Being a consistent tempered household dog, the French bulldog is a miniature breed that can be perfect for your home. This breed is known for its trademark large and erected “bat ears” and heavy wrinkles that roll above the extremely short nose. These dogs are quite affectionate and charming, and although they don’t bark much, their alertness and vigilance provide attributes of a perfect watchdog.
The Appearance of a French bulldog
Generally, French bulldogs are 11 to 12 inches tall and weigh about 20 to 28 pounds for males and 16 to 24 pounds. Their heads are large and square with slightly rounded foreheads. They have well-rounded but short bodies and short tails, which can either be curved or straight.
The French bulldogs’ coats are smooth and short, with wrinkles, particularly at the shoulders and head. Different colors of coatings are available such as fawn, brindle, white, cream, and black. These dogs are also referred to as ‘’Frog dogs” owing to their broad, round face and their sitting position with the back legs spread apart.
The History of French bulldogs
French bulldogs have an English background. According to the information and statistics provided, they are the descendants of Molossians’ dogs, an older Greek civilization, which extended across the world through Phoenician traders. British Molossian dogs were eventually known to be the English Mastiff.
An ancient bulldog, the Bullenbeisser, was a breed used for bull-baiting. The sport was outlawed in England in 1835, leaving these animals free and futile. After a considerable amount of time, they were used as a companion breed instead of being involved in dangerous sports. Some of these dogs reproduced with terriers, a rather unpopular choice of people in England. The resulting kind was a toy-size version of the bulldog.
These toy bulldogs were quite popular among lace workers in Nottingham city. When several of these individuals migrated to France for better job opportunities, they brought a variety of breed liked by the French right away.
The French bulldogs thrived in Europe and France, and their fascination was identified by Americans as well. In the United States, the first French bulldog got introduced at the Westminster Kennel Club show in 1896. The breed soon earned its nickname “Frenchie,” which is still used as an adorable name.
The French bulldog has an even temper and, like all breeds, thrives on attention and care. These dogs are quite demanding, and you will have to provide extra affection and response. If you live alone, this dog is ideal for keeping, as it may compete for your love with other family members. Nonetheless, French bulldogs can quickly adapt to different lifestyles, with couples or families, and do not require an ample amount of outdoor activity.
A French bulldog is capable of living in an average household. However, these dogs are mostly appropriate for city life because of the smaller space required. You cannot always opt to run with this breed, but they can be the best walking companions. These dogs do not require a lot of food, and the short coat can be maintained easily.
The Temperament of French bulldogs
Dogs generally need companionship, and just like all breeds, Frenchies love care and affection. If you leave them alone for several hours, they may experience separation anxiety. This condition may result in destructive behaviors. They are also named “clown dogs” for their playful and entertaining personalities.
French bulldogs do not bark unless they need something or if they are excited. They are pretty tolerant and friendly- generally agreeable towards their owners. If you want to keep multiple dog breeds, they can adjust very well with other dogs.
The Lifespan of a French Bulldog
On average, the lifespan of a French bulldog is between 9 to 12 years. There are variable statistics and discussion present on this topic, but this constant figure is determined using a combination of authentic sources. For instance, according to the American Kennel Club, a French bulldog has a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.
An informal assessment by the British Kennel Club recorded an average age of 9 years for the breed. On the top side of the scale, the longest living French bulldog identified in the Kennel Club survey was a little over 14.5 years old. This age is quite fair for most dog breeds but on the lower side for smaller breeds. For example, the Chihuahua has an average life span of 17 years.
Comparatively, many Frenchies have extremely short lifespans. A review of approximately 2,200 French bulldogs under the veterinary provision in 2013 outlined 98 deaths, and the average age was only 3.6 years. There are many complications involved in the growth and development of this breed.
French bulldogs are prone to various health conditions and diseases, some of which can be detrimental and fatal. Overall, different factors are likely to influence these dogs’ lifestyle and longevity, which will be explained in detail next.
Factors Affecting Life span of French Bulldog
Like any dog breed, Frenchies are more vulnerable to particular health conditions as compared to others. Unluckily, these dogs have a high propensity to health issues- considerably higher than other smaller breeds. Although they do not need a lot of exercise, they have lower energy levels. French bulldogs are more massive for their short stature, due to which they need daily walks or short playtimes in the garden.
This breed is more likely to go through separation anxiety and stress, decreasing life expectancy significantly. The dog’s sex plays an essential role in this aspect as well. According to research, male Frenchies were more likely to be diagnosed with particular health conditions than females. However, these researchers noted that lifespans between females and males were unaffected with minor illnesses.
Due to their squat frame and bigger head, French bulldogs cannot swim. If you have a pool at home, you should be careful about these pups running around. Keeping a watchful eye is necessary. On the other hand, if you want these dogs to enjoy some fun time in the shallow water, a beach trip may be a good idea.
