French Bulldog

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Size

Medium

Life span

12 Years

Weight

12.5 Kg

Breed Group

Utility Dogs

French Bulldog Characteristics

Intelligence
  • 3
Exercise Needs
  • 2
Dogs Health
  • 2
Child Friendly
  • 4
Apartment
  • 5
Shedding
  • 3
Grooming Needs
  • 5
Barking
  • 3
Alone
  • 1
Trainability
  • 4
Energy Levels
  • 3
Dog friendly
  • 4

Thinking of buying or adopting a French Bulldog?

French Bulldog Overview

The French Bulldog, also nicknamed “Frenchie” is a small-sized ‘Utility’ dog with a characteristic large “bat ears” and short tail that gives the breed a clownish look. The French bulldog is a result of a cross between an English dwarf Bulldog known as the Toy Bulldog and other short-faced breeds from France used for vermin hunting. It is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United Kingdom, ranking 4th in popularity in 2014 breed registrations and 9th in the United States. It has a sturdy, compact, solid appearance with a good bone structure. The stocky and muscular body is covered with short, smooth coat made of fine-textured hair that comes in brindle, fawn, and pied colour. The most striking features of the French Bulldog are its “bat ears”, medium-sized, rounded at top and wide at the base, set high on the head and carried upright. It has a general attitude described by owners as bubbly, friendly, loving, and highly intelligent. The average weight of a male French bulldog is 12.5 kg while a female typically weighs 11 kg.

 

French Bulldog Photos

Pros

  • Great with children and other pets
  • Highly intelligent and very easy to train
  • Low shedding in comparison to other dog breeds
  • Adaptable to living in either a house or apartment
  • Make wonderful companions, as they’re eager to please and give affection

Cons

  • Known to be stubborn and demanding
  • Well-bred Frenchie’s can be very expensive to buy 
  • Prone to becoming smelly if they’re not groomed correctly
  • Suffer with separation anxiety
  • Can be possessive over their loved ones

History & Origin

The French Bulldog lineage goes back directly to the dogs of the Molossians and ancient Greeks, spread throughout ancient Europe by the Phoenicians. The British Molossians developed into the Mastiff which developed the Bullenbeisser sub-family and were bred for bull-baiting during the 18th century. When bull-baiting was banned, these “bull dogs” became companion dogs and were developed into smaller size breeds that gave rise to the Toy Bulldog.

Part of the history of the modern French Bulldog can be traced back to Great Britain during the middle of the 19th century, when the Toy Bulldog was very popular in some areas of the United Kingdom. Lace makers from Nottingham displaced by the Industrial Revolution emigrated to Normandy in France, taking their Toy Bulldogs with them. These dogs gradually became popular and were eventually crossed with terrier and Pug stock which gave rise to the Bouledogue Français that we know today.

Appearance

The French Bull dog is very muscular and strong. They’re heavy boned, compact and very powerful for their size. The Frenchie’s head is large and square, with a slightly rounded skull.  Their eyes are set apart and set quite low down in their skull. Their ears have a distinctive shape; elongated and broad at the base, then rounded off at the top of their head. 

The Frenchie’s muzzle is broad and their noses are extremely short and black in colour. If the Frenchie is of lighter colour, then often their nose will be lighter too. 

Their neck is muscular and well proportioned, with loose skin at their throat. Their legs are straight and set wide apart. They’re a short breed, packed well, with broad shoulders, leading deep into their chest. This body shape gives the Frenchie their powerful appearance.

The Frenchie’s tail can either be screwed or straight.

Size and Weight

French bulldogs are prone to putting on weight easily. You must always feed them a healthy varied diet and exercise them regularly to prevent this. Feeding your Frenchie the wrong food group may result in them gaining weight and developing health issues later on in their life. They can be greedy when it comes to food, so you must train them to eat twice a day and not beg whilst you're eating. A firm but gentle approach in their training will prevent any behavioural issues around their eating habits. 

