Cousin to the Boston Terrier, as well as the American and English Bulldog, the intelligent, friendly, comical and quite affectionate French Bulldog has been a loving companion and fun family pet.
Lance makers in England, miniaturized their English Bulldogs to create a lap dog for companionship. During Europe’s Industrial Revolution, many migrated to France taking their small dogs with them. Soon, they were a huge hit in France and were referred to as the French Bulldog.
As a testament to their docile temperament and light-hearted personalities, when the original Boston Terriers were modified from vicious fighting dogs to gentle companion pets, a pinch of French Bulldog was added to the mix. To this day the Boston Terrier carries the best of the Frenchies genial traits.
Affectionately called a Frenchie, frog dog and/or clown dog, this little rascal is a favorite family pet and wonderful companion for older owners. Their antics keep young and old amused for hours. They love attention and will do anything for it.
Frenchies love people! Ask their owners to describe them and you will hear: silly, comical, laid back, sweet, adorable, intelligent, loveable, active, fun, devoted, playful, nosy, loves everything, easy going, alert, happy and stubborn! Intact males can sometimes be overly aggressive, especially with other males. It is suggested not to have same-sex Frenchies under the same roof. They usually do better when paired off with the opposite sex.
As always, they should be supervised with younger children, who should not be encouraged to pick them up and carry them around. Normally, they do better with older children, as they can be rambunctious, get carried away and play rather rough at times. For the most part, they do get along well with other small animals, but they should be supervised, since they can be forceful.
Their exercise needs are quite minimal compared to other breeds. A couple of brisk walks, followed by some interactive playtime with their owner and they are usually ready to go inside and chill out. Some do quite well in rally, agility, flyball and obedience competitions.
They are intelligent and love to learn. It is suggested to get your little guy or gal into positive reinforcement, punishment-free Puppy Kindergarten, socialization and obedience classes. Besides helping your puppy or dog become a well-mannered, well-adjust dog, it will help you learn how to be a better leader. Like many small breeds, if a Frenchie senses a lack of leadership, the negative behavioral problems of Small Dog Syndrome could appear.
A terrific apartment and condo pet, this breed does not tend to be yappy, or obsessive about barking.
Their energy level ranges from a quiet laid back couch potato to an off-the-wall poochie with no OFF button. That being the case, make sure the one you choose fits your lifestyle.
Frenchies are a brachycephlic breed; meaning, “short head.” This makes them not only sensitive to extremes in temperature, it makes them champs in the snoring, snorting and farting categories!
They are not an outdoor dog. This is a dog that is not happy when tossed out in the yard and forgotten. If that is they type of dog you are looking for, don’t get a dog!
The majority of Frenchies are conceived by artificial insemination and are born by Caesarian section. They average in weight from 20-30 pounds, with a lifespan of 10-12 years. The French Bulldog is in the Mastiff family, Non-sport group.
Health issues include: heat stroke, obesity, Von Willebrands Disease, back and spine problems, skin allergies, thyroid problems, eye problems, joint disease and heart disease. They are prone to megaesophagus or regurgitation, which can cause aspiration pneumonia. They also have a problem with standard anesthesia. Talk to your veterinarian about other options should the need arises.
Don’t overfeed them. They are endearing, manipulative charmers and will do anything to wheedle an extra treat or two. Obesity can lead to serious health issues.
Grooming is a cinch! Most of the time a rub down with a damp towel and a quick brushing does the trick. They are minimal shedders. Bathe them only when necessary. Check and clean those enormous bat ears regularly.
Bottom line: Do your homework. Research the breed. Talk to French Bulldog owners. This is a great pet for the right person or family. Run; do not walk away from puppies at pet stores, classified ads and flea markets. They only perpetuate horrifying puppy mills and sloppy, inexperienced backyard breeders. It may cost a bit more, but a reputable, responsible breeder is your best bet for a healthier, happier dog. If you cannot afford a good breeder, check with shelter and rescues. As Frenchies are so popular with older owners, many are surrendered because of nothing more than life circumstances. You just may find your new best friend there, patiently waiting for you and a forever home.