Despite its name, the French bulldog actually has its origins in England. A group of artisans in England, mostly lace-makers who had a penchant for the bulldog breed but were not keen on dog-fighting, bred a small-sized dog weighing between 16 lbs to 28 lbs. With the Industrial Revolution spreading in England, these lace-makers as well as other artisans migrated to France along with their small bulldog breed, in order to ply their trade. This small breed became very popular in France, and by the latter part of the 1800s, they were crossbred with French terriers and began to be called Frenchies or French bulldogs. When affluent American travelers visited Paris, they too were enamored by the little Frenchies, and hence took them back home to the US. The breed was first exhibited in 1896 at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
This is a muscular and compact breed with a bone structure that is solid, a flat muzzle with a pug nose, and a smooth coat. The tail is not cropped but is short naturally, and it can be screwed or straight. The head is square and large, and the eyes are set wide-apart and are dark-colored. They are round in shape and should neither be bulging nor sunken. The ears are referred to as 'bat ears', which are rounded on the upper part and broad at the base, and are erect. The dog's facial expression is that of intelligence, displaying curiosity and alertness. The height is 12 inches when measured at the shoulders. They come in two ranges of weight, 22-28 lbs and 19-22 lbs.
The dog's coat comes in various colors and patterns. Basically, the coat is fawn-colored, which ranges from pale-cream, to café au lait, and deep red. The further differences that can be seen are largely due to variations in the markings of the patterns, which in turn can range from black stripes or brindle, in various degrees of thickness and repetition which overlies the base fawn color, pied with various brindle patches that overlie the fawn base interspersed with markings of white, to the fawn base masked with black, with various shades and patterns occurring on the dorsal region of the body and the face. Within these parameters, there is a myriad of variations in the placement, sizes, patterns, and types of markings.
Some examples of the colors and coat patterns that occur in this breed are blue-brindle or blue, tiger-brindle, pale-creams that range from butterscotch to pale-gold, brindle-pied, ticked-pied, and black-brindle which is also referred to as seal-brindle. The coat requires minimal grooming.
This breed belongs to a group of dogs known as mastiffs, which were used chiefly as guard dogs or watchdogs. However, this dog has a tendency of displaying a comical trait in its personality, which is what endears it to many people. It is affectionate and playful as well as alert and curious. Due to the comical trait in its character, it loves clowning around and can play and run about for many hours. It has a great need for companionship and cannot thrive minus it. It has a tendency of bonding strongly with a single person in the family. If puppies are raised with children, they are very good with them.
If you are thinking of buying a puppy, first of all you need to locate a good dog breeder. You can check breeders on the Internet or in your locality. It is a good idea to visit various breeders and check how the puppies are kept, how they move about, and look. Pay particular attention to the coat of the puppy to see if it is glossy. Puppies display their future individualities right from when they are a month and a half old. For example, they can be shy, sociable, courageous, boisterous, or quiet - or different variations of these - which can be discerned from very early on. By the time they are one and a half months old, their weight should be about 2 kg.
A puppy that comes from a good lineage will have a broad chest, short and wide paws, and a large head. The body should be compact and short, particularly with the males. At this age, the ears may not be erect yet. By the time the pup becomes four months old, its ears will become erect. All puppies need to be given obedience training from a very early age, which should be based on reward and not punishment.
Generally, French bulldogs are frolicsome, good-natured, and amiable dogs. They make great companions for the elderly, single people, as well as for families.