By looking at its name, it’s easy to get the idea that the French Bulldog originated in France but that isn’t quite the case. This breed actually comes from Nottingham, England. The bulldogs of that area and time were big and tenacious which made them great for baiting bulls, but not as desirable as a household pet. Therefore, breeders set about creating a smaller version more suitable for companionship. Thus, the “Toy Bulldog” was created.
During the Industrial Revolution, many of England’s craftsmen were driven to France and when they went, they took their Toy Bulldogs with them. The breed became quite popular in their new home and was nicknamed the “French Bulldog”. The name stuck, even when the breed made its way back to England for shows and today they are a beloved companion dog around the world.
The French Bulldog is small and stocky. They stand about 30 centimetres high, weigh from 9 to 13 kilograms and pack a lot of muscle into a very small body. Their heads are large, but their muzzles are short. They are known for their bat-like ears that stick straight up. Their eyes are round and prominent and tails are either straight or curl into a cork-screw.
The French Bulldog’s coat is short and smooth. It can come in a variety of colours, including brindle, white, faun, or any combination of the three. This breed is very easy when it comes to grooming. A good brushing every once in a while is all they need. Expect an average amount of shedding.
One of the words most often used to describe French Bulldogs is “clownish.” This breed is very happy and playful. They are lively without being annoying and ceaselessly affectionate, making them wonderful companion dogs. Frenchies can be a wonderful addition to a loving family, but be a little cautious with young children. This breed can be a little rough when they play and could accidentally hurt a young child.
If you live in an apartment, a French Bulldog may be a perfect fit for you. They do much better indoors than outdoors, and can stay inside for long periods of time without being destructive. This doesn’t mean that they don’t need exercise, so be sure they get their daily walk in. Frenchies have difficulty regulating their temperatures because of their respiratory system so caution needs to be taken in hot and humid weather. Do not leave them outside for long periods of time, try to refrain from exercising them during the hottest time of the day and ensure they have access to shade and fresh water.
Sadly, this breed is prone to many health problems. Most of these issues revolve around breathing. French Bulldogs have a compressed respiratory system, which means that when the temperature goes up it becomes difficult for them to breathe. It’s imperative to keep your Frenchie inside when the weather heats up. This problem can worsen if the dog is overweight, so be careful not to overfeed them. Joint diseases, heart defects, and eye problems are also common. Keep in mind that vet bills tend to be high for this breed. The average life expectancy for these dogs is 10 to 12 years.
It’s easy to be fooled by their small size, but don’t forget that Frenchies come from a long line of fighters and bull baiters. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a shock if they display some aggressive tendencies. These behaviours usually show themselves by aggression towards dogs of the same gender but with proper training and firm leadership, these behaviours can be minimized.