A companion dog that greatly resembles the British Bulldog and was once considered a dog of high society. That’s right, none other than the French Bulldog.
Just as the name suggests, these noisy bundles originate in France – well, sort of.
French Bulldogs have been around since the early 1800’s but at the time were recognised as undersized Bulldogs.
British lace workers enjoyed these small or “undersized” Bulldogs as lap dogs whilst they were working. We all know that smaller dog breeds work perfectly for lap dog duties!
During late 1800’s, early 1900’s, they found themselves out of work and so migrated to France, taking their small Bulldogs with them. They were useful in keeping rats away and as companions on the farms. Breeders in England continued to sell small Bulldogs to the French. From there, the citizens continued to breed the smaller Bulldogs, leaving us with French Bulldogs, the mini version of a British Bulldog.
What do French Bulldogs look like?
Nicknamed “Frenchie”, this breed of dog typically appears black (with or without white), fawn or white in colour. They are recognised by their squished faces and bat-like ears. They have short legs but a muscular and athletic body.
Their coat is short, smooth and fine. They are especially prone to shedding but because of how fine their hair is, it shouldn’t be a problem to manage. French Bulldogs have moderate grooming needs and only need bathing approximately every 4-6 weeks.
This small dog breed averages between 27cm and 31cm, depending on whether you have a male or female Frenchie. You can expect a fully grown French Bulldog to be between 11-13kg at a healthy weight. Their life expectancy usually falls between 9 and 11 years which continues to rise with ever-changing ways to create longevity.
What are the personality traits of a French Bulldog?
As we already know, French Bulldogs are companion dogs. But what does that exactly mean? First of all, they love people! Don’t expect to leave these needy furballs alone for long without them becoming upset. They want to be with you at every given chance and at the centre of your attention. They are sociable and affectionate souls that are eager to please. They can become stubborn however which can cause problems whilst training. Since they love to have fun, they’re easy to train if you make them think that it’s a game! Make it fun and they’ll be putty in your hands.
Frenchies are quite the mischievous breed of dog in a humorous way. Their liveliness matched with their tendency to be clumsy causes quite the entertainment!
This breed of dog isn’t really a barker, unless there is a cause to do so. They can become defensive which they may deem as a fit enough reason to bark but are generally well perceived if socialised from young.
Other points to know about this small breed is that they are drooling and flatulence – a lot! They also aren’t massive fans of the heat so be sure to keep them cool during hot weather. Their exercise needs are relatively low but they need to be walked daily as part of their weight management routine. The Frenchie is prone to obesity if weight is not closely followed!
What health issues are French Bulldogs prone to?
Many small dogs are prone to similar diseases so you may see commonalities between their health warnings.
Hip dysplasia and other joint related problems are high on the prone to list for Frenchies. Hip dysplasia is a skeletal disorder where the ball and socket of the hip joint is not formed correctly. Those that are overweight are at a great risk and those that are not may have a genetic predisposition. Other environmental factors such as excessive growth and nutrition also influence this. Using joint supplements can help to reduce pain and inflammation caused by hip dysplasia.
French Bulldogs are a brachycephalic breed of dog. That simply means that they are “short-headed” or “flat-faced”. This is what causes Frenchies to snort and snore or in extreme cases, causes them to have breathing difficulties. Brachycephalic syndrome refers to a few different conditions such as an elongated soft palate, stenotic nares and everted laryngeal saccules. These conditions can all cause noisy breathing, exercise intolerance, retching and gagging. They also can lead to overheating if having a hard time breathing and regulating their body temperature.
French Bulldogs are at a higher risk of developing allergies than those that are non-brachycephalic breeds. Allergies can appear at any point during their life. You can help allergies in your French Bulldog by using products such as probiotics to support and improve the immune system.
Patellar luxation occurs when the knee cap is dislocated (or luxated), from its normal position. There are no known ways to prevent or cure this genetic disorder but it can be managed through fastening surgeries or supplements for joints.
Von Willebrand’s disease is a congenital, chronic bleeding disorder which is caused by the deficiency of adhesive glycoprotein in the blood. Normal platelet binding (blood clotting) cannot take place without sufficient amounts of it. This is seen in nosebleeds, bleeding from the gums, bruising of the skin, etc.
With the right love and care, French Bulldogs can be an adorable addition to your family or household. Prepare yourself for some entertainment if you decide a Frenchie is the dog for you – you’ll never have a dull moment with these small bundles of joy.
Fun Fact: Hugh Jackman has a French Bulldog named Dali!