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Pedigree Dogs > French Bulldog
The French Bulldog is a small breed of domestic dog,
related to the English Bulldog and American Bulldog.
The origin of the modern French Bulldog breed descends
directly from the dogs of the Molossians, an ancient
Greek tribe. The dogs were spread throughout the ancient
world by Phoenician traders. British Molossian dogs were
developed into the Mastiff. A sub-family of the Mastiff
were the Bullenbeisser, a type of dog used for
Blood sports such as bull-baiting were outlawed in
England in 1835, leaving these "Bulldogs" unemployed.
However, they had been bred for non-sporting reasons
since at least 1800, and so their use changed from a
sporting breed to a companion breed. Some Bulldogs were
crossed with terriers, while others were bred for
reduced size. By 1850 the Toy Bulldog had become common
in England, and appeared in conformation shows when they
began around 1860.
At the same time, lace workers from Nottingham,
displaced by the industrial revolution, began to settle
in Normandy, France. They brought a variety of dogs with
them, including miniature Bulldogs. The dogs became
popular in France and a trade in imported small Bulldogs
was created, with breeders in England sending over
Bulldogs that they considered to be too small, or with
faults such as ears that stood up. By 1860, there were
few miniature Bulldogs left in England, such was their
popularity in France and due to the exploits of
specialist dog exporters.
The small Bulldog type gradually became thought of as a
breed, and received a name, the Bouledogue Francais.
This Francization of the English name is also a
contraction of the words "boule" (ball) and "dogue"
(mastiff or molosser). Records were not kept of the
breed's development as it diverged further away from its
original Bulldog roots. As it changed, terrier and Pug
stock may have been brought in to develop traits such as
the breed's long straight ears, and the roundness of
in 1905, the Kennel Club changed its policy on the breed
and recognised them separate from the English variety,
initially as the Bouledogue Francais, then later in 1912
the name changed to French Bulldog.
The French Bulldog should have the appearance of an
active, intelligent, muscular dog, of heavy bone, smooth
coat, compactly built, and of medium or small structure.
The points should be well distributed and bear good
relation one to the other, no feature being in such
prominence from either excess or lack of quality that
the animal appears deformed or poorly proportioned. In
comparison to specimens of different sex, due allowance
should be made in favour of the bitches, which do not
bear the characteristics of the breed to the same marked
degree as do the dogs.
The French Bulldog, like many other companion dog
breeds, requires close contact with humans. They have
fairly minimal exercise needs, but do require at least
daily walks. As a flat-faced breed, it is essential that
owners understand that French Bulldogs cannot live
outdoors. Their bulk and their compromised breathing
system makes it impossible for them to regulate their
temperature efficiently. In addition, Frenchies are top
heavy and therefore have a difficult time swimming.
Precautions must be taken when exercising a Frenchie
during hot or humid weather, as they are prone to heat
They are ranked 58th in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence
of Dogs. There are certain exceptions to this average
level of canine intelligence; a French Bulldog named
Princess Jacqueline who died in 1934 was reported to
have a vocabulary of twenty words, and used each word or