French Bulldog Everything You Need to Know
Despite the name, the fun-sized #French #Bulldog has roots on the other side of the English channel. It’s a #dog with an interesting history, a bit of national rivalry, and an intriguing future. Let’s get to know the #Frenchie. In the late 1700s, breeders set out to create a fun-sized version of the Bulldog, a distinctly British Pooch to please Victorian Brits who had gained affection for small companion dogs. By the mid-1800s,
Toy Bulldogs had become a favorite of Brits and were regularly featured in dog breed shows. It quickly found favor in British Cities, including the center for lace-making, Nottingham. The now extinct toy Bulldog became something of a mascot for Nottingham’s lace makers, who would use them as lap warmers while they worked. Meanwhile, the Industrial Revolution was going into full swing in Britain. Many cottage industries became threatened. And eventually, lace workers in Nottingham became casualties of automation, as they were replaced by more efficient and cost-effective machines. Displaced, they began migrating to France in search of a fresh start in the French countryside. And of course, they brought their beloved four-legged companions and lap heaters with them.
Over the span of decades, breeders crossed these toy Bulldogs with small ratting dogs like Terriers and with small Asian companion breeds like Pugs, which were popular in Victorian times, and somewhere along the way, the bat-eared Bouledogue Français was born. Paris eventually discovered the delightful mild-mannered companion breed, and thus began the Frenchie’s reputation as city dog par excellence. Today, the French Bulldog is at home in both the open countryside or the crowded city. It requires little exercise and can live comfortably in a small apartment. Of course like any dog, the Frenchie doesn’t mind a nice romp around a nice fenced-in yard.
Although they’re somewhat slow to be house broken, they get along well with other dogs and aren’t big barkers, making them great if you live close to your neighbors. They do like to talk though. Using a complex system of yawns, yips, and gargles, the dog can convey the illusion of its own language. Sometimes they will even sing along with you in the car. The breed came to be associated with Paris café life, and with the socialites and ladies of the night who sought nocturnal pleasures with paying customers in Parisian dancehalls. Both enjoyed having the bat-eared Bulldogs close by as they chatted away, and French Bulldogs still today are considered one of the friendliest dogs to strangers.
By the end of the 19th century, this stocky, compact dog’s popularity had spread across Europe and then to the US. The Frenchie is small at 20-28 pounds and standing between 10-12 inches tall, but is well-built and sturdy. This makes the breed a good pet for families, even those with children. The Frenchie was a tough sell in England, however. The Bulldog was a national symbol. The Bulldog in both world wars was utilized as a symbol of British tenacity and fighting spirit. It rankled many Englishmen that their age-old rivals, the French, would dare adapt it to their purposes. And, it was eventually called the French Bull dog, as Brits scoffed at the notion of calling an “English” dog by a French name.
Oddly, the French Bulldog was the second most popular dog in the UK in 2020. This little companion has certainly made an impression in England. According to AKC charts, the Frenchie is also the second most popular dog in America. Interestingly, American Frenchie devotees of the early 1900s contributed to the breed by insisting that bat ears, as opposed to “rose ears,” were the correct Frenchie type. The English however preferred the latter type, which is more similar to the English Bulldogs’ ears. When a rose-eared bulldog was featured at the Westminster Kennel Club in 1897, American dog fanciers were quite angry and created the French Bulldog Club of America in protest. The cream of New York society was invited, but “rose-eared dogs were not welcomed.” The Bat Ears have since become the breed standard. It is by this distinctive feature that the Frenchie is instantly recognizable the world over.
Although they came to be on two sides of the English Channel, French bulldogs can’t swim, as a result of squat frames and bulbous heads, so pool owners should keep a watchful eye on their pups. Keep in mind that if you plan a beach vacation, your furry friend might feel a little left out. Probably not a source of French pride is that due to their unusual proportions, Frenchies have a little trouble copulating. As a result, a large majority of French bulldogs are created through artificial insemination. While this measure makes each litter of pups more expensive, it also allows breeders to check for potential problems.
French bulldogs often also have problems giving birth, so many must undergo a C-section. The operation ensures the dog will not have to weather too much stress and prevents future health complications. The French Bulldog story doesn’t end here. The breed has been widely adopted worldwide and its popularity has grown in the 21st century. Celebrities like Lady Gaga, Hugh Jackman, Leonardo DiCaprio, and The Rock have all been seen frolicking with their French bulldogs. Obviously, however, the Frenchie isn’t only loved by celebs and the elite. It is a favorite among city-dwellers that want a compact, quiet dog for apartment life.
It also travels well for those that live amore nomadic life. It is not, however, for those that travel by air, due to its brachycephalic skull. This facial structure, coupled with high stress and uncomfortably warm temperatures, can lead to fatal situations for dogs with smaller snouts. Many breeds like bulldogs and pugs have perished while flying, so as a result, many airlines have banned them altogether.
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