This week in our series on Getting to Know Your Dog Breed we are featuring the French Bulldog. The French Bulldog (or “Frenchie”) is part of the Non-Sporting group of the AKC. The French Bulldog has gained rapidly in popularity over the last few years rising to #4 in 2017, up from #11 in 2013.
Life expectancy: Life expectancy for Frenchies is on the shorter side with a lifespan of 10-12 years.
Size: Frenchies are small but solid dogs, typically weighing under 28 lbs and standing about a foot tall.
Color: Frenchies come in a variety of colors and various combinations of brindle, fawn and white. According to the breed standard, combinations of black and white or fawn and white are acceptable as long as there is some presence of brindle.
Origins: Contrary to their name, the French Bulldog isn’t really French in origin. Their ancestry can be traced to Nottingham, England where they were a favorite of lace makers, the main industry in that region. When the industrial revolution drove the lace makers to France, they took their dogs with them, and they became “French Bulldogs”.
Personality: Frenchies are full of spunk make and great companions. They aren’t athletic dogs, so they are not suitable for hikes or running, but they are friendly, fun-loving and just want to be part of your life. They also make great watchdogs.
They do require patience when training as they can be a bit stubborn or hard-headed.
Health Issues: French Bulldogs, like their distant cousin the Bulldog, are brachycephalic. This is defined as having a “shortened head” with a short nose and flat face. This conformation strains their abilities to breath normally, which is why Frenchies are Olympic snorers. This condition is something to be aware of and requires monitoring, especially when the temperature is warm or when they are exercising. Their short nose and flat face predisposes the Frenchie to other respiratory issues as well.
Frenchies are also susceptible to hereditary deafness, hip dysplasia or other spine/disk related issues.
Fitness/energy level: Frenchies don’t require a lot of exercise and their body type is not meant for long durations of exercise, like the bigger Bulldogs, they don’t tolerate heat well and their shorter snout makes breathing difficult sometimes. They make great apartment dwellers as they are on the smaller side and content with a couple of short walks a day.
They can be tough on their dog toys as they like to shred them, so be prepared to buy a lot of replacements.
Good foods to feed your French Bulldog:
Infinia™ Venison Potato & Quail
American Journey™ Large Breed Salmon & Sweet Potato
Grandma Lucy’s™ Pureformance Rabbit Sample
Fun facts about the French Bulldog:
Toto, of the Wizard of Oz fame, was originally a French Bulldog in the written version of the story by Frank L. Baum. Hollywood gossip has it that a Frenchie was originally cast in the movie but was “reluctant” to take direction and was replaced with a Cairn Terrier.
Keep them away from water as their short, squat body types tend to sink rather than float. They don’t make great swimmers.
Reproduction can be a challenge for the Frenchie due to their body proportions. Most pups are created through artificial insemination and delivered via cesarean.