French Bulldogs have a history of being reliable companion dogs. They are miniature bulldogs with roots in England but are now scattered in different parts of the globe. The dogs also make good ratters, but they are generally petted to be family friends. This breed originated from England and was created as toy sized bulldog version. Lace workers in Nottingham became very fond of the dog. When they moved to France and also Europe they brought the dogs along too. The dogs would then thrive in Europe and France and eventually also charm Americans. Their nickname ‘Frenchies’ still serves affectionately to the dogs that have become part of many families today.
Quick Highlights Of French Bulldogs
- The French bulldog does not require lots of exercise, but daily walks will definitely keep it in good shape
- It does not handle heat well, hence may need monitoring, especially in the hot days
- These bulldogs are easy to train but can be stubborn too, hence patience and firmness is important
- They are prone to flatulence, drooling and shedding hence are not the cleanest dogs
- The bulldog is not a frequent barker; it is usually very quiet
- It is a playful dog, love attention and very good with children too
- They make wonderful companion dogs and watchdogs, but can get territorial too
Frenchies are sturdy small dogs that have large bat like ears and noses that are pug like. They have a heavy bone and muscular look. Heads tend to be flat, although not as big as that of English bulldogs. Their foreheads are somehow rounded and the eyes are large and round. The tails can be corkscrew or straight. This dog generally has a square shape, but also a bit pear shaped thanks to their wider shoulders.
It is true to say that the body parts are well distributed. None seem more prominent than the other when it comes to symmetry and proportion. As for the coat, it is soft and the colors can vary. From brindle, white and fawn or combinations of these. Their soft, loose skin makes them irresistible petting. They are simply adorable, playful and adaptable little dogs.
Frenchie Size and Weight
The bulldogs are generally small standing at 12 inches at shoulder level and weigh about 25 to around 28 pounds. Those that make it as show dogs face disqualification if they are over the 28 pound mark in some cases. For health purposes, it is important that they do not go over this mark. It is important to remember that they are short small dogs. Hence, weight should be maintained to extend to their health in general.
The French bulldog has an easygoing personality, making it pretty easy to love. As much as it loves playing it also likes lounging on the sofa relaxing. It has a relaxed attitude that makes training sessions easy and considering that it is intelligent. This free thinking dog may however not be the perfect breed for competing in agility and obedience. As it tends to be stubborn too as a result of the free thinking nature. The dog loves human contact and yearns for attention; you will keep it happy by simple treatments.
Frenchies may not back a lot, but they are quite talkative in gargles, yips and yawns too. They are quite conveying in terms of language and do not be surprised if they sing along as you drive in the car! It is important to remember that they are sensitive dogs and do not like criticism. You will see a difference in them when you yell or scold them. They respond more positively to encouragement and any positive reinforcement rather than criticism.
Common Breathing Problems
Their bulbous head and squat frame make it impossible for the dogs to swim. Hence it is important to keep them away from pools and other water bodies. Flying is also not pleasant for the French bulldogs. This is because they have shorter snouts compared to other dogs and have breathing problems in given situations like. If you must fly, then consider special airlines for pets. So your furry friend can receive special attention in case of a panic attack or in case it gets sick.
This breed loves socializing. It is actually an enjoyable task for it considering it is such an easy companion. It has a mischievous humorous nature that requires some consistency, patience and firmness from the owner. As it can end up throwing antics that can get frustrating at times apart from being delightful at others.
French bulldogs are very good with children. You need not worry even if you have a toddler in your household. Although it is still important to keep an eye on your young one when left with the dog. They make good babysitters, but you do not want one harassing the other. When it comes to other pets, Frenchies get along just fine with cats and other dogs. It is however possible for the dogs to be jealous of other dogs when they get too much attention from their owners. This is especially if they are a little spoiled.
French Bulldogs have smooth, shiny, fine short coats. And skins that are wrinkled and loose, especially around the shoulders and head. The soft textured coat can be in different colors and can even feature specks, streaks in light or dark shades. The coats are easy to maintain only requiring occasional brushing to keep them looking healthy and shiny. These dogs are average when it comes to shedding and you can start grooming them at a young age. To make it easier for them, you can teach them to stand on a table or floor.
Check French Bulldogs Skin
During the grooming process it is important to check for flaky or rough skin, bare spots and scabs or other infection signs. You should also check the teeth, eyes and ears. For any signs like bad smells and discharges that could indicate an infection. In case any are present it is important to check with your veterinarian for the right treatment or attention for that matter.
