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The Furry Critter Network
Frenchie Breed Description
French Bulldog, Bouledogue Francais
Approximately 10-13 Years
The French Bulldog has the appearance of an active, intelligent, muscular dog of heavy bone, smooth coat, compactly built, and of medium or small structure. The hallmarks of the breed are the square head with bat ears and the roach back. Expression alert, curious, and interested.
He is a companion dog. The breed is small and muscular with heavy bone structure, a smooth coat, a short face and trademark "bat" ears. Prized for its affectionate nature and balanced disposition, they are generally active and alert, but not unduly boisterous. Frenchies can be brindle, fawn, white, and brindle and white.
Head: Very strong, wide, angular with folds and wrinkles. Wide, nearly flat skull. Well-domed foreface. Very pronounced stop. Short, blunt foreface. Nosebridge with concentric folds. Wide, turned-up nose. Thick, black lips. Wide, angular, powerful jaws. Moderate underbite.
Ears: Straight, medium-sized, broad at the base and rounded at the tip (bat ears).
Eyes: Round, fairly large, slightly protruding, dark. Edge of eyelids is black.
Body: Compact, very muscular. Topline rising gradually to the loin. Short neck without dewlap. Slightly open, cylindrical brisket. Barrel-shaped ribs. Short loin. Tuck-up. Slanting croup. Broad back.
Tail: Naturally short, thick at the base, screw or straight, tapering toward the tip.
Hair: Close-lying, dense, glossy, and soft.
Coat: Brindle: fawn with vertical black stripes or streaks. A combination of black and chestnut hairs. A minimal amount of white on the chest and head is allowed. - White and brindle, or skewbald: brindle with predominant patching. White ground with brindle markings. A solid white coat is categorized as skewbald.
Size: 25 to 35 cm. (10-14 in).
Weight: 8 to 14 kg. (17.5-31 lb).
Bulldogs were very popular in the past, especially in Western Europe. One of its ancestors was the English bulldog. Americans had been importing French Bulldogs for a while, but it was not until 1885 when they were brought over in order to set up an American-based breeding program. They were mostly owned by society ladies, who first displayed them at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1896. They arrived again in the following year with even more entries, where the judging of the breed would go on to have future ramifications. The judge in question at the dog show, George Raper, only chose winners with "rose ears"—ears that folded at the tip, as with the standard for Bulldogs. The ladies formed the French Bull Dog Club of America and created the breed standard which stated for the first time that the "erect bat ear" was the correct type.
In the early 20th century, the breed remained in vogue for high society, with dogs changing hands for up to $3,000 and being owned by members of influential families such as the Rockefellers and the J. P. Morgans. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed quickly after the breed club was formed, and by 1906 the French Bulldog was the fifth most popular dog breed in America. In 2013, the American Kennel Club (AKC) ranked the French Bulldog as the 10th most popular breed in the United States, enjoying a sharp rise in popularity from 54th place a decade before, in 2003. By 2014, they had moved up to become the ninth most popular AKC registered dog breed in the US and by the 2017 they were the fourth most popular.
This new Bulldog breed arrived for the first time in England in 1893, with English Bulldog breeders in an uproar as the French imports did not meet the new breed standards in place by this time, and they wanted to prevent the English stock from crossbreeding with the French. The Kennel Club initially recognized them as a subset of the existing Bulldog breed rather than an entirely new breed. Some English breeders in this period bred the French Bulldogs in order to resurrect the Toy Bulldog. On July 10, 1902, at the house of Frederick W. Cousens, a meeting was held to set up a breed club in order to seek individual recognition for the French breed. The adopted breed standard was the same one which was already in use in America, France, Germany and Austria. Despite opposition from Miniature Bulldog (the new breed name for the Toy Bulldog) and Bulldog breeders, in 1905, the Kennel Club changed its policy on the breed and recognized them separate from the English variety, initially as the Bouledogue Francais, then later in 1912 with the name changed to the French Bulldog.
The French Bulldog, like many other companion dog breeds, requires close contact with humans. If left alone for more than a few hours, it may experience separation anxiety.
