April 7, 2023

French Bulldogs: A Beginners Guide

French bulldogs are wonderful dogs to live with if you're prepared. Here are some tips for living with your new best friend.

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You love dogs, but they take up a lot of space. And are always on your feet! That's where French Bulldogs come in. They are considered excellent pets and often the center of attention thanks to their attitude, affectionate nature, and striking looks, especially with their variety of colors. Getting small dogs like the French Bulldog, one of the popular dog breeds, a great dog breed for dog lovers who just can't have a full-sized furry companion dog.

Even when you get a French bulldog from a reputable breeder, there are some health issues common to the breed that you should know about.

Here, you'll find all the important stuff about getting a French Bulldog—including the history behind their breed, what makes them so popular, the health problems you need to be aware of, and tips on taking care of your dog.

What is a French Bulldog?

Every breed of canine has its own unique set of characteristics, and French Bulldogs are no exception.

They have a flat face, bat ears, distinct muscular build, with a short snout and a square head. Their breed has a variety of coat colors, including brindle, fawn, or cream. They also have short legs, which can make them appear squat in size.

French Bulldogs are generally known to be affectionate breed but energetic dogs. They do not like long walks or too much exercise; they prefer shorter jaunts around the neighborhood and hanging out on the couch at home.

The French Bulldog is an easy-going dog that will do well in most living conditions as long as they get enough attention from their people—they love human contact and will thrive when they're part of a family unit!

A Brief History of French Bulldog

French bulldogs were originally bred from the English Bulldog and are closely related to other brachycephalic breeds. Their origins lie in the pet stores of England in the late 1800s, where Toy Bulldogs were a novelty item.

While their modern form is often credited to the British, their origins can be traced back to France—way back to the 1800s and the lace workers of Nottingham. These little bulldogs-like dogs were immensely popular among the French women who worked in these lace mills. They'd buy them for companionship and guard dogs for protection on their way home at night. After the Industrial Revolution, there was an increased demand for lacemakers in France, so many lace makers moved there from England with their little bulldogs. There came to be a distinction between the French and English versions of these dogs.

The French bulldog breed was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1898 and is currently listed as the 11th most popular dog in the United States by them. French Bulldogs are not native to France but rather originated in Northern France before moving on to Britain and then across the Atlantic. These new city-dwellers dogs were called Bouledogue Francais, or "French Bulldog" in their native language.

Nowadays, French Bulldogs are becoming a more common sight at local dog parks. The French Bulldog Club of America has begun warning people that it is difficult to find a breeder with ethical breeding practices, so potential owners should verify that breeders are following good breeding practices before purchasing a French Bulldog puppy.

Why Are Frenchies So Popular?

French bulldogs are not just for people. There are around thirteen billion different dog breeds currently living in the world. In fact, French painter Edgar Degas even painted one!

The United Kingdom has long been a hotbed for dog dealers. British dog breeders have been producing high-quality French Bulldogs for decades, and their reputation has spread across the pond. Now, American dog breeders are catching on to this new trend and producing their own Frenchies.

The number of French Bulldogs increased significantly in 2007 from 692 to 21,470 in 2016. In the United States alone, the number increased by 19% from 1,898 to 2,350 during this period. This increase was despite the fact that their numbers had decreased steadily between 1991 and 1997 due to certain health complications.

For one thing, they've been popular in the United Kingdom for quite a while, and that popularity has finally started to trickle over to the United States. For another thing, Frenchies have always been popular show dogs, but more recently, their popularity as a companion breed has increased dramatically. The breed has a history of being popular among celebrities—Lady Gaga famously has four French Bulldogs named Asia, Koji, Gustav, and Miss Asia Kinney (named after her father).

What Personality Traits Do Frenchies Have?

So you've learned about the history of a French bulldog, but what makes them such charming dogs? It's their personality. Frenchies have a number of traits that can be very appealing to owners.

They are sensitive.

French bulldogs respond well to encouragement and positive reinforcement. Their sensitivity means you must be vigilant in your interactions with them, as a wrong word or tone can set them into a frenzy. The things you should not say to one of these dogs include: 'No more treats.'

They can be hard-headed.

