French Bulldogs at Stud in the 1920s

The common method of offering your French Bulldog at stud in the 1920’s was to place a ‘kennel card’ advertisement in one of the popular show dog magazines of the day. The ad would tout his accomplishments, mention his numerous champion get, and generally state his stud fee, which seemed to vary between $7 and $25 dollars. Bitches were generally shipped in by train, if they were not local.

Now, French Bulldogs offered at stud are handled much, much differently. Owners generally place an ad in one of the popular French Bulldog breed magazines. The ad touts the dog’s show accomplishments, mentions his numerous champion get, and states he’s available to ‘approved bitches’. OK, maybe not so different, but at least stud fee isn’t usually mentioned in print any longer. This is probably a good thing, since they can now vary from $850 to $2500, with bitches staying put at home, and the stud dog’s semen being flown to the bitch via courier.

Here are some kennel card ads from the 1920’s – click to view full sized. The ad for Never Never Land Kennels appeared in, of all places, the Yale Newspaper.

13 Questions To Ask After Reading Kijiji Ads…

Kijiji is sort of a glossier version of Craigslist, an updated, on line version of the Buy N Sell newspapers and Pennysavers. Owned by eBay, it (unlike smarter and more politically attuned Craiglist) allows live animal sales ads, and it is chock full of puppeez for sail ads.

Here are thirteen questions that occurred to me after reading through Kijiji puppy for sale ads…

For sail..Daxshund / Shizoo / Dalmashun / Puddle / Mastife Puppy

If you’re going to breed, shouldn’t one of the very basic things you know about the dogs be how to spell their proper breed name?

Comes with papers. Has papers. Papered. Extra if you want papers

Papers, papers, papers. Every other freakin’ ad talks about papers – although what kind of papers, exactly, we don’t know for sure. Newspapers? Mongrel Association of America papers? Wallpapers? Who knows. Who cares?

“linebreeded mother to father has show chance”

Line breeded? Mother to father? What in holy hell are they thinking?

Oh, right. They’re not thinking – they’re just turning them loose in the yard and hoping for a litter. Which they got. And ‘show chance’? Sure, why not? I bet they take the Gardens next year.

After all, nothing says “Best in Show potential” like an in bred litter of yard raised dawgs.

“Yorkiepoos – Super cute! 6 weeks old ready to go home with you! “


No! No, they not ready to go home at six weeks old. They’re not ready to go anyplace, not even to the vet’s for their first shots.

Oh, but there’s me, assuming you’re selling them with shots. Not a chance, is there?

“Imported French Bull pups from champion line”

French Bull pups? Is this some sort of weird Charolais/canine hybrid? Because otherwise, we’re back to that question up top about not selling or breeding what you cannot spell.

And speaking of French Bull pups for sale ads…

“Imported European lined French Bulldogs. We import from Europe, as this ensures healthy pets”

Really? All I’ve needed to be doing all these years in order to insure healthy, genetically sound French Bulldogs is import them from Europe? Just any old place, and any old breeder, and they’ll magically be sound, healthy dogs? Wow, that’s way easier than all the pesky health testing I’ve been doing.

I suppose all those sick, temperamentally unsound adult European imports that keep turning up at rescue are just anomalies or something.

“Adorable Frenchtons – Boston and French Bulldog cross pupps!!”

Why, why, why? Why do this? Frenchies have health problems. Bostons have health problems. Why combine them into one seething morass of potential issues. Plus, just – why? If you like Bostons, get a Boston. If you like Frenchies, get a Frenchie. Just pick one, dammit, don’t screw up two breeds at once.

“Trendy adorable Puggles for sale!”

See above, plus – What’s the point of this?

PugHere we have a Pug.

Small, wrinkled, flat faced, snuffly, cute, dim witted. Adorable, too, of course – I love Pugs, black ones in particular, but they are a creature as far apart from a hunting breed as you can get.

BeagleThere we have a Beagle.

Compact, athletic, muscular, bred to run, bred to bay, bred to scent, bred to hunt (but not much else).

Combine the two, and what do you get?

puggleThe puggle – a mixture of the worst from both.

First off, they’re ugly. Sorry, but it’s true. This is one F.U.G.L.Y. cross breed. Also, congratulations – now you’ve got a dog that wants to run away from home, but is too stupid to figure out how to get back. Pointless as a lap dog, worthless as a hunting dog, and soon to overwhelm rescues and shelters across North America.

