French Bulldog Breed Information: 13 Reasons We Love Them!

The French Bulldog is one of the most iconic dog breeds of the 21st century.

These brilliant dogs are taking America (and Instagram) by storm; surging in popularity over the past two decades to become the 4th most popular breed in the states.

Loved by all who meet them, French Bulldogs are everyone’s favorite toy breed.

Friendly, mischievous and funny, it is impossible not to be completely captivated by these amazing little canines.

One of the most popular dogs in America, this breed has become synonymous with cute Instagram photos and funny dog videos, but, what is there to know about them?

Here are 13 must know facts about this breed which makes use love them even more!

13. The French Bulldog Has Erect Bat Ears

French Bulldog
A French Bulldog’s Erect Bat Ears

The French Bulldog Club of America was the first club or association to specify “erect bat ears” on their breed standard (as opposed to the “rose ears” seen on English Bulldogs).

Frenchies are easily spotted by their adorable bat ears, flat faces, large ears, small barrel like body and short tails.

They are distinct from other brachycephalic (i.e. flat faced) breeds because of their larger than life personalities.

French Bulldogs come in many different colors including: blue, white, cream, fawn and black. Markings and patterns can include: brindle, piebald, black and/or white markings.

12. Their History Can Be Traced To The 17th Century

French Bulldog Dog Breed
This breed can be traced back as far as Ancient Greece.

Spread throughout the world by traders in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Bulldog-type breed was particularly popular companion in England.

This trader migration happened due to the industrial revolution. Displaced traders, in industries such as lace, re-located from England to France in an attempt to continue their trade. English traders would take their Bulldog-type dog with them.

By 1860, there were very few toy-sized Bulldogs remaining in the UK, the majority of them had moved to France with their industrialist owners.

Once in France, these dogs mated with the local French dogs (known at the time as ratters), and the Bouledogue Francais was born, or French Bulldog in English.

Bouledoge Francais were thought to be a highly fashionable breed.

Because of their status, they quickly became very popular with wealthy women in America. It was common to spend summer vacations in France and then catch sight of this breed and bring it back to America after their vacation was over.

11. Frenchies Are Cute and Cuddly

French Bulldog Chewing

Anyone who knows this breed will say they are cute and cuddly, with unique and comedic personalities. Nicknamed clown dogs, they are known as the entertainers of the household they live in.

According to their breed standard, French Bulldogs must be agreeable, comfortable and adaptable.

This breed is a companion animal through and through, they enjoy spending time with their owners, especially if that time involves curling up on their owner’s lap and sleeping out the day.

A French Bulldog loves to be where its warm and comfortable. Be that in bed, on the couch, or even a sunny spot on the floor.

These dogs love to spend time with their owners and, as a result, don’t do well when apart from them.

If you are planning to adopt this dog, you should make sure you have plenty of time for them. They can develop separation related issues (i.e. separation anxiety) if they are left on their own for too long or too regularly.

10. They Are Lazy

French Bulldog Puppy Sleeping

French Bulldogs are not known as a particularly active breed. In fact, most owners report spending more time trying to convince their dog to go for a walk than actually walking!

These dogs only need between 25 and 30 minutes of exercise each day. Ideally this should be spread across two shorter walks around the neighborhood.

Once at the park, French Bulldogs are quite happy to have a potter around a play with the dogs before heading home after short bursts of play.

Owners should be careful to ensure their dog does not overheat during exercise. Their flatter faces mean they will struggle to breathe. Consequently, you should take precautions to ensure they remain cool, by only allowing them short romps in the park and ensuring lots of water is available for them.

Similar to other brachycephalic breeds, there is a danger of this breed developing tracheal collapse if walked regularly on a collar. This is due to the pressure on their necks should they choose to continuously pull.

Consequently, Frenchies should always be walked on a correctly fitting harness.

9. Some Wear Boots!

French Bulldog Wearing Boots

Because this breed does not do well in cold weather or cold climates, their feet can get frostbite on the cold sidewalk.

Consequently they need correctly fitting boots to protect their paws from the cold.

Their shorter coat does not keep them warm enough. They are prone to getting cold in cooler temperatures and so may require a coat in the winter months.

8. Most Love To Eat

On average, this dog needs 1.5 to 2.5 cups of kibble each day.

The French Bulldog loves to eat. With their cute faces, it can be very hard not to spoil them. However, these dogs need a healthy and balanced diet and cannot be snacking on human food.

Whatever die-type (i.e. raw, wet or dry) you choose to feed your dog, be sure to keep his eyes, ears and nose clean:

  • If you are feeding wet or raw food, pay close attention to keeping their skin clear on their face. If his face is not regularly cleaned, food can be caught in the folds of skin (or even the nose) and begin to decompose.
  • If feeding dry food, it is important to ensure that none gets stuck up their nose.

7. French Bulldog Puppies Are Expensive

Three French Bulldog Puppies
Three Frenchie Puppies Sitting Together

French Bulldog puppies are very popular. On average, these puppies cost between $1,500 and $3,000 USD with a typical price being around $2,000 USD.

As this breed has numerous issues associated with breeding (e.g. artificial insemination and cesarean section), purchasing a puppy can be an expensive and difficult endeavor. Their narrower hips make it quite difficult for them to reproduce. It is incredibly difficult for females to give birth in a safe way, as these narrow hips make a natural birth difficult. Consequently, they will need to give birth via cesarean section.

