Doggie Blog — IVDD

RSS
The French Bulldog: Big Personality in a Little Package

The French Bulldog: Big Personality in a Little Package 0

From their expressive eyes and upright ears to their chunky build, it’s nearly impossible to resist French bulldogs. They are one-of-a-kind with a compact body and supersized personality. It’s easy to see why this adorable breed has catapulted in popularity over the last few years. Their playful, alert, and adaptable demeanor makes them the perfect city dweller or family dog. If you're looking for a new buddy, you owe it to yourself to investigate the world of the French Bulldog. Let's explore this adorable, personality packed breed:

Overview of the French Bulldog

French Bulldogs belong to the non-sporting group, however they will work hard for all the attention all the time. They are bursting with personality and cuteness. They look a bit like pint-sized English Bulldogs, which only makes sense when you consider how breeders used the larger dog to create the breed.

Over the past decade, the popularity of Frenchies has risen to new heights. In 2014, they broke into the top 10 most popular breeds for the first time in nearly 100 years. They now rank as the 2nd most popular dog breed in the US, just behind Labrador Retrievers

History and Background

Despite its name, the French Bulldog actually hails from England. English breeders had already created a toy version of the english bulldog, originally used in inhumane sports such as bear-baiting. These small bulldogs were the perfect companion and became the favorite pet of English lace-makers. 

After the Industrial Revolution, lace-makers settled in Normandy, France and brought their toy bulldogs with them. As their popularity rose in France, English breeders would send over dogs they deemed too small, or with faults like upright ears. These characteristics that were tossed aside by English breeders became the hallmark look for the breed. 

However, it was only when the Frenchie arrived on American shores that a breed standard developed. The breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1898.

Physical Characteristics

French Bulldogs are compact in stature with upright “bat ears” that are the breed’s trademark feature. Their large, square head features an extremely short nose with heavy wrinkles rolled above it. Their compact, muscular body is adorned with a smooth, brilliant coat and is supported by short, strong legs. On average, they are under 28 pounds and are between 11-13 inches tall.

Frenchies typically come in a variety of colors, including brindle, fawn, white, blue, chocolate, grey, and black-and-tan. But the official breed standard recognizes only brindle, fawn, white, and combinations of these three colors. 

Personality

French Bulldogs make natural entertainers thanks to their combination of playfulness, affection, sociability, and desire for attention. You may find that your Frenchie fits the description of a "Velcro dog," always wanting to be around you or your family. While they can prove stubborn about getting what they want, they also boast an even, stable temperament. French Bulldogs don't bark excessively, but they can snore rather loudly. (Break out the earplugs at night!) These dogs love to relax and play the role of a couch potato, with the occasional dash through the house or play session to shake things up.

Caring for Your French Bulldog

The stubbornness mentioned above can make the French Bulldog a bit of a challenge when it comes to training despite (or perhaps even because of) the breed's innate intelligence and curiosity. However, early training and socialization for French Bulldog puppies can nip this issue in the bud. You'll want to take advantage of their ritualistic nature by adhering to the same training schedule every day and establishing a routine.

French Bulldogs don't require a great deal of grooming compared to some other breeds because of its short coat. However, it is important to keep their ears clean and to wipe cute little facial wrinkles regularly. They also required their nails trimmed periodically since this indoor breed doesn't get much chance to wear its toenails down on rocks and other rough terrains.

You can feed a French Bulldog the same basic diet you'd feed most other dog breeds. However, you should know that dog foods containing wheat can cause flatulence in these dogs, while products containing too many fillers or too much protein can promote skin problems. Ask your veterinarian for specific information on your dog's ideal nutritional balance and portion sizes.

Health Considerations

Health remains the one major concern for owners of French Bulldogs. Like other brachycephalic (flat-faced) animals, these dogs have a short airway that can easily lead to breathing problems, especially in hot weather. For this reason, keep your Frenchie in a climate-controlled environment as much as possible, taking it outdoors only as the weather permits. Don't let your pup overheat from excessive activity. (Listen for lots of snorting as your signal to calm things down.) 

Their physical build with short legs makes them prone to back problems, such as intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). Reducing jumping from heights and maintaining a healthy weight is critical to avoiding disc issues that can lead to pain and even paralysis. It’s always a good idea to provide these pups with extra joint support by adding glucosamine for dogs to their daily diet.  

Allergy problems are also very common for French Bulldogs, with one of the highest genetic and environmental predispositions to canine atopic dermatitis. Dry, flaky skin may occur in patches, and hot spots and other sores may be found on the legs, paws, and face. Excessive scratching, chewing, or biting in a particular area is a key indicator of allergies. Adding fish oil for dogs or an omega for dogs supplement to their diet helps calm the allergic reaction and boost the immune system for future issues.

