The French Bulldog, originally called the Bouledogue Francais, also is known simply as the Frenchie. It’s the sixth most popular breed in the United States and a cousin to the English Bulldog. The breed features the same wrinkles and short-nosed facial structure that the English Bulldog has, but it’s the ears that really catch the eye. The French Bulldog has bat-like ears to contrast with its compact body.
With an affectionate personality, the French Bulldog can be playful and is both adaptable and smart, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). The breed is smaller than the English Bulldog with the Frenchie standing just eleven to thirteen inches tall and weighing 28 pounds or less. Often quite good with children, the French Bulldog can require training, but frequently makes for a good family pet.
Beloved by owners and Bulldog aficionados world-wide, there are several fun facts to discover about the French Bulldog.
1. The Industrial Revolution Played Important Role with the Breed
The French Bulldog originated when English Bulldogs were bred with Pugs and Terriers after bull-baiting was banned in England in 1835. The smaller breed became a favorite companion for the Nottingham lace workers as the small Bulldogs loved to sit on laps and kept the workers warm. When lace-working became mechanized in England during the Industrial Revolution, many of those lace workers moved to France. The small Bulldog with bat-like ears became popular with the French, especially the society ladies. The breed then became known as the Bouledogue Francais and later the French Bulldog or Frenchie.
2. French Bulldog Club of America Founded Before AKC Recognition
First appearing in the United States in the late 19th century, the French Bulldog gained official recognition by the French Bulldog Club of America (FBDCA) in 1897. This was one year before the French Bulldog was recognized as an official breed by the American Kennel Club. The FBDCA is the oldest club in the world dedicated to the French Bulldog.
Fun Fact Extra: Via the FBDCA, it’s reported that the prominent French Bulldog breeder Samuel Goldenberg (and his wife) were en route aboard the Titanic to New York in 1912 to judge the Frenchies specialty. The Goldenbergs survived the sinking of the Titanic and still managed to arrive in time for the show.
3. Lovable Lap Dogs
Frenchies love to spend time on their owner’s lap, a common trait traced back to their ancestors that lived with the lace workers in England. While they’re content to lounge around, the French Bulldog also will enjoy a daily walk and a bit of play time. However, because they are brachycephalic like English Bulldogs, it’s best to avoid over-exerting the smaller breed on hot or humid days. The AKC cautions, “Keep your French Bulldog cool in warm weather, and avoid strenuous exercise.”
4. Nine Standard Colors
There are nine standard colors of the French Bulldog officially recognized by the AKC, breeders, judges, and clubs. These are: brindle, brindle and white, cream, fawn, fawn and white, fawn brindle, white, white and brindle, plus white and fawn. “Ticked” is considered the standard marking of a French Bulldog, as listed by the AKC.
5. Famous French Bulldog Owners
Today’s celebrities have a passion for the French Bulldog. Fans can find pictures and online videos of favorite actors, performers, athletes, and artists hanging out, traveling, and doting on their Frenchie. Some famous French Bulldog owners and their pups include, but are not limited to, David Beckham and Scarlet, Reese Witherspoon and Pepper, Madonna and Gypsy Rosa, Hugh Jackman and Dali, as well as the late Carrie Fisher and her French Bulldog Gary.
6. French Bulldogs as Watchdogs
Don’t let their smaller size fool you. The French Bulldog actually makes a good watchdog. They’re highly intelligent and trainable, although training does requires patience.