What has the industrial revolution to do with French Bulldogs ? A great deal, for it's our starting point. From about 1850 to 1860 the English textile and clothing industries were in turmoil. Machinery was replacing man. Cottage industries in the English Midlands were being abandoned. The lacemakers of Nottingham who worked by hand no longer had jobs and emigrated to France, where the old traditional work continued.
Nottingham in England was a great centre for British Bulldogs, including the toy or miniature bulldogs. Nottingham lacemakers took their miniature bulldogs with them because of the dogs size, companionship and being good ratters. These miniature bulldogs are thought to have been crossed with terriers and pugs and the French Bulldog evolved.
French Bulldogs became popular among the ladies of the night and became a status symbol of French Society. Artisans and aristocrats were seduced by this gargoyle-faced little clown. Even the European crown heads were enchanted by him. He could be seen on the lap of King Edward VII or in one of Nickolai II's dachas. Wealthy Americans visiting Europe became entranced with Le Bouledogue Francais and took them back to their homeland. The French Bulldog is one of only a few breeds which owe its existence to the efforts of breeders in different countries - France, America, England and Germany. Certainly the continuance of the unique bat ears at the turn of last century was due largely to America and there was immense popularity for the Frenchie in Europe and America from then, for instance ranking 11th in the most popular breed list in America in 2013. The UK and Australia saw the French Bulldog rank in the top 10 for the first time in 2013 - 7th most popular breed in England and 8th most popular here in Australia.
Companion dog ' par excellence'
- Without a doubt French Bulldogs, or frenchies as they are often known, make wonderful companions. They are endearing little characters with personalities all their own. A wonderful characteristic of the breed is that each frenchie has his own unique personality, making it extremely difficult to settle on just one.
Frenchies are often described as the clown of the dog world and can be a little mischievous at times.
French Bulldogs are intelligent. However their ability to learn is masked somewhat by stubbornness. Despite this stubbornness, frenchies are able to quickly learn the things that are important to them.
Frenchies are loyal friends requiring plenty of companionship and so are not suited to outdoor life. Their small size and short hair make them excellent housedogs. Frenchies enjoy some exercise whether it is a walk or a game with their favourite toy, but also love some quiet time curled up beside you or on your lap.
Due to their short noses frenchies should not be subjected to extensive exercise any time of the year and in the summer months care should be taken to avoid the heat. Frenchies enjoy a dip in the kiddies wading pool to cool off but they should always be supervised around water. Because of their front heaviness they are susceptible to drowning.
If you are looking for a guard dog, then a French Bulldog may not be suitable. People may be deterred by their appearance and frenchies will bark with a warning, however they are unlikely to show any aggression to a stranger.
Gather as much information as you can and discover more about the characteristics, health and temperament of the French Bulldog. Like most breeds, frenchies have some hereditary conditions. Ensure you find out about these and any other potential health problems to be watched for. You can look in books or on the internet. Better still go to dog shows where you can talk to owners and see dogs of all ages.
Finding a Puppy
French Bulldogs are in demand and finding a puppy may prove difficult. Here are some tips:
- You are making a long-term commitment so don't settle on the first breeder you find - make sure you choose a reputable breeder.
- Anyone can put two dogs together and call themselves a breeder but that doesn't necessarily make them responsible or reputable.
- An ethical and responsible breeder breeds to improve the health and quality of the French Bulldog, not just to produce a product for sale.
- They know their dogs, have an in depth knowledge of bloodlines, study pedigrees and health test their breeding stock.
- Reputable breeders are members of a State controlling body such as Dogs NSW and are also members of a French Bulldog breed club.
- Avoid responding to advertisements in free on-line classified sites. Scammers and backyard breeders use these sites.
- Registered breeders in NSW must include their Dogs NSW membership number in all advertisements offering dogs or puppies for sale.
To find a reputable breeder the best place to start is to check the breeder listings on this site.
Thanks to Dr Karen Hedberg BVSc the Club has produced a fabulous Puppy Booklet.
Breed specific and an invaluable guide to caring for your new puppy, this booklet contains a short history and introduction to the breed, with a section on general appearance.
The general health section contains advice about frenchie problems such as puppy regurgitation and/or pyloric stenosis, snortling/reverse sneezing and management of brachycaphalic (flat-faced) breeds in hot weather. There are sections for new owners on diet, vaccinations and worming. Basic obedience and show training advice are also included together with a part about transporting your dogs.
38 pages of practical information to try to help with responsible French Bulldog ownership. If you are researching the breed, this booklet is highly recommended.
Available now for only $8.00 each (incl post & packing within Australia).
Order from Liz Davidson ph 02 45677115 text 0415 404099 or email Liz