Romans May Have Bred Frenchie (Like) Dogs Before It Was Cool

People have been breeding dogs to accentuate desirable traits for thousands of years. And not just “work-related” traits like herding, guarding, or pulling sleds, but also “cute and companionable” traits that make for better pets. Dogs have been around a looooong time.

The excavated Roman pets were similar to French Bulldogs and Pekingese.

Despite this long history, certain popular traits in pet dogs, such as flatter faces, are often viewed as a modern conceit. However, findings from the Roman empire suggest that flat-faced dogs resembling French Bulldogs were around over 2,000 years ago. Wear and tear indicates the dogs were pampered pets, and possibly an attempt to have a dog similar to the Pekingese, which was owned by Chinese imperial families at the time.

Snub-nosed dogs aren’t found in existing Roman art, which makes these findings a little surprising. However, the Romans are credited as the world’s first true dog breeders, having classes of dogs, as well as a keen understanding of physical and behavioral inheritance. Perhaps we should have expected these “proto-pug” findings!

★     Skull of a brachycephalic dog unearthed in the ancient city of Tralleis, Türkiye
★     The French Bulldog has been named America’s No.1 Most Popular DogRomans May Have Bred Frenchie (Like) Dogs Before It Was Cool