French Bulldog Breed Profile

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KC Group Utility

Size Small

Weight Dogs: 12.5kg; bitches: 11kg

Height 30cm

Average lifespan 10 years

Good with children? Unknown

Good guard dogs? Would bark

Moulting level Low

Grooming Light

Exercise requirement Moderate

Jogging partner No

Colours Breed standard states brindle, pied, or fawn. Colours such as tan, mouse, and grey/blue - often described as rare by unethical breeders - are undesirable

Editors Pick No

French Bulldog Breed Profile

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French Bulldogs thrive on affection and companionship. Your French Bulldog will be an integral part of the family so expect to share your favourite chair with him!

French Bulldog health

The French Bulldog is generally a healthy breed but the following conditions are known:
  • Hereditary cataracts.
  • Respiratory problems.
  • Overheating problems.
Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye which, if left untreated, can cause blindness. French Bulldogs are susceptible to hereditary cataracts due to a mutant gene. The gene is recessive so a puppy will only be affected if it is passed to him by both his mother and father.
 
Being a short-faced (brachycephalic) breed the French Bulldog's compact airways can cause breathing problems. Brachycephalic airway syndrome, where the airways are blocked or too small, can affect the nose, mouth, and throat. The condition can be managed but may require surgery.
 
The Frenchie struggles to regulate his own body temperature effectively. He will enjoy the warmth but owners need to ensure shade and water are always available. As with all dogs, he should never be left in the car as the combination of heat and stress can be fatal.
 
Health tests
 
The French Bulldog is listed under the British Veterinary Association/Kennel Club eye scheme. The test is strongly recommended for detecting eye problems, in particular the onset of hereditary cataracts. Cataracts usually occur between the ages of nine and 15 months and develop at between two and four years old, so puppies are normally tested before reaching their fi st birthday and annually thereafter.
 
The DNA test HC-HSF4 is also strongly recommended by the Kennel Club to test for the mutant gene HSF4 which causes hereditary cataracts. As the gene is recessive, a French Bulldog may have one copy of the gene, meaning they are not affected. However they will carry the gene, which could be passed on to any offspring. The test will determine if a dog is affected, a carrier, or clear.
 

French Bulldog temperament

  • Comic and vivacious but not boisterous.
  • Can be strong-minded so require an owner with a firm but gentle hand.
  • Affectionate and intelligent.

French Bulldog lifestyle

  • French Bulldogs thrive on affection and companionship. Even if left alone for only a short period, they can become distressed.
  • They do not require long walks; bursts of high intensity play or a stroll, with long periods of rest, will satisfy their needs.
  • Frenchies enjoy playing with children but, as with all dogs, should be supervised.
  • An adaptable breed, they can live in a flat or a house.
  • They enjoy a regular routine.

French Bulldog trainability

  • Fairly easy to house-train.
  • Obedience training can be difficult as French Bulldogs are independent thinkers; using treats as an incentive should help.

French Bulldog general care

  • Easy to care for coat that requires grooming once a week.
  • Facial wrinkles, the area under the tail, and bat ears, need to be checked regularly as they can become infected if not clean.

History of the French Bulldog

While the sudden popularity of the French Bulldog has led to them being probably the most irresponsibly bred of all dog breeds, with health and temperament problems becoming common place, the breed started life as a healthy, working, rural companion in the French countryside, where he was a skilled ratter.

He migrated to the city when his reputation and stories of his unconventional appearance spread to Paris, and he was adopted by the socially daring. These flamboyant owners proudly paraded their dogs through the streets of Paris, and as a result the French Bulldog ended up featuring in paintings by Toulouse-Lautrec and Degas. Postcards can still be found of scantily clad women posing with their ‘Bouledogues francais’.

Before long, the popularity of the French Bulldog spread through Europe, as he won more and more admirers due to his engaging personality; in fact the breed eventually became a status symbol.

In the majority of cases, French Bulldogs can’t swim. One unfortunate French Bulldog, called Gamin de Pycombe, was on the ill-fated Titanic when it sunk. He had been bought in England for the very high price of £150 (£13,500 in today’s money).

Pros
  • Faithful and loyal.
  • Fun-loving.
Cons
  • Not suited to many dog activities.
  • Require a lot of human company.

Facts about the Bichon Frise

  • The breed was brought to England around 1900.
  • Due to their shape, most French Bulldogs cannot swim so care must be taken near deep water.
  • Your French Bulldog will be an integral part of the family so expect to share your favourite chair with him!