French Bulldog (Frenchie) Dog Breed Information: Keeping the ‘Play’ in Your Playful Pup

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Any dog owner knows that pets are like family, but every dog is not the right match for every person. One of the best ways to ensure that you choose the right dog is to understand the breed. 

French bulldogs had been show-stoppers even before they were introduced in France. They are intelligent, loyal, and affectionate dogs that have won over hearts worldwide. Although they are very easy dogs in most respects, there are always factors to consider.

Today, we are going to explore French bulldogs. You will learn:

  • The origins of the French bulldog
  • The basics of the breed, including personality and appearance
  • How to train a French bulldog
  • The environment that is best for this breed
  • How to keep a French bulldog healthy, including diet, exercise, grooming, and common health problems

The History of French Bulldogs

French bulldogs actually originate in England. In the 19th century, people used bulldogs for entertainment. The bulldogs crept up behind a bull and then tried to bite the bull’s nose or head. The Cruelty of Animals Act of 1835 banned this “sport.” 

Next, these bulldogs were bred as companion dogs, which came to be known as English and French bulldogs. Breeders crossbred bulldogs with terriers and pugs to keep English and French bulldogs small. 

English people traveled with their bulldogs to France during the Industrial Revolution. Soon, the French fell in love with these dogs, and they became widely popular across France.

When wealthy Americans began traveling to France, they were amazed by French bulldogs. Thus, their popularity spread even further across the world. 

Why People Love French Bulldogs

Even those who don’t own dogs have fallen in love with the precious faces of French bulldogs. It is easy to see why many people gravitate toward these adorable, friendly pets.

Temperament 

French bulldogs check the first and most important box on most dog owners’ lists: they are incredibly affectionate. They are loyal and become very close to their families. 

This breed is also playful, so you can count on these dogs to keep you entertained. Although they are outgoing and goofy, these bulldogs are gentle. Owners enjoy playing with their French bulldog without fearing that the energy will turn into aggression. 

Appearance

French bulldogs may not exhibit the classic beauty of German Shepherds or Great Danes, but their small statures and wrinkly faces grab the attention of onlookers. 

These dogs are easily recognizable by their knotted tails, square heads, short snouts, “bat ears,” and wrinkly faces.

You can usually find black, white, cream, fawn, and brindle French bulldogs. Additionally, Frenchies only grow to be about 30 cm long and 17 to 28 pounds.

Training

If you do not train your French bulldog properly, it can become quite stubborn. Some of the essential steps in training are:

  • French Bulldog potty training
    • Start this process early. Leave pee pads around the house while your puppy becomes accustomed to the process. Take the puppy outside to the same spot every 30 minutes. Use a cue such as “Go potty.”
  • Crate training
    • Show your dog that the crate is not a bad place. Lead them to the crate using a cheerful voice, and leave a trail of treats leading inside. Ensure that the crate door stays open and will not suddenly slam. Allow your dog to enter the crate at their own pace, and do not close the door when initially training. 
    • Once your dog enters the cage willingly and consistently, begin feeding them inside the crate. Close the door as they eat, but open it once they are done.
    • Increase the amount of time in the crate gradually, first during meal periods and then at other times. For example, if your dog can spend 30 minutes in the crate without anxiety, they are ready to be crated while you are away from home for short periods. 

Most importantly, dogs should be praised consistently and frequently, especially in the early stages of the training process. 

Socialization

Poorly socialized French bulldogs are often too protective of their owners, which can present as aggression. When socialized properly, however, they are very friendly. Most French bulldogs get along with most pets and people, including children. 

Owners should begin socializing their French bulldogs within the first few months. Training should start at home and build from there. A few people should visit the bulldog after they are used to the new home. Then, you should bring them on car rides and visit many different locations. 

Always watch for signs of your dog becoming overwhelmed. Yawning is often a sign, but it varies based on the individual dog. You know your dog best. Also, reward your dog for all positive social interactions while training. 

Living Needs

French bulldogs are very low-maintenance in terms of exercise. This breed is not very active, which means that the Bulldogs can live in an apartment. Additionally, they don’t usually bark, which is ideal for apartment-dwellers.

One of the main aspects to consider is the amount of time you can devote to a dog. French bulldogs are very social and require frequent attention. Therefore, French bulldogs are not suitable for you if you spend extended periods away from home. 

Health

The average lifespan of a French bulldog is ten to 12 years. However, several factors will affect your dog. Here are a few tips and health problems to keep in mind. 