There are many unreliable breeders producing these puppies in unethical conditions. Consequently, any prospective owner should be careful to choose one from a responsible breeder.

One of the best ways to ensure that the breeder you are purchasing from is responsible is to purchase from an officially registered breeder. The French Bulldog Club of America has a registered breeder service too.

If you would prefer to adopt a Frenchie, the French Bulldog Rescue Network rescues and rehomes this dog. As a result of their popularity, there is a regular adoption rate in local shelters too.

6. Their Lifespan Is 10 To 14 Years Old

Black French Bulldog

On average, French Bulldogs live for between 10 and 14 years.

Despite having a relatively long lifespan, and a cheery temperament, this breed is prone to several health issues. Major health issues to be aware of include:

  • Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome
  • Eye Disorders
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Skin Conditions

Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome

This disease is characterized by the shorter snout in flatter faced breeds. Symptoms are somewhat variable, milder symptoms include snoring and wheezing.

More severe cases will be identifiable by serious breathing problems. It is possible to manage dogs with Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome, regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight is beneficial. Surgery to widen the nasal cavity is also an option.

Eye Disorders

Due to their flatter faces, a French Bulldog’s eyes are prone to protruding from their skull. Because of this appearance, they are susceptible to numerous eye conditions, including cherry eye, dry eye, Pigmentary keratitis and eye ulcers.

Many owners should be aware of the potential for injury, and their eyes should be cleaned regularly.

Skin Conditions

Their ears will need regular cleaning to remove gunk and other debris.

Using hot water and a cotton ball, gently clean their ears. If left uncleaned, ear infections can develop which can cause lots of discomfort for your pet.

Hip Dysplasia

As a result of their triangular body shape French Bulldogs are prone developing hip dysplasia. This is where the dogs hip joints don’t sit correctly within the joint, causing discomfort whilst moving.

Because of all their potential health issues, insurance for this breed can be quite expensive. On average, it costs $90 USD per month to insure.

5. French Bulldogs Have Wrinkly Skin

Despite their short coat, this breed does have an intense grooming routine. Their coats shed rather regularly (and heavily). As a result, owners should lightly brush them twice a week to remove loose hairs.

A French Bulldog needs bathing infrequently as dog shampoo will strip his skin of natural oils and cause it to dry out. Try to bathe him every few months using a hypoallergenic dog shampoo (or you can make your own).

When bathing, try popping a cotton ball in their ear to soak up any water that accidentally splashes in there.

Their wrinkly skin can harbor dirt and debris. To prevent irritation and/or infection run a wet, warm cloth over him to wipe them down.

Due to their small stature and flatter face, this breed is prone to dental diseases. As a result, owners should brush their dog’s teeth as often as they will permit. This type of handling can be trained from puppyhood through positive reinforcement.

4. They Have A Simple Nature

French Bulldog Running On The Beach
French Bulldog Running On The Beach

French Bulldogs have many brilliant qualities, however the ability to pick up new information quickly is not one of them.

As a breed, they are notoriously slow learners, and so anyone who attempts to train them will need to be patient and confident.

In terms of training requirements, this breed is a big barker. You will need to put some preventative barking measures in place from when you adopt them.

Due to their flatter faces, and lower exercise requirements, it is unlikely you will be able to train them in any sort of canine sport.

These cheeky chaps are happy learning basic obedience and not much more.

One aid you can use to help with training your dog is a clicker. These handy devices act as a communicative tool, when paired with food, acts as a signal to your pooch that you are doing the right thing.

3. This Breed Is The 4th Most Popular Dog In America

French Bulldogs became the pinnacle of high society when they were first showed at the Westminster Dog Show in 1897. This was before they were a Kennel Club approved breed.

Shortly after this, the formal breed standard was written and they were accepted, ranking as the 11th most popular breed at the time.

Now this breed is the 4th most popular dog in America and is popular all around the world.

2. The French Bulldog Is Classified As A Toy Breed

Fawn French Bulldog

Their breed standard was finalized by the French Bulldog Club of America between 1897 and 1906.

In terms of weight, they should weigh up to 28 pounds. Males weigh between 20 and 28 pounds and females weigh between 16 and 24 pounds.

1. They Are Gentle With Kids

Frenchies are known to be a very patient and peaceful dog, living harmoniously with other pets and people.

They spend a lot of their time snoozing on a comfy spot on the couch and do very well with another dog to cuddle up to.

This breed is known for their playful nature; they are not as boisterous as other bull breeds, and hence make a good match for homes with children.

Is The French Bulldog Right For You?

They can be quite low maintenance dogs and so make great companions for all: seniors, singles, couples or even families with your children.

Known for being an affectionate and loving dog, this toy breed makes a great match for most families.

Their lower exercise requirements mean they are suitable for those who are unable to get out as much and their smaller size means they do not need a huge yard to run around in.

Those who own this breed must be prepared to take on their hygiene requirements, keeping their ears, eyes, nose and skin clean to prevent infection.

Do you have a fabulous French Bulldog at home? Let us know in the comments section below.

John Woods Headshot
John Woods is the Founder of All Things Dogs and leads our editorial team as our Editor in Chief. A member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, he has been a dog lover since he was 13 years old. John is parent to Nala, a working lab retriever. John has also volunteered at multiple animal shelters, where he gained firsthand experience of rehabilitation and force-free positive reinforcement training methods.
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