All about the French Bulldog Breed

June 03, 2019

All about the French Bulldog Breed

Everything you need to know about the French Bulldog breed

If you have been searching for the perfect Frenchie puppy, we must warn you that this is where your search comes to an end. Armed with an overdose of cuteness and a tough-on-the-outside, sweet-on-the-inside expression, you are minutes away from a Frenchie puppy fever.

Think you’re up to it? Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Here’s everything you need to know about the French bulldog that’s about to steal your heart away.

Let’s meet the Frenchie!

Recognized by the American Kennel Club as the 4th most popular dog in the US climbing to the top in recent years , the French bulldog has been stealing hearts since the 19th century. The breed is popular for their fun-loving, laid back nature and this has contributed to their almost universal appeal among dog lovers.

Breed 2017 Rank 2016 Rank 2015 Rank 2014 Rank 2013 Rank
Retrievers (Labrador) 1 1 1 1 1
German Shepherd Dogs 2 2 2 2 2
Retrievers (Golden) 3 3 3 3 3
French Bulldogs 4 6 6 9 11
Bulldogs 5 4 4 4 5
Beagles 6 5 5 5 4
Poodles 7 7 8 7 8
Rottweilers 8 8 9 10 9
Yorkshire Terriers 9 9 7 6 6
Pointers (German Shorthaired) 10 11 11 12 13

Source: American Kennel Club

Is the Frenchie dog breed the right breed for me?

If you’re the type that does not have a vast tract of suburban backyard to turn dogs loose in, you should be looking very closely at the French bulldog. Here are six facts you may not know about French Bulldogs. Number 6 will shock you!

Appearance of the French Bulldog

The dog is one of the miniature dog breed. They’re also known as the clown dog because of their fun-loving nature and some even call them the ‘Frog dog’ because of their wide round heads and sitting posture.

One of their signature physical attributes are the over-sized bat-like ears that add spades of cute to this furry fellow. They have a muscle bound, compact frame with heavy bones.

Their heads are large and square, compared to the rest of their body which tapers off to lean and smaller hind quarters. They have a wrinkly, almost flat face featuring a very short and often black muzzle. This gives them a scrunched up, eternally long-suffering look that provides several funny expressions and makes them look almost human.

Their eyes are small, dark and set just above the muzzle. They have strong necks, wide chests and smooth, soft coats that come in a variety of colors. Their tails are usually short and either straight or screwed.

Although they pretty much look like a miniature version of the larger bulldog, along with the overhanging upper lip that makes them look tough, they’re just little softies. Don’t discount them though. The Frenchie dog is alert, friendly and sturdy.

Have you ever seen a Bulldogs turkey leg?

Their signature sitting positions will often remind you of a turkey leg. You most definitely will want to nibble on that !

cream frenchy bulldog puppy frenchie hoodie frenchiestore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crush the Frenchie wearing our limited edition Frenchiestore peeking Frenchie hoodie from summer of 2017 line.

Frenchie puppy coat colors

The color of a French bulldog’s coat will be determined by the genes passed down from his father (called the sire) and mother (called the dame/dam). Although, breeders can, and do, go beyond these, there are three main colors that Frenchies come in. These are brindle, fawn and pied.

While these are the most common colors, they do come in such a mix that you could reasonably assemble 10-20 French bulldogs with markedly different coats. We’ll explain more on these differing coats below.

Brindle is the most dominant color of the breed. A brindle Frenchie has a mostly dark coat with light hairs mixed in here and there. According to the French Bulldog Club of America, the coat is actually made of a base of fawn hairs, through which black hairs extend in bands.

This produces a coat that can range from a “tiger brindle” in which fawn hairs predominate, to the more common dark brindle where the dog is almost black.They’re quick to point out though that no matter how dark the dog gets, there must still be a “trace of brindle”.

