Playful, quirky and adorable, a French bulldog will easily become your best friend and loyal companion, bumbling into your heart with their pointy ears, square faces and soulful eyes. The perfect indoor dogs, Frenchies are great furry friends to keep you company if you’re living in a small space or an apartment, content to scurry around at your heels from room to room without being a bother, or chilling on the couch next to you as you watch TV. If you’re a first time pup parent, you might find it much easier looking after a Frenchie than other dog breeds – but this of course is subjective, and doesn’t mean they don’t require the appropriate attention and love to live healthily and in contentment.
French bulldogs can be dorky pups, excitable yet easy-going with pleasant, loving personalities. And when we say loving, we do mean it. Frenchies thrive on doling out attention to their family while craving it in equal measure themselves, which means they don’t do very well alone. If they’re isolated for too long they may even start to get depressed and make themselves sick, or develop unhealthy and problematic behaviors like excessive barking and digging. If you’re looking for a pup who’ll be able to handle some alone time by themselves, especially outdoors, Frenchies are not the right choice.
Nonetheless, French bulldogs are highly intelligent and alert dogs, and with the right degree of patience and a firm but gentle approach, you can train your Frenchie to negate the likelihood of troublesome or hard to discourage behavior. In fact, Frenchies can be stubborn pups if they decide to be difficult, so it’s better to start gradually training and teaching them from a young age when they’re more malleable and receptive than they’d be once they’ve adapted to certain behaviors. They can be as young as 8 weeks old when you start training them.
Despite their friendly nature, Frenchies can also tend to be somewhat territorial and possessive, so they might display aggressive behavior toward strangers and other dogs whom they perceive as a threat. Usually, though, their open and friendly dispositions make them sociable, and their affability means they’ll usually get along with anyone, including children. They also make great watchdogs, alerting you to the approach or presence of others, though Frenchies aren’t exactly barkers (which again makes them great indoor pets in apartment buildings where you might otherwise risk bothering the neighbors). If they do start barking, it’s worth checking out what’s alarmed them since they’re typically such a quiet breed.
Grooming and care
One of the most important parts of Frenchie care is ensuring your pup is sufficiently cool. Frenchies tend to overheat quickly, prone to heat exhaustion and therefore not suited at all for long hours outside on warm days. They’re much more comfortable in cool indoor environments, with the air conditioning on during hot days.
Remember not to take them out for walks on unbearably hot days either – instead, opt for 15-minute daily walks when the temperature is a bit cooler. Despite being relatively low energy, Frenchies still enjoy playing and engaging in other physical activities, and a healthy degree of activity is recommended to help keep their weight down to prevent certain health risks (which we’ll explore further in the next section).
Frenchies also tend to be somewhat destructive, and you might find they’re shredding up their toys and making a mess. At a young age, when your pup isn’t yet fully trained, it’s better to limit their access to anything they can readily destroy – crate training is one way to go, especially to prevent your pup from accidentally swallowing and choking on something they’re not supposed to be playing with. Because of their playful and free thinking natures, it might take you a lot of patience and time to control habits like this, and even then, you might find your Frenchie hiding their toys or other items around the house for you to find as a game to keep them amused. Some owners may find this type of behavior frustrating, others find their mischievous and sometimes wilful natures endearing, and some may even grow to love these little oddballs for their quirks.
As average shedders, you’ll also want to be mindful when grooming your pups to keep them from trailing hair all over your house. Grooming French bulldogs is, thankfully, pretty easy, their fine and smooth coat requiring a couple of brushing sessions every other week to keep clean and smooth, keeping an eye out for conditions like scabs, hot spots or hives which might require the vet’s attention. Also remember to keep your pup’s ears and teeth clean – for the ears, use a warm, damp cloth and cotton balls along the edges (never put the swab inside the ear canal). Also remember to keep the folds of your pup’s face thoroughly cleaned out, including when you give them a bath, and remember to dry the creases out completely afterwards.
Dogs can tend to be rather allergy prone, so ensure you’re aware of what might trigger an allergic reaction in your pup and avoid it. Allergies can either be food allergies, contact allergies and inhalant allergies.
Another health condition French bulldogs might be susceptible to is brachycephalic syndrome, a disorder not uncommon in dwarf breeds characterized by narrow nostrils, soft and/or elongated palates and short heads. Obstructed airways because of this condition is the reason your Frenchie is likely to give out those strange noises, prone to snoring, snorting and wheezing, but in severe cases can contribute to difficulties in breathing and even complete collapse of the airways. Treatment might entail oxygen treatment or surgery to widen the pup’s nostrils or shorten their palates.
Your pup might suffer from other conditions too, like hip dysplasia, a condition which can be passed down from parents to the pup, and might result in rear leg lameness because of an improperly formed hip joint. It’s important to make sure you moderate your Frenchie’s weight and be mindful of his diet and exercise, because obesity can worsen this condition. Remember to keep other considerations, such as making sure your pup is sleeping on an orthopedic and supportive dog