Description: The funny French Bulldogs are small, heavy boned dogs, with a compact constitution. Their bat ears, forehead wrinkles and short muzzle make them look inquisitive, intelligent and alert.
The breed it said to have appeared around 1800's, when the English lace workers who went to work in France wanted to take with them their pets, the smaller English Bulldogs. In the north of France, the breeders crossed them with French Terriers, and so, a new breed appeared, "le Bouledogue Français", the French bulldog.
The breed was meant to be a lap dog and it still is now. Only seeing its face makes your day. And who wouldn't want a smile or a good laugh, just looking at his best friend ?
Group: Utility, Non-sporting.
Height: 12 inches (30-31 cm); Weight 11-13 kg (24-28 lbs).
Temperament: The Frenchy is an affectionate, well behaved and adaptable little dog. It has a wonderful disposition, even if its appearance is very "serious", it is a boisterous little clown.
The French bulldogs crave for attention and, if they feel they do not receive enough of it, they tend to become destructive and jealous. This is why a family with well-behaved children that include them into daily activities will suit perfectly.
They love so much to be pampered, that they will accept to be dressed and undressed by smaller children, just to be the center of attention. They can live in an apartment, as they do not need much exercise (a maximum of 20 minutes a day), but they'll enjoy a short daily walk on a leash, otherwise they tend to become obese.
Smaller children should be watched when playing with the dog, because the small size of the dog make the child wrongly appreciate that he can lift it up. But, in general, the Frenchies are funny, playful dogs suited as companions for families, as well as for single, elder persons.
Health: The main health issue in French Bulldogs is obesity. Taking into account that they don't exercise much, and seeing a Frenchie on its short legs, you do not feel like running it all over the place. They tend to sleep and eat all day long. With obesity, they have back problems and heart diseases.
As well, being flat faced, the breathing is somewhat restricted, this is why letting a dog in the heat or exercising him too much in hot (or cold) wet weather might end in the death of the dog. This is why is very important for the French bulldogs to live indoors and to have water and shade all the time.
Other genetic ailments are the von Willebrand disease, a bleeding syndrome similar to haemophilia in humans, cleft palate (case in which the dogs are put down at birth) and megaesophagus, that generates regurgitation after eating or exercising.
Maintenance/Grooming: Taking into account the short coat of the French bulldog, the maintenance is very easy. A rubber brush to remove loose hairs will be enough, even if the dog does not shed too much. A greater attention should be paid to the wrinkles of the face and the muzzle in order to keep them clean.
Training: Being bred out of terrier breeds, the French bulldogs might inherit the aggressiveness of the terriers. Being intelligent and alert, the training is easy, but it must be started at an early age, otherwise the dog tends to become a coach potato who believes that everybody in the house is there to serve him.
Their funny face might make you forgive a lot of their misobedience, but consistent obedience training is a must.
Breeding, puppies: Their large skulls make the birth difficult, that's why more and more French bulldog breeders prefer cesarean sections. Sometimes, the short legs and muscular constitution make even breeding difficult, and the breeders take into account artificial insemination of the bitches.
The French bulldog litters may vary from 3 to 5 puppies.
Varieties: The Frenchies can come in a variety of colours, the brindle, fawn, pied and white being the most frequent. The AKC consider disqualifications "solid black, mouse, liver, black and tan, black and white, and white with black".
Famous dogs: The fatman's dog in "Jake and the Fatman" TV series is a French bulldog.
For French bulldog pictures, click here.