Bulldogs are usually known for their roly-poly build and way too wide heads, but do you know that there’s also a toy-size version of the bulldog? We called them French bulldogs, and they are recognized by their relatively smaller heads with fewer facial wrinkles and high-set, bat ears.
Unlike an English bulldog, a Frenchie is not antisocial but encourages new interactions with new people and environments. Even they could develop destructive behaviors if not socialized as per their needs. Overall, they are playful, friendly, loveable, adaptable, and extremely adorable, which makes them the perfect canine best friend.
And yes, unlike their English cousins, French bulldogs love cuddles and can be the clingiest canine you’ll ever meet. Even though they are programmed to stay naturally dependent on their owners, they might, sometimes, consider themselves the pack leader. Therefore, working on their obedience and agility is a must.
To know more about this French bulldog’s appearance, temperament, history, health, care, and training techniques, keep reading the article!
About the Breed
Bouledogue francais in French, these French bulldogs fall in the nonsporting group of dogs and are one of the most frequently adopted and registered dog breeds in several countries, including America, England, and Australia.
This miniature bulldog is often mistaken for the English bulldog and Boston terrier (the other two dog breeds in the nonsporting group) due to possessing a very close resemblance. However, when it comes to personality aspects of a Frenchie, it’s nowhere even close to terriers and other bulldogs.
For example, they’re not at all aggressive but have an even temper in normal situations. Likewise, it’s neither too energetic nor a lazy couch potato. Instead, you’d find both the urge to play and cuddle equally balanced.
The only thing that keeps them on cloud nine is their owner’s attention. A French bulldog can never tolerate if you are giving his love and attention to anyone else, whether it’s a human or an animal. For this very reason, these dogs are recommended for single-person households.
And do you know that these toy bulldogs were once used as ratters? That’s true! With their small size and ability to stay super alert all the time, these dogs were used to chase and catch even the fastest and smartest rats. However, nowadays, this dog breed is mainly being used as a family pet.
Since they are not huge or bulky, they don’t need too much space to play, and that’s why they are also compatible with apartment-style living. However, they can only live in regions or households with moderate temperatures since they cannot sustain temperatures that are too cold or too hot.
Even though these little bulldogs are free thinkers, they are also intelligent enough to understand their owners’ desires. Due to this, even the first-time dog owner can consider keeping this muscular dog as his family pet.
Unlike English bulldogs, these Frenchies are not way too relaxed but also show their silly, mischievous side. They will do hilarious things to make you laugh, even in the most depressing days of your life, and that’s the very reason why people who own French bulldogs can’t imagine their lives without this toy bulldog.
History of the French Bulldog
When inhumane bloodsports like bull baiting got banned in 1835, the breeders of England started to develop newer dog breeds that could serve them for other purposes like herding, guarding, ratting, and accompanying.
In the early nineteenth century, breeders crossbred a small bulldog with a native dog, which resulted in the formation of these French bulldogs. Even though this new little French bulldog originated in England, the Industrial Revolution impelled the English lace-makers to travel to France in search of jobs.
Those lace workers also took their toy bulldogs along, where these miniature bulldogs caught the attention and praises of locals. As a result, the demand for these new bulldogs skyrocketed, and French traders had to import a large number of these dogs from England.
Soon, the charm and fame of these small bulldogs reached America and Europe. That was the time when only the royal and elite class could afford this highly fashionable dog breed, making it a fashion and status statement.
By the end of the 19th century, this dog was considered the pet of upper-class society. Considering their fame and social status, these dogs began to be noticed as a separate breed and also got a new name: Bouledogue francais.
However, this new bulldog breed was not immediately accepted by the English breeders as it didn’t fit their bulldog breed standards. After this, the fancier owners of these little bulldogs made their French Bull Dog Club in 1902 and did their first show.
As the fame of these dogs increased, the English Kennel Club finally accepted this dog breed in 1903, under its original French name, as a companion dog.
However, in 1912, the breed club officially changed its name to the French bulldog. On the other hand, the American Kennel Club recognized this dog breed much before UKC (in 1898) as a non-sporting dog.
You can also read our guide and see how much owning a French Bulldog costs
French Bulldog Facts
- The average life expectancy of a French bulldog is around 9-12 years.
