Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

The Grey French Bulldog: Facts, Origin & History (with Pictures)

A grey French Bulldog is playing with a red ribbon.

French Bulldogs are everywhere. The breed originated in England, gained popularity in France, and became one of America’s most loved and desired breeds. Commoners and celebrities alike have come to love this wrinkle-faced little canine. Their size, amusing personality, and adaptability are just examples of why they are so popular among pet owners.

It is not often you see a Grey French Bulldog, however. The color of their coat puts them in a rare category.

divider-paw

The Earliest Records of Grey French Bulldogs in History

In the early 1800s, English breeders created a smaller version of the bulldog by crossing Terriers and Bulldogs. The breed shared only the broad face and short muzzle of their ancestor, the Bullenbeiser. The Miniature Bulldogs are a cross of Pugs and Terriers, however.

The cross breeding created the smaller French Bulldog we know today. The French loved this miniature breed, and they began importing them between England and the Normans.

American Bulldog lovers created the first French Bulldog Club, recognizing “bat” ears as the Bulldog standard. The English began importing Bulldogs with erect ears to France. The breed was soon a favorite amongst Parisians. The French lace workers, ladies of the evening, and the social elite loved the characteristics the English found unfit for breeding. The breed was eventually named the Bouledogue Francais.

grey french bulldog
Image Credit: Barbara, PIxabay

In 1902, a Bouledogue Francais Kennel Club was organized and had their first dog show. In 1903 the breed was added to the roster of the English Kennel Club. By 1912, they were officially named “The French Bulldog.”

French Bulldogs became a favorite of elite Americans as early as 1885, and they were recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1898. The popularity declined after World War I, however. By 1940, only 100 French Bulldogs were registered with the AKC.

Between the 1980s and 2017, there was a rise in registrations. They became one of the most popular breeds in the United Kingdom, the U.S., and Australia.

How Grey French Bulldogs Gained Popularity

French Bulldogs are well-known and loved pets. They have become one of the most popular breeds in recent years. What is it that makes them so popular?

The small size and minimal exercise requirements make them a perfect dog for owners with limited space. They are a preferred choice of dog owners that live in the city and may want to take them on the bus or bring them along to work.

The affectionate and playful personality of the French Bulldog makes them highly adaptable for families and individuals. They do not require a large yard and do very well in small apartments. Unlike other bully breeds that may be banned, they are welcomed and accepted by property owners and neighbors.

The French Bulldog is also a desired choice among busy pet owners. The breed does not require excessive exercise and the grooming requirements are minimal. That makes them low-maintenance and less costly than other breeds.

While their size and temperament play a role in their popularity, they are well known for their celebrity owners like Lady Gaga, Reese Witherspoon, and the Beckhams.

The French Bulldog’s role on social media also contributed to the breed’s popularity. Social media influencers post pictures and videos of the adorable creatures which creates an impact on pet seekers. They see the playful antics and stubborn personalities and immediately fall in love.

merle french bulldog puppy standing outdoor
Image Credit: TLKE, Shutterstock

Formal Recognition of the Grey French Bulldog

The popularity of the French Bulldog rose in 1898 when the American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized them. The color standard for the breed has not changed since 1911. Colors that are not on the disqualification list are acceptable colors, along with fawn, white, brindle, and brindle and white. Solid black, liver, black and tan, mouse, black and white and white with black are disqualifying colors, however.

The Grey French Bulldog can be AKC registered if the breeder registered the litter, and the dog is a purebred. Unfortunately, the gray coat of the French Bulldog disqualifies it from participating in purebred dog shows.

divider-paw

Top 10 Unique Facts About French Bulldogs

1. A French Bulldog was on the cover of the Westminster Catalog in 1897

It was not an AKC approved breed at the time.

french bulldogs_Frosya a_Wikimedia
Image Credit: Frosya a, Wikimedia

2. French Bulldogs are one of the most popular breeds

They are the second most popular breed in the United States.


3. Grey French Bulldogs are susceptible to color dilution alopecia (CDA)

This is a condition where dogs present loss or thinning of hair in specific spots.


4. There are also Lilac French Bulldogs

Mixing a chocolate and a blue French Bulldog will result in a lilac French Bulldog.

close up of lilac french bulldog
Image Credit: Firn, Shutterstock

5. All French Bulldogs are delivered with a c-section

This is due to the shape of their heads.


6. French Bulldogs will lay on their bellies and stretch their legs behind them

The position has earned them the nickname “Frog Dog.”


7. The Twycross Zoo in England had an orangutan named Melone

He was abandoned by his mother and zookeepers were fearful that he would not survive. Fortunately, Bugsy, a nine-year-old French Bulldog stepped in and cared for Melone. They became friends and would sleep alongside one another.

french bulldog on the grass
Image Credit: CraneBird Studios, Shutterstock

8. Prostitutes were the first to call the breed French Bulldogs or “Bouledogues Francais”

The name quickly caught on and so did the breed’s popularity.


9. French Bulldogs are a popular TV and movie breed

They can be seen in “From Hell,” “Second Lion,” “Bringing Down the House,” and “Due Date.”

micro teacup french bulldog
Image Credit: Andi Berger, Shutterstock

10. A French Bulldog was owned by a Titanic survivor

Mr. Robert William Daniel survived the sinking of the Titanic, but his beloved Bulldog, named Gamin de Pycombe did not. James Cameron even cast one in his movie “The Titanic.”

divider-paw

Does a Grey French Bulldog Make a Good Pet?

French Bulldogs are popular for a reason. The fun-loving breed is an excellent breed for both families and individuals. They are highly adaptable to their environment. Whether you live in an apartment in the city or a farm in the country, they will make a terrific addition to your household.

They are not a yappy or aggressive breed, but they do require socialization, however. Otherwise, the breed may exhibit growling or nipping behaviors.

They are well suited in homes with children or retired homebodies. Remote workers or individuals that are lucky enough to take their pets to work will have a true companion with a French Bulldog. Whether it is at work, at home, or on vacation, you are encouraged to take them along. The breed loves their humans and does not like to be alone.

Like all dogs, they require regular grooming of their coat and nails, vet checks, and love and companionship.

divider-dog

Conclusion

If you decide to add a Grey French Bulldog to your household, you will not be disappointed. The breed is popular for a reason. They are fun-loving, low-maintenance, and adorable dogs. They can transition well, and you will have a best friend for years to come. Finding a Grey French Bulldog may be a bit harder than the standard color of the breed and should only come from reputable breeders, however. After all, a healthy dog should be the priority.


Featured Image Credit: Jakob Owens_Unsplash

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets