Breed of the Week: French Bulldog

Due to so many of my followers on Instagram having or being fans of the French Bulldog, this week we’re going to be delving into what makes the French Bulldog a French Bulldog and why it may or may not be the dog for you!

Bull Baiting (oil on paper laid on panel)

Despite what the French Bulldog’s name implies, the breed originated in England after bull baiting was outlawed and the larger Bulldogs found themselves jobless.  These Bulldogs were then bred with terriers, ratters, and Pugs to decrease their size for a better companion dog, and started on its way to becoming the French Bulldog so many love in the present day.  These “toy” or “miniature” Bulldogs were then transported by lace workers to France when the Industrial Revolution left them as jobless as the bull baiting Bulldogs.  The dogs quickly gained popularity in France, so much so that almost all of these miniature Bulldogs were transported out of England and into France.  They were given the name Bouledogue Francais.

Not long after gaining popularity in France, the Bouledogue Francais found popularity among Americans.  They nicknamed it the “Frenchie.”

Frenchies are easygoing dogs that love to play but also love to relax with their people.  They don’t require very much exercise, just a little playtime in the backyard or a quick jaunt around the neighborhood once or twice a day.  The only time more exercise might be needed is if they’re overweight.

These dogs are, first and foremost, companion animals.  They love their people and want to be with them as often as possible.  In fact, many Frenchies suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for more than a few hours at a time.  If left alone longer than that, they may engage in destructive behaviors like chewing on things they shouldn’t or going potty in the house. This can be especially prevalent when the Frenchie is young, though it can be minimized somewhat with the right training.

In general, Frenchies get along with everyone, including children.  The females, in particular, may become protective of any children in the home.  One should, however, make sure they are socialized early and often with other dogs as they can become possessive of their people, especially as they like to be the center of attention and may not like it if the spotlight is taken away from them by another canine.

Although Frenchies are intelligent and learn commands quickly, they are also free thinkers and, if training isn’t interesting enough, they’ll find something else to occupy themselves.  Training, therefore, should be consistent, firm, and patient.  One should try to make it a fun experience or turn it into a game to keep them engaged.

Frenchies are ideal for apartment living as they do not need a lot of space nor do they bark without cause.  They’ll bark to let their people know that someone is approaching the door or that something’s wrong, but they won’t bark incessantly just to hear themselves “talk” as other breeds might.

Bulldog Dog SnowBe aware that with the Frenchie’s squished nose, they are not able to cool themselves adequately in high temperatures and, therefore, need to be kept in a cool, comfortable environment.  This usually means inside where the air conditioning is.  Frenchies cannot be left outside all day like certain other dog breeds.  In the summer when temperatures are high, they’re susceptible to heat exhaustion, and in the winter when temperatures are low, they’re susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia.  Even indoors, Frenchies may require a sweater in the winter time due to their short, thin coat.

Their fur should be short, smooth, and fine.  It should have a soft texture, especially around the shoulders and head where the skin wrinkles most.  Grooming is quick and easy and should only be needed once every 2-4 weeks, perhaps even less if they’re indoors most of the time.  Frenchies do shed, but not excessively.

Frenchies’ coats come in several different colors such as, fawn, cream, black brindle, tiger brindle, and brindle pied, which is brindle and white.  While there are “blue” Frenchies, they are not accepted in the show ring due to the health issues that tend to come along with the blue coloring.  One such health issue is alopecia, which is when the color pigment becomes clumped in the hairshaft, itself, and causes it to weaken and fall out.  The condition alopecia, sometimes called “Blue Dog Alopecia,” causes baldness.  Beware breeders that claim that a particular color is rare and worth more money.  These are not reputable breeders and are likely selling puppies from a puppy mill or backyard breeder.  No color is more rare or worth more money than any other.

 

If you’re considering purchasing or adopting a French Bulldog, please do your research.  While wonderful companion animals, Frenchies do have their quirks and idiosyncrasies.  One such thing, is their tendency to develop separation anxiety if left alone for longer than a few hours.  They are also prone to drooling and may be a little bit “gassy.”  If those quirks and idiosyncrasies don’t bother you and you want a companion that will love on you as much as you love on them, that will protect you with all their little heart, and will make you laugh with their silly antics and mischievous nature, the French Bulldog may just be the dog for you!

Frog Dog

Fun Fact:  The French Bulldog is sometimes called “Frog Dog” in reference to the unique way they sit with their hind legs spread to either side of them.

Do you or have you owned a French Bulldog? Please tell us about him/her in the comments below! I’d love to hear about your experiences with the breed.

Have suggestions? Comment below!

Have a breed you’d like to see featured in our next Breed of the Week? Leave your suggestion in the comments below!

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