A healthy, well-cared-for French Bulldog can live to the age of 11 and older. Just keep up those routine wellness evaluations, watch your Frenchie's weight, and don't skimp on the air conditioning.

Famous French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs have moved at all levels of society, with some of them becoming well known along the way. Here are a few famous french bulldogs: 

Peter the Frenchie was the devoted companion of King Edward VII.

Ortipo belonged to Grand Duchess Tatiana Romanov of Imperial Russia. The city of St. Petersburg actually has a Faberge-bejeweled statue in Ortipo's honor. 

Gamin de Pycombe achieved posthumous fame, regrettably enough, as a first class canine passenger aboard the ill-fated Titanic. He was purchased by a young banker for the equivalent of $16,000 in today’s dollars!

French Bulldogs to Follow on Instagram

Did you know (or would it surprise you to learn) that French Bulldogs represent the most popular dog breed on Instagram? You'll want to follow these popular pups:

Walter's oversized personality (and voice) has earned him an amazing 729,000 followers.

Fashionable Frenchie Izzy has graced the pages of major publications.

The adventures of siblings Griffin and Haru have attracted a devoted online following.

What to Expect from French Bulldog Ownership

Fun is the bottom line when it comes to French Bulldog ownership. You'll find that they serves as an ideal pal for hanging around the house or apartment, playing games, and sharing a wonderful life! If you are looking to add a frenchie to your family, consider adopting. Rescue French Bulldogs and French Bulldog Village Rescue are two great organizations that can help you find the perfect frenchie for you.

Dachshunds: Long Body, Short Legs & All You Need To Know About The Breed

Dachshunds: Long Body, Short Legs & All You Need To Know About The Breed 1

Whether you know them as the wiener dog, sausage dog, doxie, or their proper name, the dachshund, these adorable pups are instantly recognizable and have an interesting history. 

With their distinct short legs and long body, dachshunds were famously described by H.L. Mencken as “a half-dog high and a dog-and-a-half long.” Curious, smart, and spirited, this breed makes a wonderful companion and family dog. 

Keep reading for all you need to know about dachshunds, plus some fun facts!

An Overview of the Dachshund

The dachshund is part of the hound group and comes with three types of coats — longhaired, wirehaired, and smooth. The most common colors are reddish-brown and black with a few tan markings, but many colors and patterns are possible. Two fun color and pattern variations are the dapple dachshund and the piebald dachshund.

Doxies come in two recognizable sizes: standard and miniature. On average, a standard doxie weighs between 16 and 32 pounds, while a miniature weighs 11 pounds and under.

They have a ferocious bark for such a little dog and make excellent watchdogs even for their small stature. In fact, the breed is brave, ferocious, and stubborn. They have a strong will and can be tenacious, but their endearing qualities make them a wonderful pet for many.

History and Background

Often known as a wiener dog because of its district physical appearance and huge personality, the breed is over 600 years old. It was originally bred in Germany to dig for badgers. Their name literally translates to badger dog - “dach” means badger and “hund” means dog. 

As you may have guessed, their unique long, low bodies make them incredible subterranean hunters. They specialized in tracking small animals and digging tunnels to find the prey. You might be surprised to find out that hunters also used them to track larger game, such as deer and wild boar.

In 1885, they were registered as an American Kennel Club recognized breed and became immediately endearing to the people of the United States.

Temperament and Personality of the Dachshund

This breed has a lot to offer families. They're loyal, fun, and lively. And speaking of loyalty, they're quite the alert watchdog. Any strangers may receive a sharp bark till he gets comfortable with them.

They have a comical clownish personality that can charm, yet often are demanding. Don't be surprised if your dachshund feels it's his right to steal your covers.

They're quite good with other household pets, but may become jealous over attention and toys. This is when training comes in handy. And they can be stubborn too, so make sure you reward exemplary behavior with treats and praise.

Caring for Your Dachshund

Just like any canine friend, your dachshund needs proper care so he can be healthy and thrive.

Nutritional Needs

One of the most important things for a healthy dachshund is maintaining a healthy weight. They are naturally prone to develop obesity. Extra weight can strain their long back. An overweight dachshund is more susceptible to spinal issues, like spinal cord compression and herniated discs. 

Proper nutrition is key for a healthy doxie. Only allow the proper amount of food and ignore those puppy dog eyes. He may melt your heart, but his health depends on saying no to too much food or unhealthy food.

Grooming

Dachshunds are generally low maintenance when it comes to grooming. They are moderate shedders, relatively clean, and have little or no body odor. However, the specifics on how you groom your dachshund will depend on which coat he has.  

A long haired dachshund will need to be brushed more often than their smooth coat counterpart. Brushing will help keep their coat clear and knot free, and will also help cut down on shedding. 

A wire haired dachshund needs to have their coat plucked 2 to 3 times a year. Additionally, their eyebrows and beard should be brushed regularly and trimmed occasionally. 

