French Bulldog Breed Standard (October 2009)


A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics , temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Kennel Club website for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure.

GENERAL APPEARANCE: Sturdy, compact, solid, small dog with good bone, short, smooth coat. No point exaggerated, balance essential. Dogs showing respiratory distress highly undesirable

CHARACTERISTICS: Full of courage, yet with clown-like qualities. Bat ears and short tail characteristic features of the breed.

TEMPERAMENT: Vivacious, deeply affectionate, intelligent.

HEAD AND SKULL: Head square in appearance and in proportion to dog’s size. Skull nearly flat between ears, domed forehead. The skin covering the skull and forehead should be supple enough to allow fine wrinkling when the dog is alert. Well defined muzzle broad, deep and set back, muscles of cheeks well developed. Stop well defined. Lower jaw deep, square, broad, slightly undershot and turned up. Nose black and wide, relatively short, with open nostrils and line between well defined. Lips black, thick, meeting each other in centre, completely hiding teeth Upper lip covers lower on each side with plenty of cushion, never so exaggerated as to hang too much below level of lower jaw.

EYES: Preferably dark and matching. Moderate size, round, neither sunken nor prominent, showing no white when looking straight forward; set relatively wide apart and on the same level as the stop.

EARS: ‘Bat ears’, of medium size, wide at base, rounded at top; set high, carried upright and parallel, a sufficient width of skull preventing them being too close together; skin soft and fine, orifice as seen from the front, showing entirely. The opening to the ear canal should be wide and open.

MOUTH: Slightly undershot. Teeth sound and regular, but not visible when the mouth is closed. Tongue must not protrude.

NECK: Powerful, well arched and thick, of moderate length.

FOREQUARTERS: Legs set wide apart, straight -boned, strong, muscular and short.

BODY: Cobby, muscular and well rounded with deep, wide brisket and ribs well sprung. Strong gently roached back. Good ‘cut up‘. The body while broader at the shoulders should narrow slightly beyond the ribs to give definition to the relatively short thick strong muscular loin.

HINDQUARTERS: Legs strong, muscular and relatively longer than forelegs, with moderate angulation. Absolute soundness essential. Hocks well let down.

FEET: Small, compact and placed in continuation of line of leg, with absolutely sound pasterns. Hind feet rather longer than forefeet. Toes compact; well knuckled; nails short, thick and preferably black.

TAIL: Undocked, short, set low, thick at root, tapering quickly towards tip, preferably straight and long enough to cover anus. Never curling over back nor carried gaily.

GAIT/MOVEMENT: Free and flowing. Soundness of movement of the utmost importance

COAT: Texture fine, smooth, lustrous, short and close.

COLOUR: Brindle, pied or fawn. Tan, mouse and grey/blue highly undesirable. BRINDLE: a mixture of black and coloured hairs. May contain white provided brindle predominates. PIED: white predominates over brindle. Whites are classified with pieds for show purposes; but their eyelashes and eye rims should be black. In pieds the white should be clear with definite brindle patches and no ticking or black spots. FAWN: may contain brindle hairs but must have black eyelashes and eye rims. SIZE: Ideal weight: dogs: 12.5 kg (28 Ib); bitches:11kg (24 Ib). Soundness not to be sacrificed to smallness.

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..

NOTE: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Reproduced by kind permission of THE KENNEL CLUB


French Bulldog Characteristics from the FBCE

It is generally recognised that the French Bulldog of today is a descendant of the Toy Bulldogs of the 1850s. By 1890, a strain had emerged in France which later became known as the French Bulldog.

The Frenchie, as he is known, is active, intelligent, sweet-tempered and full of fun. He makes an ideal companion and is a discretely silent house-dog, disinclined to make friends with strangers. He has a retentive memory, unflinching gaze and is quite fearless. He seems to possess a special power by which he gains the unswerving affection of his owner.

His body should be sturdy and compact. An essential feature is his erect ear carriage. Equally important are his round, dark eyes. An overall balance is another essential quality of the breed. A unique feature of the Frenchman is that his tail is naturally short and undocked. His coat must be short and fine and Brindled, Pied (in which white dominates the brindling) or Fawn in colour.

A French Bulldog is very dependant upon human companionship. He should never be left alone for long periods or left in the care of young children. As far as is possible, his life should follow a well-regulated pattern. He flourishes in warm, comfortable surroundings. The Frenchie enjoys a daily walk of moderate length. In summer, this should be taken early or late - NEVER in the heat of the day. NEVER, EVER leave him alone in your car in hot weather. When travelling in summer, take plenty of water, towels and ice. If he overheats, cool his body surfaces, give ice to lick but do NOT give him large quantities of water to drink. If necessary, abort your journey.

Although he has an easy care coat, it does need regular attention. His facial wrinkles and area round the base of his little tail must be kept clean. Particular attention must be paid to his bat ears. It is really important that the orifices are kept clear and thoroughly clean. Never let them dry out so that the inner surfaces come together.

The French Bulldog is a wonderful companion. His vivacity, comic ways and quaint clown-like appearance give him a unique character.