French bulldogs have long been a treasured dog breed. The earliest Frenchies date back to the 1800s, when they were bred primarily for their small size and fashionability. However, as time went on Frenchies cemented themselves as a core dog breed in the cultural zeitgeist and have grown to be loved and cherished by many.
At Royal Empire French Bulldogs, we stay up to date on health regulations and best policies for breeding to ensure we’re offering our clients quality dogs that are bred with knowledge and compassion. If you’re curious as to how Frenchie breeders got their start and developed over time, consider the following information.
The dawn of the Frenchie
As mentioned earlier, bulldogs as a whole originated in the UK in the early 1800s. Around this time, many English bulldog breeders started to alter the breed to be a bigger, heavier dog with more exaggerated features. Additionally, other breeders crossbred them with terriers resulting in the bull-and-terrier breeds around this time.
As the industrial revolution kick-started in England, many of the fashionable lace makers who polled for smaller, toy bulldogs, emigrated to France—where the true Frenchie was born! The popularity of tiny pups spread from Northern France and Normandy to Paris—and soon the English breeders established a popular trade, exporting smaller English bulldogs to France where they started to be known as Bouledogues Français.
Rise in popularity
After their introduction to France, Frenchies became incredibly popular among the street walkers in France–café owners, tailors, butchers, working people in general. Frenchie breeders positioned themselves favorably in the Parisian market, supply many dogs all over the city.
As with many trends, after the common people of France began to go crazy for Frenchies, the bourgeois began to pick up on these adorable creatures. The English, of course, wanted nothing to do with French bulldogs (or anything French for that matter) so until the 19th century, these furry pals were strictly of French society—regardless of their British roots.
In the mid-20th century Frenchies began to fall off a bit as a dog breed likely due to the emergence of the popular Boston-Terrier. However, in recent years they’ve made a major comeback.
How the breed changed
Over time, Frenchies characteristics and overall look changed a bit. They began to develop a more uniform look—as dogs with compact bodies and straight legs, but without the extreme under jaw of an English Bulldog. Some Frenchies had the erect bat ears we know and love while others had cute and soft rose ears.
Americans began to fall for the breed while traveling, preferring the erect bat ears—which was fine by both the British and the French as they each preferred the softer rose ears.
In the mid-20th century, Frenchies were mostly brindle with a few pied and white pups. Creams and fawns were particularly rare and not very popular until the 1950s when a particular Frenchie breeder from Detroit began showing cream Frenchies in dog shows with major success.
Where are Frenchies now?
Currently, Frenchies are a very popular dog breed. They saw a major resurgence in the 1980s and have since soared in popularity. These days, it’s not that uncommon to see Frenchies featured in ads, movies or walking with celebs.
With their rise in popularity, however, comes some concern among those who covet Frenchies. It’s important to buy Frenchies from responsible breeders who account for the health problems that can be associated with Frenchies. Unscrupulous Frenchie breeders and importers complicate the picture and can be harmful to the breed’s overall health.
Ready to purchase a Frenchie?
If you’re interested in purchasing a Frenchie, look to the premier Frenchie breeders at Royal Empire French Bulldogs. Contact us today to get the ball rolling on adopting your newest family member.