Breed Group: Non-Sporting
Height: 11 to 12 inches at the shoulder
Weight: not more than about 28 pounds
Life Span: 9 to 11 years
The French Bulldog’s motto is “Love the one you’re with.” He is small, with distinctive “bat ears,” and comes in a variety of colors. The Frenchie is adaptable to any home environment, as long as it has air conditioning.
Did You Know the French Bulldog is a Smart, Clever Dog?
The wee French Bulldog is popular with celebrities — actor Leonardo di Caprio shares custody of his Frenchie with ex-girlfriend Gisele Bündchen (no word on how the dog and Tom Brady get along). Lifestyle maven Martha Stewart’s Frenchies have their own very popular blog.
With a tough-on-the-outside, sweet-on-the-inside demeanor, unmistakable bat-shaped ears and distinctive bow-legged gait, the French Bulldog has gained so much popularity that he’s fast becoming the city-dwellers’ dog of choice. He’s small – under 28 pounds – and has a short, easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors. He doesn’t need a great deal of exercise, fits comfortably into a condo, co-op or apartment, and is far less likely to bark than many small dogs. In fact, other than being a little pugnacious with other dogs, it would be hard to imagine a better dog for city living.
The French Bulldog should be on the short list of breeds for anyone who lives without a vast tract of suburban backyard. He’s also a good choice for those who might have trouble giving a more active breed ample exercise.
The Frenchie will make you laugh. He’s a charming, clever dog with a sense of humor and a stubborn streak. Bred for centuries as a companion, he’s very fond of people, and becomes particularly attached to his family. In fact, sometimes he becomes a little too attached, which means he’s not the best choice for someone who’ll be away long hours every day. It also means he absolutely, positively cannot live in the backyard or garage, but only indoors as a member of the family. That’s doubly true given that he, like all brachycephalic, or “flat-faced” breeds, has difficulty regulating his body temperature and needs to live in a climate-controlled environment.
The Frenchie can also be a little hard to housetrain and may not be safe with a slow-footed family cat. He also snores, which might seem like a minor problem until you’ve actually heard the dramatic sounds that can emanate from his small body.
For exercise, Frenchies jump on and off the furniture and do the “Frenchie 500” circuit through the house. A short daily walk of 15 to 20 minutes will help to keep them in shape. Schedule walks and outdoor playtime for cool mornings and evenings. Frenchies are sensitive to heat and can quickly succumb to heatstroke. This is not the breed for you if you enjoy hiking or jogging with a dog.
Breeders like to send French Bulldog puppies to their new homes when they are nine or 10 weeks old. Frenchie puppies can become unpleasant little tyrants if they don’t get to spend the optimal amount of time with their mother and littermates, learning the rules of behavior toward people and other dogs.
The French Bulldog does best in a family where someone is home most of the day. He’s not always good with small children or cats, and he can be aggressive toward dogs he doesn’t know. When a Frenchie is the right match for you, though, you’ll find it’s impossible to have just one.
Other Quick Facts About the French Bulldog
French Bulldogs are restful and have minimal exercise needs, so they are a good choice for couch potatoes.
The French Bulldog should not weigh more than 28 pounds, making him easily portable.
French Bulldogs can be stubborn when it comes to housetraining. Be patient, be consistent, and consider the use of paper training or puppy pee pads to get around the problem (although it’s always best to get the pup outdoors).
Frenchies snort, snore and grunt, and they are known for making other odd noises.
Frenchies are not good swimmers and should not have access to pools, spas or other bodies of water.