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  • Temperament: Adaptable, Playful, Smart
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 6 of 194
  • Height: 11-13 inches
  • Weight: under 28 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Group: Non-Sporting Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

French Bulldog standing on a rock in a forest clearing
French Bulldog standing in grassy yard
Two French Bulldogs sitting side by side on a couch in a formal portrait setting
French Bulldog standing in grass in three-quarter view looking left
French Bulldog standing sideways facing left looking up
French Bulldog sitting in front of wine and cheese
French Bulldog lying on a paved pathway surrounded by grass
French Bulldog sitting in three-quarter view facing forward
French Bulldog running through a yard with a sprinkler in its mouth connected to a hose
French Bulldog lying down facing forward
French Bulldog standing in grass facing forward, head turned right
French Bulldog standing near a bedpost, head looking down
Two French Bulldogs, one looking forward, one looking right
French Bulldog nose to nose with a llama
French Bulldog

Find a Puppy: French Bulldog

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GENERAL APPEARANCE

The French Bulldog has the appearance of an active, intelligent, muscular dog of heavy bone, smooth coat, compactly built, and of medium or small structure. Expression alert, curious, and interested. Any alteration other than removal of dewclaws is considered mutilation and is a disqualification. Proportion and Symmetry – All points are well distributed and bear good relation one to the other; no feature being in such prominence from either excess or lack of quality that the animal appears poorly proportioned.

HEAD

Head large and square. Eyes dark in color, wide apart, set low down in the skull, as far from the ears as possible, round in form, of moderate size, neither sunken nor bulging. In lighter colored dogs, lighter colored eyes are acceptable. No haw and no white of the eye showing when looking forward. Ears Known as the bat ear, broad at the base, elongated, with round top, set high on the head but not too close together, and carried erect with the orifice to the front. The leather of the ear fine and soft. Other than bat ears is a disqualification. The top of the skull flat between the ears; the forehead is not flat but slightly rounded.

NECK, TOPLINE, BODY

The neck is thick and well arched with loose skin at the throat. The back is a roach back with a slight fall close behind the shoulders; strong and short, broad at the shoulders and narrowing at the loins. The body is short and well rounded. The chest is broad, deep, and full; well ribbed with the belly tucked up. The tail is either straight or screwed (but not curly), short, hung low, thick root and fine tip; carried low in repose.

FOREQUARTERS

Forelegs are short, stout, straight, muscular and set wide apart. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet are moderate in size, compact and firmly set. Toes compact, well split up, with high knuckles and short stubby nails.

HINDQUARTERS

Hind legs are strong and muscular, longer than the forelegs, so as to elevate the loins above the shoulders. Hocks well let down. Feet are moderate in size, compact and firmly set. Toes compact, well split up, with high knuckles and short stubby nails; hind feet slightly longer than forefeet.

COAT

Coat is moderately fine, brilliant, short and smooth. Skin is soft and loose, especially at the head and shoulders, forming wrinkles.

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About the French Bulldog

The French Bulldog resembles a Bulldog in miniature, except for the large, erect “bat ears” that are the breed’s trademark feature. The head is large and square, with heavy wrinkles rolled above the extremely short nose. The body beneath the smooth, brilliant coat is compact and muscular.

The bright, affectionate Frenchie is a charmer. Dogs of few words, Frenchies don’t bark much—but their alertness makes them excellent watchdogs. They happily adapt to life with singles, couples, or families, and do not require a lot of outdoor exercise. They get on well with other animals and enjoy making new friends of the human variety. It is no wonder that city folk from Paris to Peoria swear by this vastly amusing and companionable breed.

Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
French Bulldog

Find a Puppy: French Bulldog

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find French Bulldog Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

A high-quality dog food appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior) will have all the nutrients the breed needs. Frenchies are prone to obesity, which can damage their physical structure and puts them at higher risk for some of the breed’s health issues, so it is vital to watch their calorie intake and weight. If you choose to give your dog treats, do so in moderation. Give table scraps sparingly, if at all, especially avoiding cooked bones and foods high in fat. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.

GROOMING

The Frenchie’s short coat sheds minimally. Weekly brushing with a medium-bristle brush, a rubber grooming mitt or tool, or a hound glove will help to remove shed hair and keep him looking his best. Brushing promotes new hair growth and distributes skin oils throughout the coat to help keep it healthy. A Frenchie’s facial folds should be kept clean and dry. The Frenchie’s nailsshould be trimmed regularly, as overly long nails can cause him pain.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Occasional Bath/Brush

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Regularly

EXERCISE

A short walk or outdoor play session with their owner each day should provide enough exercise to keep the French Bulldog in shape. Frenchies enjoy participating in canine sports such as obedienceagility, and rally. As a flat-faced breed, however, they are prone to breathing difficulties and should never be allowed to exert themselves in hot or humid weather.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Calm

TRAINING

Early socialization and puppy training classes are recommended. Exposing the puppy to a wide variety of people, places, and situations will help him develop into a well-adjusted adult. Puppy training classes serve as part of the socialization process, promote good behavior, and help the owner learn to recognize and correct bad habits. Frenchies have big personalities and can need a fair amount of training to make them civilized companions. They can be stubborn, but at heart they’re people pleasers and therefore easy to train. The proper motivation (such as food) and making a game of the process will ensure their cooperation.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Agreeable

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Alert/Responsive

HEALTH

Because of their front-heavy structure, Frenchies cannot swim and should never be left unattended near a tub, pool, or body of water. Like all flat-faced breeds, Frenchies are prone to breathing problems and do poorly in hot or humid weather. Flat-faced breeds are also more sensitive to anesthesia. Frenchies occasionally have eye conditions such as cherry eye, juvenile cataracts, or entropion, and skin allergies and autoimmune skin disorders also are known to occur. A responsible breeder will take advantage of available tests to screen breeding stock for conditions that can affect the breed.

