The Playful French Bulldog

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French Bulldog
Weight: 19 — 28 lbs
Height: 11” — 13”
AKC Rank 2008 #26
Lifespan: 9—11 yrs
Group Non Sporting
Origin France


Dog Breed Info - The French Bulldog

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Breed Overview

Origin 1800’s. Original function, lap dog. Today, companion dog. Colors: Brindle, white, brindle and white.

During the 1800’s workers left England for France. They brought toy bulldogs with them. French women, especially, were attracted to the bulldogs, especially the ones with erect ears. French breeders tried to consistently produce the erect “bat ears.“ By the late 1800’s, the breed had caught the attention of the upper class on France. Along this same time, American visitors to France brought a few of these dogs back to America. They started breeding the dogs.

An American club was formed and in 1898 and sponsored a dog show. It was registered by the AKC in the same year


Independent and a bit stubborn. Not easy to train. The French Bulldog is intelligent and alert and wants to please, but he is slow to catch on. Use clicker training with positive reinforcement. Your dog will do well with this method. If you are persistent, patient, the dog will learn.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your French Bulldog? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

Some French Bulldog puppies can be difficult to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.



The French Bulldog is a clown, a best buddy and a lapdog.

If you happen to get a Frenchie with separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

This is Hilton, a French Bulldog who is "resting between naps."
Photo sent in by his master, Ivan from France. Thanks, Ivan!
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Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Fair. French Bulldogs are not aggressive. Some will tolerate other dogs better than others. One of my uncle’s Frenchie got along with all strange dogs.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Not always. Some French Bulldogs do fairly well with other animals, but this varies from dog to dog. It’s best if the dog is raised with the other pets.

Friendly Toward Strangers

No. This is a one-or-two-owner-dog that remains loyal. Strangers are not always welcome.


Loves to play, especially in the house. One of my uncles had a French Bulldog that made us laugh more than anything else. We would take the dog for a short evening walk and that was all he needed. He played in the house with his toys and my uncle in 20 minute spurts. In between, he’d nap.


Yes, very affectionate with it’s owner. Tends to be a one-master dog and becomes 100% devoted, as well as protective. This is a true lap dog.

Good with children?

No. These Frenchies are not especially tolerant of the boisterous, rambunctious, unpredictable antics of kids.

Two Frenchies - Just good friends
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Good with Seniors over 65?

Yes. The Frenchie is an excellent choice for the senior! Loving, loyal lap dog. Entertaining, silly, low exercise needs, this dog is perfect for seniors. A simple walk now and then or a little game of fetch in the living room is all the dog needs to complete his day. Check for French Bulldog Rescue groups for an adult dog if longevity is an issue.

Living environment

Apartment, condo, farm, big city all OK.

A French Bulldog can get by with a small, fenced backyard or no yard at all. They do like to explore and sniff around but they do that on walks anyway.

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Energy level

Moderate. Low impact dog. Enough energy to act silly, play a bit, take a walk and curl up on his owners lap.

Exercise needs, daily

Light. One or two short walks and a little play time (not much) is plenty. The French Bulldog will develop breathing problems if you romp too much with him, so low-key everything.


Somewhat. Will bark at perceived dangers.

Guard dog

No. Maybe the barking will deter an intruder.




Brush the little guy out once a week. He’ll appreciate the attention. Use a medium to stiff bristle brush

It is important to clean out the folds (wrinkles) on the face and keep them clean and dry. This is true with any Bulldog or Mastiff with a smashed-in face.



Suggested Reading For The French Bulldog
Click on the cover photo for more book information and reviews.

3rd book from the left is "101 Dog Tricks" which will give your Frenchie lots of mental stimulation and fun things to do. I have never seen so many unusual things for a dog to do as are taught in this book!

The book on the right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog emergencies, injuries and illnesses. It is a valuable reference manual for every dog owner to keep close at hand.


French Bulldog Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for French Bulldog puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training.
French Bulldog Breeders with puppies for sale.

French Bulldog Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of a Frenchie and are looking for a French Bulldog Rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - French Bulldog Rescue If you adopt a dog, try to locate the dog health papers. They could come in handy.
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site. Be sure to check your local papers for French Bulldog Rescue groups or foster homes and all the kennels or dog pound if you have one.

Dog Health Issues For The French Bulldog
Below are the dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the French Bulldog by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are the dog illness and medical problems this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Facial fold dermatitis—Inflammation of the skin folds on the face of dogs such as the Mastiff and French Bulldog. Moisture and dirt caught in the folds breed bacterial infections. This causes significant itching for the dog. The vet will prescribe a suitable cleansing shampoo and antibiotic medication, as the infections will probably reoccur.

  • Stenotic nares—Brachycephalic dogs such as those with smashed in faces tend to have very narrow nostrils. The narrow nasal openings can make it difficult for the dog to breathe. This can only be corrected by surgery and only if the problem is severe.

