You’re looking for a cute, medium-sized dog that’s not too active, not too greedy, and utterly irresistible? You want your dog to be the star of the neighborhood? You like people to give you and your dog smiles when you go out for a walk? Congratulations, you just found your perfect breed: it’s the French Bulldog.
In 2018, the Frenchie took the fourth position among the most popular dog breeds according to the American Kennel Club. It’s a smart, playful dog that perfectly adapts to the indoors and is not overly demanding in terms of grooming. Should we mention how darn cute these dogs are?
But if you want to adopt a Frenchie, you should know more about the breed. Let’s get into the details.
Characteristics of the French bulldog breed
This breed looks a lot like a classic bulldog, with two main differences: the bat ears and the miniature shape. The head is large in proportion to the body, and the skin is pretty wrinkled. The most characteristic thing about this breed is the nose, which is extremely short. It’s the cutest feature, but it’s also where most problems come from. We’ll get to that point in a bit.
Frenchie health issues
Before choosing a breed, you should get informed about the health issues it might develop.
The National Geographic triggered a heated discussion in 2018 when they published a bold article: Are We Loving French Bulldogs to Death? Breeders keep developing the breed, in the attempt to make the perfect bulldog. The problem is that these dogs develop serious health issues in a pretty high percentage: digestive and skin disorders, and chronic eye problems. Respiratory ailments, in particular, are very problematic. That cute muzzle is a cause of severe breathing problems. More than 60% of the dogs of this breed have excessively tight nostrils that make life not so comfortable.
The argument against breeding Frenchies is pretty strong. The dogs suffer.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t adopt one.
If you’re getting one from a breeder, you should ask to see full medical records for their kennel. The French Bull Dog Club of America can give you valuable information about breeders.
Or you can do something better: adopt a Frenchie from a shelter. It doesn’t matter what health issues it may have. If it’s in a shelter, the dog deserves the better life that you could provide.
The dogs of this breed are loyal and affectionate. They love people and are great with children. Frenchies don’t require tons of exercise, so they are perfect for busy people who only have time for a brief walk in the morning or the evening.
There’s minimal shedding from a Frenchie’s short coat. You’ll do perfectly well with brushing once a week, and you won’t have a lot of hair to clear around the house.
All dogs with facial folds require special care. You should clean within the folds and keep that area dry.
You shouldn’t expect a Frenchie to become an extremely agile and active dog. That’s not in their nature. Of course, you can play with Frenchies, but they won’t like excessive physical training.
Socialization is the most critical part of your dog’s training. You should expose your dog to people, especially kids, in different situations. If you want your dog to behave well, you may consider puppy training classes.
Where to find your Frenchie
Start by looking at different breeders enlisted by the French Bulldog Club.
But if you want to rescue a dog and provide a better life than the one they currently have, you can go for the “Adopt, don’t shop” philosophy. Contact a rescue to see if they have available Frenchies for adoption or search on Petfinder.
Whatever decision you make, only one thing is sure: you’ll love living with a Frenchie!
Elizabeth Skinner is a proud Frenchie owner since 2012. Being a freelance writer for edubirdie.net, she appreciates having a friend while being at home for days. Elizabeth also is an animal rights activist and volunteers in a local shelter.