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The French Bulldog and Other Best Dog Breeds From France

Updated on December 10, 2016
DrMark1961 profile image

Dr. Mark is a veterinarian in Brazil. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

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Nobody has told this French Bulldog that the Cirque du Soleil is actually from Canada.Football is a popular sport in France.French Bulldogs come in many colors. All of them are cute.
Nobody has told this French Bulldog that the Cirque du Soleil is actually from Canada.
Nobody has told this French Bulldog that the Cirque du Soleil is actually from Canada. | Source
Football is a popular sport in France.
Football is a popular sport in France. | Source
French Bulldogs come in many colors. All of them are cute.
French Bulldogs come in many colors. All of them are cute. | Source

French Bulldog

Are you looking for a great breed from the continent? Here are the best five French breeds:

French Bulldog

Is a French Bulldog really French?

Well, his ancestors might be Greek. They may have been moved around by the Phoenicians. Bulldogs were developed by the British, and may have come over to France with lace workers.

So is the Bulldog French? Mais oui!

Frenchies are small, do not bark much, have a short and smooth coat and are seen in fawn, tan, white, and of course even brindle.

They do have health problems because of their short little faces and huge eyes. Some of them have problem breathing, especially when it is hot and humid, and some dogs develop cherry eye, juvenile cataracts, corneal ulcers, and glaucoma.

Frenchies are also prone to back problems, patellar luxation (trick knee), and the majority (about 80%) require c-sections to give birth.

They are good with kids and do make good little companions, however, and are ideal for someone who lives in an apartment and does not have a lot of time to take his dog on long walks.

And besides, these little dogs are definitely French.

French Bulldog puppies at play.
French Bulldog puppies at play. | Source
Papillon are not able to do everything. They just think they can.
Papillon are not able to do everything. They just think they can. | Source
Papillon have been known to be quiet.
Papillon have been known to be quiet. | Source

Papillon

The Papillon is small, intelligent, and healthy. A lot of things can be asked of a dog, and the Papillon is able to meet a lot of needs.

No, a Papillon is not large and solid and cannot be asked to guard your house. Dogs only weigh about 2 to 5 kilos, around 5 to 12 pounds. This dog will never make it in Schutzhund competitions.

No, a Papillon is not among the breeds that do not bark, nor is he one of the small dogs that do not shed much.

Your Papillon can provide a lot of entertainment though. They are really good at learning new tricks and do very well in agility competitions.

Your Papillon can also make a great companion. They need to be socialized, of course, but are known to get along with other pets and small children. Papillon need plenty of exercise but when walked enough will be quiet dogs around the house.

Like most small dogs, he can be prone to luxating patella (trick knee) and since his mouth is so small needs his teeth brushed every day. One survey lists their life expectancy at about 12 years but they are often seen at 15 or 16.

So if you want a small, very intelligent, and confident French dog, a Papillon might be right for you.

Papillon are inquisitive dogs.
Papillon are inquisitive dogs.
The Brittany is a multi-purpose dog.
The Brittany is a multi-purpose dog. | Source

Brittany

The Brittany is often mistaken for a gun dog. Yes, she is a gun dog, but she is so much more.

For those that like to hunt, the Brittany is an all purpose dog. They hunt, they point, and they retrieve.

They are athletic, like most gun dogs, and need to be walked daily and exercised for about an hour a day. Other than that, they are a dog that does not require a lot of maintenance. They need training and socialization, of course, but do not need to be brushed daily, do not need to go to the groomer, and, since their coats are very fine, only need an occasional bath.

Since Brittanys are normal sized (usually 20 kilos-45 pounds-or less), they do not have a lot of the health problems seen in very large and toy dog breeds. About 10% of them are affected with hip dysplasia, and even fewer can have epilepsy.

They might have problems with ear infections, though, since they are floppy. If everything goes okay, Brittanys live to about 13 or 14 years.

If you are looking for an affectionate dog that is active but low maintenance, the Brittany is an excellent choice.

Basset Hounds like to sleep.
Basset Hounds like to sleep. | Source
Basset Hounds will run off if following a good scent.
Basset Hounds will run off if following a good scent. | Source

Basset Hound

This scent hound is famous in France and everywhere else. They are really working dogs, with an ability to track second only to Bloodhounds, but they are so friendly and their personalities are so mellow that they are famous as great companion dogs for families.

