Breed standard: SCC, FCI | Size: Small | Average lifespan: 10+ years | Temperament: Gentle, affectionate, and playful | Coat: Short | Origin: France.
The French Bulldog is a small, Molosser-type dog. In this article, we will give you an overview of the French Bulldog’s origins, character, physical characteristics, and grooming needs.
The origins of the breed
The first records of the French Bulldog’s ancestors date back more than 5,000 years.
The Bulldog breed
Around 5,000 years ago in Tibet, dogs with similar physical characteristics to the French Bulldog breed that we know of today, were used to hunt and guard. The French Bulldog’s ancestors were similar to the Tibetan Mastiff, a long-haired Molosser-type dog breed that can handle cold tempertaures very well.
The French Bulldog’s ancestors were brought to Europe
Phoenician sailors brought the first ancestors of the French Bulldog to Europe around the year 1800. Crosses with other breeds, the climate, and different lifestyles caused the appearance of these dogs to change.
Smaller and with a short coat, Molosser-type dogs were introduced to the United Kingdom as fighting animals. As they were very resilient and combative, they then became known under the name Pugnace de Bretagne. They were nicknamed “Bulldog” referring to the fights between dogs and bulls.
Paris and the birth of the French Bulldog
The history of the French Bulldog took a new turn when dog fights became banned. Brought to France around 1830, the French Bulldog that we know of today was born from a cross between a Pugnace de Bretagne and the ratier des faubourgs de Paris, a breed that was highly effective against rats. The breed first saw the day in Paris, around the year 1850.
They are different from the Bulldog because of their size that is smaller and their ears that are standing up (while the ears of Bulldogs fall). The physical characteristics of this new dog were a nice advantage for hunting rodents at the time. They were quickly adopted by butchers of Villette and Halles, where they were particularly useful against thieves and pests, while they were friendly with those they knew.
These dogs are excellent companions, guaranteering the safety of their owners and of other dogs. Very popular in the 1900s, Toulouse-Lautrec particularly appreciated French Bulldogs. King Edward VII named his French Bulldog Peter. Mistinguett, Colette, Yves Saint Laurent and Josephine Baker also had this dog breed. Their strong appearance and great character gave this breed a good reputation on both sides of the English Channel.
The French Bulldog’s personality
French Bulldogs are the perfect breed for people who like to have company.
The French Bulldog’s qualities
This dog breed shines for its loyalty towards its owner and lively spirit. Friendly and easy to train, they accept to live with other animals, even cats. As they are playful, they love to run around with children. With that being said, they know how to stay calm and peaceful in the presence of the seniors.
Gentle and affectionate, they appreciate company and follow their owner everywhere. However, this dog knows how to stay alone for several hours and barks very rarely. The French Bulldog can live in the city or in an apartment and will blossom anywhere they live as long as their owner takes them out on numerous daily walks.
Are there any downsides to having a French Bulldog?
They can be possessive, even jealous, especially towards other dogs. For this reason, it’s best to avoid adopting two males dogs. In addition, they need to do a lot of exercise and walks in the fresh air. However, they get tired very fast, so it’s best to avoid jogging and other intense physical activities that can be tiring for this dog breed. As the French Bulldog does not swim very well, it’s best to avoid games in the water and keep an eye on them when going for a swim. Lastly, this dog breed is very sensitive to heat. You need to regularly keep this dog cool and hydrated in the summer by wetting their paws and stomach a bit.
The physical characteristics of the French Bulldog
The French Bulldog is a dog breed with a stocky body and drooping lips.
Belonging to the family of Molosser-type dogs, the French Bulldog has kept its main physical characteristics. It is a short and muscular dog. They are easily recognizable thanks to their wrinkled face and their falsely grumpy face. This dog is different from the Bulldog notably because of its standing ears.
The head of the French Bulldog is brachycephalic, rather large, and square. This breed has a flat muzzle and a black nose. Their jaw is strong and covered by thick lips that are loose and black. When it comes to their eyes, the French Bulldog’s eyes bulge out. Their ears stand up straight and are slightly rounded. The skin of the face is thin and soft, covered with some folds and wrinkles.
Sturdy and muscular, this small dog is short and has a solid bone structure that makes this dog look noble and strong. This small dog has a short neck that leads to a large and muscular back, their loin is short, large, and arched. Lastly, they have a short tail.
Coat, color, and grooming
This breed has a short coat, that doesn’t need difficult grooming.
The coat and colors of the French Bulldog
The French Bulldog is a dog with a short, rough, dense, soft, shiny coat with no undercoat. The coat can be tawny, plain, brindle or spotted with white (quail or tawny and white, depending on the percentage of white).
Grooming the French Bulldog
This breed’s short coat makes them easy to groom. Weekly grooming is enough because this dog loses very little amounts of hair. However, it is important to wash the wrinkles on their face regularly with a wipe in order to avoid the build up of dirt and dust. The eyes of this dog breed are also really delicate and need particular attention as well.
Did you know?
The French Bulldog is the only dog breed to originate in Paris, and is nicknamed the Frenchie. The dog quickly became popular with the Parisian elite. Others consider this dog to be a real clown, particularly funny with its grumpy-looking appearance.
The French Bulldog at a glance
Size: between 27 and 35 cm at the withers for males, between 24 and 32 cm at the withers for females.
Weight: between 9 and 14 kg (≈ 19.8 to 30.8 lb) for males, between 8 and 13 kg for females (≈ 17.6 to 28.6 lb).
Health: As this dog is robust, they have solid health. However, the morphology of the French Bulldog often leads to sleep apnea and breathing problems
Average lifespan: 10 to 14 years.
Are French Bulldogs good with children? The French Bulldog is a lively dog that can adapt perfectly to children because they love spending time having fun with them.
Are French Bulldogs easy to train? This dog is very easy to train, especially through games.