Fascinating, funny, affectionate, and kind hearted are just a few of the words that can be used to describe French Bulldogs. These dogs are quite adorable and many people throughout the world gravitate to this breed. However, just as with any type of dog that you come across, this breed is not the right choice for every pet owner.
The French Bulldog is quite small with even the largest of the breed weighing in at less than 30 pounds. They are quite cute and the perfect size to cuddle. This makes them a great choice for those who are looking for a good friend and lap dog. If you are thinking about adopting a French Bulldog, there are a few things that you should know about the breed first. Here are 17 things that you should know before you bring your French Bulldog home.
1. Brief History
Bulldogs have always been a cute breed. However, the English bulldog can be quite large. During the 19th century breeders started to breed the English bulldog with smaller dogs to create a miniature version of the breed. The English bulldog was often used to keep rats out of the workrooms where lace was made. Machines started making lace in England, and the laceworkers were out of a job.
Many of them moved south to France and took their dogs with them. The French loved the little bulldogs and the breed soon became popular among the bohemian class, which included many writers and artists. It was also popular among wealthy Americans who visited Paris. The French Bulldog was soon taken to America and was recognized officially as a breed by the American Kennel Club in the year 1898. It is now one of the most popular breeds in the United States.
The French Bulldog is quite small in size. These dogs typically do not weigh much more than 28 pounds. The height of the dog at the shoulders is only about eleven to twelve inches. The small size of this dog is one of the reasons that they are quite popular. They are cute, fun loving, and playful pups. While not considered to be a “toy” breed, they are a miniature version of the larger English bulldog.
They are a mix between the large English bulldog and the smaller ratters that were found in France during the late 1800s. They were often used by lacemakers to help keep the rats away from the places that they worked in. These small dogs do not need a whole lot of space, which makes them a good choice for those who live in an apartment or simply do not have a lot of space for a bigger sized dog.
French Bulldogs do not require a lot of exercise, even though they have a lot of energy, they are great at keeping themselves in shape. They will often jump up and down off of your furniture and will run a circuit throughout your house to keep themselves and you entertained. Like all dogs, they do need to be walked each day.
However, a short 15 minute walk a day is enough to help keep them in shape. These walks and any outside play should be done in the mornings and evenings when it is cooler outside as this breed is quite sensitive to the heat and they can quickly develop heatstroke. If you are looking for a dog to take jogging or hiking with you, this is not the breed for you. These dogs are best for those just looking for some companionship at home.
When it comes to feeding habits of a French Bulldog, it will vary based on his size, his age, metabolism, and build. His activity level will play a role in how much food he needs as well. Typically, the recommendation is for you to feed your Frenchie a cup or a cup and a half of high quality dry dog food each day. Once in the morning and once in the evening.
However, just like people, dogs will vary and may need more or less food based on their activity levels and personality. It also depends on the type of dog food that you are giving them. The higher quality dog food will provide them with more of the nutrients that they need, which means they may not need as much. It is best to ask your vet for recommendations about the type of food to give your dog as well as the amounts.
The French Bulldog has a coat that is smooth, short, fine, and shiny. The skin of the dog is wrinkled and quite loose. This is especially true around the shoulders and the head. The texture of the coat is extremely soft. There are a number of different colors that a French Bulldog may come in. This includes cream, fawn, and a number of different shades of brindle.
Brindle is a coat that is patterned with streaks and specks of light and dark markings. There are black brindles, and even a striking tiger brindle. There is also a brindle with white markings. The French bulldog can come in almost any color except solid black. If a breeder informs you that the color of a particular puppy is rare and tries to charge you more for it, choose a different breeder as this is simply not true and they are just trying to charge you more for an already expensive dog.
6. Shedding and Grooming
The French Bulldog is quite easy to groom. They only need to be brushed occasionally in order to keep their coats healthy. They do shed as all dogs do, but the shedding of a French Bulldog is quite average. It is important to make sure that you start to groom your French Bulldog when they are young. Teach your pup to stand on the floor or a table to make the entire experience easier on both you and the dog.
When you are grooming your dog make sure that you take time to look for any bare spots, lesions, flaky skin, or any other signs of infection. It is also important to check their ears, their eyes, and their teeth for any bad smells or discharges. Clean their ears with a warm, damp cloth regularly to help keep them healthy. If you notice anything unusual take them to the vet promptly.
7. Bathing your French Bulldog
You should plan on bathing your French Bulldog at least once a month. If they are out in the mud or the rain, you may have to bathe them more often. You need to invest in a high quality dog shampoo to use on your puppy as this will help to keep the natural oils of his coat and skin healthy.
Make sure that you keep the wrinkles around the face area clean and dry to help prevent any bacterial infections that may occur. When you bathe your dog it is important to make sure that you dry them well, especially between the folds in the skin. It is also important to make sure that you keep their nails trimmed and neat. If you are not comfortable trimming their nails yourself, you can take them to a groomer or a vet in order to have this done.
8. Hip Dysplasia
One of the common ailments that French Bulldogs suffer from is hip dysplasia. This is an inheritable condition where the femur is not snugly fit inside the pelvic socket located in the hip joint. This issue may occur without any clinical signs. There are some dogs that show pain or have lameness in one or both of their back legs. When the dog begins to age, arthritis may develop.