This means there must be a patch of enough fawn hairs to show the brindle pattern, no matter where that patch is located. Other shades of brindle Frenchies include:

  • The strong brindle which has a mix of brown and tan coloration.
  • The brindle pied which usually has his chest, head, neck or toes sporting white hairs.
  • The seal brindle with very light white hair that may even seem invisible.

The Fawn French bulldog usually has a coat of lighter hair that can range from a reddish color to yellow, or even a pale cream. It is also common to see some of the dogs with coats that have a light tan, golden tan or a reddish tan.

When these dogs have a dark reddish fawn color, they are referred to as a red-fawn.Although fawn Frenchies usually have lighter masks as well, it is more common for them to have a dark mask and a black nose.

Their ears are also commonly dark and they may even have some brindle streaks in their coat. Pied Frenchies have a coat that ranges from white to eggshell color. Their coat may look porcelain white or a bright cream.

Often, these color types will have one dark patch that stands out and gives them their personality. This may be around the eyes or some other place on the body.

Now, if you’re thinking these can’t be all the colors that Frenchies come in because you’ve seen or heard of some rare colors, you’re right. There are other colors such as the Blue, Merle, Blue/Grey or pure Black French bulldogs.


Frenchie bulldog rare blue merle french bulldog with pointed ears frenchiestore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rare blue merle Frenchie with pointed ears

Do French Bulldogs shed?

French Bulldogs have very short hair and only one coat so when it comes to other breeds in comparison they do not shed as much. This is one of the reason they cannot tolerate very cold climate. Dogs with 2 coats are better suited for colder climates.

 

Expect your Frenchie to lose their undercoat about twice a year. Use a stripping comb and grooming mitt to remove the excess hair during the spring and fall (shedding seasons).

We offer hypoallergenic Frenchie pjs that help minimize allergies and shedding.Off course there are always the out of the ordinary fuzzy Frenchies. They have a lot of fur, fuzz and fluff.

Do Frenchies smell?

A French Bulldog tend to be more smelly than other dog breeds. Their delicate stomach and breathing issues can cause a lot of gas.  Additionally, the Frenchie's facial folds can have a bad odor if not cleaned daily.

How often should I wash my French Bulldog?

Some people think you need to give your Frenchie a shower often, that is far from the truth. Your dog's natural oils keep them clean and free of infections. Washing your French Bulldog often might wash their natural protective layer off.

Height and weight of the French Bulldog

Frenchies are not very tall. They generally measure between 11-12 inches standing on all fours. This is why they are considered great as lap dogs since they can fit snugly in your arms or on your laps.

How much should a French bulldog puppy weigh?

Our Frenchie weight by age calculator can tell you an approx weight of your puppy or dog instantly based on on your dogs age and breed size.

Frenchie Life span

On average, the French bulldog lives between 10 and 12 years although, it is common to see some live for longer, up to 13 or 14 years especially if kept in an ideal weight.

Personality of the French Bulldog

There’s everything to love about this little bundle of fun. The French bulldog is great with all kinds of humans and their living situation including but not limited to:

  • single
  • family
  • retiree etc.

They are charming little fellows with the ability to make you laugh at the drop of a hat.Frenchies are smart, with a good sense of humor. They are very fond of people and can become very attached to their family.

blue frenchie bulldog puppy

@wrigley_chi and his mama

While they are very good indoor dogs, sometimes they can get lonely if you stay away for very long hours, especially within their first year of life. They can also exhibit a bit of a stubborn streak and they can be emotional. This means that while they are really smart, they usually take a while to train.

Don’t get all hard on them because they don’t take too kindly to reprimands. That causes them to mope around looking all sorry eyed. As long as you’re patient with them, they’ll be eager to please.

They don’t bark a lot. So when they do, it’s usually for a very good reason. That doesn’t mean they’re mute though. With their own complex system of communication involving yawns, nips and gargles; Frenchies are very big talkers. On occasion, they’ll even sing along with you.

Dog sing You raise me up long version bulldog

A short history of the French bulldog

Although some part of their history is disputed, there’s a general agreement that the Frenchie, surprisingly, has English origins. The dog was initially bred to be a toy-size version of the English bulldog. And was very popular in the City of Nottingham.