  • Interdigital dermatitis - An infection occurs between the "toes" of the dog and sacs fill with pus which bothers the dog. She licks and bites at the bothersome infections and after a few days, they break open and drain, giving relief to the dog. Al;l you will see is the dog limping around. Clean and cleanse the infected feet well, see a vet for medication to prevent returning infections and that should do it.

  • Elongated Soft Palate—Brachycephalic dogs like those with short, smashed-in faces (French Bulldog) have a soft palate that separates the nasal passage from the oral cavity flaps down into the throat which creates snorting sounds. All brachycephalics suffer from this except in Bulldogs, breathing distress is rare. Excess barking ore panting can cause swelling in the throat and lead to more trouble breathing.

  • Intervertebral disc disease—Biochemical changes in a young dog of certain breeds can cause at least one diseased or mineralized disc in the spine of a dog. A disc that is not functioning properly will cause pain, problems walking, stumbling, severe neck pain and even paralysis. The Dachshund has an 80% chance of having this problem. Treatments can go from non-invasive doses of anti-inflammatory steroids, muscle relaxants and bed-rest to surgery. Pain meds are also given as needed. Mess with the spine and you have a serious situation and it’s tough on the dog!

  • Brachycephalic syndrome—Difficulty breathing in dogs with a short face and head such as the French Bulldog, Pug etc. They have a soft, fleshy palate, narrowed nostrils and larynx. Dogs with this will snort, cough, have a low tolerance for exercise, possibly faint easily, especially in hot weather, and breath noisily. This puts a strain on the heart. There can exist a lack of coordination between trying to breathe and swallow. Gastrointestinal problems can follow. Heat stroke is highly possible so keep your dog COOL.

  • Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, back leg acts lame. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing great pain and difficulty walking. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

  • Patellar luxation—Hind end issues, pain. Limping, Hind Leg Held Up, Can’t straighten back leg. Caused by an unusually shallow spot on the femur, weak ligaments and misalignment of tendons and muscles that align the knee joint and allow the knee cap (patella) to float sideways in and out of position. This can be caused by injury or be present at birth and can affect either rear leg of the French Bulldog. It’s most common in small and toy dogs. If your dog has trouble straightening the leg, is limping, or is walking on three legs and holding one hind leg up, look for patellar luxation. Several of my dogs have had the problem and all I’ve done is reach down, massage the knee a little until they drop their leg, and we’re good to go for another 3 or 4 months. Severe cases require surgery for a fully lame leg.

  • Urolithiasis—Excessive crystals (urinary stones or bladder or kidney stones) can form in the urinary tract or kidney, bladder or urethra, blocking the flow of urine in the French Bulldog. The crystals or stones irritate the lining of the urinary tract. They cause blood in the urine and pain and in severe cases make urination impossible. Symptoms are frequent urination, urinating in odd places, blood in urine, dribbling, depression, weakness, straining, pain, vomiting and loss of appetite. Dogs can be treated by diet, medications and surgery, depending on the dog, severity and other circumstances of the individual case.

  • Hemivertebrae—Congenital abnormality of the spine causing an angle in or incorrectly shaped spine, possibly due to inadequate blood supply in the womb. The tail is most often affected in which case there is no problem. However, it is serious when the spine itself is affected. When the spinal cord becomes twisted or compressed, the dog will show incontinence and weakness in the rear legs. Mild cases may require no action. Moderate cases might require an injection of corticosteroid to reduce inflammation and severe cases could require corrective surgery.

  • Cataracts - Hazy or cloudy vision and if not treated will lead to blindness.

  • Atopic dermatitis's—Hereditary. Shows at 1 to 3 years age. Skin allergy triggered by dust mites, pollen, poor quality foods and other garbage we put into the dog’s environment. Many breeds are prone to this. The dog will lick, rub, chew and scratch the infected areas. Allergens can also come from fleas, bacteria and yeast infections. See your vet. There are many treatments ranging from medicines, antihistamines, diets, bathing, cleansing the house of dust mites and so on.

  • Distichiasis—An eye condition involving the cornea. Eyelashes, growing improperly on the inner surface of the eyelid cause corneal ulcers due to the constant rubbing and irritation. The problem is fixed by having the vet remove the lashes if the ulcers don’t heal.

  • Tetralogy of Fallot—Hereditary heart disease seen before the 2nd year of age. De-oxygenated blood is pumped through the dog's body with this condition. Generally this condition, due to the lack of oxygen in the blood, will cause weakness, no desire for exercise, and a blue-grey color instead of the normal pink mucous membranes in the mouth. Expensive heart surgery with a very high mortality rate is the only treatment. It’s a breeders nightmare for the Keeshond, French and English Bulldogs.

Other problems could occur with your French Bulldog. If you notice any problems with your pet, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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