Playfully nicknamed the Frenchie, the French Bulldog is charming and well-mannered, so it is no surprise they are the 6th most popular dog breed in the U. S. Not to be confused with the English Bulldog, the Frenchie has been popular with high society since the 1800s. If you think this famed dog breed is the right one for you, here is what you need to know.
A Little History
Formerly known as the Bouledogue Français, the French Bulldog’s past is colored with shades of controversy. In the mid-1800s, French and English women were both fond of small bulldogs, but with one distinct difference. The English preferred soft, folding ears that resembled rose petals, while the French favored ears which were disproportionately large and upright, like those of a bat. In 1898, the French Bulldog was recognized by the AKC after gaining popularity among French elites and visiting Americans. By 1913, they dominated US dog shows, and today their signature bat ears distinguish them from their English counterparts all around the world.
What are French Bulldogs Like?
Frenchies are sweet, people-pleasing clown dogs that love to cuddle. They enjoy playing and entertaining, and are known for a generally even disposition. While they can be difficult to train, a little patience goes a long way. Nevertheless, they’re great for first-time pet parents, especially city-dwellers and those that travel frequently. If you have children, it is best to introduce them while the Frenchie is a puppy, and while it may be a cliché, Frenchies and cats do not always get along. If you have a pool, you should know that Frenchies do not swim!
At just 13 inches high, the French Bulldog belongs to the non-sporting group. They are muscular and wide with a low center of gravity, weighing as much as 27 pounds. They are brachycephalic, meaning they have wide heads and short statures. The loose skin around their head and shoulders forms wrinkles, giving them an alert and curious expression. Their smooth coats are made of fine, short hair, and can be brindle, fawn, white, black, and on rare occasion blue! You won’t need to worry about your French Bulldog shedding, though twice each year they recycle their undercoat. It’s not uncommon for Frenchies to drool, snore, and wheeze, and many insist that is part of their charm. Litters typically yield 3 to 5 puppies, and nearly all Frenchies are delivered via Caesarean section.
Caring for French Bulldogs
Frenchies require very little exercise, so a leashed walk around the neighborhood is usually all they need. While you will not need to brush your Frenchie’s coat often, you will need to ensure their facial wrinkles are kept clean and dry. An occasional bath and brushing will promote new hair growth, but you will not need to trim or strip their coats. Frenchies do not like hot, humid weather, and they are not suited for outdoor living, so they will need a cool and comfortable home indoors. Frenchies need between 1 and 2 cups of dry food each day, and do not forget to brush their teeth!
Most Frenchies live between 9 and 11 years, and are prone to breathing problems. Their most common major medical issues are Brachycephalic Syndrome, Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD), Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD), and allergies1. They are heat-sensitive and tend to respond poorly to anesthesia. You should also monitor their food consumption, since they are prone to obesity.
On average, breeders charge $2,050 to adopt a French Bulldog, but you’ll also need to spend around $540 on supplies, initial veterinary expenses (vaccines, spay/neuter, exams, etc.) and insurance. After that, each additional year can cost about $650.00. Treatment for IVDD can cost between $2,500 and $7,000, while treatment for CHD is slightly less expensive, between $1,500 and $6,000. With a propensity for these medical conditions, a Pet Insurance Policy from 4Paws Insurance can help to offset burdensome veterinary expenses.
Sandy Says: Comments from our Chief Pet Officer
Frenchies are compact, affectionate and adaptable pets. Their adorable ears and curious sounds make them irresistible to almost anyone. If you are looking for a cozy companion, these little guys make the perfect cuddle buddies. There’s a reason that, since 2013, this breed has continued to rise among the American Kennel Club’s top ten breeds. However, be aware that they are prone to obesity. I recommend finding a great quality dog food and to monitor their weight closely.