Frenchies, properly known as French Bulldogs, have become one of the most recognized and beloved dog breeds around in recent years—and for good reason! With their small, convenient size and playful personalities, these pups are a hit with all age groups and family sizes, making them very adaptable. As wonderful as they are as companions, though, this breed has challenges, so here’s what you’ll need to know to ensure welcoming a French bulldog into your home is the right choice.
Essential Characteristics of French Bulldogs
The French bulldog is a small breed, generally weighing below 30 lbs. and stands at about 11 to 14 inches tall at the maximum. Depending on the specific pup, they can range from petite to having a slightly stockier build. These cute little gremlins are easily recognized thanks to their bat-like ears that stick out prominently, their flat faces (characteristic of most brachycephalic breeds), and their thick little bodies.
Frenchies have short-haired coats that come in various colors; hence, you may see some that are gray or black, and you may see some that are white or fawn. Some French bulldogs may even have variations like brindle markings as well. Despite looking like they may be low-maintenance, these pups’ coats and wrinkles require regular cleaning to keep them in their best shape.
With their compact size and great personalities, despite the potential health risks and other concerns associated with the breed, Frenchies have become the second-most popular dog breed in the country and even scored the winning spot in this past year’s National Dog Show. They are, without a doubt, a favorite among many and are only continuing to grow in their popularity.
Grooming Your French Bulldog
Frenchies have short coats, but they still shed, so regular brushing is an activity you should expect to engage in at least once per week to keep your pup’s fur as healthy and shiny as possible. However, they have an undercoat that will shed twice yearly, so expect some heavier grooming requirements in the fall and spring. As with any canine companion, you’ll also need to stay on top of trimming their nails and cleaning their ears and teeth.
One of the essential parts of grooming a French bulldog is tending to their wrinkles. This breed is known for having sensitive skin, so you’ll need to ensure that all of those adorable little wrinkles on their faces are cleaned up and wiped out well multiple times per week to avoid irritation or the growth of any bacteria.
French bulldogs are a perfect companion breed, whether you’re a solo pet parent or have a large family. These playful pups pack quite goofy personalities and love interacting with people, especially those close to them. They’re great with children and often tend to do well in homes with other pets, too, which is a huge plus. With a Frenchie in the house, the entertainment is nearly endless. Still, you also can expect to have the added benefits of a canine pal who is entirely content snuggling up with their favorite person for some calmer bonding time.
Due to their high social needs, this also means that French bulldogs do not do well with being left alone. They are very much designed to be close companions, and leaving your pup behind for long hours can be incredibly stressful for them.
Exercising Your French Bulldog
Another factor that makes French bulldogs great for those who live in small spaces or are unable to engage in much physical activity is that they have very low exercise needs. They have absolutely no problem running around and playing with their favorite human or other animal friends all day, but this breed is perfectly fine to simply run around the home a little bit each day and then nap right next to you with no detriments to their physical or mental wellbeing.
Taking your Frenchie on a walk each day is a great way to help socialize them and provide them with a bit of exercise and stimulation, but it’s important to note that they are at risk of overheating due to being a brachycephalic breed and having impaired breathing because of their facial structure. It’s important to avoid engaging your French bulldog in too much physical activity, as well as exposing them to extreme temperatures that may aggravate their breathing issues.
For those who do want a bit more engagement with their pups, Frenchies can be taught many basic commands as well as learn more complex tasks. Being the winners of this past year’s National Dog Show competition, it’s clear that your snuggly pal can easily become a well-trained show dog with the right training and motivation. If such training is a bit much for you personally and you simply want nothing more than an adorable little companion to spend your days with, your French bulldog will be perfectly content to just enjoy their time without any strenuous learning activities, too.
You’ll definitely want to make sure that you at least housetrain them well (as this breed can be a bit stubborn about such matters) and help them learn some basic commands to make both of your lives easier. These cute little pups are very food-motivated as well, so with some delicious training snacks, you’ll have your Frenchie learning new commands in no time!
Health Problems in Frenchies
One of the biggest concerns for any pet parent, but especially a pet parent of a French bulldog, is the health risks associated with the breed. The high price tag associated with Frenchies ties into their potentially exorbitant vet bills, along with the expenses of breeding dogs with such significant health concerns. These are the primary issues a pet parent of a French bulldog may need to prepare for:
- Cherry eye
- Entropion (a condition affecting the eyelids)
- Heart conditions (tumors, pulmonic stenosis)
- Hip dysplasia
- Intervertebral disc disease
- Juvenile cataracts
- Patellar luxation
- Skin allergies
Also, as mentioned before, brachycephaly is a top concern for Frenchies. The flat facial structure can lead to overheating, breathing issues, and sensitivity to a number of different environmental factors, as well as increasing a pup’s risk of adverse effects from too much exercise or physical stimulation. This breed may still love to run around and play, but you’ll want to be sure to allow them plenty of time for resting, cooling down, and calming down.
Bringing Your French Bulldog Home
If you’ve got the time and finances to handle bringing one of these lovely pups home to stay, it’s time to discuss the biggest hurdle with adopting a French bulldog: finding a reputable breeder or preparing for unexpected health risks if adopting from a rescue.
Due to the poor health associated with this breed, it’s essential to find a breeder with a fantastic reputation who has also done all of the necessary testing available to ensure your potential Frenchie pup’s wellbeing. With the breed being so popular and coming with a high price tag, it’s easy to come across backyard breeders who are not ensuring the health of the mother dog or any of her puppies—and this can become a serious problem in the long run. Be sure to check that the breeder you’ve found can provide veterinary references and good reviews to guarantee the health of your future canine pal.
In general, you can expect to shell out between $1,500 to $3,000 dollars on a French bulldog puppy, and these prices can go even higher based on specifics such as gender, color, or even genetic background (e.g., show dogs, etc.). In great news, though, there are also rescues specifically for French bulldogs that can help connect you to a Frenchie of any age who’s in need of a forever home. Groups such as the French Bulldog Rescue Network help link up these pups with potential pet parents, and the adoption fees are a bit more affordable, ranging between about $400 to $1,200.
Once the Frenchie of your dreams has arrived home, we here at Space Coast Pet Services would love to help make your lives easier by offering home drop-ins and even pet sitting if you have an appointment and can’t bear to leave your furry new best friend alone. You can check out our Services page for more information or contact us with any questions! We’re here to make your pup parent life as easy as possible.
Melanie is the owner and founder of Brevard’s premier trusted in-home pet care company. With a Sociology & Criminal Justice degree from the University of Tennessee, she took her corporate security background and combined it with her lifelong passion for animals – that’s how Space Coast Pet Services was born in 2016! She is certified in Pet First Aid & CPR, insured, and proudly completed a full background check successfully. She is committed to ongoing training and education for herself and her team. To learn more, click here.
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