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The French Bulldog

The French bulldog has enjoyed a long history as a companion dog. 
Created in England to be a miniature Bulldog, they accompanied English lace makers to France, where they acquired their “Frenchie” name. Besides being companions, they once served as excellent ratters, but today their job focuses on being fabulous family friends and show dogs. 

Dog Breed Group:

  • Companion Dogs

  • Height: 11 to 12 inches tall at the shoulder

  • Weight: 9 to 14kg

  • Life Span: 11 to 14 years

More about this breed

Bat-eared but oddly beautiful, the French bulldog has a unique appeal. Aesthetically, other breeds undeniably are more glamorous and showy, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and what many behold in the French bulldog are the attributes that make this breed one of the best companion dogs in the world today.
 

The French bulldog is small but substantial in build with a powerful muscular body. He sports a short easy-care coat to accompany his easy going personality. The Frenchie likes to play, but he also enjoys spending his days relaxing on the sofa.
 

That love of play and relaxed attitude carry over into their training sessions. French Bulldogs are intelligent, and training them is easy as long as you make it seem like a game and keep it fun. They are free thinkers and are not an ideal breed for competing in obedience or agility although some have risen to the challenge. This freethinking approach can also lead to a stubborn nature, and if they decide to dig in their heels there is no budging them.
 

Frenchies are loving companions who thrive on human contact. If you want an outdoor dog that can be left alone for long periods, the Frenchie is not the breed for you. This is a dog that enjoys lavishing love on his human companions as much as he loves the same treatment in return. They generally get along well with everyone, including children. They can, however, be territorial and possessive of their people, especially in the presence of other dogs. Socialization is a must for this breed, but with their easy companionship this is an enjoyable task.
 

With a nature that is both humorous and mischievous, the French bulldog needs to live with someone who is consistent, firm, and patient with all the antics and unique that makes him both frustrating and delightful.
 

French Bulldogs make excellent watchdogs and will alert their people to approaching strangers, but it is not their style to bark without cause. They can be protective of their home and family and some will try to defend both with their life
 

French Bulldogs do not need a lot of room and do very well in apartments or small dwellings. A couple of 15-minute walks per day should keep them from becoming overweight. Keep the Frenchie in cool, comfortable surroundings. He is susceptible to heat exhaustion and needs an air-conditioned environment. This is not a dog that can stay outside on a hot day.
 

French Bulldogs are wonderful companion dogs with a gentle nature. If you work at home, the Frenchie is happy to lie at your feet all day or follow you from room to room. People who love them describe them as mischievous goof balls and can't imagine life without them.
 

They are a constant presence, and they'll love you with all the strength in their small bodies, proving time and again that beauty is on the inside.

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Highlights

  • French Bulldogs do not need a lot of exercise, but they do need daily walks to keep them at a healthy weight.

  • French Bulldogs do not handle heat very well and need to be monitored on hot days to ensure that they don't overexert themselves.

  • French Bulldogs can be easy to train, but they can also be stubborn. Be firm and patient when training this breed.

  • If you value cleanliness the French Bulldog may not be the dog for you, since he is prone to drooling, flatulence and some shedding. He can also be difficult to housetrain.

  • French Bulldogs can be a quiet breed and are not known as a breed that barks frequently although there are exceptions to every rule.

  • Because they don't tend to be excessive barkers, French Bulldogs make exceptional apartment dogs.

  • Although it is important to always supervise young children and dogs when they are together, the French Bulldog does very well with children.

  • French Bulldogs make wonderful watchdogs, but they can become territorial. They also like being the center of attention, which can lead to behavioral problems if they are overindulged.

  • French Bulldogs are companion dogs and thrive when they have human contact. They are not a breed that can be left alone for long periods or left outside to live.

  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store.

History

The French bulldog originated in England and was created to be a toy-size version of the Bulldog. The breed was quite popular among lace workers in the city of Nottingham and when many lace workers immigrated to France for better opportunities, they naturally brought their little bulldogs with them.

