What do I need to know about French bulldogs?

What do I need to know about French bulldogs? 1

All About French Bulldogs: Typically, the Frenchie is one of the most vibrant dogs around. Their open playfulness and bat-shaped ears, combined with their loving relationship with people, make them great pets.

They are very often sought after due to their compact size, allowing them to live in most dwelling environments and requiring little exercise. They are not overly fond of barking either so fit apartment-style living comfortably.


The history of the French Bulldog is one that includes three countries and not just its namesake, French. The other two countries of importance are England and America. England was the origin of the French Bulldog in its original incarnation. 

Being bred from the old English Bulldog. Breeders in France breed these bulldogs into the small framed bulldogs that we know today. America comes into play in dictating that a real French bulldog must have distinctive “bat-shaped ears”.

The English Bulldog that they originated from does not look like the one we know today but one that was bred for the sport of bull-baiting over 200 years ago. During this time period, many English bulldog breeders began developing dogs that were larger, heavier and had exaggerated features. 

Others crossed them with terriers to create the bull-and-terrier breeds, which are used in dogfights, ratting, etc.

Then there was another group of breeders who developed a toy bulldog of around 12-25 pounds, with either rose or upright ears, round foreheads and short underjaws – perhaps with a touch of terrier-like energy. 

Lace-making artisans in the vicinity of Nottingham were particularly fond of these in the English midlands.

England suffered a great deal as a result of the Industrial Revolution. In order to find work, many people moved. The emigration of lacemakers took place in the northern part of France. With them, they brought their toy bulldogs. Soon the popularity of toy bulldogs began to spread from across all of France. There started an active trade between England and France exporting these little bulldogs.

They were favourites of the ordinary person from Cafe owners, tradies and Les belles de Nuit. Most of Due to a lack of interest from the British, the French were the guardians of the breed until the late 19th century. 

The French developed their own breed of dog from the dogs, a dog with an upright body and straight legs without an extreme underbite as the English bulldog has. The majority possessed erect “bat ears”, whereas the rest had rosebud ears.

Americans travelling to France fell for these beautiful little dogs and started to bring them back with them to the United States. Americans preferred dogs with upright ears. On the other hand, the French and British breeders preferred rosebud ears. Some extra photos and history can be found in the following book: French Bulldog: The Frenchie

What do I need to know about French bulldogs? 2

Size and Weight

Broadly speaking, the French Bulldog will be about 11 to 12 inches tall. Males weigh 20 to 28 pounds, females weigh 16 to 24 pounds.

Colour And Grooming

French Bulldog coat is short, soft, shiny and smooth. Its skin is baggy and wrinkled, particularly on the head and shoulders.

French Bulldogs needs regular bathing and grooming. They can be washed as often as every week, up or on the other end every six weeks, obviously, it depends on their lifestyle.

With such a smooth coated breed, frequent bathing is essential for the maintenance of skin health and coat.

Start grooming your Frenchie at an early age and educate your puppy to stand on a table or ground to make this experience simpler for both of you.

Health and Lifespan

The average life expectancy of the French Bulldog will be between 9 and 12 years. Even though they are adorable dogs, they are sadly susceptible to a broad spectrum of health issues. Such issues not only affect Frenchie’s lifespan, and also have a profound impact on their well-being. Potential Frenchie owners might consider the advantages and disadvantages of having a French Bulldog.

Yet many French Bulldogs have a much shorter life expectancy. This study of more than 2,200 Frenchies revealed 98 fatalities in 2013, with a median age of just 3.6 years. Unfortunately, the French Bulldog is susceptible to several health issues, some of which may be life-threatening. Before contemplating this breed, we suggest doing your research.

Finnish Kennel club

Do French Bulldogs Have Health Problems? (Opens in a new browser tab)

Birth and reproduction

French Bulldogs commonly necessitate artificial insemination and Caesarean section to give birth, with over 80 per cent of the litter delivered in this way.

Many French Bulldog male dogs are incapable of natural reproduction. Because the French Bulldogs have skinny hips, rendering the male unable to mount the female to breed normally.

Consequently, artificial insemination of female dogs must be conducted by the owners. French Bulldogs average about three pups per litter.


Children And Other Pets

The French Bulldog gets along exceptionally well with children, even if you have really young children, they should be perfectly fine. As with every dog, you should never leave them alone, unsupervised with Children.

Frenchies show a tendency to get aggressive with other dogs, this can be easily overcome with correct training and socialization.

