There are many different hypotheses regarding the origin of the French bulldog; however, the one that seems to be the most widely accepted is that it was derived from a toy bulldog that was brought to France by some people who worked in the lace industry in Nottingham, which is located in the United Kingdom. However, there are many who believe that the artwork and skeleton remains of the bulldog known as Chincha in ancient Peru, which is claimed to closely resemble the French bulldog, are not what they appear to be. These individuals hold this opinion.
French Bulldogs in Peru
Excavated sites uncovered burial grounds that unearthed mummified bodies of dogs, skulls and skeletons, which did indeed confirm that bulldog-like dogs did live around 1100 to 1400 AD in Peru. It was found that the Chincha bulldog’s skull did have many similarities to what we know as the French bulldog today.
French Bulldogs in Greece
The Molossians were an ancient Greek family, and their mutts are where the modern French Bulldog breed originated.
Canines were sold all across the ancient world by Phoenician merchants, who were responsible for their widespread distribution. The English Mastiff descended from Molossian dogs that were originally from England. One of the sub-varieties of the Mastiff breed is the Bullenbeisser, which is a kind of dog that is used for bull-goading.
French Bulldogs in England
However, they had been bred for non-donning purposes from at least 1800, therefore their use shifted from a wearing variety to a companion breed. Bloodsports, like bull-teasing, were forbidden in England in 1835, leaving these “Bulldogs” jobless.
In order to reduce the size of the Bulldogs, a few of them were bred with terriers, which are ratter dogs that originated in the “ghettos” of England. By the year 1850, the Toy Bulldog had become commonplace in England, and it made an appearance at adjustment shows not long as they first emerged, about 1860.
Despite the fact that there were also classes at dog shows for persons who weighed less than 12 pounds, these mutts weighed anywhere between 16 and 25 pounds on average.
Theories about the exact origin of the French Bulldog abound. The most common is that in the mid-19th century, Norman tailors from England took smaller bulldogs with them while looking for work in France.
By the 1950s and 1860s, England saw an increase in the toy or miniature bulldogs and when many of the workers moved to France in search of work they took these smaller bulldogs with them. They found this small variety of bulldogs was ideal for the small, cramped living conditions, in which they lived also these small bulldogs, were found to be excellent at hunting and killing rats which were to be a plague of that century.
These little bulldogs were actually scrapped by hardened bulldog breeders in England, who were more than happy to sell these underdeveloped specimens to fans of the new breed in England. This was especially true for puppies with tulip-like ears that appeared from time to time in bulldog litters.
French Bulldogs in France
In farming societies in northern France, where tailors settled, little bulldogs became very popular for their ability to hunt mice and be loyal family companions. Their population began to grow. The French Bulldogs were originally bred as mousetraps, but are now bred mainly as pet and companion dogs. On April 29, 1899, Country Life magazine published the following article:
About 35 years ago (around 1865), small or light bulldogs became so prevalent in the country that dogs weighing more than 28 pounds (~ 14 kg) were not encouraged at shows like the one in Birmingham, which in the same period was one of the most important of its kind in England. Then, due to some strange fashion hysteria, the Toy Bulldog became an absolute mania in Paris, as a result of which the prominent Bill George of Canine Castle, Kensal New Town, the most famous dog dealer of his time and in history, received a card. A Blanche for action from French customers who wanted to get the little bulldogs, which led to the fact that England was deprived of its best specimens.
The new little bulldogs were gaining popularity in France and became the most popular among Parisians. One of the reasons was that when these exotic-looking dogs were walking, they invariably attracted the attention of their owners and gave a legitimate reason to talk to potential customers. Also, the susceptible breed was happy to take a nap in hotel rooms without making much noise. Breed historians still display well-known French postcards containing scantily clad French prostitutes posing with their Bouledogues Français. The aura of celebrity that the dog gave to its owner made them a modern way for the well-to-do class to show off how daring and adventurous it can be. It was not long before the French Bulldogs became the most popular among the artistic strata of Europe.
Their popularity increased as more French realized they were not only good companions but also great “ratters”. By the mid-1860s the breed became so popular and exportation to France was so great that the breed almost became extinct in England. The bulldog was then crossed with a terrier native to France the “terrier boule”, this also looked very similar to a small bulldog and this cross eventually gave rise to the French bulldog which we know today.