JUG puppy… God help usOh, and here’s one to make Terrierman‘s head explode – that would be a “Jug puppy” – that’s a cross between a Jack Russel, and a Pug.

Why would someone (sane) do this, you ask? Because the offspring will apparently be “HEALTHY LIKE JACK RUSSELL AND CUTE LIKE PUG”.

Or so the ad said, at least.

“Pure breaded Golden Retriver”

It’s breaded? You rolled it in bread crumbs and deep fried it? Oh, you meant pure bred. Now we just need to figure out what the hell a retriver is. Oh, you mean Retriever

“Pure breaded (ahem) Doberman stud dog. Can breed to any bitch. $200 or pick of the litter”

No mention of testing, titles or temperaments – how could anyone say no to using this dapper fellow on their bitch? Plus, you get to do all the work of whelping and raising the puppies, then hand him over your ‘pick’. And so the cycle continues.

“For saile lovely large Cane Corso mastiff girl, she is very nice tempered and a good gaurd. Needs space to roam. Loves our kids. Will trade for Jack Rusel or other small dog. “

Wonderful. You are giving away your ‘roaming’, intact Cane Corso bitch. First off, why does it need space to ‘roam’? Is it a gypsy (sorry, Romany) Corso? Does it have ‘wandering feet’? It doesn’t need to roam – it needs a securely fenced yard.

And of course you want to get another dog, and have chosen the JRT, a dog that most sane and above average pet owners aren’t equipped to deal with, let alone an irresponsible goof like you.

Plus, nice lesson to teach the kids – when we tire of our toys, we throw them away and get new ones.

“TeaCup Yorkies/Poms/Poodles/Doxies”

Teacup? Is that the code word du jour for ‘will have life long health problems’ or ‘is hydrocephalic’? One thing it certainly is code for, for sure – bad breeder.

“Cute, adorable, non shedding Frenchie pups!”

Cute? yes. Adorable? absolutely. Non shedding? Did you shave them bald? Are you blind? Do you not see the floating, house wide cloud of fine hairs they leave in their wake, and on your clothes? Have you ever looked under your furniture?

Non shedding? Please, share your secret formula with me, the one that gets you magically non shedding Frenchies, because last week I spent two hours outside using the Furminator on my dogs, and there’s a pile of undercoat out there the size of a LabradoodleMastifeRetriver.

Are French Bulldog Colors Making You Blue?

If things get slow on the French Bulldog mailing lists, there’s a sure fire way to perk things up – color! Any conversation about color is almost assured of devolving into a rousing bout of name calling and ‘so’s yer mother’, which certainly can pick things up on a dull day.

Blue French BulldogFor true excitement, however, we need to talk about the red headed step child of the French Bulldog world – Blue French Bulldogs. Few things can cause more heated exchanges of opinion than the topic of Blue (aka Mouse, aka Dilute, aka Devil Dogs).

Are they a DQ? ‘DQ’ is dog club speak for ‘disqualification’, in this case a disqualification based on color. The dog can still be registered with the AKC, and can still be bred from or bred to, but they cannot be shown. The issue varies with other National Clubs, but Blue or Mouse is not a recognized color by any national club that I’m aware of.

Should people be breeding them? If so, should they still be allowed to be club members?

Do you love them? Hate them? Love their coat colors, hate their yellowish eyes?

Is it time for the FBDCA to address the issue of Blue, once and for all?

Whatever your opinion on the subject, I’ve created a short survey intended to give me an over view of how the general public feels on the topic. I’ll be publishing the results publicly in the next day or two.

For those of you who think that Blues are starting to get a little bit boring, why not step up your game and go Plaid? That’s right, Plaid French Bulldogs are here!

Some background:

Plaid French BulldogPlaid French Bulldogs are the most super awesomest dogs alive today.

We found a rare colony of Plaid French Bulldogs living in an abandoned Chanel warehouse in France, and hired the best Frenchie wranglers in the world to round them up and bring them to North America.

We have devoted ourselves to breeding only the very finest in Plaid French Bulldogs. We select our dogs based on the depth of their pigment, the thickness of their plaid markings, and their exclusive ‘Greenie Glow’ eye color. You won’t find a better Plaidie anyplace in the world.