French Bulldogs are often kept as companions. The breed is patient and affectionate with their owners, and can live with other breeds. French Bulldogs are agreeable dogs, and are human-oriented, and this makes them easier to train, though they do have tendencies to be stubborn.
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 which died in 1934 was claimed to be able to speak 20 words, in appropriate situations.
The ideal city dog, he adapts well to apartment life. During walks, he must be taught not to pull on the leash, or he may develop a poor gait. He hates being separated from his owner. He needs daily brushing during the shedding season, as well as a bath every two months. His eyes and the folds on his face need regular attention.
Companion Dog, Watchdog.
As a consequence of selective breeding, French Bulldogs are disproportionately affected by health related problems:
The skull malformation brachycephaly was increased by breeding selection which led to the occurrence of the brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome. Therefore many French Bulldogs often pant sticking out their tongue even at slight efforts like walking. The brachycephalic syndrome causes them to have multiple side effects, as in difficulty breathing (which includes snoring, loud breathing). It happens because they have narrow nostril openings, a long soft palate, and fairly narrow tracheas. This issue can lead to death in French Bulldogs if they are not undergoing proper treatment.
In order to treat these dogs and create a smoother airway to the lungs, a procedure must be done that takes out a portion of their soft palate. The results of the procedure show a minimum of 60% better airway passage to the lungs.
The French Bulldog has only a single short coat, which combined with their compromised breathing system, makes it impossible for them to regulate their temperature efficiently. This means the dog may easily become cold, and are prone to heat stroke in hot and humid weather. French Bulldogs are also prone to allergies, which can cause eczema on the body.
As they are a brachycephalic breed, French Bulldogs are banned by several commercial airlines due to the numbers that have died while in the air. This is because dogs with snub noses find it difficult to breathe when they are hot and stressed. The temperature in a cargo space in an aircraft can rise as high as 30 °C (86 °F) when waiting on the runway.
French Bulldogs sometimes require artificial insemination and, frequently, Caesarean section to give birth, with over 80% of litters delivered this way.
French Bulldogs are prone to having congenital hemivertebrae (also called "butterfly vertebrae"), which will show on an X-ray.
In October 2010, the UK French Bulldog Health Scheme was launched. The scheme consists of three levels: the first level, Bronze, designates a basic veterinary check which covers all the Kennel Club Breed Watch points of concern for the breed. The next level, Silver, requires a DNA test for hereditary cataracts, a simple cardiology test, and patella grading. The final level, Gold, requires a hip score and a spine evaluation. The European and UK French Bulldog fanciers and Kennel Clubs are moving away from the screw, cork-screw or 'tight' tail (which is an inbreed spinal defect), and returning to the short drop tail which the breed originally had. The UK breed standard now states that the tail should be "undocked, short, set low, thick at root, tapering quickly towards tip, preferably straight, and long enough to cover anus. Never curling over back nor carried gaily."
The French Bulldog may develop skin fold dermatitis.
"Don't Shop ... Please Adopt"
If you can’t find the pet you’re looking for on Petfinder, don’t give up. Some shelters maintain waiting lists for specific breeds, so don’t be afraid to ask! There are also breed-specific rescues for just about every breed, and most of them post their pets on Petfinder. (Petfinder can even e-mail you when a pet that fits your criteria is posted — just click “Save this Search” at the top of your search results page.)
Jeff Gold, Founder, Rescue Me! Animal Rescue Network
Jeff Gold lives in Watkinsville, Georgia on the same property as Rescue Me's Animal Rehabilitation Center, with 18 rescue animals. Shown with him in the photo to the left are Maggie, Izzie and Cortez. In 2003, after learning there was nobody doing boxer rescue work in Georgia, Gold founded Boxertown, an organization which helped find homes for over 500 boxers during its first two years. Based upon this success, Gold came up with the vision for Rescue Me! ― a network which helps all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals find good homes, anywhere in the world. RescueShelter.com is also a free service of Rescue Me! and provides the world's largest and most up-to-date directory of animal rescue organizations for all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals, including a comprehensive directory of wildlife rehabilitators in over 150 countries.