It is predicted to be the most popular breed of 2019. French bulldog is loved all around the world for its funny looks and playful temperament. Yet, we know very little about the history and origin of these pups. In this article I will list some of the breed specifications, health issues and all the must knows before buying or adopting a frenchie.
Contrary to the name, the French bulldog actually originates from England. The breed first appeared around the 1800s, and is a cross of bulldogs form England and ratters form France. Bulldogs were crossed with terriers to reduce the size, when their role changed from bull baiting to companion dogs. Specialized breeding began towards 1860, when English breeders sent ‘faulty dogs’ over to France. Interesting fact is that the most prominent feature, the upwards pointing ear was considered a fault at the time. The small dog gained popularity in France and was given the name Bouledogue Francais. The dogs were highly fashionable and sought after society ladies, as well as prostitutes. Later they gained popularity in the creative world, favorited by designers, artists and writers. The French bulldog remained in favor with high society, with dogs changing hands for up to $3,000. Families like the Rockefellers, and the J. P. Morgans owned frenchies. The first French Bulldog in The United States, at the Westminster Kennel Club show appeared in 1896. They quickly nicknamed the breed “Frenchie,” and it is still an affectionate name that is used today.
The French bulldog is a compact built, muscular, heavy boned dog, of medium or small structure. The most common colors are fawn and brindle. In fact the breed clubs do not recognize any other color or pattern. Their sort and easy care coat goes well with their low maintenance personality. Their most prominent feature is the long, upwards pointing ear. This has been purposefully bred into French bulldogs, to further substantiate them from English bulldog breeds. Their squashed face makes them easy to recognize, it however gives them breathing problems. Their tails are short without cropping. They are around 30 cm tall and weight around 10-12 kg.
Frenchies like to play, but they equally like spending time on the sofa. They need regular exercise in moderation, preferring frequent to long walks. French bulldogs are intelligent. You can train them easily so long as yo keep it fun and motivated by treats. They are free thinkers, which often result in stubbornness. Frenchies love company, and they enjoy being around other dogs or their human. These pups generally get along well with everyone including children. French bulldogs make excellent watchdogs, alerting their owners of approaching strangers. They tend to get very protective over their family and furriends and will defend them both with their life. Frenchies are susceptible to heat exhaustion and should not be exposed to too much sun or heat. Do not leave your Frenchie out on a hot day alone! Heat strokes are common with them. We usually prepare our pup a cold pool of water. She enjoys dipping in every once in a while on a hot day.
French bulldogs are prone to a lot of health problems and it’s important to be aware of what they are!
Brachycephalic Syndrome: This disorder is found in dogs with short heads, narrowed nostrils, or elongated or soft palates. Due to their obstructed airways this syndrome can cause anything from noisy or labored breathing to total collapse of the airway. Dogs with brachycephalic syndrome commonly snuffle and snort. Treatment varies depending on the severity of the condition. It can include oxygen therapy as well as surgery to widen nostrils or shorten palates. Monitor your dog’s breeding carefully. Also not changes between their breathing in a resting state and after exercise. Also important to note, that a lot of these dogs cannot stand the air pressure changes at all. Many commercial airlines has banned them from their flights.
Allergies: Allergies are a common problem in dogs. There are three main types of allergies: food-based allergies, which are treated by an elimination process of certain foods from the dog’s diet. Contact allergies, caused by a reaction to a topical substance such as bedding, flea powders, dog shampoos, and other chemicals. You can treat it by removing the cause of the allergy. Inhalant allergies, caused by airborne allergens such as pollen, dust, and mildew. The medication for inhalant allergies depends on the severity of the allergy. It is important to note that ear infections often accompany inhalant allergies. Some common signs are frequent sneezing, scratching, hair loss and bold patches and diarrhea.
Overheating: It is a common problem with frenchies. They have a single coat of hair which, combined with their compromised breathing system makes it very hard for them to regulate their temperature. Make sure to equip your pup with the right summer and winter attire to help them in heat or cold.
- French bulldogs are companion dogs and thrive when they have human contact.
- They are prone to drooling and shedding, making it harder to maintain a clean house.
- They don’t bark a lot, but they are very talkative.
- Frenchies do not need a lot of exercise, rather frequent short walks.
- French bulldogs cannot give birth naturally, instead they have to go through c section.
What to look out for
Since it has become one of the most popular of breeds, you will hear that people are backyard breeding them. This can lead to interbreeding, common health and mental issues passed on from one generation to the other. This happens mainly because puppy mill breeders go for quantity over quality not taking the ‘faulty’ pups out of the circulation. Please, make sure to purchase your frenchie form a reputable breeder to avoid health issues, heartache or spending multiple times more money than bargained for. Consider adopting, there are plenty of rescues operating in the US and across Europe.
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