A funny, clownish, charming companion
The French Bulldog’s expression seems glum, but the tiny canine is sweet, affectionate and downright hilarious. Standing calf-high and touting a pair of bat-like ears, Frenchies sport a look that is unmistakable and irresistible.
Frenchies are friendly, intelligent and surprisingly adaptable, having found their way into the hearts of urban-dwellers the world over. The Frenchie’s versatile nature makes it the perfect family dog; they get along well with children and pets, and rarely bark.
Frenchies are such good pets that owners can hardly resist describing them in excruciatingly affectionate details. Five minutes with this pooch and you’ll understand why Frenchies are one of the most popular dogs in the world.
French Bulldogs need to be taken on long walks daily. Running around freely in a big fenced lawn is insufficient to please their instinct to stroll. Owners should also be aware that this breed is not good with high levels of heat due to the low level of their muzzle. They can experience breathing difficulty during extreme high-temperature levels.
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French Bulldog puppies are certainly adorable, but they can be a handful for new owners. Prospective Frenchie owners should do their research so they know what to expect prior to welcoming one home.
French Bulldog puppies can be adorable little tyrants, and generally need more care and attention when they are very young. For this reason, reputable breeders avoid releasing Frenchie puppies before they are 9 or 10 weeks old. The extra time spent with their mother and littermates helps to instill the proper behavior toward people and other dogs.
Your Frenchie puppy will require near constant supervision for the first few weeks. Frenchie puppies are inquisitive by nature and will eagerly explore their new environment. Like all young puppies, Frenchies learn by putting things in their mouths.
To ensure your puppy does not stick its nose where it shouldn’t, new owners should ensure their home is thoroughly puppy proofed before introducing their new puppy.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the French Bulldog belongs to the Non-Sporting Group of canines. The Non-Sporting Group mostly includes dog breeds are bred strictly for the pleasure of their company, rather than workers.
Companion dogs, like the French Bulldog, are loyal, affectionate and surprisingly intelligent. They are capable of remarkable feats of obedience and provide far more than mere companionship to their owners.
A breed standard details the appearance and temperament of an officially recognized breed.
The French Bulldog is formally recognized by all breed experts and kennel clubs and therefore subject to a detailed breed standard.
Though small in size, French Bulldogs are solidly built. The breed is considered a miniature mastiff, thanks to its large head, solid body and heavy bone structure. French Bulldogs appear active, intelligent, and alert with a curious and interested expression.
Despite its diminutive stature, Frenchies are strong and are capable of pulling their lead very hard. French Bulldogs are also surprisingly agile; capable of springing up on to furniture in a single bound, though we recommend discouraging this kind of behavior.
The French Bulldog’s head is large and square, with dark eyes set low down in the skull, and as far from the ears as possible. The ears are commonly described as “bat-like;” broad at the base, elongated and set high on the head.
The French Bulldog’s muzzle is broad with cheeks that are muscular and well developed. Its nose is black, except in the case of the lighter colored dogs where a lighter colored nose is common.
The French Bulldog’s body is thick, short and well rounded. Its neck is well arched with loose skin at the throat. Its chest is broad and deep with a tucked-up belly. Its forequarters are stout, muscular and straight.
Legs and Feet
The French Bulldog’s legs are strong, stout and muscular. Its feet are compact and medium in size, with compact toes and high knuckles.
Tail and Hindquarters
French Bulldogs have a tail that is short, thick and tapers toward the tip. A Frenchie’s tail can also be straight or screw-shape. Its hindquarters are strong, muscular, and narrower than its forequarters.
Coat and Colors
The French Bulldog’s coat is fine, and short. Its skin is loose and soft, with wrinkles near the head and shoulders. French Bulldogs can also be white, black, fawn, and brindle in coloring.
Height and Weight
French Bulldogs stand 12 inches tall and should not weigh more than 28 pounds. Females are slightly lighter than male, typically between 16 and 24 pounds.
The French Bulldog’s temperament is alert, playful, and generally well-behaved. Rarely mischievous or unruly, the French Bulldog’s personality has been described as charming and friendly.
