French Bulldog.jpg
Breed Group Group 4: Bull Breeds
Sub-group 4-A: Bulldogs
Origin Country France
Weight Males: 20-30 pounds. Females: 16-26 pounds.
Height Males: 11-13 inches. Females: 11-13 inches.
Other Name(s) Bouledogue Francais, Bulldog Frances, Franzosische Bulldogge
Breed Type Pure
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French Bulldog

Breed Group Group 4: Bull Breeds
Sub-group 4-A: Bulldogs
Origin Country France
Weight Males: 20-30 pounds. Females: 16-26 pounds.
Height Males: 11-13 inches. Females: 11-13 inches.
Other Name(s) Bouledogue Francais, Bulldog Frances, Franzosische Bulldogge
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD

Breed Spotlight

Origins

Because of their snout-like noses and propensity for snorting, French Bulldogs have often been referred to as “pigdogs” in Europe. However, the Frenchie's distinguished breed heritage and intriguing history as a European companion dog place him on a level far above that of any swine. Modern French Bulldogs are descendants of large, ancient dogs that were kept by a Greek tribe known as the Molossians. The breed, known as the Molossus, is believed to have spread to other countries on the ships of seafaring peoples. Over time, the Molossus found its way to Britain, where British breeders created a new dog from his lineage: the Mastiff.

Although the Mastiff's enormous physique has little in common with the petit French Bulldog’s, the breeds share a genetic link. Bullenbeissers were a subdivision of the mastiff lineage bred specifically for bullbaiting. Bullbaiting was a popular English blood sport during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in which bulls were tied to a pole with 30 feet of leash. A bullbaiting dog was bred to crawl on his stomach toward the bull, avoid being gored by the horns, and bite the enraged bull on the snout. Many bullbaiting dogs were maimed or killed fighting bulls, and the British Parliament banned the practice in 1835 by passing the Cruelty to Animals Act. When the British Parliament outlawed bullbaiting, breeders focused on more humane roles for the dogs to fulfill in society. Many owners appreciated the tenacity and strength of bullbaiting dogs, and they attempted to make smaller versions that would carry those traits into companionship roles. The bullbaiting dogs were mixed with smaller breeds, such as terriers and pugs, with the hope of creating a more compact version of the beloved Bulldog.

Toy Bulldogs emerged in England during the first half of the nineteenth century. Far lighter than the original Bulldog, some weighed as little as 12 pounds. Toy-sized Bulldogs fit better with city life than their larger counterparts. Since toy Bulldogs were smaller and lighter, they were easier to carry, and many male and female workers of the British Industrial Revolution chose toy Bulldogs as their pets. Workers who left Britain to find jobs as lace workers in France popularized the breed in their host country. The now iconic, bat-like ears of the breed became a desired trait that distinguished the French Bulldog from the toy Bulldog, and French Bulldog owners began expressing more interest in the dog’s unique looks and tranquil demeanor than his useful ratting abilities.

French socialites, especially women, grew particularly fond of the peculiar looking dog, and many chose the French Bulldog specifically for his exceeding patience during gossip sessions. The French Bulldog became an accessory to fashionable women, since the dog's appearance (with his art nouveau ears) drew the attention of onlookers and passersby during walks. Artists, elites, and other eccentric personalities embraced the exotic breed, and many saw the Bouledogue Français as both a companion and haute couture. Miniature Bulldogs became so popular in France that, by the year 1860, French demand had nearly outstripped the supply of pups being exported by British breeders.

News of the French Bulldog spread further west in the latter half of the nineteenth century. In 1885, French Bulldogs were sent to the United States to participate in an American breeding program, and the French Bulldog was displayed in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show of 1896. As in France, America's most elite families fawned over the breed, including the Rockefellers and the Morgans. In the twenty-first century, the French Bulldog was recognized as one of the top twenty most popular breeds in the United States.

