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French Bulldog Breed Summary

Easy-Going, Playful, Intelligent and Assertive

Mystery and speculation taint the history of this little pup. However, it's most likely that they originated from miniature Bulldogs, a cross between a British Bulldog and a Terrier, and were then bought to France by lace workers from the UK looking for employment, during the Industrial Revolution. The Lace workers were breed buffs and used these dogs to warm their laps whilst they worked. The British didn't like the French Bulldogs as they thought they were too small to be of use, but the French loved them, and they soon became fashion symbols of the rich and famous! It took a while for the British to get on board with the idea of the breed, but eventually, they fell in favour and are now one of the most popular breeds here!

Kennel Club Group Utility
Lifespan 11-14 years
Height (at the withers) Males and Females 27cm - 30cm
Weight Males and Females 11kg - 12.5kg
Coat Smooth, Single Layered
Colour Brindle, Fawn, Pied
Eye colour Brown
Common health issues Hip Dysplasia; Brachycephalic Syndrome; Hemivertebrae; Patellar Luxation; Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD); Von Willebrand's Disease; Cleft Palate; Elongated Soft Palate
Other Names Frenchie, Bouledogue Francais

French Bulldogs love to be around their 'hooman' families, due to their long history of being companion dogs. They are very easy-going and love to spend their days between playing in the garden and relaxing on the sofa. Additionally, they are fairly easy to train, so long as you try to make this as fun and game-like as possible. However, if these guys get bored, they can quickly develop stubborn attitudes and there will be no moving them! Because they love to be around people, they shouldn't be left on their own for long periods of time, as this can lead to separation anxiety and a very sad little dog. With the correct owner, who can give them all the love and care they deserve, they will make both a brilliant and humorous pet, who will give you years of laughter and love. 

Despite its name, the French Bulldog actually originated in the UK. The moniker Bulldog came from the fact that they were used for the sport of bull-baiting. In 1835, bull baiting became illegal in the UK, which meant that other uses had to be found for many Bulldogs. As a result, people started breeding Bulldogs with terrier-type dogs, to create a smaller breed. Fifteen years later, London was full of these petite Bulldogs, who were popular companion dogs. Over time, the breed was crossed with Pugs, to create the modern French Bulldog that we know today. 

Nottingham was well known for its lace. With a lack of heating, keeping warm could be a struggle for these workers, and they used their Bulldogs as hot water bottles, working with the dogs on their laps. During the industrial revolution of the 1880s, many lacemakers chose to emigrate to Normandy in France to seek a better life. And when they did, they took their petite Bulldogs with them. The French lace makers soon adopted the Bulldog as their own, to the extent that many dogs that were considered too small for English tastes, or had upright ears, were sent to France. It was these French lace makers who first named them the Bouledogue Francais. 

Over time, the breed became popular with fashionable Parisiens and became a favourite of the elite. The first breed club was founded in France in the late 1800s, and a breed standard created a few years later. 

The French Bulldog was reintroduced to the UK in 1893. English Bulldog breeders were unhappy about their arrival, but the establishment of a French Bulldog club overcame this difficulty. Their first show took place in 1902. The Kennel Club registered the breed as the Bouledogue Francais in 1903 and Anglicised the name later that year. The breed has continued to evolve, with new colours being considered acceptable to the standard. The adoption of the breed by many celebrities, including the Beckhams, Lady Gaga, and Hugh Jackman, has led to the French Bulldog becoming the most popular breed in the UK now, even overtaking the beloved Labrador.