French Bulldogs are a popular and beloved companion breed. Many who care for this breed are not aware however, of their original purpose in Europe. These diminutive, loyal dogs were actually bred to do very specific tasks in their native land.
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Origins of French Bulldogs
The French Bulldog has its roots in British “Toy Bulldogs,” which were typically miniature Lennox Bulldogs that had been bred in the 1800s by lacemakers in England and France. When the lace industry was disrupted by mechanization, some of these toy bulldogs made their way to France, where they were further refined. This resulted in the French Bulldog, a smaller version of the British bulldog with some features particular to the breed.
What Were French Bulldogs Bred For?
The most common purpose of the French Bulldog was ratting. The breed is known for its strong vigilance, which renders it an excellent watchdog, and it is also exceptionally agile, allowing it to capture and kill rodents quickly and easily. In addition to ratting, the breed was popular in carting competitions, where the bulldog was harnessed to a cart and trotted around the course by its owner. This is believed to have been the reason the breed’s tail was bred to be short and broad, which provides stability while making turns.
French Bulldogs were also bred to participate in bull baiting, a sport in which two dogs would be pitted against a bull and the last dog standing would be declared the winner. This activity was outlawed in many countries in the1800s, though it still remains a popular sport in some parts of the world.
Other Purposes of French Bulldogs
In addition to its hunting and carting abilities, the French Bulldog is capable of many other tasks. The breed is known to be a beloved companion of children, and is often recommended for households with children due to its gentle and affectionate nature. The breed is also suitable for agility and obedience, as it is very trainable and eager to please.
To summarise, French Bulldogs have a long history and were originally bred for a variety of purposes. Some of these purposes include ratting, carting and bull baiting, though the breed is also very suitable for other activities such as agility, obedience and companionship. Despite their diminutive size, French Bulldogs are incredibly versatile and are still widely beloved by many owners today.
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