Breed Characteristics

Head: Somewhat brachycephalic skull-type, moderate in size, shaped rather square, and in proportion to the rest of the body. From the front, the topskull is flat, or nearly flat, between the ears. In profile, the topskull appears long and slightly rounded, and should not appear short or flat. It should be free from excess skin and wrinkle. The muscles, including those of the cheeks and the temporal muscles are well-developed. The superciliary arches and a furrow at the stop are prominent. The occiput is not prominent. The head is clean-cut without excess skin or wrinkle.
Eyes: The eyes are moderate in size, open-oval to round in shape, set rather far apart from one another and from the ears, and as dark in color as possible, or self-colored according to the coat in lighter dogs. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. Eye rims are darkly pigmented and tight-fitting. There should be no looseness, and whites of the eyes should not be visible when looking forward.
Ears: The ears are characteristic of the breed and are “bat ears.” They are medium in size, wide at the base, set high on the skull, firmly erect, with a very rounded tip. The orifice is forward facing, the tips point to the 1 o’clock and 11 o’clock position. The ears are never long, overly large, or broken.
Muzzle: The muzzle is broad, deep, full, well-developed, and may be somewhat laid back. It should never be so short as to appear flat in profile. Upper and lower jaws are wide, have good bone substance, and are strong and well developed, never appearing snipy or weak. The lower jaw and chin are just slightly up-turned, well-developed, and visible from the front or in profile; however, they should never protrude beyond the break of the lips when the mouth is shut. A very slight roll of skin is permissible on the top of the muzzle; however, a roll-free muzzle is preferred for hygienic reasons.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat in non-standard color varieties. The nostrils are well-opened.
Neck: Moderate length to allow for proud head carriage, strongly muscled, with a slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut, without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep, broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows, or just below.
Body: Compact, solid, somewhat cobby, and of good substance. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Feet: Oval to round, compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads. Toes may be oriented slightly outward.
Tail: Set somewhat low on the croup, thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. Carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, usually level with the topline, but never tucked or carried up over the back. Tail should be left natural, never docked short. Natural tails are of a short to medium length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints, or less, when held down. The tail may be straight or gently curved. Inverted tails, corkscrew tails, and kinked tails are extremely undesirable and potentially unhealthy.
Movement: The movement is powerful, free, energetic, and efficient. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the center line of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.
Temperament: The Frenchie is well-known for his calm and well-mannered temperament. He is intelligent, capable of learning many different types of tricks and disciplines, and takes any task he is given very seriously. He is devoted, playful, and alert. He is lively, gregarious, and gets along well with people, other dogs, and other animals that he has been socialized to, making him an ideal family companion. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.
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Breed Standard

BREED GROUP 4: Bull Breeds

Proportions: Somewhat rectangular in proportions, the length of the body from the withers to the base of the tail is equal to or just slightly longer than the height measured at the withers. The ideal body height to length ratio is between 5:4 and 10:9. The build is compact, solid, and sturdy without appearing cloddy. Males should appear masculine, being more substantial in size and mass, while females should appear more feminine and slightly less substantial. Neither should lack overall type.

Head

General Appearance: Somewhat brachycephalic skull-type, moderate in size, shaped rather square, and in proportion to the rest of the body. From the front, the topskull is flat, or nearly flat, between the ears. In profile, the topskull appears long and slightly rounded, and should not appear short or flat. It should be free from excess skin and wrinkle. The muscles, including those of the cheeks and the temporal muscles are well-developed. The superciliary arches and a furrow at the stop are prominent. The occiput is not prominent. The head is clean-cut without excess skin or wrinkle.
Expression: Intelligent, inquisitive, friendly, and jaunty, although capable of appearing to be quite the professional.
Stop: The stop is definite, preferably forming at least a 90-degree angle between the topskull and muzzle.
Skull: The ideal muzzle-to-skull ratio is between 1:6 to 1:5, with the topskull being longer than the muzzle.
The ideal muzzle-to-skull axis is convergent.
Muzzle: The muzzle is broad, deep, full, well-developed, and may be somewhat laid back. It should never be so short as to appear flat in profile. Upper and lower jaws are wide, have good bone substance, and are strong and well developed, never appearing snipy or weak. The lower jaw and chin are just slightly up-turned, well-developed, and visible from the front or in profile; however, they should never protrude beyond the break of the lips when the mouth is shut. A very slight roll of skin is permissible on the top of the muzzle; however, a roll-free muzzle is preferred for hygienic reasons.
Lips or Flews: Lips are broad and thick, but clean and fit tightly over the teeth and jaws.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat in non-standard color varieties. The nostrils are well-opened.
Cheeks: The cheeks are well-padded, broad, and well-developed, adding to the square appearance of the face. They should never appear chiseled or flat.
Dentition and Bite: Forty-two strong, clean, white teeth. Bite may be level, reverse-scissor, or undershot. Contact preferred between upper and lower incisors, but lower jaw may be undershot up to 1/8 of an inch. The tongue and teeth should remain concealed when the mouth is closed.
Eyes: The eyes are moderate in size, open-oval to round in shape, set rather far apart from one another and from the ears, and as dark in color as possible, or self-colored according to the coat in lighter dogs. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. Eye rims are darkly pigmented and tight-fitting. There should be no looseness, and whites of the eyes should not be visible when looking forward.
Ears: The ears are characteristic of the breed and are “bat ears.” They are medium in size, wide at the base, set high on the skull, firmly erect, with a very rounded tip. The orifice is forward facing, the tips point to the 1 o’clock and 11 o’clock position. The ears are never long, overly large, or broken.

