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The Student News Site of St. Luke's School

The Sentinel

The Student News Site of St. Luke's School

The Sentinel

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Frenchie Fever

Frenchie Fever
Kate Hammer ’25

I often see people crowding around my car as I leave school. Why? Because there is a French Bulldog shaking her entire body with excitement to see everyone. I know I am not the only one with a Frenchie in the St. Luke’s Community as I often bond with others over our mutual status as French Bulldog owners. So, what is so special about this dog that is taking the St. Luke’s community, and world, by storm? Let’s start with a brief history of the breed.

The French Bulldog is a cross between the English Bulldog and the French Ratter Dog. Originally, there were two types of French Bulldogs – the bat ear and the rose ear. 

American Kennel Club

The American contribution to the breed was the insistence that the bat ear was the “correct dog.”  The French Bulldog was never meant to be a working dog; they have and always will be companion dogs. Frenchies are known for being sweet yet stubborn, and often have a lot of energy. 

Frenchies are obviously not built with evolutionary advantages in mind. Their low stature, short back and heavy bones make them prone to back and shoulder problems. Also, their smushed noses, while adorable, cause breathing difficulties. French Bulldogs cannot naturally reproduce. They have to be artificially inseminated, and birth is difficult, so most are born via c-sections. All of these procedures make them quite pricey.  

Because Frenchies are so expensive, they have become the target of many animal kidnappings. A notable kidnapping was that of Lady Gaga’s three French bulldogs – Asia, Koji, and Gustav. Their dog walker was walking the Frenchies on Sunset Boulevard when he was shot in the chest, and the dogs were stolen. 

Since they are such great companions, French Bulldogs have quickly become more popular by the year. In 2022, there were 108,000 French Bulldogs owned in the US, surpassing the previous most popular dog – the Labrador – by 21,000. French Bulldogs can range from 1,500 to 8,000 USD, depending on the coat color. Such popularity and cost create a fantastic opportunity for corrupt breeders to insert themselves into the business. The rarest of their coat colors, blue, is a genetic mutation that is not recognized as an official color by the American Kennel Club. This does not stop people from wanting these dogs, however, and they are often the most expensive of the breed. 

French Bulldogs have also become popular on the internet. Frenchies have accumulated a following on apps like Instagram and TikTok, where their funny personalities are put on show. For example, on Instagram,  “Izzy the Frenchie” has amassed an impressive following of 1.1 million. She has ‘written a book’ and is often seen posting photos of her lavish lifestyle. Over on TikTok and YouTube, where he posts a variety of short videos, Griffin the Frenchie has a following of 4.8 million. However, with all the fame came an influx of Frenchie purchases.

There are multiple ways to buy a puppy. The responsible way to purchase a puppy is from a reputable breeder, but sometimes things aren’t as they seem. Some breeders may present as reputable, but they are actually putting up a facade to cover their tracks. Of all the ways to buy a puppy, puppy mills almost guarantee that you will not get a healthy puppy. 

French Bulldogs already have increased probabilities of various diseases. Puppy-mill-born French Bulldogs are known to have terrible diseases in addition to their problems previously listed. A sad example is Marty, a puppy mill Frenchie, who was adopted and taken to his first vet visit. Audrey T. Austin described her puppy’s symptoms in an ASPCA article. He “had splayed paws, was almost blind and had a serial number tattoo on his little, blond bat ear—all signs of the cruelty he had suffered for so many years. Marty was also in terrible pain from two abscesses in his mouth and severe spinal degeneration that left him struggling to walk.” These injuries often result from either poor breeding or poor living conditions after birth. According to No Harm Dog Training, 2 million dogs are bred at puppy mills each year. 

A large portion of French Bulldogs bought in the last year were bought from puppy stores who mostly source their dogs from puppy mills. Additionally, the pet stores inhumanely put the puppies on display. Many people prefer these dog stores as the puppies are often extremely easy to find and purchase. 

The popularization of French Bulldogs is fantastic for the breed, but it does promote unhealthy and unethical breeding practices. The French Bulldog has come a long way to become America’s most popular dog breed, but is the money flooding into puppy mills worth the cute, squishy pup?

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About the Contributor
Kate Hammer '25
Kate Hammer '25, Science and Technology Editor
Kate Hammer is a junior and this is her third year writing for the Sentinel. Kate looks forward to improving her writing skills, diving deep into interesting topics, and punching out engaging articles for everyone to read. Kate's sports include soccer and horseback riding. When not in school, Kate enjoys baking, reading, and spending time with friends and family. She also enjoys playing with her dog Lola!

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  • J

    Joan BrooksMar 6, 2024 at 1:29 pm

    Puppy mills should be closed down