One of the world’s most beloved companion animals, the French Bulldog surprisingly originated in England. Bred to be a miniature version of the stately English Bulldog, the breed was brought to France by English lacemakers in search of steady employment. It was here the breed was further developed and where it acquired its new name: the French Bulldog or “Frenchie” as the breed as affectionately called.
Though the French Bulldog excels at hunting rats, they are primarily family companions today, and occasionally, show dogs. They are an excellent choice for first time dog owners and do well in all sorts of living conditions including apartment life. Deeply affectionate and attention-seeking, the Frenchie easily captures the hearts of all this comical little dog meets, making him one of the most beloved dog breeds today.
Height: 11 to 13 inches
Weight: 16 to a maximum of 28 pounds
Life Span: 10 to 12 years
Breed Size: Small
Best Suited To: First time dog owners, families
Personality: Feisty, stubborn, affectionate, comical, loving, loyal, playful
Intelligence: Quite intelligent
Shedding: Sheds moderately
Exercise: Moderate exercise required
Energy: Low to moderate
Barking: Moderate probability of barking
Drooling: Not prone to drooling
AKC/CKC Group: Non-Sporting group
Colours: Brindle, cream, fawn, white—either solid or mixed with brindle or white. Markings can include a black mask, ticking, white markings, or can be piebald.
French Bulldog Overview
A breed easily recognized by its bat ears, the French Bulldog is deeply beloved by people all around the world. A dog of unusual appearance, the French Bulldog, often referred to simply as a “Frenchie,” has his own distinctive look and his own unique charms.
A dog of impressive build, substance, and strength, the French Bulldog is a muscular pooch. One of the breed’s most cherished traits is its smooth, short coat that requires next to no grooming and that sheds only moderately.
The French Bulldog has a laidback personality. Exceptionally playful, this breed happily alternates between snoozing on the sofa and rousing play sessions with his family and friends.
A breed known for its intelligence, the French Bulldog can easily learn new tricks. However, the Frenchie can be very stubborn, so owners should ensure that training sessions are fun and filled with lots of treats and praise for best results.
A dog that is deeply affectionate, the French Bulldog is one pooch that thrives on attention. Frenchies should live indoors with their families and do not do well outdoors in extreme temperatures; whether hot or cold. If isolated from their loved ones too frequently, the breed can develop separation anxiety.
A breed that gets along very well with other animals and with children, French Bulldogs are well suited to life in multi-pet homes as well as with families with young kids. The French Bulldog bonds very deeply to those he loves most and can become very possessive of his family and friends.
Both funny and feisty, life with a French Bulldog is never dull. This dog does best in the home of people with a sense of humor and some patience as the Frenchie is not without his own unique quirks.
Frenchies do like to alert bark at the presence of strangers, so owners should be prepared to deal with a certain amount of barking in their lives. However, the French Bulldog is not a dog that tends to bark without just cause. If feeling their loved ones are threatened, the Frenchie may become very defensive. Though he is a small dog, he really has no cognizance of his size and will battle with all of his heart to protect those he loves most.
The French Bulldog has an unusual appearance that many find quite charming. Not your classically handsome dog type, the French Bulldog is much beloved for his adorable good looks. Easily distinguished by the breed’s trademark bat ears, the Frenchie is a small, well-muscled dog of substance and great strength.
The French Bulldog’s face and shoulders are well marked with wrinkles. Some Frenchies have black masks on their faces that emphasize these facial folds.
The breed is known for its short, smooth coat and its low grooming requirements. The coat may be cream, white, fawn, brindle, or a combination of these colors. Markings of white or piebald may be on the coat, and ticking may also be seen.
The Frenchie rarely needs to be bathed, and occasional brushing is all that is required to keep shedding to a minimum and the coat in good condition.
Frenchies have deep chestnut-colored eyes that stand out in their compressed face. The American Kennel Club breed standard indicates that the ideal French Bulldog can be identified by two important physical attributes: bat ears and the half-flat, half-domed skull construction.
The French Bulldog is a dog of intelligence and is easily able to learn new skills. The biggest obstacle to learning is the Frenchie’s independent spirit that causes this dog to want to set his own agenda. Wise owners will motivate the Frenchie in training sessions through play, praise, and lots of yummy treats.
A dog that exceptionally loving, the French Bulldog lavishes his family and friends with affection at every opportunity. The Frenchie is not a dog that does well if separated from those he loves for long periods of time. This dog type needs constant attention and prefers to hang out beside his family on the couch or in their favorite person’s lap whenever possible.
