With a tough-on-the-outside, sweet-on-the-inside demeanor, unmistakable bat-shaped ears and distinctive bow-legged gait, the French Bulldog has gained so much popularity that he’s fast becoming the city-dwellers' dog of choice. He's small – under 28 pounds – and has a short, easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors. He doesn't need a great deal of exercise, fits comfortably into a condo, co-op or apartment, and is far less likely to bark than many small dogs. In fact, other than being a little pugnacious with other dogs, it would be hard to imagine a better dog for city living.
The French Bulldog should be on the short list of breeds for anyone who lives without a vast tract of suburban backyard. He's also a good choice for those who might have trouble giving a more active breed ample exercise.
The Frenchie will make you laugh. He's a charming, clever dog with a sense of humor and a stubborn streak. Bred for centuries as a companion, he's very fond of people, and becomes particularly attached to his family. In fact, sometimes he becomes a little too attached, which means he's not the best choice for someone who'll be away long hours every day. It also means he absolutely, positively cannot live in the backyard or garage, but only indoors as a member of the family. That's doubly true given that he, like all brachycephalic, or "flat-faced" breeds, has difficulty regulating his body temperature and needs to live in a climate-controlled environment.
The Frenchie can also be a little hard to housetrain and may not be safe with a slow-footed family cat. He also snores, which might seem like a minor problem until you've actually heard the dramatic sounds that can emanate from his small body.
For exercise, Frenchies jump on and off the furniture and do the “Frenchie 500” circuit through the house. A short daily walk of 15 to 20 minutes will help to keep them in shape. Schedule walks and outdoor playtime for cool mornings and evenings. Frenchies are sensitive to heat and can quickly succumb to heatstroke. This is not the breed for you if you enjoy hiking or jogging with a dog.
Breeders like to send French Bulldog puppies to their new homes when they are nine or 10 weeks old. Frenchie puppies can become unpleasant little tyrants if they don’t get to spend the optimal amount of time with their mother and littermates, learning the rules of behavior toward people and other dogs.
The French Bulldog does best in a family where someone is home most of the day. He’s not always good with small children or cats, and he can be aggressive toward dogs he doesn’t know. When a Frenchie is the right match for you, though, you’ll find it’s impossible to have just one.
The History of French Bulldogs
The “bouldogge Francais,” as he is known in his adopted home country of France, actually originated in England, in the city of Nottingham. Small bulldogs were popular pets with the local lace workers, keeping them company and ridding their workrooms of rats. After the industrial revolution, lacemaking became mechanized and many of the lace workers lost their jobs. Some of them moved to France, where their skills were in demand, and of course they took their beloved dogs with them. The dogs were equally popular with French shopkeepers and eventually took on the name of their new country.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the dogs became popular with members of the Paris bohemian class: ladies of the night, artists, writers such as the novelist Colette, and wealthy Americans doing the Grand Tour. Impressionist artist Toulouse Lautrec even put a Frenchie in one of his paintings, “Le Marchand des Marrons.”
The Frenchie has gained rapidly in popularity in the past decade. Today, the breed ranks 21st among the breeds registered by the American Kennel Club, up from 71st in 2000, a testament to his qualities as a companion.
French Bulldog Demeanor - Temperament and Personality
People who love him say the French Bulldog’s best qualities are charm and adaptability. A Frenchie loves almost everyone he meets and will seek out anyone who is willing to provide a lap.
Frenchies are known for their quiet attentiveness. They follow their people around from room to room without making a nuisance of themselves. When they want your attention, they’ll tap you with a paw.
This is a highly alert breed who barks judiciously. If a Frenchie barks, you should check it out.
What’s not to like? Frenchies can be stubborn about any kind of training. Motivate them with gentle, positive techniques. When you find the right reward, they can learn quickly, although you will find that they like to put their own spin on tricks or commands, especially when they have an audience.
Frenchie play tends to be on the destructive side. The dogs enjoy mauling their toys, performing “squeakerectomies” and playing keep-away with each other’s toys. Avoid giving them toys on which they could choke, such as rawhides, pig ears, and dental chews. They’re also fond of hiding things and making their people search for them.
