THE FRENCH BULLDOG

The French Bulldog, also known as the Bouledogue Francais, or Frenchie, looks like a miniature Bulldog. The Frenchie originated from France, and was bred from miniature Bulldogs as a companion dog. This is a muscular and heavily boned breed, with a short tail, large bat-like ears, and heavily wrinkled skin around the head, neck and shoulders. Frenchies are fun and affectionate dogs.

Brief History

During the late 19th Century, the French Bulldog was bred as a companion dog by English lace workers who emigrated to France. The English dogs were bred with local dogs in France, and soon this breed became fashionable.

Physical Features

The French Bulldog has a large, square head with an upturned nose, and a short and wrinkled muzzle. Their ears are naturally upright, rounded with a batlike appearance. Their skin is soft, with wrinkles at the head, neck and shoulders. Coats can be brindle, fawn, white, or brindle and white.

Average Height:

11-13 inches

Average Weight:

18-28 pounds

Life Expectancy:

10-12 years

Temperament

This breed is affectionate, alert, curious and intelligent. They get along with other dogs and people and make for great guard dogs, but don’t bark as much as smaller breeds. French Bulldogs adapt easily to apartment life since they don’t require a lot of exercise. Although this breed can be stubborn, they are easy keepers, and do best with positive training and plenty of socialization. This breed is gentle with children, and also enjoys living with single pet parents. 

Special Needs

This is a brachycephalic breed, also known as a short-faced or snub-nosed breed, and needs to have plenty of protection from heatstroke. This breed does well indoors during extreme temperatures. They also need to be supervised when around water or swimming pools – they can’t swim due to their front-heavy build.

Possible Health Concerns

Since French Bulldogs have flat faces, they are more sensitive to anesthesia. They may also be susceptible to:

  • Atopic Dermatitis. A common allergic skin condition. Constant itching and scratching leads to hair loss and scabbing, resulting in secondary bacterial infections. Treatment involves antihistamines, change of environment, essential fatty acid supplements (EFA), and medicated shampoos.
  • Congenital Vertebral Anomalies. French Bulldogs may have deformities of the bones in the spine resulting in pressure of the spinal cord, progressive pain, and possibly loss of hind limb function.
  • Brachycephalic Syndrome. Dogs with this problem will snore, snort and breathe through their mouths.
  • Elongated Soft Palate. A long palate may result in blockage of part of the airway into the lungs. This causes breathing difficulties, and can be corrected surgically with a high success rate, most especially if the dog is under a year.
  • Heatstroke. French Bulldogs are more susceptible to heat than many other dog breeds.

Exercise

The French Bulldog does well with light exercise, such as a short walk around the block or brief trip to the dog park. This breed enjoys dog training classes, obedience, agility and some rally sports. However, they should never exert themselves during hot or humid temperatures.

Nutrition

Every dog is different, and some brands of food will be better suited for certain dogs. When it comes to dog foods, understanding your pet’s current health and nutritional needs is important. Consult with your veterinarian for advice. There is no best diet since all French Bulldogs have different dietary needs, so it’s always smart to find the best food to match each individual dog.

Grooming

Daily brushing with a rubber mitt or medium bristle brush will aid in removing loose hair and keep the coat healthy and shiny. Make sure the loose folds around their necks are kept clean and wiped daily, and regularly trim their nails.

Because the French Bulldog is a low energy breed, they make for a wonderful, family-friendly adoption.

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