These bulldogs are a brachycephalic breed, which means that they have shorter snouts as compared to others. Their facial features are pushed in, which can cause several breathing issues. For this reason, in combination with high stress and warm temperatures, these dogs cannot fly. Multiple breeds such as pugs and bulldogs have perished on airplanes, and as a result, many airlines have excluded them.
If you must travel with your pet bulldog, particular airlines are just for pets, such as Pet Jets. These airlines provide transportation for dogs with specific requirements separate from their owners. There is staff present on board to offer any care procedures for the pups that may get stressed or sick.
French bulldogs are susceptible, and they do not take criticism casually. If you are loud around them or scold them, they may get distraught and sulk around the house. French bulldogs are better accustomed to positive encouragement and support.
Because of their unusual body postures, French bulldogs have trouble reproducing. Males have a hard time reaching the females, and they generally get exhausted and overheated. As an outcome, a substantial number of these dogs are developed through artificial insemination. Although this procedure is quite expensive, it allows breeders to evaluate potential issues during the process.
The dogs of this breed frequently have issues giving birth as well; therefore, many have to go through a surgical procedure. The C-section ensures that the dog does not have to go through stress and prevents further health-related challenges.
Common Health Issues of French bulldogs
Not all of the Frenchies are prone to getting different types of diseases, but it is essential to be aware of them before considering this breed.
Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition in dogs in which the femur does not fit properly into the pelvic socket of the hip joint. This complexity may be present with or without clinical symptoms. Some dogs present lameness and joint pain in one or both hind legs. As the dog gets older, arthritis may develop.
In most cases, an X-ray screening can rule out the extent of complications by hip dysplasia. If there are any early symptoms present, the dogs should not be bred.
This syndrome is common in breeds with a short head, soft or elongated palates, or narrowed nostrils. As French bulldogs have a short stature, they are likely to suffer from it. Their airways have obstructions to variable levels and may cause anything from labored or difficult breathing to complete airway restriction.
Dogs that have brachycephalic syndrome have some common symptoms, such as snorting and snuffling. There are different techniques available for the treatment depending on the severity of the condition. Some common ones are oxygen therapy and surgery to shorten palates or broaden nostrils.
Allergies are a common issue in French bulldogs. Three essential types of allergies may occur.
- Food-based allergies can be treated by eliminating certain types of food products from the dog’s diet.
- Contact allergies, triggered by a reaction to a relevant substance such as shampoos, bedding, flea powders, and other chemicals. These can be treated by removing the source of the allergy.
- Inhalant allergies, caused by environmental factors such as mildew, dust, and pollen. These types of allergies may require medications depending on the severity of the condition.
French bulldogs are likely to go through malfunction of one or more vertebrae, resulting in a change of shape like a triangle or wedge. This deformity can occur on its own or without any added problems. Hemi-vertebrae does not have any consequences, but it can cause weakness, pain, and/or paralysis.
Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
This condition occurs when a spinal disc ruptures or herniates, pushing upwards into the spinal cord. In French bulldogs, the disease may be an outcome of trauma, age, or a simple physical jolt occurring from routine movement. When the disc ruptures, it is usually quite painful for the dog leading to weakness and permanent/temporary paralysis.
Intervertebral disc disease can be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) manufactured specifically for dogs. In some cases, surgery may help gain back movement and coordination control.
Training and Feeding French Bulldogs
While training this dog breed, you should consider that although they are smart and generally fun-loving, they are also free thinkers. They can be stubborn and extremely determined. Multiple training techniques can show successful results with this breed, so don’t limit your options. Try different methods to pick your dog’s mind and make the process look like a game with lots of appreciation and treats.
It is essential to crate train your French bulldog puppy even if you want to keep it indoors with complete freedom. Regardless of the age, these dogs tend to explore, get into household materials, and chew on furniture and other harmful objects. Crate training will provide multiple health benefits for your dog breed; it will also put your mind at ease whenever you have to go out for shorter durations.
You can feed about 1 to 1.5 cups of high-quality dry food to your French bulldog daily. Divide the amount into two meals and seek a brand that is free from preservatives or artificial ingredients. Hydration is another important factor. You should have fresh and clean water available for your dog at all times.
A French bulldog is a miniature dog who will win your heart with its friendly and entertaining nature. This breed is brilliant and can be trained by proper techniques and consistent efforts. If you own a French bulldog or want to adopt one, you need to do basic research on aspects such as diet, health, reproduction, and training. The last one is necessary if you want to avoid unwanted behaviors.
This dog breed is for people who know how to handle a dog and give it proper time and attention. You should only get it if you have the energy and time to invest in companionship. Rest assured, you will not regret including this breed in your family!