Playful, Alert, Adaptable, Affectionate
- Height11-13 in
- Weight25-27 lbs
- Lifespan10-12 years
The French Bulldog’s history begins in England during the late 18th century on the cusp of the Industrial Revolution. Toy-sized Bulldogs were bred in the city of Nottingham by lacemakers who kept them as lap dogs and to rid their workshops of rats. This sturdy, compact dog breed continued to grow in popularity when the lacemakers migrated to France for better opportunities. Eventually these miniature Bulldogs were crossed with local breeds, resulting in the Bouldogue Francais or French Bulldog, the breed we commonly know today. Frenchies were quickly sought out by Parisian artists, actors, writers and celebrities. Even Americans visiting the city fell in love with Frenchies, and it wasn’t long before French Bulldogs made their way to the U.S. Frenchies were officially recognized by The American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1898.
French Bulldog Appearance
French Bulldogs are undeniably charming. These dogs are characterized by their large, square heads, compact bodies and bat-like ears that are always on alert. Frenchies stand about 11 to 13 inches tall and generally weigh under 28 pounds once fully grown.
French Bulldog Temperament
Frenchies are the epitome of a small dog with a big personality. They love to play and enjoy entertaining their family. Frenchies are patient with children, friendly with strangers and get along well with other dogs. As a result of their adaptability, Frenchies are a good choice for first-time dog owners.
Grooming Your French Bulldog
The French Bulldog’s coat is short, smooth and sheds very minimally. It’s recommended that you brush your Frenchie at least once a week with a medium-bristle brush or a rubber grooming tool. Brushing is important to help keep your Frenchies’ coat shiny and to promote new hair growth. As Frenchies shed their undercoat during the spring and fall, you may want to brush them more frequently during these seasons. French Bulldogs also have deep folds and wrinkles that will need to be kept clean and dry to discourage infection and bad odours. If your Frenchie has sensitive skin issues or allergies it’s recommended that you bathe them with a hypo-allergenic shampoo. Keeping your Frenchie well-groomed is one of the easiest ways to ensure your pooch stays happy and healthy.
Training & Exercise for Your French Bulldog
French Bulldogs thrive on human affection. These dogs are eager to please, which makes them easy to train. As long as you use positive reinforcement, patience and consistency, your Frenchie will happily do what you ask to earn some positive attention.
When it comes to exercise, Frenchies require a moderate amount that doesn't permit them to overexert themselves. It’s recommended that you socialize and train your Frenchie early to help them develop into a well-adjusted adult.
Health Considerations for French Bulldogs
When a French Bulldog/s health is properly managed, they have the potential to live a long and healthy life. With a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years, owners should be aware of some of the common health conditions French Bulldogs are prone to such as brachycephalic syndrome, hip dysplasia, and chronic allergies.
Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BAOS)
Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BAOS) is a combination of upper airway abnormalities that cause partial obstruction to a dog’s breathing. As a result of the Frenchies’ short nose and flattened face, they are more prone to this particular condition. French Bulldogs that are affected may experience a range of symptoms such as loud breathing, difficulty handling exercise, heat intolerance and difficulty eating.
Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is one of the most common canine ailments. It’s a genetic condition that causes an abnormal formation of the hip socket, which can eventually lead to lameness and arthritis of the joints. French Bulldogs have a lot of experience with hip dysplasia. Some of the common symptoms of hip dysplasia in Frenchies include decreased range of motion, hip pain or sensitivity, bunny hopping and an inability to climb, jump or run. Hip dysplasia is a hereditary disease that can be magnified by factors including excessive growth rate, age, types of exercise and improper weight and nutrition.
Although not all cases of hip dysplasia can be treated, there are ways to minimize the chances of your Frenchie developing this disease. Feeding your Frenchie high-quality dog food is a good start for development of healthy bones and joints. Providing an appropriate amount of exercise will help to prevent obesity, which is a main contributing factor of this condition in French Bulldogs. For prospective owners, it can also be helpful to do your research when seeking a breeder to ensure the appropriate health screenings are being done.
Food and skin allergies are another common problem amongst French Bulldogs. Atopic dermatitis in Frenchies can be inherited or triggered by environmental factors or food-based allergens. Some common symptoms of allergies in Frenchies are excessive scratching, licking the paws, rubbing the face, sneezing and diarrhea. Frenchies who consume dog food full of artificial flavours, byproducts and other harmful ingredients are more likely to encounter health issues. Therefore, it’s important to feed your French Bulldog a healthy well-balanced diet, so they can develop a strong immune system. Being able to recognize the signs of allergies in your Frenchie and treat them accordingly will ensure they enjoy a healthy and comfortable life.
What Makes a French Bulldog Unique?
Frenchies are bad swimmers
Swimming is typically something dogs are able to do naturally. However, this is not the case for French Bulldogs. It turns out that Frenchies are not very good swimmers due to their anatomy. The Frenchie’s short nose and flat face means that they’d have to keep their head tilted back to keep their face out of the water. French Bulldogs' disproportionately large heads and short legs also make it difficult for them to float in water.
Frenchies don’t fly
When it comes to flying, most airlines have banned French Bulldogs from their planes as they can suffer certain health risks. Many brachycephalic breeds, such as the French Bulldog, have problems flying because of their flat faces and their bodies inability to handle prolonged pressure. Some Frenchies have perished while flying due to their airways collapsing from high stress and changes in temperature.
There was a champion French Bulldog aboard the Titanic named Gamin de Pycombe who was two years old at the time. He cost his owner Robert. W Daniel an equivalent of $20,000 today. Daniel survived the fatal disaster and lived until 1940, his Frenchie wasn’t as fortunate. Gamin de Pycombe was last seen swimming futilely for his life in the freezing water.
Frenchies are sensitive
Dogs have become masters at reading human body language and social cues. Frenchies in particular have a remarkable ability to sense your emotions. As Frenchies have very sensitive feelings, they don’t take criticism lightly. If you scold your French Bulldog, you'll likely find them moping around the house. The best way to discipline your Frenchie is through positive reinforcement and encouragement. Rewarding your Frenchie with praise and love will be more effective than speaking to them harshly.
Frenchies have continued to rise in popularity especially amongst high profile celebrities including Lady Gaga, Leonardo di Caprio and Hugh Jackman. The breed has also been seen in a range of different movies and TV shows. They even had a French Bulldog play Gamin de Pycombe in James Cameron’s Titanic film.
French Bulldogs love to talk
Frenchies are a talkative bunch! They aren’t afraid to speak their minds and will communicate with you through a system of yips, yawns, growls and gargles. Although Frenchies don’t have a big bark, they can be very expressive with their voice when trying to communicate their thoughts and feelings. These characteristics are what make the French Bulldog such a unique breed and loved by many!
Why NutriCanine Is Great For French Bulldogs
Top 10 Facts About French Bulldogs
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