 

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Patella Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Cardiac Exam

Read the Official Breed Club Health Statement.

French Bulldog
French Bulldog
French Bulldog
French Bulldog
French Bulldog
French Bulldog

History

In the mid-1800s, a toy-size Bulldog found favor in some English cities, including Nottingham, then a center for lace making. The toy Bulldog became something of a mascot for Nottingham’s lace makers. This was the height of the Industrial Revolution in England, and such “cottage industries” as lace making were increasingly threatened. Many in the lace trade relocated to northern France, and of course, they brought their toy Bulldogs with them.

The little dogs became popular in the French countryside where lace makers settled. Over a span of decades, the toy Bulldogs were crossed with other breeds, perhaps terriers and Pugs, and, along the way, developed their now-famous bat ears. They were given the name Bouledogue Français.

Paris eventually discovered the delightful new breed, and thus began the Frenchie’s reputation as city dog par excellence. The breed came to be associated with Paris café life, and with the bon vivants and fancy ladies who sought nocturnal pleasures in Parisian dancehalls. Edgar Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec depicted the Frenchie in paintings of the Paris demimonde.

By the end of the 19th century, the Frenchie’s popularity had spread across Europe and to America. The breed was tougher sell in England. The Bulldog was a national symbol, and it rankled many Englishmen that their age-old rivals, the French, would dare adapt it to their purposes.

American devotees of the early 1900s contributed to the breed by insisting that the bat ear, as opposed to the “rose ear,” was the correct Frenchie type. It is by this distinctive feature that the Frenchie is instantly recognizable the world over.

Did You Know?

It is fairly well established that one of the ancestors of the French Bulldog is, not surprisingly, the English Bulldog (most likely one of the toy variety).
Originally called the Boule-Dog Francais, though the english later scoffed at the idea of calling an English dog by a French name.
The first specialty club was the French Bulldog Club of America, and fanciers gave a specialty show at the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC in 1898, the first specialty show to be held in such quarters. Receiving serious press coverage, Frenchies were thrust into vogue, reaching a peak in 1913 with an entry of 100 at the Westminster Kennel Club.
Two distinctive features of the French Bulldog are its bat ears and half-flat, half-domed skull.
Had it not been for the objections of American fanciers, the bat ear of the French Bulldog would have been bred out of the breed and replaced with a rose ear, resulting in a miniaturized version of the English Bulldog.
While bred primarily as pets and companions, Frenchies are remarkably intelligent and serve as good watchdogs.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The French Bulldog has the appearance of an active, intelligent, muscular dog of heavy bone, smooth coat, compactly built, and of medium or small structure. Expression alert, curious, and interested. Any alteration other than removal of dewclaws is considered mutilation and is a disqualification. Proportion and Symmetry – All points are well distributed and bear good relation one to the other; no feature being in such prominence from either excess or lack of quality that the animal appears poorly proportioned.

HEAD

Head large and square. Eyes dark in color, wide apart, set low down in the skull, as far from the ears as possible, round in form, of moderate size, neither sunken nor bulging. In lighter colored dogs, lighter colored eyes are acceptable. No haw and no white of the eye showing when looking forward. Ears Known as the bat ear, broad at the base, elongated, with round top, set high on the head but not too close together, and carried erect with the orifice to the front. The leather of the ear fine and soft. Other than bat ears is a disqualification. The top of the skull flat between the ears; the forehead is not flat but slightly rounded.

NECK, TOPLINE, BODY

The neck is thick and well arched with loose skin at the throat. The back is a roach back with a slight fall close behind the shoulders; strong and short, broad at the shoulders and narrowing at the loins. The body is short and well rounded. The chest is broad, deep, and full; well ribbed with the belly tucked up. The tail is either straight or screwed (but not curly), short, hung low, thick root and fine tip; carried low in repose.

FOREQUARTERS

Forelegs are short, stout, straight, muscular and set wide apart. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet are moderate in size, compact and firmly set. Toes compact, well split up, with high knuckles and short stubby nails.

HINDQUARTERS

Hind legs are strong and muscular, longer than the forelegs, so as to elevate the loins above the shoulders. Hocks well let down. Feet are moderate in size, compact and firmly set. Toes compact, well split up, with high knuckles and short stubby nails; hind feet slightly longer than forefeet.

COAT

Coat is moderately fine, brilliant, short and smooth. Skin is soft and loose, especially at the head and shoulders, forming wrinkles.

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Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
BRINDLE Check Mark For Standard Color 057
BRINDLE & WHITE Check Mark For Standard Color 059
CREAM Check Mark For Standard Color 076
FAWN Check Mark For Standard Color 082
FAWN & WHITE Check Mark For Standard Color 086
FAWN BRINDLE Check Mark For Standard Color 088
WHITE Check Mark For Standard Color 199
WHITE & BRINDLE Check Mark For Standard Color 203
WHITE & FAWN Check Mark For Standard Color 207
CREAM & WHITE 077
FAWN BRINDLE & WHITE 089

Markings

Description Standard Markings Registration Code
TICKED Check Mark For Standard Mark 013
BLACK MASK 004
BRINDLE MARKINGS 007
PIEBALD 025
WHITE MARKINGS 014