There is a difference of opinion as to the origin of the French Bulldog, but one ancestor must have been the English Bulldog – probably one of the toy variety, of which there were a great number in England around 1860. These toy Bulldogs were sent in large numbers into France, where they were crossed with various other breeds and were given the name Boule-Dog Francais. One found dogs with rose ears, while others had bat ears which is now an outstanding feature of the French Bulldog. Another distinctive feature of the French Bulldog is the skull. The correctly formed skull should be level, or flat, between the ears, while directly above the eyes, extending almost across the forehead, it should be slightly curve, giving a domed appearance. In the early days of breeding in Europe, the tendency was toward the rose ear. This movement was opposed by Americans and the breed would eventually lost the feature that strongly accentuates its individuality, and the result would have been practically a miniature English Bulldog.
This controversy over type was responsible for the formation of the French Bulldog Club of America, the first organization in the world devoted to the breed. In 1898 fanciers gave a specialty show in the ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria. The affair proved a sensation, and it was due, no doubt, to the resulting publicity that the quaint little chaps became the rage in society.