Celebrating French Dog Breeds on Bastille Day
Happy July 14th! I know you’re thinking I got my holidays mixed up since July 4th has already passed. But, July 14th of every year is a celebrated French holiday called Bastille Day. It honors the 1790 Fête de la Fédération, held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789.
Since the French have contributed so many nice things to the United States, such as the Statue of Liberty, fine wine and cheese, perfume, fashion, and fancy French cuisine, we thought it was time to pay tribute to the French. We at BaxterBoo thought it was only proper to celebrate with a homage to our French four-legged furballs.
This gentle hunting dog is known for its short legs and long ears. It is a multi-purpose dog that follows its nose just about anywhere. The Basset can be any hound color, which includes combinations of black, tan, white, red and other colors. They're very affectionate and friendly dogs that are well-behaved and adjust to family life very well.
First presented in 1863 at a Paris dog show, the Basset-Hound was a French favorite. With its powerful sense of smell, that breed was great for hunting, but its gentle side was great for companionship. The breed began showing up in America when breeders wanted to breed a dog that exhibited both hunting and companion traits.
A born working dog, the Beauceron is perfect for sheep herding. They're highly intelligent and obedient with a drive of motivation that makes them great for training. As natural guard dogs, they have a loyal and fearless demeanor, making them great for military or police work.
The oldest record of this breed goes way back into the Renaissance from 1578. The breed was primarily a herding dog, but had a tendency to bite and snap in defense of the flock. Through selective breeding, the temperament of this attack dog was softened.
With its protective nature, the dog was also put to work in the military. They could deliever messages, pick up trails, find wounded soldiers, and carry food and ammunition. Their calm demeanor and ability to follow commands on the spot, made them great for both major European wars. Even today, we use them as herders, guard dogs, and military dogs.
A great hunting dog, the Brittany is highly intelligent and easy to train. They are affectionate, gentle, happy, and eager to please. Their good nature and enthusiastic hunting skills make this dog a popular breed.
Even though it looks a lot like the Welsh Springer Spaniel, the Brittany is believed to be a cross between the Orange and White Setter and another non-identified French dog. The dog got its name from the French province of Brittany and is one of the most popular breeds used for bird hunting.
Bred as a companion dog, this small, muscular pup is appreciated for its affectionate nature. Lively and playful, the French Bulldog has a funny personality. They go with the flow, very enthusiastic, goofy and curious. All of these qualities make the Frenchie a great companion and family member.
Their playful demeanor makes them great for company. They get along well with strangers and other animals. This breed is a natural follower, so leadership is important when raising a Frenchie. Their coat will either be a brindle, fawn, white, and brindle and white color.
Since the English Bulldog was a popular breed in the 19th Century in England, the idea arose to make a smaller, lap version breed. This new "toy bulldog" was carried to France during the Industrial Revolvution. The French instantly fell in love with the big earred love bug and gave it the name "French Bulldog."
The breed made its way back to England over time and the British were furious that the name "French" was given to a dog orginally started in England. However, the name stuck and this loveable bulldog was forever known as the French Bulldog.
A small and lively companion, the Papillion is distinguished from other breeds by its butterfly-like ears. They're not shy or aggressive, but are happy and alert. Their coat will either be parti-color or white with patches of any color.
They're smart, friendly dogs that are playful and amusing. With an affectionate and gentle temperment, they love to cuddle which makes them a great household pet. They love outdoor excerise and they are quite amusing to watch. Despite their appearance, they are not considered a yippie dog, but rather an obedient playmate.
Dating back nearly 700 years, the Papillion was orginally breed with dropped ears and went by the name of "epagneul nain" or "dwarf spaniel". They were often depicted in the laps of French and Spanish noblewomen during the 13th and 15th centuries. Overtime, their ears became more erect and gave the appearance of a butterfly, which earned the dog a new name of Papillion (which means "butterfly" in French).
The description is in the name (literally). This French name means, Petit– small; Basset– low to the ground; Griffon– rough or wire coated; and Vendéen- the area of France from which he originated. The Vendéen is a scent hound that has a long, rough coat. Its colors typically include white with any combination of lemon, orange, black, sable, tricolor or grizzle markings.
They're intelligent and alert, but they have a very cheerful and friendly demeanor. They love to dig and is sometimes known for its escaping abilities. They need leadership due to its pack animal hertiage.
They get their name for a few reasons. Bred as a hunting dog for hare and rabbit, the pup orginated in the French region of Vendéen well back into the 16th century. They were bred down in size from the much larger Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen and up until 1975, the two breeds were cross bred.
Have a safe and happy Bastille Day!