French Bulldog Breed Standards and Show Requirements


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French Bulldog

The French Bulldog is a popular breed in dog shows, with its distinctive appearance and charming demeanor. To participate in such events, a French Bulldog must adhere to specific breed standards set by organizations like the American Kennel Club (AKC). This article will outline the breed standards and show requirements for French Bulldogs.

General Appearance

The French Bulldog is a small, muscular, and compact dog with a heavy bone structure and a smooth coat. They have a distinctive “bat ear” and a square head with a short muzzle. The breed is well-proportioned and balanced, showcasing power and stability despite its small size.

Size, Proportion, and Substance


French Bulldogs are typically between 11 to 12 inches tall at the withers, with a weight range of 16 to 28 pounds. Males are generally larger than females. Dogs that are significantly over or under the standard size may be penalized or disqualified in dog shows.


The French Bulldog should have a well-balanced and symmetrical appearance, with a body that is slightly longer than tall. The distance from the withers to the ground should be approximately the same as the distance from the withers to the base of the tail.


This breed should have a muscular body with a heavy bone structure, giving the impression of power and stability.


The French Bulldog’s head is large, square-shaped, and well-proportioned to the body. The skull is nearly flat between the ears, and the cheeks are well-developed.


The eyes should be round, wide-set, and medium-sized, with a dark color (black or dark brown). Lighter-colored eyes are not desirable. The eye rims should be black.


The breed’s signature “bat ears” should be large, erect, and well-proportioned to the head. They should be wide at the base and rounded at the top, with the distance between the ears being slightly greater than the width of the base.


The muzzle should be broad, deep, and well laid back, with heavy wrinkles that form a soft roll above the nose. The nose should be wide and black, with open nostrils.


French Bulldogs should have an underbite, with the lower jaw being deep, square, and slightly undershot. The teeth should not be visible when the mouth is closed.

Neck, Topline, and Body


The neck should be thick, well-arched, and muscular, blending smoothly into the shoulders.


The topline should have a slight roach or curve, with the highest point being just behind the shoulders.


The body should be short, compact, and well-sprung, with a deep chest and well-defined ribcage. The underline should be tucked up, and the tail should be short and either straight or screwed, but not curly.

Forequarters and Hindquarters


The forelegs should be short, stout, and muscular, with the elbows fitting closely to the body. The pasterns should be strong and slightly inclined.


The hindquarters should be muscular and well-rounded, with straight and parallel hocks when viewed from behind.


The French Bulldog’s coat should be short, smooth, and fine-textured. It should be close-fitting and glossy, showcasing the underlying form of the dog.


The AKC recognizes several standard colors for French Bulldogs, including brindle, cream, fawn, white, brindle and white, fawn and white, fawn brindle, white and brindle, and white and fawn. Some non-standard colors exist, but they are not recognized for conformation shows. It’s essential to prioritize the dog’s health and well-being over color preferences.


The French Bulldog should have a free-moving, unhindered gait with a slight roll to the topline. The forelegs and hind legs should move in parallel, with the feet pointing straight ahead and the rear legs tracking close but not touching.


The temperament of a French Bulldog is an essential aspect of the breed standard. They should be well-behaved, adaptable, and affectionate, with an even disposition. French Bulldogs are known for being good-natured and friendly, making them excellent companions and family pets.

Show Requirements and Disqualifications

To compete in conformation shows, French Bulldogs must adhere to the breed standards set by the organizing body, such as the AKC. Some factors that may lead to disqualification or penalization in a show include:

  • Overly aggressive or shy behavior
  • Significantly over or under the standard size
  • Cropped or hanging ears
  • Docked tails
  • Curly tails
  • Solid black, black and white, black and tan, or liver-colored coats (according to the AKC standard)
  • Visible teeth when the mouth is closed (overshot or wry bites)

It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the specific requirements and disqualifications set by the organizing body of the dog show in which you plan to participate.


The French Bulldog is a charming and distinctive breed that has captured the hearts of dog lovers worldwide. Adhering to breed standards and show requirements ensures the preservation of the breed’s unique qualities and promotes the overall health and well-being of French Bulldogs. Whether you’re a proud owner, breeder, or simply an admirer, understanding and appreciating the breed standards is vital in celebrating and supporting this delightful breed.

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