The French bulldog is a small companion dog. As the name suggests the breed originated in France, but in reality the Americans and British have played bigger role in its breeding. There is more than one theory about how exactly the French bulldog originated in France. The most accepted theory is that when Normandy lace makers from England moved to France to find work, they took smaller bulldogs along. These small dogs were actually rejects of the bulldog’s breeders in England. These were tulip eared puppies that were occasionally found in Bulldog litters. As the lace workers settled in North France, their dogs became very popular as ratters and loyal companion dogs. The breeders were more than pleased to sell these undersized dogs to people who fancied them as a “new breed.” As the French Bulldog became more famous, it became a favorite of street walkers in Paris. The reason behind it was that this strikingly strange dog was instrumental in attraction attention towards to the owner. Eventually the breed became fashionable and popular with well-to-do classes simply because of its notoriety. The French Bulldog was originally bred as a ratter, but later became more popular as a companion and lap dog. A French bulldog insured for $750, a royal sum at that time, was on board the doomed Titanic.
The French Bulldog looks active and muscular. It has a heavy bone and smooth coat. Compactly built with a medium or small structure, it has an alert, curious and interested expression. It is also an intelligent dog. They are well proportioned and all points are distributed in good relation to each other. There is o feature that is more prominent than the other. Neither does it give an appearance of being disproportionate. Head is large and square and dark eyes are set low down in the skull, as far from the ears as possible. Light colored eyes are accepted only in light colored French Bulldogs. Their coat is fairly fine, short, smooth and brilliant. The skin, as in pure bred bulldogs, is soft and loose, which forms wrinkles at the head and shoulders. Some allowances are made in favor of females as they do not have the same characteristics of a male dog.
The French Bulldog adapts easily, having an affectionate nature and even temperament, which makes French Bulldogs a good companion dog. They are inherently active, alert and playful but never disobedient. Like most companion breeds, a French Bulldog requires close contact with humans. They need to be taken for a walk daily but otherwise do not have major exercise needs. For those living in apartments, they are a perfect choice because of their tranquil nature and sensible barking behavior. A French Bulldog overall structure makes it difficult for him to breathe efficiently, which affects its ability to maintain body temperatures. Due to this it must be understood that French Bulldogs cannot live out doors. It is also important to note that they are poor swimmers because of their bulk. They must be protected from the hot and humid weather conditions. Another thing that owners should be aware of is that they can be sometimes rough on children and should be observed during play. Although French Bulldogs are vulnerable to certain congenital diseases, they are still among the healthiest bull breeds. It is a brochycephalic breed and one of the most common defects is and elongated soft palate or cleft palate. They are also prone to develop a bleeding disorder, which is similar to hemophilia in humans. They are also susceptible to thyroid problems. The French Bulldog is an indoor dog and may require air- conditioning in warm weather. Although an alert dog who can alert his owner, its main role is that of a lap dog.