Many rumors revolve around French Bulldogs (affectionately called Bullies) – some are true, like the fact that French Bullies can adapt to any type of person and feel comfortable almost anywhere they are loved. Others are only partially true, such as the widespread belief that French bulldogs all come from torture breeds. What you can do to support responsible breeding.
The Dogs with the Stiff Ears
French bulldogs are small, compact, and broad. Their appearance is reminiscent of their ancestors, the English Bulldogs, but overall they are significantly smaller and a little less wrinkled. Because of their whimsical exterior, French bulldogs are among the most popular dogs in the world and are a common sight in cities and parks. Males reach a height at the withers of between 27 and 35 cm and weigh up to 14 kg, bitches are slightly smaller and slimmer (24 to 32 cm and weigh between 8 and 13 kg). Their broad and muscular appearance is typical of Molossers, although they are one of the smallest mastiff-like dog breeds alongside the pug.
French bulldogs from head to tail
- Head: The square head appears very broad (a bit rounder in bitches) with a pronounced stop and a recognizable furrow between the eyes, which creates small wrinkles. The forehead is pronounced and round.
- Muzzle: The turned-up snub nose should be black, with the nostrils wide open. As with all Molossians, the muzzle is shortened and slightly wrinkled, the thick lips hang limply but should not protrude beyond the corners of the mouth.
- Eyes: The rounded eyes are set deep and set wide apart. The expression is lively and friendly.
- Ears: The characteristic of French Bullies is their slanting prick ears, which are carried upright (the auricles point forward). They are far from the muzzle and eyes, emphasizing the square shape of the head.
- Body: French Bullies are broad and strong, with a short neck and a very muscular front. The back of the carp, which is typical of the breed, slopes slightly from the loin to the withers. The barrel-shaped ribs are very deep and give the dog an almost boxy appearance when viewed from the front. The lower profile line is well raised.
- Legs: Forelegs are short, straight, and strong with well laid back shoulders. The hind legs are also well muscled and straight, although they are slightly longer than the front legs.
- Tail: Bully breeders are often wrongly discredited for docking their dogs’ tails. However, French bulldogs naturally have a very short bobtail, and some dogs have no tail at all. Only very rarely do longer tails occur, but these are not to be considered breeding faults.
Coat and colors of the French bulldog
The skin all over the body is thick and firm, wrinkles can only be seen in the head area. The dogs have no undercoat under their shiny, short fur, which is why they are relatively vulnerable to heat and cold. In the FCI breed standard, the basic color fawn (or fawn brindle) with a black mask and white markings is specified as ideal. In fact, French bulldogs come in many different colors:
Coat colors at a glance
- White (also white markings).
- Cream (Champagne colored, US approved color).
- Piebald (white with piebald).
- Blue (often with blue eyes): The dilute gene is a defect that leads to second-generation eye and ear problems. Blue bullies must therefore not be mated with each other!
- Chocolate (often with blue eyes).
- Lilac (dilute gene).
- Sable (two-tone hair, fawn, and black tip).
- Blue Sable (sable color with a few blue hairs in the coat).
- Black bullies are not allowed to participate in shows and are excluded from breeding.
- Black-and-tan is another rare coloration that is officially undesirable.
- Merle French bulldogs are not purebred and were likely crossed with Chihuahuas or other short-haired small dogs.
Differences between similar breeds
- English Bulldogs are taller, heavier, and broader than French Bullies, and their English ancestors have looser skin. French bulldogs are also a bit more agile and maneuverable.
- Compared to the Boston Terrier, however, French Bullies are real phlegmatic. Both breeds are about the same size, but Boston Terriers are lighter and more athletically built than Bullies.
- The Pug is smaller and much rounder than the French Bulldog. His little rose ears are quite different from the pricked ears of the Frenchies.
History and Origin of the French Bulldogs
French bulldogs are very popular around the world and are considered to be the perfect companion dogs. The breed spread internationally in the last century after a uniform breed standard was introduced in the 1880s and the first breed clubs were founded. English Bulldogs are seen as the direct ancestors of French Bulldogs. Like all Molossians, the small companion dogs are descended from Roman fighting dogs that killed large animals and gladiators for entertainment. It was not until the 18th century that interest in dogfighting waned and the toy bulldog spread from England to Europe, ultimately acquiring the characteristics we know today in France.
The sad tasks of the Molossians through the ages
- The Romans and Celts kept Molossers as war and fighting dogs.
- In the Middle Ages, the animals were often used as slaughter dogs and detained cattle during slaughter (hence the name “bulldog”).
- In dogfighting arenas, bulldogs used to rush and kill bulls, predators, and other dogs.
- Since the 1880s, there has been growing worldwide interest in bulldogs as companion and guard dogs. The French Bullys no longer show any sign of the bloodthirstiness of their ancestors.