- French bulldog puppies possess high tendencies to snore and drool.
- By 2017, French bulldogs ranked fourth on the list of most popular dog breeds in America.
- In a single litter, only two to four Frenchie puppies are delivered. However, sometimes, five pups are also born in a litter, but it happens once in a blue moon.
- There was a time when French bulldogs were sought after by only the elite-class ladies, Persian prostitutes, lace-making workers, writers, artists, and designers as a status symbol. Even a French bulldog puppy was also on-broad on the famous Titanic with its rich owner, Robert Daniel.
- The popularity of these Frenchies had a serious decline after World War I. During that period, another dog breed, Boston terriers, was enjoying the title of the most famous dog.
- Around 1940, these bulldogs were considered one of the rarest dog breeds due to a sudden drop in the count due to heat exhaustion and World War consequences.
- Frenchies are also sometimes called frog dogs due to their special style of laying down on their tummies and spattering or spreading their legs from behind, like a frog.
- A French bulldog won the AKC best-in-show title about 55 times. Likewise, another French bulldog earned the title of best of breed for about eight years.
- French bulldogs have made screen appearances several times in various TV shows and movies. These include Due Date, Bringing Down the House, From Hell, Second Lions, and even Titanic.
French Bulldog Appearance
These squared, muscular, and compact bulldogs are categorized as mid-sized dogs. At first glance, the very first thing that would catch your attention is their pointed bat ears that are naturally uncropped.
In addition to this most prominent trait, Frenchie’s facial folds make an overall alert expression. Its skull is doomed in between its dark eyes, whereas it is flat between the ears.
Amidst their unique features, bulldog t-shirts have become increasingly popular, capturing the charm and distinct look of these adorable dogs, especially highlighting their iconic bat ears and expressive faces.
Like other dogs, a male French bulldog is taller than a female. Generally, the male can grow up to 12 inches from the withers, whereas a female is 11 inches tall.
Both the male and female Frenchies weigh almost the same. The healthy weight range of a French bulldog is 25-27 pounds. Any Frenchie weighing more than 28 lbs is not considered desirable by the breeder.
Like English bulldogs, the coat of a Frenchie is also short and fine. However, Frenchie’s coat feels smoother and shinier than that of its English cousins. Also, the coat most French dogs feature is single-layered.
However, not all Frenchies have single coats since some other breeds, like brindle, also come with double coats. That’s the very reason why French bulldogs can’t withstand the temperature extremes (due to lacking an insulating layer around their bodies).
Generally, French bulldogs come in five major coat colors: white, black, brindle, fawn, and cream. Besides these colors, many French bulldogs also feature multicolored coats, including grayish brown and black n white coats.
According to the breed standards, a Frenchie can be of any coat color except for liver, solid black, black with tan and white, and mouse. However, coats with streaks of dark and light markings (also called brindle pied) are considered acceptable among breeders.
French Bulldog Temperament and Personality
Even though Frenchies might look a bit grumpy and serious at first glance, they possess clown instincts and super cheerful personalities. With their strong built-in urges to please their owners, these dogs can mold themselves into whatever their owners like.
For example, if their owner is an extrovert, these dogs can join in daily walks and active play sessions without showing any tiredness. On the other hand, if their owner is an elderly person who prefers lying on the couch and reading a book on dog training, this dog will sit near the couch for the whole day, so the owner won’t feel alone.
In this way, they are trustworthy around children and aged people, but still, supervising the interaction is a must. Towards strangers and new dogs, these Frenchies could be a little reserved for some time, but after that, they will grow friendly towards them.
The best part of French bulldog personality is that they come with the lowest tendencies of excessive barking and digging. In normal situations, your French bulldog will be super calm and quiet, but after seeing a new face, it may bark to alert its owner. This quality makes them excellent watchdogs and incredibly poor guard dogs.
Since they don’t have a high prey drive, they can be kept in a household with other animals too. However, your Frenchie might grow jealous very quickly when seeing that their owner’s attention is being diverted. Therefore, to make them tolerant, it’s better to raise a French bulldog along with other pets.
Whether it’s another pet or a human, these dogs won’t initiate a fight. Even when feeling threatened, the only response these dogs give is in the form of barking. However, these aspects of a dog’s temperament also depend greatly on its parents’ temperament.