A word of advice: any dog, no matter how nice, can develop obnoxious levels of barking, digging, and other undesirable behaviors if he is bored, untrained or unsupervised. And any dog can be a trial to live with during adolescence. In the case of the Frenchie, the “teen” years can start at six months and continue until the dog is about two years old.
Start training your puppy the day you bring him home. Even at eight weeks old, he is capable of soaking up everything you can teach him. Don’t wait until he is 6 months old to begin training or you will have a more headstrong dog to deal with. If possible, get him into puppy kindergarten class by the time he is 10 to 12 weeks old, and socialize, socialize, socialize. However, be aware that many puppy training classes require certain vaccines (like kennel cough) to be up to date, and many veterinarians recommend limited exposure to other dogs and public places until puppy vaccines (including rabies, distemper and parvovirus) have been completed. In lieu of formal training, you can begin training your puppy at home and socializing him among family and friends until puppy vaccines are completed.
Talk to the breeder, describe exactly what you’re looking for in a dog, and ask for assistance in selecting a puppy. Breeders see the puppies daily and can make uncannily accurate recommendations once they know something about your lifestyle and personality.
The perfect French Bulldog doesn’t spring fully formed from the whelping box. He’s a product of his background and breeding.
What You Need to Know About French Bulldog Health
All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don’t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines.
The French Bulldog is prone to certain health problems. Here’s a brief rundown on what you should know.
These small, flat-faced dogs are prone to a couple of conditions. One is called brachycephalic airway syndrome. Dogs whose facial bones and tissues are compressed can have obstructed breathing because they may have an elongated soft palate, laryngeal collapse, narrowed nasal cavities or related problems. Dogs with these problems are said to have brachycephalic airway syndrome. Even if you can’t see their structural defects, you can tell they exist by listening to the dog’s labored breathing after minimal exercise. Dogs with brachycephalic syndrome cannot tolerate excessive heat or exercise. In some cases, surgery may be needed to improve airflow and breathing.
In addition, Frenchies can suffer from spinal malformations and a spinal condition called intervertebral disc disease. Reproductive problems are the norm, not the exception. They may also develop eye problems, such as cataracts, and intestinal malabsorption disorders.
Not all of these conditions are detectable in a growing puppy, and it is impossible to predict whether an animal will be free of these maladies, which is why you must find a reputable breeder who is committed to breeding the healthiest animals possible. They should be able to produce independent certification that the parents of the dog (and grandparents, etc.) have been screened for common defects and deemed healthy for breeding. That’s where health registries come in.
Before individual French Bulldogs can be included in the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) database, the FBDCA requires them to have [a clearance from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation, hip evaluations from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, PennHIP or Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), and an OFA patella (knee) evaluation. Optional tests are OFA cardiac (heart) and thyroid exams. You can search the OFA and CHIC websites yourself to see if a pup’s parents are listed.
Breeders must agree to have all test results, positive or negative, published in the CHIC database. A dog need not receive good or even passing scores on the evaluations to obtain a CHIC number, so CHIC registration alone is not proof of soundness or absence of disease, but all test results are posted on the CHIC website and can be accessed by anyone who wants to check the health of a puppy’s parents. If the breeder tells you she doesn't need to do those tests because she's never had problems in her lines and her dogs have been "vet checked," then you should go find a breeder who is more rigorous about genetic testing.
Careful breeders screen their breeding dogs for genetic disease and breed only the healthiest and best-looking specimens, but sometimes Mother Nature has other ideas and a puppy develops one of these diseases despite good breeding practices. Advances in veterinary medicine mean that in most cases the dogs can still live a good life. If you’re getting a puppy, ask the breeder about the ages of the dogs in her lines and what they died of.
French Bulldogs are sensitive to heat. Never leave one outdoors on a hot day or in a home without air conditioning.
Remember that after you’ve taken a new puppy into your home, you have the power to protect him from one of the most common health problems: obesity. Keeping a French Bulldog at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways to extend his life. Make the most of your preventive abilities to help ensure a healthier dog for life.
The Basics of French Bulldog Grooming
The French Bulldog has a short, fine, smooth coat that is easy to groom. Brush him weekly with a rubber hound glove or a soft bristle brush. Bathe monthly or as needed to keep the coat clean.
Frenchies don’t shed much, but twice a year they lose their undercoat. During the spring and fall shedding seasons, use a stripping comb and grooming mitt to remove the excess hair.
