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The French Bulldog got its beginning in England.

Bulldogs were commonly used for the blood sport of bull-baiting as were bears, monkeys and even badgers. Around 1850 Bulldogs were cross bred with aggressive terrier breeds to produce a more effective fighting animal. This resulted in the miniature Bulldogs which weighed between 16 and 25 pounds. These little dogs, known as “Toy Bulldogs” became on the job companions to the lace workers in the Birmingham factories. Late in the 1860’s some of the Nottingham lace workers left England and traveled to Brittany, France seeking better job opportunities and brought their faithful companions with. It was then that the breed was more refined and a type was established.

It is unclear how the origin of the French Bulldog developed from here. There are many colorful accounts relating these little dogs as the favorite and sought after companions to the belles de noir, the “local ladies of the night”. These interesting little dogs that accompanied the streetwalkers were also catching the attention of the trend setters and aristocrats in addition to famous local artists like Toulouse-Lautrec and Degas.

The French breeders were credited for producing the remarkable and characteristic “bat ear”¬†while the early American breeders were credited with establishing wonderfulquote breed type. There was much debate about the rose ear (typical in English Bulldogs) and the “bat ear” and in the end the “bat ear” won. This is now one of the most striking and characteristic feature of today’s French Bulldog.

Throughout history there have been many famous owners, including aristocracy from several countries in Europe. The Frenchie has always been highly prized and sought after. In fact there was even a famous Frenchie that took the voyage on the Titanic.

Today, these little dogs are wonderful companions and a joy to live with. Whether you live in a city apartment or in the wide open spaces these are always wonderful friends and will always bring a smile to those they meet. Their playful and good natured temperament makes them ideal therapy dogs and great with children. The average size in the United States is between 18-28 lbs and slightly larger in Europe and England. They have short hair that only moderately sheds and are very personable.