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Related to both the American and English Bulldog, the French Bulldog is smaller in size and is an exceptionally playful and good natured dog who will fit into many lifestyles and homes very well indeed.
There is great speculation on the actual origin of the French Bulldog but it is likely that the breed originated from the miniature, or toy, Bulldog (a cross of English Bulldogs and Terrier type dogs), which were brought to France by Nottingham lace workers during the industrial revolution in England. Others believe the French Bulldog descended from the Chincha Bulldog, which lived in ancient Peru.
The French Bulldog first appeared in the U.S. in 1896 at the Westminster Kennel Club's show in New York, and was first registered by the American Kennel Club in 1898 in the non-sporting dog group. Britain accepted the breed into club membership in 1912.
Average height to withers: Both males and females between 11-13 inches.
Average weight: 8-11kg for males and females.
The French Bulldog is a muscular dog, heavy in bone with a smooth coat, compactly built, and of medium to small height. The head should be large and square with a slightly rounded skull shape. The muzzle should be broad and deep with a nose that should be extremely short and black in colour, except in the case of the lighter-coloured dogs, where a lighter colour of nose is acceptable. The underjaw is undershot and turned up. Eyes should be wide apart, set low down in the skull, as far from the ears as possible, round and moderate in size. The ears of a French Bulldog are a distinctive shape known as the 'bat ear', and are broad at the base, elongated, with round top and set high in the head.
The neck of a French Bulldog should be thick, muscular and well arched, with loose skin at throat leading into short, straight forelegs which are set wide apart. The body should be short and well rounded and compact with broad shoulders leading into a deep chest. The hind legs are notably longer than the forelegs giving the appearance of a higher rump than withers. The tail can be either straight or screwed (but never curly).
The coat is short and fine and come in varied colours including shades of brindle, fawn or white with brindle patches (known as pied). The dominant color is brindle, then fawn with pied being less common than the other colours. The breed clubs do not recognise any other colours or patterns. The skin should be soft and loose, especially at the head and shoulders, forming characteristic wrinkles.
French Bulldogs are considered to be of average intelligence but are able to learn new commands readily and will be an easy and loyal companion to live with thanks to their easy going and fun nature. They are a good choice for people who live in smaller homes or do not want a dog that requires much exercise as they can be quiet the couch potato given the chance. That said, they will still need at least one daily walk and care must be taken not to let this breed become overweight.
Due to their excellent and gentle natures, French Bulldogs do make good family pets who can live very well with other animals. Early socialisation will only serve to enhance this laid back but playful nature. They are also noted for being a breed which get along with children very well, displaying a patience and kindness that will serve a family well.
On average, the French Bulldog can live between 8-10 years when healthy.
It is always worth bearing in mind that because of their brachycephalic (flat) head, they do not deal well with high heat or humidity, and it is recommended to use caution when exercising a French Bulldog under these conditions as well as limiting the amount of time spent outside generally when it is warm.
When giving birth, almost 80% of pups are delivered via a caesarian section. This is due to the larger size of the pups head in comparison to the hips and birth canal of the dam. Pups should always be delivered under the care of a vet or a competent person who has experience in this to ensure the safety of both the dam and her pups.
Minimal maintenance is required with regards to the coat of this dog, however, it is advisable to regularly check and clean within any folds of skin and the large 'bat ears' to make sure there is no build up of material.
As mentioned, this dog does not require the most amount of exercise and due to this the owner needs to check the dog's claws to make sure they are not growing too long. If they are trimming is required making sure that the quick is not clipped leading to bleeding. If the owner is unsure how to clip, it is advisable to ask your vet or dog groomer to do this for you.