French Bull Dogs -
A Gentle Little Frenchie!

French Bull Dogs though symbolic to France, are believed to have originated and been developed from the English bulldog. There is no doubt some truth to this belief as it is evident that a number of miniature English bull dogs found their way to France around 1860 and were apparently cross bred with other breeds.

French bulldog puppy sitting

During their subsequent development there was some difference between the ear shape - some having a rose ear while others having a bat shaped ear. The bat ear won out and has become a distinctive feature of the breed as has the flat skull shape - differentiating it from other bulldogs.

As time went on the breed gained recognition which ultimately led to the formation of the French Bull Dog Club Of America founded in 1897.

A major surge in popularity followed an event in New York, hosted by the club to showcase the breed.

The Frenchie, as he is affectionately called, although once used for bull baiting, is now a companion dog with considerable following. Currently the most popular breed in New York, he also rates very highly in many other major cities around the country.

In appearance, he is broad of chest, sturdy and heavy boned with facial features reminiscent of the pug. The "bat" ears are a distinct feature of the breed today.

Characteristics of French Bull Dogs

The French Bulldog is vivacious, entertaining and is known for his clownish behavior. He thrives on people contact and really needs to be with a family that can involve him in their activities.

Frenchies have a loving and easy going disposition. But also have a determined side of their nature - probably a carry over from their days in the bull ring when they needed it.

If owners make sure they are viewed as the head honcho, any "bullheadedness" won't be a problem. Otherwise, watch out, these smart little dogs may lapse into bad habits.

All in all, this is a very charming brick of a dog and very trainable in the hands of someone who is calm and consistent. They are generally not barkers, but will sound the alarm to announce approaching visitors.

Physical Stats And Care

Weight: Includes two classes: under 22 pounds and 22-28 pounds
Height: 12 inches
Lifespan: Up to fourteen years or more with good care
Coat colors of the Frenchies can be brindle, fawn, white, and brindle and white. Solid black, liver, mouse, black and tan.
Black and white, and white with black are not acceptable in the standard.

The coat of French Bull Dogs is fine and has a nice soft texture. It sheds about average. Maintenance includes combing and brushing plus wipe down a damp towel, especially to folds, and dry thoroughly.

Activity Level of French Bull Dogs

Most French bull dogs are fairly active around the house, but still need a daily walk for good health, as well as to instill the structure they need from you - their pack leader.

Take care not to over-stress them in warm weather as they are prone to overheat easily when the temperature rises.

Short-nosed breeds such as the Frenchie, along with similar dogs for example Pugs, Shih Tzus and Boston Terriers, are subject to a respiratory health issue known as  Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome.

As such, they can suffer restricted air flow during times of too much exertion.

Ideal Living Space

The French Bulldog will easily adapt to house or apartment. Compared to other small breeds, they are not known to be nuisance barkers which will be a plus if in close proximity to neighbors.

But don't try to keep them housebound - the mental stimulation of getting out for a walk is necessary to all canines.

The Frenchie With Children?

This breed is best in families with children old enough to understand kindness and respect for dogs while still being able to show leadership.

Also, small children sometimes want to pick dogs up and these little dogs are surprisingly heavy!

In any case, whatever breed is chosen to live with children, it is always the recommended policy to have an adult supervise interactions between them.

Seniors Or The Less Active?

French Bull Dogs are great companion dogs for seniors or less active families. Stay-at-home pet parents are ideal for providing the love and close attention the Frenchie seeks.

Additionally, their low exercise requirements and grooming needs also makes them a low maintenance dog!

Further Reading

French Bulldog breed guide
The French Bulldog - Kennel Club Classics

Fabulous color photographs, fascinating art, plus expert information about care of the breed, including health and breeding.

For those interested in showing the Frenchie, there is also an extensive section on clubs, breeders and specialty groups.

Related Small Dog Topics

dog carrier bags
small dog harnesses
small dog crates

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