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Origins of the French Bulldog
While the main source from which French Bulldogs has been evolved is now very generally agreed upon much however is still unknown and probably will continue to remain in the realm of conjecture which in view of the present status of the breed would be now most interesting to have clearly revealed. This lack of specific details as to this breed seems all the more remarkable from the fact that it's development spans such a comparatively brief period of time and not beyond the memory of men who lived in the country justly credited with having been the place of its origin. That no one in France has come forward who can speak with authority because of knowledge of and familiarity with the formative period in the production of French Bulldogs plainly proves that the beginning of the breed excited no interest worthy of serious consideration and that its process in modeling were left almost wholly to the uncertain element of chance. It does not indicate more strongly than attitude of indifference or of positive neglect.
No single individual has more persistently and intelligently endeavored to gather authoritative information on the subject of the origin of French Bulldogs than the well known English writer C. Jemmett Browne. During the period of the existence of the French bulldog Magazine, several years ago, he contributed to this publication a series of articles mainly pertaining to this controvertible and somewhat perplexing subject. His painstaking research and exhaustive investigations furnish the most illuminating and satisfactory explanation to account for the existence of this breed that, up to that time had been published.
Much of the material Mr. Browne collected and incorporated in his articles was obtained from living witnesses of the facts related or from those whose identification with French bulldogs extended practically over the entire period of their known existence. Some of these individuals have since passed away and it is likely had Mr. Browne not taken the pains to personally interview them what they alone could tell would never have been recorded. In this respect especially he rendered as service that has made every lover of the breed his debtor.
Among the earlier theories advanced to account for the existence of French Bulldog which is now given small credence, was once dignified by serious consideration because of the character of its sponsors. The claim they espoused was that Spain was entitled to the credit of being the home of the breed and that the Dogue de Bordeaux, or Spanish bulldog, was the original source from which it was developed. this theory was rather generally supported by the French at an early day in the history of the breed, while not a few Englishmen supplemented this belief by calming that even the English bulldog as well as the French Bulldog, owed their origin to the Spanish bulldog. even the principal authority in France in all matters pertaining to dogs and that occupies the position that the American Kennel Club does in America, the Society Central pou L’Amelioration des Races de Chiens en France, published a statement saying: “The French bulldog according to all probabilities is of Spanish origin.”
In the spirited controversy that for a time raged over this matter considerable prominence was given to the subject because of the long held opinion that the English bulldog was indigenous to England.
The discovery of a bronzed plaque, dated 1625, showing the head of a dog with an inscription “Dogue de Burgas Espana,” was largely the basis for the support of the Spanish theory as to the origin of English bulldogs.
This breed of large dog had several of the characteristics that gave reason for believing they might have been the distant progenitors of the present day French Bulldog. They lay in the fact that they had erectly carried ears, and possessed a slightly rounded skull. This was somewhat pronounced in that portion directly above the eyes and extending nearly across the head a part of the skull best designated in a dog as forehead. In this feature they differed from the typical English Bulldog the latter having a well defined groove or furrow running through this portion of the head, which begins at the stop between the eyes and extends well up in the skull.
No one who has ever made a superficial investigation of this subject now seriously contends that the Spanish Bulldog figures in the creation of French Bulldogs. This is the universal opinion of fanciers of the breed in every part of the world.
With this exploded theory out of the way let us proceed to the more sensible and logical one, that is now so generally accepted that the French bulldog owe most of their creation to the English bulldog. The breeding operations which resulted in the establishment of the breed were largely if now wholly, consummated in France and therefore the name they bear is not an inappropriate one or now seriously contested anywhere.
It should be remembered that during the last one hundred years or more that the English Bulldog has radically altered in type. Between 1870 and 1880 there were a complete change in its form, the big heavy weight, rather course dogs became the fashion while the lightweights became practically extinct until revived several years later, by importations of the small, Toy Bulldogs the French had produced.
The only medium through which anything like a correct idea can be gained of the character and appearance of English bulldogs existing in “England a century or more ago or even down to the period when the French Bulldog was being created can now only be obtained from prints, drawings or paintings that have preserved of them. These earlier modes of perpetuating likenesses of dogs were naturally somewhat expensive and therefore it is fair to presume that dogs so illustrated were prominent and typical dogs of their day. They reveal how great has been the change in their formation and general appearance form the type we now associate with this breed. They clearly show they had some likeness and many points in common with the French bulldog as we know it today. In actual they looked then more like the French of today then the English of today do.
