The French Bulldog, nicknamed the Frenchie, is a small breed of bulldog originally developed in the 1800s as a companion dog despite that its progenitors were developed to help with bull-baiting and pit fighting. The French Bulldog was developed in Normandy, France as a companion and persists today in the same role. Unfortunately, the French Bulldog is plagued by many potential health concerns and requires a loving home to look out for her. Despite common health concerns, the French Bulldog is very easy to keep and does not require much exercise. However, this breed being developed for companionship, requires a lot of human interaction. Otherwise, the French Bulldog may develop destructive habits.
The French Bulldog is a descendent of the ancient Molossians, which gave rise to the Mastiffs and later the Bulldogs. The Frenchie's Bulldog ancestor was originally bred for bull-baiting and then later for blood sport. However, as England and the rest of Europe made blood sports illegal, the English Bulldog soon found himself without a job. The English Bulldog was later outcrossed with small Terriers to reduce the Bulldog's size; thus, giving rise to the line that would become the French Bulldog. The crossed English Bulldogs considered too small for English tastes were exported to France where they became in vogue as society companions to both high and low brow people. French Bulldogs soon made their way west to the United States and by 1989, the French Bulldog was accepted as a companion breed by the American Kennel Club. This companion breed continued to rise in popularity in Western Europe and the United States, equally and was considered a social status symbol. At the turn of the 20th century, some French Bulldogs sold for as much as $3,000, which is equivalent to $35,000 today. Today, the French Bulldog still enjoys massive popularity and is set to top the Labrador in the UK as the most desirable dog. The Lab has held his number one position for 27 years. In the U.S. the Frenchie is in the top five of most desired. This increased popularity and demand for French Bulldogs has led to an illegal puppy trade and puppy mills that have less-than-safe practices. The French Bulldog has the potential to have more congenital and developed health issues than many other small breeds, not to mention more than 81% of all French Bulldog litters must be delivered by cesarean (C-section).
The coat of a French Bulldog is smooth, short, and fine. Though many French Bulldogs are born with black coats with markings and no brindle, these color combinations disqualify a Standard Frenchie. The French Bulldog is heavy boned with a curious, alert look on their face. The head is large and square with dark eyes, moderate-sized round eyes set far apart. Lighter eyes may be present in lighter coated dogs. The Frenchie’s ears are called “bat ears” because they are broad based, long, and end with rounded tips. The ears are carried erect and face forward, and the skull is flat between the ears. The muzzle is broad and laid back with a black nose. The upper lip is thick and hangs over the lower jaw at the sides. The underjaw is deep, square-shaped, and undershot. The French Bulldog’s forelegs are short and muscular and set wide apart. The feet and toes are compact and well split up. The hindquarters are slightly longer than the forelegs and strong, setting the loins above the shoulder at a downward angle. Like the forefeet and toes, the hind feet and toes are compact and split up. The tail is short but can be screwed, but never curly, and hung low with a thick root and fine tip.
The French Bulldog's coat is easy to maintain with minimal brushing. Brushing your Frenchie once a week is sufficient to keep her clean and well groomed. Bathing and shampooing should be avoided, if possible, due to this breed's increased chance of developing dermatitis. Excessive bathing will strip the French Bulldog of much-needed oils that keep her skin healthy. The Frenchie can have loose and wrinkled skin, especially on its face, and should be checked for dirt and debris to prevent infections. Unfortunately, French Bulldogs are more prone to tooth and mouth disease, so it is recommended that you brush your Frenchie's teeth at least three times a week and annual dental hygiene visits are highly recommended. You should only use approved tools and cleaning agents recommended by your veterinarian or canine dental hygienist and consult with them to learn the best method of cleaning your dog's teeth. The French Bulldog is docile and well suited for apartment and urban living. This breed is quiet and not very active. The Frenchie doesn't tolerate too hot or too cold of climates and allergies can be a problem for this breed, so indoor living is preferred. The French Bulldog is a small dog that requires 1 to 1.5 cups of food divided into two meals, daily. How much you feed your dog will depend on your Frenchie's age and metabolism. This breed is not very active and is small, so overfeeding can easily occur.