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Official Standard of the French Bulldog
General Appearance: The French Bulldog has the appearance of an active, intelligent, muscular dog of heavy bone, smooth coat, compactly built, and of medium or small structure. Expression alert,
curious, and interested. Any alteration other than removal of dewclaws is considered mutilation and is a disqualification.
Proportion and Symmetry - All points are well distributed and bear good relation one to the other; no feature being in such prominence from either excess or lack of quality that the animal appears
Influence of Sex - In comparing specimens of different sex, due allowance is to be made in favor of bitches, which do not bear the characteristics of the breed to the same marked degree as do the
Size, Proportion, Substance: Weight not to exceed 28 pounds; over 28 pounds is a disqualification. Proportion - Distance from withers to ground in good relation to distance from withers to onset of tail,
so that animal appears compact, well balanced and in good proportion. Substance - Muscular, heavy bone.
Head: Head large and square. Eyes dark in color, wide apart, set low down in the skull, as far from the ears as possible, round in form, of moderate size, neither sunken nor bulging. In lighter colored
dogs, lighter colored eyes are acceptable. No haw and no white of the eye showing when looking forward. Ears Known as the bat ear, broad at the base, elongated, with round top, set high on the
head but not too close together, and carried erect with the orifice to the front. The leather of the ear fine and soft. Other than bat ears is a disqualification. The top of the skull flat between the ears;
the forehead is not flat but slightly rounded. The muzzle broad, deep and well laid back; the muscles of the cheeks well developed. The stop well defined, causing a hollow groove between the eyes
with heavy wrinkles forming a soft roll over the extremely short nose; nostrils broad with a well defined line between them. Nose black. Nose other than black is a disqualification, except in the case of
the lighter colored dogs, where a lighter colored nose is acceptable but not desirable. Flews black, thick and broad, hanging over the lower jaw at the sides, meeting the underlip in front and covering
the teeth, which are not seen when the mouth is closed. The underjaw is deep, square, broad, undershot and well turned up.
Neck, Topline, Body: The neck is thick and well arched with loose skin at the throat. The back is a roach back with a slight fall close behind the shoulders; strong and short, broad at the shoulders and
narrowing at the loins. The body is short and well rounded. The chest is broad, deep, and full; well ribbed with the belly tucked up. The tail is either straight or screwed (but not curly), short, hung low,
thick root and fine tip; carried low in repose.
Forequarters: Forelegs are short, stout, straight, muscular and set wide apart. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet are moderate in size, compact and firmly set. Toes compact, well split up, with high
knuckles and short stubby nails.
Hindquarters: Hind legs are strong and muscular, longer than the forelegs, so as to elevate the loins above the shoulders. Hocks well let down. Feet are moderate in size, compact and firmly set. Toes
compact, well split up, with high knuckles and short stubby nails; hind feet slightly longer than forefeet.
Coat: Coat is moderately fine, brilliant, short and smooth. Skin is soft and loose, especially at the head and shoulders, forming wrinkles.
Color: Acceptable colors - All brindle, fawn, white, brindle and white, and any color except those which constitute disqualification. All colors are acceptable with the exception of solid black, mouse, liver,
black and tan, black and white, and white with black, which are disqualifications. Black means black without a trace of brindle.
Gait: Correct gait is double tracking with reach and drive; the action is unrestrained, free and vigorous.
Temperament: Well behaved, adaptable, and comfortable companions with an affectionate nature and even disposition; generally active, alert, and playful, but not unduly boisterous.
Disqualifications: Any alteration other than removal of dewclaws. Over 28 pounds in weight. Other than bat ears. Nose other than black, except in the case of lighter colored dogs, where a lighter
colored nose is acceptable. Solid black, mouse, liver, black and tan, black and white, and white with black. Black means black without a trace of brindle.
Approved June 10, 1991
Effective July 31, 1991
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Country of Origin: The French Bulldog is a descendant of the English Bulldog, which was bred in England in the 1500’s for bull baiting, a popular gambling ‘sport’ in which one or more dogs were
matched up against a chained bull (or bear). The French Bulldog (also ‘Bouledogue Francais’ or ‘Frenchie’) was developed during the Industrial Revolution when workers, primarily lace makers, traveled
from Britain to France, bringing smaller Bulldogs with them as companions. Unlike English breeders, French breeders preferred erect ‘bat’ ears and selected for small size and docile temperament. The
breed caught on with the upper class, and was brought back to America by wealthy travelers, where it was popularized via spectacular dog shows.
Size: The French Bulldog has a shoulder height of up to 30 cm (12 in) and weighs 9-13 kg (19-28 lbs). It has a wide head, round ears, and distinctive pointed ‘bat ears’ with an attentive expression.
French Bulldogs have short legs and tails, rounded chests, and compact, muscular bodies. Their unique shape gives them a low center of gravity and an odd stride. The French Bulldog has the
appearance of an active, intelligent, muscular dog of heavy bone, smooth coat, compact build, and medium or small structure. Expression is alert, curious, and interested.
Coat: The French Bulldog has a moderately fine, brilliant coat which is short and smooth. It can be fawn, white, or brindle, with a variety of markings which can result in a surprising diversity of
appearances. The French Bulldog’s skin is soft and loose, especially at the head and shoulders, forming wrinkles.
Character: The French Bulldog is affectionate, uncomplicated, gentle, intelligent, sensitive, and fearless. The French Bulldog is known for its loyalty; its happy-go-lucky attitude is in sharp contrast to its
sour face. French Bulldogs are happiest by their owner’s side and will misbehave if ignored. French Bulldogs are active, alert, and playful, but not unduly boisterous.
Temperament: French Bulldogs enjoy mixing with other dogs and household pets. They are great with children, well behaved, adaptable, comfortable companions with an affectionate nature and even
disposition. Some French Bulldogs are cautious with strangers, but most are friendly to everyone. They are likely to drool or snore.
Care: When the French Bulldog is shedding, use a rubber brush to remove dead hairs. A special lotion will occasionally need to be applied to the facial and tail folds to keep them clean; soft tooth
brushing with an approved toothpaste is also recommended. The French Bulldog has a lifespan of 8-12 years. Due to its facial features, it is susceptible to breathing problems and skin infections, and
many are delivered via Caesarean section because of the large head. Most French Bulldogs cannot swim and are averse to hot weather.
Training: Consistency is important, but the French Bulldog is highly sensitive to the tone of its handler's voice, making training a fairly simple process. It is inquisitive and quick to learn simple tasks, yet
unpredictable as it is a bit stubborn on occasion.
Activity: The exercise needs of the French Bulldog are uncomplicated, but it does require daily exercise. Sufficient rest is key to development of healthy bones, muscles, and joints—do not expect your
French Bulldog to run long distances or jump down from tall ledges. French Bulldogs are well suited to apartment life.