When lace making became mechanized after the industrial revolution, many of these lace makers migrated to France, and took their furry companions along. Of course, Frenchies were a massive hit in the French capital and before long, they adorned the arms of the Paris bohemian class.

It was during this time that the dog acquired the name the “bouldogge Francais” or more commonly, “Frenchie”. And the name has stuck ever since. Other accounts have it that the dog was bred with the terrier in France to create the bouldogge Francais. This is said to be what led to the distinctive bat ear feature.

A French Bulldog stamp printed by EQUATORIAL GUINEA series, circa 1974 history of the french bulldog

A French Bulldog stamp printed by EQUATORIAL GUINEA series, circa 1974

As you would imagine, the English people were not too fond of the new name initially. Many refused to call the dog by this name due to the national rivalry between England and France, especially considering that the bulldog was considered an English national symbol.

The breed found a way to America after the formation of the first French Bulldog Club in America. After an 1898 show in which Frenchies were exhibited, the breed was thrust into vogue and the rest is history.

Taking care of your French bulldog

Although they are one of the most adaptable dog breeds around, you need to take good care of your Frenchie.

Feeding/Nutrition

You cannot go wrong with high quality dry dog food that is tailored to the specific needs of the dog, You may need to measure the feed based on the dog’s size, build, metabolism and activity levels. This is because each dog has their own individual needs.

If you choose to give the dog treats, you should only do so in moderation. Click here for the complete guide of feeding your Frenchie.

Grooming

Compared to other dog breeds Frenchies don’t shed much. They have a short, easy to groom coat that only sheds about twice a year when they lose their undercoat.

All you have to do is brush them more often during the shedding seasons in spring and fall, you can also use our hypoallergenic Frenchie pajamas to minimize shedding.

You will also need to trim their nails often. Frenchies are generally low energy dog breeds, so they don’t indulge in enough physical activity to wear down their nails by themselves. If you don’t trim their nails at least once every few weeks, the nails will grow long, and painful for the dog.

The other grooming required concerns ear cleaning, tooth brushing and wrinkle care. The dog’s deep muzzle folds particularly require constant cleaning because of the possibility of bacterial growth due to moisture. You can wipe out the crud with a soft, damp cloth.

Care/exercise

French bulldogs don’t need a lot of exercise so you don’t have to worry about long walks. They generally have pretty low energy levels which means they tire out quickly.

Be careful with them though as the breed is prone to heat exhaustion. You should avoid exercising them in hot temperatures. Even in the house, ensure your indoor temperature is always cool as excessive heat can cause them to have a heat stroke. Limit walks and active play to only cool periods and try not to engage them in long periods of exercise. You can check here for great DIY frozen treat ideas or use our cooling dog bandanas to keep your Frenchie cool.

fawn french bulldog puppy on frenchiestore beach towel. Picture from 2017

Fawn with mask French Bulldog puppy on Frenchiestore beach towel.

Importantly, don’t let your Frenchie get in a swimming pool or any other body of water without a life vest. Most the dogs cannot swim due to their front-heavy structure. So you should never leave them unattended near a pool.

They don’t fly well either. Due to their muzzle structure, they will struggle to breathe if you put them on an airplane. So, don’t take them on a flight without making adequate preparation.

5 tips for French Bulldog owners

Training

It is recommended that you start the training process right from when they are puppies. Exposing them to this training early will help their development into well-adjusted adults.

One pro tip is to make training fun and game like providing rewards for little accomplishments which will ensure their cooperation.

French bulldogs can be stubborn at times due to the fact that they are generally free thinkers. There are many training techniques that you can use. If one doesn’t work out, there are several more that you can try, including these 4 training hacks. Number 4 is a life saver!

How do I potty train a Frenchie puppy?

