In spite of his gloomy expressions, the French bulldog happens to be one of the most entertaining, silly, and friendly dog breeds. Even though the dogs have a tough look on the outside, they are extremely sweet and fun loving on the inside, which has made them popular among dog owners. French bulldogs are usually small, weighing only less than 28 pounds, and their coat is shorter than most other dog breeds, which makes caring easier. The dogs come in different colors, they don’t require intense physical activities, they don’t bark as much as other small breeds, and are a perfect fit even for those living in small apartments or condos.
The main purpose of a Frenchie is to act as a great companion. If you own a French bulldog, it is recommended that you don’t leave him alone at home when you head out or ignore him when you are at home. These dogs expect a lot of affection and attention from everyone around them and are very friendly with adults and kids alike. Frenchies are charming and great at making you laugh. They love being around with people and are attached to their owners.
However, when it comes to training, French bulldogs are extremely stubborn. But you can still train them with some positive and gentle techniques. All you need is the reward he likes, and the dog will learn quickly. Starting training right from when he is a puppy will be beneficial. If you happen to own a French bulldog or looking to get one soon, here are 10 things you need to know about them.
They’re Not from France
What?! Yes, despite their name, French bulldogs are not from France. Instead, they have their origins from England. They are a native of a city called Nottingham. It is said that English lace makers were attracted by the looks of these dogs and used the little pups as lap warmers during work. And when they moved to France due to increasing demand for laces in the country, they took their bulldogs with them, where the English bulldogs are known to have bred with terriers to form what we now call French bulldogs, traditionally known as bouledogues français.
They Cannot Swim
Pool owners, beware. French bulldogs are not good swimmers. They are not fond of water and don’t do so well in it. Their tiny barrel-shaped body and small legs make most Frenchies bad swimmers, which can be an issue if they are near water bodies. Therefore, if you happen to have a pool at home, or live near a water body, or taking a boat trip, be sure to keep an eye on your Frenchie, or even better, put a life vest on him to ensure his safety.
French bulldogs are brachycephalic, which means they are dogs with flat, wide face. Due to this, their breathing sounds awkward at all times. If you own or wish to own a Frenchie, you should learn to get used to the dog’s heavy and loud snorting. If anyone in your family doesn’t like to be bothered with sounds at night, then it is best to keep your Frenchie away from them. Also, if you happen to have a baby at home, the loud snorting sound of your dog can disturb your baby’s sleep, so it’s better to not let him in the infant’s room at night.
They Get Cold
French bulldogs have just a single coat, which makes them extremely vulnerable to cold temperatures. If the temperature of the air conditioner in your home is too low, you can find your Frenchie hiding under your couch or sitting close to you for getting warm. And if you live in a region where winters are extremely cold, you need to make sure that your dog has some additional covering to survive the cold temperature. You can also avoid walking your French bulldog when it’s snowing.
They are Good Watchdogs
Even though French bulldogs do not bark as much as other dog breeds, they however happen to be good watchdogs. They are attentive and can also turn a bit protective and territorial, which is exactly what most dog owners want their dogs to be. In the case of other dog breeds like Yorkshire Terrier and German Shepherd, you can expect loud barking whenever someone enters your house. You cannot expect the same from a Frenchie. Frenchies usually bark only at those they don’t know until you make it clear to them that the person is of no threat. Also, these dogs do not bark unless they feel something unusual.
Unlike many other dog breeds, the French bulldog is not highly active. One benefit of this characteristic is that you don’t have to spend too much time trying to engage your Frenchie in a physical activity or take him for regular walks. They will remain healthy and happy even without intense physical activities. Also, the chances of these dogs becoming overweight due to lack of physical activity are very less. They simply love moving around indoors relaxing or napping near their owners. If you have a yard in your home, it is more than enough for your Frenchie to hang out and stay in shape. If not, you can take him for a walk every now and then.
They Have Some Health Issues
Though French bulldogs are fairly healthy, there are some health issues you should know about. Due to their curved spines, it is common for Frenchies to experience neck and back problems as they age. Also, as they are brachycephalic, they will have issues breathing properly and hence are very less tolerant to stress, exercise and heat. If their access to stairs is limited, the number of muscle related problems they face would be very less. These dogs do not experience problems in their hip and knee joints, which are common in larger breeds.
Very Few are Born Naturally
Due to their abnormal characteristics, French bulldogs usually have trouble cohabiting. Male Frenchies are known to get exhausted and overheated when trying to mate with their female counterparts. Hence, most dogs of this breed are usually born through artificial insemination (AI). One other reason for less natural births of Frenchies is that, many dogs are known to suffer unfixable damages when giving birth, which is why most breeders prefer scheduling C-sections with their veterinarians when it is time.
They Need Less Grooming
You don’t have to spend a lot of your time, money and energy to groom your French bulldog, which most dog owners think is great. However, like with any other dog breed, it is important that you perform some basic grooming on a regular basis, like clipping the dog’s nails, bathing him, etc. In addition, the loose folds on the Frenchie’s face and their ears should be maintained clean and dry at all times. When it comes to shedding, due to their single coat and short hair, French bulldogs tend to shed lesser than many other breeds and therefore shouldn’t be a problem if you are a meticulous housekeeper.
They’re Prone to Allergies
As French bulldogs are small, they tend to be highly allergic and may need to spend more time at your vet’s clinic. Many Frenchies experience skin allergies like puffed eyes, rashes, etc. Based on your dog’s condition, you may be required to follow a certain diet that will help prevent such allergic reactions.
Overall, French bulldogs make great companions and are adaptable and well behaved, making them a perfect family dog.