FRENCH BULLDOGS AT A GLANCE
Names: French Bulldog, Bouledogue Français or Frenchie
Weight: 7 – 11 kg (16 – 25 lbs)
Height: About 30cm tall (12 inches)
Life span: 10 – 12 years
Coat: Short, fine, smooth fur
Colour(s): While some are rarer than others, Frenchies come in most colours; Fawn, brindle, white, black, chocolate, blue, red, pied… Often with white markings on the chest regardless of body colour
Litter size: 3 – 4 puppies
Breed group: Non-sporting group
Mark Twain once said “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight it’s the size of the fight in the dog”, with the heart (and sometimes stubborn head) of a full-sized Bulldog in a Pug-sized body the French Bulldog fits this to a tee.
They’re a paradoxical little package as well.
They have a face only a mother could love but at the same time you can’t walk past one without saying “Awwwww”.
Small but muscular, they’re a “real dog” in a compact size. The Frenchie is no Toy Poodle.
Frenchies are ready to play at the drop of a hat but can also veg out with the biggest of couch potatoes.
They can be trained and be eager to please, or can dig their heels and be more stubborn than you’d believe.
Whatever the combination, everybody loves a Frenchie.
There is an occasionally held misconception misconception about French Bulldogs that they are the result of continually breeding American Bulldog runts to create a miniature line, but this is not the case. Bred in the early 1800s the French Bulldog originated from English Bulldogs crossed with ratters (vermin chasers) in France, to reduce their size they were crossed with Terriers and Pugs.
By the 1850s the dogs were popular and highly sought after in France and the Bouledogue Francais was born. This popularity made it’s way to the US and around 30 years later American breeding programs were well established.
Like most of the bulldog family they are trainable, but will abandon training at the drop of a hat to play. A firm, consistent and patient handler who can work some fun into training is required to get the most out of a French Bulldog when it comes to obedience. They are an alert breed and will play the role of watchdog well.
Frenchies thrive on company, they’re highly affectionate making them ideal companion dogs, though they can become possessive and protective of their family. Small but rugged, they’re also a great companion for children.
If you’re looking for a small, endlessly affectionate and loyal dog to spend most of your day with, a Frenchie may be perfect for you.
CHARACTERISTICS AND SUMMARY
Suited to indoor living: 10/10 – Small and on the lower half of the energy scale, Frenchies are well suited to indoor living.
Owner experience required: Good for all owners, novices included.
Sensitivity: Small in stature but not timid because of it, Frenchies fit well into busy environments.
Needs company: French Bulldogs aren’t the best when it comes to being left alone and separation anxiety is common. Of course some time alone is unavoidable but if your week is full of long working days where your dog will be left alone a Frenchie is not for you.
Suitable climates: Frenchies are suited to moderate climates only. Their thin coats do not make them well equipped for the cold and like all short nosed/flat faced dogs they can not cool themselves well and suffer from the heat easily.
FAMILY, FRIENDS AND OTHER DOGS
Friendly with family: 10/10 – Frenchies are affectionate little guys who love the whole family.
Child friendly: 8/10 – With their general good nature and small size they’re well suited for children. Though sturdy for their size they are still small and children should be educated on not being too rough with them.
Dog friendly: 7/10 – Generally good, they can be a little bossy or protective over a favourite stick or toy but with their small size don’t pose much risk, if any.
Friendly toward strangers: 8/10 (and everyone will love them which will only make them warm to new people quicker)
One master dog: Frenchies are not a ‘one man dog’.
Intelligence: Frenchies are one of the more intelligent non-sporting breeds, and rank highly among the bulldog breeds in this regard.
Ease of training: While reasonably intelligent and eager to please, Frenchies can also be stubborn and preferring to play can bore with training quickly. Training will need to be fun and rewarding to keep them engauged.
POSSIBLE UNDESIRABLE BEHAVIOURS
Mouthing: Their tendency to mouth is low, and there isn’t that much mouth to contend with anyway…
Prey drive: 6/10 – Originally bred as ratters (vermin chasers) and with Terrier in their blood they can have a significant prey drive.
Tendency to bark/howl: 5/10 – If a Frenchie is excited, want’s to chase that bird on the lawn or especially if lonely, you’re probably going to hear about it but they are not known for excessive barking.
Goes wandering: With those little legs and big attachment to their owners French Bulldogs usually won’t wander far.
Shedding: Some shedding, easily managed with brushing.
Drooling: A little drooling when hot or sleeping is fairly common.
Grooming required: A weekly brush is plenty for keeping their coat healthy. Their loose skin and wrinkly face can lend itself to skin irritation, scabs and in worse cases infection and should be checked regularly; a quick wipe with a moist cloth will keep them clean.
EXERCISE NEEDS & GENERAL HEALTH
Energy level / Intensity: 4/10 – Usually lower on the scale in terms of energy, though regular exercise is still required to prevent them becoming overweight.
Playfulness: 7/10 – They love a good play session and it doesn’t take much to get them going.
Exercise frequency : A solid half hour walk each day is usually enough.
General health: Unfortunately French Bulldogs are susceptible to a long list of health problems. Potential issues include an elongated soft palate causing breathing issues, Brachycephalic Syndrome; another respiratory problem, cleft palates which can only be fixed with surgery, hip and elbow dysplasia, malformed vertebrae, spinal disc hernias and Von Willebrand’s disease which inhibits blood clotting. A focus on health should be top priority when looking at French Bulldogs.
Keywords: French Bulldogs. French bulldog puppies.