Looking for a petite pooch with character in spades? The French Bulldog, nicknamed the ‘Frenchie’, ticks all the boxes. From its enormous ‘bat’ ears and boxy face to its hilarious personality, it is impossible to mistake the Frenchie for any other type of dog. This compact breed is adored for being a friendly and companionable pet and needs minimal exercise, making it a popular choice for city living and families alike.
- Origin: England, France
- Weight: <28 pounds
- Lifespan: 10-12 years
- Breed group: Non-sporting group
- Activity level:
- Barking/howling level:
- Good with dogs: yes
- Good with kids: yes
- Good with cats:
- Easy to groom:
- Easy to train:
French Bulldog Appearance
It’s hard to find a cuter dog than a Frenchie, with their smushed faces, roly-poly limbs, and signature bat ears. Those ears are their defining feature–you’ll never mistake a Frenchie for another kind of dog!
Frenchies are a brachycephalic breed, meaning they have a short nose and flat face. Sound like another breed you know? That’s right, pugs are also brachycephalic, and Frenchies may have some pug in their lineage. But while pugs have more rounded heads, Frenchie’s heads are squarish and relatively big for their compact, muscular bodies. From a certain angle, you may not notice the stubby French bulldog tail, but it’s right there at the end of their cute, rounded rears.
Frenchies may be small, but they’re sturdy. Adults measure between 11”-13” tall, and weigh up to 28 pounds Their short, shiny coats come in several different colors, including white, tan, fawn, and brindle. Some Frenchies have a black face mask, while others are the same shade all over.
French Bulldog Personality
Frenchies buck the small dog trend and aren’t known for yapping. This breed is a quietly affectionate and easy-going clown who loves playing and human company. Often touted as a lap dog, the Frenchie is equally good among families, and it won’t take much to keep yours happy as Larry. Short, regular walks will provide sufficient exercise to keep yours fit as a fiddle.
As with all smaller breeds, it’s easy to fall into the trap of babying your French Bulldog. Beware though–if you let them boss you around, they’ll turn into quite a handful. All in all, Frenchies are very well tempered and fun-loving dogs, who love to play, though keep an eye on how hard their panting gets; you may need to encourage them to lie down and recover after hearty bouts of playtime.
Ideal Environment for a French Bulldog
French bulldogs have become one of the most popular dog breeds in America in part due to their suitability for city life. Their relatively small size and moderate exercise needs make them great apartment dogs. A walk around the neighborhood and a zoom around the living room will wear them out for the day.
Due to their flat face and round build, Frenchies can’t handle heat, so they need a temperature-controlled home. They also can’t swim, so keep them away from pools or bodies of water. For the most part, your Frenchie will be happy wherever you are. You can get them a comfy dog bed, but let’s be real: they’re gonna want to cuddle up with you at night!
The Ideal Pet Parent for This Breed
Are you a homebody who loves to laugh? Then the French bulldog might be for you. These silly lapdogs love nothing more than to hang out, play with their family, cuddle, and nap. They may not be the best match for a high-activity thrill-seeker. But if you’re looking for a sweet, people-pleasing companion, then French bulldogs are for you.
Although they’re not particularly high energy, Frenchies do have a lot of personality and they can be stubborn. Their ideal human will commit to positive reinforcement training to help Frenchies mind their manners. The good news is, most French bulldogs will do anything for a treat!
French Bulldog Training
French Bulldogs are easy to train and their love of play makes teaching tricks plenty of fun, for you and your dog. They have a slight tendency to be stubborn, so you might occasionally find that your Frenchie decides that enough is enough and refuses to go a step further on walks. You may find that getting your French bulldog accustomed to their leash at home, and choosing a comfortable harness can assist with these tricky moments. So too will showing a strong sense of confidence, and avoiding babying them too much, especially as a puppy they will melt your heart, but keep going with the training and spare rewards for when they’ve done something really deserving.
As with all other dogs, socializing your dog forms an important part of their development, and they’ll enjoy playdates with other Frenchies–they simply love a bit of rough and tumble or a game of chase. Make sure you keep a close eye on how tired or over-excited they get, they can struggle to get their breath back after over-exerting themselves.
French Bulldog Grooming
French bulldogs have a short, low-maintenance coat. Just brush them with a rubber grooming mitt once a week or so to keep their coat shiny and dirt-free. During spring and fall, they may need more frequent brushing to remove dead fur as they shed their undercoat. Keep your French bulldog’s nails trimmed, and brush their teeth regularly. Finally, clean your dog’s facial folds 2-3 times per week to avoid staining or bacterial infections. Simply wipe out their folds with a soft, damp cloth and dry thoroughly.
French Bulldog Health
Like other breeds with short muzzles, the Frenchie is prone to respiratory problems—wheezing, snoring and discomfort in hot weather. They’re prone to heatstroke and overfeeding can add to their difficulty breathing. Other problems can affect their heart, back and eyes. Overall, this breed is fairly high maintenance in terms of health, but we love them all the same. Some pet parents opt for pet health insurance.
French Bulldog History
Don’t be fooled by the name—the French Bulldog started life in 1800s England and is closely related to the Toy Bulldog. The lacemakers of Nottingham took their dogs with them when they went to work in France, where they were crossed with other bull-baiting dogs to bring out the sizable upright ears that the French ladies found so appealing.
Welcoming This Breed into the Family
Frenchies are one of the most popular breeds around, so there’s no shortage of information about finding one to bring home. But it’s important to do your research and avoid unethical breeders and puppy mills. Breed-specific rescue groups are a great way to find a dog who needs a new home!
French Bulldog Rescues
One great way to find a Frenchie is to adopt a rescue. Unlike puppies, adult rescues often come spayed and neutered, and with all their shots. Many French bulldog rescues are surrendered by individual owners, and may already be housetrained and know basic commands. Check out the French Bulldog Rescue Network for information about available Frenchies.
French Bulldog Breeders
If it’s important to you to have a puppy, remember to do your research. Talk to breeders in person, and check their credentials and reputation before committing. It’s also a great idea to meet the puppy parents and any offspring they’ve already had, if possible. Observing their personalities can help you determine if a puppy from that breeder would be right for you. When you visit, be sure to ask about any health issues in the dog’s bloodline, and discuss any genetic tests you might want to run.
Visit the French Bulldog Club of America website for a listing of responsible breeders who have agreed to adhere to a code of ethics. You can also use the American Kennel Club (AKC) search tool to find a responsible French Bulldog breeder near you.
Are you persuaded that the French bulldog is absolutely fabulous? Fill your life with everything Frenchie, we’ve got you covered:
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