French Bulldog: the Perfect Companion Dog Breed

The irresistible charme of this French breed of companion dog or toy dog

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By Alex

french bulldog

An increasingly popular breed among small dogs is the French Bulldog or Bouledogue français. It is a small dog with the appearance of a fierce molossus, but it is actually a consummate seducer. Happy, playful, but also very sweet, a perfect companion for both children and the elderly. The French Bulldog is deeply attached to its owner and has all the characteristics you look for in a companion dog: it is a very intelligent breed, with an affectionate nature, but somewhat lazy at the same time.

However, the French Bulldog needs constant care and attention. Let’s discover its secrets in this guide.

Where does the French Bulldog come from?

The origin is one of the most controversial in the history of all dog breeds. Despite its name, this small dog is a direct descendant of the English Bulldog crossed with smaller breeds, the Terrier, in order to obtain a small, lovable dog. It is regarded as a dwarf Bulldog.

This is a long history, which I will explain in a few words. In fact, it was the English lace workers from Nottinghamshire who, during the Industrial Revolution, emigrated to France, who brought their little friends across the Channel, where these dogs later christened as bouledogues français ent into the homes of Parisian families as pet dogs. Ironically, then, the French Bouledogue has probably English origins.

It is commonly believed that it derives from some examples of English Bulldogs that were crossed with smaller dog breeds to create a smaller dog, which did not have the typical problems of the English Bulldog, including that of a skull that is too large, which makes childbirth is difficult and dangerous for females.

French bulldog puppy
French bulldog puppy

In the late 1800s this breed made its debut in the United States. The days when it would become one of the favorite companion dogs of Hollywood stars were yet to come, but soon the Frenchie – as it is known in these parts – became popular with the affluent urban classes.

Noteworthy and distinctive characteristics

It is a very companionable dog of the Molossoid type, with a lovable and affectionate character. The French Bulldog is very intelligent and extremely attached to the family, from which it always asks for care and attention.

Over the years it earned the nickname ‘little Hercules’, due to its muscles and solid physical structure

French Bulldogs thrive on human connection and affection and love to sleep curled up on the sofa or in the bed with their owners.

All about the French bulldog
The French bulldog’s funny ‘bat-like’ ears

Dimensions of the French Bulldog

An adult Frenchie’s average weight is between 18 and 40 lbs (8 / 14 kg). Males tend to weigh slightly more than females. It has an overall body length of roughly 18”-21.5” (46-55 cm), standing height of 15.5”-18.5” (39-47 cm).

How to recognize an original French Bulldog

Have you ever wondered if your dog is a real Frenchie? Simply because he has a less flat nose than other similar dogs? Or did you get the impression from some other feature? Or are you not sure that your little friend is 100% a real Bouledogue français?

Don’t worry, let’s now analyze some aspects of their morphology in more detail.

All about the French bulldog
The French bulldog: if it were up to him, he would sleep from morning to night! Better spur him to physical activity…

What are the characteristics of the French Bulldog?

Now let’s take a good look at its morphological characteristics:

  • Head: It should be strong, broad and square, with the skin covering it forming, without excess, folds and symmetrical wrinkles.
  • Skull region: Broad, almost flat from ear to ear, convex forehead. The brow arches are prominent, separated by a pronounced groove between the eyes. This groove should not extend beyond the skull. The external occipital protuberance is very underdeveloped.
  • Facial region: The head is characterized by a recessed maxillo-nasal mass and a slight to medium backward tilt of the nose. The nose is slightly upward (remouché).
  • Nose: Black, broad, convex, the nostrils well open and symmetrical, directed obliquely backward. The slope of the nostrils and the snub nose should allow normal nasal breathing.
  • Profile of the muzzle: Very short, broad, with concentrically symmetrical folds.
  • Lips: Thick and black. The upper lip joins the lower lip in the middle and completely hides the teeth. The profile of the upper lip is descending and rounded. The tongue should never be visible during rest.
  • Jaw and teeth: The jaws are wide and powerful. The lower jaw advances in front of the upper jaw and curves upward. The lower incisor arch is rounded. The jaws should show no lateral deviation or twisting. The offset of the incisor arches cannot be rigidly demarcated; the essential condition is that the upper and lower lips come together to completely hide the teeth. The lower incisors are in front of the upper incisors. The incisors and canines are sufficiently developed.
  • Eyes: Well visible, with alert expression, positioned low, sufficiently far from the nose and ears, dark in color, fairly large, rounded and showing no traces of white, when the animal looks from the front. The edge of the eyelids should be black.
  • Ears: Medium-sized, wide at the base and rounded at the top. Carried upright, but not too close together, on the head. The pinna is open toward the front. The skin should be fine and soft to the touch.
  • Neck: Short, powerful, slightly arched, widening toward the shoulder.
  • Body: The body of the French Bulldog rises gradually from the withers to the level of the loins. This shape is a characteristic of the breed. The back is broad and muscular. The trunk is short, wide and arched. The chest is cylindrical and deep (slightly below the elbow), while the ribs are well sprung (that’s why they are also called “barrel ribs”).
  • Tail: Short, ideally long enough to hide the anus, set low, rather straight thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail may be in a chignon, knotted, broken or relatively long.

French Bulldog character

An unmistakable character trait of this breed is the desire to always be cared for and pampered.

The visceral bond with his family and master also makes it an excellent guard dog, but, despite its gruff appearance, it is an adorable playful dog.

Once it identifies its companion-master it tends to defend him tenaciously and follow him wherever he goes, displaying incredible attachment. In return, of course, it demands to be the center of his attention at all times.

In fact, it loves human beings and children in particular. However, it must be kept in mind that no breed of dog should be left with very young children or unattended infants.

Although it loves greenery and outdoor runs, the French Bulldog happily stays indoors and devotes itself to its favorite activity: sleeping, preferably while being soothed by his owner’s lovable caresses. An ideal companion for those looking for a small, house dog.

It is a sociable dog, but as with all breeds, the adoption of two males is not recommended, because their cohabitation is not always harmonious. Quite surprisingly, there are no problems with cats, with which the French Bulldog gets along well (in the worst case, they will ignore each other).

Overall, it is a very good companion dog, receptive, quiet, loyal and sociable: nevertheless, it rarely gets along with other French bulldogs.

All about the French bulldog
Despite its lazy, stubborn nature, the French bulldog has excellent musculature, thanks to which it is nicknamed ‘little Hercules.’

Education and care of the French Bulldog

Being a brachycephalus (flat-faced) the French Bulldog is prone to two problems:

  • frequent respiratory problems, leading him to be prone to frequent colds and for this reason he is not suitable for competitive sports activities. The high concentration of humidity in the air tends to exacerbate these problems. It will be good to ensure him a fairly dry home climate and a bedding that is always dry and well sanitized.
  • Spine problems due to a slightly rounded back.

It should be also reminded that it is lazy by nature. Physical activity isn’t exactly its thing: better to encourage it to play and run outdoors. The Frenchies can live in a city apartment, and they tolerates loneliness, provided they are used to it and not left alone too long, because they will get bored and mess around.

This breed can make a good watchdog because, although it does not bark much, it immediately alerts its owner when unusual noises occur or when someone knocks on the door.

When together with the family, however, the French bulldog becomes incomparably playful, which makes it one of the most suitable dog breeds for children.

Hardly ever aggressive, it is temperamentally docile and balanced and endowed with a delicate liveliness. All in all, it is easily trainable as long as you do not let its innate tardiness overwhelm you. When it decides to do (or not to do) one thing it can be immovable!