The Frenchie’s affable personality makes it the perfect companion. They are quiet, attentive and tend to follow family members around the house. Owners adore the friendly, social nature of their Frenchies, who tend to love everyone they meet and rarely cause a nuisance.
The Frenchie’s courageous, yet affectionate and playful personality is often described as the breeds best characteristics. Owners describe their Frenchies as almost childlike; they adore attention and those who give it to them.
They are fun-loving, and constantly enthralled by merely wandering around their home. Frenchies are friendly, loyal, and when they feel secure. However, it’s not uncommon for a Frenchie to become persistent at times, if not demanding. Frenchies are also quite sensitive and have a tendency to mope or sulk around the house if ignored.
Caring for a French Bulldog is a one-of-a-kind experience. French Bulldogs are low-energy attention hounds who want nothing more than to cuddle up with their family, or maybe play on the living room floor. Prospective owners looking for an independent, outside dog should look elsewhere.
Frenchies are low-maintenance, adaptable, and get along well with other pets, children and strangers. However, like all dogs, caring for a French Bulldog comes with a number of breed-specific eccentricities that can prove challenging for owners caught unprepared.
Avoid Injury – French Bulldogs are susceptible to back and spinal issues which can cause pain, bladder and bowel control problems, and even partial paralysis. To avoid future spinal issues, it’s best to prevent your Frenchie from jumping off furniture or climbing stairs unassisted.
Consider installing a baby gate or small ramps to allow your Frenchie access to places where stairs can’t be avoided.
It’s also essential that you support your Frenchie’s spine when carrying them, and lifting them on to/off of furniture. – Never carry a small dog with one hand or by its paws or head. Support your Frenchie’s rear end with one hand and place another hand under their tummy to protect their spine.
Prevent Infection – The Frenchie’s many folds and wrinkles need extra attention. Owners should use a damp cloth or baby wipe to remove dirt from each fold at least once per week, more if their Frenchie spends a lot of time outdoors. Be sure to thoroughly dry their faces after cleaning, as any moisture left between the folds can cause irritation or bacterial infection.
Stay Cool – Frenchies are sensitive to heat especially heat stroke, which can be fatal for dogs. It always a good idea to keep an eye on your puppy’s comfort level. It’s time to find a cool, air-conditioned room when you notice lethargy, drooling and excessive panting. Be sure your Frenchie has access to plenty of cool water at all times.
Stay Warm – Like all flat-faced dogs, Frenchies are sensitive to cold. Owners should be on the look out for shivering or difficulty breathing, as cold air asserts extra strain on the dog’s respiratory system. On extra cold days be sure that your Frenchie has a coat to insulate them from the cold and doggie shoes to protect their paws from ice and snow.
Stay Dry – At no time should you allow your French Bulldog around water unsupervised. French Bulldogs can’t swim.
Don’t be fooled by the French Bulldog’s tiny stature and goofy grin, that little pooch is a carnivore. Like all dogs, Frenchies require a nutritious diet that consists primarily of high-quality animal protein and fat.
Feeding your French Bulldog a diet that is rich in healthy proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins will produce a more luxurious coat, healthier skin and greater quality of life. Vets recommend a diet consisting of 22% protein and foods rich in healthy, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. A French Bulldog’s diet should also contain a healthy fat content of 5%-8%.
Healthy fat supports your Frenchie’s ability to regulate its body temperature, which is critically important considering the breed is especially vulnerable to heat and cold.
Be sure to carefully monitor your Frenchie’s caloric intake. French Bulldogs are prone to obesity, which can assert extra strain on their already strained back and joints. Try to avoid feeding your puppy from the table, or any people foods that contain:
- Chocolate or Candy
- Onions and Garlic
- Pitted Fruit
- Puppies rarely shy away from a snack, so it’s best to avoid free feeding. Instead, implement a feeding schedule. Starting at 6 to 8 weeks, gradually transition your Frenchie from their mother’s milk to solid food over a period of 3 weeks.
From 8 weeks on, it’s essential that French Bulldog puppies learn that food will no longer be provided constantly throughout the day. Start your Frenchie on moistened dry puppy food, 3 to 5 times per day for no longer than 10 minutes per feeding. After 10 minutes remove their food even if they haven’t finished.