To clean the ears you should use warm, damp cloth and you can also run a cotton swab around the canal edge to get rid of all dirt. Avoid sticking the swab too far into the canal as you could end up injuring your dog. You can use baby oil or mineral oil on dry ear edges or even for dry nose.
Considering that these bulldogs do not wear nails down you will also need to keep up with trimming once in a while. The trimming helps in preventing tearing and splitting that could end up being painful for the dog. You also need to brush the teeth few times every week to ensure that your Frenchie does not end up developing halitosis. Proper brushing will prevent tooth loss and at the same time promote healthy gums and teeth so forget not.
Bathing You Frenchie
Bathing the dog can be done once in a while with special attention between skin folds on the face. Dry these areas properly to prevent bacterial infections. A wash a month should suffice, but you can still bathe the dog as you deem necessary. You can get a high quality shampoo for the baths so that you retain natural oils on the coat and skin of the dog.
French bulldogs are generally easy to groom. And this can actually make bonding time for the two of you when you offer positive experiences. In case you feel you cannot keep up with the grooming needs, you can always seek professional groomer services. Ensure however, that the groomer is familiar with this dog breed grooming needs to get the best results and experience for your dog in the end.
French Bulldog Feeding
This is an active dog so you should expect it to eat quite an amount of food. But because of its size, you also need to be careful what you feed it so it does not end up becoming overweight and exposed to health issues. A healthy Frenchie will take 1 to about 1.5 cups of dry food every day. You can divide this into two meals spread for the day. It is however important to note that this amount can change depending on the age, size, metabolism, build and even activity level of the dog. The dog may be a good eater. But this does not mean boring it with the same food every single day. You can try different types of food, ensuring that you get high quality every time to keep it nourished and healthy. If need be seek advice on how to properly feed your puppy or adult dog.
Read our French bulldog feeding guide here.
French bulldogs have unusual proportions and this makes it hard for them to copulate. Males usually have a hard time reaching females. And they end up becoming exhausted or overheated, which is not good for the dogs. For this reason, most dogs are born by artificial insemination. This is why the word ‘created’ is used when describing these bulldogs. Breeders check for potential problems during the process. Even though it means parting with a considerable amount of money for a litter of the pups. When it is time for giving birth, the females will often undergo C-sections because they often have problems as well during the process. Operating on them relieves too much pressure and stress off them, keeping health complications at bay.
Health of French Bulldogs
Just like any other breed, this breed is prone to catching diseases. It is not given that your French bulldog will get any of the diseases. But it is still important to beware of the possibilities and the risks they are exposed to. Below is a highlight of the diseases your bulldog could be exposed to in its lifetime.
They are very common in dogs and the same is the case with this breed. The most common include food allergies, contact allergies and inhalant allergies. The treatment for allergies such as the inhalant once will usually depend on how severe they are. For food allergies you may need to eliminate the specific foods from the dog’s diet. You may also need to keep off chemicals, bedding, powders and other products causing contact allergies in your dog.
This disorder is common in dogs that have short heads, soft palates and narrowed nostrils hence you know your dog is not in a very good place when it comes to this probability. Labored breathing or noisy breathing are the symptoms or there could even be a total airway collapse when obstruction occurs. Oxygen therapy could be recommended by your vet or even surgery to widen the short palates or nostrils. Your vet will advise you further on the best path to take.
It is a heritable condition where the femur fails to fit as it should into the pelvic socket around the hip joint. Your dog may not show any clinical signs. But may exhibit lameness and pain on both rear legs or on one. Arthritis could arise as a result as the dog ages. Dogs with this condition should not be bred. And it is therefore important that you ask your breeder about necessary tests to ensure your dog is safe and free from such problems.
It is a problem also commonly referred to as slipped stifles and is very common in small dogs.
Just like the Frenchies. It occurs when the patella is not aligned properly, hence it slips in and out of place. It is a condition that can lead to abnormal gait or lameness and is a congenital disease. But even though it is congenital, this misalignment may not be that obvious until much later. If left untreated it leads to arthritis. Surgical repairs may be necessary in severe grades of the disease.
