French bulldogs are a hugely popular breed in the United States, best recognized for their little statures, silly smiles, and bat-like ears. In fact, in only 20 years, French bulldogs have risen to the fourth most popular breed in the nation from 76th place!
So, how did Frenchies become so popular so quickly? Here's a breakdown:
- They're ridiculously adorable. Duh.
- They because they're smaller in size and relatively quiet. French bulldogs are actually most popular in urban areas—they're the number one dog breed in New York City, for example.
- They've been featured in many movies, TV shows, and ads over the last few years, and lots of celebrities, like Lady Gaga and Leonardo DiCaprio, have pet Frenchies.
But French bulldogs are much more than just a popular breed! Read on for some fun information about one of the most common breeds in the nation, whether you currently own a French bulldog or are thinking about getting one for your family.
01 of 07
French Bulldogs Aren't Actually French
No, despite their name, French bulldogs do not hail from France. Rather, they originated in nearby England—and have a pretty interesting history.
Toy-sized bulldogs used as lap warmers for English artists (lace manufacturers in particular) who worked in their businesses long before temperature control. After that, many of these workers went to France with their dogs in tow when the Industrial Revolution struck England and their abilities were no longer required. To produce the Frenchies we are familiar with today, the puppies there most likely crossed with terriers.Continue to 2 of 7 below.
02 of 07
French Bulldogs' Ears Come in Two Shapes
The bat-like ears of a French bulldog are without a doubt one of his most distinguishing features. However, did you know that Frenchies' ears may also be folded over? This style is known as "rose ears." Frenchies and English bulldogs both have the characteristic rose ears, which serves as a nod to the Frenchies' canine forebears in English handmade stores.
Because it provides Frenchies an a distinctive appearance, American breeders determined early on that Frenchies' ears should be bat-like rather than folded. It may surprise you to learn that American breeders started the French Bull Dog Club of America to voice their disapproval of Frenchies with rose-shaped ears!Continue to 3 of 7 below.
03 of 07
Frenchies Don't Breed, Um, Traditionally
Many male Frenchies are too short to reach Frenchies to, ahem, copulate; they frequently become hot and exhausted simply trying. Accordingly, artificial insemination is the cause of a large number of French bulldogs. Each puppy in the litter will cost more because of this extra step, but it can guarantee that the parents and puppies won't experience any health problems throughout the pregnancy or delivery.
What's more, female Frenchies typically undergo a cesarean section when they're ready to give birth. Oftentimes, their small, compact bodies can't handle the stress of a natural birth.Continue to 4 of 7 below.
04 of 07
French Bulldogs Shouldn't Swim—or Fly
Despite the name of the doggy paddle, not all dogs can swim (or should), particularly French bulldogs. Frenchies are far more likely to drown than other breeds due to respiratory problems brought on by their tiny snouts, as well as their short statures and slender legs. When you are close to a body of water with a French bulldog, proceed with great caution. Purchasing a dog-sized life vest is a smart move.
French bulldogs should also refrain from flying as they are the breed most likely to perish in cargo holds of aircraft. Their extremely small snouts are prone to a number of respiratory problems, which can be made worse by variations in the dog's stress or body temperature.
If you absolutely have to fly with your French bulldog, be sure to follow these safety measures:
Continue to 5 of 7 below.
- Use a pet carrier if your Frenchie can fit, and take her on the plane with you.
- Make sure your Frenchie is a healthy weight and doesn't have any health issues prior to your trip.
- Try to familiarize your dog with her travel crate, so she won't feel so stressed out when traveling.
- Travel very early in the morning or very late at night when the airplane cargo hold is cooler.
05 of 07
Frenchies Are Most Popular in Cities
As we previously said, French bulldogs are quite well-liked by city and apartment people. They are the ideal dog for compact places with thin walls because of their little size, generally laid-back temperament, and seldom barking. How well-liked are they in the cities of America? In the cities of New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami, French bulldogs are the most popular breed, followed by Chicago, Atlanta, and Washington, DC.Continue to 6 of 7 below.
06 of 07
French Bulldogs Are Very Talkative
French bulldogs are highly loud, even if they don't bark all that much, and they adore conversing with their owners. They develop their own language using a variety of gurgles, snorts, and yips.Continue to 7 of 7 below.
07 of 07
A French Bulldog Was Supposed to Star in The Wizard of Oz
Toto is a famous canine actor who we are all familiar with from the movie The Wizard of Oz. But did you know that a French bulldog starred in the children's book series on which the film was based? It's rumored that the book's artist had a French bulldog named Quinn and used him as a character in the first several books.
Another fun Frenchie rumor? A French bulldog was originally cast as Toto for the film, but he wouldn't follow direction—so he was replaced with Terry, the Cairn Terrier who played Toto.