French Bulldogs shed their undercoat twice per year, but prospective Frenchie owners needn’t worry about lots of shedding. The Frenchie’s coat is short, fine and easily removed with a double-sided pet brush.
Unlike outdoor dogs, the French Bulldog’s nails are not worn down from contact with pavement or the rough ground. Owners will have to regularly clip their Frenchie’s nails.
French Bulldogs also need regular bathing to maintain healthy skin and coat. They can be bathed as frequently as once per week, but not more than every six weeks depending on its lifestyle.
Compared to breeds like the Siberian Husky or the Yorkshire Terrier, French Bulldogs are low-energy dogs. It’s easy and not at all uncommon for a French Bulldog to be quite the couch-potato.
Inactivity can lead a Frenchie to quickly become obese, which can complicate existing health issues are increase its vulnerability to injury. Therefore, it is essential that Frenchies receive at least two 15-minute walks per day.
Regular exercise is a tremendous benefit to your Frenchie’s overall health. Exercise wards off obesity, improves circulation, and provides opportunities for your Frenchie to socialize and explore its environment. Exercise also provides benefits to your Frenchie’s cardiac and digestive health and prevents illnesses like canine diabetes, stroke, and cancer.
Frenchies are smart and prone to separation anxiety and boredom. They are also sensitive and likely to sulk and avoid activity if ignored or left alone for too long.
As a French Bulldog puppy grows, it will enter several developmental stages, in which it will exhibit certain behaviors. The puppy will grow out of most behaviors, but some behaviors may be present for the dog’s entire life. Therefore, it’s essential that bad behavior is addressed early in the puppy’s life with regular and consistent training.
French Bulldogs are, of course Bulldogs, which means they are characteristically stubborn and headstrong during training. The key to training any puppy, but especially a French Bulldog puppy is diligence, consistency and lots of patience.
Frenchies respond best to positive, reward-based training methods. Remember, you are trying to establish yourself as the puppy’s leader through positive reinforcement, not fear of punishment.
Housebreaking and obedience training are essential to instilling proper behavior but should not overshadow socialization. When not socialized early, Frenchies have a tendency to become territorial and rather possessive of their owners.
Housebreaking is understandably high on most owners’ puppy “to-do” list. It can take up to 8 weeks for a Frenchie to become fully housebroken, so it’s important to start early.
Potty Training – Besides puppy pads and a leash, the two most important things for new puppy owners to have when potty training a Frenchie is patience, and realistic expectations. Frenchies are not particularly difficult to potty train, but they are stubborn.
Start by designating an area. Watch for indications that your puppy needs to go. Then ensure they are in the designated area when the time comes. The last part may not be as simple as it sounds, you may need to run.
Be sure to reward the desired behavior. Most importantly, understand that accidents will occur and avoid punishing your puppy when they occur.
Crate Training – Frenchie puppies are light sleepers and will find mischief if given a chance. Training your French Bulldog puppy to sleep in a crate at night ensures you will find your shoes and furniture intact when you wake in the morning.
Owners should also crate train their French Bulldog puppy when they are away from the house. Crate training should be done in conjunction with potty training and other housebreaking lessons.
French Bulldogs have a tendency to become territorial and possessive of their owners if not properly socialized. It’s essential that a Frenchie owner take steps to socialize their puppy from an early age. Early socialization dissuades unacceptable behavior and prevents bad tendencies from becoming lifelong bad habits.
Key to socializing a French Bulldog is ensuring it feels safe in its environment. It a Frenchie does not feel safe it may be prone to defensive behavior when presented with new situations, people, or pets.
We recommend socializing your puppy by first ensuring they are comfortable, then introducing them to friends, family and other dogs. Then move on to household objects like umbrellas, vacuum cleaners and anything else that is likely to scare or excite the puppy.
Move on to fetch and walks once the puppy has become acclimated to its new home. It is never a good idea to walk a puppy without a lead. Dog parks and doggie daycares are also great ways to socialize your Frenchie, so long as they are not at risk of being trampled by bigger dogs.
French Bulldogs are not particularly hard to train, but they can be stubborn and headstrong. Calm consistency is key to ensuring a smooth obedience training process.
