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French Bulldog: Breed Characteristics, Training, Care & Nutrition

The French Bulldog is a breed of dog from France recognized by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale). The FCI classifies the breed under group 9 “companion and companion dogs” and under section 11 “small mastiff-like dogs”.

French Bulldog Breed

Size: 28-30cm
Weight: 7-14kg
FCI Group: 9: Companion and Companion Dogs
Section: 11: Small mastiff-like dogs
Country of origin: France
Colors: fawn, brindle, cream, white, black-brindle, brindle-white
Life expectancy: 9-12 years
Suitable as: Companion and family dog
Sports: –
Character: Playful, Affectionate, Sociable, Attentive, Lively, Athletic, Patient, Keen, Bright
Outlet needs: rather low
Drooling potential: low
The thickness of hair: medium
Maintenance effort: low
Fur structure: dense, shiny, soft
Child-friendly: rather yes
Family dog: yes
Social: rather yes

Origin and breed history

The Frenchie, as the breed is affectionately known today, belongs to the Molosser family. This is the generic term for dog types that have bulky and muscular appearances. The roots of the breed are still young. The French bulldog was not bred consistently until the mid-19th century. However, the question of which original breeds the small bulldog was bred from remains unanswered. It is assumed that they were small bulldogs from England, which were crossed with each other and later brought to France. In the past, English bulldogs were mainly used for dogfighting and bullbaiting. Since dog fighting was banned, the demand for smaller, more peaceful dogs has increased. The “Toy Bulldog” was bred out of this demand.

Nevertheless, everyone agrees that originally several breeds, such as the pug, were crossed. At the beginning of the breeding of the French bulldogs, terriers were sometimes also crossed. The reason for this was that some hunters became aware of the breed for a short time and probably wanted to bring the hunting instinct into the little bulldog. However, inbreeding the terrier was short-lived and the modern French bulldog has no hunting instincts.

The first official breed club for French bulldogs was founded in Paris in 1880. The breed standard was not recorded until a little later, in 1888. The dogs were kept several times by the European nobility as companion dogs and triggered a real trend. Today, as then, the breed with the bat ears is extremely popular.

Nature & Temperament of the French Bulldog

French bulldogs are lovable, happy, and affectionate dogs. They love to cuddle with their master or mistress for hours. The dogs are usually very playful even in adulthood. The modern Bully has no hunting instinct and is usually very fond of children – a great, good-natured family dog for young and old.

Basically, the Frenchie can be described as a charmer and clown who enjoys entertaining his family. Nevertheless, he is very attentive and can also serve as a guard dog. The little Frenchman is active and alert but doesn’t necessarily need miles of walks. For this reason, he is particularly popular as a companion dog for people who live in the city. However, like any breed of dog, the French bulldog enjoys going for walks in the woods or fields.

How Smart Are French Bulldogs?

French bulldogs are intelligent and willing to learn dogs. It is important that the dog is encouraged and trained consistently from puppyhood. If this is the case, obedience and small tricks can easily be taught to him. The Bully wants to please its owner and enjoys learning new commands.

The appearance of the French Bulldog

The French Bulldog is definitely a bat-eared powerhouse. It has a muscular, compact build and can reach a height of up to 30 cm at the withers. The dog breed is therefore significantly smaller than its ancestor, the English bulldog. Adult Frenchies can weigh anywhere from 8 to 14 kg, depending largely on the size of the dog.

The coat is smooth, shiny, short, and without an undercoat. The breed comes in a wide variety of colors, such as black, white, cream, but also in piebald to brindle. Bulldogs are increasingly bred in grey, brown-black, and tan, but these colors are not officially recognized.

Depending on the breed, the French bulldog can show a different physique. Sometimes you see higher, elongated specimens, sometimes small and compact dogs. The square head and the large, protruding ears are particularly striking. These give the popular dog breed a special appearance. The muzzle is short and many dogs exhibit an underbite. In most cases, the French bulldog has no tail or a very short tail.

How big does a French bulldog get?

The French bulldog can reach a height of 25 to 30 centimeters at the withers.

Training and keeping the French bulldog – this is important to note

Like any other breed, the Frenchie puppy needs consistent training right from the start. The greatest danger here, however, is that dog owners will succumb to the charm of the little Frenchman. It is therefore important to agree before the puppy moves into the family, whether the newcomer may, for example, be allowed on the sofa or in bed. Once you have gotten the bully used to something, or let it get away with it, it is difficult to re-educate him. The French bulldog has a little stubborn head that she can use in a targeted manner.

Nevertheless, the French bulldog is quite easy to train and is therefore also suitable for dog beginners. The breed is basically very affectionate and people-oriented, but if the puppy gets used to it from the start, he can easily be left alone for several hours. Since it is a fairly small dog, it can be kept in the city apartment without any problems. The Bully is happy to have a garden, but this is not absolutely necessary for keeping this breed.

Are French Bulldogs Aggressive?

Although the French bulldog is descended from the English bulldog, which was formerly used for dogfighting, the dog breed does not have aggressive traits. On the contrary: Frenchies are particularly lovable and peaceful companion dogs.

