The French Bulldog: Big Personality in a Little Package
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.
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.
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 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.
- Holly W