French Bulldogs can be stubborn and hard headed at times, so it is crucial you are firm, and consistent with this breed. Here are some tips that will help you establish a housebroken Frenchie puppy in no time:

  • Pick a designated area for your puppy to go potty - do not let your French Bulldog puppy roam free in the yard. Treat your yard as if it was a part of your home. Pick a special spot in your yard and keep the puppy on a leash. This will make the puppy learn that this is their usual spot to go and will save you a lot of trouble in the future when you are poop scooping since it will only be in one area. This method works really well if you fence of a small area or have a dog run.
  • Go outside often - Frenchie puppies can't hold their urine for very long, this is why its recommended you go outside approximately every 2 hours.
  • Give your puppy a treat when he/she goes outside in the designated area - have treats in your pocket and ready to go. Reward your precious puppy during or immediately after they relieve themselves.
  • Put your puppy on a feeding schedule- You should have water for your puppy at all times, however, it is recommended feeding your dog at certain times to regulate their bowel movement. If you want to avoid accidents at night take away their water bowl after 6 pm.
  • Supervise - Do not let your puppy have free range in the house and opportunities to soil. Supervise your Frenchie puppy at all times and when you can't supervise use a crate to prevent accidents.
  • We do not recommend a pee pad inside the house -  this just gives your dog mixed messages as if you want them to urine in the house. If you want to prevent confusion don't use this method.
  • Don't give up - there will be accidents!  Repeat the steps above, sooner or later your puppy will be house broken, just keep being patient and don't ever lose your temper with your Frenchie as they are extremely sensitive.

Are Frenchies healthy?

Now, here’s where things get a bit tricky. French bulldogs are not known for their great health. In fact, they can develop several health issues. This is largely due to several factors including their physical attributes.

Keep in mind that not all Frenchies will have these health challenges. They are simply associated with the breed and may not occur at all for your furry buddy. It is however important that you are aware of them if you’re considering the breed.

With adequate knowledge about their health issues, you can better make intelligent decisions when it comes to picking your Frenchie-puppy. Ensure that your breeder tells you everything that has been identified in the dog’s lines. Here are the major health issues that affect French bulldogs.

  • Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome: This is the most common health issue in Frenchies. Due to their scrunched up muzzles, they often have difficulty breathing. The dog will often make grunting or snuffling sounds because they are trying to get in enough air. This syndrome is the major reason why French bulldogs are low energy and fairly susceptible to over-heating. Treatment varies but some of the dogs may need surgery to widen their nostrils or shorten their palates.
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease: IVDD occurs when a vertebral disc pushes upwards into the spinal cord. This pressure affects the nerves and may lead to paralysis if it continues unabated.
  • Dysplasia: This is a genetic condition that commonly affects small dog breeds. It occurs when the hip joint fails to fit snugly ass a ball and socket. This may be either because the all is not round enough or the socket is too shallow. It can cause severe pain and arthritis as the dog ages.
  • Patellar Luxation: When the kneecap in dogs continually moves from the knee joint, patellar luxation occurs. The condition is congenital although the actual knee cap displacement does not begin to show until much later. If left untreated, the condition can also lead to degenerative joint disease and arthritis.

Many of these health problems are avoidable simply by finding a responsible good breeder however, even with a great breeder issues can arise.

Is a Frenchie the right breed for me?

French Bulldogs have a unique personality than other breeds and it is recommended you learn more about this breed before getting one. Society stigmatize them as a lazy low maintenance small breed you can just carry everywhere. This is far from the truth. 

French Bulldogs often require as much attention as a newborn baby. If you cannot devote the time and energy not you nor the dog will be happy in that situation. They are very good in apartment settings and do not require a big place or yard.

If you work most of the day, and planning on leaving your Frenchie at home alone until you come back, please re-think getting this breed. It is too often that this breed is being surrendered to a rescue due to the inability of spending time with the dog. French Bulldogs will get angry and destroy things to get your attention if you are ignoring them or not there for them.

If you are a stay at home mom/dad, work from home, or have the option to take your Frenchie to your work, it might be a good fit. If you are retired, and want a great loving companion this might be the breed for you.

