French Bulldog Appearance and Characteristics

French Bulldog Characteristics

  • Apartment Living
  • Active Lifestyle
  • Watchdog Ability
  • Child Friendly
  • Dog Friendly
  • Cat Friendly
  • Shedding Level
  • Exercise Needs
  • Social Needs
  • Grooming needs
  • Stranger Friendly
  • Health Issues
  • Trainability
  • Adaptability
  • French Bulldog is a decorative breed of dogs with an outstanding appearance and affectionate temperament.

    Despite its name, the French Bulldog appeared in England, in Nottingham. This small dog was popular among the working class and he was used in factories to fight rats.

    After the scientific and technological revolution, thousands of workers lost their jobs and many of them went to France, where their work was more in demand.

    Of course, they took their pets with them and in this way this lovely dog ​​got to France. French bulldogs became very popular among workers and traders and only at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries the French nobility showed interest in them.

    Images with French Bulldogs began to appear more often on the paintings of famous artists. Thus, the little Bulldog gradually becomes the favorite of bohemia.

    In 1880 the first breed club was founded in Paris and in 1885 the breed of the French bulldog was registered.

    In 1898 the first standard was established and the French Kennel Club recognized the French Bulldog breed. The standard was modified several times and later in 1986, 1994 and 2012 it was reformulated again.

    French Bulldog Appearance

    Origin: France

    Utilization: Companion and Toy dog.

    Classification FCI: Group 9 Companion and Toy Dogs. Section 11 Small Molossian Dogs. Without working trial.

    Behaviour /Temperament: friendly, sociable, playful and loyal companion dog.

    Gait/Movement: are free, powerful and smooth. The legs move parallel to the median plane of the body, when looking in front or in profile.

    General Appearance of French Bulldog: he belongs to a small-sized molossian type.  French Bulldog has a powerful appearance for her small size. Dog of this breed has short, stocky and compact in all its proportions body which is covered smooth-coated. Also Bulldog has a snub nose, erect ears and a naturally short tail. He must have active, lively and intelligent appearance.

    French Bulldog Characteristics

    Important proportions:

    • The length of the body between the point of the shoulder and the point of the buttocks slightly surpasses the height at the withers.
    • The length of muzzle is about 1/6 of the total length of the head.

    Body Type: square

    Head: strong, broad and square. It is characterized by a shortening of the maxillary-nasal part as well as a slight to moderate slope of the nose backwards.  Skin on the head forms symmetrical folds and wrinkles, without excess.

    Skull: broad, almost flat from ear to ear; forehead is domed. The superciliary arches are protrude and are separated by a well-defined furrow between the eyes, which should not come into the forehead region. The occipital mound is weakly expressed.

    Stop (transition from forehead to muzzle): pronounced.

    Ears: are medium sizes, wide at the base and rounded at the top. Set high on the head, but not too close together, carried erect. The ear is open towards the front. The skin of ears is fine and soft .

    French bulldog with big eyes

    Eyes: are large, dark, wide open, planted low and far from the nose and ears. The whites of the eyes should not be visible when the dog is looking ahead. The outline of the eyelids is black. The expression of the eyes is attentive, alive.

    Nose: is slightly upturned (“snub nose”). Nose is black and broad with symmetrical and well opened nostrils, slanting towards the rear. The slope of the nostrils as well as the upturned nose must, however, allow normal nasal breathing.

    Muzzle: is very short, broad, with concentric symmetrical folds.

    Lips: Thick, a little loose and black. The upper lip meets the lower lip at its middle, completely covering the teeth. The profile of the upper lip is descending and rounded. The tongue must never show when the dog is not excited.

    Jaws/Teeth of Bulldog: are broad and powerful. The lower jaw projects in front of the upper jaw and turns up. The arch of the lower incisors is rounded. The jaw must not show lateral deviation, or torsion. The gap between the incisors of the upper and the lower jaw should not be strictly delimited, the essential condition being that the upper and the lower lips meet to completely cover the teeth. The lower incisors surpass the upper incisors. Incisives and canines are sufficiently developed. Complete bite is desirable.

    Cheeks: are well developed.

    Neck: is short, powerful, slightly arched, without dewlap, broadens towards the shoulder.

    White French Bulldog is standing

    Topline: It rises slowly, but not excessively from the withers to the loin.

    Back: is broad and muscular, firm without slackness.