Genetics are important to us at Plaid French Bulldogs. Each one has been DNA certified as an authentic, 100% pure canine, with zero feline blood. We ensure our dogs are healthy by giving them annual flu shots. As well, we strive to remove genetic defects from our dogs by only breeding the ones that have four legs.

Plaid French Bulldogs require a specialized diet of Pate De Foie Gras, blue rare filet mignon, Mahi Mahi filets and Cherrystone Oysters on the half shell (hold the horseradish). Only the world’s most elite owners can afford to own a ‘Plaidie’.

Learn more here!

It's time to watch out for heatstroke!

Warm weather is here, and already the stories of French Bulldogs almost dying from heatstroke are coming in.

On French Bulldog Z, a reader writes in surprised that her Frenchie can’t walk a mile in 80 weather without almost passing out.

I have a 6 month old, neutered, male French bulldog. I love to take walks and Taz is very high energy so along with many games of fetch in the backyard, I try to take Taz for a walk everyday.
Today is about 80 degrees out. I would say we walked about 1 mile when Taz was panting and lay down in the grass flat on his belly refusing to walk anymore even when bribed with treats. I waited for him to relax a bit but he still would not walked and looked as though he might be in distress (breathing very heavily) and finally had to call someone to drive us home after trying to carry him some of the way back.
My question is how far can a Frenchie walk?
I know that they do not like very long walks or very hot days but “very long” and “very hot” means different things to different people. I thought exercise is good for all dogs. A 2 mile walk in 80 degree weather seems like it should be ok for a dog.

What signs should I look for to know that Taz has had enough because panting is normal right?

Dr. Lori writes –

Oh dear – A frenchie is not meant to walk 2 miles in 80 degrees!!! Heck, they hardly want to walk around the block in 60 degree weather! It sounds to me like you were VERY lucky that you did lose your Taz to heat exhaustion today!

I personally only allow my dogs out for short periods on such hot days and never encourage any exercise if teh weather is over 70 degrees. There have been instances of frenchies overheating and dying in much cooler temperatures.

Read the rest here.

In the San Mateo Times, columnist Mary Hanna describes how her little Frenchie went from playing happily to vomiting and glassy eyed in almost no time flat –

We were at the dog park in Foster City, an open and windy spot that was full of Shih Tzus, Pomeranians and other adorable fluffballs and their parents. Corky was her usual sociable self, but had trouble engaging any playmates in a game of tag


When the chill started to turn to frost, we decided to go home. We put Corky on her leash and walked toward the car. She was breathing hard and panting, as she always does after a play session. We put her in her crate in the back seat and started home. After a half-mile or so, I knew something was wrong. She was “digging” in her crate and her breathing was ragged

When we squealed into the clinic parking lot, Keeper jumped out and ran to the door, Corky in his arms. They were ready for her. We filled out some paperwork (and by “we” I mean he did — I was crying in the bathroom) and waited for news.

The technician came out within minutes and told us that they had started an IV, had hosed her down (her temperature was elevated) and had put her in an oxygen chamber. They were working to calm her down and stabilize her breathing.

Later, when she was breathing more regularly, Dr. Thelan came and talked to us. She had heat stroke, he said. She was better, but not out of the woods. There was a danger of going into shock and bleeding out. That condition was rare, but always fatal.

Read the rest here

On the French Bulldog L mailing list, a French Bulldog handler and breeder with years of experience is shocked when her friend’s dog goes down from heatstroke at an outdoor show, in spite of all their warm weather precautions and preparations.

I watched, as my friend’s beautiful Frenchie boy almost lost his life to this horrific heat wave we’ve been having here in NY. We had just finished showing. Thank God it was still early morning, but I think that was our false sense of security. We were walking back to our cars, laughing, joking when all of a sudden this poor boy vomits, then falls over not breathing.

Thanks to quick thinking handlers nearby, they had a bucke of ice water and started pounding on his chest to revive him. His handler was there and bravely stuck her fingers in his mouth to pull his tongue out of the airway. Unfortunately, because this boy was seizing as well, she was bitten pretty severely on one of her fingers. I don’t know as of this moment how she is. However, Whatever they did, it worked.

The show vet showed up and they continued working on him until his temp came back down. It was THE scariest thing that has ever happened at a show for me. The show committee crew did an outstanding job coming to our rescue with golf carts and people to help. This boy was stabilized, went to his vet and is resting comfortably now at home.

