Owning a French Bulldog: What You Should Know
If you’re thinking about owning a French bulldog, you might want to know what makes this breed so popular. The French bulldog is stocky in build and very short. Weighing up to 25 pounds and standing approximately 12 inches tall, the French bulldog (or “Frenchie” as it is affectionately called) has a flat scrunched up face and oversized ears. His face is wrinkled and his top lip overhangs the bottom lip in that signature bulldog pout. The adorable features of the French bulldog include large bat-like ears and a very short nose.
The French bulldog has a life expectancy of about 10 to 12 years.
French bulldogs come in a variety of colors. They are found in various colors including brindle, fawn, white and black. The coat is short, smooth and easy to care for, requiring only a weekly brushing. The French bulldog is a minimal to moderate shedder.
History of the French Bulldog
Owning a French bulldog can be fun, and it can also be fun to understand the dog’s origins. Despite his name, the French bulldog is actually English in origin. In the 19th century, the bulldog became a companion dog, and increasingly smaller dogs were developed to fulfill this new role. In the mid-1800s Nottingham was a center for lace making and the toy bulldog became a sort of mascot for the Nottingham lacemakers. Many in the lace trade relocated to northern France for better opportunities and brought their tiny bulldogs with them. The French loved these dogs with their oversized ears, and they were deliberately bred to exaggerate the ears. The French bulldog was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1898.
The Popularity of the French Bulldog
In modern times, the French bulldog has become extremely popular among celebrities. Lady Gaga, Reese Witherspoon, David Beckham, Madonna, Dwayne Johnson, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, Hugh Jackman and Hillary Duff can all attest to the pleasure of owning a French bulldog.
Adaptable, playful and smart, this is a dog that loves his family. With a friendly, loyal and lively personality and cute appearance, the gentle French bulldog has remained among the most popular dogs in the nation, ranking fourth in the AKC rankings.
The price of owning a French bulldog is not cheap. The average cost for this dog can range from about $1,400 up to $8,000, depending upon the breeder, color and the pedigree of the dog. You may wonder why Frenchies are so expensive. Frenchies must be artificially inseminated in most cases. Because of their size and shape, most French bulldog females must have C-sections because it can be very dangerous for them to give birth naturally. All of these costs add up and are passed on to the consumer resulting in a higher purchase price for the dog.
About the French Bulldog
Owning a French bulldog can be a great joy because this breed is kindhearted, affectionate and funny. Frenchies have a nature that is both humorous and mischievous, so their owners must be consistent, firm and patient with all of the antics that make this dog both frustrating and delightful.
This is the perfect dog for apartment living since Frenchies do not require a lot of exercise and they don’t need a yard to run around in. Also, Frenchies are not big barkers.
French bulldogs are true lapdogs. They are extremely affectionate and they want nothing more than to give love to their owners. (Keep in mind that this means your Frenchie will always be underfoot.) These playful, loving, enthusiastic dogs require constant attention and do not do well when left alone.
This is a good dog for children. In general, a French bulldog will get along well with other pets as long as they are just as playful. Because of this, many people have two French bulldogs because they get along well with each other and love to play together.
Although these dogs are adorable and extremely popular worldwide, as with any breed these dogs are not right for every owner. The French bulldog’s personality gives him the potential to be a great family pet, but when it comes to their health, they have a lot of problems. While this small breed has a lot of love to give, they are also extremely prone to health problems that may make it financially and emotionally difficult to care for this dog.
Frenchies have flat faces and are prone to breathing problems. They also do poorly in hot or humid weather.
French bulldogs also have digestive issues. Frenchies are notorious for gas and they can easily become constipated. To help deal with these issues, it is important to provide your French bulldog with high-quality food. Stay away from common store brands because they contain too much grain and corn, which many Frenchies are allergic to. These foods also contain empty calories for a French bulldog, especially since the breed has a tendency to be overweight. Try to feed a grain-free food with lean protein sources.
