French Bulldogs may look tough on the outside, but inside they are lovably soft, caring and easygoing. These dogs spread the good vibes wherever they go. Outgoing and open, they love nothing more than to cuddle on the couch, romp on the carpet or play in the yard. Boasting unlimited energy, they sometimes have no idea when (or how) to stop their motors.
But, with a Frenchie, things never get out of hand. They rarely lose their cool, snap or bark. They simply want to roll around and play.
With a tough-on-the-outside, sweet-on-the-inside demeanor, unmistakable bat-shaped ears and distinctive bow-legged gait, the French Bulldog has gained so much popularity that he’s fast becoming the city-dwellers’ dog of choice. He’s small – under 28 pounds – and has a short, easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors. He doesn’t need a great deal of exercise, fits comfortably into a condo, co-op or apartment, and is far less likely to bark than many small dogs. In fact, other than being a little pugnacious with other dogs, it would be hard to imagine a better dog for city living.
The French Bulldog should be on the short list of breeds for anyone who lives without a vast tract of suburban backyard. He’s also a good choice for those who might have trouble giving a more active breed ample exercise.
The Frenchie will make you laugh. He’s a charming, clever dog with a sense of humor and a stubborn streak. Bred for centuries as a companion, he’s very fond of people, and becomes particularly attached to his family. In fact, sometimes he becomes a little too attached, which means he’s not the best choice for someone who’ll be away long hours every day. It also means he absolutely, positively cannot live in the backyard or garage, but only indoors as a member of the family. That’s doubly true given that he, like all brachycephalic, or “flat-faced” breeds, has difficulty regulating his body temperature and needs to live in a climate-controlled environment.
The Frenchie can also be a little hard to housetrain and may not be safe with a slow-footed family cat. He also snores, which might seem like a minor problem until you’ve actually heard the dramatic sounds that can emanate from his small body.
For exercise, Frenchies jump on and off the furniture and do the “Frenchie 500” circuit through the house. A short daily walk of 15 to 20 minutes will help to keep them in shape. Schedule walks and outdoor playtime for cool mornings and evenings. Frenchies are sensitive to heat and can quickly succumb to heatstroke. This is not the breed for you if you enjoy hiking or jogging with a dog.
Breeders like to send French Bulldog puppies to their new homes when they are nine or 10 weeks old. Frenchie puppies can become unpleasant little tyrants if they don’t get to spend the optimal amount of time with their mother and littermates, learning the rules of behavior toward people and other dogs.
The French Bulldog does best in a family where someone is home most of the day. He’s not always good with small children or cats, and he can be aggressive toward dogs he doesn’t know. When a Frenchie is the right match for you, though, you’ll find it’s impossible to have just one.
- French Bulldogs do not need a lot of exercise, but they do need daily walks to keep them at a healthy weight.
- French Bulldogs do not handle heat very well and need to be monitored on hot days to ensure that they don’t overexert themselves.
- French Bulldogs can be easy to train, but they can also be stubborn. Be firm and patient when training this breed.
- If you value cleanliness the French Bulldog may not be the dog for you, since he is prone to drooling, flatulence and some shedding. He can also be difficult to housetrain.
- French Bulldogs can be a quiet breed and are not known as a breed that barks frequently although there are exceptions to every rule.
- Because they don’t tend to be excessive barkers, French Bulldogs make exceptional apartment dogs.
- Although it is important to always supervise young children and dogs when they are together, the French Bulldog does very well with children.
- French Bulldogs make wonderful watchdogs, but they can become territorial. They also like being the center of attention, which can lead to behavioral problems if they are overindulged.
- French Bulldogs are companion dogs and thrive when they have human contact. They are not a breed that can be left alone for long periods or left outside to live.
- To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store.
- French Bulldogs are restful and have minimal exercise needs, so they are a good choice for couch potatoes.
- The French Bulldog should not weigh more than 28 pounds, making him easily portable.
- French Bulldogs can be stubborn when it comes to housetraining. Be patient, be consistent, and consider the use of paper training or puppy pee pads to get around the problem (although it’s always best to get the pup outdoors).
- Frenchies snort, snore and grunt, and they are known for making other odd noises.
- Frenchies are not good swimmers and should not have access to pools, spas or other bodies of water.
The “bouldogge Francais,” as he is known in his adopted home country of France, actually originated in England, in the city of Nottingham. Small bulldogs were popular pets with the local laceworkers, keeping them company and ridding their workrooms of rats. After the industrial revolution, lacemaking became mechanized and many of the laceworkers lost their jobs. Some of them moved to France, where their skills were in demand, and of course they took their beloved dogs with them. The dogs were equally popular with French shopkeepers and eventually took on the name of their new country.