1. French bulldogs don’t come from France
Despite its name, the French bulldog has English origins, hailing from the city of Nottingham. When English artisans lost their jobs in the wake of the Industrial Revolution, many fled to France, where their skills remained in demand. They brought their dogs with them, and the pet’s popularity in France quickly outpaced its popularity in its native England. From then on, France was the breed’s adopted home country.
2. French bulldogs were once the favorite pets of French prostitutes
One of the most crucial influences in growing the French bulldog’s popularity was their favor with late-19th and early-20th-century Parisian “belles de nuit” (aka prostitutes). In fact, these French prostitutes were the first to call dogs the breed “Bouledogues Francais,” or French bulldogs. The name caught on quickly with other French bohemians, writers and artists, and spread from there.
3. The breed’s ears come in two shapes
French bulldogs are known for their “bat” ears. Early in the breed’s history, though, one could find many Frenchies with “rose” ears, i.e. folded over like an English bulldog’s ears. American breeders decided early on that bat ears should be considered the standard, because they are more distinctive. Since then, rose ears on a French bulldog have been a disqualifying characteristic according to the American Kennel Club’s breed standard.
4. French bulldogs make great character actors
Hollywood seems to be catching on to the irresistible appeal of French bulldogs. The breed can be found in lots of movies and TV shows from the past decade or so. The list includes “From Hell” (2001), “Bringing Down the House” (2003), “Secondhand Lions” (2003) and “Due Date” (2010). A French bulldog even portrayed Gamin de Pycombe in James Cameron’s mega-popular “Titanic” film.
5. These dogs have a strict weight limit
A French bulldog can’t weigh more than 28 pounds. Well, it can, but exceeding 28 pounds is an automatic disqualification for a show dog according to the AKC’s breed standard. French bulldog owners who aren’t interested in showing their dogs may still want to use this weight limit as a guide, because Frenchies love to eat and they tend to become obese easily.