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French Bulldog or Frenchie is a small dog categorised under the utility breed group. He is an affectionate, spirited, and fun-loving dog breed known for his wrinkly face and bat-like ears.
The Frenchie was a cross between the Terrier and the Pug. Despite his gloomy look, the French Bulldog is adorable, alert, and a comical companion. His quirky yet loveable appearance and personality earned him the nicknames “clown dog” and “frog dog.”
The French Bulldog’s gentle temperament makes him a family-friendly pet dog. He sports a short coat that is easy to groom, which also means minimal shedding. The Frenchie’s average lifespan is 10-14 years.
Are you thinking of owning a French Bulldog? Here is a brief background of this comical bat-eared Bulldog.
The French Bulldog’s roots can be traced back to Nottingham, England. He is a descendant of the early bulldogs, which were primarily created for bullbaiting.
Lace makers took a fancy to the French Bulldog and made it their mascot. They would use these small bulldogs to warm their laps whilst at work. The Industrial Revolution caused many lacemakers to lose their jobs, and they had to relocate to northern France, where their work is still highly valued.
French Bulldogs became very favourable in the French countryside where the lacemakers relocated. The modern French Bulldog was crossed with other breeds, including terriers and pugs which gave the breed its unique bat-ears.
The Frenchie’s popularity spread out to the rest of France over time, in Paris they were highly sought after by society ladies and artists. They were given the name Bouledogue Francais.
In 1902, the French Bulldog Club of England was established. The Kennel Club officially recognised the breed four years later. By the end of the 19th century, the French Bulldog became widely popular with several breed clubs in Europe and America.
Today, French Bulldog is the second most popular breed in the UK, the fourth most popular breed in the US, and registrations continue to increase.
The French Bulldog is a small breed with a muscled and compact body. Not to be confused with the bigger English Bulldog, the Frenchie measures 25-30cm tall at the withers and weighs between 10-13kg. Toy bulldogs like the mini Frenchie is bred down to a smaller size.
The Frenchie is well-known for his distinctive bat-like ears. He possesses a square head with a slightly flat skull between the ears.
This small Bulldog’s face is heavily wrinkled whilst a short nose sits atop his snout. He has a thick neck and sports a short tail that is held low. The Frenchies are also called “Clown dog” or “Frog dog” because of the shape of their face and their body posture.
The French Bulldog breed has a short, smooth, and fine coat. The Kennel Club breed standard colours for Frenchies are brindle, fawn, and pied. Whites without patches are classified as pied. All these colours can be exhibited in Kennel Club dog shows.
The Frenchie is a brachycephalic dog or smush-faced. This trait gives him difficulties in breathing whilst in water. The breed’s other features such as a thick neck and short body, prevent it from becoming a natural and efficient swimmer. In fact, the French Bulldog is in danger of drowning even in shallow water.
If you plan to take your French Bulldog for a swim, it is extremely important to provide him with a doggy life jacket. Make sure that it fits him perfectly and securely. If the jacket isn’t tight enough, it may slip off or may not be able to keep your Frenchie afloat on water.
Never leave your Frenchie unattended even if he is wearing a life jacket. Be sure that you’re always there to support him in case he faces difficulties in swimming.
Frenchie is a light to moderate shedder. This makes him non-hypoallergenic despite being a short-haired dog breed. If you are allergic to dogs, the French Bulldog is not the best choice for you.
When it comes to grooming, the Frenchie is fairly low maintenance since he has a short and silky coat. French Bulldogs only require weekly brushing.
Since he has no underskin, his skin is quite sensitive. So, use a rubber brush and finish it with a regular hair brush for combing his fur.
Consider using a velvet glove too. It adds extra shine to your dog’s coat and gets rid of dust and dirt as well. The breed sheds during spring and Autumn; thus, frequent brushing is needed during these periods.
Bathe the Frenchie once every 2 or 3 months, or as required if it’s one that likes a mud bath. Do not wash him constantly as it can dry out his skin and coat, which can lead to a skin infection.
The breed is prone to halitosis so daily teeth brushing is also recommended. Drooling is common with the breed too. Wipe his face with a damp cloth or a chemical-free wet wipe regularly to keep him clean.
Overgrown nails are one of the most common problems with the French Bulldog. Avoid this happening by clipping his nails every month. When you hear a knocking sound from the nails touching the floor, it’s time to trim them. If the dog is sensitive to clipping, you might need to bring him to the vet.
Your French Bulldog’s ears should be checked weekly. Use a dog-safe ear cleaning solution and cotton balls to wipe off the dirt. Never use cotton buds as they push gunk further into the ear canal instead of removing it.
The French Bulldog is an adorable, alert, loving, and comical companion. He prefers to always be by his owner’s side, whether playing or lazing around.
The Frenchie is a lap dog and loves the company of people. Since a Frenchie requires close human contact, he tends to have separation anxiety when left alone for long periods.
The French Bulldog is a good watchdog. He rarely barks, but when he does, it’s a sign that something’s amiss. This trait makes him a great companion for apartment dwellers. He is fond of children of all ages, especially if they grew up together.
