Illustration by Louis Agassiz Fuertes
The French bulldog, we are told, was originally a Spanish bulldog, a much larger animal, formerly used in Spain for baiting bulls. But dogs of the original type found their way to France, where they were eventually reduced in size and "beautified," until today a normal specimen of this breed is not unlike a miniature bulldog, except that his teeth do not show when his mouth is closed, and that he has wellrounded "bat" ears, which form perhaps his most noticeable characteristic.
This bat-eared, flat-faced little gnome among dogs has a wide and enthusiastic following. The reason for this is doubtless that he is such a nice little dog in spite of all man can do to make him unfit for life, by condensing the nasal region and developing an oversize jaw. The bulldog tendencies are exaggerated. The head is similar, but the face is flatter and more vertical in profile, with the jaw somewhat less turned up. They are perky, inquisitive little things, but much given to asthma and the sniffles, which is not their fault but ours. The proper color is dark brindle, though light brindle is not frowned upon. More than a trace of white on toes and chest is discountenanced. The tail, carried low, should be either screwed or straight.
In form he is all bulldog, the only radical differences being the flat face and the large upstanding cars, graphically called "bat-ears" by the fancy. These are important, and should be wide at the base, tapering up to a rounded point, carried high but not too close together, and with the orifice directed forward. The light weight should weigh under 22 pounds, the heavy weights from 22 to 28 pounds.
Next to toy dogs, the French bulldog and the "miniature" bulldog (see preceding sketch) are among those best suited to city life. Neither of them requires a great deal of exercise, and with intelligent, thoughtful owners may be kept successfully, even in a flat. But life in a flat, even for dogs of this kind, is a hard one unless they are the care of some conscientious person who will give them daily exercise.
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