In the mid 1800’s the Toy Bulldog came in vogue in England and a dog named Nottingham Frank, whelped about 1849 and owned by William Tupper of England was a noted English champion of about 22 pounds. Other Toy Bulldogs of this period and especially so of a later date, weighted even less than Frank many at only about 10 pounds. At this time many miniature specimens of this character in head properties and ears were being imported to France and the inference is reasonable that they were among the earlier ancestors of the French Bulldog.
About the middle of the 1800’s especially in the early sixties, the English bulldog had to such an extent begun to deteriorate in size, that dogs under twenty pounds frequently outnumbered at the shows their more normal sized brethren. Lovers of the old heavy weigh dogs became alarmed over what they considered a lamentable deterioration in the breed. In a catalogue of one of the larger London shows of this period that sixty odd dogs were entered in the Toy Bulldog division at the Ashburnham Hall Show in 1863, the weights were for dogs over and under 18 pounds, while at the Manchester Shows of 1865 and 1866 the classes were for Toy Bulldogs over and under 12 pounds. These toy specimens mainly with tulip or rose ears, became very popular in England an owing to their number could hardly be considered as freaks although in some instances weighing less than 10 pounds.
About the time of the greatest popularity of these Toy Bulldogs in England, many of the lace workers of Nottingham emigrated to the coast towns of Normandy and it is well established fact that many of these small Bulldogs were taken to France by these workman. Later the importation to France of these dogs which before were common in London, Birmingham and Sheffield for many years. Were so great that they practically became extinct in England.
There appears to be no doubt that the French bulldog originated in England and is an off shoot of the English bulldog, not the bulldog one see's on the show bench today but the tulip-eared and short under jawed specimens which were common in London, Birmingham and Sheffield in the early fifties.
They became the rage in Paris and the English dealers did a rare business in them. Many having a standing order with breeders to commission for the purchase every bulldog that did not exceed twenty pounds in weight and a large number went across the water. Details of this kind conclusively prove that the fashionable Toy Bulldog of today is English in its origin.
Among the earlier dogs secured in France were Le Petit Corporal , Gloucester Migonette and Tich. All were purchased in 1897 and brought to American by Mr. Harrison.
These dogs went on to be shown in New York and when bred produced several winners of the time.
These dogs were procured from the very humblest of owners and very cheaply. This was at a time when these dogs had not even acquired the name of French Bulldog nor had a standard been set.
Mr. Harrison and a Mr. Krehl continued the importation of these dogs for sometime.
These fancies as well as those in England naturally selected the dogs with rose ears as they were the ones most desired in the English market and the ones that most nearly resembled the English bulldog. At this time they were simply called toy and or miniature bulldogs and both the rose and lesser seen bat eared dogs were shown together. Both ear types were shown and benched together and the English Kennel Club provided a class for these dogs which was placed among the bulldog section reserved for dogs not exceeding 20 pounds. The breed had at this time no regular or official name by which it was known.
When the French however began to label these Miniature Bulldogs that they unquestionably had been instrumental in creating, as “French bulldogs,” it was met in England with ridicule and derision, especially when the name was applied to the specimens with the Bat ears.
With that one point being the most unusual and most unlike an English bulldog feature of this breed distinguishing them from any other breed of dog.
Several breeds have naturally erect ears and it is also true at an early period the English bulldog possessed them or more often those that dropped halfway from the point and known as tulip ears which accounts for this feature appearing as frequently as it did in the Toy Bulldogs. But ears on these dogs and all others with erect or semi-erect ears with the exception of those on the French bulldogs were tapering and came to a more or less sharp point at the ends nor were they set on the skull in the same way, which in it's correct form distinguishes this feature in French bulldogs. The well rounded form at the top, which gives the ear an appearance not unlike the shape of the ears of a bat is found on no other type of dog, and that looking from the front shows so much of the orifice.
