Frenchies are indoor dogs, but require air conditioning in warm weather.
While good at alerting their owners to danger (Look! The UPS Guy is coming!), their main role is that of lap warmer. The Frenchie requires minimal exercise and grooming.
Depending on the size of your dog as an adult you are going to want to feed them a formula that will cater to their unique digestive needs through the various phases of their life. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and giant breeds. The French Bulldog is a small breed and has a lifespan of 11 to 13 years.
What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
Coat Length: Short, needs a weekly brush to keep it squeaky clean and super shiny.
Grooming: Occasional bath when dirty (over-bathing will dry out skin), weekly brushing is recommended to keep undercoat and shedding at bay.
Routine grooming for the French Bulldog includes regular weekly nail trimming, ear cleaning, brushing to remove excess hair, frequent cleansing of skin folds, and occasional bathing. Their fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly (*weekly is recommended) with a nail clipper or grinder/dremel to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. Their bat ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.
You won’t have to worry about a yappy dog bothering your neighbors because Frenchies rarely bark. That said, you can count on them to alert their owners to danger (Look! The UPS guy is coming!). They enjoy daily walks or brief outdoor romps, but because of their short noses, they shouldn’t be exercised on hot, humid days and should have access to cool (preferably air-conditioned) rooms during the warmer months. Besides snoozing the day away, the Frenchie’s favorite hobby is being his owner’s personal lap warmer.
Energy Level: OCCASIONAL EXERCISE
Provide your Frenchie with regular checkups, routine vaccinations, tests for intestinal parasites, heartworm prevention, and flea and tick control. Your vet should do regular dental checkups and care, and you should clean your dog’s teeth regularly at home as well.
As a short-faced, brachycephalic, dwarf breed, French Bulldogs may have some health concerns that you should be aware of. The short face can make their breathing less efficient than that of long-nosed breeds, so Frenchies have less tolerance of heat, exercise, and stress, all of which increase their need to breathe. Keep your French Bulldog cool in warm weather, and avoid strenuous exercise.
If your dog seems to overheat or become stressed too easily, with noisy breathing and sometimes spitting up foam, consult the vet and have its airway evaluated for pinched nostrils or an elongated soft palate. Anesthesia is also more risky in short-faced dogs, so be sure your veterinarian is experienced with such breeds should your Frenchie need to be anesthetized. The spine also merits special attention. Like other dwarf breeds, the stocky French Bulldog may also have abnormal vertebrae and/or premature degeneration of the intervertebral discs. While the spine is supported by good musculature, herniation of degenerated discs can cause major problems, and most symptomatic back problems are due to disc disease rather than to abnormal vertebrae.
Adapted from: www.akc.obreeds/french-bulldog/care/rg/dog-
Despite his glum expression, the French Bulldog is comical, entertaining, and dependably amiable. As comfortable in an apartment as he is on a farm, he is more lively than you might suspect from his chunky appearance. French Bulldog puppies are especially frisky, and ball chasing is one of their passions. Adults are more dignified and can be champion couch potatoes, but also love to clown around and go for walks in cool weather. Many Frenchies are friendly with everyone, while others are politely reserved. French Bulldogs will bark to announce visitors, but are otherwise quiet dogs. Usually peaceful with other pets (though some French Bulldogs will hunt small rodents), same genders may bicker (Female/Female or Male/Male). The French Bulldog is quite stubborn and can be challenging to train, yet also surprisingly sensitive, remembers what he learns, and responds well to early, patient, persistent training that utilizes food motivation. Snorting, snuffling, and flatulence go with the territory of short-faced breeds. Swimming pool owners must exercise caution: Because of his squatty build and heavy head, most Frenchies cannot swim and will drown if they fall into a pool.
- Is smallish but very sturdy — not a delicate lapdog
- Has large expressive eyes
- Has a sleek easy-care coat that comes in many colors
- Is usually polite with everyone, including other pets
- Typically loves to play games and chase balls
- Doesn’t need much exercise
- Doesn’t bark much
A French Bulldog may be right for you.
- Snorting, snuffling, wheezing, snoring, some slobbering
- Gassiness (flatulence)
- Stubbornness and slowness to housebreak
- Quite a few potential health problems due to his deformed face
- High cost
A French Bulldog may not be right for you.
- Choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
- Or choosing an ADULT dog – a dog who has already proven that he doesn’t have negative traits
- Attending obedience puppy classes and TRAINING your dog to respect you
If I was considering a French Bulldog, I would be most concerned about…
- Minimizing the problems that can be caused by their short face. Read about these special health problems and make sure you’re willing to take extra steps to care for your French Bulldog:
- His respiratory system is compromised, so don’t smoke near him, don’t use chemical cleaning products, and keep him away from allergenic pollen and freshly-cut grass.
- Make sure your vet uses only the most modern anesthetics (such as isoflurane) and insist on a heart and blood pressure monitor. Many vets are NOT careful enough when anesthetizing short-faced breeds.
- In hot or humid weather, minimize his outdoor activity and keep him in an air-conditioned home. Short-faced dogs have a high risk of heatstroke because they can’t pant vigorously enough to lower their body heat.
- Walk him in a Y-shaped harness that wraps around his chest, not his throat. A collar puts pressure on his windpipe and makes it harder for him to breathe.
- Wash and dry the folds of skin on his face after every meal.
- Stubbornness. French Bulldogs are not Golden Retrievers. Most French Bulldogs are quite stubborn and can be manipulative. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say. (Food is a great motivator with French Bulldogs, but if you give too much and don’t provide commensurate exercise, you’ll end up with a fat, unhealthy French Bulldog.)
- Housebreaking. Expect four to six months of consistent crate training. Teach your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.
- French Bulldog sounds. Because of their short face, most French Bulldogs snort, snuffle, wheeze, grunt, and snore loudly. The sounds are endearing to some people; nerve-wracking to others.
- Slobbering. Some French Bulldogs, especially those with loose jowls, slobber water when they drink. Some drool, too, especially after eating and drinking.
- Gassiness (flatulence). All short-faced breeds gulp air when they eat, and that air has to go somewhere.
Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.
When you’re acquiring a French Bulldog PUPPY, you’re acquiring potential — what he one day will be. So “typical breed characteristics” are very important. But when you acquire an adult dog, you’re acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult French Bulldogs who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are “typical” for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don’t let “typical breed negatives” worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual — and enjoy!
Adapted from: French Bulldog Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welto. Copyright © 2000-2016