While French Bulldogs are not technically stubborn streak as a breed, they can appear to be so. The reason is simple; they require a lot of attention and care. They tend to depend on the people in their life for social interaction, which means that they want to spend most of their time with you.

French bulldogs can also be stubborn when it comes to training. However, as long as their owners remain firm, proper training will yield beneficial results. In fact, once trained, the breed is known to be obedient and eager to please its owner.

They love to play.

They love to play and will be content with a chew toy, play fighting with a human, fetching sticks and balls, or with other dogs. Frenchies love form of play as their personality desires constant attention and stimulation.

They're great with kids.

French bulldogs can be great family members. They love to play, roam around the house, and sometimes, they display stubbornness. That is why kids and Frenchies are known to be partners in crime. Frenchies' personalities are a perfect match to kids' playful temperaments.

They're not big barkers.

When you hear the word "barking," it's easy to imagine a loud and noisy animal. If your ears are anything like mine, you cringe at the thought. French bulldogs are not a big barker breed, so their bark is distinctive in tone, meaning you'll know when they're bored, hungry, or want to play.

They love to cuddle.

Frenchies are known to be cuddly dogs. They are known to be lap dogs, as they will jump up and cuddle up real close to you. Like many dog breeds, they love human attention, and they feel more secure when they are with their family.

They love food.

French bulldogs do anything to get a piece of a treat from you. Using those huge, sad eyes as if they were saying they are dying of hunger.

However, this is not doing them any favors! Frenchies are prone to obesity. If you don't watch out for how much food you give your French Bulldog, he will become overweight and vulnerable to obesity-related diseases such as diabetes and heart problems.

They are protective.

French bulldogs are territorial and protective in nature. Which makes them reasonably good guard dogs. However, if you will train them how to bark in the presence of a stranger or when the bell rings, they can bark at anything that bothers their owners – but generally won't attack.

7 Common Health Problems on French Bulldogs

The French Bulldog breed is susceptible to a wide range of health conditions, most of which emerge within the first few years of the dog's life. These issues can cause your pup to become ill and significantly reduce its quality of life.

  1. Breathing Problems: If you plan to buy or adopt a French bulldog, you should be aware of any health issues like breathing problems. Like many other dog breeds with shortened muzzles, the dogs experience trouble breathing and swallowing. Medical professionals refer to this as brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome. Despite having one of the smaller snouts, the French Bulldog is one of the most prone to suffocating.   Most brachycephalic dogs suffer from some degree of upper airway obstruction. The soft palate (or uvula) and nearby structures in the back of the throat can cause a narrowing or even blockage of the airway. The obstruction may become severe and life-threatening.
  1. Skeletal Disorder: French Bulldogs are also prone to severe skeletal disorders. One of these is the IVDD. The IVDD, or Intervertebral Disc Disease, is a devastating disease that can cause permanent damage to your pet, and it's common in French Bulldogs. IVDD can occur at any time and is extremely common. A genetic disorder, IVDD occurs when the spinal cord or spinal discs are injured. Once this injury has occurred, inflammation begins to alter the surrounding tissue, which causes further damage to the spinal cord itself, which results in paralysis of one or more limbs.
  1. Ear Infections: Ear infection in French Bulldogs is a prevalent condition. The narrow ear canal causes the risk of infection, which can be pretty painful for your puppy. Many ear infections are due to excessive wax that produces bacteria and inflammation.  Regular use of Ear Cleansing Finger Wipes will help to safely and gently remove build-up and discharge that can cause odor on your dog's ears.

  1. Diarrhea: French Bulldogs are prone to many minor issues with their stomach, like sensitive intestines and food allergies that could cause issues. The most common problem is diarrhea, which is typical in Frenchies when they eat table scraps that they shouldn't. Don't forget to check on their stools. Because of their stomach upsets, their stools could be wet, runny, or tarry, smell foul, or there could be blood. These could be severe health problems that need to be focused on immediately. Bernie’s Perfect Poop is a line of probiotic supplements for dogs. Their natural and effective formula helps support your dog's gut health.