To the French must be given credit for having made the breed with its special head features and head qualities, distinct from the English bulldog. But in other equally important respects American fanciers hold that these dogs only reach their highest degree of perfection when in its reduced form, in proportion to their size, that they resemble the body confirmation, bone and general outline the attributes that names them bulldog. If modify these qualities so as to approach anything like terrier form takes away from them any sensible reason for listing them as Bulldogs, and would chiefly take away from the breed which they chiefly owe their origin, regardless of whatever prefix may be attached to their name.
It is regrettable that neither France or England has been in complete accord with American Fanciers as to what should constitute true French Bulldog type. The right however of sincere and devoted supporters of this breed, such as that of the American fanciers have proven to be truly tenaciously and ought not to be seriously questioned, especially when it is revealed what an important part they have taken in their preservation and development.
France, England and America, the three countries that have contributed most to the establishment of this breed are not however in common agreement as to the qualities that should distinguish this breed. An effort along this line was mad in 1911 and while modifications in original standard were made at that time the parent club in America were not wholly satisfied thus, for the time at least destroying a chance for the adoption of a standard all three countries could approve. To this day there is not a uniform world-wide standard though it is nearly so.
The evidence presented in the foregoing pages, pertaining to the origin of French Bulldogs is believed to establish beyond all reasonable doubt the main factors that account for their existence.
While what may be lacking in minute details, as to minor points it would be more satisfactory to know more about such knowledge is not important. As its absence in not essential way effects the general conclusions arrived at. The important fact is that a distinct breed has been established that can be reproduced in form and general characteristics as true to a well recognized type as can be obtained by any other existing breed today.
Exurbs for this article taken from The French Bulldog book published by The French Bulldog Club Of American and The French Bulldog Club of New England 1926.
French Bulldogs in the United States
Important influences American Fanciers had on the Preservation and Development Of...
When Americans took up the cultivation of French Bulldogs they could hardly be said to have attained any degree of prominence in any country outside of France. True, in England, they had begun to attract attention, and a limited market for them, especially those with rose ears, had been created. In a much lesser extent, they begun to find homes in Germany, where the late Max Hartenstein had taken up there breeding, while later in Belgium and Russia, as well as here and there elsewhere in Europe, a beginning in there acquisition had taken place. This was the condition of affairs when American fanciers in large numbers began the accumulation of these dogs from France.
There association with the breed began at a critical period in its history when, even in the home of its origin, they had received but scantly recognition, and in other European countries had met with slight encouragement. In popularity they had gained no foothold of consequence, and as a result, possessed commercially but little value. Where it ought to have been protected and fostered it received little consideration and were in fact neglected and ignored and at the dictate of outside influence was fast becoming completely changed in type. With no genuinely interested or responsible sponsors, and no organized efforts to promote its perpetuation as a distinct type of dog, the future of the breed appeared far from promising.
That the conditions as stated above, in connection with French Bulldogs at this time, is not exaggerated, is amply proven by the experience of George N. Phelps, an early American convert to the breed, upon his visit to France in 1896. Being abroad when the first specimens of this breed were shown in New York at the West Minster Show, but impressed by the reports he had heard of them, and knowing something of these dogs during his residence in Paris in 1888 and 1889, he determined to obtain a number upon returning to France in the spring of 1896. Upon arriving in England he first called on the proprietor and editor of the London Stockkeeper, and the fountain head of knowledge concerning canine matters abroad, and of any Toy bulldogs in particular, as well as being the annual judge of these dogs at the Paris Shows. With what info and letters of introduction from these men he proceeded to France.
In a letter to the American Stockkeeper, published about 15 years later, he gave the results of his first quest for French Bulldogs in Paris from which the following extracts are taken:
“When I interviewed Mons. Boutroux, regarding the origin of the French Bulldog, and to ascertain from whom I could obtain some representative specimens, he replied, with the habitual French shrug, that I could obtain the information I was seeking from the charcoal burners and street sweepers of Paris and that the society of the long name took no interest whatever in the breed as it was only to be found among the canaille of the city. Mons. Boutroux has had a change of heart in the interim, for he is now the (about 1910) secretary of the French Bulldog Club of France, of which Prince Wagram is honorary president and James Gordon Bennett the active President. “Dr. Newbury views naturally coincided with those of Mr. Krehl, and after scouring the city with him, and finally selecting two bat eared dogs, Babot and Ninette, I knew he was firmly convinced of my being gold bricked when I paid $50 for the pair.”