Basset Hounds are big, big dogs, weighing about 20 to 35 kilos (around 45 to 75 pounds). They just don´t happen to be tall, and they certainly are not built for swimming.

These dogs are also prone to ear problems like chronic mite infestations and ear canal infections. That should be no surprise. They are so long that puppies are known to trip over their own ears!

Some dogs also have back problems, other dogs may develop eye infections, and the most common problems are chronic skin infections. Bloat is also a concern because of the way they are built, and obesity is another common problem, of course.

Bassets usually live about 11 years. They are scent hounds, so they might end up finding something to chase and end up running off if let out without a leash. A fast owner might be able to chase the dog by watching the white tip on the tail, but they move surprisingly fast, and if the dog does not stop to howl will be gone until he is lost or hit by a car.

If you want one of these amazing dogs, use a leash and don’t let it happen.

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Dogue de Bordeaux are large and powerful dogs.Dogue de Bordeaux are known to slobber at times!
Dogue de Bordeaux are large and powerful dogs.
Dogue de Bordeaux are large and powerful dogs. | Source
Dogue de Bordeaux are known to slobber at times!
Dogue de Bordeaux are known to slobber at times! | Source

Dogue de Bordeaux

The largest of the best dog breeds from France is the Dogue de Bordeaux. They are one of the mastiffs, maybe descended from Tibetan Mastiffs and the dogs used by the Roman soldiers during wars against the Celts.

Dogue de Bordeaux are massive (at least 50 kilos, or about 110 pounds), powerful, but, like a lot of giant dogs, they have a lot of health issues. About half of them suffer from hip dysplasia. Some are prone to heart and aortic diseases and may die sudden deaths.

These dogs also have problems because of their short snouts and the small nostril openings (stenotic nares). They can have problems handling the heat and may overheat rapidly when exercised.

Some Dogues are also prone to an eyelid problem called ectropion. The eyelid rolls out and the affected eye is likely to become infected.

Most dogs only live 5 or 6 years, and the oldest Dogue in America died at 12.They are wonderful dogs, willing to give up their lives to protect their family.

They are also one of the dog breeds that die much too young. If you decide to add a giant to your life, your heart might end up broken.

A Dogue de Bordeaux.
A Dogue de Bordeaux.

Some of the French dogs are not as popular as the German and British dogs so they might be harder to obtain. Your first stop should be your local animal shelter. They might have a great dog that has been dropped off by an owner forced to move, and you might find just the dog you are looking for.

Be sure to check Petfinder.com too. They have listings for animal shelters in several areas and you might find a French dog in a city you can travel to. Try a breed rescue if you are looking for a specific type of dog.

You might also visit a dog show and talk to breeders who have the kind of dog you are looking for. Nothing may be available at that moment, but a good puppy will be with you many years and is worth waiting for.

Just do not buy from a pet shop or an internet puppy wholesale operation. Your new dog may be from a puppy milland will end up making your life miserable since it will be next to impossible to housetrain him!

© 2013 Dr Mark

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    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      A friend´s Fila died the other day and I let him bury her in my "pet semetary" and his Pit Bull watched the whole time. As soon as she got home, though, she started looking for the Fila. Sad, she is so confused.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Actually they have a springer spaniel too. She took about a week to adjust to the St. Bernard's "disappearance".

    • DrMark1961 profile image
      Author

      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      Hi Mary thanks for the comment! I wanted to do the UK but Nettlemere did a great job covering those dogs, so Hungary and Italy will be my choices down the road.

      It is always sad to read about a dog passing so young! I hope your son has found another dog, but I hope he was another breed. I think it is so hard to replace a special dog, and the best thing is to find an animal totally different.

      And besides, there are lots of great dog breeds out there!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Oh Dr. Mark, I hope you have more countries up your sleeve. This is a greet series and so educational. So many things to learn about each breed and what I like is you pull no punches. Anyone and everyone wanting a dog should read all your hubs!

      My son's St. Bernard died a few months ago. He weighed 160 lbs. Appeared not well at night, so my son slept on the floor with him. 3:00 a.m. his eyes rolled back in his head and his tongue turned black. He died a short while later...seven years old. No known cause of death but they think it was his heart.

      Voted this hub up, useful, awesome, funny, and interesting. Yes, funny because your choice of videos is great and funny.

    • NornsMercy profile image

      Chace 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      This hub is adorable. I loved the videos! Dogs are so awesome. :) Voted up+++