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Chocolate French Bulldog: Info, Pictures, Traits & Facts

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

French Bulldog dog wearing fabric period diaper pants for protection

Chocolate French Bulldogs are much rarer than other colorations. However, they are extremely beautiful. Pictures do not do them justice or catch the sheen of their coat.

While all brown Frenchies are usually referred to as “chocolate,” there are actually many types1 of chocolate colorations. The two main types of chocolate are not compatible genetically. Puppies cannot be both, in other words.

Most chocolate Frenches are diluted black dogs. The dilute gene turns the black color into brown. However, there are two possible dilution genes, and these result in slightly different brown colors. One gene can be tested for, while the other cannot be.

Still, both of these chocolate types have the same history and very similar traits—besides the slightly different coloration.

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The Earliest Records of the Chocolate French Bulldog in History

Chocolate French Bulldogs have been around just as long as the breed has. The color likely appeared very early in the breed’s history and has stuck around for us to enjoy in the modern world.

This breed’s history starts in 1835 when blood sports were outlawed in England. At the time, Bulldogs were used largely for this sport, so they found themselves suddenly without a purpose. During this period, these dogs were much bigger and different from the French Bulldog we know today.

Around the same time, workers began to settle in Normandy, France after being displaced by the Industrial Revolution in England. These workers brought many different dogs with them, including these Bulldogs. Over time, the Bulldog won its place as a companion breed.

Unlike in England, smaller dogs were preferred in France. Therefore, they bred Bulldogs to be smaller, while they were kept about the same size in England. This led to the difference between English Bulldogs and French Bulldogs.

In fact, breeders in England would often ship smaller Bulldogs to France that they considered unbreedable. They also sent dogs with other undesirable characteristics, like erect ears. English buyers wouldn’t purchase these small dogs, while those in France absolutely loved them.

french bulldog looking back
Photo Credit: icsilviu, Pixabay

How the Chocolate French Bulldog Gained Popularity

The French Bulldog was popular in France since its inception. In fact, it is the dog’s popularity that led it to differ from the English Bulldog and become its own breed. However, the French Bulldog wasn’t really considered its own breed for some time. Many writings referred to all Bulldogs as the same breed until around the 1860s.

At this time, these dogs were slowly becoming more and more popular. They were considered very fashionable and owned by the top of society. They were often carried around by ladies, though prostitutes were known to carry them around, too. Artists, writers, and fashion designers also loved the breed and sought after them.

Many paintings at the time contain Frenchies for this reason. However, no records of the breed were kept at this time. Terrier breeds were thought to be crossed into the breed thanks to these paintings, but we don’t have any absolute proof.

Americans imported Frenchies since their inception. In fact, Bulldogs were a very common import in general. However, it wasn’t until 1885 that an American French Bulldog breeding program was started. Just like in France, most of these dogs were owned by women in high society.

Formal Recognition of the Chocolate French Bulldog

Recognizing this breed was not without its snags. It took a long time for it to be recognized by the kennel club in America, and even longer for the breed standards to line up with the Frenchies as we know them today.

The breed was first displayed at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1896. The next year, they arrived with even more entries. However, at the time, the judge chose only to choose Frenchies with folded ears, as there was no breed standard. After that event, the French Bull Dog Club of America was formed, which released a breed standard stating that “erect bat ears” were the correct type.

In the 20th century, the breed was recognized by many kennel clubs. However, they remained part of high society for some time. At the time, only influential members of society like the Rockefellers could afford to own these dogs, which often sold for as much as $3,000.

However, the breed quickly gained popularity and was ranked as the 5th most popular breed in America by 1906. Today, the breed continues to be quite popular.

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Top 5 Unique Facts About Chocolate French Bulldogs

1. There are many types of Chocolate French Bulldogs.

There are actually many genes that can make a chocolate Frenchie. However, all of these dogs will have slightly different colorations depending on these genes. Therefore, there are actually many different types of chocolate Bulldogs.

french bulldog with a rawhide bone_Tienuskin_shutterstock
Photo Credit: Tienuskin, Shutterstock

2. Originally, these dogs were considered the least desirable Bulldogs.

This breed partially started because English breeders would send their least desirable dogs to France. While English buyers wouldn’t purchase these dogs, those in France preferred Bulldogs of a smaller size. Therefore, English Bulldogs got larger while French Bulldogs got smaller.

3. They have always been expensive.

Today, Frenchies are extremely expensive, which many blame on their popularity. However, these dogs have always been quite expensive. They have always been a part of high society, particularly. Therefore, their price has matched their perceived value.

French Bulldog wearing blue cooling vest harness
Photo Credit: Firn, Shutterstock

4. Most are bred through artificial insemination.

Because of this breed’s proportions, they have a little bit of trouble making babies. Often, the males get overheated, as they can’t exactly reach the females in a normal manner. Therefore, to prevent injury, artificial insemination is the way most breeds produce puppies. This makes each litter a bit expensive, but it also prevents potential injuries to either dog.

In the same way, most Frenchies need assistance to give birth. Once again, this raises the price.

5. They shouldn’t swim.

Because these dogs have such small faces, it can be extremely easy for them to drown. Water simply enters through their nose. Therefore, you should not let them swim.

a french bulldog on a blanket on the couch
Photo Credit: Mylene2401, Pixabay

Do Chocolate French Bulldogs Make a Good Pet?

Chocolate Frenchies do make pretty good pets. After all, they have been companions for much of their history. As you’d imagine, they were bred specifically for companionship in many cases, which made them extremely people-centered.

However, they were also bred to be around people all the time. They are extremely dependent on their humans, which can lead to separation anxiety. Luckily, with proper training, this isn’t a problem for most of them. Still, you have to be cautious and prevent these protentional problems by training your Frenchie when it is very young.

Their small size makes them easier to keep for most people. They are also very active, though their small size does mean that they don’t require quite as much exercise as larger dogs.

With that said, these dogs aren’t the healthiest. They have trouble breathing. Therefore, you should be aware of what you’re getting and understand that your vet bills will probably be higher. Any sort of surgery is often more expensive for these dogs, as they require very special care due to their breathing problems.

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Frenchies are quite popular, and for good reason. These dogs are great companion animals as long as you have the money to purchase them and take care of them. They can be a bit expensive and often rake up vet bills faster than other dogs.

This breed does have a very interesting history, especially since they are descended from Bulldogs that were considered subpar by the breeders of the time. Despite originally being the “throw-away” dogs, this breed is extremely popular today and one of the most expensive breeds around.

Featured Image Credit: Firn, Shutterstock

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