“From the Pairs fanciers, I learned that the dog had been bred in the city for many years, although no organized effort had ever been taken to encourage or regulate its breeding, nor was there any standard by which they could be judged. At the Paris Show the dogs came under the jurisdiction of Mr. Krehl. To an Englishman the bat eared dog is as unpardonable as an uncut tail on a Fox Terrier and from the first Mr. Krehl instilled in the minds of the French breeder the fact that the only correct type was the rose ear and to those dogs carrying it would be given the preferences under his jurisdiction.”
As recorded in Mr. Phelps experience all the other early American searchers for these dogs in France who followed him were surprised to find that for a breed whose known existence covered a comparatively brief period, few trustworthy records could be found to even account for its origin. And that fact clearly shows that interest in its earlier development had been of such an indifferent nature that no effort has been taken to preserve anything like reliable records of the breeding. It is well known that most dogs of this breed that existed when American fanciers became interested in them were of doubtful ancestry as majority of the early importations being sold without authentic pedigrees or any knowledge such as intelligent breeders should have possessed to have been able by judicious selection to have improved the breed.
With all these handicaps its future did not seem to offer much of encouragement when the American fanciers too up the challenge. Americans recognized the possibilities of the situation and took up the task of suing the material at hand and by intelligent and systematic methods in breeding sought to preserve and improve the breed. So enthusiastically and liberally did they undertake the work that interest was soon wildly stimulated. From a position of comparative neglect and obscurity the breed by their fostering care rose in steadily advancing stages to a position of importance in dogdom. This changed status however came about only after many battles had been fought and won by American supporters of the breed practically against all the rest of the French Bulldog world.
For some years the new champions of the breed in this country had practically no competition worth speaking of in the purchase of these dogs in France from any other class as far as bat eared specimens ere concerned and it was therefore natural that the best specimens that existed in France prior to the close of the last century and for three or four years later were purchased by Americans and found their way to these shores becoming the nucleus from which has sprung through judicious breeding the clearly defined and typically developed dog we now know here. The work that France rightfully ought to have done for the breed that unquestionably had been produced in that country was therefore assumed by Americans and the task became more of an American than a French problem. How well they have succeeded against many obstacles, the whole dog world knows and of late year has generously acknowledged the great value of their services in the perpetuation and development of the French bulldogs.
Soon the Americans produced superior dogs besting the best imported dogs of past or present of the times.
This has been repeatedly admitted by foreign critics as well as by some of the own experts judges of the breed those with intimate knowledge of the dogs. The preservation of the Bat ear as a distinct feature of the French bulldog was mainly due to the persistent efforts of the American fanciers. Breeders here, with very few exceptions, were from the first strong advocates of the retention of this feature as absolutely essential rightfully contending it was the one distinguishing mark that separated it from all other breeds and one that gave it its strongly accentuated individuality.
While Americans were making a united and aggressive fight to perpetuate the Bat ear it must be remembered, as remarkable as it now seems, the tendency in Europe was well nigh universal toward the production of dogs with only
Rose ears. Had this movement toward the latter end continued unchecked, the breed eventually would have lost what is now universally considered to be its peculiarly distinctive charm and eventually there would have been little to distinguish it from the Toy English Bulldog. That the latter situation did not come about can largely be attributed to the forceful efforts extended by American fanciers, who at this critical period in the progress of the breed had attained a position of such importance, that they were ultimately able to influence in the right direction the rest of the French Bulldog world.
This incident is one of many showing the conspicuous part performed by American breeders in behalf of their adopted breed, a service that is now universally conceded was of vital importance in the preservation of the feature that places French Bulldogs apart from all other breeds.
It was at the Westminster Show in February 1896, that the first group of French Bulldogs was exhibited in America.
They mainly belonged to a number of prominent society ladies in New York, and were not entered as a classified breed.
As the French Bulldog was not then recognized by the American kennel Club.
