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Breeds 101

French Bulldog

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Originally bred for the utilitarian purpose of tenacious ratting, this muscular companion then become the fashion accessory of working-class Paris.

The French Bulldog probably owes much of its good looks to the English Bulldog. Although stories persist that the French Bulldog descends from a Spanish bull baiter (the Dogue de Burgos), there is convincing evidence that this often opinionated little dog descends from “miniature” Bulldogs produced in Great Britain.

English lace makers fancied toy versions of the bulldogs, taking their dogs with them when they were displaced to France.

With their small size and “bat ears”, the little bulldogs became popular. The clownish breed continues to be prized for its affectionate nature and even disposition.

Curiously, the French Bulldog was first recognized as a distinct breed not in France or Britain, but in the United States. Originally bred for the utilitarian purpose of tenacious ratting, this muscular companion then become the fashion accessory of working-class Paris. No longer as numerous as it once was, the French Bulldog has moved up the social ladder and now resides in more affluent households.

Small size dogs 11 to 14 inches, 20 to 28 pounds.

In a variety of colors: often brindle, cream, black-masked fawn, and pied.

Amiable, sweet, adaptable, well behaved. Affectionate and cuddly.

Alert and active, but not boisterous or barky.

Energy level: Moderate.

Best owner: Senior citizen or family.

Needs: Minimal daily exercise, leash, tolerance of drooling and snoring, cleaning of facial wrinkles, weekly brushing, low heat and humidity.

Life expectancy: 9 to 11 years.