Diet of the French Bulldog

Care should be taken when feeding this breed as the French Bulldog is prone to food allergies. If the dog shows skin irritations and scratches itself regularly, this can be due to the food. In this case, the diet should be discussed with the veterinarian and changed. Even if the dog is increasingly suffering from flatulence, it is worth looking for another food. To avoid allergies, a grain-free diet is often advised for this breed. If you pick up your puppy from the breeder, you should definitely seek advice from them and not change or rearrange the food arbitrarily.

In order not to restrict the dogs’ freedom of movement, care should be taken to ensure that the bully does not become overweight. Among other things, this could also affect a misalignment of the limbs, which can cause pain in the dog in the long term.

Health – life expectancy & common diseases

French bulldog health is a touchy subject. What is certain is that this breed has become a veritable fashion dog in recent years. Unfortunately, the consequence of this will be carried out on the dogs and can be characterized by a clear overbreeding.

A related trend with health implications is the breeding of bullies with extremely short muzzles. Here one also speaks of torture breeding in the form of brachycephaly or short-headedness. This is a deformation of the head and skull, which is hereditary. The deformation of the head has been deliberately influenced by breeding to make the animals look cuter. This has serious consequences for the little French, who can increasingly suffer from breathing problems up to and including shortness of breath. It is therefore important to choose the right breeder so that the bully can also have the necessary quality of life. Care should be taken to ensure that the parent animals do not have a deep-set nose or closed nostrils and do not make any noise when breathing.

Caution should also be exercised when temperatures are high, as the breed has great difficulty intolerance of the summer heat. The dog should always have enough drinking water and a place in the shade, otherwise, it could run the risk of heatstroke. In winter, on the other hand, the dog may need to be protected from the cold with appropriate “clothing”, as it quickly begins to freeze due to the short fur. Frenchies’ eyes and skin are also sensitive and allergies can easily be triggered. Excessive climbing of stairs should also be avoided with this breed, otherwise, the dogs are easily prone to back problems.

How old do French bulldogs get?

Bullies have a life expectancy of 10 to 14 years.

French bulldog care

The Frenchies’ coat care is particularly unproblematic due to their short, smooth coat. However, it is important to note that the breed is prone to shedding. In this case, it is worth regularly brushing the dog with a combing glove to comb out the loose hair.

The small folds of skin on the bully’s face give him a particularly cute expression and should be washed clean from time to time to prevent irritation and inflammation. The large ears should also be cleaned regularly. As dogs are prone to allergies, the skin folds and paws should be checked more often as a precaution.

When is a French bulldog fully grown?

Most bullies are fully grown from the age of 11 to 13 months.

The French Bulldog – Activities, and Training

The French bulldog is neither a marathon runner nor a gifted hiker. But that doesn’t mean she’s lazy and unmotivated. On the contrary: These dogs also want to be kept busy and mentally stimulated. Intelligence toys or retrieval exercises are particularly suitable here because Frenchies are particularly curious and willing to learn. They love to be confronted with new tasks and retain their pronounced play instinct into old age.

In addition, these dogs also enjoy leisurely walks in the forest or ball games in the field or in the garden. Due to their body shape and short nose, they are not suitable for agility or other dog sports. In addition, they are not gifted swimmers. In return, he could like the training in the dog school all the more. Here he can be confronted with new tasks and situations.

All in all, the best way to make the Bully happy is by allowing him to accompany his owner everywhere.

Good to know: Peculiarities of the French bulldog

The French bulldog is a fashion dog and has been very trendy for a number of years. Seemingly everywhere you look you can find accessories and clothing with the motif of the lively dogs. Their bat ears and cute snout make them particularly recognizable.
Hugh Jackman, Madonna, and many other celebrities own the bright French bulldogs.

How much does a French bulldog cost?

Since the French bulldog is prone to some diseases, the breeder should be chosen carefully. A Frenchie from serious and responsible breeding costs between $1300 and $1600.

Disadvantages of the French Bulldog

There is not much to fault about this lovable dog with a strong personality. Nevertheless, a serious disadvantage of this breed is certainly its overbreeding, which is associated with increased health restrictions in the animals. When choosing a breeder, extreme caution is required with Frenchies. In any case, you should pay attention to the state of health of the dog’s parents, so that hereditary diseases can be ruled out.

Many people are not willing to pay such a high price for puppies and are easily seduced by cheaper dogs from dubious breeding. This has clear consequences for breeding and above all the quality of life of the individual dogs. The word “torture breeding” is often associated with bullies. Dogs’ noses should become shorter and shorter and their physique more compact. Many dogs showed physical ailments and suffered from the consequences of intensive breeding. In the meantime, however, more seriousness seems to be getting into the breeding of French bulldogs. Many breeders are realizing that dog owners care more about the health and well-being of their dogs than a short nose or big wide eyes.

Another disadvantage is that the dogs lose a lot of hair in the warm seasons.

Is the French Bulldog right for me?

The French Bulldog is a bright, lovable dog that needs a lot of attention. The breed is particularly affectionate and cuddly. Even if the upbringing of the little French is rather unproblematic, the purchase of this dog should of course be well considered. Because even if the French bulldog appears small and compact, it is not “just” a lap dog. Although they love to cuddle with their master for hours, these dogs also need exercise and exercise.

Before buying a dog, it should be considered whether the animal can be given enough time and space. The French bulldog is a dog for young and old. It is suitable for families, single people, or seniors. It is important that the master spends enough time with them.

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