A natural born comedian, the French Bulldog delights in making its family laugh. However, the breed can be very mischievous and can get itself into all kinds of trouble if not properly supervised. A good sense of humor is one of the most important attributes owners must possess to share their hearts and homes with a Frenchie.
Fiercely loyal, the Frenchie will bravely defend those he loves if feeling his family and friends are in danger. To this end, the French Bulldog will alert bark at the sound of strange noises or when sensing the presence of strangers.
The French Bulldog is a highly versatile breed and can thrive in any living situation. For those who live in an apartment, this breed is ideal as its activity requirements can easily be satisfied by a short daily walk.
Though a fenced yard is nice, it is not necessary for this breed. The breed is unlikely to roam, but it is important to note that the Frenchie excels at rat hunting and may wander if he senses that small game is near at hand.
The French Bulldog is an excellent addition to a multi-pet household, getting along very well with other dogs and cats. For best results, it is recommended that the Frenchie be introduced to its new canine or feline housemates while still a puppy and on neutral territory to prevent any territorialism from occurring.
The Frenchie loves young children and enjoys their company. Still, it is recommended that this breed be supervised when playing with kids, and all children should be taught how to appropriately interact with the Frenchie and to respect the dog’s boundaries. Frenchies also make excellent pets for seniors.
Keeping the Frenchie looking his best is a fairly simple task for owners to accomplish. Bathing should be on an as needed basis. The coat should be brushed at least once a week to help keep shedding to a minimum. Nails should be trimmed at least once weekly.
The one area that it is critical to keep on top of with a French Bulldog is the dog’s facial folds. These areas can easily collect bacteria and yeast and can become infected if allowed to become moist or filled with germs. For best results, clean these areas with a mild soap and rinse then dry between the folds very well. Moisture will encourage the growth of harmful agents that lead to yeast problems or infection, so keeping these areas dry is of the utmost importance.
The French Bulldog is not a dog that needs an excessive amount of exercise. They fall on the low to moderate end of the energy spectrum and a once daily walk of approximately 20-30 minutes is sufficient to keep this fellow in tip top form and good spirits. These walks are important as the Frenchie can easily gain weight, causing excess strain on the dog’s joints and musculature.
It is important to take care not to take the French Bulldog for lengthy activity sessions in extreme weather, be it hot or cold outside. Because the French Bulldog is a brachycephalic breed, they can overheat easily and may have difficulty breathing when it is very hot or cold in the great outdoors. Moderate weather is ideal for exercising or play time with this breed.
French Bulldog Health
All dog breeds are predisposed to certain genetic conditions. Thankfully, through careful health testing of breeding dogs, it is possible to limit and even possibly eliminate the transmission of some of the most commonly seen problems in some breeds. The main problems that can affect the French Bulldog include:
- Hip dysplasia
- Brachycephalic syndrome
- Patellar luxation (slipping kneecaps)
- Intervertebral disc disease
- Von Willebrand’s disease
- Cleft palate
- Elongated soft palate
Reputable breeders conduct the appropriate physical and DNA tests on their dogs prior to any matings to ensure genetic illness is not knowingly passed from generation to generation.
Though named for an entirely different country, the French Bulldog’s roots are firmly set in England. Designed to be a miniature version of the country’s beloved mascot, the English Bulldog, the French Bulldog was highly prized by the country’s lacemakers in Nottingham. When work became very sparse for them in Britain, they traversed the channel to France in search of greater employment options, bringing their miniature bulldogs along on their journey.
The breed was further developed in France and became exceptionally popular not only in France but also all throughout Europe. In time, even North Americans fell prey to the charm of this comical, loving breed. Adopting the name the French Bulldog, the breed has been affectionately called simply a “Frenchie” for many years. The very first appearance of a French Bulldog at the historic Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show occurred in 1896.
Fun Facts About the French Bulldog
- French Bulldogs can’t swim. Because of their compact bodies and the unique construction of their heads, this dog breed is unable to safely spend time in water of any depth.
- French Bulldogs mope if scolded. They are notoriously incredibly sensitive and will enjoy time pouting and making their owners work to regain their affections once offended.
- Most French Bulldogs are conceived through artificial insemination. Because of their unique conformation, natural breedings are very difficult for this dog breed to accomplish. Thus, a little help from the breeder and sometimes a vet is necessary for a French Bulldog to become pregnant.
- The French Bulldog is the favorite breed of many celebrities. Among some of the famous people that own Frenchies for pets are Lady Gaga, the Rock, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Hugh Jackman.
- Frenchies are sometimes also referred to as clown dogs or frog dogs.
- Unfortunately, French Bulldogs are world class farters and snorers.