The first "Frenchies" were raised in Nottingham in the early 1800s by lace maker.
History of French Bulldog
England, France, and the United States have all played significant roles in the development of the French Bulldog breed over the years. The current Frenchie owes a lot to England's former bulldog. In France, breeders of smaller bulldogs developed a distinctively "French" variety, while in the United States, breeders of larger bulldogs established a standard for the essential "bat ears." We begin with the bulldog here in England, the origin of several AKC breeds. The bulldog's predecessor 150 to 200 years ago was a powerful, athletic dog, tall on the limb, and capable of being used in the barbaric activity known as "bull-baiting."
Consequently, the English bulldog has evolved into a larger, more muscular dog with oversized facial features. Breeds like the bulldog and the terrier were developed by mating bulldogs with terriers used for dogfighting, ratting, and other activities. Miniature bulldogs, which typically weigh 12 to 25 pounds and have erect or drooping ears, round foreheads, and small underjaws, were developed by a number of dog breeders. They may also exhibit some terrier-like activity. These were favored by lacemakers in Nottingham and the surrounding area in the English midlands.
These lace-makers and their bulldogs relocated to the north of France during the Industrial Revolution, when many small artisan companies were shut down. There were soon enough BouledoguesFrançais (French bulldogs that had traveled to Paris from Normandy) in demand from the English breeder. Parisian streetwalkers' favorite, the so-called "belles de nuit," was a favorite of butchers, café owners, and those in the rag trade. Madame Palmyre's pet Frenchie Bouboule was depicted in a series of works by Toulouse Lautrec, the great French artist.
Once society saw these gorgeous tiny bulldogs, they became a sensation. The French remained the principal supporters of the breed until the second part of the nineteenth century since the British people disapproved of French bulldogs to a considerable extent. One lacking the English Bulldog's noticeable underjaw but compact in size and with straight legs was created by the breeders. However, some had "rose" ears as well as typical bat ears. When wealthy Americans from the United States traveled to France, they fell in love with all of these gorgeous dogs and began bringing them back to the United States. In contrast to the French and British breeders' preference for rose-tipped ears, they preferred erect ear types.
The American Kennel Club has not yet accepted the French Bulldog breed when it was featured on the cover of Westminster in 1897.
When it came to judgement, the English judge only used rose-eared dogs, even though bat-eared dogs were on display. When the Bull Dog Association of America heard about this, they formed as soon as possible and set a breed standard that only permitted the bat ear as an acceptable variation. Only bat-eared or rose-eared dogs were allowed to compete in the 1898 Westminster dog show because of the new breed standard, and the American public was outraged. The club organized a separate event at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel for bat-eared pups solely in order to avoid having the American judge participate in the exhibition.
This was the first and only specialty of the French Bulldog Clubs of America, the only organization of its sort in the world. Dimboolaa, a brindle dog, was the inaugural Specialty winner.
The East Coast Society's romance with the Frenchie was a spectacular triumph. Following World War I, the breed's popularity would plummet over the next half-century. Another little brachycephalic breed, the Boston Terrier, is also popular. It would be years before safe vet cesarean sections were routinely performed in the United States since many Frenchies had trouble giving birth spontaneously. Before air conditioning became prevalent, the dogs had a terrible time during the hot summer months. People lost interest in purebred dogs during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Because of a small number of breeders in the United States and Europe, only 100 French Bulldogs were registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1940. Wartime famine and a lack of food in Europe made it extremely difficult for dog breeders to keep their animals alive during this period.
Most Frenchies are brindle now, but they used to be mostly pied or white. Before Detroit breeder Amanda West began displaying cream and fawn Frenchies with tremendous success in the 1950s, there were few or no cream or fawn Frenchies. With almost 500 group wins and 111 Best in Show awards, her mostly white pups have won 21 straight Westminster breed titles. There was an increase in the popularity of creams and fawns in the show ring. "There are many advantages to owning a dog of this kind, but there are few bred and less displayed," claimed an AKC Gazette article from 1960. Only 106 Frenchie registrations were recorded in 1960. As long as the current trend continues, the kind is doomed to extinction. Even if the breed deserves more public attention and recognition, many people are opposed to its becoming too well-known.
Frenchie registrations skyrocketed in the 1980s, thanks to a new generation of breeders, the French Bull Dog Club of Usa, which led to the creation of The French Bullytin, the first dedicated Frenchie magazine in the United States. More than 700 breeds of dog were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1990, up from just 170 in 1980; Since 2006, when 5,500 of these dogs were registered, demand for them has surged. French bulldogs are frequently featured in advertisements, films, and other media featuring well-known persons. For those of us who adore the breed and devote our lives to ensuring that it remains true to type while also minimizing its vulnerability to health problems, the growth in popularity can be concerning. Due to the actions of dishonest breeders and importers, the situation has become even more pronounced. We can only hope that the successes of today don't just become a passing fad, and that many more dog owners in the future will recognize the many advantages of this warm and loving breed.