Things to Know When Training a French Bulldog
Training a French bulldog can be a little challenging. That’s because Frenchies have a stubborn streak. French bulldogs have big personalities and can require a fair amount of training to make them good companions. But basically Frenchies are people pleasers, making them fairly easy to train. Just give them the proper motivation (like treats), and make a game of the process and you will get their cooperation.
French bulldogs are intelligent and training them is easy as long as you make it seem like a game and keep it fun. The French bulldog does well with training when it is done in a positive manner with lots of food rewards, praise, and play.
Be positive. A French bulldog puppy can be a quick learner but they tend to be stubborn and not do everything you ask. Do not punish the dog as this will undo any progress you have made. Just be patient and stand your ground. Don’t give in. Try to teach new behaviors on a leash, even when you are inside, so your puppy cannot wander off when he gets bored. Smart dogs can get bored easily so break up the training into several smaller sessions of only a minute or two in duration. Wait for your puppy to comply and when he does, give him a big reward and end the training session.
To learn more about training a French bulldog, go to Things to Know When Training a French Bulldog.
What Do French Bulldog Exercise Needs Entail?
Some people prefer a dog that they do not have to exercise. If this is true for you, the French bulldog may be a good choice for you.
The French bulldog is intolerant to a lot of exercise simply because of how their bodies are designed. It can be difficult for them to breathe when they have a lot of exercise, just like English bulldogs, pugs and other dogs with short noses. But French bulldogs are prone to weight gain, so they do require some daily exercise and play.
A nice leisurely walk around the block is enough daily exercise for most French bulldogs. Daily walks also provide your dog with plenty of mental stimulation from enjoying the outdoor sights, sounds, and smells.
French bulldogs are prone to overheating and breathing issues that are directly related to the structure of their faces. It is extremely important that you do not over-exercise this breed. Brachycephalic dogs like the French bulldog are prone to heatstroke because they cannot take in enough oxygen to keep them cool and refreshed. They have trouble regulating their body temperature effectively. So don’t make your French bulldog physically exert himself too much.
For more information about French bulldog exercise needs, go to What Do French Bulldog Exercise Needs Entail?
What Is the French Bulldog Temperament Like?
This is a great companion dog. The French bulldog is gentle, loving and very eager to please his humans. He is happy to spend his days sleeping on the sofa or curling up in the lap of his owner, and he will happily follow you around from room to room.
His nature is comical and mischievous. The Frenchie’s personality is so entertaining that you can’t help but smile or laugh in his presence. People find the French bulldog’s personality very endearing. The Frenchie makes a fantastic pet. Not only do they fit nicely into almost any living environment (they’re small and they need very little amounts of exercise), they’re not big barkers like most small dogs.
The French bulldog loves to play and gets along well with people, children, and other pets. However, Frenchies can be territorial and very possessive of their people, especially when other dogs are around. That’s why socialization at an early age is so important with this breed.
To learn more about French bulldog temperament, go to What Is the French Bulldog Temperament Like?
French Bulldog Breathing Problems: Things to Know
French bulldog breathing problems, along with problems with their eyes and overheating, are associated with the shape of their face.
The set of their eyes and the reduced muzzle size gives the French bulldog a more human-like appearance. But the face of the French bulldog has not evolved naturally. It has been designed by deliberately breeding together dogs with smaller muzzles. This has caused the French bulldog to experience some very serious health problems.
Flat-faced dogs are referred to as “brachycephalic”, and this condition is linked to a variety of health issues, including French bulldog breathing problems. These dogs have short facial bones but the same amount of facial tissue as a dog with a normal muzzle length. So there is more tissue inside the dog’s mouth than the muzzle has space for, sometimes blocking the airway so severely that surgery is needed to save the dog from respiratory distress.
For more information about French bulldog breathing problems, go to French Bulldog Breathing Problems: Things to Know.