Although the breed is friendly by nature, some can get territorial and would bicker with other dogs. Since the Frenchie does not easily warm up to other dogs, early socialisation is crucial to ensure that he matures into a friendly and balanced dog.
The French Bulldog is skilled in agility, obedience, and rally, he is intelligent and retains the information well. Although he is easy to train, he has a stubborn and independent streak. Incorporating fun games during training sessions prevents his focus from slipping away.
Since French Bulldog is highly food motivated, rewarding him with treats will produce positive outcomes. Do not forget to be generous with praises too, as the Frenchie loves pleasing his owners.
Several factors affect the behaviour of dogs. What comes into play is the nature versus nurture debate, which is also applicable to dogs.
All dog breeds have their common traits and predispositions attributed to their genes and ancestry. However, a dog’s personal experiences, such as early socialisation and training, are also considerable influences in shaping his personality and behaviour.
French Bulldog puppies ages eight to twelve weeks require 1 ½ cups of puppy food each day. Divide it into three smaller portions, which equals to ½ cup each. By splitting their meals, they will have a steady reserve of energy and nutrients in their body.
Continue this feeding arrangement until French Bulldog puppies reach 6-months-old. After that, you can start transitioning them to high-quality adult dog food.
If you have chosen dry dog food to feed your Frenchie, a typical food serving for an adult French Bulldog is 1–1.5 cups per day.
The amount of food and feeding frequency depends on various factors like age, size, activity level, and metabolism.
An adult French Bulldog’s typical daily calorie needs:
The French Bulldog breed is prone to skin allergies; therefore, foods with fewer ingredients are a better choice. The protein in the food should be from a high-quality meat source, check the ingredient list to make sure that carbs come from complex plant sources. Low-quality fillers like soy and corn not only cause allergies but aggravate flatulence.
French Bulldog has an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years. This breed is more susceptible to several health issues, including:
Brachycephalic Respiratory Syndrome
Brachycephalic Respiratory Syndrome mainly affects brachycephalic or flat-faced breeds such as the Frenchie. Brachycephalic respiratory syndrome is a group of airway problems which include stenotic nares, elongated soft palate, laryngeal collapse, and everted laryngeal saccules.
French Bulldogs mildly affected with this condition often have noisy breathing, snuffling, or snorting after exercise or whilst asleep.
Frenchies with the severe brachycephalic respiratory syndrome have louder breathing. They also get tired easily during exercise and at times, may even lose consciousness.
Vomiting, coughing, and gagging are other common symptoms of this disease. Obesity and hot weather can worsen the disease’s adverse effects.
French Bulldogs are predisposed to this rare, progressive disease that affects the spinal cord. The disease occurs due to the degeneration of its white matter.
The white matter is made up of fibres that are essential in transmitting nerve signals for movements. Once it is damaged, dogs will have mobility difficulties and loss of coordination in the hind legs.
Genetic mutation is linked to higher chances of the disease’s development. A study shows that around 20% of Frenchies possess this mutation, but only 1% will be affected. Although this is the case, a rise in numbers of degenerative myelopathy afflicted French Bulldogs is expected in the future.
Deafness can be an inborn defect in French Bulldogs, but this can develop over time in older dogs. Loss of hearing is very common in merle Frenchies. The inadequacy of cilia, which are small hairs found in the inner ear, causes deafness in these dogs.
For this reason, avoid buying merle French Bulldogs. If you are determined to have this type of dog, make sure to ask the breeder if their dogs are BEAR (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response) tested. It is an evaluation exam that checks if the dog’s brain responds to noise or not.
Choosing a healthy French Bulldog puppy from a reputable breeder, who lets their breeding stock undergo health tests. This lowers the chances of your puppy inheriting health problems. The suggested health tests for this dog breed are hip, knee, eye, and cardiac evaluation.
The French Bulldog prefers spending time dozing at home than exploring the outside world. Because of this, he is prone to obesity.
Daily exercise is required to keep him fit and healthy. The breed doesn’t need a rigorous exercise regimen. A 30-minute walk daily is enough to burn out their energy and calories.
Beware that brachycephalic breeds like the Frenchie are highly susceptible to heatstroke. So, make sure to walk him during the coolest part of the day. Freshwater should always be available to prevent dehydration and heatstroke.
A healthy and well-bred French Bulldog puppy from a Kennel Club assured breeder costs between £1000 up to £3000. Costs for necessities including bed, toy, lead, crate, and bowls can total up to £150-£200. Monthly expenses for dog food may range from £20-£30.
Costs incurred for vet visits, including vaccinations and routine checks, can be as high as £800-£1000 annually. Getting basic time-limited pet insurance will require you to pay around £60 a month. However, if you choose lifetime pet insurance, approximately £160 will be added to your monthly bills.
Are you sure the French Bulldog is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Want to find out if the Frenchie is your perfect breed match? Take the Pet Finder quiz to get your answer.
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