Breed Type: Non-sporting
Country of Origin: England
Also known as: Bouledogue Français, Frenchie
Height: 30 cm Weight: 9-13 kg
Exercise Requirements: Low
Care Requirements: Medium
Lifespan: 8-12 Years
Best Suited as: Family Pets
The French Bulldog is full of personality and is easily recognized by his bat like ears. While prone to more health problems than most breeds, his comical personality and fun-loving nature will easily steal your heart. Versatile in his ability to live in many different situations and with many different families, consider this dog if you have the time and energy to devote to him.
The French Bulldog, while small, gives off a tough guy appearance. This muscular guy has a bulging chest, flat head, protruding, wide-set eyes and short legs. They have very short, almost invisible noses. Their defining characteristic is their bat like ears, which stand erect on their heads.
Their shiny, smooth coat is soft to the touch and wrinkles around their bodies at certain points but primarily around their neck. Their coat colors are most often fawn, white, brindle and white and brindle. Their short tails can be either straight or corkscrewed and add to their interesting appearance.
While the French Bulldog may look like a little tough guy, they are actually quite amusing and even clownish. They are also intelligent, courageous and sweet. Most make excellent family pets and are said to be good with children. Frenchies can be reliable watchdogs, taking a stand when confronted by strangers. Unlike some of the other small dog breeds, Frenchies are not known to be yappy.
The French Bulldog, like many other companion dogs, adores spending time with their families. Their sweet disposition and patient personalities make them pleasant to be around. They can be playful, alert and enthusiastic and love to have fun. This dog requires lots of attention and does not do well when ignored. Allow your Frenchie to be the lapdog he was meant to be, and you will have one happy pooch.
There are many conflicting stories as to the origin of the French Bulldog. Some breeders claim the breed originated in England and then moved with their owners to Brittany and France where their lacemaking skills were more in demand. The dogs became popular there and a trade in imported small Bulldogs was created. Most of the exported bulldogs were thought to be too small and deformed (the English did not consider their bat ears to be attractive). By 1860, there were very few miniature Bulldogs left in England, due to their high demand in France. By that time the French really did have the right to claim the dog and they started to develop the breed into a dog of their own – one without the extreme under jaw of the English Bulldog. The French appreciated the bat ear look more than the English, and while most kept this trait, Frenchies with rounded ears also became popular.
The breed’s unpopularity in England did not last forever and they became desirable dogs again in England in the 1900’s. United States citizens also became enamored with this cutie on trips to Paris and started bringing them home with them. By 1906, the French Bulldog’s popularity sky rocked and they were the fifth most popular dog breed in America. Australians started adopting Frenchies in the 1940’s but they never became truly popular there. The breed’s popularity began to decline everywhere after World War I.
For the next fifty years, the French Bulldog was relatively unknown but in the 1980’s, there was a rapid rise in Frenchie registrations. Today, the French Bulldog is a popular breed once again.
Care and Grooming
The French Bulldog is an easy dog to care for. They are only average shedders and require very little grooming and brushing. They require occasional baths and the skin folds under their eyes should be cleaned regularly. Although they easily overheat, your Frenchie will still appreciate a short daily walk. Take care to make sure they always have access to fresh water and shade. They love to play and when a walk is not possible, a quick game in the yard will suffice.
Do not overfeed your Frenchie as many overweight Frenchies have trouble breathing.
While not an unhealthy breed, French Bulldogs are predisposed to a number of health issues. These health issues include joint diseases, spinal disorders, heart defects and eye problems. Eye problems such as cherry eye, glaucoma, retinal fold dysplasia, corneal ulcers and cataracts are the most common. Females often deliver pups by cesarean section because their pups have exceptionally large heads.
Being a flat faced breed, they tend to wheeze and snore and have many other complications related to their breathing problems. One of these is having trouble regulating their body temperatures in hot weather and another is using anesthesia. While riding in the cargo area on an airplane is not safe for many animals, it is especially dangerous for the French Bulldog due to their heat and breathing issues. If you must travel by plane with your pet, see if riding in the cabin with you is an option.
Suitability as a Pet
Besides possible health problems, the French Bulldog is an easy and fun pet to own. Frenchies were bred to be lap dogs and love being around you. They do well in a variety of families and may be especially good pets for those who live in apartments, and those who have lots of time to devote to their needs. French Bulldogs can adapt easily to other doggy siblings. Frenchies can be fairly active indoors but can live without a yard.
The French Bulldog does appreciate a daily walk, even if it just a short one in the cooler part of the day. Do not put your Frenchie in the pool – they are unable to swim due to their physique. Your French Bulldog will also not appreciate being left for long periods of time, especially outdoors.
While your Frenchie will love to cuddle and sleep with you, take care they do not get too far under the covers. They have a hard enough time breathing normally, and will have an exceptionally hard time with something covering their small noses.
French Bulldog Organisations in Australia French Bulldog Club of NSW French Bulldog Organisations in the UK French Bulldog Club of England French Bulldog Organisations in the US French Bulldog Rescue Network French Bulldog Last Chance Rescue Did we miss your organisation? Let us know. Contact Us