Dog breed characteristics and care for the French Bulldog

French bulldog standing indoors in profile

The French bulldog (or Frenchie) is a robust, compact dog breed that was naturally developed in France. It has a huge head, a short snout, and bat-like ears. This breed is lively, endearing, and fun. The French bulldog is a smaller, more distant relative of the English bulldog; while the two breeds have certain traits in common, they also differ from one another.

Overall, the French bulldog is a charming, loving dog that makes a great pet for many types of families. They are more robust than the typical little dog despite their small size, which allows them to thrive in smaller settings. This breed is devoted and intellectual, making it a great choice for families with kids and other pets. The Frenchie is a happy and sociable canine buddy.

Breed Overview

Group: 

Height: 11 to 13 inches

Weight: 19 to 28 pounds

Coat: Short, smooth fur

Coat Color: Brindle, fawn, white, or combinations of brindle and white or fawn and white

Life Span: 10 to 12 years

Temperament: Playful, friendly, loyal, affectionate, lively, sociable

Hypoallergenic: No

Origin: France

Characteristics of the French Bulldog

French bulldogs are loving, family-oriented canines who thrive when given plenty of quality time with their owners. Be mindful that your Frenchie will long for your companionship and struggle if left alone for extended periods of time each day. This lively breed enjoys spending time with its owners and kids (along with other pets in the household, in most cases).

French bulldogs are a fantastic breed choice for apartment life since they normally only bark when something really needs your attention. While your Frenchie may enjoy playing inside or outside, these dogs don't really need a lot of exercise to keep happy and healthy.

Affection Level High
Friendliness High
Kid-Friendly Medium
Pet-Friendly Medium
Exercise Needs Low
Playfulness High
Energy Level Medium
Trainability Medium
Intelligence Medium
Tendency to Bark Medium
Amount of Shedding Medium
1:33

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History of the French Bulldog

Although there is some debate over the breed's ancestry, the French bulldog is unquestionably descended from the English bulldog. Many people think that the English bulldog was reduced in size by selective breeding before being sent to France, where the French bulldog was gradually formed. Around the time when several groups of employees were relocated from England to France, numerous toy English bulldogs were being bred; it is assumed that they carried the little dogs with them.

The French bulldog differs from the English bulldog by having ears that resemble bats rather than roses. The prominent ears of the toy English bulldogs, which were less attractive in England, were readily accepted by French bulldog enthusiasts. It is conceivable that other breeds, such as various terriers and the pug, contributed to the bloodlines of the French bulldog.

In the late 1800s, American society women started to favor French bulldogs. The French Bull Dog Club of America's breed standard specifies that erect bat ears are the ideal ear type.

The French bulldog has a long history of being a devoted friend and excellent lap dog. The American Kennel Club (AKC) first recognized the breed in 1898, and since then it has progressively gained popularity, growing to become one of the top 10 breeds in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States in modern times.

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French Bulldog Care

Compared to other popular dog breeds, French bulldogs require far less activity and maintenance, although some of them may benefit from additional training, depending on the needs of your individual dog. Your Frenchie should grow up to be a sociable and content companion in your home as long as they are properly socialized when they are initially adopted with strangers and other animals.

Exercise

The Frenchie is typically more of a lapdog than a running companion, but regular exercise is still crucial with prudence. Due to its tiny, stubby snout and probable airway issues, this breed is prone to overheating. Daily activity is crucial, but moderation is key. The greatest exercises are short bursts of racing about the yard or playing with toys indoors. Frenchies are said to be terrible swimmers, so you will need to watch this breed near a pool or other bodies of water, according to the French Bulldog Rescue Network.

Grooming

Smooth-coated Frenchies have a tendency to shed at a moderate rate. Little more than basic routine maintenance, including weekly brushing, is needed for the breed. In the spring and fall, when they lose their undercoat, owners might wish to brush their pets more frequently.

Regular and with skin-soothing shampoo may be helpful if your Frenchie is prone to skin problems. The deep skin folds might require a little more care to be fully dried after being cleaned of dirt with a moist cloth or baby wipe.

To keep your dog's nails from breaking or cracking, trim them every few weeks. Additionally, it is advised to wash its teeth two to three times a week as part of preventative oral hygiene; this can help avoid the breed's typical dental issues and gum infections.

Training

Teaching your Frenchie regularly is a terrific method to cement your relationship because they are intelligent and eager to learn. Additionally, this breed is typically food motivated, which is advantageous while teaching your dog. Additionally, French bulldogs can be challenging to housetrain; the AKC advises crate training as one solution to this issue.

