While being playful, calm, and usually friendly, French Bulldogs are also quite intelligent and can compete in tracking, earthdog trials, and obedience as sport, although because of their configuration, they may be prone to overheating. French Bulldogs have been described as stubborn, but this tendency may be diminished through use of motivational tools such as treats and favorite toys in reward-based obedience training, with food rewards being given in small bits to prevent weight gain. Their small size makes the French Bulldog attractive to children; however, as with all dogs, extremely close supervision is needed to prevent accidental injury to the dog or its subsequently developing fear-based defensive aggression.
The origin of the French Bulldog dates back to the nineteenth century, when English Bulldogs were imported to France from England. They are believed to have been brought across the English Channel around the mid 1800's by Normandy lace workers from England, who took smaller bulldogs with them when they sought work in France. In the farming communities north of France, where the lace workers settled, the little Bulldogs became very popular as ratters. The French Bulldog was created when the English variety was crossed with local French terriers. The French Bulldog was recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1905. It is inarguable that without the influence of dedicated, turn-of-the-century American fanciers the breed would not be what it is today, as they organized the very first French Bulldog Club in the world and insisted that the "bat" ear associated with the breed today was correct. The breed were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1898.