The French Bulldog, also known as a “Frenchie”, is a lively and loveable breed that makes a great pet for all types of families, especially those with young children due to the breed’s qualities and friendly companionship. These small dogs have huge personalities and are usually known to be more of a lap dog, so it’s essential to make time for providing lots of attention to them to avoid separation anxiety, which can be common for this particular breed. French Bulldogs have a small, compact appearance with a short nose, bat-like ears and a large head.
Height: 11-13 inches (28-33 cm)
Weight: 16-28 lbs (7.5-12.5 kg)
Average Litter Size: 3-5 puppies
Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
Kennel Club Classification: Utility Breed group
Good with Children: Yes
The French Bulldog has a short, smooth coat, meaning this breed is not prone to shedding. Colours include fawn, black, white and brindle – a pattern made up of black and fawn hairs. French Bulldogs can also be a combination of the three. The most popular colour is brindle or black, with fawn being a less common colour.
The French Bulldog has a shorter coat, which makes shedding less of an issue than other breeds. Due to the breed’s fine hairs, brushing occasionally is recommended to stimulate hair growth and to keep the coat healthy and shiny – however, make certain you’re using a soft bristled brush or a rubber grooming mitt. When it comes to bathing, the French Bulldog will only need to be washed when visibly dirty, and using a vet-recommended shampoo is advised, as some French Bulldogs are prone to skin allergies.
Grooming your French Bulldog should include regular trimming of the toenails to avoid any pain from overgrowth, cracking or splitting. Checking your dog’s ears should also be a weekly occurrence, but French Bulldogs are less susceptible to any ear issues. Finally, brushing your dog’s teeth around once or twice a week can help to prevent gum infections or other dental problems.
The French Bulldog is a flat-faced breed that can be susceptible to certain conditions. Some of the more common issues can often be breathing problems due to their shorter snout, which means they can overheat easily, especially in warmer weather. This is known as brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS), and it is recommended to keep walks short and brief to try and avoid this. Owners are also advised to have their Frenchie screened to minimise the risk.
Other health issues in French Bulldogs can include dental problems, eye problems and skin conditions, where the skin in their wrinkles can get inflamed or irritated. Hip dysplasia is also common across all breeds of dogs, however, larger dogs that suffer rapid growth are more prone to this.
French Bulldogs are known for their charm, and they love almost anyone that can provide them with any kind of attention. Many describe this breed as having a lot of character and a great sense of humour. They crave love and affection and can be satisfied with just a lap to lie on. If you’re looking for a first dog for your family, the Frenchie is perfect, as they quickly become connected to their family. Keep in mind, however, that this breed wouldn’t suit a family who will be away for several hours of the day.
The French Bulldog is a high alert breed, but they are infrequent barkers, only making their owners aware if they consider something to be wrong. They can be on the more destructive side if not trained to a higher level. These dogs enjoy mauling their toys and hiding them around the house, so pay attention to the size of their toys to prevent any choking.
When it comes to training, French Bulldogs are intelligent dogs and are quick to learn. However, they can be stubborn, so they’ll need a little motivation with treats and rewards. Early socialisation and puppy training from an early age will help to strengthen your bond and grow your Frenchie’s confidence around other dogs.
House training is also advised from a young age. Include crate training and socialising with other animals, including cats and other small pets.
The French Bulldog is known more for being a lapdog than a running companion. This breed does not need much outdoor exercise or play, making them highly popular amongst city dwellers. It is recommended for up to one hour of exercise per day for a French Bulldog, however, make sure to keep it relaxed and less intense, as this breed can easily overheat due to their flat-faced features and potential airway difficulties.
Despite their name, French Bulldogs actually originated from the English Bulldog in the late 18th century. However, English Bulldogs had more of a strong, athletic build than the French Bulldog today. The ancestors of the modern French Bulldog were considered to be bred down in size from crossbreeding with a smaller and lighter toy bulldog by English breeders. They became a very popular breed amongst workers in the English Midlands, particularly the artisans around Nottingham.
The Industrial Revolution caused the closure of many smaller craft shops owned by artisans. Consequently, they were forced to emigrate to the North of France, and they took their bulldogs along with them. This soared the popularity of these dogs amongst Parisians – especially café owners and butchers, and the dogs soon became known as the streetwalkers of Paris. This created an immense amount of trade for English breeders, who exported numerous dogs across the Channel, and the French Bulldog was born.
This breed soon became very popular in the United States during the late 1800s, particularly with society women, due to French Bulldogs being displayed in catalogues and fashion shows. This fuelled the creation of the French Bull Dog Club of America, which admired only the bat-eared bulldogs over the rose-eared.
The French Bull Dog Club continued through World War I and II, and it fully transformed French Bulldog awareness through the 1900s by hosting annual specialty shows and major events. It also created a magazine devoted solely to Frenchies, called The French Bullytin.
Today, while French and English Bulldogs are distantly related and share certain physical characteristics, they are recognised as distinct dog breeds.
The popularity of the French Bulldog has skyrocketed in recent years, especially in the last decade, with the Kennel Club recording 39,266 registrations of French Bulldog puppies in 2020.
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