When it comes to the French Bulldog, it’s hard not to fall instantly head over heels over this insanely adorable dog breed.
They have a smile that can light up even the darkest room, personality for days, and you can’t talk about a Frenchie without mentioning their trademark bat ears.
Called the 'bouledogue français' in French, this purebred has become a world favorite. The dogs were extremely popular with lace makers, with many lace workers taking their dogs with them when they immigrated from Nottingham to France.
A favorite among many dog lovers worldwide, if you’re welcoming a Frenchie into your life, there’s some important things to know and items you’ll want to have on hand to ensure your pup is as happy and healthy as can be.
Basic Overview of the French Bulldog
In the 1800s, this toy-sized version of the bulldog started to appear in England. Crossed with smaller bulldogs from France, the french “ratter” terriers, this helped to diminish their size and also gift them with those erect bat-like ears we can’t help but love.
In 2013, the American Kennel Club (AKC) officially ranked the French Bulldog as the 10th most popular dog breed throughout the USA.
Frenchies are praised for their calm demeanor, and due to their low need for activity, they do just fine in apartment-style living. These are dogs that are very attached to their people and love making new friends.
In 2020, French Bulldogs became the second most popular registered dog in the United Kingdom, and the second-most popular AKC registered dog breed in the United States. These are huge statistics!
If you have a Frenchie in your life, be sure to offer your dog social enrichment with walks around the neighborhood or time spent at the dog park. A harness is always best for these dogs, as well as a shorter lead to keep them nearby.
And you’ll want to be sure that your social butterfly is properly identified at all times because the Frenchie doesn’t know a stranger.
The Temperament of the Frenchie
The French Bulldog loves to eat as much as they love people, so you’ll want to go easy on the treats to keep yours in tip-top shape. Frenchies are alert and playful little dogs, but they are ideal for apartment life also due to the fact that they keep their barking at a minimum.
Since the Frenchie simply loves to play, invest in dog toys for them—especially enrichment activities. The Frenchie is a highly intelligent dog breed and they learn quickly.
French bulldog puppies love to stay active and enjoy a lot of playfulness in their games with humans. It is important to take the dog on consistent daily walks and keep them mentally stimulated too.
This is a companion breed of dog that loves to go with you wherever you go. Invest in a car seat cover and dog seat belt to keep them safely in place when the two of you hit the road together.
This is not the sort of breed that does well being left alone for hours on end. CBD or other calming treats are ideal to have should you know your dog will be spending time away from you.
Overall, the Frenchie is a very affectionate and loving breed of dog that thrives on being with its humans as much as possible.
Becky Smith, president of the French Bull Dog Club of America (FBDCA) notes that people with "patience, a kind disposition, gentle hands, and a loving spirit are the ideal owner for this darling breed," who thrive on human interaction.
These dogs are generally well-mannered and easy to live with, but should you plan to leave them alone for long hours on end, do not become upset when they’ve exhibited naughty dog behaviors as a means to cope with their separation anxiety.
If a little drool on the furniture bothers you, a Frenchie might not be the breed for you.
General Health & Common Health Problems
This dog breed is 20-28 lbs on average, standing roughly 12” in height at maturity. The French Bulldog is a generally healthy dog breed, but they do have a few health issues to watch for based on their body structure.
French bulldogs have a life span of 10 to 12 years, but owners should be aware of some common health risks that the breed is known for.
For starters, this is a flat-faced (brachial) breed, so breathing issues can be common for them given the structure of their nose and airways.
This is also a breed that is prone to snoring. Digestion issues can be common for brachial breeds of dogs, so it’s best that they do not eat too much at once, and also an elevated feeder is ideal for them.
Brachycephalic Airway Obstructive Syndrome in flat-faced dog breeds can lead to respiratory issues, so it’s important to not expose your Frenchie to extreme heat or vigorous exercise.
While some dog breeds enjoy swimming, the Frenchie is not one of them. Their heavy-chested body structure makes it impossible for them to swim, and their flat face doesn’t help either. Should you ever choose to spend time near the water with your Frenchie, you must invest in a dog life vest for their safety.
Cherry eye (inflamed third eyelid) is common with this breed as is in the English Bulldog.
Due to their compact size and selective breeding down to create smaller versions of the breed, they can be prone to spinal issues.
You’ll want to ensure that you are keeping your Frenchie at an ideal weight and on quality dog food as not to put added stress on their frame because this will negatively impact their health.
Offer quality kibble and low-calorie treats, and do not allow this breed to free feed.
Common Health Conditions related to the Frenchie:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Brachycephalic Syndrome (soft palate)
- Ear infections
- Patellar luxation
- Skin problems
- Cherry eye
- issues with patella (knee caps slipping)
With a short, fine coat, your Frenchie's grooming needs will be fairly easy to maintain. It is recommended to brush your Frenchie weekly with a soft bristle brush.
Due to their natural skin folds, you’ll want to bathe these small dogs regularly to keep them smelling and looking their best.
It's very important that you keep your pup's skin folds clean and always check for scabs or lesions that could lead to infections. Make sure to clean their ears regularly with a damp cloth and keep up with nail trimming, too.
Exercise Needs and Training
Take care in hot weather. They love to run and play and can play for hours if you let them. Some have higher energy levels than others, but are sensitive to heat and can quickly succumb to heatstroke.
Frenchies are, generally, low-energy dogs and require minimal exercise, however, a few short walks and a bit of playtime daily can go a long way.
French Bulldogs are relatively intelligent, especially if you incorporate lots of food, praise, and play into the training routine. Make training feel like a game, and remember that Frenchies are people pleasers, by nature.
French Bulldogs are free thinkers, which can lead to stubbornness. This also means that they are not the best-suited breed for obedience and agility competitions.
But with patience and consistency, housetraining and a few tricks should be easy enough to accomplish.
What’s the Best Bed for Your French Bulldog?
Given the health concerns listed above for the French Bulldog, it’s best to find them a bed that’s cozy and hugs their body. This is a breed of dog that overheats easily, so you won’t need a fuzzy bed like you would with a Chihuahua.
Invest in a memory foam style bed that cradles their body and gives them the support that they need to relax comfortably.
Since the breed is extremely prone to separation anxiety, you’ll want to be sure they have a place in your home where they can feel safe in your absence. View our range of Comfort Cuddle dog beds.
For further information about French Bulldog rescue networks, find more information via this link.