We are not stupid owners. We had cool coats, we had coolers with spray bottles, ice water, the works. It happened SO fast and he gave no outward warning that he was having trouble. I learned the hard way what to always have on hand in my tack box. Nutra Cal and lemon juice. I stopped by and got some on my way home.

You can read the entire post here, if you are a list member (and if you’re not one, I highly recommend you join).

My personal experience with heat stroke came years ago, with our Bulldog, Daisy. It was a muggy and overcast day, and the weather didn’t seem that warm to me. I was washing the kitchen floor, and decided to put Daisy and the other dogs outside until it dried. Less than five minutes later, I saw she was panting uncontrollably, and knew she had heat exhaustion.

I put her in the tub, and ran cool (not cold!) water over her, while letting the tub fill. I payed special attention to anywhere blood flows, including the stomach and genital area. I also put cool towels on her head and across the back of her neck. I did not let her drink any water, or try to force any on her. Next, I used a small (1/2 teaspoon) squeeze of lemon juice to cut the phlegm in her throat.

Since she was still panting heavily, I administerd a cool water enema, which helps to cool the body temperature from the inside out.

When her breathing calmed, I gave her a weight appropriate dose of children’s benadryl, to reduce the swelling in her throat. At this time, I allowed her a few sips of cool water.

Since I know have more knowledge on this sort of trauma can lead to shock, I’d now administer a small amount of nutracal to help prevent this once the dog was calm and breathing fairly easy.

We have an info sheet on heat exhaustion and heat stroke on French Bulldog Z, and suggest that all dog owners – and flat faced, brachycephalic breed owners in particular – prepare themselves to deal with heat stroke in their pets.

You must realize that ambient air temperature is not the only factor to consider when deciding it’s it hot enough for your French Bulldog to be at risk. Think about walking across sand, or pavement, in the cool of the evening after a hot day, and how hot those surfaces remain. Your dog, being close to the ground, is absorbing all of that ground heat. Remeber that dogs do not sweat, and can only cool themselves by panting, which is made more difficult in humid weather, or when they are a flat faced breed with a shorter airway system.

In short, never, ever assume that just because you think it isn’t ‘too hot’, your dog will agree. Your dog’s life depends on your being careful, and on your being prepared to deal with heat stroke if it happens.

Owners of flat faced breeds in particular should carry an emergency preparation kit with them wherever they go –

  • bottle of distilled water
  • disposable enema kit (ask your veterinarian for instructions and fill amounts – we used about 400 ccs on a 55 lb Bulldog)
  • cool down coat
  • cool down cloth
  • towels
  • squeeze bottle of lemon juice
  • children’s Benadryl (the pre measured spoons are perfect to pack)
  • nutracal
  • phone number of 24 hour emergency vet
  • rectal thermometer
  • card with instructions for dealing with heat stroke

Here are the warning signs of heat stroke –

  • intense, rapid, rythmic panting (some breeders call it ‘freight train’ panting)
  • bright red colors inside ears
  • wide eyes
  • salivating
  • staggering and weakness
  • Advanced heat stroke victims will collapse and become unconscious
  • pale and dry gums
  • if heat stroke is suspected and you can take the animal’s temperature rectally, any temperature above 106 degrees is dangerous

If you’re going someplace in warm weather where you can’t carry this kit, you need to ask yourself – is it really worth it? Can I get my dog from here to a vet in time to save their lives? Am I completely confident it is not too hot for heat stroke to over take my dog?

If you even suspect the weather may be warm enough to be a risk to your dog, put them in a cool coat. By the way, those handy with a sewing machine can make cheap, easy cooler coats with just a terry cloth towel, some banding material, and velcro.

Finally, and above all, never, ever, ever leave your dog in a parked car when the weather is warm. Temperatures in a parked car can soar to life threatening on even mild days, and even if all the windows are opened. Do not risk it.

Thursday Thirteen – 13 useful tools for grooming a French Bulldog

I’ve limited this to the things I use over and over again – if not on a daily basis, at least with some regularity. Feel free to add your own in the comments section.

Zoom Groom
1. Rubber Curry

This thing is just about the best item I’ve ever used for getting rid of loose hair and pet dander. I use it in between furminator-ing the dogs, when their coats just need a regular brushing. I also use it in the tub, while I’m bathing them, to spread shampoo and conditioner through their coats. I personally like the Zoom Groom, but almost any basic rubber curry will do.


