Dog-ology: French Bulldog

December 26, 2013

Basics

French Bulldogs are an active, affectionate, and intelligent breed.  They have small, muscular bodies with heavy bone structure, smooth coats, short faces, and their trademark "bat" ears.  The females typically range in weight from 19-22 lbs, and males 22-28 lbs.  They originated, and continue to be considered, as companion dogs.  They require minimal grooming and exercise, but a good structured walk for this, often stubborn, breed is well advised.  Be careful in hot weather for these pups can easily overheat.  The breed is highly intelligent, but their stubborn nature can make them challenging to train.  Early socialization is good for this breed.

 

History

During the 19th Century in Nottingham, England, Lacemakers selectively bred the early bulldog in an attempt to make a smaller version or "toy" bulldog, for use as a companion pet.  During the Industrial Revolution some Lacemakers moved to France and they took the dogs with them.  Soon the "toy" bulldogs became popular in France, where later wealthy Americans saw and fell in love with them.   It wasn't until the late 1800's that these "toy bulldogs" became known officially as French Bulldogs, or sometimes referred to as "Frenchies."

 

Fun Facts

  • Known as "a clown in the cloak of a philosopher."

  • Since they are so top heavy, they cannot swim.

  • French Bulldogs cannot naturally reproduce.  Since the males are so top heavy, have narrow hips, and weak legs, they can't mount a female properly; therefore, the females must be artificially inseminated.  Additionally, the Frenchie newborns' heads are often too large for a natural birth and C-section is required.

  • The breed's short face - this is also true of other short-faced breeds, like the Pug - makes the breed better at seeing objects that are closer to them.  Objects at further distances are more difficult for them to see.  This is why games such as fetch are not all that intriguing to short-faced breeds, but also explains why they are such great companion animals, because they like to be up close and personal with their owners' faces in order to read information from them.  Longer faced breeds, such as Labs, enjoy fetch much more, since they are biologically equipped at seeing things at greater distances.

  • The French Bulldog, Stella, on the ABC sitcom Modern Family, won the award for "Best Dog in a Television Series" at the inaugural Golden Collar Awards.

  • While most people picture “Toto” from The Wizard Of Oz, to be a Cairn Terrier, in literature the dog was sometimes illustrated as a French Bulldog.  R.A. Neill who drew the pictures for the books “The Road to Oz” and “The Emerald City,” depicted Toto as a Frenchie.

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