Lastly, it’s not one of those dogs that can stay all alone. If left alone for even a small period, these Frenchies may develop a severe form of separation anxiety, making them depressed, non-obedient, and stubborn.
French Bulldog Health and Care
Common health problems which a French bulldog may develop are as follows:
All dogs, that have wide nostrils and short heads, are prone to developing this disease. In this condition, the dog’s soft palate gets enlarged, as a result of which he could have problems while breathing.
Even when breathing heavily and forcefully, the airway of the dog may collapse in an instant. The only treatment to cure this condition permanently is surgery to either shorten the elongated soft palate or widen the nostrils so he can breathe easily.
In this strange health condition, a vertebra begins forging into a triangle or wedge shape. Sometimes, dogs with hemivertebrae manage to live their life normally, whereas in some other cases, they might suffer from immense pain in the spinal cord, paralysis, and weakness in the entire body.
Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD):
In this condition, one of the intervertebral discs gets ruptured or displaced from its original position, causing severe pain and partial paralysis. IVDD may be caused by physical jolts, improper diet, and growing age. Keeping your dog under veterinary care might help reduce the pain of your canine.
It’s one of the most common health issues found in small, energetic canines. In it, its kneecap keeps slipping in and out of its original place, causing arthritis and problem in walking normally. Most of the time, this problem is transferred from one generation to another and gets worse as your dog ages.
Hip dysplasia is a degenerative joint disease in which the hip joint doesn’t fit snugly with the thigh bone and pelvic socket. Other forms of this disease affect knee and elbow joints. This condition could be hereditary, but your dog may also develop it afterward, for doing too much exercise.
As it’s clear by now, most of the diseases a French bulldog develops often result from over-exercising. Therefore, it’s important to take your dogs for a short walk daily (about thirty minutes).
On the other hand, please keep your dog inside the house during warm and humid weather since their brachycephalic facial features might make it hard for them to do labored breathing, during such weather conditions.
Speaking of their grooming needs, since they have a short coat, it isn’t prone to too much matting. However, French bulldogs shed moderately, so it’s better to brush their coat regularly to remove loose hair and dust.
Instead of using combs or brushes, you may also opt for grooming gloves since, with them, it becomes much easier to access hard-to-reach body areas. Similarly, bulldogs are not hypoallergenic and also have sensitive skins, which can easily catch skin allergies.
Therefore, when choosing their shampoos and soaps, it’s better to do thorough homework, otherwise, the painful skin disorders might add much more to the vet bills. Likewise, clean the bat ears of your French bulldog at least once a week, to prevent ear infections.
Since their ears are erected and opened, grass, dirt, and debris may easily go inside. So, get a soft cotton ball and an ear-cleaning ointment to remove debris. The exercise needs of this dog are not insane, as only a one-hour walk will be enough.
However, to provide proper mental stimulation, you better take them on a short walk and give them some time to sniff around and play off-leash.
French Bulldog Training
As stated before, French bulldogs are great people pleasers, and that’s why they can do everything to bring a smile to their owner’s face. However, they can also be quite stubborn, especially when treated harshly or trained using negative reinforcement.
Since these Frenchies are quite sensitive, keep your tone gentle and stick to the reward-based training. To encourage their positive behaviors, reward them with dog treats, verbal praise, and patting.
Another thing that is worth mentioning here is that you need to stay consistent and firm with the training and corresponding training rules.
Make sure all the family members are following the same training rules, so your dog will understand the commands and recognize desirable behaviors more efficiently. And yes, French bulldogs may develop small dog syndrome too.
This behavioral disorder is usually caused by the owner’s negligence; when the owner doesn’t set clear and sharp boundaries and keeps providing its Frenchie puppy whatever he’s asking for.
Resultantly, the pup grows up with the same mindset and gets extremely noisy after not getting what he wants. Lastly, socialize your bulldog from a very young age so it could grow tolerable around new people, places, and environments.
We hope you have found the article helpful. Before signing out, here’s an important fact about French bulldogs that you should know!
These canines don’t know how to swim and can sink like stones, even in not-too-shallow pools. Therefore, keep an eye on your Frenchie when it’s playing around lakes or swimming pools.