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French Bulldog

Companion Dog Group

The goals and purposes of this breed standard include: to furnish guidelines for breeders who wish to maintain the quality of their breed and to improve it; to advance this breed to a state of similarity throughout the world; and to act as a guide for judges.

Breeders and judges have the responsibility to avoid any conditions or exaggerations that are detrimental to the health, welfare, essence and soundness of this breed, and must take the responsibility to see that these are not perpetuated.

Any departure from the following should be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.
Absolute soundness and proper muscle tone is a must. Head properties should remain free of exaggeration so as to not compromise breathing and/or obstruct normal vision.


It is generally accepted that the French Bulldog was developed in France, using the Miniature or Toy Bulldogs brought over from England by English lace workers. What specific breeds were crossed with the English dogs is not known, but they did introduce the “bat ear”, which is not a characteristic of the English Bulldogs.
The French Bulldog was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1965.

General Appearance

The French Bulldog's appearance is that of an active, intelligent, muscular dog, powerful for its small size. It is short and compact, with good bone, a smooth, short coat and distinctive ‘bat’ ears. When comparing specimens of different sexes, allowance is to be given to females, which do not bear the breed characteristics to the same marked degree as dogs.

Disqualifications: Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.


The French Bulldog is an affectionate and sociable companion. It is lively and playful, but not boisterous.

Disqualifications: Viciousness or extreme shyness.


The head is strong, broad and square, with skin that forms nearly symmetrical folds and wrinkles.


The top of the skull is flat between the ears. The forehead is slightly rounded. The stop is well defined, and there is a furrow between the eyes that does not extend up onto the forehead. No prominence of occiput.


Although the muzzle is proportionately short in comparison to the size of the dog, it is evident and allows for comfortable breathing. It is broad, deep and well laid back, with symmetrical folds of skin coming down on to the lips. Cheek muscles are well developed. The thick, broad flews hang over the lower jaw at the sides and meet the underlip in front, covering the teeth. The flews are black. The deep, square, broad underjaw is undershot and well turned up.

Eliminating Faults: Heavy wrinkles that affect breathing and/or obstructs normal vision. Muzzle so short as to affect breathing.


When the mouth is closed, the teeth and tongue do not show. A full complement of strong, white teeth meet in an undershot bite.

Serious Faults: Any bite other than undershot. Teeth and/or tongue showing when the mouth is closed.


The eyes are round and dark. They are set wide apart and low in the skull well away from the ears. Neither the white of the eyes nor the haw shows when the dog is looking forward. The eye rims are black, and the expression is lively.

Disqualification: Eyes that are two different colors.


The nose is turned up slightly, and has broad, well-opened nostrils, with a well-defined line between them. Nose pigment is black, except in the case of lighter colored dogs (cream or fawn), where a lighter colored nose is acceptable.


The breed typical "bat ears" are broad at the base, with a round top. The elongated ears are set high on the head, but not too close together, and are carried erect with the orifice to the front. The ear leather is fine and soft.

Disqualifications: Cropped ears, or ears that are not carried erect.


The short, slightly arched neck is free of dewlap.


The shoulder blades and upper arms are short and thick, covered with visible musculature.


The short, stout, straight, muscular forelegs are set fairly wide apart. The pasterns are short and strong. The feet may turn out slightly.


The compact body is deep and broad through the chest, with a broad back and barrel shaped ribcage. The loin is very short and broad. The topline rises progressively from a slight fall off behind the shoulders to the loin, and then slopes rapidly to the set on of the tail. There is moderate tuck up.


HIND LEGS The strong, muscular hind legs are longer than the forelegs, causing the loins to be elevated above the shoulders. The hocks are well let down and there is moderate angulation at the hock joint.


The compact feet are round and moderate in size. The toes are well split up and have high knuckles and hard, thick pads. The nails are stubby. The hind feet are slightly longer than the forefeet.


The short tail is thick at the root and has a fine tip. It is hung low, and carried low in repose. It may be either straight or screwed, but not curly.
Disqualification: Docked tail.


Short, smooth, close, glossy and soft.


The acceptable colors include all brindles; fawn; cream; white; brindle and white; and any other color that does not constitute a disqualification.

Disqualification: Albinism. Black and tan. Liver. Mouse gray.


A French Bulldog in good condition must weigh between 18 and 28 pounds.


The correct gait is free and vigorous, with the legs moving parallel to the median plane of the body. (Double tracking.)

Eliminating Faults

(An Eliminating Fault is a Fault serious enough that it eliminates the dog from obtaining any awards in a conformation event.)
Heavy wrinkles that affect breathing and/or obstructs normal vision.
Muzzle so short as to affect breathing.


(A dog with a Disqualification must not be considered for placement in a conformation event, and must be reported to UKC.)
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.
Viciousness or extreme shyness.
Eyes that are two different colors.
Cropped ears.
Ears not carried erect.
Black and tan.
Mouse gray.
Docked tail.

UKC Breed Standard: French Bulldog

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Official UKC Breed Standard

Revised December 1, 2013

©Copyright 1992, United Kennel Club