Calypso Island French Bulldog's
"Birthplace of Your Future lil' Frenchie"
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A BRIEF HISTORY
Probably issued, like all the mastiffs, from the Epirus and the Roman Empire molosses, relative of the Bulldog of Great Britain, the Alans (tribe of the Middle Age), the mastiffs and small type mastiffs of France, the bulldog we know is the product of different crossings done by enthusiastic breeders in the popular quarters of Paris in the years 1880.
During that period, the Bulldog being a dog belonging to butchers and coachmen of « les Halles » (marketplace), he soon knew how to conquer the high society and the artistic world by his particular appearance and character. He then rapidly propagated himself.
The first breed club was founded in 1880 in Paris. The first registration dates from 1885 and the first standard were established in 1898, year in which the « Société Centrale Canine » of France recognized the breed of the French Bulldog. The first shown dog was from 1887. The standard, modified in 1931, 1932 and 1948, was reformulated in 1986 by H.F. Reant and R. Triquet (F.C.I. publication 1987), then in 1994 by the committee of the Club of the French Bulldog with the collaboration of R. Triquet.
What has the English industrial revolution to do with French Bulldogs? A great deal, for it's our starting point. From about 1850 to 1860 the English textile and clothing industries were in turmoil. Machinery was replacing man. Cottage industries in the English Midlands were being abandoned. The lacemakers of Nottingham who worked by hand no longer had jobs.
Seeking work elsewhere the Nottingham lacemakers were welcomed with open arms by the French to the coastal towns of Normandy and in particular to Brittany and Calais where the old traditional work continued.
By the 1850s - 1860s Nottingham in England was a great centre for British Bulldogs, including the toy or miniature bulldogs. The emigrants from Nottingham took their miniature bulldogs with them because of the dogs' size, companionship and because they were good ratters. (Living conditions were cramped in the apartments and small houses in which workers lived.)
By the 1860s the export of miniature of toy bulldogs from England to France was so great that they practically became extinct in England. The miniature bulldogs are thought to have been crossed with terriers and pugs and the French Bulldog evolved. Lack of records has so far frustrated researchers of breed historians and it seems unlikely that more will emerge.
French Bulldogs became popular among the ladies of the night of Paris and then became a status symbol of French society. Artists, businessmen, and aristocrats owned frenchies. Toulouse Lautrec and Degas painted pictures that included French Bulldogs. Colette wrote stories about her beloved frenchies. Wealthy Americans visiting Paris fell victim to the charms of the frenchie and took them home to America.
The French Bulldog is one of only a few breeds which owes its existence to the efforts of breeders in different countries - France, America, England Hungary and Germany. Certainly, the continuance of the unique bat ears at the turn of the century was due largely to America and there was immense popularity for the frenchie in America from a century ago and continuing for at least thirty years.
The breed is still in its infancy here in Australia. Whereas France, England, Germany and the USA have been breeding French Bulldogs since the beginning of the 1900s, serious breeding did not really start in Australia until the 1960s.
"There is no dog in the world which is more "Eyes and Ears" and at the same time a little athlete than the French Bulldog ... He has a serious expression, but laughs with all his body and is always gay. He is a clown under the robe of a philosopher. Always ready for tricks, and yet full of dignity while at rest. Made of contrasts, yet very agreeable and well proportioned. Of great vivacity, and yet full of gravity, he accepts patiently immobility. Quiet in his basket, he does not lose a word of the conversation. He is indeed most desirable and in him are combined all the virtues of the house dog." Reproduced from an old Belgian dog journal Journal Chasse et Pêche.
FRENCHIES HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS
Flat-faced dogs such as the frenchie are more prone to heat stress than their pointy-nosed cousins. Breed specific problems include elongated soft palate, an obstruction of the airway sometimes requiring surgery. We strive to only breed from dogs free of elongated soft palate and associated problems with brachycephalic airway syndrome. Living in our hot climate frenchies have to be good breathers.
Here are a few tips:
Never exercise a French Bulldog in the heat of the day, we highly recommend a harness!
Air-conditioning recommended particularly if you live in an apartment
Most frenchies will jump in and out of a shallow children's wading pool to keep cool
French Bulldogs are not good swimmers and should not have unsupervised access to pools
Plan car trips carefully and provides for your frenchie's needs. Air-conditioning highly recommended. If this is not available lie your dog on arctic mats or wet towels and use car curtains to shade the dog from direct sunlight
Keep your frenchie fit. Although exercise requirements are minimal, a fit and healthy frenchie will be more heat tolerant than an overweight and unhealthy one
Have cool, clean drinking water available at all times and during heat wave conditions give your frenchie electrolytes
CARE AND GROOMING
Minimal grooming is required to keep your frenchie looking good. Keep the coat soft and shiny with a thorough weekly brushing. A bath and regular nail clipping should be performed when necessary. Keep the face folds clean and dry using cotton wool or a soft face flannel weekly or as necessary. Apply vaseline on the nose leather to keep it moist and soft. Remember to keep the ears clean and check them on a weekly basis. We also recommend using eye drops weekly.
A balanced diet, fresh water and regular exercise will keep your frenchie healthy and happy. The most important thing of all is to give your frenchie lots of TLC. Frenchies thrive on love and attention and kennel life is not for them!
French Bulldog Breed Standard
ORIGIN : France.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD : 28.04.1995.
UTILIZATION : Companion, watch dog, pleasure dog.
CLASSIFICATION F.C.I. : Group 9 Companion and Toy Dogs.
Section 11 Small Molossian Dogs.
Without working trial.