The French bulldog thrived in France and Europe, and his charm was soon discovered by Americans as well. The United States saw its first French bulldog at the Westminster Kennel Club show in 1896.

The breed was quickly nicknamed "Frenchie," and it is still an affectionate name that is used today.​

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Personality

This is a smart, loving dog that wants and needs to spend lots of time with his people. A fun-loving freethinker, the French bulldog takes well to training when it's done in a positive manner with lots of food rewards, praise, and play.​

Health

Not all Frenchies will get any or all of these diseases, but it’s important to be aware of them if you're considering this breed.
 

  • Brachycephalic Syndrome:  This disorder is found in dogs with short heads, narrowed nostrils, or elongated or soft palates. Their airways are obstructed to varying degrees and can cause anything from noisy or laboured breathing to total collapse of the airway. Dogs with brachycephalic syndrome commonly snuffle and snort. Treatment varies depending on the severity of the condition but includes oxygen therapy as well as surgery to widen nostrils or shorten palates. Ask your breeder if their dogs have had the BOAS test done.

  • Elongated Soft Palate: The soft palate is the extension of the roof of the mouth. When the soft palate is elongated, it can obstruct airways and cause difficulty in breathing. The treatment for Elongated Soft Palate is surgical removal of the excess palate.

  • Hip Dysplasia:  Hip dysplasia is a heritable condition in which the femur does not fit snugly into the pelvic socket of the hip joint. Hip dysplasia can exist with or without clinical signs. Some dogs exhibit pain and lameness on one or both rear legs. Dogs with hip dysplasia should not be bred. Ask the breeder for proof that the parents have been tested for hip dysplasia and found to be free of problems.

  • Hemivertebrae:  This is a malformation of one or more vertebrae that causes it to be shaped like a wedge or triangle. This malformation can occur on its own or with other vertebrae malformations. Hemivertebra can cause no problems, or it can put pressure on the spinal cord. This can lead to pain, weakness, and or paralysis. There is no treatment for the condition unless there is spinal cord pressure. Ask the breeder if they get x-rays done on their dogs for this problem.

  • Patellar Luxation:  Also known as "slipped stifles," this is a common problem in small dogs. It is caused when the patella, which has three parts — the femur (thigh bone), patella (knee cap), and tibia (calf) — is not properly lined up and slips in and out of place (luxates).  Ask the breeder if their dogs get tested for this.

  • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD):  IDD occurs when a disc in the spine ruptures or herniates and pushes upward into the spinal cord. When the disc pushes into the spinal cord, nerve transmissions are inhibited from traveling along the spinal cord. Intervertebral Disc Disease can be caused by trauma, age, or simply from the physical jolt that occurs when a dog jumps off a sofa.

  • Von Willebrand's Disease:  This is a blood disorder that can be found in both humans and dogs. It affects the clotting process due to the reduction of von Willebrand factor in the blood. A dog affected by von Willebrand's disease will have signs such as nose bleeds, bleeding gums, prolonged bleeding from surgery, and prolonged bleeding during heat cycles or after whelping. Occasionally blood is found in the stool. This disorder is usually diagnosed in your dog between the ages of 3 and 5 and cannot be cured. However, it can be managed with treatments that include cauterizing or suturing injuries, transfusions of the von Willebrand factor before surgery, and avoiding certain medications.

  • Allergies:  Allergies are a common problem in dogs. There are three main types of allergies: food-based allergies, which are treated by an elimination process of certain foods from the dog's diet; contact allergies, caused by a reaction to a topical substance such as bedding, flea powders, dog shampoos, and other chemicals, and treated by removing the cause of the allergy; and inhalant allergies, caused by airborne allergens such as pollen, dust, and mildew. The medication for inhalant allergies depends on the severity of the allergy. It is important to note that ear infections often accompany inhalant allergies.

