They're cute and they're attention getting. Their small size would seem to make them well suited to urban living, and they're trendy. Celebrities like Carrie Fisher frequently grace the red carpet with them, and they seem very friendly. But, is a French bulldog the pet for you? Read on to learn more about this breed.
The French Bulldog's History
Although it's hard to believe it looking at this breed now, the French Bulldog's ancestors were once a large dog used for hunting and bullfighting. Beginning in the mid-1800s in England, these larger dogs were bred with pugs and terriers to produce the breed known as a toy bulldog.
By 1850, the toy or miniature bulldog had been introduced to France and created a sensation. The demand for this breed was so great that dealers were sending over even animals that had "defects" like ears that stood straight in the air. By 1860, it was difficult to find miniature bulldogs in Great Britain, such was their popularity in France. Breeders there cross bred these dogs with their pug and terrier "cousins", giving this dog more pointed and prominent ears and rounder eyes.
French bulldogs began to be imported to the United States in the late 1880s, where they quickly caught on as "society lady pets". Although their "not quite bull dog" looks caused some controversy at dog shows, the French bulldog was recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club in the early 20th century. By 1906, it was America's fourth most popular dog breed. Though its popularity declined mid century, the breed has enjoyed a comeback in the 21st century. As of 2014, the French bulldog had again cracked America's "Top Ten" dog breed list.
"Frenchie" Pros And Cons
So, should you be considering French bulldogs in your hunt for a new best friend? "Frenchies" have much to recommend them as a breed. They are intelligent, active, and alert. These are friendly, loving dogs who have lots of energy and a definite sense of humor. Their calm demeanor and small size makes them good city dogs. French bulldogs do just fine with apartment living, and they are currently one of New York City's top dog breeds.
French bulldogs generally do very well in homes with children, but because this dog was bred to literally be a "toy", adults should supervise play with kids. This is a breed that can't tolerate a lot of rough play or exertion. It's also a breed that's not crazy about sharing a home with other pets; although if introduced to other animals at a reasonably early age, it can learn to tolerate them well. While French bulldog puppies are very lively, older dogs need little exercise. Its grooming needs are minimal.
But no one's perfect, and the French bulldog as a breed has some challenges. This dog is prone to:
- heart conditions
- serious back problems
- vision issues
- skin allergies
"Frenchies" also suffer from snorting, wheezing, drooling, and gas. This is also not an especially long lived dog for such a small breed, with an average lifespan of eight to 10 years.
Top 5 Routes for "French Bulldog Puppies"
- PuppySpot This site offers general information on French bulldogs, including puppies currently ready for adoption, their backgrounds, and where to find them.
- American Kennel Club This site provides a detailed history on the breed, embedded videos, and information needed for entering this breed in competitive shows. The site also offers a shop and a resources page.
- The Nest This dog training site gives specific information on training French bulldog puppies, and how to introduce them to households with young children.
- YourPurebredPuppy This site provides general information on breed health and how to feed and care for these dogs.
- French Bulldog Awareness Group The is the site of a national organization for French bulldog owners and offers information and support.