It is believed that French Bulldogs were first bred by migrating lace workers in the 19th century. English Bulldog breeders were very willing to part with their smaller pups with undesirable erect ears, and breeders in France continued to emphasize tall ears. The breed was named “Bouledogue François” and became popular with wealthy Parisians.
Americans traveling to France became familiar with the breed and brought “Frenchies” back to the U.S., where they also caught the fancy of American privileged classes. Famous fans of the breed include the Rockefeller family and J.P. Morgan, who appealed to the American Kennel Club (AKC) to recognize the breed. It did so in 1898, and by 1913 the French Bulldog was one of the most popular show dogs in the U.S.
This lovable, easygoing lapdog is a member of the Non-Sporting Group and typically weighs between 18 and 30 pounds. With a muscular, wide body, low center of gravity and a large, square head with tall “bat-like” ears, a French Bulldog gives off an observant, watchful air and seems ready for anything. That stated, “anything” often means a good snuggle on the couch with a favorite family member. The French Bulldog is a brachycephalic breed, which means it’s short-nosed, and its squat muzzle is covered in malleable skin that forms charming wrinkles that continue through the neck and shoulders. The breed’s short coat features various colors, including brindle, fawn, white and black.
A French Bulldog’s lifespan is 11‒13 years. They are prone to several medical issues, including intervertebral disc disease, allergies, hip dysplasia and dislocated kneecaps. These dogs often snore because of their short noses, and some may have breathing issues. The French Bulldog’s short and fine coat does not need a lot of care, but his wrinkles and folds should be cleaned regularly.
Prone to allergies, this small breed responds best to a high quality food that supports coat and skin health and the breed’s nutritional requirements. Owners may also want to consider kibble that’s easy for the deep underjaw and short muzzle to grasp and chew. Owners should carefully monitor portion size and caloric content as French Bulldogs may face weight issues, given their compact build and fairly inactive nature.
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