Well, kind of, because Swedes prefer the French bulldog when it comes to dog breeds. As in the U.S., smaller dogs have been the trend among dog owners in recent years, and the French bulldog is the breed that has increased the most in Swedish homes. It is lovingly referred to as a “fralla.” Last year, 650 “frallor” were registered in Sweden. “Some buy it because it is the perfect size, nice and very social,” says Birgitta Fahrman, expert in the breed at the Fransk Bulldog Klubb. Soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his partner Helena Seger have a French bulldog named Trustor and the breed is seen on film posters and in fashion reports. In Sweden the number of newly registered French bulldogs increased 20 percent in 2010, compared to 2009. And the breed is popular among both young and old.

“We notice a different category of puppy buyers today. Many want a dog because it’s cool, almost like an accessory,” says Fahrman. “It’s a pity.” Swedish designer Emeli Mårtensson is the mom of 6-month-old French bulldog Salvatore, or Sal for short. “French bulldogs are very social and easy to take with you everywhere. Sal comes with me to work, he comes to parties and to the city,” she says. “And of course (French bulldogs) are also cute and fun to look at.” As a matter of fact, “frallor” are so popular that where Sal and Emeli live, on Södermalm in Stockholm, special meetings for French bulldogs and their owners are organized on Sundays.