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

Chelsea Mortensen Profile Picture

By Chelsea Mortensen

red or fawn french bulldog out in the woods

 

Red French Bulldogs stand out—with their tiny bodies, big heads, and flat faces, you won’t miss one. These dogs have beautiful russet coats and big personalities. Despite their health issues, they’re one of the most popular breeds in the world. Today, they’re known as a luxury breed, but they haven’t always been seen that way.

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The Earliest Records of Red French Bulldog in History

French bulldogs’ first ancestors were the native English bulldogs bred for dogfighting and bear-baiting. Once these sports were outlawed in the 1830s in England, bulldogs began catching the interest of show groups and becoming more popular as pets, and the smallest type—the English Toy Bulldog—is the ancestor of French Bulldogs today. Workers immigrating from England to France in the mid-19th century brought English Bulldogs with them, and before long, they’d interbred with local Parisian breeds to create a distinctive type of Bulldog unlike any found in England. Although most of these dogs were black or black-and-white, a few did have the distinctive fawn-colored coat of today’s Red Frenchies.

Side profile view of red fawn French Bulldog
Image Credit: Firn, Shutterstock

How Red French Bulldog Gained Popularity

The French Bulldog may be a status symbol today, but it wasn’t always like that. These odd-looking dogs were at first brought over by poor lacemakers and factory workers settling in France, and before long they even became popular as companion dogs found in Parisian brothels. Luckily, their unique looks helped them escape a bad reputation, and artists, café owners, and eventually elites began to be fascinated by these unusual dogs. In the 1880s, the first French Bulldogs were imported to America, where they became popular with society ladies and business magnates. A French Bulldog even went down with the Titanic. Its owner, a wealthy banker, survived the sinking but couldn’t save his dog.

Formal Recognition of Red French Bulldog

With the meteoric growth of the French Bulldog’s popularity, it’s not surprising that dog shows began to take note as well. In America, the breed was first shown in 1896, and before long a breed standard that called for tall, erect ears (different from English Bulldogs) was created.

In the UK, the formal acceptance of the breed was a little rockier. When French Bulldogs were brought to England in 1893, breeders and fanciers were outraged and confused. French bulldogs didn’t match the standards for a toy bulldog any more, and at first they were seen as an inferior crossbreed. The French Bulldog was eventually recognized as its own breed in 1902.

Today, the AKC recognizes four colors of French Bulldogs—brindle (dark), cream, pied (spotted), and fawn or red. The Red French Bulldog is a rare but beautiful coloration that can range from tan to russet.

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Top 3 Unique Facts About Red French Bulldog

1. Red French Bulldogs Are Often Called Fawn

You might see a reddish bulldog called “fawn” and wonder what the difference is. The truth is, there isn’t really one. The coat color that’s sometimes called red or fawn can have a range of shades, with some being more brown and others more red, but most registries and breeders use the two terms interchangeably.


2. These Bulldogs Are Bred Through Artificial Insemination

One reason that these bulldogs are so expensive is because of the difficulty in breeding them. Their unique body shape makes it hard to successfully breed and give birth, contributing to the breed’s rarity. Today, most are bred via artificial insemination and many births require C sections.


3. Today, French Bulldogs Are Associated With Celebrities

What do Hugh Jackman, Lady Gaga, and David Beckham have in common? They all own Red French Bulldogs. French Bulldogs are often associated with celebrities today, with many red-carpet stars choosing this breed to keep them company.

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Does Red French Bulldog Make a Good Pet?

The Red French Bulldog makes a great pet for many owners, but it’s important to know what you are getting into before you commit. Because these bulldogs are prone to so many health issues, they can require more time and vet care than other dogs in order to help them have a comfortable, happy life.

However, if your dog’s health is well taken care of, they are easy to care for day-to-day. Because these dogs are so small, they only need around 20 minutes of exercise a day, and they often have relaxed, calm personalities. They also are easy to groom, with smooth, low-shedding coats.

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Conclusion

The Red French Bulldog is a stunning dog with a long and interesting history. The breed has been influenced by England, France, and America before becoming a global sensation. And while French Bulldogs are best known for their dark brindle coloration, the red-coated dogs have been a part of the breed’s journey from the beginning.

+Sources
  • https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/dog-breeds/behind-the-breed-history-french-bulldog/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Bulldog
  • https://askfrankie.co/celebrities-with-french-bulldogs/
 

Featured Image Credit: Firn, Shutterstock

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