Why French bulldogs are so popular

Here are the three Frenchies: Darla is wearing a dress; Tron is in the plaid shirt; and Luigi is in the blue jean shirt. SARAH SPERRY/CONTRIBUTED

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Here are the three Frenchies: Darla is wearing a dress; Tron is in the plaid shirt; and Luigi is in the blue jean shirt. SARAH SPERRY/CONTRIBUTED

I’ve always admired French Bulldogs. Their big personalities in small packages. April 21 was “National Bulldogs are Beautiful Day.”

When I saw the date, I thought, “Too bad I don’t know anyone who owns one, it would be a fun column to write.” I put a note in my “ideas for future columns” folder and started to work on another topic.

About a week later, Ed came home from work “all smiles” and said his colleague brought her Frenchies into the office today. I was “all smiles.” then too. I might have missed the National Bulldog are Beautiful date but I had a contact to not just one French Bulldog but three.

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), French bulldogs are ranked fourth in popularity with Bulldogs, considered a separate breed, are ranked fifth.

The AKC describes these dogs, " as kind but courageous, friendly but dignified, the Bulldog is a thick‑set, low‑slung, well‑muscled bruiser whose ‘sourmug’ face is the universal symbol of courage and tenacity. These docile, loyal companions adapt well to town or country.”

Sara Sperry and her husband, Eli, of South Park in Dayton, agree. Three of their six dogs are “Frenchies,” Tron, a brindle colored seven-year-old, Darla, a blue fawn, two-year-old and Luigi, a chocolate, two-year-old.

Tron, the first Frenchie to join the family, was adopted from a breeder in Fairborn, Sara was looking for a smaller dog but strong in build and personality. Tron, named after the Transformer’s character, Megatron, fit the bill.

Darla, was adopted from the same breeder and is the “classic little sister,” nibbling on the other dogs to get attention.

Luigi, was a rescue from Paw Patrol. One of Sara’s friends tagged her on an their internet posting asking if anyone with French Bull dog experience would be interested in adopting him. Soon after Sara, saw the tag, Luigi was welcomed into the Sperry pack.

To give the three opportunities to socialize with a variety of people, Sara has taken them to work with her on numerous occasions since Tron was a puppy.

She puts a baby gate across her office’s door threshold. Her co-workers love stopping by to visit with the pooches. She laughed, explaining on those days she knows her co-workers are stopping by to see which ever Frenchie she’s brought and not her.

Ed’s favorite is Tron and the feeling is mutual. The canine gets very excited when he hears Ed’s voice.

Besides the office, Tron, Darla, and their nine-year-old Doberman, Sable accompany Sara and Eli once a month to The Center for Adolescent Services a community correctional facility for the Montgomery County Juvenile Court.

Tron loves to chase the boys up and down the basketball court. If he gets a hold of the basketball it’s toast. Sara says at the rate Tron is going they’re going to need to start donating basketballs.

The girls loved to cuddle with Darla and Sable. The two, love the attention.

The AKC says for first-time dog owners, bulldog breeds are not the best choice. They require a rigorous amount of training, socialization, and patience from their adopted families.

Sara agrees adding that the breeds have numerous health concerns including skin and breathing issues. Tron has already had back surgery.

As we talked, I tried to imagine Sara and Eli’s home with six dogs and I didn’t mention their two rescued cats. Pretty lively, I guessed.

Sara laughed heartedly. When one of the larger dogs sees something outside that the family needs to be notified about it starts barking. Soon all six are sounding the alarm, even though the Frenchies are too short to see what’s happening.

Karin Spicer is a member of The Dog Writers Association of America. She lives with her family and two furry pets who inspire her. She can be reached at spicerkarin@gmail.com.

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