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French Bulldog – Hard to Resist Their Charm and Playful Nature

07.10.2022 - Reading time: 8 minutes

Ein Welpe spielt mit einem Ball

The French Bulldog has been one of the most beloved breeds for quite some time. No wonder, as it is very hard to resist their charm and playfulness. With their balanced character “Frenchies” are also well adapted to life in the city as long as you take their need for some activity into account. Unfortunately, the demand for popular breeds has often led to negligence in the breeding process, resulting in dogs that suffer from shortness of breath. Read interesting facts about this intelligent characterful dog here.


Newsletter French Bulldog

French Bulldog
Society and companion dog
up to 35 centimetres shoulder height
8 to 14 kilograms
compact, muscular, agile, "square" head with short nose and muzzle, twisted tail
slightly protruding
upright bat ears
Coat and colour
fine, short, even fawn in all shades, brindled, tabby; undesirable colours: mouse grey, brown and black with red blaze
Special features
Sensitive to high temperatures and cold, afraid of water
intelligent, playful, cuddly, good-natured, balanced and brave
Brushing, special care needed for ears, eyes and skin folds
Eyes and eye folds sensitive, tendency to food allergies, shortness of breath.

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Origins in the working class milieu

French bulldogs, like pugs and Great Danes, belong to the Molossus breed. Their English ancestors were bred for bloody dogfights until these were prohibited by law in the 19th century. Bulldogs arrived in France as companions of British textile workers and were initially typical working dogs, coachmen’s dogs and butcher’s dogs whose job was to kill rats. They were cross-bred with native pugs, Spitz and terriers. The appearance of the modern French Bulldog is based on this colourful mix of breeds, which soon made the little powerhouses popular with other social classes and in artistic circles. From then on, the breed found increasing favour with the wealthy and aristocrats of society. In 1880, the first breed club was founded in Paris and a systematic breeding standard was developed. At the beginning of the 20th century, the umbrella organisation Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) was founded, which divided dog breeds into different groups. French bulldogs belong to FCI group 9 “Companion and Society Dogs”. The Pug and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel also belong to this FCI group.

The colours of the French bulldog are varied: pied, with or without brindling, from even fawn to gradations such as milk coffee or red. According to the breed guidelines, colours such as black with red “blaze”, blue and brown are not desirable.

Ein Französisches Bulldoggenbaby schaut direkt in die Kamera.

Character and nature of the French bulldog

Characteristic bat ears, wrinkled forehead and drooping lips: the French variant of the bulldog also looks a little grim. But this impression is deceptive. The temperament of the French bulldog is even-tempered and good-natured, but also lively and stubborn. The alert and loyal French bulldog is an ideal companion dog and always wants to be close to its owners. It is affectionate, cuddly and very sociable with children. It absolutely needs direct family contact and is not suitable for kennel keeping. It much prefers to sleep next to (or directly in) the bed and to snore while doing so. French bulldogs are good watchdogs, but have little hunting instinct. They are also affectionate and uncomplicated with strangers and other animals. In terms of character, French bulldogs are truely cheerful creatures that need a loving hand, develop a strong bond with people and like to adapt to the rhythm of life in the family.

Training and care of the French bulldog

The French bulldog is easy to care for, even for novice dog owners. Due to its size and sociability, it is also suitable as an apartment dog, but it should be spared excessive stair climbing. Nevertheless, the animal needs enough exercise and playtime. You must be careful that the dog does not get carried away with sudden exuberance. There are no breed-specific difficulties in training the French bulldog – apart from the fact that it is difficult not to be taken in by the dog’s charm. Consistency in training is absolutely necessary so that the dog accepts you as the alpha dog. French bulldogs are docile and always eager to please their humans. So do not spare praise!

Due to their lively nature, French Bulldogs love to run around and play, but should not be overworked because of the breed’s shortness of breath. They are not sporting animals and are not suitable for competitive sports such as cycling or jogging. The muzzle that has been bred to be short means that overexertion can result in breathing problems, whereby the dog can no longer regulate its body temperature by panting and overheating is imminent. Therefore, the French bulldog should retreat to a shady place when the temperature rises in summer and not permanently romp with the children in the garden. This dog breed is also not a good swimmer. Its small legs and relatively large head are not the best prerequisites for this. Nevertheless, French bulldogs love water and are happy to cool off in a small paddling pool in summer.

However, all this does not mean that moderate dog sports are not possible with these lively powerhouses. Dogdance, agility or tracking are sports where the French bulldog can really let off steam. The focus here is on fun and play, not on endurance.

The right diet for French bulldogs

This small and strong dog breed with its short legs and compact build tends to become overweight. Therefore, sufficient exercise and a wholesome dog food with a high meat content are the basic prerequisites for an active and vital life. Any change to a different dog food should always be made slowly, as French Bulldogs often tend to have flatulence and stomach problems due to their breed. When giving treats and snacks in between meals, make sure they are low-fat products. Rabbit ears and beef ears are ideal and also clean the dog’s teeth.

Care tips for the French bulldog

Grooming the short-haired dog is very easy, but the French bulldog is sensitive to cold and wet. As with other dogs with skin folds, it is important to groom the face carefully and keep the forehead folds clean and smooth to prevent inflammation. A known health problem: the French bulldog is prone to food allergies. Therefore, pay special attention to your dog’s diet and the ingredients of the food. Be sure to buy your French bulldog from a reputable breeder who also keeps an eye out for hereditary breeding diseases. Ears and eyes are more likely to be affected by inflammation in this breed than in other breeds. Due to the flat face shape, the large bat ears and the cute beady eyes, these areas need more attention. It is best to check the ears every day and clean them if necessary. Especially the crease under the eyelid must always be kept dry, because it is the optimal breeding ground for bacteria and a trigger for inflammations.

What should you consider before buying?

Due to their loving nature, French bulldogs are ideally suited to families with children as well as to single people in city flats and older active people. To protect their joints, however, the dogs must not run up and down stairs excessively due to their short legs. A house with a lift or a flat on the ground floor are ideal. The life expectancy of the animals is about 12 years. Before buying, consider whether you can offer the dog a good home for this period, even if your life circumstances change.

Basically, you should always buy dogs from a reputable breeder who only breeds from healthy parents, who socialises the animals lovingly from the beginning and who will also listen to your questions after the purchase. It is always a good sign if the breeder takes a close look at you as the new owner, because after all he is looking for the best home for his puppies. As a rule, you can also visit the puppies a few times before they come home with you for good. Another important thing is that both the parents and the puppy should have no difficulties breathing and longer noses. Muzzles have been bred smaller and smaller due to fashion, which leads to breathing problems and has health consequences.

Important note on the cultivated breed

The “Qualzuchtgutachten” (expert report on torture breeding), drawn up in 1999 on behalf of the Federal Government and with the cooperation of the German Animal Welfare Association, recommends a breeding ban for hairless, extremely short-headed breeds (so-called brachycephalic breeds) and others in which extremes in body structure (very long back, severely bent legs, spinal changes, excessive fur growth, etc.) make a healthy life impossible.

As a responsible pet owner, who naturally attaches great importance to a healthy, unimpaired life for his four-legged friend, these indications should definitely be taken into account when deciding on a suitable breed, just as the question of excellent character traits.


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