Breed Spotlight: French Bulldog

Breed Spotlight: French Bulldog

French Bulldogs
by: Erin White

Despite his glum expression, the French Bulldog is a comical, entertaining, and dependably amiable dog that has become a very popular breed in recent years (number 9 on the AKC breed list, to be exact). 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), males may bicker with other males, and females with other females.
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 squat build and heavy head, most Frenchies cannot swim and will drown if they fall into a pool.

A Frenchie is a good choice for you if you want a dog who…
*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

Think twice about this breed if you don’t want to deal with…

*A compromised respiratory system.
-No smoking 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.

*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.

-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.

-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 Difficulties
-Expect four to six months of consistent crate training.

*Health problems
-Because of poor breeding practices and their short face, French Bulldogs suffer more than their share of health problems, especially joint diseases, spinal disorders, eye diseases, heart disease, and more.

French Bulldogs are an endearing, comical and loving breed and make wonderful pets. Just as with any pure bred dog, they can have their share of potential problems. But, being the proud Momma of 3 Frenchies, I can definitely say that the positives that come with this breed far outweigh the potential negatives in my opinion, and I will be a Frenchie Momma for life.