French Bulldog

French Bulldog
Matt Wunderle / CC BY-ND 2.0 / Flickr: Matt Wunderle

The French Bulldog, or ‘Frenchie’ as they are affectionately called, is making a big comeback and now firmly ensconced in the Top 10 of the most popular dog breeds. It’s easy to see why; they have a high cuteness quotient and make wonderful companion dogs. In fact, they were originally bred as lap warmers by English lace makers, (they aren’t even from France!).

Here’s a random question: What does a French Bulldog and a Gremlin have in common? You have to keep both of them away from water. Due to their squat little frame and bulbous head, French Bulldogs can’t swim, so need to be kept an eye on when around water.

Quick Facts

  • AVG Weight: 16-28lbs
  • AVG Height: 11-12 inches at the shoulder
  • AVG Lifespan: 10-12 years
  • Apartment Living: Yes
  • Level of Exercise: Moderate

Trademark traits

  • Entertaining and fun
  • Amiable and friendly
  • Affectionate and loving
  • Stubborn and sometimes difficult to train
  • Snuffly, snorty and flatulent!

Breed Temperament:

Despite the rather morose expression that a French Bulldog’s resting face has, they are actually quite cheerful chappies. They are super friendly with both humans and animals, although male Frenchies may have a bit of a bicker every now and then.

The French Bulldog loves a game of chase the ball but is just as happy snuggling up on the sofa as going for a long walk in cool weather.

Suitable environment:

This breed is a little one, and as such, French Bulldogs are suitable for apartment living, especially as they are not prone to barking, although they do yawn, yip and snargle!

As a short faced breed, they do suffer with the heat so owners would need to ensure a cool, shady spot on hot days. Oh, and swimming pools and ponds are a no no unless you want your furry companion to come to a very wet end – they can’t swim.

French Bulldogs would do best in a home with lots of windows – these fellas can be on the pongy side with their constant botty burps.

Ideal Owners:

Frenchies need moderate exercise which can come in the form of regular walks or vigorous play. Polite and amiable, they make good family dogs, or lap dogs for those who are less mobile.

They integrate well into homes with existing pets but can take some time to be housebroken, so they are not ideal for a home with cream carpets throughout. Frenchies can also require an owner prepared to deal with potential health problems and associated costs due to being a brachycephalic breed with a short snout.

Breed Appearance:

Compactly built, with bat like ears and squished up faces, the French Bulldog certainly has the cute factor in the looks department. Their smooth, soft coat comes in fawn, brindle and white colour combinations and their skin is loose, making hugging and squeezing them a sensory delight.

Their underbite and eyes that seem too big for the Frenchie’s head also adds to the adorableness of this breed, and they come with two kinds of tail – straight and corkscrew. Frenchies don’t wear down their nails naturally, so require frequent cutting to keep them on their toes.

Breed History:

Created in England as a sort of miniature English bulldog, Frenchies warmed the laps of lace makers before accompanying them on a voyage to France, where they acquired their ‘Frenchie’ moniker. French Bulldogs were also used as ratters but over time, became the family companion dog of today.

Nowadays, most French Bulldogs are born via artificial insemination, as their physical shape makes copulation quite difficult! As a result, they are a rare breed and highly thought of, with celebrities including Lady GaGa, Leonardo Di Caprio and Hugh Jackman all navigating a long waiting list to get their hands on a Frenchie.

Breed History

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