It's official! The French Bulldog has overtaken the Labrador retriever as Britain's most popular breed of dog.
The steady, reliable, loyal Labrador, family pet and esteemed gun dog that once usurped the Yorkshire Terrier as most popular breed in 1990, has lost the crown to the study celebrity favourite - the French Bulldog. The French Bulldog is often referred to as Frenchie. These dogs were the result of crossing the British Bulldog with a Parisian ratter/terrier in the 1800s. During the time of the Industrial Revolution unemployed lace workers from Nottingham began to settle in Normandy, france and they brought with them their miniature bulldogs. Bulldogs in England after 1835, when dog fighting was banned, were becoming smaller in size and treated as family pets.
The miniature bulldogs became popular and Britain began exporting these appealing dogs to France - often sending the undersized pups with faults such as those with large upright ears. By 1860 there were very few miniature bulldogs in England, such was their popularity in France. In time these smaller dogs with the larger ears were bred with terriers and pugs which resulted in the distinguishable facial features of the French Bulldog today. The French Bulldog or French is not an easy dog to keep. They require close contact with their humans and can suffer easily from separation anxiety disorder causing them to be destructive in the home if left unattended for a few hours. French Bulldogs have a single layer short coat so they must be kept warm in the winter during exercise. It also means that they are prone to heatstroke and so must be kept cool in the summer too. Breathing issues are quite common with this bulldog breed, due to their flat face (brachycephalic head) as can cleft palates and a split lip. Back problems can arise in pups with shorter backs. Having said that they require very little exercise, have a calm temperament and are not to concerned with barking and so they make ideal pets for those who live in apartments or flats. French Bulldogs are highly intelligent dogs and respond well to firm training. They can be very wilful so it is important that they know who is boss, in the nicest way possible! They do not respond well to being shouted at. Because these little Bulldogs are extremely popular it is important to check very carefully when buying a pup. Frenchies are often imported illegally without the necessary health checks.
A fully grown French Bulldog will reach 30cm in height from floor to shoulder, at full maturity they will weigh around 12.5 kg, 11kg for a female. They will live over 10 years if treated well. French Bulldogs, at the moment, are taking centre stage, being the companion for the Beckhams, Hugh Jackman and Lady Gaga, to name but a few. But shop around, do your research to check that these cute, unusual looking dogs are for you and your family. There are so many breeds of dog out there, all with their personalities and characteristics. Your dog will be with you for many years - it is important to make sure that you are well suited.
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