The only other grooming required is routine nail trimming, ear cleaning, tooth brushing and wrinkle care. The deep skin folds may need to be cleaned only a couple of times a week or every day. Wipe out the crud from the wrinkles with a soft, damp cloth or a baby wipe, then dry them thoroughly. If moisture is left behind, wrinkles become the perfect petri dish for bacterial growth. Do the same for the indentation at the tail set and the outer vulval area.
The rest is basic care. Trim the toenails as needed, usually every few weeks. They should never get long enough that you hear them clacking on the floor. Brush the teeth frequently for good dental health and fresh breath.
The French Bulldog has become more and more popular over the years. But if you haven’t jumped on the Frenchie bandwagon just yet, these 15 facts about the playful breed will no doubt make you a fan! The French Bulldog isn’t really French. The breed actually originated in and around Nottingham, England, which was the center of lace making. This small bulldog was a companion to the lace makers and ratter-in-chief. As the Industrial Revolution took hold in England, cottage industries such as lace making were threatened by mechanization, and many lace makers relocated to France. Naturally, they took their dogs with them, and it wasn’t long before the French fell in love with the breed. The French Bulldog, or “Bouledouge Francais,” became associated with Parisian nightlife, artists, ladies of the evening, and bon vivants. Toulouse-Lautrec even put a Frenchie in several of his paintings. French Bulldogs are surprisingly good watchdogs. They are not typically excessive barkers, but they can have a territorial streak, so if your Frenchie barks, you’d better pay attention. He may be alerting you that someone’s there. According to the French Bulldog Club of America, “Frenchies can snore and some are rather loud at it.” Additionally, “Wheat products are known to be flatulence producing in some French Bulldogs.” At least you can honestly blame the dog next time!".6 Besides snoring, they make all sorts of snorts, grunts, yips, and other odd noises. If only Rosetta Stone taught Frenchie-language! French Bulldogs can be very stubborn and hard-headed. You won’t win a battle of wills, but positive, patient, and consistent training — especially with food rewards — is effective. However, even after they learn a trick or behavior, they may do their own interpretation of it. They do the “Frenchie 500,” which is their version of the "zoomies". They may circle the coffee table or jump on and off the furniture, and it will always be exuberant.
French Bulldogs have a huge celebrity following. Martha Stewart’s Frenchies are frequently featured on her blog; Lady Gaga, Zach Braff, and Hilary Duff are all French Bulldog owners, as is Hugh Jackman, among other stars. French Bulldogs are sensitive. If you scold a Frenchie, he’s likely to take it to heart and may mope around the house for awhile.11. If a Frenchie doesn’t want to go where you want him to go, he can turn into dead weight at the end of a leash. It’s amazing how heavy a little 25-pound dog can become! With a mischievous sense of humor, Frenchies are enormously entertaining. They’re great with kids. They’re sturdy enough, even for toddlers, playful, affectionate, loyal, and adaptable. Of course, children need to be taught how to play with a dog, regardless of breed. Plan on buying lots of toys; a Frenchie is a toy terminator, and enjoys ripping out stuffing and squeakers. Be careful what toys you choose for him and avoid ones that could be choking hazards. Their personalities are as large as their big bat ears. There’s a lot of dog packed into that compact body. Adaptable, loving, smart, and mischievous, the French Bulldog is pretty much irresistible!
Are you searching for a world-class lap dog with irresistible looks? The French Bulldog is for you! Those distinctive bat ears, wrinkly face, and sturdy little body are guaranteed to bring smiles to the faces of passersby. But what really wins hearts is the Frenchie’s entertaining and affectionate nature. This is a dog that’s born to be your companion. He’s smart and playful and thinks your lap is the best place on earth. But wait, there’s more. The Frenchie has other winning qualities: He’s a pretty good watchdog. Although not at all yappy, he’ll bark to let you know if someone’s at the door. The breed can be a little territorial, but that’s where his job ends: don’t expect him to be a French Bulldog. The French Bulldog is adaptable. An apartment, a country house . . . whatever. He’s not really athletic and is perfectly happy with daily walks and maybe a bit of an outdoors romp. He’s an ideal companion dog for singles, families with kids, couples, anyone. Playful, loyal, and loving, he requires minimal grooming and exercise. Despite a reputation for stubbornness, Frenchies are relatively easy to train. They’re eager to please and do enjoy being the center of attention. Nobody’s perfect though, so here are a few other things to keep in mind with a French Bulldog. About that reputation for stubbornness. They’ve earned it. But, with a little patience and the proper motivation (treats), they’re willing to learn. Turn training into a game, and your French Bulldog is all in.
