The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, one of the most prestigious and celebrated dog shows globally, has a rich history that spans over a century. The French Bulldog, known for its distinctive appearance and delightful personality, has made notable appearances at this esteemed event, leaving a mark in the competition's history.
Early Inclusion in the Show:
The French Bulldog made its debut at the Westminster Dog Show in the early 20th century, gaining recognition within the Non-Sporting Group category. Despite its small stature and distinctive characteristics, the breed quickly garnered attention and became a popular contender in the show ring.
Recognition and Classification:
Initially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in the early 20th century, the French Bulldog secured its place as a recognized breed within the AKC Non-Sporting Group. Its unique appearance, compact build, and endearing charm contributed to its popularity among dog enthusiasts and judges alike.
Westminster Success and Notable Performances:
Over the years, French Bulldogs have made remarkable appearances at the Westminster Dog Show, showcasing their grace, poise, and distinctive traits. While the breed might not have claimed top honors in the Best in Show category, individual French Bulldogs have secured wins and placements in their respective breed classes and groups.
French Bulldogs, with their charming personalities and characteristic "bat ears," have captivated judges and audiences, earning commendations and accolades for their adherence to breed standards and overall presentation in the show ring.
Breed Enthusiasm and Representation:
The French Bulldog community continues to show immense enthusiasm for the breed's participation in the Westminster Dog Show. Breeders, owners, handlers, and aficionados alike take pride in presenting their French Bulldogs, showcasing their breed's unique qualities and adherence to the breed standard.
Legacy and Future:
The French Bulldog's participation in the Westminster Dog Show represents not only the breed's enduring appeal but also its ability to compete and hold its own among a diverse range of dog breeds. While achieving top honors at Westminster may be elusive, the breed's consistent representation and participation underscore its significance in the world of dog shows.
The French Bulldog's history at the Westminster Dog Show reflects its enduring popularity, distinctive qualities, and significant presence within the dog show circuit. Despite not always claiming top honors, the breed's appearances have left an indelible mark, contributing to the rich tapestry of the Westminster Kennel Club's prestigious event and perpetuating the breed's legacy in the world of dog showing.
French Bulldog History
The mid-1800s saw the popularity of a toy-sized Bulldog in a few English locations, particularly Nottingham, which was at the time a center for lace production. The Bulldog plush toy was adopted as a sort of mascot by Nottingham’s lace manufacturers. In England, the Industrial Revolution was at its height at the time, and “cottage industries” like lacemaking were coming under growing threat. Several people who worked in the lace industry moved to northern France, and they of course took their doll Ies with them.
The small dogs gained popularity among lace manufacturers who settled in the French countryside. The toy Bulldogs were bred with other breeds over a period of decades, maybe terriers and pugs, and along the line, they gained their now-famous bat ears. They were given the French name Bouledogue.
The adorable new breed was eventually discovered in Paris, which marked the start of the Frenchie’s status as the quintessential city dog. The breed became linked with the elegant ladies and bon vivants who sought out nighttime pleasures at Parisian dancehalls, as well as with café culture in the city. The Frenchie was portrayed by Toulouse-Lautrec and Edgar Degas in their works of the Paris demimonde.
By the 19th century’s close, the Frenchie was well-liked in both Europe and America. In England, it was harder to sell the breed. Many Brits found it offensive that their long-time enemies, the French, would dare use the Bulldog for their own purposes because it was a national symbol.
Early 1900s American aficionados helped shape the breed by arguing that the bat ear, not the “rose ear,” was the proper Frenchie form. The Frenchie is readily identifiable throughout the world thanks to this distinguishing characteristic.
Starting the 2000s, a world renown French Bulldog breeder named Don Chino introduced the “Modern French Bulldog”. The modern French Bulldog colors consist of blue, lilac, chocolate, rojo chocolate, and isabella Frenchies. By 2015, these Frenchie colors became extremely popular with middle to high class family households and celebrities such Reese Witherspoon, The Rock Dewayne Johnson, and Lady Gaga from the presence of social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. Don Chino’s role in the popularity of the French Bulldog is unmeasurable. Breeders in the Frenchie community say the social media impact is well over one million impressions a day reaching a worldwide audience. In 2018, Don Chino created the “Miniature French Bulldog” officially recognized by the Designer Kennel Club. The only dog registry that recognizes these small bulldogs. In 2022, Don Chino introduced the Fluffy French Bulldog, Big Rope French Bulldog, Velvet French Bulldog, Frenchie Doodle, and the first Hypoallergenic French Bulldog.
Designer Kennel Club: Register your French Bulldog or Doodle breeds with Designer Kennel Club DKC. Designer Kennel Club is a designer dog breed registry awarded the best dog breed registry by the FrenchBulldog.com