An x-ray screening can be completed in order to determine if your dog suffers from this ailment. Any pup that has this issue should not be bred. Make sure that you ask your breeder if either of the parents of the pup had been tested for hip dysplasia. It is important to make sure that the parents are free of any issues. If the parents had this issue it is highly probable that your pup will develop it as well.
9. Brachycephalic Syndrome and Hemivertebrae
There are some other ailments to be aware of when it comes to French Bulldogs as well. Brachycephalic Syndrome is common in dogs that have narrow nostrils, shore heads, or soft or elongated palates. The airways can become obstructed to different degrees and can cause symptoms from noisy and labored breathing to the airway totally collapsing. Treatment will vary based on the severity of the condition.
Hemivertebrae is an issue where the vertebrae is malformed. This can occur on its own or with other types of vertebrae malformations. It may cause no issues or in some cases it can cause pressure on the spinal cord, which may lead to weakness, pain, or even paralysis. There is no treatment for hemivertebrae unless it is causing pressure to the spinal cord. Once again, it is important to research the breed and know your breeder to ensure that you are getting a healthy puppy.
There are many dogs that suffer from allergies and the French Bulldog is not excluded. There are three main types of allergies that a dog may have. A food based allergy is treated by simply eliminating certain foods from your dog’s diet. Contact allergies can be caused by using a topical substance on the skin of the dog. This includes bedding, dog shampoos, flea powders, as well as other chemicals they may come into contact with.
This is treated by simply removing whatever is causing the allergic reaction. The third type of allergy is an inhalant allergy. This is caused by airborne allergens including dust, mildew, and pollen. Medication is available for this type of allergy based on how severe it is and what is causing it. It is important to note that dogs that suffer from inhalant allergies also often suffer from ear infections.
11. Bringing Home a French Bulldog Puppy
When you decide that a French Bulldog is the right choice for you, there are several things that you need to do in order to prepare your home for the puppy’s arrival. Bringing the puppy into its new home can be a traumatic experience. It is important to provide your new dog with a space that is welcoming and warm.
You want to make sure that you puppy proof your home. It is typically best to designate an area of your home to keep your French Bulldog puppy contained to at first. It is best if this is an area that you and your family frequent. This will not only help to keep them in a safe area, but will also help to keep them from becoming overwhelmed. Remember, puppies chew on everything, so make sure that cords and other dangerous items are put out of their reach.
12. Picking up your Puppy
It is important to prepare yourself for the trip to get your puppy and bring them home. When you pick up your pup there is a good chance that they are going to be a bit overwhelmed and even scared, so you want to make the experience as pleasant as possible. You do not want your dog to hate car rides, so make sure that you do everything that you can to make them feel comfortable.
If you plan on going by yourself to get your pup, ask a friend to come along. You will want to have someone their to hold the pup while you are driving because it is never a good idea to drive with a puppy on your lap. Having a person there to hold the pup while you take him to your new home will help to make them feel more comfortable in the car.
13. Questions to Ask
When you arrive to pick up your new French Bulldog there are several questions that you should be prepared to ask. Make sure to ask about their current eating and sleeping habits. You also want to know the times that they are used to going outside. Ask about the food that they are eating, including the brand, how much, and how many times each day because you do not want to suddenly change their diet as this can cause distress.
If you decide to change their diet when you bring them home, make sure that you do it slowly over about a week long period. Make sure that you are writing down all of the details that the breeder or pet store owner is giving you. It is also important to know any pertinent health related issues about the pup. A health record should be provided by any solid breeder or pet store owner.
14. Setting Boundaries
The key to having a well trained dog is to start training them early. One of the most important things that you can do when you bring your dog home is to be consistent with the rules that you set. You should reward any desirable behaviors and try to refrain from any excessive scolding. French Bulldogs are actually quite sensitive and do not respond well to anger. For the first few days, take the tone down a notch.
Your puppy will already be stressed simply by being in a new environment. There is no need to add any stress to their transition. In addition, while you may be ready for your puppy to meet all of your friends, it is best to wait a few days up to a week before inviting everyone over. Take pictures and post them on social media, but have your friends stay away while your pup is adjusting to their new life with you.
15. Finding a Vet
It is important to establish a solid relationship with a vet when you bring home a puppy. It is important to do some research about local vets in your area and find out which ones are recommended. Ask your friends and family members about the vets that they use. You can also read reviews online. You will be taking your dog to the vet on a regular basis and you want it to be a good experience for both you and your pup.
Choosing the right vet is one of the most important things that you can do for your dog. Just as you would not simply go to any doctor, don’t just choose the first vet that you come across after a quick google search. Take the time to find a high quality vet for your new best friend as he will greatly appreciate it as will you.
16. Time and Attention
When you bring home a French Bulldog puppy, one thing that you absolutely need to know is that your puppy is going to need a lot of attention. It is important that you supervise them around the clock. It is also important to make sure that you are consistent with their training and your expectations. Make sure that you expose them to several social conditions.
The early days that your puppy is with you are crucial in them developing into a happy and well-behaved older dog. Try to spend as much time as possible with your puppy during their first few weeks in your home. They need you there to teach them house rules and to help them adjust to their new environment. Do not scold them for accidents, instead praise them when they go outside as this will lead to them learning more quickly. Taking time in the beginning with your pup will pay off dividends in the future.