Exurbs for this article taken from The French Bulldog book published by The French Bulldog Club Of American and The French Bulldog Club of New England 1926.ANTIQUE PICTURES French Bulldogs
First French Bulldog Club started
It was at the Westminster Show in February, 1896 that the first group of French Bulldogs were exhibited in America.
They were not yet a classified breed for AKC as they had not yet been recognized. The Exhibitors were Mrs. Frederic Neilson with her dogs Bellechose and Antoine, Mrs. J. D. Smith Hadden with Biblot, Mrs. P. Lorillard Ronalds Jr. with Milo, Mrs. Peter Cooper Hewitt with Bordeaux, J.L. Kernochan with Margot and Mrs. W. W. Watrous with Leida II.
All of these French dogs had been recently imported. They aroused on end of curiosity and interest among the dog loving public and at once became a popular favorite.
George Raper the all around English judge was assigned to judge the French Bulldogs and placed Bellechose first,. Margot second, Biblot third and Milo reserve. It would be only fair to say that the advent of no new breed of dogs ever called forth so much newspaper comment as followed the first appearance of French Bulldogs at the Garden Show. It was really the novelty of that year’s exhibition.
The following years Westminster Show of February 1897, where George Raper again officiated as judge, brought out the largest entry of French bulldogs that has as yet appeared and so much had the breed grown in popular favor that the front page of the catalogue of the Westminster show of that year was illustrated with an artistic drawing showing the miniature specimen of the French bulldog in the arms of its charming mistress.
Up to the time of this show the Americans, who had become interested in these dogs, were strongly in favor of the Bat ear, although even in France the rose ears had become recognized as the correct, specimens with the latter form of ears being uniformly favored by the English judges, who had for some years been entrusted with the judging of these dogs at the annual exhibition in the Garden at the Tuilleries in Paris. J. Proctor and J.R. Krehl, the English judges, by their annual awards gave the preference to the rose eared variety. Their awards had gone a long way in fixing type, not only in France but in England.
On this side of the water, however the fanciers who had taken up the breed believed thought personal knowledge and most carful investigation of its history, that the Bat ear was the rightful appendage and it can be imagined what a storm of protest was raised when Mr. Raper Placed Regent Street Swell first in dogs, and Mirza first in females, these two dogs being in every respect toy English bulldogs including the rose ears.
This decision, so at variance with the ideas held by most of the American fanciers, hastened if it did not directly lead to the formation of The French Bulldog Club of America, the first organization in the world formed to promote the interest of the breed.
Directly after the judging was completed, on February 24, 1897, largely to protest against the position taken by Mr. Raper, a meeting was called at the Garden to set in motion plans for the formation of the club. One of the results of this preliminary meeting, after much discussion, was that it was unanimously decided that the bat ears was the correct form and must be the distinctive feature of the breed, although the two eminent English experts of the time, George Raper and J. P. C. Astley, strongly protested and urged support of the rose ear.
A committee was appointed and did draw up by-laws and on April 5th of that same year a very enthusiastic meeting was held where the formation of the club was formed. There were officers appointed, and most importantly a Breed Standard was adopted at this meeting. It was the first authoritative declaration, by any organized body, clearly defining the qualities that should characterize the French Bulldog.
The American position, in regard to the Bat ears, was considered a radical one, especially in England, was evinced by the adverse comments that appeared in the English kennel papers after the Westminster Show of 1897. The London Stockkeeper, in an article supporting the judging at this show, stated: “ Mr. Raper and Mr. Astley both declared in favor of a small edition of the ordinary bulldog, which would of course, include the rose ear. The Englishmen were perfectly correct and consistent. The first prize was awarded to Regent Street Swell, who is well known as a winner on this side. The Americans, however are original as well as enterprising and the Transatlantic Specialty club (The F. B. D. C. of America) for the breed, declared in favor of a type of their own, which included among its points Bat ears. We do not make tulip ears a disqualification because that shape is an old English Bulldog ear carriage, but not great ears, broad at the base and rounded at the top and as big as bat’s wings. In an American account of the toy bulldog we read: ‘The one distinctive point which stamps the individuality of the breed is that large prick of tulip ear which is the passport of the dog in this country. This is a mighty cool assertion, anyhow the bat ear is not the passport in France nor in England. that we affirm. This American standard accepts that in all other respects the variety shall be a small bulldog.”
