The French bulldog is a small dog from the utility breed grouping that is quickly growing in popularity all across the world, including within the UK! They are a practical size for even the smallest of homes, and are loving, friendly and outgoing, making them popular with people from all walks of life and with all sorts of lifestyles.
If you are considering buying or adopting a French bulldog or if you already have one and want to improve your knowledge, check out our eight top facts about the breed, to see how much you already know! Read on to learn more.
As mentioned, the French bulldog is becoming ever more popular year on year worldwide, and 2014 saw them climb up into fourth place in terms of the number of dogs of each breed registered in the UK each year.
They are becoming more and more common sights on the streets and in the dog parks of the UK, and this trend doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down any time soon!
Like many bulldog-type breeds, the conformation of the French bulldog does not work in their favour when it comes to delivering their litters. While dogs of the type that we now call the French bulldog have been around for at least a couple of hundred years, selective breeding and deliberately manipulating breed lines to exaggerate certain traits has resulted in a breed that cannot generally deliver their own young unaided.
Due to the size of the heads of the puppies and the narrowness of the hips of the dam, the majority of French bulldogs have to be delivered by caesarean section, which makes planning a litter both more complicated and more expensive than normal, as well as requiring additional vigilance when the time for delivery approaches!
Additionally, the narrow hips of the French bulldog breed means that in some cases, the hips of the dog are too narrow to allow them to mount the bitch, which means that in order to breed, they may require artificial insemination. This is another cost to factor into the price of breeding French bulldogs, and once again, is because of our selective breeding for certain traits.
If you’re not sure how to tell the difference between the two different breeds, check out our previous article for the full details!
Once again due to their narrow hips, French bulldogs often have their own unique way of lying down, with their back legs splayed out behind them rather like a swimming frog! Some French bulldogs don’t lie down like this at all and some only lie like this some of the time, so keep an eye out for it!
The English bulldog is one dog breed that virtually universally cannot swim, because they have short legs, a chunky body and a large, heavy head that prevents them from keeping it above the water while propelling themselves forwards. French bulldogs are not as exaggerated as this, being lighter in build and with smaller heads-but due to their build and brachycephalic faces, a significant percentage of French bulldogs cannot swim or cannot swim well, which all owners should be aware of.
If you’re thinking of emigrating to pastures new or heading off on holiday with your French bulldog, you might have to travel by ship-a significant number of airlines will not carry brachycephalic dogs such as the French bulldog, due to their propensity to developing breathing issues in-flight. In fact, the problem is so acute that over half of all pet-deaths in flight occur to brachycephalic dogs, so take care!
If you were asked to take a guess as to where French bulldogs originate from, you would almost certainly say France-and this is indeed where the breed was developed and first formally recognised. However, French bulldogs also have a large chunk of English heritage, and the origins of the French bulldog began with the crossing of English bulldogs with French terriers and ratting dogs in France!
Lace workers from Nottingham also emigrated in reasonably large numbers to Normandy during the Industrial revolution, as lace-working jobs in the UK fell into decline, while in Normandy, the industry continued to thrive. Some of these workers took their bulldogs with them when they moved, further contributing to the development and popularity of the then-new English-French hybrid bulldog breed!