Smooth haired dachshunds are the easiest to keep clean, needing little more than a wipe with a towel or a grooming mitt to look adorable.

All dachshunds need to have their nails trimmed monthly.

Exercise

This cunning breed requires both physical and mental exercise. Like most breeds, a bored, energized dachshund can be very naughty. 

Just because they are small doesn’t mean they are couch potatoes. On average, they need at least 45-60 minutes of exercise each day. This can be split into two or more sessions. Regular exercise helps to keep them at a healthy weight and maintain muscle strength to avoid back issues. 

Additionally, playing games inside and learning new tricks is a great way to keep them mentally stimulated. Incorporate these tricks and games into your daily walks to keep them guessing.

Training

Did we mention they can be very stubborn? This, combined with a high intelligence, means training can be a challenge. The good thing is that these furry friends respond well to praise and treats. Be careful with your words because the dachshund is a sensitive soul. Shouting or punishment upsets them. Instead, keep a consistent training schedule and always reward them for a job well done.

Here are five things to teach a new dachshund puppy.

  1. Teach him his name
  2. Train him not to bite
  3. Show him fresh smells, unfamiliar sights, and different surfaces
  4. Teach him to use a crate
  5. Potty train your dachshund

Health Issues

The main issue with this breed is with their weight. Generally, they're healthy and live between 12 and 16 years. However, dachshunds are prone to overeating and back injuries. Make sure your sausage dog maintains an ideal weight, and doesn't leap off of stairs, furniture, or other high places as he can injure his back or hips.

Dachshunds have the potential for joint and back issues because of a few reasons. One is Intervertebral Disc Disease, or IVDD. This condition causes faster aging in the spinal disc. It is a degenerative disease and causes brittle and dry discs, along with a hard inner layer that doesn't cushion the disc. This may cause a herniated disc.

1 in 5 Dachshunds have a gene that creates mineral deposits within the discs in their spine that increases their risk of herniation and rupture, according to PetMD.

These dogs are also prone to osteoarthritis, which is another degenerative disease affecting joints. It causes pain, inflammation, and inability to use the joint. Therefore, it is crucial to be aware of your dachshund's joint health.

While their floppy ears are adorable and help keep dirt out, they are also prone to infections. Be sure to keep your dachshund's ears clean with a soothing ear wash.

Fun Facts

  • Depending on its coat, a dachshund's personality varies. Long-haired ones have the mildest temperament. Wire haireds have the most energy. And smooth coated bonds better with one person.
  • They're fearsome hunters and love to burrow..
  • There are three coat types, six marking types, three sizes, and 15 color combinations.
  • They are the smallest dog type in the hound group.
  • The first official Olympic mascot was a colorful dachshund named Waldi for the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. That year’s marathon route was in the shape of a dachshund.
  • Two dachshunds have held the Guinness World Record for the “World’s Oldest Living Dog”. 

Famous Dachshunds

Here are a few famous wiener dogs in history:

Lump

The famous artist Picasso had a friend with a dachshund named Lump. Picasso fell in love with Lump, who shows up in some of the artist's work including an abstract sketch simply entitled “Dog”.

Obie

Obie was the victim of overeating, reaching a weight of 77 pounds! After a healthy diet, Obie slimmed down to a respectable 28 pounds.

Archie

Another dachshund beloved by a famous artist is Archie, who belonged to Andy Warhol. Archie would accompany Warhol to galleries, photo shoots, and especially to interviews to “answer” questions the artist didn’t like. The doxie was also the subject of some of Warhol’s work.

Frankenweenie

While not a real doxie, Frankenweenie by Tim Burton features a sweet weenie dog brought back to life by its owner. A young boy who uses a science experiment to spend time with his beloved dog again.

Dachshunds to Follow on Instagram

What better way to fill your feed with happiness than following a few doxies! Here are a few positively adorable wiener dogs you'll enjoy.

Crusoe is a wiener dog celebrity and a People's Choice Award winner.

Finn, Daisy, and Dixie are three adorable miniature doxie siblings who hail from Alberta, Canada. 

Honeydew is surely a much-followed doxie because of her star-quality looks.

Rowdy is not only an insanely popular wiener dog, she's also a skater!

What The Finn is a curious Canadian who often leaves his parents wondering “what the…?”. 

What to Expect Owning a Dachshund

No matter what you know them as, they are lovable, smart dogs with the antics of a clown. And not the scary kind, either! They're loyal, fierce protectors, and will give you years of the perfect furry companion.

After reading this, you might be eager to google “dachshund puppies for sale”. If you are interested in owning this breed, consider adopting or fostering a doxie. Reputable organizations, such as Dachshund Club of America, All American Dachshund Rescue, and Dachshund Rescue of North America, can help guide you through the process of adoption or  finding a breeder.