On the other hand, it is a dog of fragile health and needs constant care. Anyone who has such a dog will happily tell you about the almost monthly visits to the vet. A healthy diet and preferably good quality kibble is recommended, but bear in mind that bulldogs do not tend to be overweight.

What are the greatest qualities of the French Bulldog?

It is a fun-loving, intelligent, playful, alert, sporty, highly bonded to humans, with a short coat that requires only limited maintenance. It adapts to city and country life.

What are the cons of the French Bulldog?

Those who love this breed cannot find any! This explains the enthusiasm for this type of dog, especially in the last decade. While it is easily trainable, one should not be overwhelmed by its innate testardliness. When it decides to do (or not to do) one thing it can be immovable!

Some interesting facts about the French Bulldog

Three trivia that, out of all of them, will help us learn more about the French bulldog:

  • This breed should be kept away from deep waterways. In particular, those lucky enough to have a swimming pool must be very careful. In fact, this dog is a very poor swimmer because of its physical characteristics. His compact body, short legs, and large head risk putting him underwater easily.
  • The French Bulldog hates flying. Some U.S. airlines (first Delta in 2011) have banned bulldogs from their planes following a number of deaths that have occurred during travel. An airplane trip can be very traumatic for our little French bulldog, especially if they are as delicate and prone to possible respiratory problems as this breed.
  • It is born from artificial insemination. Because of their somewhat unusual physical proportions, they have some trouble copulating. For this reason, a large proportion of French bulldogs are sired by artificial insemination. Childbirth is also not an easy time for this dog, and very often a cesarean section must be planned.

How much does a French Bulldog cost?

Let us first remember that adopting a dog into a kennel and offering it a new lease on life is the most ethical solution, the best one for everyone. Those who take care of these animals from a dog’s shelter always have our applause. However, for those who absolutely want to have a French bulldog puppy to share life with, here are some useful tips.

The cost of a purebred dog such as this varies according to its age, family tree, and the physical and character traits it inherits genetically.It ranges from aminimum of 1,000 dollars but each kennel has its own pricing policy. In addition, the quality, pedigree and titles the titles won by the parents in shows increase its value, which can reach 1,300-2,000 dollars or more

another very nice puppy
Another very nice puppy

French Bulldog Breeding

There are some golden rules for safely buying a purebred dog. It is important that the breeder show you the parents, and provide you with the health booklet of the dog.

The booklet should include vaccines against viral diseases and anti-parasite treatments given, the microchip, and a regular sales contract, in which the guarantee of the puppy’s good health is written.

There are several breeders of this breed of dog, and you can find fine specimens with remarkable pedigrees.

However, be wary of those who want to sell you a puppy through the Internet ad alone or do not want you to see the parents live but only in photos, or worse, want to give them to you as gifts. They can be stolen or with forged pedigrees (which is a criminal offense, even for the buyer).

They have to be known breeders and holders of affixes issued by local authorities.

And finally, a short video that summarizes everything for you about this nice companion dog.

French Bulldog: recommended feeding

The feeding of the French bulldog must be followed very carefully. Being a very curious and greedy dog, it will eat anything, so you have to pay attention to what is under its muzzle. This means, first and foremost, no table treats.

It should first be noted that the diet of a French bulldog -which almost completes growth during the first year of life- consists of three daily meals up to one year of age and two meals from the second year, also calibrated according to your dog’s level of activity.

Second, as with other breeds of dogs, if we choose kibble, we try to orient to quality products. Industrial food has several merits (balanced nutritional intake, easy to store and dose), but low-quality food is made with ingredients you would never want to be given to your fido.

How long does a French Bulldog live?

The average life expectancy of this dog is 9-12 years. Statistics vary, but this average is derived from different sources. For example, the American Kennel Club indicates a life expectancy of 10-12 years for French bulldogs. An informal survey by the British Kennel Club also indicates an average age of 9 years. Therefore, the typical life expectancy should be between 9 and 12 years.

The specimen that lived the longest reached just over 14,5 years.

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