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Outfitting Your French Bulldog

Updated on January 29, 2014

Beautiful, brindle Dax

Dax was a wonderful model for our small-dog shop; Golly Gear. I know that her brown color is not preferred in the French Bulldog breed standard (black is the standard base color), but it suited her.
Dax was a wonderful model for our small-dog shop; Golly Gear. I know that her brown color is not preferred in the French Bulldog breed standard (black is the standard base color), but it suited her.

Fabulous Frenchies

When I was a little girl, our mother took us to the International Kennel Club dog show at the Chicago Amphitheater every year. We would spend hours walking up and down the aisles - at that time the IKC was a "benched" show - which meant that all the dogs, when they weren't showing in the ring, had to be on their "benches."

I remember the dogs' owners being wonderfully kind to little girls who wanted to pet their dogs and ask a million-and-two questions about the dogs. When we first started going to the show, we didn't even own a dog.

My mother always wanted a Boston Terrier, so when our family was ready for a dog (when I was about nine years old), we got a Boston. His name was Spunky and he was the best friend a girl ever had.

While I loved that dog - I grew up knowing that Boston Terriers aren't my breed. French Bulldogs are. They're snorty, cuddly, flatulent, bundles of love. My Teddy is about to turn four years old. I recently lost my first Frenchie, my lovely brindle girl, Dax, at nine years old.

My French Bulldogs

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Their favorite bed - the Woofie Cushion. There are bigger ones in the house....Teddy - being dapper.Teddy also models for our shop - wearing the Plaid Step-in Harness here.My boy Teddy is an athlete - we compete in Agility, Obedience, and Rally events.Dax and me competing in Rally Obedience.She particularly loved latex toys.My Flying Frenchie Dax in Agility competition.
Their favorite bed - the Woofie Cushion. There are bigger ones in the house....
Their favorite bed - the Woofie Cushion. There are bigger ones in the house....
Teddy - being dapper.
Teddy - being dapper.
Teddy also models for our shop - wearing the Plaid Step-in Harness here.
Teddy also models for our shop - wearing the Plaid Step-in Harness here.
My boy Teddy is an athlete - we compete in Agility, Obedience, and Rally events.
My boy Teddy is an athlete - we compete in Agility, Obedience, and Rally events.
Dax and me competing in Rally Obedience.
Dax and me competing in Rally Obedience.
She particularly loved latex toys.
She particularly loved latex toys.
My Flying Frenchie Dax in Agility competition.
My Flying Frenchie Dax in Agility competition.
The ChillyBuddy Winter Jacket fits Frenchies.
The ChillyBuddy Winter Jacket fits Frenchies. | Source

Warm, cozy Chillybuddy for Frenchies

All Frenchie people know how hard it is to find a properly-fitting coat for our dogs. We've finally found a great one in the Chillybuddy Winter Jacket.

The coat's unique design has it adjustable at the chest to accommodate the breadth of a French Bulldog. No sleeves means no problem pulling paws through the opening. The Chillybuddy opens with hook-and-loop closure all the way down the back - a step-in style that allows a leash/harness opening anywhere along the dog's back.

My Frenchies hate the cold weather - but even they can tolerate it with proper attire. I love that when we come back into the house the inside of the Chillybuddy is warm to the touch. It's doing its job for my dogs.

Fashionista? or "au naturel?"

How does your French Bulldog feel about wearing clothes?

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Dogs in boots

The pros and cons of footwear

Dogs' paws need protection.

In the wintertime, snow, ice, and salt are the problems.

In the summer, it's sand and blistering-hot pavement.

There are a few difference options available. Our favorite is Pawz Disposable Boots. These thin, rubber boots (they actually look like balloons), allow the dog to feel the ground under its feet while keeping the dog's paws dry. We've found that dogs tolerate cold fairly well, as long as their feet are dry.

Another option is heavier boots, which are the basis for lots of funny YouTube videos. Enough said.

A third choice is "musher's wax," which is a balm smeared on the dog's paws. I've never used it, so I don't know how well it works. But I've always wondered what it does to floors and carpets when you come inside.

Sturdy, strong and stylish

Teddy in the Mariner-color ComfortFlex Sport Harness.
Teddy in the Mariner-color ComfortFlex Sport Harness.

Harnesses for French Bulldogs

As the owner of a dog boutique (GollyGear.com) and French Bulldog owner for the last nine years, I've tried lots of harnesses on lots of Frenchies.

The one I particularly like (and that I use for my own dogs) is the ComfortFlex Sport Harness. It goes on easily, adjusts simply, is sturdy, strong, and features a leash ring well off the dog's back. No pressure at the dog's throat or spine - all the force is evenly distributed across a Frenchie's nice, broad chest.

This is the harness we recommend for all strong, broad-chested dogs, including Frenchies, Boston Terriers, Pugs, even Boxers, Staffordshire Terriers and Bull Terriers, too.

The Snap and Limited-Slip collar from White Pine Outfitters are the softest we've found.
The Snap and Limited-Slip collar from White Pine Outfitters are the softest we've found.

When collars have to be worn

My Frenchies have always hated wearing collars. As soon as I put one on, they stop in their tracks and scratch at it.

The only exception I've found is the collars from White Pine Outfitters. These are the softest, nylon-webbing collars I've ever felt. They slide easily over the dog's fur and don't seem to irritate as others do.


Dax in her Cooling Jacket
Dax in her Cooling Jacket

Cooling is crucial, too

Because of their short snouts, French Bulldogs, like other brachycephalic breeds, have difficulty with hot weather - they're unable to pant as freely as other dogs and cool themselves.

Aside from limiting their exposure to extreme heat, French Bulldog owners will want to keep water available for their dogs. And should consider a Cooling Jacket, as well.

There are several different types of "Cool Coats" and bandanas available these days. We like this one, from the Chillybuddy company, because it relies on plain water, evaporation, and reflection for cooling effect. We've found the ones using a cooling gel are apt to lose some of the gel and get a funky feel to them.


My French Bulldogs playing

© 2014 HopeS

What's crucial for your French Bulldog's happiness?

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