French Bulldog

French Bulldog
The French Bulldog is an enchanting looking little dog who looks like a miniaturised but bat-eared Bulldog, and has the same flat face, short tail and smooth, short coat – but in a much smaller package. While small, they are muscular with a heavy bone-structure and strong legs. Sadly, the breed’s popularity has led them to be irresponsibly bred so prospective owners should make sure they buy their puppies from a reliable source.
  • Dog suitable for non-experienced owners
  • Basic training required
  • Enjoys gentle walks
  • Enjoys walking half an hour a day
  • Small dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Non Hypoallergenic breed
  • Quiet dog
  • Guard dog. Barks and alerts
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

French Bulldog Key Facts:

Lifespan: 11 – 14 years

Weight: 7.5 – 12.5kg

Height: 30 – 31cms

Colours: The French Bulldog can come in a variety of colours including fawn; cream; brindle or pied

Size: Small

Kennel Club Group: Utility

Ratings

Family-friendly: 4/5

Exercise needs: 2/5

Easy to train: 4/5

Tolerates being alone: 1/5

Likes other pets: 4/5

Energy level: 3/5

Grooming needs: 3/5

Shedding: 3/5

History and Origins

Country of Origin

The French Bulldog is originally descended from the Toy Bulldog – a miniaturised version of the British Bulldog - a breed that became popular with the lace-makers of Nottingham, Birmingham and Sheffield in mid 1800s. During the industrial revolution, many lace-makers relocated to northern France and of course took their dogs with them. Here the breed became hugely popular as both a companion and a vermin hunter - and with the addition of a few other breeds (probably including the Pug and some terrier) and the slightly mysterious development of large, erect, bat-like ears, they became the French Bulldog we know today.

Personality

This is a friendly, good-natured, playful dog, who makes an ideal affectionate and fun companion or family dog that’s as happy living in towns and cities as in the countryside. This is a courageous breed who think they are many times bigger than they actually are - and can on occasions find themselves in conflict with other dogs who can’t read their flat face and lack of tail.

A French Bulldog would suit an owner who lives in a smaller space and who doesn’t want to have to give their dog a lot of exercise but enjoys plenty of games and interaction in the home. They probably shouldn’t object to snoring either…

Health and Common Issues

The most common health problems encountered in the French Bulldog relate to their flat face, which may result in obstruction of their airways and a difficulty in breathing. Over-exercising and over-heating is therefore to be avoided. They are also prone to skin infections, eye problems, hip and elbow dysplasia (joint conditions that can be painful and lead to mobility problems) and spinal disorders. Pet insurance is a must for this breed - as is buying from a reliable and knowledgeable breeder.

Exercise Needs

The Frenchie doesn't require very much exercise compared with some breeds and about an hour's exercise daily should suffice. Do ensure that they are protected from the heat, as due to their flat face they can suffer heat exhaustion and respiratory distress if exercised in warm weather. Exercise them in the early morning and late evening in the summer.

Space Requirements

The Frenchie doesn’t need a lot of space so is as happy living in a flat as in a house with a garden, as long as they have access to the outdoors for exercise and toileting.

Nutrition and Feeding

Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.

Grooming French Bulldogs

The short, close, glossy coat requires minimal grooming – a weekly brush is more than enough. However, the facial wrinkles do need regular cleaning, too, and the ears can also be prone to problems and will need frequent checks and regular attention.

Training French Bulldogs

The French Bulldog is never going to be an obedience champion or excel in your local training class, but with patience and reward-based training they can easily master the basic exercises like sit, down, recall and walking on a lead and harness. They can also enjoy interactive enrichment games.

Best Family Dog Breeds

The French Bulldog can happily fit into family life and gets on well with older children, although may not be a great fit for an active sporty family or a family with younger children.

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children, all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

Did you Know?

  • While starting off life as a working rural companion, stories of the French Bulldog’s unconventional appearance spread to Paris where they were adopted by those who wanted to appear socially daring and they found fame in paintings by Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec. Postcards can still sometime be found of scantily clad women posing with their ‘Bouledogues Francais’.
  • In the majority of cases, French Bulldogs can’t swim because of their short snouts which cause their body to tilt backward to keep their nose and mouth above water and their large heads and short legs make it difficult for them to stay afloat
  • One unfortunate French Bulldog called Gamin de Pycombe was on the ill-fated Titanic when it sunk. He had been bought in England for the very high price of £150 (£13,500 in today’s money) and was insured for what at that time was an extraordinary amount of money - $750
  • A French Bulldog called Bugsy took care of a baby orangutan named Malone who was abandoned by his mother at Twycross Zoo
  • Despite not being barkers, they’re very talkative and will communicate with you in the form of yips, gargles and yawns!

Similar Breeds:

Boston Terrier

Chihuahua

Maltese

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Is this the right breed for you?

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What to consider next

Adoption

It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption. Click here for more information.

Finding a good breeder

If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed. Click here for more information.

Welcoming your dog home

Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information.