GENERAL APPEARANCE : Typically a small size molossian. Powerful dog for its small size, short, compact in all its proportions, smooth-coated, with a short face, a snub nose, erect ears and a naturally short tail. Must have the appearance of an active animal, intelligent, very muscular, of a compact build with a solid bone structure.
BEHAVIOUR / CHARACTER : Sociable, lively, playful, sporty, keen. Particularly affectionate towards his masters and the children.
HEAD : The head must be very strong, broad and square, the skin of the head forming almost symmetrical folds and wrinkles. The head of the bulldog is characterized by a contraction of the maxillary-nasal part; the skull has taken up in width that which it has lost in length.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull : Broad, almost flat, forehead very bulging. Superciliary arches prominent, separated by a particularly developed furrow between the eyes. The furrow must not extend onto the forehead. Occipital crest is hardly developed.
Stop : Deeply accentuated.
FACIAL REGION :
Nose : Broad, very short, turned up, nostrils well open and symmetrical, slanting towards the rear. The inclination of the nostrils as well as the snub nose (i.e. upturned) must, however, allow a normal nasal breathing.
Muzzle : Very short, broad, with concentric symmetrical folds coming down on the upper lips (length of muzzle about 1/6 of the total length of the head).
Lips : Thick, a little loose and black. The upper lip rejoins the lower lip at its middle, completely covering the teeth which should never be visible. The profile of the upper lip is descending and rounded. Tongue must never show.
Jaws : Broad, square, powerful. Lower jaw shows a broad curve, terminating in front of the upper jaw. The mouth being closed, the prominence of the lower jaw (prognathism-undershot) is moderated by the curve of the lower mandibular branches. This curve is necessary to avoid a too important shifting of the lower jaw.
Teeth : The lower incisors must never be behind the upper incisors in any case. The arch of the lower incisors is rounded. The jaw must not show lateral deviation, nor torsion. The disposition of the incisoral arches should not be strictly delimited, the essential condition being that the upper and the lower lips rejoin to completely cover the teeth.
Cheeks : The muscles of the cheeks are well developed, but not prominent.
Eyes : Lively expression, set low, quite far from the nose and especially from the ears, dark coloured, quite big, well round, slightly protruding, showing no trace of white (sclera) when the dog is looking straight ahead. Rims of eyelids must be black.
Ears : Medium size, wide at the base and rounded at the top. Set high on the head, but not too close together, carried erect. The orifice is open towards the front. The skin must be fine and soft to the touch.
NECK : Short, slightly arched, without dewlap.
Topline : Rising progressively at loin level to slope rapidly towards the tail. This conformation which must be sought after, is the consequence of the short loin.
Back : Broad and muscular.
Loin : Short and broad.
Rump : Oblique.
Chest : Cylindrical and well let down; ribcage barrel shaped, very rounded.
Forechest : Wide.
Belly and flanks : Drawn up without excessive tuck up.
TAIL : Short, set low on the rump, close to the buttocks, thick at the base, knotted or kinked naturally and tapering at the tip. Even in action, must stay below the horizontal. A relatively long tail (not reaching beyond the point of the hocks), kinked and tapering is admissible, but not desirable.
FOREQUARTERS : Forelegs vertical and parallel seen in profile and from the front, standing well separated.
Shoulder : Short, thick, with a firm and visible musculature.
Upperarm : Short.
Elbows : Close to the body.
Forearm : Short, straight and muscular.
Pastern joint - Pastern : Solid and short.
HINDQUARTERS : Strong and muscular, hindlegs a little longer than the forelegs, thus raising the hindquarters. The legs are vertical and parallel as seen both in profile and from behind.
Thigh : Muscled, firm without being too rounded.
Hock joint : Quite well let down, neither too angulated nor certainly too straight.
Hock : Solid and short. The French Bulldog should be born without dewclaws.
Forefeet round of small dimension, i.e. « cat feet », well set on the ground, turning slightly outward. The toes are compact, nails short, thick and well separated. The pads are hard, thick and black. In the brindle subjects, the nails must be black. In the pieds (caille = brindled fawns with medium white patching) and fawn subjects, dark nails are preferred, without however penalising the light coloured nails.
Hindfeet well compact.
GAIT / MOVEMENT : Free movement, the legs moving parallel to the median plane of the body.
HAIR : Beautiful smooth coat, close, glossy and soft.
Uniformly fawn, brindled or not, or with limited patching (pied).
Fawn brindled or not, with medium or predominant patching.
All the fawn shades are admitted, from the red to light brown (café au lait) colour. The entirely white dogs are classified in « brindled fawn with predominant white patching ». When a dog has a very dark nose, dark eyes with dark eyelids, certain depigmentations of the face may exceptionally be tolerated in very beautiful subjects.
SIZE AND WEIGHT : The weight must not be below 8 kg nor over 14 kg for a bulldog in good condition, size being in proportion with the weight.
FAULTS : Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
Nose tightly closed or pinched and chronic snorers.
Lips not joining in the front.
Depigmentation of the lips.
Tail carried high, or too long or abnormally short.
Straight hock or placed forward.
Coat (hair) too long.
SERIOUS FAULTS :
Incisors visible when mouth closed.
Tongue visible when mouth closed.
Stiff beating movement of the forelegs.
Pink spots on the face, except in the case of brindled fawns with medium white patching (« caille ») and fawns with limited or predominant white patching. (« fauve »).
Excessive or insufficient weight.
Aggressive or overly shy.
Colour of nose other than black.
Dog with lower incisors articulating behind upper incisors.
Dog with permanently visible canines, mouth being closed.
Eyes of two different colours (heterochromatic).
Ears not carried erect.
Mutilation of ears, tail or dewclaws.
Dewclaws on hindquarters.
Colour of coat black and tan, mouse grey, brown.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.