In the nineteenth century, the Bulldog was fairly popular
in England, especially around Nottingham. Some of these
Bulldogs were quite small, weighing less than 25 pounds.
When many of the lace workers of the region went to
France for work in the mid 1800s, they took their "Toy"
Bulldogs with them. The French women, especially, were
attracted to these little Bulldogs, especially those with
erect ears. Dog dealers brought more of the clownish little
dogs to France, where they soon became the rage of
Paris. The dogs were dubbed Bouledogue Francais. French
Breeders sought to consistently produce the erect "bat
ears," much to the chagrin of the English breeders. By the
late 1800s, the breed had caught the attention of the
upper class and had moved into some of the finer homes in
France. Around this same time, American visitors to
France brought several back to America and began to
breed the dogs in earnest.
Amid continued controversy over which ear type was
correct, an American club was formed, and, in 1898,
sponsored one of the most elegant dog shows (just for
French Bulldogs) ever held. The gracious setting attracted
wealthy spectators, and the Frenchie had soon conquered
America. Their popularity among high society soared, and
by 1913 they were among the most popular show dogs in
America. The breed has since been passed by others in
popularity, but it still boasts some of the most elite and
ardent fans in dogdom.
The French Bulldog is a clown in a lapdog. It enjoys
playing and entertaining its family, as well as cuddling and
snoozing with its favorite person. It is amiable, sweet,
companionable, and willing to please.
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