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Breed Profile: French Bulldog

Created to be a miniature Bulldog in England, the French Bulldog got the name when he was taken to France by English lace makers. This companion dog, once used as an excellent rat catcher, is today a fantastic family pet and show dog. The French Bulldog is a rare breed, and the majority of people who want to acquire one, can only do so via a waiting list.

History of the French Bulldog

A toy version of the Bulldog, the French Bulldog originated in England, where they became very popular with the lace workers of Nottingham. Many of these lace workers relocated to France, and their little dogs naturally moved with them. It was there that the little companion dog became known as the French Bulldog. The breed thrived in France and Europe, and it wasn’t long before the Americans noticed the charm of this little dog. The French Bulldog became extremely popular in the United States, and was fondly referred to as the “Frenchie“, a nickname that is still used today.

General Physical Characteristics of French Bulldogs

The French Bulldog stands about 11 to 12 inches tall at the shoulder, with females weighing about 16 to 24 pounds, and males between 20 and 28 pounds. They are small, but have a substantial body that is solid and muscular. Their skin is loose, soft, and wrinkled, mainly around the head and shoulders. Their coat is smooth and shiny, fine, and soft to the touch. They come in a wide range of colours such as fawn, cream, and a variety of brindles. Shedding is average, and can be kept under control with regular brushing.

With his bat ears, the French Bulldog is beautiful in an odd kind of way, and although there are many other, more beautiful breeds around, he is undeniably one of the best companion dogs around.

Temperament and Character of French Bulldogs

This breed is intelligent and loving, and needs the company of his family if he is to thrive. The fun-loving, playful French Bulldog is a free thinker, that responds well to training, provided that it is done in a fun and positive way, with plenty of praise, rewards, and play.

They get along well with children of all ages, provided that the children have been taught how to behave with dogs, and to respect them. If French Bulldogs are socialized from puppyhood, they will get on well with other dogs and cats in the home. However, a French Bulldog that has been spoiled and has always been the only pet, will be jealous, and not take kindly at all to another newcomer getting the attention from the Frenchie’s own human.

Life Span of the French Bulldog

The life span of a French Bulldog can be anything from 11 to 15 years.

Common Health and Personality Issues in French Bulldogs

Although French Bulldogs are intelligent and playful, they can be stubborn too, and if they decide to not do something, there is nothing at all that will change their mind. They are good watchdogs, but don’t just bark for the sake of barking, so they are great for apartment living. Although on the small size, they are protective of their family and property, and have been known to defend both to the death.

Just like other breeds, the French Bulldog is also prone to certain illnesses, but this does not mean to say that they will all suffer with all or any of the following sicknesses:

  1. Hip Dysplasia – when the ball of the femur does not fit properly into the socket of the hip joint
  2. Brachycephalic Syndromeusually occurring in dogs with short heads, narrow nostrils, or elongated/soft palates
  3. Allergies – a common problem in all breeds, caused by food, contact, or inhaled allergies
  4. Hemivertebrae – the malformation of one or more of the vertebrae
  5. Patellar Luxation – a common medical problem in small dogs, where the knee cap, femur, and tibia do not line up properly
  6. Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) – a condition that occurs when one of the discs in the spine breaks or herniates, causing it to push upward and into the spinal cord
  7. Von Willebrand's Disease – a condition that can occur in both dogs and humans, that affects the clotting process of the blood
  8. Cleft Palate – this is a slit ranging in size from a small hole to a large opening in the palate, the roof of the mouth that separates the oral and nasal cavities
  9. Elongated Soft Palate – when soft palates are elongated, breathing is impaired because of airways being obstructed

The French Bulldog is prone to heatstroke, and should not be left outside in hot weather for long periods of time – he does best inside, in cool and comfortable surroundings. A 15-minute walk in the morning and evening should be enough to stop him from becoming obese.

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