French Bulldog: Why Are They Rising In Popularity?

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French Bulldog in girl's lap (caption: French Bulldog Guide)The French Bulldog is among the most popular dog breeds because they are low energy and adaptable to any home, even a small apartment. They are also comfortable living with individuals or families.

What makes this dog so lovable? We’ll go over the characteristics of this dog and what makes them a favorite among pet parents.

Article Overview

History

The French Bulldog came from England and was officially recognized in 1898 by the AKC. There is some disagreement about where this dog originated, but the popular idea is that this breed came from a dwarf version of the Bulldog crossed with a Pug and Terrier.

Did You Know…

This breed cannot reproduce naturally. Due to its narrow hips, weak hind legs and heavy build on top, male Frenchies are unable to mount females. So they must be artificially inseminated to procreate. Also, because of the breed’s large head and small hips, often the mother needs a c-section, which makes breeding expensive.

French Bulldog sitting on patio

Appearance

There are two distinct characteristics of the French Bulldog’s appearance.

  1. Bat Ears – The most obvious physical attribute is the bat ears that point straight up. These were originally supposed to be bred out and replaced with a droopy, rose ear. But, American Fanciers objected to this
  2. Wrinkly, Smushy Face – They have wrinkly, smushy faces, which gives this breed a cute older look even as a puppy.

This breed stands between 11 and 13 inches tall and weighs less than 28 pounds.

How Healthy Are French Bulldogs?

French Bulldogs have an average lifespan of 11-13 years. As with all pets, it’s important to take your Frenchie to the vet regularly for checkups and vaccines. Be sure to clean your dog’s teeth at home regularly and have the vet do regular dental checkups as well.

Due to their short faces, their breathing is less efficient than a long nosed dog, which makes them less tolerant of exercise and heat. During the hot summer months, you should try to keep your dog inside where it’s cool and avoid excess activity. Don’t walk at too quick of a pace, or you’ll stress their bodies too much. If your dog’s breathing becomes noisy or is spitting up foam, it’s possible the pup may be overheated. Contact your vet to find out how to best help your dog. (Be proactive and ask about this during your next checkup, so you are prepared if it happens.)

Anesthesia is less friendly for short-faced dogs, so if your dog has a serious medical issue, make sure your vet is familiar with Frenchies and how they should be anesthetized. Due to its dwarf size, the spine is also prone to abnormal vertebrae.

Temperament

Manny the Frenchie
Manny the Frenchie

Frenchies are known for their affectionate and playful ways. This breed is incredibly loyal and excellent at cuddling on your lap.

Training this breed is important to help them live a civilized life. Frenchies have big personalities and should be taught to walk on a lead, heel, stay, and other commands to keep them under control. To help with training, it’s recommended to motivate them with treats.

Overall French Bulldogs are great companions for individuals as well as families. The dog does great around other pets, but don’t leave your Frenchie alone for too long because he’ll miss you terribly. Also, although this is a small sized dog, this breed is not a yappy breed so you shouldn’t get calls from your neighbors complaining of your dog barking.

Exercise

Frenchies are not very active and need little exercise. They are not very athletic, so a quick walk can help keep them trim. It’s not recommended to walk French Bulldogs on hot, humid days because of their short noses which makes breathing difficult. This breed is unable to swim because it is so top heavy.

Video: How Smart Are French Bulldogs?

French Bulldogs can be stubborn and require more patience during training, which is why we recommend having their favorite treat nearby. However, this breed is eager to please and incredibly smart. A Frenchie is excellent at alerting you of danger, which is why they serve as great watchdogs. Check out the video below of this 12-week old Frenchie and all the tricks he knows!

Should You Adopt One?

If you love lap dogs, adorable snorting and pushed in faces, then the French Bulldog is a great breed for you. However, if you want a dog you can run or throw the frisbee with for extended periods of time, you may want to consider a different breed. To learn more about French Bulldogs, take a look at our interviews with Manny the Frenchie, Sir Charles Barkley and Lentil Bean.

What do you love most about the French Bulldog?

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She has been writing about dogs since 2014, covering subjects such as dog insurance, training, health, accessories and more. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing and personally testing canine products and services. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs.

Kimberly grew up in a family that loved Labrador Retrievers and remembers running and playing in the yard with them as a child. In 2017, she and her husband adopted their Coonhound mix, Sally, from a local shelter. Kimberly's research was put to good use since Sally faced some aggression issues with other dogs and needed some training to be an inside dog. She worked daily with Sally and sought help from professionals to help Sally become the happy pup she is today.

One of Kimberly's favorite pastimes is spoiling Sally with new toys, comfy beds and yummy treats (she even makes homemade goodies for her). She tries to purchase the safest products for Sally and knows that each canine has their own specific likes and dislikes. Kimberly is passionate about dogs, and knows the bond between humans and canines is like no other.

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Colin
Saying the breed “cannot” reproduce naturally is inaccurate. Fact is, some can, most cannot, but some indeed can. Ive had numerous French and English bulldogs and have a Frenchie now that will mount anything that moves…or not moving.
Tonja Harris
When you call them, they come running and run right up my pants legs in my arms, they are so lovable.
Sariah Meagle
It was rather interesting to know that the bat ears were originally going to be bred out of the breed as you said, but I’ll still get a Blue French Bulldog puppy since that’s what I like about them. Knowing that they have an average lifespan of 11-13 years as you stated, it would be enough for me to keep a dog for myself for a long time. Females are known to be really affectionate, and learning that they are known for their affectionate and playful ways as you stated makes me want to get one from a good breeder when spring comes.
Genevieve Paxson
I have had 2 French bulldogs and my blue frechie, when she was about 2 years old I would take her on walks for an average of 3 to 4 hours. Even when it was hot she could handle it without signs of overheating. My new dog. She is a blue tried and she exercises so much that when walking her veins pop out, and we can’t find ansly fat on her. The younger they are the more hyperactive they are. Now my first blue Frenchie cant even jump to me hips now. She is about 5 years old and basically loves to run around the house in circles and sleep on the couch.
Any Ranalli
Their
S is my dream dog! I’ve had two Boston terriers. I will take the best care of her as I possibly can.
DaisysMom
I have a Frenchie named Daisy and she’s the best pup in the whole wide world (I think so anyways). They are so friendly but agreed he can be a little lazy sometimes (ie I have to carry him up or down the stairs). Such a Diva that Daisy!