Are There Other Common French Bulldog Diseases
Other diseases that you should be aware of if you are interested in a French bulldog include: Hemivertebrae, intervertebral disc disease, Von Willebrand’s Disease, cleft palate and elongated soft palate. It is important not to ignore any unusual signs with your dog. It is important to have your doubts cleared by a vet even when you are not sure what you are dealing with. Just like in humans, early intervention can save your dog from too much pain. And prevent the severe spread of the disease could be fatal. You can plan regular vet visits just for your dog to be screened and tested as necessary. A healthy dog is a happy dog any day.
Caring Tips For Your French Bulldog
When getting any pet, it is important that you find as much as possible about it. So that you are able to meet its requirements in terms of taking care of it. This should be the same case when getting your French Bulldog. It is not that hard to find the information you need about the dog and keeping it in top shape. But here are some of the simplest things to remember as far as caring for the dog goes.
Frenchies don’t Need Much Exercise
The bulldogs have low energy levels, hence they do not require lots of exercises. However, letting them sit inactive risks them becoming overweight, which is not very good for their small stature. Therefore, slot in daily walks and play times, however short, they could be they do make a difference. They are playful and your small yard will do in keeping them happy and fit.
Don’t Let French Bulldog Overheat
The breed easily becomes heat exhausted hence you should avoid offering exercises when it is too hot outside. This is not the kind of dog you leave for long outdoors. It is more of an indoor dog so if you are looking for a dog you can jump and run around with all day you should consider a different breed. Limit plays and walks for cool evenings and morning rather than any other time of the day when temperatures tend to be high.
Training is necessary for the dog and since they are intelligent they will be eager to please you during such trainings. However, they could also end up being very stubborn since they have a free thinking nature. You can employ different techniques to train them successfully. But avoid scolding and yelling at them and instead choose positive reinforcement and treating to have them responding well to you. It is easier to make the training fun like a game with prizes exchanging hands.
Choose the right foods for your dog with quality and nutrition being top of your list. You should also keep up with recommended daily intakes. Your vet should be in a position to help you with making all the right choices. Do not be afraid to ask so you do not end up compromising the health of your French Bulldog. A professional breeder should also be in a position to offer you all the assistance necessary with the dog.
Don’t Let You Frenchie Eat Everything
French bulldog puppies should be trained. So as they do not end up chewing on harmful or important things or end up messing your house with pop. Simple approaches can work amazing, so think outside the box when dealing even with the adults.
Keep Frenchie Clean
Groom your dog appropriately. Regular brushing and baths will keep it looking good. Considering that this is not the cleanest of dogs, you may need to do a little work. To keep it in your house and still look organized and hygienic. Apart from taking care of the coat, remember the nails, ears and skin as well. Get the right products and seek professional assistance if you are not too sure.
Make French bulldog Friend With Veterinarians
Schedule regular vet checks to ensure that your dog is in top health. It is best that you are given a clean bill of health for your French bulldog rather than wait till signs show up. It is important that you see your vet in case of any changes in your dog. Getting a professional groomer can also prove worthwhile, especially in identifying underlying health issues like bacterial infections and others.
Socialize With Other French Bulldogs
The Frenchies are very good, even with children, but you should keep a close eye on them, however comfortable you are with your dog. You should also get the dog familiar with the other pet. So it remains in a good place even when you are out walking. It can be territorial and jealous so such exposure helps it be a little more accommodating. It is a sociable dog so it should do well with other dogs and pets around it.
Final Thoughts About French Bulldogs
The French bulldog is a loving and smart dog that loves spending time with its owners. You will have a happy healthy dog when you spare enough time to attend to its needs. Its health is paramount so it makes sense to get high quality foods and feed it just right so that it maintains a good healthy weight. This free thinking dog is easily trainable. You just need to bombard it with lots of play, praise and rewards for it to yield the kind of results you are looking for.
Your dog will of course be as good as the effort you put into it. It may be a little high maintenance, but this becomes easy to handle once you get used to the dog. To make things easier you can create a schedule that reminds you of what needs to be done and when. Never skip on the walks and other activities for the sake of the dog’s health. The dogs have a lifespan of about 10 years, so with proper care you will have your dog as your companion for a considerably long time.
Choose Right Breeder
When getting the dog from a breeder, ask about the necessary tests and also find out the age of the dog. It is best that you know the current state of the dog before taking it home. In whichever coat color your Frenchie will be just as beautiful and appealing, but you can of course choose according to your preferences and what is available to you.