Big News in 1897 – French Bull Dog Club Formed
From the New York Times, April 7, 1897 –
A French bulldog club was organized at a meeting held by dog fanciers at Delmonico’s Monday evening. Messrs; H G Riggs, G M Phelps, J L Kernochan, Walter W Watrous, J R Buchanan, F G Davis and G L Hepton met a few days ago for the purpose of forming such a club and establishing a definite type of the breed. At the meeting a committee was appointed to draw up a standard of points to be based upon French winning type. The committee were to have reported Monday evening, but did not get in their report until yesterday evening.
The meeting held Monday evening was a very enthusiastic one. The following officers were elected: President – Walter W. Watrous; Vice-President – G. N. Phelps; Treasurer – R H Hunt; Secretary – J R Buchan; Executive committe – Blakely Hall, JL Kernochan, GL Ronalds Jr, R H Hunt, GN Phelps, JR Buchn.
A number of contributions were received and twenty one members were elected.
The following standards of points was agreed upon:
The general appearance should be that of an active, intelligent, and muscular dog. The dog should have a smooth coat, should be compactly built, and of small stature. The weight shall not exceed twenty two pounds; that of the bitch twenty pounds. The ear shall hereafter be known as the “bat” ear.
This final paragraph is, in effect, the first ever written standard for the French Bulldog breed ever published in the world. Most notably, it set the “bat” ear as correct (previously, bat or rose ears had both been acceptable in the ring). Also notable was the weight restriction of twenty two pounds or less for dogs, twenty for bitches. Later standards would create two weight classes, and even later ones would set a top weight limit of twenty eight pounds – still present in the US Standard today.