French Bulldog information and care

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a French Bulldog
A French Bulldog

The French bulldog, or Frenchie, is a sturdy, compact dog breed with a large head, short snout, and bat-like ears. This breed is lively, lovable, and playful. The French bulldog is a distant relative of the English bulldog; the two share some characteristics but are distinct dog breeds.

Overall, the French bulldog is a cute, affectionate dog that makes a wonderful pet for all kinds of families. Their small size means they can do well in smaller homes, but they are more sturdy than the average small dog. This is a loyal and intelligent breed that typically gets along well with children and other animals. The Frenchie is truly a joyful and friendly companion.

Breed Overview




11 to 13 inches


19 to 28 pounds

Coat and Color:

Short, smooth coat in brindle, fawn, white, or combination of brindle and white or fawn and white

Life Expectancy:

10 to 12 years

Characteristics of the French Bulldog

Affection LevelHigh
Exercise NeedsLow
Energy LevelMedium
Tendency to BarkMedium
Amount of SheddingMedium
A French Bulldog

History of the French Bulldog

Controversy surrounds the French bulldog's origins, but the breed undoubtedly originated from the English bulldog. It is believed by many that the English bulldog was bred down in size and then brought to France, where the French bulldog was developed over time. There were many toy English bulldogs around the time that were displaced from England to France and it is thought they took the small dogs with them.

A distinguishing feature of the French bulldog is its bat-like ears, as opposed to the rose-shaped ears of the English bulldog. French fanciers of the toy English bulldogs readily accepted those that had erect ears, which were considered less desirable in England. It is possible that other breeds contributed to the bloodlines of the French bulldog, perhaps including terrier and pug.

French bulldogs became popular with society women in the United States in the late 1800s. The breed standard of the French Bull Dog Club of America was written to say that erect bat ears were the correct ear type.

The French bulldog has always been known as a beloved companion and quite the lap dog. The breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1898 and has gradually become more popular since then, rising to a top 10 breed in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States.

French Bulldog Care

Frenchies are smooth-coated dogs that tend to shed at a moderate rate. The breed requires little more than basic routine grooming, including weekly brushing. They lose their undercoat in the spring and fall and you may want to brush them more during those times. If your Frenchie is prone to skin issues, then regular baths and ear cleaning may help. The deep skin folds might need a little attention to rid them of debris using a damp cloth or baby wipe, followed by being thoroughly dried.

Trim your dog's nails every couple of weeks to keep them from cracking or splitting. Promote your dog's oral hygiene by brushing its teeth at least twice a week. This can help prevent gum infections and dental problems.

Frenchies are smart and willing to learn. They also tend to be food-motivated, which can help with training. Proper training is very important and will help strengthen the bond between you and your dog. Socialization is equally important so your Frenchie will be well-adjusted to his environment. Take your puppy to training and socialization classes as soon as they are ready so the dog will learn commands and to be more comfortable around other dogs and new people.

In general, the Frenchie is more lapdog than a jogging partner. Routine exercise is still recommended, but use caution: this breed can easily overheat due to its short, stubby nose and potential airway problems. Daily exercise is very important, but don't overdo it.

These dogs can be difficult to housetrain. Crate training is one way to address this problem and is recommended by the AKC.

If raised together with a cat or dog, they may be able to coexist, but some Frenchies will chase cats and other small pets. A Frenchie who hasn't been socialized to other pets may show aggression towards dogs of the same sex. A Frenchie can show jealousy and competition in a multi-dog household. Most French bulldogs are friendly with children. But if you are adopting a rescue dog, you must discuss the dog's history to find out whether the dog had problems around children or other pets.

French bulldogs will usually only bark when there is something that truly needs your attention, which can make them a good choice for an apartment setting. Be aware that your Frenchie will crave your company and won't do well if left alone for long periods each day.

Take extra precautions when traveling with your dog to ensure your Frenchie doesn't overheat. Never leave your dog unattended in a vehicle. The French Bulldog Rescue Network notes that if air travel is required, your Frenchie should ride with you in a carrier in the passenger compartment. They also note that Frenchies are poor swimmers and you will need to supervise them around a pool or other water sources.

portrait of a French Bulldog
Portrait Of A French Bulldog
side profile of a French Bulldog
Side Profile Of A French Bulldog
Closeup of a French Bulldog's fur
Closeup Of A French Bulldog's Fur

Common Health Problems

Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. Some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed. The following are some conditions to be aware of:

french bulldogs as pets illustration
French Bulldogs As Pets Illustration

Diet and Nutrition

Your Frenchie should be fed two meals a day of up to 3/4 cup of dry dog food per meal. The amount your dog needs will depend on size, activity level, age, and other factors. Be sure to monitor your dog's weight as obesity can shorten a dog's life. Discuss your dog's nutritional needs with your veterinarian to get recommendations.

  • Friendly and affectionate

  • Good family pet

  • Infrequent barkers

  • Can easily overheat

  • Cannot partake in a lot of running/exercise or high-intensity activities

  • Poor swimmers

Where to Adopt or Buy a French Bulldog

There are French bulldog breeders located nationwide. Be sure to work with someone that has verified medical records and references.

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

If you think the French bulldog could be the right dog for you, be sure to do plenty of research before adopting one. Talk to other Frenchie owners, reputable breeders, and rescue groups to learn more.

If you are interested in similar breeds, look into these to compare:

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