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The French Bulldog is a playful and adaptable miniature version of the English Bulldog. Aside from the size difference, this breed also differs from the Bulldog in appearance thanks to their large, pointy, bat-like ears. The French Bulldog originated in England, where they became popular with lace workers in Nottingham City.
Today, French Bulldogs are beloved for their cute appearance, relaxed attitude to life, and affectionate natures. This has made them one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. They are known to be free-spirited and fairly stubborn but if they have been appropriately socialised and trained, they can become loveable canine companions for families and individuals alike.
Learn more about French Bulldog Breed
Meet the French Bulldog
French Bulldogs are small, robust canines that stand between 28 and 30cm tall. Females are generally smaller than males, weighing anywhere between 7.3 and 10.8kg. Males weigh 9-12.7kg when fully grown.
Both sexes have compact, well-muscled bodies with large, square heads and heavy wrinkling above their short noses. Their large ears are characteristically bat-like and sit high and wide on the head. French Bulldogs also have large round eyes that are almost always dark in colour. Their back legs are longer than their front legs and their wide chest gives them a very stocky appearance.
French Bulldogs boast a short, silky coat that lies very close to the body. These dogs only have a single-layer coat, so they don’t do well in cold temperatures. This is why you will often see French Bulldogs wearing jackets or fleeces in the winter months. Saying that, some brindle varieties can sport a double coat.
The only coat colours accepted by the UK Kennel Club are as follows:
- Brindle: Consisting of a mixture of black and fawn hairs. White markings are allowed under the breed standard, but the brindle colour must dominate.
- Fawn: Clear fawn colouring that can be accompanied by a black mask around the eyes. Cream and red shades are available, but they are less desirable.
- Brindle-Pied: Mostly white with brindle patches.
- Pied: Predominantly white with fawn markings.
French Bulldogs can live 9-12 years if cared for properly and offered a high-quality diet that’s tailored to their needs. However, they are known to suffer from a number of health issues including hip dysplasia, intervertebral disc disease, and cleft palate, due to their unusual bone structure and short legs. As a brachycephalic breed (short-nosed), these dogs can also suffer from breathing problems. Brachycephalic syndrome is common in this breed and is characterised by a narrowing or obstruction of the airways. Dogs with this condition normally snort or snuffle as they breathe. Severe cases may require surgery to widen the nostrils or shorten palates.
The temperament of a French Bulldog
French Bulldogs love to play regular games with the family, which is one of the reasons why they have become so popular as pets. When they are not playing, you will usually find a French Bulldog snoozing on the sofa without a care in the world.
These adorable dogs thrive on human contact and form strong bonds with their family members. For this reason, these dogs do not do well when left alone for long periods. So, they are best suited to families where someone is home for most of the day.
French Bulldogs don’t generally bark a lot, but they will alert you if a visitor is approaching your home. So, they make great little watchdogs. However, they can be a bit challenging to train at times. The key to successfully training a French Bulldog is to make training sessions fun with games, activities, and fuss. These dogs are freethinkers, so if they decide they don’t want to do something, there’s nothing you can do to change their minds! They can also be a bit mischievous at times, so they need an owner with a firm but gentle hand, to prevent them from becoming dominant or territorial.
These dogs don’t require a large amount of room or exercise, so they are suitable for apartment living. Up to one hour of exercise per day is all that’s needed for this breed. However, bear in mind that they can have breathing problems so keep walks short. Multiple short walks a day with long rest breaks in between are ideal.
10 reasons to add a French Bulldog to your family
- They make wonderful family companions – These dogs love people! They get along well with children of all ages thanks to their small size and gentle demeanour. If you work from home, they will happily curl up at your feet for hours, until it’s time for a walk or feed.
- They are adaptable – These dogs have an easy-going approach to life. They will be just as happy in a small apartment as they would be in a large country home. As long as they receive all the cuddles and fuss they need.
- They are cuddly – French Bulldogs, or Frenchie's as they are affectionately known, love to curl up with their owners with some one-on-one snuggle time. These dogs were bred specifically to be human companions, so they thrive on affection and attention.
- They don’t need a lot of exercise – Frenchie's will be more than happy with a couple of 15–20-minute walks a day. The rest of the time they will be content snoozing the day away or playing fun games with the family.
- They are fun-loving and comical to be around – If you ask any French Bulldog owner to describe their canine companion, the majority will define them as mischievous goofballs. These happy, go-lucky dogs love life and will entertain you daily with their silly antics.
- They are not big barkers – Frenchie's generally don’t bark unless there is something to bark about. Although, of course, there are exceptions to the rule! This makes these dogs the ideal canine companions for apartment living.
- They are very social – French Bulldogs get along well with other companion animals, from cats to hamsters. They are also generally affectionate toward strangers and other children.
- They make good guard dogs – These muscular little canines will alert you to any danger because they are incredibly protective of their families.
- They are very intelligent – These dogs are clever, alert, and eager to please, which makes training them a joy.
- They are laid-back – These dogs don’t stress about life. They will happily curl up for hours at a time as long as you are nearby.
Best homes for a French Bulldog
French Bulldogs will do well in a range of home environments. They are particularly popular with city dwellers due to their small size and quiet, calm nature. They love playing with children of all ages and get along well with other animals, including other dogs.
French Bulldogs do not like to be left alone for long periods because they are highly people orientated. So, they are not suitable for people who spend hours out of the house at a time. These dogs need constant attention to be happy, so you need to ensure you have plenty of time to devote to these adorable little canines.