to today, the birth of French Bulldogs as breeds was a long, winding road. However, it has resulted in a particular dog breed that thousands worldwide love.
Modern French Bulldogs
In 1885, French Bulldogs were brought over from Europe for an American-based breeding program. As in France, these dogs were immensely popular with high society ladies. The French Bulldog was first introduced at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1896. They were also present for the show in the following years. Judges were mistakenly judging these animals as English Bulldogs. The French Bull Dog Club of America was founded that year by the same high society ladies who had introduced the breed to the Westminster Kennel Club. The breed standard was created this year, specifying the “erect bat ear” as a French Bulldog trait vs. “rose ears,” which were the English Bulldog standard of the time.
These dogs were so popular then that breeders were charging upwards of $3000 per dog. In today’s dollars, that is a whopping $89,000 per dog. JP Morgan and the Rockefellers are just a few famous families to have fallen in love with this animal.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the French Bulldog as its breed shortly after the French Bulldog Club of America was formed, and the breed standard was created.
Per the AKC standards, French Bulldogs should weigh no more than 28 pounds. The animal should be muscular with a soft, loose, and wrinkled coat. As mentioned, ears should be the “erect bat eat” type. Heads are large and squared. Their eyes are dark, almost black. Coats are soft, delicate, and short-haired. Colors are shades of brindle, fawn, cream, and white with brindle patches. Animals that do not meet these standards are not recognized nor registered by the AKC. For example, blue-eyed Frenchie’s are not recognized. Some skin color changes, hair, or eyes are linked with genetic abnormalities and health problems not found in a healthy breeding line.
Temperament, Health, and Care
Frenchie’s do best with close contact with humans. They can suffer from separation anxiety if unattended for more than a few hours. This is especially true for puppies, but the issue can also persist in adult dogs. Patient and affectionate, this breed is an excellent companion dog. They rarely bark and live well with other animals. They have a reputation for being stubborn, but proper socialization can go a long way toward training and is strongly recommended.
French Bulldogs do have health issues that need particular care. With proper care, these can be prevented or minimized. Any exercise or activity that causes heavy breathing can be dangerous. A short daily walk is essential though their activity needs are minimal. As a flat-faced dog with a short snout, heat-warm temperatures can trigger breathing difficulties and obstructions. Activity can make this worse, especially in the hot weather.
Prone to obesity, high quality but low food is best. Obesity can lead to many other preventable health problems. The bulk of a French bulldog’s weight is carried toward the front. This makes them top-heavy and unable to swim. Extra caution should be taken around bodies of water, such as lakes, pools, and ponds. Swimming is not a good activity for your Frenchie.
The wrinkles on a French bulldog’s face should be cleaned and kept dry to avoid skin problems. An occasional bath is necessary, but brushing is usually sufficient to maintain a healthy and shiny coat.
AKC suggests all French Bulldog puppies be evaluated for hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, an eye exam, and cardiac assessment, as these are common ailments.
These dogs cannot regulate their temperatures with a short coat, no undercoat, and a compromised breathing system. This makes them vulnerable to both heat and cold and humidity.
AKC places the average life expectancy at 11-13 years. With care and attention, your bulldog can enjoy life as a family member for many years.
Today, English Bulldogs and French Bulldogs are distinct breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club. They descended from the same genetic line and diverged in the 1800s.
English Bulldogs have been a unique breed since at least the 1600s. They were so named because of their use in “bull-baiting.” This entailed tethering multiple dogs to a single bull. People would place wagers on the dogs. The dog that pinned the bull by the nose was declared the winner. It was a deadly sport; many dogs were killed at each match. The practice was outlawed in 1835. Stocky bodies, massive heads, and powerful jaws were bred for the benefit of the sport. Other aggressive traits were also explicitly produced.
Today, bullies are bred as companion animals and domestic pets. With a shorter muzzle, they are incapable of their former job and lack the stamina to run and chase as they did historically. Similarly, the more aggressive traits have been bred out, leaving them with a milder temperament.
They may look tough, but they are not the same dog used for bull-baiting years ago. They grow slowly, reaching full maturity around 2-3 years old, and show signs of age between 5 and 6 years.
Today, they are medium-sized dogs, weighing 40-55 lbs, with a stocky, muscular build. Tails are naturally short. Seats can be straight, corkscrewed, or thin. Tails are not cut or docked. A straight rear, facing downward, is a more desirable trait, according to the Bulldog Club of America (BCA). They have a life span of 10-11 years, in otherwise good health.
Temperament, Health, and Care
A Bulldog should be “equable and kind, resolute and courageous, (never vicious or aggressive), and demeanor should be pacifist and dignified.” According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) breed standards. Most are friendly and patient with a streak of stubbornness. The previously dominant traits of aggression have been successfully bred out over the years.
Generally, they get along well with children and other pets, including dogs. They form strong bonds with “pack members” and make excellent family pets.
Though they can live up to 11 years, the average life expectancy is closer to 6 years, with cardiac issues and cancer being the most common cause of early death.
Like a French Bulldog, English Bulldogs are prone to skin problems in the many folds and wrinkles. They should, in both breeds, be kept clean and dry at all times. Other concerns in common with all bulldog breeds are hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, eye problems, and obesity. As a flat-faced breed, they struggle with heat and humidity and cannot regulate their temperature. As with any short-faced breed, daily but moderate exercise is sufficient to prevent obesity and other health problems. Strenuous activity is discouraged, as is swimming.
In many kennel clubs, efforts are being made worldwide to improve the breed’s health through selective breeding. Most bulldog breeds are delivered by cesarean section following artificial insemination. The large heads of the species can be problematic for a natural delivery. Cataloging the DNA and breeding history may change many characteristics of the breed as a side effect of improving long-term health and longevity.
The English Bulldog is the official mascot of the United States Marine Corps. You will find a bulldog on most if not all, marine bases worldwide.
Now is a perfect time if you have been considering adding a new furry family member to your home.
Our bulldog puppies are raised in a loving home environment and are well-socialized, making them the perfect addition to any family. They are up-to-date on their vaccinations and come with a health guarantee. See our FAQ.
In addition, we also offer a paid waiting list for future litter. By joining our waiting list, you can ensure that you will have the opportunity to choose a puppy from our next litter.
Please get in touch with us! We look forward to hearing from you soon!
NFTs Art from Sandov’s English Bulldog
Hi everyone, we are very excited to announce our NFTs Sandov’s English Bulldog Collections! We invite all of you to enjoy this experience with us; our collection is from our past puppies transformed into cartoons. Our goal is to donate 7% to animal shelters and 7% to St. Jude Hospital with the profits we get from this project. We would also love to create a great community with you guys and continue to create new collections and ideas for our community. See Our Other Collections in Opensea or on our website!
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English and French Bulldogs
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