Please research this breed before getting a French Bulldog, it might be the best or worse decision you'll ever make and it all depends on your circumstances.

6 Facts You May Not Know about French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs are increasingly becoming one of the most popular breeds among dog lovers all over the world. These adorable pups come in handy sizes, and dole out ample amounts of love. Apart from their smiley face and little stature, many people don’t know a lot about these furry bundles of love. Here are six fascinating things you probably haven’t heard about Frenchies.

1. They are English not French.

The French bulldog has originated from England where they were first bred. The French Bulldog soon gained popularity among the elites and middle class of France, with many Parisians owning one as a lapdog. Eventually, the Americans bred them and gave them the now famous bat ear, a distinctive feature of Frenchies. This makes the French bulldog an international breed. So, when you hear French Bulldog or Frenchie, don’t confuse their origins for France.

2. Frenchies are emotional.

Because they were bred as lovable lap dogs, Frenchies tend to emotional to a fault. Emotional in the sense they can become moody if you scold them for doing something wrong. Have you ever seen a dog make a face before? That’s a common feature of a French bulldog. They smile, pout and even Frenchie talk to let you know how they feel. If you have a French bulldog, the best you can do is provide loads of positive encouragement as possible while reducing punishment and negative feedback.

3. They are vocal.

The Frenchie doesn’t have a big bark, but it makes a statement. From howls, growls, gargles, yips to yawns, these lovely animals are talkative and will always have something to contribute to family discussions. So when you are feeling lonely or need a companion to sing along with you, these garrulous pups will support you with their unique doggy sounds which if often referred to as the Frenchie talk.

4. They will sink in water.

While many dog breeds love frolicking in water, the Frenchie is an exception because it is a brachycephalic dog. Brachy dog breeds have a big head and a short skull with tight nostrils that make respiration difficult, especially in water. So, if you are going near water for any reason, keep a life jacket/vest on your dog and pay close attention. Always keep them cool on a hot day to avoid obstruction of breathing.

5. French Bulldogs do not do well in flights.

Because of their respiratory system, which causes a condition called BOAS, brachy dogs such as the French bulldog have difficulty breathing at heights. When you are going on a trip that requires flights, consider handing your Frenchie to your dog-loving neighbor or hire a dog sitter to keep him happy while you are away. If you have to take your Frenchie on the trip consider these tips we previously mentioned.

6. Extremely brave.

They may have little stature but they are bigger than life. We have posted several videos on our Instagram (@Frenchiestore) that prove they really are not scared of anything. In one video the Frenchie was chasing 2 bear cubs out of the front yard, in another video the Frenchie was barking at a lioness through a glass window. Both videos will make you hold your breath but one thing is for sure, Frenchies do not think they are small and do not show any fear whatsoever.

How do I find the right Frenchie?

You generally have two options for getting yourself a French bulldog. You can either choose to get one through a reputable breeder or you can adopt a puppy from an animal shelter or breed rescue organization.

How do I find the right breeder?

If you’re looking for the right breeder we have written a guide in regards to breeding a Frenchie.

Is breeding French bulldogs profitable?

The average cost of breeding a Frenchie comes with a hefty price tag between $1,000 and $3,000 per birth. They also require constant attention and care when they are born. They require many health and genetic exams.

8 Celebrities and their French Bulldogs:

  • Dwayne Johnson AKA The Rock.
  • Hilary Duff.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio.
  • Lady Gaga.
  • Madonna.
  • Reese Witherspoon.
  • Hugh Jackman.
  • Ashley Olsen.

How can I rescue a French Bulldog?

If you’re looking to adopt, sites like Petfinder and Adopt-a-Pet,FBDCA rescue network etc. to find the pet you need. We are involved with many French Bulldog organizations you can always ask us if you need some guidance in the right direction.

 

If you’d like to know more about how to take proper care of your Frenchie, sign up to our Pawsletter. You’ll learn plenty about what you need to keep your Frenchie


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