Speculation is plentiful, but in all likelihood, the French Bulldog originated from small Bulldogs brought to France by English lace workers.
The Frenchie quickly became popular with both the upper and lower classes, and allegedly Parisian call girls, as well.
Frenchies today are exemplary companions, making no apologies for choosing rest over exertion, or cuddle time over training time. The breed’s laid-back nature generally blends nicely with families with children, and French Bulldogs typically get along with other dogs (and cats if socialized).
The Frenchie is happy to live in an apartment or small house, camp in an RV or hang out on a patio. His exercise requirements are minimal—a nice daily walk will do. He might bark (or he might not if it’s naptime…) to alert owners of newcomers, but he’s typically too friendly for guard dog duty.
Frenchies must live in climate-controlled environments; they’re sensitive to hot and cold temperature extremes.
Because of their lovable nature and desire to be close companions, many French Bulldogs lack a sense of personal space. It is not uncommon to find your Frenchie crawling over your newspaper, laptop, or other pets in order to get the best placement in your lap. Because of their desire for attention and affection this is not a breed that does well left alone for long periods of time.
Training a French Bulldog requires patience; a Frenchie often has his own agenda. The breed’s stubborn streak is best addressed with a sense of humor.
Also requiring a sense of humor is the French Bulldog’s tendency to snore, pass gas, and make a variety of unusual noises. French Bulldogs have a flair for dramatics and will constantly look for new ways to express their sensitive natures and wide range of emotions.
About French Bulldogs
Superior lap warmers
Silly and stubborn, often at the same time
Should I get a French Bulldog?
Terrific for a person who:
- Doesn’t have time for long daily exercise outings.
- Wants a dog that will relax and enjoy newcomers.
Hopes for enthusiasm without boisterousness.
Think twice if you’re a person who:
- Will be disappointed if your dog is the class clown in obedience school.
- Wants a dog that’s a reliable swimmer and safe around all water.
Is easily offended by strange noises and smells
French Bulldog Grooming
Relatively low shedders, regular brushing will remove loose hairs. In between baths, wipe down the short coat with a damp cloth. Their large ears and wrinkles can collect dirt, so take extra care to keep their heads and faces clean.
The French Bulldog Standard Look
The hallmark of the French Bulldog, a close relative of the Bulldog, is the bat ear, which gives an inquiring look to its quaint, short-nosed face. The breed should appear active, intelligent, and muscular, with a compact build. Weighing less than 28 pounds, their length and height should be proportionate.
The smooth coat comes in colors of fawn or brindle, solid white, or brindle and white. Coat colors of solid black, mouse, liver, black-and-tan, black-and-white, and white with black are disqualified in the AKC show ring.
Possible Frenchie Health Concerns
Brachycephalic syndrome (palate and airway problems), skin disease, vertebral anomalies.
The Funny Frenchie
The French Bulldog may look odd with its big ears, round eyes and scrunched face, but enthusiasts say you rarely find a better pet. Though small in stature — most French Bulldogs stand several inches shorter than the English Bulldog and weigh 10 to 20 pounds less – these dogs lack the yappiness and hyperactivity of some other apartment-size dog breeds. Extremely loyal, Frenchies usually prefer to bond with one individual.
“French Bulldogs are very bully in appearance but small enough that you can tuck them under your arm and off you go!,” says Trudy Bettinger, Tea-D-Bet Frenchies, The Colony, Texas.
Most historians agree the English Bulldog spawned the smaller variety in the mid-1800s, when English breeders sold their smaller dogs in France. Postcards from the period often featured scantily clad women posing with French Bulldogs at their side, and the notoriety fueled the breed’s popularity in France.
In farming communities to the north of France, the dogs established themselves as fierce ratters and loyal companions. But the French Bulldog found its home with U.S. show dog breeders who honed some of the most predominant traits in the modern French Bulldog — the erect ears and slight lengthening of the face for easier breathing.
A short nose and restricted airways inhibit the dogs’ cooling system, so owners must beware of extremely high temperatures, which can be deadly.
Although considered the healthiest of the Bulldog breeds, the French variety sometimes suffers from genetic disease. A cleft palate, the result of the shortened face, is most common. Some French Bulldogs suffer from a dog version of hemophilia and degenerative spinal disease.
If you have a pool, be aware that the French Bulldogs’ dense body weight causes them to sink rather than swim. They should be fenced out of pool areas.