Body and Tail

General Description: Compact, solid, somewhat cobby, and of good substance. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Neck: Moderate length to allow for proud head carriage, strongly muscled, with a slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut, without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep, broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows, or just below.
Topline: Straight and level from withers to croup. A gentle arch at the loin area is tolerated. The back is broad, strongly muscled, and straight, yet supple. The loin is taut, and may be flat and level, or slightly arched, yet supportive. The back is never swayed or roached, and the croup should never rise higher than the withers.
Croup: Gently sloped.
Underline: Slight tuck up present, or the underline may run parallel to the topline. The underline is taut and firm, without any indication of sagging or excess weight.
Ribs: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided.
Tail: Set somewhat low on the croup, thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. Carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, usually level with the topline, but never tucked or carried up over the back. Tail should be left natural, never docked short. Natural tails are of a short to medium length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints, or less, when held down. The tail may be straight or gently curved. Inverted tails, corkscrew tails, and kinked tails are extremely undesirable and potentially unhealthy.

Forequarters and Hindquarters

Forequarters: Forequarters are always in balance with the hindquarters. Forequarters are well-angulated with well-laid-back shoulder blades. Shoulder blades are approximately equal in length to the upper arm and forearm.
Elbows: Elbows are close to the body. The distance from the withers to the brisket may be equal to, or just greater than, the distance from the elbows to the ground.
Forelegs: Frontal View: Straight, of good muscle, solid bone, and parallel to one another.
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Pasterns: Never weak or broken.
Hindquarters: Upper thigh and lower thigh are equal in length, strong, sturdy, of solid bone, and well-muscled.
Rear View: When viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to one another.
Side View: Good angulation will allow the rear toes to align with the point of the rump or within one to two paw-lengths behind the point of the rump, with the rear pasterns remaining perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another.
Stifle Joint: Well-angulated with a good bend to well-let-down rear pasterns.
Angulations: Angulation of hindquarters is always in balance with angulation of forequarters.
Feet: Oval to round, compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads. Toes may be oriented slightly outward.

Coat

Skin: Well-fitted, yet supple. The skin should never obstruct the outline of the dog.
Coat Type: The coat is short, smooth, soft, glossy, and close to the body throughout. No fringe or feather permissible.
Coat Color or Pattern: CKC recognizes two color varieties of the French Bulldog breed: the standard color and nonstandard color variety.
Standard coat color variety: Cream, tan, fawn (tan with black mask), brindle, all with or without white markings, solid white.
Non-standard coat color variety: Any colors that occur in the French Bulldog that are not accepted as standard colors, which include: Black, mouse, gray, blue, liver, Isabella, all with or without tan or brindle points, all as fawn (mask), all as brindle, all with or without brindle white.

Movement

The movement is powerful, free, energetic, and efficient. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the center line of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.

Temperament

The Frenchie is well-known for his calm and well-mannered temperament. He is intelligent, capable of learning many different types of tricks and disciplines, and takes any task he is given very seriously. He is devoted, playful, and alert. He is lively, gregarious, and gets along well with people, other dogs, and other animals that he has been socialized to, making him an ideal family companion. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.

Faults

All dogs should be in proper healthy condition, free from disease or defect. Any departure from this description is considered a fault. Unless altered, all male dogs should have two fully descended testicles.