In the past few years, French Bulldogs have taken the world by storm, and for good reason. They somehow pack a larger-than-life personality into a small yet sturdy package. Plus, their ultra-cute bat ears and wide grin never fail to get everyone smiling along with them. Despite their appeal, Frenchies are not for everyone. So, it’s worth using this guide to get to know them a bit better before deciding if they’re the right dog for you.
History of French Bulldogs
French bulldogs came on the scene in the mid-1800s, resulting from a breeding program using toy bulldogs and ratters. The pairings produced scrappy dogs with stunningly good looks, making them instantly popular all throughout Paris.
The breed made its big debut in the 1896 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and the rest is history. Their popularity has only soared since then, too, resulting in these dogs coming in as the top family pet again and again.
Key Frenchie Characteristics
When you bring a French bulldog into your life, you get to enjoy all their key characteristics to the fullest, including:
At just 28 pounds tops, French bulldogs stay compact through the years, fitting right on your lap for endless cuddles. They’re about 13 inches tall at the withers and have a robust neck, stocky chest, and large head. Beyond that, they are brachycephalic dogs, which means they have a rather short muzzle.
Frenchies have a smooth, short coat that requires minimal grooming, although they do shed quite a bit as the seasons change. Due to their rich heritage, they come in a wide variety of colors, including brindle, fawn, and white. Their markings range from ticked to piebald, giving each pup their very own look.
Although there are some outliers, Frenchies are generally friendly, outgoing dogs with a lifelong playful streak. They are fantastic with kids and other animals and even love to greet every stranger you come across on the street. Their cute looks easily make them the center of attention, but it’s their winning personality that keeps people enamored forevermore.
Between their small size and friendly nature, they’re not good guard dogs, of course. But they are in tune with their surroundings, always staying silently alert and ready to respond at a moment’s notice. Even so, they’re actually rather quiet dogs, preferring to chill with their owners rather than run window to window barking at the world.
Health and Wellness
French bulldogs often have more health issues than similarly sized breeds. Their short snout, neck, and spine make them susceptible to breathing issues and spinal disc diseases. Joint issues are common, too, especially through the senior years or if their love for delicious food leads to obesity.
Many Frenchies have allergies to food, pollen, and other environmental triggers as well. Skin irritation, ear infections, and digestive issues commonly arise as a result. The symptoms can make these normally good-natured dogs irritable until you work with a vet to get their allergies under control.
Top Things to Know About Getting a Frenchie
If you’re still on the fence, here’s a look at what you can expect upon adding a Frenchie to your home.
Prepare for Pure Excitement Whenever Visitors Arrive
French bulldogs love to greet visitors, so don’t be surprised if their excitement bubbles to the surface every time you get a knock on the door. Although your friends and family will enjoy the warm welcome, the ruckus could get tiresome if you get a lot of package deliveries.
Start Training Early to Temper Their Stubborn Streak
Despite their playful nature, Frenchies are known to have a bit of a stubborn streak. You can get ahead of it by committing to a great training program in the puppy years. If you get an older rescue dog, plan to take training classes together to quickly build a strong bond and become a team.
Keep Your Dog from Playing Too Hard and Overheating
French bulldogs will play to their heart’s content whenever there’s fun to be had. Due to their short muzzle, you have to rein them in every so often to give them a chance to get air and calm down. You also have to keep the playtime to a minimum when it’s hot out since they’re prone to overheating.
Pick a Food for Gut Health, Allergies, and Weight Management
Since allergies are so common in this breed, it’s best to avoid leaving it to chance and go with hypoallergenic dog food from the start. If you pick a food made using insect protein, for example, you can eliminate the most common allergy triggers in one go. Dog food made using crickets or grubs also helps stave off digestive issues and prevent obesity from becoming a problem.
By now, you likely have a good idea on whether a French bulldog is your ideal breed. If so, try to find a rescue pup in need of a good home – or look for a reputable breeder who does health testing on their stock.
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