Coat and Colour

The Frenchie’s coat is short and fine. Their coat comes in a variety of colours, with the most dominant colour being, brindle. The registered Kennel Club colours are as follows:

  • Dark Brindle
  • Brindle & White
  • Brindle
  • Fawn & White
  • Fawn
  • Fawn Pied
  • Pied
  • White Fawn with Black

Temperament

This breed is describe as affectionate, alert, energetic, gentle, lively, playful, and a social dog. Bred as a companion dog more than anything else, the French Bulldog requires close human interaction in its day to day living. It thrives on human companionship and will suffer if left alone for a long period of time. It is active and sweet-tempered and is full of fun. It is an ideal companion dog for a stay-at-home owner who likes a discretely silent house dog. It generally forms a strong attachment to a single family member and is wary of strangers. The French Bulldog has a very good memory and is a fearless dog, owing to its Bullenbeisser lineage. It is sometimes referred to as a “frog dog” because the way it sits with his hind legs spread out. It is also called the “clown dog” because of its fun-loving clownish character.

First time owners

The Frenchie is an excellent choice for first time owner’s because they are easily trained and aim to please. They make amazing companions and are very loving. They love to receive attention and will happily spend most of their day chilling out with their loved ones.

Adaptability

This dog breed is highly adaptable. They’re happy to live in an apartment of home. As long as they receive the love from their family and the correct amount of daily exercise, this dog breed will thrive and be a happy and healthy dog breed. A dog that doesn’t receive the correct care can easily become bored, depressed and destructive.

Behaviour Traits

Generally, the Frenchie is well behaved and has a fantastic temperament. Providing they receive the correct training from a young age, this dog breed will go on to be a happy and obedient dog.

Affection Levels

The French bulldog is very affectionate and will happily spend majority of their day showering their owner with lots of wet kisses and warm snuggles. This beautiful dog breed aims to please and will go out of their way to keep you happy. They equally love the same amount of love and attention back from their owner. 

Playfulness

This dog breed is known for being rather silly and playful. They love to entertain their owners and this has to be one of their most beautiful qualities; resulting in them becoming one of the most popular dog breeds in the UK. They’re known for displaying their puppy-like behaviour right up until adulthood. 

Barking Tendencies

This dog breed is not really known for being vocal. French bulldogs need to be taught from a young age not to bark too loud. This must be done in a caring way to ensure they understand what is expected of them and done in a way that doesn’t frighten them. This will ensure they grow up to be well-balanced dogs. 

Territorial

The French bulldog is not particularly territorial. However, they do need to be trained form a young age to understand where they sit within the pack and to know what good and naughty behaviour is. Teaching them when they’re young will prevent them from displaying negative behavioural traits and from becoming territorial.

Training

The French Bulldog ranks at the lower portion of the canine intelligence scale, which makes training  a bit challenging. However, the key to teaching a dog is to start out young. This means that training the French Bulldog to follow basic and essential commands (such as come, stay, sit, etc.) should start during puppyhood. Basic commands are essential for the dog to learn early, progressing into a wide range of commands as the dog gets older. Fun and upbeat training coupled with positive reinforcement methods are the best training style suitable for the French Bulldog.

Grooming

The French Bulldog has a short, smooth, shiny coat with loose and wrinkled skin in the head and shoulders. The coat is quite easy to groom and only needs occasional brushing. Check the skin for any sign of allergies or infections as well as skin lesions. Clean the ears on a regular basis using a damp cloth. Dry ear edges can be treated with mineral oil or baby oil. Inspect the facial wrinkles and make sure they are free from bacterial infections. Dry the coat and skin thoroughly after bathing to prevent the onset of bacterial infections.

Health

The French Bulldog has a bulky body and a short muzzle that is known to have a compromised breathing system. These factors make it rather difficult for the dog to regulate body temperatures. In hot weather conditions, it may suffer from heat stroke if left under the heat for a long period. Its short single coat on the other hand, makes the dog intolerable of cold weather particularly during winter and requires warm clothing.