  1. Eye Problems: Cherry Eye is a common health problem with French bulldogs and other smaller dogs such as Pugs, and Boston Terriers. The condition got its name from the appearance of the gland, which resembles a cherry and protrudes from the corner of the eye. It can be treated with both surgical and non-surgical options. Now you can clear away those unsightly tear stains on your French bulldog with Squishface Tear Stain Paste. It's made in the USA with minimal ingredients to treat your dog's eye problem without harsh chemicals. It comes in a no-mess tube for easy application, and it works on all breeds. Get yours today with the code BRUNO10 to get 10% off.

  1. Heart Problems: This breed is known to suffer from two types of heart disease. Those are heart murmurs, which can generally be detected in the puppy years, and heart and valve disease later in life.  The second type is called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). It’s essentially the result of poor diet, lack of exercise, and poor circulation to the heart. 
  1. Skin Problems: Frenchies are no different from other breeds of dogs. They could experience skin allergies like skin folds, dermatitis, and pyoderma. Your Frenchie may show signs of this problem, like looking out for itching, biting, scratching, red skin, pus, and hair loss around the affected area. Squishface Wrinkle Paste is specially formulated for French Bulldogs' unique needs: it's made from all-natural ingredients like zinc oxide and soothing coconut oil to target fungus and prevent infection while providing comfort to irritated areas, plus it creates a water-repellent barrier to keep bacteria from taking hold. Get yours today with the code BRUNO10 to get 10% off.

How to take care of French Bulldogs?

Frenchie’s small size makes them easy to care for and maintain. However, it’s important to know how to take care of French bulldogs so that they can live a healthy life.


Frenchies have a short coat but still require regular maintenance to keep it clean and untangled. French bulldogs require very little grooming; although they may need a bath, they do not shed as much as other dogs. 

As for new owners, long hours of grooming is not advisable. So, if you are not so confident in grooming your Frenchie, there are basic grooming routines you can follow to make sure your Frenchie is always in good shape. 

FURminator Undercoat Deshedding Tool for Dogs

This tool is the one I personally used for my Frenchie.


It’s easy to train French bulldogs because they are intelligent and eager to please their owners. They have some stubborn moments, but overall they are quick learners who pick up commands easily. It’s best to start training your French bulldog when it is young so that it learns good habits early on in life.


French bulldogs need daily exercise even though they don’t have the same energy levels as other dog breeds. You don’t need a large yard to keep your Frenchie happy. A daily walk around the block is usually enough for them. Frenchies are an active breed, but due to their short snouts, they aren’t able to handle strenuous physical activity for long periods of time. Exercise should be short and sweet with lots of breaks in between for water and rest.

Mental Stimulation 

Frenchies are very intelligent, which means that mental stimulation is a must for these guys. This is especially important if you have a dog that must be left alone during the day. When Frenchies become bored, it can lead to destructive behaviors, such as chewing on your furniture. 

A great way to avoid this from happening is to play mind games with your Frenchie. There are a variety of enrichment toys on the market. Here is one of my favorites. 

Diet and Nutrition

The ideal weight of a Frenchie is about 30 pounds but can reach up to 40 pounds. You should choose low-fat and high-protein food for your dog because this breed is prone to obesity and hence requires a low fat diet. You must also ensure that there is a moderate amount of fiber in your diet. In addition to this, you must also include some amount of carbohydrates in your diet as this will help in increasing the energy levels of your dog.

There are a lot of benefits of feeding your Frenchie fresh food. I personally love The Farmer’s Dog. Their food is made with human-grade ingredients, which means it's actually good enough for people to eat! The food is prepared by trained chefs who develop recipes that are carefully balanced and suited for your dog's specific needs. They offer a customized feeding plan where they can ship you perfectly portioned meals based on your dog's specific dietary needs, activity level, and allergies. Since switching to it, Bruno has been full of energy and has an amazing shine to his coat!

Ideal Environment

French Bulldogs can adapt to any home situation. They can handle life in a city apartment as well as life in a small town or a rural country homestead. As long as they have your company and a time and a place for exercising, they’ll be fine.

French bulldogs do not like the cold or heat. In warm weather keep an eye on them, and stay in air-conditioned areas as much as possible. In cold weather, you may want to find a cute coat or sweater to help keep your adorable pup warm.

Key Takeaway

French bulldogs are loyal and affectionate companions who love the people in their lives. Their health concerns, grooming needs, and stubborn nature can be challenging at times, but they're well worth the effort.