    Loin: is short, broad and arched.

    Croup: is well sloping.

    Chest: is wide, deep (lowered slightly below the elbows), cylindrical, barrel-shaped. Ribs well sprung. When viewed from the front, the front chest is wide and square.

    Underline and Belly: moderately tucked up.

    Tail: is naturally short, ideally long enough to cover the anus, set low, rather straight, thick at the base and tapering at the tip. Tail is carried low. Even in action, the tail must not rise above the horizontal.

    A kinked, knotted, broken or relatively long tail that does not reach beyond the point of the hocks is admitted.

    French bulldog is looking forward

    Forequarters: looking in profile and from the front, forelegs are upright and straight.

    Shoulder: must be well laid back.

    Upper arm: short, thick, muscular, slightly curved.

    Elbows: close and tight to the body.

    Forearm: short, straight and muscular.

    Wrist: solid and short.

    Pastern: short and slightly oblique, when see in profile.

    Forefeet: round, compact, of small dimension (like «cat feet»), turning slightly outward. The toes are tight.  Nails are short, thick and black.

    Hindquarters: are strong, muscular and upright. They are little longer than forelegs that causes the rise of the sacrum relative to the withers.

    Thigh: well-muscled and firm.

    Hock joint: well let down; neither too angulated nor too straight.

    Tarsus: solid.

    Rear pastern is short.

    Hind feet: round, compact, turning neither inward nor outward.

    Black French Bulldog in profile

    Skin is firm.

    Coat is smooth, close, glossy and soft; without undercoat.

    Size and Weight of French Bulldog:

    Height at the withers: Males: 27–35 cm. Females: 24–32 cm. A deviation of 1 cm above and below the standard is tolerated.

    Weight: Males: 9–14 kg. Females: 8–13 kg. 500 g more than standard weight is allowed when the subject is typical.

    Male of French bulldog

    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.

    • Strongly flecked with black brindle with white coat.
    • Fawn and white coat strongly red speckled.
    • In fawn coats, deep black trace extending along the spine.
    • White stockings in brindles and fawns.
    • Light-coloured nails.

    Severe Faults:

    • Overtyped, exaggerated breed characteristics.
    • Muzzle too long or excessively short.
    • Tongue visible when mouth is closed.
    •  Light eyes (hawk eye).
    • Horizontal topline from withers to loin.
    • Excessive depigmentation of the lips, nose, eyelids, the rim of which should never be entirely depigmented.
    • Pincer bite.
    French Bulldog puppy

    Disqualifying Faults:

    • Aggressive or overly shy dog.
    • Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
    • Lacks type: insufficient ethnic characteristics which result in the dog not really resembling other subjects of the breed.
    • Completely closed nostrils.
    • Torsion or lateral deviation of the jaw, resulting in the tongue constantly being visible.
    • Dog with lower incisors articulating behind upper incisors.
    • Dog with permanently visible canines (fangs), mouth being closed.
    • Heterochrome eyes (wall eye).
    • Colour of nose other than black.
    • Ears not carried erect.
    • Taillessness or ingrown tail.
    • Dewclaw on hindquarters.
    • Reversed hock.
    • Long, wired-haired or woolly coat.
    • Colour not in accordance with what is prescribed in the standard, namely black, black with fawn markings (black and tan) and all dilutions of black with or without white spotting.
    • Size and weight outside the standard limits.
    • Respiratory distress.
    • Deafness.


    • Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
    • Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation, should be used for breeding.

    Colour of French Bulldog

    Colour of French Bulldog
    • Fawn is a solid colour from light fawn to dark fawn, sometimes presenting a paler colouring of the inclined parts, with or without a black mask, although masked subjects are preferred. A limited white spotting is permissible.
    • Brindled or not (fawn coat moderately characterized by transversal dark brindling creating a ‘tiger-marked’ effect, strongly brindled coats must not cover out the fawn ground colour.  A black mask may be present. Limited white spotting is admissible.
    • Coat without white spotting.
    • Coat with white spotting can be with moderate or important white spotting. Some blotches on the skin are admissible.
    • Fawn with moderate or important white spotting also called ‘fawn and white’. Some blotches of the skin are tolerated. The nose is always black, in all coat colours, never brown or blue. The allwhite subjects provided the edge of eyelids and nose are black - are admitted but not bred for, because of a risk of deafness.