French Bulldog History...
The French Bulldog
A Bit of History
Harry V. Dunn, Jr.
The French Bulldog first appeared in the United States in 1896 at the Westminster Kennel Club's show in New York. He soon became known as "Frenchie," a name that stuck with him. He was a small to medium-size dog weighing under twenty-eight pounds with short hair and a muscular build. He was essentially a pocket-sized edition of the Bulldog, or English Bulldog as some people insist on calling them. However, his bat-like ears, held erect, his small size and his activeness set him apart from the Bulldog. He had a lively expression and a disposition described by some as roguish and fun loving . He's been referred to as "a clown in the cloak of a philosopher."
In the late 1800's the Bulldog had long had a reputation for strength and tenacity, sterling qualities in those days of sail, which was appreciated by seafaring men the world over. So it is not surprising that French seamen engaged in cross channel trade took a shine to them. Some Bulldogs in the south of England were known to be smaller than usual. It is generally thought that seamen liked the small size dogs because they were easier to smuggle aboard ship and keep out of sight during the trip back to France. During the same period, lace workers in the south of England, displaced by machines in the industrial revolution, moved to France in large numbers to practice their trade and took their "toy Bulldogs" with them. Thus many small Bulldogs found their way across the channel as pets.
In France, they became the dandies of "Ladies of the Night" and were quite popular in Paris, often being depicted in brothels by artist of that day. American tourist discovered the little French Bulldog and began bringing them home.
In this country, in 1897, exhibitors, disappointed because an English judge picked a Frenchie with rose ears for his best of breed, called a meeting and formed the French Bull Dog Club of America (the first breed club for French Bulldogs in the world) and the next year adopted a standard which remains essentially unchanged today. So it was here in The United States that the Frenchies "bat ears" were standardized, their small size maintained by a weight limit and their mixture of colors preserved. Frenchies can be brindle (not black - some brown hair must show), fawn, cream, white or pied as long as the dark patches in the pied are not black.
The French Bulldog's size and temperament make him ideal as a household pet. He readily adjusts to apartment life or to a large house. It is best, if possible, for him to have at least a small fenced yard to run and play in. He seldom barks but is alert to strange sounds. He is affectionate and likes to be near his humans and especially likes children. He is usually quiet and gentle but always ready to play. He is intelligent and quite trainable. And best of all, he needs no docking of tail or trimming of ears or other mutilation to satisfy human fads. We accept him and he accepts us just as we happen to be.
The true origin of the French Bulldog is still at question with historians but what is known is that during the mid 1800’s in the southern section of England, the English Bulldog, known for it’s strength and tenacity were much smaller than the usual bulldogs in other areas of England. In the Nottingham area the textile workers were being replaced with machines, forcing these workers to sail to France and to Spain to look for work. These workers very often brought their small bulldogs because they were easy to smuggle aboard the ships. Because these workers lived in such small living quarters and they needed something to kill the rats (which were the cause of the black plaque in past years), the small bulldogs were perfect pets. There is much speculation but it is theorized that these bulldogs were bred with a terrier, thus producing the bat like ears we see on the French Bulldog today. In later years these French Bulldogs became the favorite of High Society as well as “the Ladies of the Night” in Paris. There is also cntroversy over whether the new breed first evolved in France or in Spain.
The French Bulldog first appeared in the United States in 1896 at the Westminster Kennel Club's show in New York. They soon became known as "Frenchie," a name that stuck with them.
In the United States, in 1897, exhibitors, disappointed because an English
judge picked a Frenchie with rose ears for his best of breed, called a
meeting and formed the French Bull Dog Club of America (the first breed
club for French Bulldogs in the world) and the next year adopted a standard
which remains essentially unchanged today. So it was here in The United
States that the Frenchies "bat ears" were standardized, their small size
maintained by a weight limit and their mixture of colors preserved. Frenchies
can be brindle (not black - some brown hair must show), red, fawn, cream,
white or pied as long as the dark patches in the pied are not black. The
French Bulldog is considered a small to medium size dog weighing between
22 - 28 pounds with short hair and a muscular build. Height is between
11 - 13 inches to shoulder.
All Star Disclaimer: We do not claim to be experts & by listing any information on this page or any page on our site we are not giving expert advice. We have owned Bullies for decades and French Bulldogs for years now, but feel no matter how many years you have in anything, you can never know enough and there is always something new to learn. We do not claim that the information on this website will guarantee that it is correct with anyone else's French Bulldog experience. Please do not use any links or pages on our website to make your decision. If any images here are copyright and they belong to you and you would like acknowledgment or removal please email us, they were given to us years ago. Thank You!
Remember that different breeders and owners have different opinions and often disagree. Frenchies vary in personalities and there can always be an exception to what is normal for the breed, therefore you must understand this BEFORE purchasing one. We place these articles on our website for the public to read, as information, not FACTS. We found this information online, through web sites, our own experience, friends experiences, things we have been told from other Frenchie owners, etc. If we state certain methods we have used or use or have experienced with our own Frenchies, we do not wish to infringe these methods or opinions on anyone else, it is solely our opinion and nothing else. This is America, we do have Freedom of Speech and we are all entitled to an opinion. By reading, and/or using the material contained herein, reader or user of this information fully understands the above and again agrees to utilize this information at your own risk.