Breed Profile: French Bulldog
The French Bulldog is a fun-loving, small domestic dog that is best kept indoors and has a lifespan of 8-12 years. They are an affectionate breed, usually requiring low maintenance and high companionship. ‘Frenchies’ have a stocky build, a flattened nose (seen with other bulldogs), a square shaped head and come in a range of light and dark colours (brindle, fawn, tan and white). With a straight tail and a pear body, the French Bulldog is a compact dog that fits in perfectly with a loving, energetic family. They grow to approximately 30cm in height and 9-13kg in weight.
Key distinguishing features of the French Bulldog are the stiffened, upright ears that demonstrate intelligence, alertness and playfulness; many refer to this as ‘bat’ ears. As they thrive on human attention it is best to ensure someone is home regularly, which makes this pet ideal for a household with children. French Bulldogs are suited to the ‘guarding’ role as they only bark for good reason. They are known to stand their ground, separating this breed from the other smaller breeds which are widely considered as ‘yappers’ lacking courageous instinct.
French Bulldogs are also categorised as clowns despite their calm nature, and while not athletic they do exert energy through their easy-going style. In terms of similar breeds, the Pug, Boston Terrier, Miniature Bull Terrier and the Bulldog have features in common with the French Bulldog. They play well with other dogs and require leadership; this breed does not respond well to being ignored, and can become snappy/stubborn without attention. Personality differs from dog to dog, but if rewarded for poor behaviour they can acquire Small Dog Syndrome.
Due to the bone structure of the back and knees, weakness can arise through regular jumping or heavy use of stairs. They do not cope well with high temperatures and require lots of water and sufficient shelter; this stems from the breathing difficulties that can be found in dogs with a similar ‘pushed in’ nose. In addition, due to having a single short coat they can also become cold very quickly, highlighting the need for supervision and an indoor environment. Jackets are recommended during winter, but a well circulated house and knowledge of the breed ensure suitable conditions.
French Bulldogs cannot swim due to their body shape and should not be exercised on warm days. Like any dog, they require regular strolls outdoors but are suited to the small space of an apartment/flat. Eye issues are common, but if the lids are cleaned often this may not be a problem. Do not over-feed them; adding extra weight to their frame will cause further strain on knees/back. Regular vet checks are necessary.
French Bulldogs are relatively inexpensive dogs in terms of food (250g per day). They do not shed much hair so grooming is rarely needed, although as previously mentioned a warm jumper in winter is advised for areas that are drastically impacted by the cold. These can be found in your local pet store. All the usual vaccinations and worming is required, but keeping a French Bulldog fit and healthy starts from the home.
If purchasing a dog for breeding, French Bulldogs are not recommended. 80% of litters are delivered through artificial insemination, as many males are incapable of breeding naturally. This breed thrives in a family environment and should not be used for professional means. For more information please contact your local dog clinic.
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