In order to make sure your Frenchie is acclimatized to their environment, socialization is also crucial. As early as eight weeks old, you may start teaching this breed the fundamentals of obedience. When your puppy is ready, it's also a good idea to enroll them in socialization and training sessions. This is a fantastic approach to train your dog new instructions and make it more confident among unfamiliar people and other canines.

When reared with other pets, the majority of French bulldogs get along well, while others are more likely to chase cats or small dogs. Lack of exposure to other animals may cause a Frenchie to become aggressive toward canines of the same sex. In a home with many dogs, this breed can also exhibit jealousy and competitiveness. While most rescue dogs are wonderful with kids, it's always a good idea to ask about the dog's past experiences with kids and other animals to make sure they'll fit in with your family.

Safety Tips

The French bulldog's facial shape impacts the safety of certain other typical scenarios like travel in addition to its limitations on activity. When traveling with this breed, take additional care to prevent overheating in your Frenchie. In particular, remember never to leave your dog alone in a moving vehicle. According to the French Bulldog Rescue Network, if flying is necessary, your Frenchie should travel in the passenger compartment with you in a carrier.

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Common Health Problems

Responsible dog breeders work hard to uphold the strictest breed standards mandated by organizations like the AKC. Although dogs raised to these criteria are less likely to acquire illnesses, the French bulldog breed is nevertheless susceptible to some inherited health issues. There are a few things to be aware of:

  • : Typical in many "flat-faced" dog breeds, Brachycephalic syndrome is a condition that can affect your dog's airway and breathing.
  • : While it's more common in larger dog breeds, hip dysplasia can also affect French bulldogs. This condition is caused by abnormal developments in your dog's hip joints. Veterinarians can usually provide treatment to help dogs with hip dysplasia live comfortably.
  • : These conditions can affect any dog, but French bulldogs may be more prone than some other breeds. Infections, allergies, and dermatitis are common causes of itchy or irritated spots.
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Diet and Nutrition

Usually, French bulldogs need to eat two meals a day. Give your dog up to 3/4 cup of dry food each time, or under a veterinarian's supervision. It is important to discuss your dog's nutritional requirements with your veterinarian to create a meal plan that suits your Frenchie's lifestyle and physical demands because more precise food amounts your dog needs will depend on its size, activity level, age, and medical history. Additionally, it's crucial to keep an eye on your dog's weight because obesity in dogs can decrease a dog's lifespan and lead to unpleasant living circumstances at any age.

Where to Adopt or Buy a French Bulldog

French bulldogs are bred responsibly all across the country, but they can also be found at regional shelters and breed-specific rescues. Make sure to engage with a breeder that is willing to give references and confirmed medical documents for their dogs if you intend to adopt a Frenchie from them. Start your quest by contacting one of these reputable rescue and breeding organizations:

  • French Bulldog Rescue Network
  • French Bull Dog Club of America
  • Rescue French Bulldogs

French Bulldog Overview

Pros
  • Friendly and affectionate

  • Good family pet

  • Infrequent barkers

Cons
  • Can easily overheat

  • Cannot partake in a lot of running/exercise or high-intensity activities

  • Prone to breathing issues

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

Make sure to conduct a ton of research before getting your next best friend if you think a French bulldog could be the dog for you. To find out more, speak to other Frenchie owners, reliable breeders, and rescue organizations. Check out the following to compare if you're interested in comparable breeds:

There are plenty of different types of dogs that can join your family—explore a variety of to find the best fit for you!

FAQ
  • Are French Bulldogs Aggressive?

    French bulldogs are well recognized for being amiable, devoted pets for both single owners and families. As with many breeds, it's crucial to socialize your dog when you first bring them home with other animals and unfamiliar people to make sure they feel at ease in a variety of settings.

  • Is the French Bulldog a Good Pet to Have?

    French bulldogs are wonderful pets because of their charming nature, which fit a variety of lifestyles. Due to its low activity needs, this breed is also a fantastic choice for apartment living. Given that the French bulldog breed dislikes being left alone for lengthy periods of time, it is ideal to adopt one if you can give it lots of quality time.

  • Do French Bulldogs Bark a Lot?

    Unlike many other small dog breeds, French bulldogs are typically very quiet at home. They tend to bark only in cases that they truly need to get their owner's attention.

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