Health Problems

Most dog breeds are accompanied by certain health conditions. Respiratory complications are the most common in French bulldogs due to their short snouts.

French bulldogs are prone to the brachycephalic syndrome. This respiratory issue is a grouping of malfunctions in the upper airway that partly block their breathing ability. Bulldogs’ short snouts can also lead to cleft palate. 

Likewise, French bulldogs’ short, stout bodies can cause spinal cord deformities. 

Allergies are another common problem for French bulldogs. They often have environmental, skin, or food allergies. For example, excessive scratching or licking may indicate skin irritation, and digestive problems indicate food allergies. Grain is one of the most common allergies for French bulldogs.

Food allergies can cause stomach issues, such as colitis, chronic diarrhea, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. To avoid these complications, pay close attention to any signs of food allergies. 

French bulldogs are also prone to certain cardiovascular complications like heart murmurs, ear infections that can cause deafness, and cataracts that can cause blindness. 

Regular trips to the vet will decrease the likelihood that these health problems will cause serious problems later. 

Diet and Nutrition

Certain ingredients are essential in a French bulldog’s diet. Every meal should include a significant source of protein. 22% or more of your dog’s diet should consist of protein, ideally chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, and salmon. 

Additionally, at least 8% of your dog’s diet should consist of fats, such as salmon oil. Ensure that nutrient-rich ingredients are also included. Turkey, salmon oil, and liver are great options. Flaxseed also has many nutrients, but protein-based foods are generally best. 

You should avoid additives, fillers, and preservatives. Grain-free is also better for most French bulldogs to ease allergies and flatulence. 

Grooming

To reduce shedding and keep your French bulldog clean, you should brush them weekly with a soft bristle brush. 

Additionally, bathe your dog with hypoallergenic shampoo. Many French Bulldogs have sensitive skin and allergies, so gentle shampoo is best.

Often, dog owners are not aware of the importance of cleaning their dog’s ears, which is an important step in grooming a French bulldog. 

Cleaning your dog’s ears should be done carefully. First, place ear cleaning solution or vinegar on a cotton ball or q-tip. Then, gently rub the easily accessible parts of your dog’s ear.

Exercise Needs

French bulldogs have relatively low exercise needs, but they should still be active to stay healthy. The following are some great exercises for French bulldogs:

  • Fetch
  • Tug-of-war
  • Hide-and-seek with a treat
  • Walk at a casual pace for ten to 15 minutes 
  • Obstacle course
  • Play wrestling with you
  • Running in a fenced-in-yard
  • Free play with toys and other dogs

Remember that French bulldogs often have respiratory issues and are very sensitive to heat. In addition, they are not very active dogs, so you should always watch for signs of exhaustion. 

FAQs

Do you still have questions? Then, this section is for you. 

How much do French bulldogs shed?

French bulldogs shed less than most dogs. They will only lose their undercoats once in the spring and once in the fall. 

Most French bulldogs have single-layer coats and shed only moderately. Some brindle French bulldogs, however, have double-layer coats. In this case, bulldogs will shed more fur. 

All French bulldogs should be brushed weekly with a soft bristle brush once a week to remove loose hair. 

Why does my French bulldog smell?

Many bulldog owners adore the wrinkles and folds, but these can cause French bulldogs to smell bad quickly after a bath. This breed tends to smell worse than most other breeds.

When bathing your French bulldog, be sure to wash between the wrinkles. Yeast and bacteria often build up in these areas and cause your dog to smell. Afterward, dry between the wrinkles well because moist fur is ideal for yeast and bacteria.

You can use deodorizing wipes, wrinkle balm, and dry shampoo to treat wrinkly areas in between baths.

How much do French bulldogs cost?

Adopting a French bulldog typically costs between $250 and $500.

If you purchase a French bulldog from a breeder, you will likely pay between $1,500 and $3,000.

Keep in mind that you will also need to pay for visits to the vet, a bed, a cage, and food, along with other costs

What is the Breed Standard?

The American Kennel Club provides a Breed Standard for each type of dog. This represents the ideal dog of any breed.

Below are some examples of the Breed Standard of French bulldogs:
– Weighs no more than 28 pounds
– Compact, well-portioned, and well-rounded
– Muscular
– Large, square head
– Very dark brown eyes
– “Bat ears”
– Laidback muzzle
– Straight or screwed tail
– Short, smooth coat
– White, cream, or fawn-colored with brindle, piebald, black masks, black shadings, or white markings
– Well-behaved and playful

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