2. Furminator

Yes, I’m a convert to the holy church of Furminator, amen. This is the best thing since sliced bread for removing dead hair from the sleek coat of a Frenchie (and if you didn’t know Frenchies shed, you obviously don’t own one yet). A caveat – use it gently, because over vigorous use can scrape skin and break coat.

Blunt tipped scissors

3. Blunt tipped scissors

This is all I use for trimming ear hairs, whiskers and stray hairs on the tail. It can’t cut them, and it doesn’t freak them out like the sound and vibration of clippers.

Nail Trimmers

4. Guillotine Nail Trimmers

The basic old stand by – for when I’m too lazy to pull out the dremel. No matter how many fancy shmancy new nail trimmers come on the market, this is the one I come back to.

Dremel Nail Grinder
5. Dremel Nail Grinder

For show ring short nails, you really need a Dremel. Nothing else can get a French Bulldog’s nails short enough, without bleeding. I suggest that novices get either a groomer or their breeder to show them how to use this, and that you introduce your dog to it as young as possible. Peronsally, I use the corded model – as much as the cord free design is convenient, the dead battery part is a pain in the neck, and a distinct possibility when doing nails on multiple dogs. However, a single dog household would likely prefer to get the cordless model.

Bio Groom Sure Clot
6. Styptic Powder

Unfortunately, there will almost always be nail trimming incidents from time to time, and that means bleeding. I like the Sure Clot powder from Bio Groom, but in a pinch good old ‘Kwik Stop’ will also do the trick. I’ve never had much luck with the pens, gels or liquids.

Baby Wipes

7. Baby Wipes

I use unscented, thick baby wipes for loads of things – wiping down faces, getting loose hair and dander off of coats, wiping down muddy paws, shining up coat just before entering the ring, the dreaded butt danglies wipe off, and general ‘eww, what the heck did you get into?’ maintenance. You can get fancy ones made just for pets, but anything gentle enough for a baby’s bum is probably fine for your Frenchie’s skin and coat.

8. Zinc Ointment

Another product made for human babies, but useful on Frenchies. I use zinc ointment on those Frenchies who are prone to skin fold irritations. Skin fold irritations, just like diaper rash, are usually caused by moisture being trapped in creases in the skin. Zinc ointment protects skin and hair from moisture. I clean the folds with witch hazel, then slather on zinc ointment in the folds, resulting in a dog that seems to be wearing camo face paint. Added bonus – the other dogs get to try to lick it off. I prefer Desitin’s formula, which has as pleasant scent.
Witch hazel

9. Witch Hazel

This gentle liquid is what I dab on cotton balls and use to clean skin folds on faces. I use the Organic formula made by Humphrey’s Organic. Whichever brand you use, make SURE it’s rubbing alcohol free.

Diamond Eye Tear Stain Remover

10. Diamond Eyes

The big guns for getting rid of tear stains. For severe cases, I clip and then apply twice daily. It’s the only thing I’ve ever found that actually works. I use it in conjunction with daily wipe downs, and in between using zinc ointment. Oh, and yes – I’ve used Angel Eye powdered food additive, and no – it didn’t work for me.

B&B ShampooB&B Conditioner

11 & 12. Bumble & Bumble Shampoo and Conditioner

OK, maybe it seems excessive to use anything this luxurious on your pet, but hello? These are French Bulldogs we’re talking about here, so don’t they deserve a little luxe in their lives? Besides, Bumble and Bumble’s Gentle shampoo is baby safe, smells great, and leaves coats shining like silk. Their super rich conditioner leaves coats smooth, soft and dander free, and is great for winter. I also have used half strength body wash – any gentle brand, although I prefer Lush. For showing, I use the John Frieda line for colored hair – their Blonde Shampoo and color glaze leave creams positively glistening. I don’t think it’s gentle enough for regular use, however.

grooming table

13. Pet grooming table

This might seem excessive, but even single pet owners will find that once they’ve groomed on a proper table, there’s no going back to flimsy substitutes. The surface is non slip, the height on a good table is adjustable, and you can reach your dog from all angles. Prices on folding models tend to be reasonable, and a decent quality table will last for a lifetime, so it’s a good investment.