French Bulldog - all about the breed

The Beagle

Compact, quiet, expressive, charming.

The French bulldog just hit #1 on the popularity charts in the UK, surpassing the Labrador, a breed that had held first position for thirty years.

While the Labrador is still the most popular breed in the United States, the French bulldog has surged in popularity there too, reaching #4.

Famous Frenchies

Frenchies have received a lot of exposure recently. Reese Witherspoon has Pepper, Lady Gaga has Asia Kinney, the Beckhams have Scarlet and Hugh Jackman has Dali. French bulldogs have also been the pet of choice for Leonardo DiCaprio, Hilary Duff, Madonna, Martha Stewart and Michael Phelps amongst others.

They’ve appeared in commercials (Sketchers), television programs (Modern Family) and movies (Bringing Down the House, Due Date, Secondhand Lions).

Thanks to social media, French bulldogs have become celebrities in their own right. Mannie-the-Frenchie leads the way with his 1.1 million Instagram followers!

Mannie the French Bulldog
Mannie the French Bulldog has over 1 million Instagram followers

Positive Traits of the French Bulldog

It’s easy to see what all the fuss is about.

  • The French bulldog with his big bat ears and comical expressions, makes a great companion, especially for city dwellers.
  • French bulldogs have compact muscular bodies, which makes them rather portable.
  • They are relatively quiet, which is great for city apartments.
  • They don’t require a lot of outdoor exercise.
  • They have short easy-care coats.
  • They have quite a good life span at 10 – 12 years but you can maximize it by following the veterinary-designed longevity diet.
  • They are affectionate, expressive and charming.
French bulldogs
French bulldogs keeping cool

Negative Traits of the French Bulldog

No one’s perfect.

  • French bulldogs can be stubborn which makes them a challenge to train. But start early, be persistent and patient, and use healthy dog treats as incentive. Make sure the treats are tiny and low-calorie. You don’t want to end up with a well-trained but fat Frenchie.
  • All short-faced breeds like the French bulldog will snore, snuffle, grunt and pass wind. They can’t help it. The short snout means they gulp air when they eat, and what goes in must come out. Commercial pet food can make it worse due to the high level of fiber. This high protein home made dog food will help.
  • Frenchies are not good swimmers. Due to their large head and small bodies they risk drowning if they fall into a pool.
  • French bull dogs can be slow to house break. Four to six months is not unusual. 
French bulldog
Short-faced breeds like the French bulldog snore, snuffle and pass wind.

French Bulldog Health Issues and Breeders

Popularity has a down side when rogue breeders see an opportunity to cash in. French bulldogs, like many purebreds, are predisposed to certain health issues including eye, ear and skin conditions.

As a brachycephalic (short-nosed breed), Frenchies are predisposed to breathing difficulties, especially during exercise and when they become over heated. Breathing troubles are also exaggerated if dogs become overweight. Check our dog breed chart for ideal weights.

Responsible registered breeders of French Bulldogs (such as Kennel Club Assured Breeders) account for these issues by supplying the buyer with information on the pup’s parents. Whenever possible you should always meet the pup’s parents so you can see for yourself that there are no exaggerated features, such as an overly short snout, that might cause health problems.

French Bulldog puppies
French Bulldogs are charismatic and compact.

History of the French Bulldog

French bulldogs were actually first bred in England as a miniature bulldog, but lacemakers took them to France where the breed became fashionable among society ladies, prostitutes, artists, writers and the general bohemian crowd.

French Bulldog
French Bulldogs have become one of the most popular breeds.

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