Because they’re a short-nosed (brachycephalic) and a dwarf breed (chondrodystrophic), there are some heath concerns to keep in mind with Frenchies. The short face and smaller nose can make breathing difficult and less efficient. Because of this, they have a low tolerance for heat, humidity, and too much exercise. Your French Bulldog needs to be kept cool in hot weather, preferably in an air-conditioned space. Watch your dog for unusually noisy breathing or if he's spitting up foam. If this happens, consult your veterinarian; the dog may have pinched nostrils or an elongated soft palette obstructing his airway. Speaking of noisy breathing, Frenchies snore . . . sometimes loudly. Whether it’s annoying, amusing, or oddly comforting is up to you. Choose indestructible toys for your French Bulldog. Those bulldog jaws are really powerful. For at least 150 years, the French Bulldog has delighted everyone from ordinary working folks and high society. From England to France and then to the U.S., this entertaining little companion dog continues to enchant and win hearts wherever he goes. Know someone who already has a French Bulldog in his or her life (or would like one), who might appreciate some breed-specific swag?
Head on over to the AKC Marketplace and see all of our amazing French Bulldog Puppies! The French Bulldog has enjoyed a long history as a companion dog. Created in England to be a miniature Bulldog, he accompanied English lacemakers to France, where he acquired his Frenchie moniker. Besides being a companion, he once served as an excellent ratter, but today his job focuses on being a fabulous family friend and show dog. He’s a rare dog breed, so expect to put in some time on a waiting list before you’re able to bring one home.
Frenchies are perfect city dogs since they do well in small spaces! Pretty much everyone I know in NY has a Frenchie. Frenchies aren’t incredibly active dogs so they don’t need a big yard or anything to run in. They’re very well mannered which makes them the perfect dog for a smaller space! Another reason why they’re great city dogs is because you don’t really need to take them out on walks. (Frenchies overheat very quickly.) You guys might remember seeing photos of me, Mignon, and Allen out on walks before we had Chloe on Instagram...but in truth, we wouldn’t take him out for a marathon or anything, just a short walk around the block! And when we do take him out, its around sunset, when it’s cooler in the day. (And let’s face it, with this LA heat, even I can’t handle being outside!)
Frenchies have very quirky personalities so it’s really interesting to see how they grow up and the habits that they develop! But one thing that I never told you guys about about is that Frenchies got attacked by a French Bulldog when he was a puppy. I remember running down the street screaming my head off because this French Bulldog Puppies for Sale had Mignon in his mouth!!! Because of this trauma, Mignon does get scared a lot (he’s scared of trash bags hah). On the whole though, he does get a little bit more aggressive and is more temperamental than the average bulldog. Which is why we had to give Captain away because they were fighting so much.. However, once he lets his guard down, he is the sweetest little thing. They can be very stubborn dogs!
Mignon definitely has a personality, and Allen and I were pretty nervous about having a dog and a new baby, but surprisingly, French Bulldog loves Frenchie puppies and is extremely protective of his little sister! It’s the cutest thing since they are about the same size! (Follow their adventures on my snapchat @chrisellelim) French bull dogs are infamous for having gas problems, but you get used to it after a while and it’s nothing a few candles can’t fix. Plus, having a well balanced diet helps tremendously!
Frenchies also have allergies so you have to be careful what to feed them. We feed Mignon dog raw meat because it’s easier to digest. Even though Frenchies are short haired dogs, they actually shed a surprisingly large amount of hair. Luckily my floors are dark so I can’t really see how much he really sheds, and we sweep once a week. But this is something to consider if you have white carpet and you’re going to get a dark Frenchie like Mignon! In short, having a Frenchie is basically the best thing ever! I love love Mignon and I can’t imagine how my life would be without him! Before Allen and I had Chloe, Mignon was our little baby and we had so much fun playing with him after work. Even with Chloe now, it just makes me so happy to see them getting along and playing with each other.