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French Bulldog

This trendy dog is fast becoming one of the UK's favourites and its easy to see why. Cute wrinkles, small size, what's not to love?

French Bulldog Profile

Introduction

The French Bulldog has claimed the crown of one of the most beloved companion dogs globally and is now one the UK’s most popular dog breeds. Although up for debate, most experts agree that the origins of this dog is in Victorian England. During the industrial revolution the French Bulldog was bred by English lace workers looking for a small companion dog. The factory workers looked to a dwarf bulldog breed, called the Toy Bulldog, and mixed it with the Terrier and the Pug, creating the lovable and distinct features of the French Bulldog that we see today. When the lace workers of Nottingham were threatened with redundancy in the factories during the 1850’s, the workers emigrated to neighbouring France and of course took their lovable companions with them, and it was during this time that the breed picked up its “French” moniker.

 

The French Bulldog is a brachycephalic dog breed, meaning that it has a short head, giving it its distinct, smushed face, much like its Pug and British Bulldog cousins. The breed comes in three main coat colour variations, brindle fawn, white, black and a mix of all three. Due to their short frame and large head, French Bulldogs are unable to breed naturally, meaning that breeders must use artificial insemination techniques which can drive up the cost of this breed, however this also means that more care and selection is taken when choosing traits for future litters.  

Behaviour & Personality

  • They love people and will happily follow you around all day, but be warned, French Bulldogs are prone to separation anxiety so make sure you spend plenty time with your dog
  • Suitable for families with or without kids, and even get on with other pets. They can be a little mischievous and disobedient at times so its always best to watch Frenchies around small children
  • They rarely bark and need minimal exercise which makes the French Bulldog an ideal dog for owners who live in cities, however they do have loud breathing due to their short noses

Grooming

  • The short coat of the bull dog requires less frequent grooming that other breeds but they do shed hair often
  • French Bulldogs should be brushed once a week with a medium bristle brush to keep their coat looking healthy and to encourage new hair growth
  • Be sure to clean in between the trademark wrinkle folds, particularly around the eyes, to keep them clean, dry and free from bacterial infections
french bulldog lying down

Exercise and Training

  • French Bulldogs are low maintenance in the exercise category, being a brachycephalic breed means that they often struggle to breath in hot weather or when over exercised
  • 1 hour of exercise a day is ideal for these dogs, and they prefer a few short walks than one large one due to their breathing issues
  • Frenchies can be difficult to train and can be stubborn with commands and obedience style training so start young with this breed and be patient
  • The French Bulldog can take a while to toilet train and should be shown ground rules early into training to establish authority and command, otherwise they will push the boundaries with owners

Health

  • As with many brachycephalic breeds the French Bulldog does unfortunately suffer from many health conditions, but luckily many can be screened for with a DNA test
  • Having a short head compared to the length of their cranium can cause an elongated or cleft palate with French Bulldogs
  • Parents can be screened for brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) before breeding, which causes severe breathing complications in Frenchies
  • Due to their top heavy stature and small hips its common for their knee caps to slip out of place temporarily, a health condition known as luxating patellas
  • Dental issues are also common with French Bulldogs due to their short heads causing the teeth to overcrowd in the mouth
  • French Bulldogs are also prone to back problems, particularly Intervertebral disc disease, similar to slipped discs in humans, characterised by bulging or burst vertebrate pressing on nerves. This can cause significant pain in these small dogs
  • Most Frenchie puppies are delivered through Caesarian sections, as the pelvis of females is not large enough for the cranium to pass through, so make sure a vet is present during home births