People often use the affectionate term "Frenchie" when referring to the French bulldog breed of dog. The term has become a shortened nickname for the popular breed, due its origins of French and English descent.
Since the 1800s, French bulldogs have been companion dogs, as opposed to sporting dogs like its ancient relatives English or American bulldogs. In the mid-1800s, people in England began breeding bulldogs with terriers, pugs and other small breeds to create smaller dogs. The French bulldog gets its name from the breed's popularity in France, specifically Normandy, where the cast-off breed was sent from England where it was considered inferior. During the 19th century, Frenchies were (and still are) highly sought after by socialites and creative types such as writers and artists.
The French bulldog made its first debut in The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1896. It was around this time that the breed standard was declared and is characterized as we recognize it today, a small, muscular build with a square-shaped head and bat-style ears. They have flat muzzles and must have solid black noses to compete in dog shows. They have short hair and a smooth coat of varying colors including brindle, fawn and white or a combination of brindle and white. According to the American Kennel Club, the breed is not to exceed 28 pounds.
French bulldogs do not require a lot of exercise and are typically mild-mannered, however they can bark or alert their owners when a stranger approaches his territory. They do not require extensive grooming and are loyal.
Because the dogs have flat muzzles, it's important that this breed is never muzzled. Frenchies need a cool, shaded area to sit in when it's hot outside as they have a tendency to quickly overheat. The breed, like English bulldogs and pugs are prone to eye issues and should therefore have their eyes cleaned regularly. Due to their dwarfed breeding, they can suffer from spinal issues; X-rays can show these hereditary diseases before breeding.
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