The French Bulldog is known as a funny, affectionate and low maintenance dog. It was bred as a toy version of the popular English Bulldog, and was kept as a companion by the many lace makers of the industrial revolution.
However, there is a downside to the friendly nature of the French Bulldog, that they don’t like being alone and prefer to be by your side constantly. For some owners this level of loyalty is ideal in a fur baby, but busy professionals may find they are unable to give their Frenchy the attention it needs.
French Bulldogs are smart dogs, and so training can be a struggle. However, before anything else they love to please you, so with the right treats and games your Frenchie can be trained reasonably quickly.
Known affectionately as an excellent city dog, the Frenchie is incredibly adaptable to varying living circumstances. This means it is happy to live in a house or apartment, with a single person or family, and with other animals or children.
Despite this, French Bulldogs are not very adaptable when it comes to weather. Their small size means they struggle with the cold, and their short snout and airways make it hard for them to keep cool in the heat.
Perfect for more active families who love spending time outdoors.
- Small (28cm to 33cm)
- Typically weighing between under 13kg
- 10 to 12 years life expectancy
Exercise and nutrition
Being such a small breed, the French Bulldog does not need a lot of exercise to stay healthy. A daily walk for around 20 minutes should be enough for most Frenchies. In fact, French Bulldogs are prone to being over exercised, and you must be careful not to let them exert themselves for too long, especially in heat.
Their short muzzles prevent them from cooling down effectively when exercising, which means they are at risk of overheating or hyperventilating. It’s best to avoid walking your Frenchy in the middle of the day when the sun is hottest, and on really hot days it’s better to stick to an indoor playtime session instead of a walk.
French Bulldogs can be prone to obesity so it’s good to keep an eye on what they are eating. They should only be fed high quality food with low fat content; the packet should advice you on how much to serve each day. If you notice your pup putting on weight, take note of your brand of food and serving size and ask your veterinarian what changes they would recommend.
Common health problems and illnesses
French Bulldogs do have their share of health issues, which is why it’s a good idea to take out insurance for your Frenchie while they’re still a puppy. Due to the difference in size of their head and hips, virtually all French Bulldogs are born by C-Section, which often leads to birth defects.
The squashed face of the French Bulldog might be adorable, but sadly it restricts the dog’s airways and may need to be operated on if it is really struggling to breath. Excessive snoring and snorting are a good sign your Frenchie may need to visit the vet about his breathing.
Allergies in French Bulldogs most commonly manifest themselves in skin rashes, but this depends what is causing the allergy. Your veterinarian should be able to help you work out what your dog is allergic to so you can either stop exposing them to the allergen, or prescribe medication if it’s something unavoidable such as pollen.
This is common in a lot of small breeds. It occurs when the Patellar (the joining of thigh, knee and calf) is misaligned, causing too much strain on the bones. This can cause lameness in extreme cases. Most of the time Patellar Luxation can be recognized at birth but in some cases symptoms won’t appear until the dog is older.
A cleft palate is a possibility in any dog but again the unusual head shape of the Frenchy unfortunately makes them more likely to have this issue. It is diagnosed when the roof of the mouth is split, joining the nasal and oral cavities. In some cases this involves surgery to close the hole, although this is not necessary for all dogs.
French Bulldogs are prone to many eye diseases including cataracts, Cherry Eye, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), and eyelid deformities. Some of these can lead to blindness but swift treatment can slow down this process.
Hemivertebrae is a malformation of the spine that causes it to grow out of shape it can cause weakness and paralysis, as well as being extremely painful for your pooch. Sadly, there’s no treatment for the condition so it’s important to have the health records of both parents when purchasing a puppy.
All dogs can suffer from obesity if not fed and exercised properly, but as French Bulldogs are restricted from exercising for extensive periods, it’s important to keep an eye on their weight. As they are a loving companion dog, it is tempting to give them treats all through the day, but try to resist!
- Despite the name, the French Bulldog actually originated in Nottingham, England in the 1800s.
- The Frenchie did not come to America until the early twentieth century, but we quickly made our mark on the breed by insisting that their now famous bat ears should be a named feature of the breed.
- The Frenchie is a celebrity favorite, owned by big names such as Reece Witherspoon, The Rock, Leonardo DiCaprio and Madonna!
- Due to their facial features and heavy upper body, Frenchies are one of the only breeds who can’t swim.
- Frenchies don’t bark much, but that doesn’t mean they’re not noisy! Aside from snorts and snores, they love to “talk” with yelps, whines, and moans.