At this time it is always well to remember, there existed no published standard defining the breed in France or in any other part of Europe or the world. Nor did there exist any organization of club devoted to the breed, although the society Centrale pour l’Amelioration des Races de Chiens. the cheif authority in dogdom in France, in response to a letter of inquiry from the secretary of the French Bulldog Club of America, had declared: “The ears should be small as possible, thin and soft to the touch and falling back. After the ear which falls back the on-half straight ear should have the preference. The ear perfectly straight and the bat ear are bad.”
Thus it will be seen that at the time of the advent of The French Bulldog Club of America, the tendency both in France and England was decidedly in favor of the rose ear. This tendency was checked by the positive and emphatic declaration of the American club in favor of the bat ears and the courageous fight this club made for this point, when the forces everywhere else seemed overwhelmingly against its decree, is its proudest achievement. Its position, although fiercely criticized both in France and in England, was founded on such sensible reasons that eventually the tie was turned in its favor and today if there is one point beyond another that all French bulldog fanciers agree upon throughout the world, it is that the dog should have the Bat ear, first and officially described in the standard of The French Bulldog Club of America.
Exurbs for this article taken from The French Bulldog book published by The French Bulldog Club Of American and The French Bulldog Club of New England 1926.
Two more First's for the Americans
Well as could be or should have been expected the Westminster Kennel Club Show of 1898 was an occasion that proved a real storm center as far as French bulldogs were concerned and marked another important period in the history of the breed. As the French Bulldog Club of America had made a liberal donation of specials to this show, and E. D. Faulkner, one of its official judges had been selected to judge the breed, the membership of the club were surprised to find, when the premium list appeared that the Westminster Kennel Club had provided two classed for the breed, one to be judged according to the standard it erroneously claimed had been adopted by the Societe Centrale pour L’Amelioration des Races de Chiens en France and another class to be judged according to standard of The French Bulldog Club of America.
A vigorous protest was made by the officials of the organizations against the action of the Westminster kennel Club which thus sought to provide classes under the name of French Bulldogs for both the Bat eared as well as the rose eared variety, thereby giving recognition to the type that the American fanciers almost without exception, contended had no right to exist under the same name of French Bulldog, and for which even the French Society had never provided classes at shows held under its auspices. The Westminster Club, however ignored the request to withdraw the classification it had made. Under the circumstances, Mr. Faulkner refused to serve as judge, The French Bulldog Club of America withdrew its specials and in explanation of its course issued the following circular:
“The present circular is intended to describe the condition of affairs created by the action of the Bench show Committee of the Westminster Kennel Club, in matters affecting the status of The French Bulldog Club of America, at the coming Bench Show to be held at the Madison Square Garden. As the said Committee has decided to create a class for French Bulldogs “to be judged according to the standard of the Societe Centrale pour l’Amelioration des Races de Chiens en France.” and in view of the fact that the Bench Shows of the said “Societe Centrale” have no class for French Bulldogs, the Executive Committee of The French Bulldog Club consider the action of the said Bench Show Committee as misleading and unjust. Their protests against the creation of this class, to be judged in accordance with the standard of the ‘Societe Centrale” as formerly made, but was not admitted in spite of the fact that said Societe had no special class for French Bulldogs as above stated.
It was then considered proper by the Executive committee to formally withdraw all special prizes offered by this club an notify the Westminster Kennel Club that the official judge appointed by the club, had under the circumstances declined to serve. This notification was made in writing to the Bench show Committee several days before the premium lists of the show went to press. Not withstanding this fact the lists were printed and distributed, as though no such notification had been received. It was therefore deemed advisable that the members of The French Bulldog Club of America should be informed of the forgoing facts. At a meeting of the club held January 24, 1898 it was decide to so inform those interested, and to take steps towards organizing a Bench Show for French Bulldogs only, to be held under the auspices of The French Bulldog Club of America. The committee appointed for that purpose is now enabled to report that such a Bench Show will be held on February 12, 1898, at the Waldorf-Astoria, in the Sun Parlors. Admittance by invitation only. Entries for this show can be made up to and including February 4th, by application to the Secretary.” February 12, 1898, French Bulldogs at the Waldorf-Astoria Picture Link !!!