Start Early – Like humans, Frenchies quickly become set in their ways. Frenchies are the most impressionable and easiest to train when puppies.
Teach Commands – Use simple command words, followed by a treat to reinforce the desired behavior in your Frenchie.
Issue your command. Pause. Then reward them with a snack when they get it right. Do not punish your Frenchie if, and when they fail a command. Simply regain their focus and try again until they are successful.
Use the same words and phrases to indicate when, where and how you want your puppy to execute a command. Every time your Frenchie correctly executes a command reward them with a treat to reinforce the behavior. Remember, it can take up to 6 months to fully housebreak a puppy.
Use a Clicker – Utilize a clicker to create a specific noise when you issue a command to your Frenchie. Follow the successful completion of the command with a treat.
Are French Bulldogs good family dogs? Yes. Frenchies have a personality that is kind, affectionate and accepting of everyone including children, other dogs and strangers. Rarely aggressive, or a nuisance, Frenchies are the epitome of a family dog and an absolute joy to be around.
Do Frenchies make good pets? Yes. French Bulldogs embody the perfect pet; they are loyal, affectionate, adaptable, and surprisingly low-maintenance.
Do French Bulldogs bark a lot? Like most dogs, a French Bulldog is likely to bark at people approaching the door, passing dogs, and when excited. However, compared to other small breeds, French Bulldogs do not bark a lot.
It should be noted that in addition to occasionally barking, Frenchies frequently snuffle and wheeze when they breathe.
Are Frenchies stubborn? Frenchies are smart and sensitive. If you hurt your Frenchie’s feelings, they may be less likely to obey you. The key to alleviating the “stubbornness” is to demonstrate to the dog that you are its leader through consistent, positive reward-based training. Not to mention loads of love, attention and affection.
Are French Bulldogs cuddly? Yes. In general, French Bulldogs are cuddly, attention hounds who want nothing more than to snack, and to snuggle.
Are French Bulldogs smart dogs? Yes. Though not as intelligent as the Border Collie or the Standard Poodle, French Bulldogs possess a keen intelligence that is higher than the average canine.
Do French Bulldogs bark when left alone? When left alone for extended periods, dogs are likely to bark for attention. French Bulldogs are very sociable, and don’t like to be away from their family for very long at all.
Are French Bulldogs high maintenance? No. French Bulldogs are considered fairly low-maintenance when compared to other breeds. They adapt well to new environments and are friendly and accepting of children, strangers and other dogs.
However, Frenchies are known to be a handful when training and have special grooming requirements. They are also prone to a number of medical conditions and especially vulnerable to hot and cold weather.
What age do French Bulldogs stop growing? French Bulldogs typically reach their full height (12 inches) around 10 – 12 months old, and their full weight (26 pounds) by 2 years old.
Do French Bulldogs get attached to one person? French Bulldogs are bred to be companions dogs. They are incredibly loyal to their family, no matter how many members it has.
How often do you wash a French Bulldog? French Bulldogs can be bathed as frequently as once per week, but not more than every six weeks depending on its lifestyle.
Why do French Bulldogs fart so much? The French Bulldog’s “smushed-in” face causes it to gulp air when it eats; combined with a sensitive stomach, the result is flatulence.
The French Bulldog’s history is long, interesting and surprisingly complex. Before you can understand the history of the French Bulldog, you first need to ask yourself how far back in history you would like to look.
All Bulldogs are descended from the Molossian, tremendous canine used by many ancient cultures for war and labor. Many breeds are traced to the Molossian, including the Rottweiler, the St. Bernard, the Pitbull, and the English Bulldog.
On purpose and by accident, Breeders in England crossed the English Bulldog with terriers and pugs, producing bulldogs that were smaller, and smaller. The industrial revolution brought a lot of changes to England, including economic turmoil for textile workers, lace-workers in particular.
English lace-workers who found themselves out of work, replaced by textile machines. To find employment, many English lace-workers immigrated to Normandy, in Northern France, and they brought their tiny bulldogs with them.
The small bulldogs were a huge hit in France, where demand for the little pups skyrocketed almost overnight. French Breeders soon developed smaller versions of the Bulldogs brought from England until the breed standard for the “Frenchie” was officially established around the late 1800s.