With a lifespan of 12 to 14 years, the French Bulldog is generally a healthy breed with a few health predispositions, including:

  • Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome – a pathological condition that affects short-nosed dogs that leads to severe respiratory distress;
  • Patellar luxation – or luxating patella, sometimes called trick knee, is a condition where the kneecap dislocates and is usually diagnosed between ages 4 to 6 months. It can be caused by physical trauma or genetically related;
  • Osteochondrodysplasia – or skeletal dysplasia is a rare disease that affects the back and spine;
  • Congenital hemivertebrae – a collection of abnormal formation of the spine;
  • Eye problems – such as cherry eye, glaucoma, retinal fold dysplasia, corneal ulcers, and juvenile cataracts.

Some French Bulldogs have been known to suffer with deafness, which Is more commonly seen in Frenchie’s that are white, Pied or Merle coloured coats. They can be tested, which is normally carried out when they’re 6 weeks of age. Frenchie’s can also suffer with Stenosis, which is a condition that is often seen within this dog breed. Stenosis is recognisable when they’re young and can be treated if spotted early. This condition affects the outer and inner part of the dog’s nostril and impacts their breathing. A dog suffering with this condition then goes on to suffer with BOAS if not treated early enough.

Allergies

The French Bull Dog can suffer with thyroid issues, which can have an affect their skin. Generally, this dog’s skin condition is very good, although they can also suffer with grass allergies. Allergies within dogs are often hard to detect and therefore treat. To better understand what could be triggering your dog to suffer with allergens you will need to eliminate certain food groups, cleaning products and possibly airborne allergies.

Listed below are some of the most common allergy triggers:

  • Fleas and tick bites
  • Dust mites
  • Certain food groups
  • Airborne pollutions
  • Chemicals for household cleaning
  • The environment

Vaccinations

The French bulldog should be given their initial vaccination after they’re sold. This is the new owners responsibility to ensure that the puppy then has their follow-up injects within the given time period. The following is recommended time frame:

10-12 weeks of age. Please note that a puppy will not have the full protection straight away, but will be fully protected 2 weeks after they have then received their second vaccination.

Neutering

Vets recommend that owners should wait until their dog is slightly older before they are neutered. This normally ranges between 6 to 9 months of age and applies to both male and female dogs and all dog breeds. Mypetzilla suggests you seek professional advice from your veterinary practice regarding this matter.

Care

The French Bull dog needs to be groomed on a regular basis to help keep their coat in great condition. This dog breed needs to be exercised on a regular basis to prevent them from becoming overweight and staying in optimum condition. As with all dog breeds, the Frenchie needs to be fed a high quality diet to keep them healthy and happy.

Puppy Care

French bulldog puppies are typically very playful, boisterous and loving. They love playtime and bonding with their loved ones. This dog breed is relatively easy to train and will learn when and where they need to do their toilet business. As with any puppy during their toilet training, there might be the odd accident in the house. If this does happen, it is important that you use gentle guidance and the correct direction as to where they need to go. It is very important that you don’t shout and scare the puppy as this will cause them anxiety and further issues down the line.

When you first bring your Frenchie home, it is important that they are not left on their own. The puppy can feel rather stressed out and anxious after leaving their mother and litter mates. As such, you should aim to bring the puppy home when you have a few days off that you can spend with them, so they’re not left alone. This period is rather short but very important.

You should aim to start their training from an early age as this will then benefit them as they grow into an adult dog and they also learn their place within the home. An obedient dog is a happy dog. Training must be gentle, clear and consistent. You must never be too rough when handling your dog as not only will this stress them out and cause them to be sacred, it will also cause behavioural problems as they grow into an adult dog.

Your Frenchie will need their own quiet area to sleep, eat and play. This should be away from any noise and the hustle and bustle of a busy house. They still need to be close to the family so you can check on them regularly if needed. They will need a very comfortable bed, with a blanket and lots of toy to play with. They will also need access to fresh drinking water.