Thus, out of the disagreement between the two clubs, on a point that was considered of vital interest to the breed, was inaugurated the first specialty show ever held in the world for French Bulldogs, sanction having been obtained from the American Kennel Club for this purpose.
This event, therefore is deserving of special mention. it occurred five years before England had organized a club to foster the interest of the breed. France, considerably later than the English supplied this lack of an organized sponsorship and up to this time had not provided classes for French Bulldogs as its principal shows held under the Societe Centrale pour L’Amelioration des Races de Chiens en France. This then was the deplorable condition that pertained to the breed in the home of its origin and for which England had supplied the breed to make possible this new type of dog.
The incidents that had brought about this show received no end of space in the public press, while the project itself aroused wide public interest. Periodicals devoted to dogs as well as the newspapers of New York, Boston and Philadelphia gave much prominence to this novel undertaking.
It was the first time in the history of American dogs that a show has ever been held under such luxurious surroundings as the Waldorf-Astoria afforded, while the high social character of those who stood back of the enterprise made the event one that prominent society people very generally patronized. In fact. perhaps no dog show, before or since, attained the same prominence in this respect as the first exhibition of The French Bulldog Club of America. Several hundred finely engraved cards of invitation were sent out and the day of the show the room in the Waldorf-Astoria was thronged with an enthusiastic crowd of admirers and supporters of the breed. E. D. Faulkner, who from the advent of the breed in this country had taken a keen interest in its progress, served as judge. There were twenty-six dogs and twenty female dogs entered for competition, by far the largest number that had yet appeared at any show in America. As this was the first Specialty show ever held, devoted exclusively to the breed.
The judging in all the classes was most carefully done by Mr. Faulkner, who was well qualified by his experience as a breeder and owner of French Bulldogs.
The impression this first show made upon the general public was immense.ANTIQUE PICTURES French Bulldogs
Never was a bench show held within so sumptuous an environment as that of the French Bulldog Club held at the Waldorf-Astoria yesterday afternoon and evening. Far up in the sun parlor, on the topmost floor of the building amid palms and potted plants, rich rugs and soft divans, fifty six little bulldogs were on exhibition.
Those who think of bulldogs as large and ferocious animals would be surprised by the appearance of this French half hundred, for they were all so small as to seem like toy or baby bulldogs. and they had funny little faces and monster ears.
The French Bulldog has but lately come into prominence, but already he as attained the rank of a principal favorite of society, and on the seat of many a carriage whirring up Fifth Avenue or through Central Park, the funny faced bulldogs may be seen beside richly dressed ladies, who frequently pet and caress them.
The high favor that this breed of bulldog has already won was shown by the large number of prominent society people who thronged the sun parlor from the time that the exhibition opened, at 2 o’clock until it closed at 10 o’clock.
Few of the dogs ever attain a size of more than twenty-two pounds. One, a cute little black thing named Gretel, and owned by the president of the club, is three years old and weights but seven and a half pounds. Gretel is said to be the smallest full grown bulldog known.
A striking feature was the entrance of prominent ladies into the rings to display their pet dogs before the judge. This innovation was possible because of the semi -private character of the exhibition, as compared with the usual dog shows.
This is the first show were woman were allowed to show dogs in what would be considered a public manner. This was solely a mans sport up until this day. Woman everywhere now have the brave American woman with their fine French Bulldogs to thank for women being introduced into the world of dog shows!
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Smokey Valley's Double O Seven (James 2007)
French Bulldog National Specialty Awards
Photo page1 (French Bulldog)
Photopage2 (French Bulldog)
Photopage3 (French Bulldog)
Photopage4 (French Bulldog)
Old Show Photos (French Bulldogs)
2002 (French Bulldogs)
Snow 2004 (Kennel / Farm pictures)
French Bulldog Misc.
ANTIQUE PICTURES (French Bulldogs)
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Miniature Toy Australian Shepherds
Miniature Australian Shepherds pups for sale
Sheep Rare Miniature and Toy Smokey Valley Farm
Lambs for Sale
French Bulldog Breeder