Historians of other breeds have also claimed that the small bulldog was crossed with the pug but no evidence has ever substantiated this claim. What was known then as the petite boule quickly expanded in popularity throughout France and it became a favorite of the courtesans who adored the dog for its eccentric appearance. It was during this period that the upper class also fell for the charm of the little bulldog and its popularity soon began to extend to royalty.
French Bulldogs in Russia
Photos dating back to this time show the Russian royal family posing with their French bulldogs imported from France. Other famous lovers include Toulouse-Lautrec, the author Collete and King Edward VII. Onboard the ill-fated Titanic was a French bulldog insured for an astronomical sum of $ 750.
French Bulldogs in America
The French bulldog however really took off in 1880 when a group of French bulldog owners began to have regular meetings and it was during 1885 that the first provisional register of the breed was recognized and the French bulldog appeared in a show under its own name, the French bulldog in 1887. the French bulldog first appeared at a show in the United States in 1896 in New York, this is where the popular name “Frenchie” was first given and it is a name that has stuck with them ever since.
It is undeniable that without the influence of dedicated American lovers, the breed would not be what we know today. They are the ones who organized the first club of the French Bulldog breed in the world, and they were also the ones who insisted that the bat ears associated with the breed were correct. Until then, French Bulldogs were shown in both varieties with bat ears and a rose ear.
It was the Americans who organized the first ever French bulldog club in the world and it was those who first insisted that the “bat” ear of the dog which is still associated with the breed today should be considered the correct form for the standard.
French Bulldogs Worldwide
After all, the French Bulldog is an international breed, with breeders in many nations who are responsible for creating the dogs we know today.
😍 These gadgets are on my Frenchie’s wishlist, maybe your Frenchie needs them too? 🥰
✅ We laughed so hard we had tears rolling down our cheeks. Watch funny clips HERE
✅ My Frenchie has been self-conscious about his hair for years. He finally has the confidence to go on walks now. Other dogs don’t even know it’s a wig! What a steal!! LOL
✅ These matching sweaters are absolutely adorable. Fits my 22lb French bulldog like a glove, his shirt is super soft.
✅ Lots of folks said it was the cutest thing they had seen in a long time! It came with adjustable straps just in case the Frenchie gains weight (again.)
✅ Safety first, right? My Frenchie loves bike rides in the backpack but not so much in the rain, this Goggle/Hemlet set really helps keep the rain out of the eyes and ears.
✅ Omg too cute😍 I do not need to explain why your Frenchie needs it right?
✅ The hoodie is really well made and super soft fleece-lined! My Frenchie has been in it for hours, which is not common… safe to say it is puppy approved!
✅ You only need this one high-quality water-resistant jacket for Winter. Necessary piece. Make sure you check out the reviews to get the right size instead of keeping returning.
✅ There are built-in ear holes for comfort, which is how my Frenchie usually wears it, but sometimes we just have to keep those ears covered up and keep the heat in on the super-cold days.
✅ This playpen is a life saver! They can be linked together if desired to create a larger pen.
✅ No animal should have to sleep on the floor and hurt or be cold. I asked my Frenchie for a review – unfortunately he’s too busy snoring, farting and sleeping on it to answer me…lol
✅ This is a fantastic car seat w lots of clever features. The entire seat can collapse to fit into its own carrying bag, though it’s easily put together again in 30 sec. The cover that the dogs rest on is silky soft faux fur which doesn’t seem to snag dirt and debris. It easily zips out for washing, and during the summer you can reverse the cover so the canvas side is up and not the fur. The pillow that boosts the dogs up in the seat has a soft foam side akin to memory foam. It’s very roomy and well made for a small Frenchie.
✅ The couch is stylish and lightweight but definitely sturdy. As an added bonus the legs have non-skid pads on the bottom so it won’t slide when he gets in and out of it. Holding up pretty good even when Frenchie digs in it…
✅ Let me do you a favor and let you know that you NEED this NOW!!! It was very comfortable for me at this height. No pain or awkward positions and I didn’t get soaked.
✅ I don’t remember seeing any other pet strollers using this kind of high-end wheels. Perfect for the small puppy that is old or can’t walk much.