French bulldogs, or Frenchies, have genetic roots in the British bulldog. In the 1800s, British dog breeders began breeding bulldogs to create smaller companion dogs with mellow temperaments. The smaller bulldogs, known as miniature or toy bulldogs, became frequent companions of British artisan workers who eventually brought the dogs to France. French breeders took a liking to the toy bulldogs and began refining the dog's look to their own standards. Today, the French bulldog is a companionable pet with an easygoing temperament.
Frenchies generally range in size from 20 to 26 lbs. The American Kennel Club requires dog show Frenchies to not exceed 28 lbs. in weight. The dogs are stocky and heavy-boned and have very short noses and short, flat faces. Their coats are short, fine and smooth and come in a variety of colors and patterns including brindle, fawn and pied. A Frenchie with a brindle coat pattern can have near-black fur with streaks or stripes of light or bright colors in it. Frenchies with fawn coats are tan, mahogany or cream in color and can have a black face. Dogs with pied coats are white in color with brindled or fawn patches of color on them.
French bulldogs are highly adaptable; they can live in the countryside, suburbs or in apartments and condos in the city. The dog is not overly hyper or considered high-maintenance. French bulldogs typically have moderate activity levels and are satisfied with short walks every day or two. If you raise a Frenchie and a cat together, there is a greater chance that the two will get along. In a multi-dog home, Frenchies tend to try and be the "top" dog, or the dog who is the boss of other dogs. The dogs can get along with children; however, children under age 2 may be too young to interact with the dog during its play sessions.
In general, if French bulldogs are well bred, they will be healthy dogs and won't have more health problems than other types of dog breeds. Frenchies may, however, face certain health issues such as asthma or back, hip or knee problems. It is important to find a veterinarian that has knowledge of French bulldogs and make sure your dog attends annual vet visits. Frenchies are extremely heat sensitive and their bodies can overheat, so you must not let your dog remain outside too long in hot, humid weather. Keep the dog in an air-conditioned house or around fans on hot days, and make sure it has access to fresh water.
It may be hard to house-train a French bulldog since the dog can be a bit stubborn. Frenchies are not quick-to-train dogs. As soon as you obtain a French bulldog puppy as a pet, you should start house-training the animal. You must decide if you want your puppy to go to the bathroom outside or if you want it to be paper trained in the house. Whichever method you decide, be consistent with your animal so that the dog can more quickly learn the rules of the house. Although French bulldogs can be hard to train, by 4 or 5 months old, they should have improved their house-training skills.
- "French Bulldog: The Essential Guide for the French Bulldog Lover"; Lisa Ricciotti; 2010
- "The French Bulldog: An Owner's Guide to a Healthy, Happy Pet"; Kathy Dannel; 2000
- Photo Credit Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images
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