These are incredibly important steps with owning any dog. And the effort you put in the begging will pay off with a well-behaved dog.

Personality and Temperament

Please read the following article on French Bulldog Personality and Temperament.


Please read the following article on What Food Is Good For French Bulldogs?(Opens in a new browser tab)

The Popularity of the French Bulldog

The prominence of the breed has seen incredible growth in recent times, with a 44 per cent increase from 2016 to 2017 alone and a stunning 2964 per cent increase over the last ten years (2008 to 2017).

Throughout the United States, the Frenchies did not place among the overall 30 most popular dogs for years. As of 2019, the French Bulldog is number 4 in the USA. Throughout the UK, they placed 76th throughout 2005. They are now in the 34th position.

The rise of French bulldogs popularity precisely aligned with the advent of social media. Something about Frenchie is appealing to the internet, particularly Instagram.

Several of Instagram’s more famous French Bulldogs include Seattle’s Sir Charles Barkley, with over 324,000 followers; Tokyo’s Muu, with 582,000; and Chicago’s skillfully promoted Manny, nicknamed the “most-followed” Frenchie, with 660,000 fans.

The French Bulldog is also preferred by celebrities such as Beckhams, Lady Gaga and Hugh Jackman.

The Kennel Club is worried that the drastic growth in the number of French Bulldogs is due to more people preferring the dog because of how it appears and because it is perceived to be a popular option, instead of because it is the most appropriate breed for their lifestyle.

There is also worry because the French Bulldog isn’t the right option for everyone, people who are buying without doing their homework will then have to turn the Frenchie over to the dog shelter once they know they can’t take care of it.

French Bulldog Breeders

Very often, unsuspecting people purchase French Bulldog puppies from puppy farms or people carrying out backyard breeding without the necessary knowledge and skills in birthing puppies. It typically results in puppies having terrible health and behaviour issues that may not are noticed immediately.

French Bulldogs that have genetic health issues due to poor breeding and acquires poor behavioural problems because of no early socialization could well cost a great deal to treat and in some instances can take many years to undo early damage, which, regrettably, tends to result in heartbreak, more for the owner.

Responsible breeders will not sell their dogs to the first person who shows up with money in hand.

It is strongly advised that you only purchase puppies through responsible breeders that use a health care scheme. The breeder should be willing to provide you with copies of the back & hip health rating documents and the Genetic tests for both parents.

All French Bulldogs must be tested at the age of 12 months and before mating. The Frenchie also expected to be X-rayed and tested before purchase. The Association website is an excellent source of information about all French Bulldog breeders. https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/french-bulldog/pictures/


  • French Bulldogs are companion dogs, and they flourish once they have human contact. They’re not just a breed which can be left alone for lengthy periods or expected to live outdoors.
  • Since they don’t tend to be big barkers, French Bulldogs make outstanding apartment pets.
  • French Bulldogs are companion dogs, and they flourish once they have human contact. They’re not just a breed which can be left alone for lengthy periods or expected to live outdoors.
  • Since they don’t tend to be big barkers, French Bulldogs make outstanding apartment pets.
  • They make excellent watchdogs, but they can be territorial. They really like being the focus of attention, that can lead to behavioural issues if the spoilt.
  • If you like a clean house, a French Bulldog may not be your dog, as it is susceptible to drooling, flatulence and some shedding. They are also hard to house train.
  • French Bulldogs don’t need a lot of exercises but it a good idea that you take them for a daily walk, so they do not put on weight.
  • French Bulldogs can also be very trainable, but they can also be stubborn. Be firm and patient in their training.
  • Frenchies as with most Bulldog breeds are not good in hot weather. On hot days, keep an eye on them to make sure they do not overexert themselves.
  • Since they don’t tend to be big barkers, French Bulldogs make outstanding apartment pets.

Marshall Newton

Marshall Newton stands as an authoritative figure in the world of dog care and training, enriched by over 40 years of hands-on experience. His lifelong journey with dogs has seen him own over 20 canines from a diverse range of breeds, making him a versatile expert in the field. Marshall's expertise doesn't stop at general dog care; he's also a specialist when it comes to French Bulldogs. As the founder of "Little French Dog," Marshall provides invaluable advice and resources for both new and seasoned Frenchie owners. Whether it's understanding breed-specific traits or discovering new care tips, Marshall is the go-to resource in the Frenchie community. Interested in learning more? Feel free to connect with Marshall on LinkedIn for a deeper dive into his professional background and a wealth of canine insights.

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