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French Bulldog Breed Information | Doggie Matchmaker

Updated on February 4, 2013
The heart melting head tilt of a fawn and white French Bulldog.
The heart melting head tilt of a fawn and white French Bulldog. | Source

With his sweetly serious face and comical personality, the French Bulldog (or Frenchie) has often been called “a clown in the cloak of a philosopher.” This breed was designed for one purpose only: to fill the role of fashionable lap pet. When lace workers in 19th century England were driven to France during the Industrial Revolution, they took their lovingly designed toy bulldogs with them. These miniature bulldogs became all the rage in France, and were dubbed the Boule-Dog Francais. Wealthy Americans on the Grand Tour fell in love with the bat eared darlings spreading their fame. Recently rising in popularity in America again, the Frenchie ranked 18th most popular breed in 2011 according to AKC Dog Registration Statistics.

Standing approximately 12 inches at the shoulder, the French Bulldog weighs between 19 and 28 pounds. He is stocky and muscular with a trademark snub nose and broad head. This breed comes in a variety of colors, but only full brindle, fawn, white, and brindle and white are accepted by AKC standards. The Frenchie’s skin is soft and wrinkled at the head and shoulders, and his average shedding coat requires minimal grooming (regular bathing and brushing will do).

An amiable little charmer, the Frenchie makes a wonderful family addition. With socialization, the French Bulldog plays well with other pets, and his sturdy build and patient, dependable nature make him safe around children. As with other short-faced breeds, snorting, snuffling, and snoring are part of a Frenchie’s entertaining qualities, and prospective owners should be aware that drool is possible. The French Bulldog will alert you to knocks at the door, but as a whole he is typically quiet. This affectionate breed does well both in an apartment and on the farm, requiring only a daily walk and a constant companion to love.

Black and white French Bulldog puppy.
Black and white French Bulldog puppy. | Source
French Bulldog puppies need calm, persistent training.
French Bulldog puppies need calm, persistent training. | Source

Training a French Bulldog

The French Bulldog can be a bit of a challenge to train, due more to stubbornness than lack of intelligence. Calm but firm, persistent training is required, and owners may be amazed how much better their Frenchie remembers when treats are brought into the mix. Here is what you will want to focus on in training:

Housebreaking – The French Bulldog is not an easy one to housebreak. Combining crate training with a tightly structured feeding and potty break schedule will give you the best results (consistency is key). Have patience and expect it to take several months to house train your new puppy.

Stubbornness – This breed can be amusingly stubborn. Don’t be tricked into thinking those big, round eyes and cocking head simply don’t understand. Let your pup know that you are in charge through consistently enforcing the things that you ask of him.

Basic Obedience – Just because he is amiable doesn’t mean you can skip the obedience training. Your little clown will become much less funny if you can never get him to obey. Teach your Frenchie basic commands like sit, stay, come, and leave it to make him a well-rounded, pleasant companion.

Socialization – French Bulldogs are laid back and peaceful by nature, but as with all dogs early socialization remains important. The world will be as entertained by your quirky Frenchie as he will be by all the new sights, sounds, and people he meets.

Frenchies are a loving breed requiring companionship.
Frenchies are a loving breed requiring companionship. | Source

French Bulldog Health Problems

Because of the French Bulldog’s oddly shaped face and frame, he is prone to quite a few health problems. The typical Frenchie lives 10-12 years. Joint and spinal issues, eye problems, and respiratory troubles are all prevalent concerns. Owners should be particularly careful to protect their Frenchie from temperature extremes as a compacted airway makes this breed unable to regulate temperature. Maintaining a healthy weight may also help to reduce breathing problems in Frenchies. Skin folds on the Frenchie's face should be wiped clean daily to prevent irritation and infection. Owners should also take precautions around water as the heavy, squat build of this breed makes them unable to swim.

Frenchies are a fashionable breed.
Frenchies are a fashionable breed. | Source

The French Bulldog in Fashion

A dog is a long-term commitment and should never be picked based on trend, popularity, or appearance alone. With that in mind, let’s take a look at this cute breed in fashion.

The Victorian-era popularity of the French Bulldog gives him a vintagey feel. His thick neck screams “bowtie” and his broad chest would look dashing in a hipster vintage vest. The Frenchie’s little tough guy looks also perfectly compliment biker style, as well as make an adorable contrast to soft, feminine owners.

Leonardo Di Caprio shared a Frenchie named Django with his ex-girlfriend, model Gisele Bundchen. The ever cool Victoria and David Beckham own a beautiful fawn named Scarlet. Other celebrity Frenchies have made their way into the trendy world of blogging including Martha Stewart’s Francesca and Sharkey, and fashion blogger Chiara Ferragni’s sweet Matilda.

Now consider this compatibility questionairre:

Do you want...
Are you ok with...
A small but sturdy tough guy build?
Potential spinal and joint issues?
A pug nosed, flat faced cutie?
Snorts, snores, wheezes, and possible drooling?
An easy going charmer?
Slowness to housebreak?
Low maintenance coat and exercise requirements?
Potentially high vet bills due to prevalent health problems?
A comical companion with a good sense of humor?
A clown who is also quite stubborn?
These questions must be carefully considered before committing to a French Bulldog.

Perfect French Bulldog Names

If you have come to the conclusion that the French Bulldog is your perfect match – congratulations! It is a super cute, lovable breed. I offer you these suggestions as inspiration in your search for the perfect name:

If you want something that matches this breed’s vintage feel, Lucy, Charlotte, or Clara would be perfect for a girl, Raymond, Clyde, or Walter for a boy.

If you prefer something with a French twist, try Emmeline, Vivienne, or Madeline for a girl, Maxence, Gabin, or Marcel for a boy.

Little snuggle bug.
Little snuggle bug. | Source

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    • profile image

      Barbara 4 years ago

      Great article! I have a friend who just got a French Bulldog. I will share the article with her.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Our son has a French bulldog. He is so cute but a real handful. He's getting old and his back legs are going it's sad to watch him try to walk. Voted up on your hub.

    • Faith A Mullen profile image
      Author

      Faith A Mullen 4 years ago

      Thanks for reading and voting, moonlake! It is always so sad when dogs get old. They go too fast...

    • profile image

      Paula 4 years ago

      Has anyone ever heard of a genetic disease that causes the frenchie to tilt his head to one side, and stay there?

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