Everything You Need to Know about French Bulldogs
French bulldogs originated from Nottingham in England. They were great companions to laceworkers who kept them to wade of rats.
With mechanization of the lace industry many lost their jobs. Due to the high demand of their skills in France, they migrated there together with their furry friends.
Their fame grew very fast among the French with shopkeepers adopting them as well. It is with their popularity among the Parisians that they were given the name French bulldogs.
Overtime they have been bred with other breeds such as pugs and terriers. Overtime this resulted in their current physical characteristics and temperament.
French bulldogs have very characteristic features that make them stand out.
They are short sturdy dogs with a compact body and bow legged gait. They stand at a length of 11 to 13 inches tall and weigh approximately below 28 pounds (both male and female).
They have over sized upward pointing bat ears something that makes them memorable.
They have a flat face, broad square head and a very short nose. They are classified as a brachycephalic breed.
They are also commonly known as “Frog Dog” due to their round face and their posture when they sit with their hind legs far apart.
They also have a wrinkly face due to the skin folds around their mouth which can be a breeding ground for bacteria if not kept clean and dry.
They have a short and smooth hair coat which comes various colors; brindle, white or tan and fawn.
French bulldogs cannot swim and should therefore not be left unattended near water bodies.
They have a life span of between 10 to 12 years.
Temperament and Personality
French bulldogs are quiet, calm and intelligent dogs. They are alert and are very aware of their surroundings. They hardly bark but when they do, they do it judiciously and it is worth checking the cause.
They are also very charming and adapt quickly to new environments.
However, they can be pretty stubborn. They also don’t along well with small children and other pets or dogs.
Early socialization or enrolling them to puppy kindergarten as early as 10 to 12 weeks can help to overcome this. Always make sure they have had their vaccinations before introducing them to other dogs.
They can also be very destructive especially to their toys during their adolescent years. They may tear apart, chew and dig around the home. Avoid giving them chew toys as they may choke them.
They also get quite attached to their human companions and are susceptible to separation anxiety.
French bulldogs make excellent companions especially in big cities and in apartments.
They do not require much space to move around. They also don’t require regular intense exercise unlike large breed dogs. A 10 to 15 minutes short walk around the block in good enough.
They can also live in standalone homes but should not be kept in kennels outside. They are indoor dogs.
They also make good companions for single people as well as families of various sizes.
French bulldogs do well in dry temperate climates. This is due to the fact that they cannot regulate their own body temperature especially in hot weather.
They are prone to heat stroke and should always be kept in air conditioned rooms especially during those hot summer months.
French bulldogs also snore a lot and loudly in their sleep. Have that in mind if you are a light sleeper.
As discussed above they are prone separation anxiety. If you work far and for long hours these may not be the dog for you. Their anxiety can make them get pretty destructive around the house. It is best to always have someone at home if planning to keep one.
French bulldogs can be stubborn especially as they grow older. This may make house training an uphill task. However positive reinforcement, use of treats, patience and consistency can help them learn some useful tricks pretty fast.
Enrolling them to obedience school at an early age can also be helpful. Early socialization with family members and other pets and dogs can help instill good behavior and eliminate bad habits.
French bulldogs have a short and smooth fur. This is very low maintainance and easy to clean. They only require weekly brushing either with a rubber glove or a soft bristled brush.
Apart from the bi annual shedding of their undercoat, they rarely lose hair.
One can bathe them monthly or bi weekly.
Always remember to clip their nails at least every few weeks. This also goes for ear cleaning and tooth brushing.
Remember to always keep the skin folds around the eyes and moth clean and dry to prevent skin infections.
Health Problems and Concerns
French bulldogs, like the Pekingese, are classified as brachycephalic breeds. This is owned to the facial characteristics e.g. flat face, short nose, elongated soft palate, narrow nasal cavities, susceptibility to laryngeal collapse etc.
This makes them prone to brachycephalic air syndrome. This condition makes it hard for them to breathe and regulate their own body temperature especially in hot and humid weather. They also cannot tolerate strenuous exercise. They may also not be good travel companions especially if by air.
Surgery may at times be advocated to improve their breathing.
They are prone to eye conditions such as cataracts, intestinal malabsorption, spinal malformations e.g. Interverterbral disk disease and patella luxation among others.
French bulldogs are among the top 6 loved dogs in America. This is due to their calm demeanor, intelligence and very charming temperament.
They make excellent companions for city dwellers and single people who don’t work far and for long hours.
Their lack for need to regular strenuous exercise is also advantageous for those living in apartment building.s Short 10 to 15 minute walks round the block in more than enough for them.
They are also very low maintenance especially when it comes to grooming
However they don’t along well with other dogs and children. They may become a bit aggressive. Early socialization and enrolling them to puppy kindergarten can help to counter this.
They can also be pretty stubborn especially during house training. Positive reinforcement and using treat works wonders and to your favor.
French bulldogs are indoor dogs. They are prone to heat stroke especially in hot humid weather. Always have the air conditioner on to help them regulate their body temperature.