The puppy should have received their first worming treatment before being sold and the breeder should provide all documentation to prove this, as well as information regarding their microchip. Their working treatment should be given as follows:

  • 6 months old
  • 8 months old
  • 10 months old
  • 12 months old

Senior Dog Care

As with any senior dog, the Frenchie will need extra care as they become older. Senior dogs are at more risk of developing health conditions as they age. Older dogs tend to become less tolerant to change and respond less to what is happening around them because of their impaired vision and hearing.  Typically, the French bulldog’s muzzle will go grey and they may potentially develop other conditions such as: 

  • Reduced strength and stamina
  • Arthritis
  • Weight changes
  • Reduced immune system, meaning they’re susceptible to develop infections
  • Loss of muscle tone
  • Lower pain threshold

Older dogs tend to need extra care and attention. This means moving them onto a food that maybe more suitable and monitoring the amount of exercise they have. You may also need to change their bed to make it easier to access and more comfortable.

As with any dog that is aging. They will need access to fresh drinking water as older dogs are prone to developing conditions with the kidney.

Exercise

This breed has a fairly minimal exercise requirements but it still needs at least a daily short walk to stay fit. However, it must only be taken for a walk when the temperature outside is cool. It is typically inactive indoors and will make a great companion to someone who lives in an apartment or house or to someone who typically stays at home. It is recommended that you take your Frenchie for a minimum of two walks a day of 45 minutes each. Exercising your dog and making sure they spend time outdoors playing and exploring will ensure they becomes a healthy happy dog.

Frenchie’s struggle to regulate their body temperature and therefore you should aim to walk them during the cooler times of the day. This also applies to when it’s cold. You should place a small jacket or jumper on your Frenchie to keep them insulated and warm.

Children and other pets

The French bulldog is patient and highly affectionate with its owners, especially with children regardless of age. It has no problem living with other dogs and animals in the house especially if it is introduced with them from an early age.

The Frenchie generally gets on very well with other animals and family pets. Because of their playful nature, they particularly like the company of younger children. The Frenchie has a lot of patience and they’re extremely kind, meaning a child of any age is safe to play with this dog. However, as with any dog breed, they must be supervised at all times during playtime to protect both the child and the dog.

Buying Advice

When visiting to buy a puppy or dog, there are several important questions you must the breeder/seller. Here is an article on dog breeder questions you might want to ask.

Listed below are some very important considerations Mypetzilla recommends you ask before committing to buying a French bulldog:

  • You must be careful of over paying for your French bulldog. As this dog breed is one of the most popular dog breeds within the UK, you may possibly come across a seller that over charges for the dog or insists that you pay up front before seeing the dog. This should raise a red flag and you must report an unlawful seller to the authorities.
  • If you’re looking to buy a Pied or White French Bulldog, you must ensure that the puppy/dog has been tested for deafness using the BAER test. They must have had this test from 6 weeks old and have to also be registered with KC and microchipped before they have the test.
  • As the seller for the official documents for the vaccinations. This must have been done in the UK and not the EU. If they have been imported from the EU, they should at least be of an age of 15 weeks and have been vaccinated against rabies. They must also come with an official pet passport.
  • Make sure to visit the puppy’s parents and check the health and socialisation of them. If the puppy has been raised in dirty and neglected circumstances, this should also be a warning and they must be reported to the authorities.
  • Never pay money upfront before seeing the dog. A reputable breeder will want to check over the buyers credentials and ensure the puppy is going to a safe home. If the breeder/seller is pushing for money upfront, chances are the dog doesn’t exist and you’re potentially being subjected to fraud.

Did you know?

  • The Frenchie weighs no more than 28 pounds which makes them light and easily portable
  • They can’t swim and therefore should be kept away from water
  • French Bulldogs have very minimal exercise needs and would rather lay about all day
  • They love to snore, grunt and snot. In fact the Frenchie is known for making rather weird noises

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