In 2021, the French Bulldog—affectionately known as “Frenchies”—was number two on the American Kennel Club’s list of most popular dog breeds behind Labrador Retrievers, and, quite frankly, we’re not surprised! French Bulldogs are wildly popular today amongst dog lovers because they’re such little characters—quirky, cute, funny, and loving are but a few words to describe them.
Small to medium (11 – 12 inches)
20 – 28 pounds for males, 16-24 pounds for females
10 – 12 years
Fawn, fawn and white, fawn brindle, brindle, brindle and white, cream, white and brindle, white and fawn
Families looking for a playful, easy-to-groom lapdogs that does not require a lot of space.
Easygoing, sociable, gentle, friendly, playful, affectionate
French Bulldogs come in a variety of coat colors and patterns, with brindle being one of them. Dogs with a brindle coat color pattern have a reddish or brown base color covered with darker stripes. It’s a common coloring pattern in French Bulldogs, but certainly one of the most striking. Color aside, all Frenchies have a history as quirky as colorful as they are, so let’s explore further!
French Bulldog Characteristics
The Earliest Records of Brindle French Bulldogs in History
When blood sports went bust in Britain in 1835, Bulldog breeders found a new way to make money—breeding dogs for show. At these shows, small Bulldogs came to be distinguished as “Toy Bulldogs.”
It was these smaller dogs that headed over to France during the industrial revolution, where their popularity grew and grew. The earliest photo of a brindle Frenchie we could find dates back to 1901, but they were certainly around long before that.
How Brindle French Bulldogs Gained Popularity
When the industrial revolution started to replace human workers with machines and put skilled artisans out of work, these workers left Britain for northern France, where there was still a demand for skilled lace workers. By their sides on the journey were their canine companions—little Toy Bulldogs.
It was in France that Toy Bulldogs’ popularity exploded and breeders started to send them over from Britain to fulfill the demand for them. The dogs they sent were those that didn’t fit the Bulldog breed standard—dogs with sticky-uppy ears and very small stature—and were renamed “Bouledogue Français”, which translates to “French Bulldog”.
These dogs soon became companions to people from all walks of life—rich socialites and those on the margins of society alike. In Paris, it wasn’t uncommon to see a Frenchie scurrying along at the heels of ladies of the night in Montmartre, which was home to quite a few brothels at the time.
It is unknown which French Bulldog coat color was most popular at the time, but due to brindle being quite a common coat color pattern, it seems likely that it was one of them!
Formal Recognition of Brindle French Bulldogs
Though we can’t give the exact year French Bulldogs were recognized by the American Kennel Club, we know for sure that it was sometime shortly after 1897 as it was around this time that the French Bull Dog Club of America was formed. In Britain, it wasn’t until 1905 that French Bulldogs were recognized as a separate breed from English Bulldogs.
Brindle is one of the coat coloring patterns accepted by the American Kennel Club, along with fawn and pied.
Top 3 Unique Facts About Brindle French Bulldogs
1. French Bulldogs Can’t Swim
For Frenchies, due to their flat noses, stocky bodies, and the need to hold their heads high up out of the water—something they struggle to do—swimming is not their forte. If you’re planning on cracking out the old paddling pool this summer, be sure to supervise your Frenchie around the water or keep it shallow enough so that they can enjoy paddling without having to actually swim.
2. The Romanov Family Owned a Brindle Frenchie
As Frenchies became more and more popular, both within Europe and outside of it, they caught the attention of the Russian Imperial Family, who went on to keep them as pets. There is a photo of Grand Duchess Tatiana with her brindle French Bulldog Ortipo, who was her loyal companion right up until the final moments of her life. It is said that Ortipo even tried to protect the Romanov family’s bodies from their killers.
3. French Bulldogs Often Need Help to Reproduce
In many cases, French Bulldogs are artificially inseminated to help them reproduce. Their body types make it difficult for them to reproduce naturally, as the male struggles to mount the female.
Does a Brindle French Bulldog Make a Good Pet?
The best! French Bulldogs with any coloring pattern make great companions thanks to their sweet, funloving, affectionate natures—after all, it’s what they were bred for. They love spending time with their families and many are even super friendly with strangers, too.
They are, however, prone to certain health conditions due to their scrunchy faces and short noses, like brachycephalic airway syndrome, which results in loud breathing, snoring, and snorting in mild cases.
In severe cases, they may breathe even more loudly than usual and suffer from exhaustion when it’s hot and/or when they exercise, with which they will struggle. Some dogs even collapse from the effort involved in exercising and may cough, gag, or vomit. French Bulldogs also become very attached to their families and so are prone to separation anxiety.
For us here at PetKeen, we consider the French Bulldog to have one of the most intriguing histories of any dog breed. They were bred purely as companion dogs and have not disappointed, remaining faithful friends to a multitude of dog parents across continents for centuries.
If you’re considering getting a French Bulldog yourself, we’d urge you to consider adoption. Though French Bulldogs are not the dog breed most commonly found in shelters, many agencies and rehoming centers are still seeking out loving homes for adorable Frenchies.
- Are French Bulldogs Smart? Breed Intelligence Facts & Care Tips
- How to Potty Train a French Bulldog: 8 Vet Approved Tips & Tricks
Featured Image Credit: Irit, Shutterstock