Although little is written on the beginning of our breed in Norway, French Bulldogs can be traced back to 1920 and were recognized as a breed by the Norwegian Kennel Klub in 1937.

In 1922, a Norwegian bitch, Mademoiselle Parsque, was exhibited in Sweden. She was sired by the famous Ch. Parsque and her dam was Molly 11, bred by Mr. A. Gundersen of Malden, U.S.A.

During the following decades, many French Bulldogs were imported to Norway from both England and Sweden. Ulla Segerstrom of Finland, with her foundation bitch, Fleur, relocated to Sweden in the late 1940s. Ulla was the most famous and influential breeder of the times and from whom many Norwegian fanciers began in the breed. Therefore, many of our French Bulldogs can be traced back to Finland as well. In the early 1960s the names of HÂkon Vegmo (Mivesti) and Petra Davidsen (Zilmera) were prominent breeders in Norway and the latter continued to breed up until 1989.

In 1970 there were only five new French Bulldogs registered in Norway. Many the dogs that appeared in the rings were imports from England and Sweden. The name "Tommyville" of England appears in many of our Norwegian pedigrees and the Quatt ,Boristi and Kilbarchan prefixes, of the United Kingdom, can be found as well.

By 1979 there was only three new registered French Bulldogs and in the next decades, the new registrations averaged between ten and twenty in number. By the late 1980s the breed experienced a rise in popularity and the new registrations averaged between thirty and fifty. Today, in 2001, the French Bulldog population in Norway is estimated to be between 300 and 400 dogs and the number of new registration was thirty-eight.

The Norwegian breeders have worked to achieve healthy stock, and in particular, self-whelping bitches. The quality of the breed is quite high. Breeders have continued to import dogs from England, and of course, Sweden, and ten years ago frozen sperm from France was imported to assist in our breeding programs. Today it is far easier to get new blood from abroad and participation in dogs shows has become easier as well. Today we see judges from all over the world coming to our shows.

As in every country, breeders come and go, but several here have withstood the test of time and have been worked hard in the breed for many years.

Norway hosts a group of active breeders who work very closely together. Although there are many propsective buyers, many Norwegian breeders are very careful as to whom they are sell. These caretakers are proud and happy to work with such a delightful breed as our wonderful French Bulldog, and hope to continue the efforts of the wonderful, hardworking serious breeders of the past.

Kari Bjørnsen

Breeders in Norway
Up to now there have not been so many French bulldog breeders in Norway, and in 1980 there were only registered 5 new pups, all with Swedish dams. At that time there was only 30-50 French Bulldogs in the whole country. Up until 1985 there was born 10-15 pups, and most of these had English dams. Today it is a very different scenery with between 400 - 450 Frenchies living in Norway. These dogs mainly live in families and breeders do not have too many dogs in their homes (2-5). Bitches and males are not used more than 1-3 times. Because of this breeding policy it is very difficult to point out just a few Frenchies, as many have made a contribution to the breed. Going from generation to generation we can see improvements as the breed develops.

The breeders, or let me rather call them Frenchie lovers, mainly bred because they wanted a new member in the family. They mostly used stud dogs living in Norway or Sweden. At the time the only countries we were able to import from without the quarantine were Sweden and England. Out of this breeding stock today's Frenchies descend, and this is the story of Frenchies bred by Norwegian breeders.

The breed became more known over the years, and more and more people wanted these adorable dogs. In the beginning a Frenchie was just a French Bulldog and was loved as such. But this attitude towards the breed changed and their outlook, colour, size, health and movement became important. The quality of many of the first dogs in Norway was good, and today it is generally very high. To broaden the gene pool when needed, it is easier for today's breeders to use “new blood” and to go abroad because of new import regulations. Judges who see our Frenchies and judge them, remark the high quality. Norwegian Frenchies are to be seen at the top of show lists at national and international shows.

The size of the Frenchies in Norway is small/medium, but of course there are some heavy ones as well.

In Norway we have all colours and some breeders even fancied the fawns before they were recognised by FCI in 1995.

The most common colour is brindle. From the dark brindle to the light brindle . There are many pied coloured Frenchies as well.

Some breeders are getting more concerned about the health of the Frenchies even though the Norwegian Kennel Club has no set rules related to health issues in the breed. We can to a certain point judge soundness by watching when a Frenchie is moving ,freely with no sign of breath problems, and many have been ex-rayed in the kennel's work to improve hips and spines. Ex-raying is a voluntary matter and a few breeders are ex-raying, but the results are not made public. It is just based the individual breeder's wish to work with health issues.

The soundness of the breed is also related to fertility. In Norway our Frenchies have high fertility and quite large litters. The most common are 3-6 pups but often there are between 5-9 pups. The record is 10 pups. Some bitches whelp themselves, and this trait seems to be inherited from mother to daughter. NCh Babybulls Emerald 1991 was a selfwhelping bitch, and this quality has descended from her dam through her and Babybulls Qumilla 2005, is the 8th generation of selfwhelping bitches from mother to daughter.

Line breeding is most common in Norway, and the breeders try to do the best they can for the Frenchies sound development. The active breeders today have many people interested in puppies, but are very careful to whom they sell as the breed is getting more and more popular. But most important of all is that the breeders are happy to work with such a delightful breed, and hope to continue to improve the good work which all those serious breeders have done through the years.

Kari Bjørnsen