  • Corneal ulcers: Bred to have a flat face, French Bulldogs have eyes that stand prominently on their faces. This means their eyes are more exposed than other dogs’ and can be more prone to infection. Eye injuries can lead to a corneal ulcer, which will become increasingly serious if treatment is delayed. Another common French bulldog health issue is ‘cherry eye’, where eye tissue sticks out of the eye socket. It can affect one or both eyes and will require a trip to the vet.
     

If you're buying a puppy, find a good breeder who will show your health clearances for both your puppy's parents.

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Care

French Bulldogs do not need a lot of exercise. They have fairly low energy levels, although there are exceptions to every rule. To keep their weight down, however, they need daily exercise through short walks or play times in the yard. Many French Bulldogs enjoy playing and will spend much of their time in various activities, but they are not so high energy that they need a large yard or long periods of exercise. This breed is prone to heat exhaustion and should not be exercised in hot temperatures. Limit walks and active play to cool mornings and evenings.

When training a French bulldog, take into account that although they are intelligent and usually eager to please, they are also free thinkers. That means they can be stubborn. Many different training techniques are successful with this breed, so don't give up if a certain method doesn't work; just try a different technique. To excite your Frenchies interest, try to make training seem like a game with lots of fun and prizes.

It is important to crate train your French bulldog puppy even if you plan to give him the freedom of the house when he reaches adulthood. Regardless of breed, puppies explore, get into things they shouldn't, and chew things that can harm them. It can be expensive both to repair or replace destroyed items and to pay the vet bills that could arise, so crate training benefits your wallet and your temper as well as your puppy's wellbeing. 

Feeding

How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people and they don't all need the same amount of food. It almost goes without saying that a highly active dog will need more than a couch potato dog. The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference — the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog and the less of it you'll need to shake into your dog's bowl.

Always talk to your Vet and get their advice on the food and amounts to feed 😊

Grooming

The coat of the French bulldog is short, smooth, shiny, and fine. The skin is loose and wrinkled, especially at the head and shoulders, and has a soft texture. French Bulldogs are fairly easy to groom and need only an occasional brushing to keep their coat healthy. They are average shedders. Begin grooming your Frenchie at a young age and teach your puppy to stand on a table or floor to make this experience easier on both of you. When you are grooming your Frenchie at any stage of life, take the time to check for any scabs, skin lesions, bare spots, rough, flaky skin, or signs of infections. You should also check ears, eyes and teeth for any discharge or bad smells. Both are signs that your Frenchie may need to see the veterinarian.

Clean ears regularly with a damp warm cloth and run a cotton swab around the edge of the canal. Never stick the cotton swab into the actual ear canal. If the edges of the ears are dry, apply mineral or baby oil sparingly. The oil can also be used on a dry nose.

French Bulldogs do not naturally wear their nails down and will need their nails trimmed regularly. This prevents splitting and tearing, which can be painful for the dog.

Keep the facial wrinkles clean and dry to prevent bacterial infections. Whenever you bathe your dog, take the time to thoroughly dry the skin between the folds. Bathe your French bulldog monthly or as needed and use a high-quality dog shampoo to keep the natural oils in his skin and coat.

French Bulldogs should be easy to groom, and with proper training and positive experiences during puppyhood, grooming can be a wonderful bonding time for you and your Frenchie. If you are uncomfortable with any aspect of grooming, such as trimming nails, take your dog to a professional groomer who understands the needs of French Bulldogs.

 

Children and Other Pets

Frenchies get along well with children, and they are not so tiny that they can't live in a household with a toddler. That said, no dog should ever be left alone with a young child. It's just common sense to supervise and make sure that neither is poking or otherwise harassing the other.

When they are socialized to them during puppyhood, Frenchies can get along well with other dogs and cats. Overly spoiled Frenchies, however, may be jealous toward other dogs, especially if those other dogs are getting attention from the Frenchies very own person.

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