In the nineteenth century, the Bulldog was fairly popular in England, especially around Nottingham. Some of these Bulldogs were quite small, weighing less than 25 pounds. When many of the lace workers of the region went to France for work in the mid 1800s, they took their "Toy" Bulldogs with them. The French women, especially, were attracted to these little Bulldogs, especially those with erect ears. Dog dealers brought more of the clownish little dogs to France, where they soon became the rage of Paris. The dogs were dubbed Bouledogue Francais. French Breeders sought to consistently produce the erect "bat ears," much to the chagrin of the English breeders. By the late 1800s, the breed had caught the attention of the upper class and had moved into some of the finer homes in France. Around this same time, American visitors to France brought several back to America and began to breed the dogs in earnest.
Amid continued controversy over which ear type was correct, an American club was formed, and, in 1898, sponsored one of the most elegant dog shows (just for French Bulldogs) ever held. The gracious setting attracted wealthy spectators, and the Frenchie had soon conquered America. Their popularity among high society soared, and by 1913 they were among the most popular show dogs in America. The breed has since been passed by others in popularity, but it still boasts some of the most elite and ardent fans in dogdom.
The French Bulldog is a clown in a lapdog. It enjoys playing and entertaining its family, as well as cuddling and snoozing with its favorite person. It is amiable, sweet, companionable, and willing to please.