French Bulldog Breed Information

The following article is an overview of the French Bulldog breed, and contains some great information about the French Bulldog, including information on the average size, lifespan, temperament, possible health conditions and the management, care and treatment of these conditions:

The French Bulldog - its overall health and medical problems (Dr Karen Hedberg BVSc) (Pdf 44Kb)

French Bulldog Breed History:

French Bulldogs are believed to be descendents of the Toy Bulldog that became common in England around 1850. Although bulldogs were being bred as companion animals from at least the 1800's, the end of bull baiting & other blood sports in 1835, saw the breed's role changing to that of a companion dog. Bulldogs were crossed with terriers and so a smaller bulldog started to appear, the Toy Bulldog. It was at this time that lace workers from Nottingham were being displaced during the industrial revolution and started settling in Normandy, France. Of course they brought their Toy Bulldogs with them and they became very popular with the locals, which initiated a trade of small bulldogs between England and France. Bulldog breeders in England started sending over stock that they considered to be too small or that had faults such a pricked ears and so the French Bulldog was born. The breed became popular among artists, fashion designers and Parisian prostitutes.

French Bulldog Temperament:

The French Bulldog is an intelligent dog that has a great charismatic charm. He's a clown in a philosopher's cloak and makes the ideal companion for both young and old.


French Bulldogs are a relatively low maintenance breed, having a short coat which benefits from a weekly brush. We wash our Frenchies once per month or as needed and ears are cleaned with Epi-otic solution at this time. Nails are kept short by trimming once per week.

French Bulldog Breed Standard:

Group: Group 7 (Non Sporting)

General Appearance: Sturdy, compact, solid, small dog with good bone, short, smooth coat. No point exaggerated, balance essential. Dogs showing respiratory distress highly undesirable.

Characteristics: Full of courage, yet with clown-like qualities. Bat ears and short tail characteristic features of the breed.

Temperament: Vivacious, deeply affectionate, intelligent.

Head And Skull: Head square in appearance and in proportion to dog’s size. Skull nearly flat between ears, domed forehead. The skin covering the skull and forehead should be supple enough to allow the dog to show facial expression. Well defined muzzle, broad, deep and set back, muscles of cheeks well developed. Stop well defined. Lower jaw deep, square, broad, slightly undershot and turned up. Nose black and wide, relatively short, with open nostrils and line between well defined. Lips black, thick, meeting each other in centre, completely hiding teeth. Upper lip covers lower on each side with plenty of cushion, never so exaggerated as to hang too much below level of lower jaw.

Eyes: Preferably dark and matching. Moderate size, round, neither sunken or prominent, showing no white when looking straight forward; set relatively wide apart and on the same level as the stop.

Ears: “Bat ears”, of medium size, wide at base, rounded at top; set high, carried upright and parallel, a sufficient width of skull preventing them being too close together; skin soft and fine, orifice as seen from the front, showing entirely. The opening to the ear canal should be wide and open.

Mouth: Slightly undershot. Teeth sound and regular, but not visible when the mouth is closed. Tongue must not protrude.

Neck: Powerful, well-arched and thick, but not too short.

Forequarters: Legs set wide apart, straight boned, strong, muscular and short.

Body: Cobby, muscular and well rounded with deep, wide brisket and ribs well sprung. Strong, gently roached back. Good cut up. The body while broader at the shoulders should narrow slightly beyond the ribs to give definition to the relatively short, thick, strong, muscular loin.

Hindquarters: Legs strong, muscular and relatively longer than forelegs, with moderate angulation. Hocks well let down.

Feet: Small, compact and placed in continuation of line of leg, with absolutely sound pasterns. Hind feet rather longer than the fore-feet. Toes compact; well knuckled; nails short, thick and preferably black.

Tail: Undocked, short, set low. Thick at root, tapering quickly towards tip, preferably straight and long enough to cover anus. Never curling over back no carried gaily.

Gait/Movement: Free and flowing. Soundness of movement of the utmost importance.

Coat: Texture fine, smooth, lustrous, short and close.

Colour: Brindle, pied or fawn. Tan, mouse and grey/blue highly undesirable.

(1) Brindle - a mixture of black and coloured hairs. May contain white provided brindle predominates.

(2) Pied - white predominates over brindle. Whites are classified with pieds for show purposes; but their eyelashes and eyerims should be black. In pieds the white should be clear with definite brindle patches and no ticking or black spots.

(3) Fawn - may contain brindle hairs but must have black eye lashes and eye rims.
Sizes: Ideal weight:

Dogs 12.5 kgs (28 lbs)

Bitches 11 kgs (24 lbs)

Soundness not to be sacrificed to smallness.

Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Notes: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.