About French Bulldog Dogs
also known as "Frenchies", are small bulldogs. They are the result of
a cross between bulldog ancestors imported from England and local ratters in
Paris (France) in the 1800’s.
French Bulldogs were the fourth most popular registered dog in the United
Kingdom and in the U.S. the ninth most popular AKC registered dog breed.
Bulldogs descends directly from the dogs of the Molossians, an ancient Greek
tribe. The dogs were spread throughout the ancient world by Phoenician traders.
British Molossian dogs were developed into the Mastiff. A sub-family of the
Mastiff were the Bullenbeisser, a type of dog used for bull-baiting.
such as bull-baiting were outlawed in England in 1835, leaving these
"Bulldogs" unemployed. However, they had been bred for non-sporting
reasons since at least 1800, and so their use changed from a sporting breed to
a companion breed. To reduce their size, some Bulldogs were crossed with
terriers, while others were crossed with pugs. By 1850 the Toy Bulldog had
become common in England, and appeared in conformation shows when they began
At the same
time, lace workers from Nottingham, displaced by the Industrial Revolution,
began to settle in Normandy, France. They brought a variety of dogs with them,
including miniature Bulldogs. The dogs became popular in France and a trade in
imported small Bulldogs was created, with breeders in England sending over
Bulldogs that they considered to be too small, or with faults such as ears that
stood up. By 1860, there were few miniature Bulldogs left in England, such was
their popularity in France and due to the exploits of specialist dog exporters.
Bulldog type gradually became thought of as a breed, and received a name, the
Bouledogue Francais. This Francization of the English name is also a
contraction of the words "boule" (ball) and "dogue"
(mastiff or molosser). The dogs were highly fashionable and were sought after
by society ladies and Parisian prostitutes alike, as well as creative people such as
artists, writers, and fashion designers. However, records were not kept of the
breed's development as it diverged further away from its original Bulldog
roots. As it changed, terrier and Pug stock may have been brought in to develop
traits such as the breed's long straight ears, and the roundness of their eyes.