french bulldog

French Bulldog: Breed Profile, Health, and History

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The French Bulldog, or Frenchie, is a small yet very muscular dog. Built like a little tank, Frenchies are so much more than just miniature Bulldogs.

We love them so much we had to profile them. That and because we’re seeing them around more and more… tempting our purse strings with every doe-eyed look. They’re adorable, to say the least.

Read this French Bulldog article to find out more about where these hardy companions originated from, what they love and hate, and what health issues you need to watch out for.

Where the Frenchie originated

Frenchies aren’t a very old breed, at least when compared to breeds like the Pug. And while there’s some controversy in their history, it seems clear they came from the English Bulldog.

The story starts in the early 1800s. At that time, lace workers from England were setting off to find work in France. They brought their small Bulldogs with them to their new farms because they’re so good at getting rid of rats and who can blame them.

French Bulldogs were seen as a fashionable household companion kept by upper class and royalty. One Frenchie even traveled aboard the Titanic! So Pug owners aren’t the only ones with bragging rights; these majestic furballs have been furkids to many a royal person.

french bulldog

French Bulldog physical appearance

These canines are smaller than their Bulldog predecessors, while still maintaining their solid stature.

The Australian National Kennel Council Sturdy quite accurately describes them as being a sturdy and compact little dog with good bones. French Bulldogs weigh around 11 to 15kgs fully grown and stand around 30cm tall.

Happily for their owners, they have a short coat, making them quite an easy dog to manage grooming. Frenchie coats can be black (with or without white), fawn or white.

How long do French Bulldogs live?

The average lifespan for a Frenchie is usually between 9 and 11 years. It’s important to remember that each dog is different and lifestyle factors can make a huge difference to their expected lifespan.

As with any dog breed, routine pet care, exercise and a good diet is all-important for longevity.

Our recommendation is to, no matter the breed of dog, ask your vet about your dog’s health, diet, and lifestyle to take a proactive approach. Being a good pet parent also means regular check ups and consultation with your vet (did you know this also helps contribute to improved vet mental health?).

French Bulldog personality and character

If you’re looking for a companion, the French Bulldog is perfect.

They’re an even-tempered house dog that truly thrives on attention. You might even find that your Frenchie becomes jealous of attention given to other family members! This often makes this dog ideal for a single-person household.

Due to their small breed and short legs they’re not very athletic and prefer to spend their days lounging around and begging for attention. Like with all dogs, it’s important that they do get some exercise; just be careful as they can overheat quickly. Exhaustion and heatstroke in pets can cause serious health issues.

Another plus is that the French Bulldog doesn’t bark a lot. They usually save their barks for when there’s a real need for it, like to alert you to something or at a moment of extreme excitement.

However, don’t let this make you believe they’re silent dogs. Frenchies will often snort and snore, but this is part of their charm.

Grooming

The French Bulldog sports a short coat that’s easy to keep clean. You’ll find they do shed from time to time but it’s not often or a lot.

When cleaning your favourite Frenchie, it’s important to clean their facial wrinkles properly to avoid skin issues or dermatitis. Dog skin conditions can be painful for both dog and owner (financially). Check out this guide to Skin and Ear Infections in French Bulldogs for more info.

Health concerns

French Bulldogs may be prone to certain genetic illnesses. This includes spinal disorders like intervertebral disc disease, eye disorders like cataracts and cherry eye, and heart conditions like dilated cardiomyopathy. Here are other condition that affect Frenchies more than some dogs:

Brachycephalic Syndrome

Typical in most of the flat-faced dog breeds, Brachycephalic Obstructive Airways Syndrome (BOAS) is a condition that affects their breathing and overall health. Read brachycephalic breeds to find out more.

As Small Animal Specialist Surgeon, Abbie Tipler, says, “The French Bulldog is the cutest breed you could ever meet. I have a special interest in treating them. The reality though – they are bred for the cute squishy faces and not for health.”

If you’re hoping to get this breed, go with a registered ethical dog breeder who will have done health screening on both mum and dad dogs to reduce the likelihood of the puppies having this syndrome.

Hip dysplasia

While it’s usually more common in larger dog breeds, hip dysplasia in dogs can also affect Frenchies. We recommend regular vet visits to make sure you catch it early and seek treatment.

Is this Blue Fawn French Bulldog Puppy on grass, looking up to the sky, purebred or pedigree

Skin issues and allergies

French Bulldogs are prone to infections, allergies, and dermatitis.

Luxating patella

Basically put, this is a dislocated knee cap and can cause lameness in dogs. If it isn’t identified early it can become worse and turn into cruciate disease.

It’s very important to purchase a French Bulldog from a reputable and ethical dog breeder who conducts health screenings on their breeding dogs and takes steps to ensure the health of their puppies.

What it’s like to live with a French Bulldog

Great news if you’re a fan of French Bulldogs – they’re really happy in pretty much any household. And as mentioned, they don’t require much exercise so are suitable for city life where you often won’t have much garden space.

While they’re not going to be a good jogging companion, Frenchies do love to go for walks, and if you’re not a fan of that you can find some other great ideas on exercising your dog without walking. You’ll find Frenchies prefer to spend their time in the house, receiving all your attention.

Now that you’ve decided a French Bulldog is to be your new favourite furry companion, the next step to being a pawsome pet parent is getting dog insurance. Taking the pressure and stress of vet bills, medications and more off your plate is a great way to make sure you’re available for all the bonding a French Bulldog will demand of you.

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