The Ultimate Guide to Owning a French Bulldog

GUIDE TO OWNING A FRENCH BULLDOG STYLETAILS

French bulldogs have soared in popularity in recent years, with their bat ears, big eyes and stocky bodies winning hearts around the world. They’re on track to steal the Labrador’s top spot as the UK’s favourite dog breed, and are sitting pretty at number five in the list of the US’s favourite pooches. Here’s your StyleTails guide to all the pros, and cons, of owning one.

TEMPERAMENT

If it’s character you want, it’s character you’ll get with a Frenchie. They pack a lot of personality into those chunky little bodies, but that can also mean they’re a stubborn breed to train – so watch out for their mischievous streak. They were originally intended as companion dogs, and would-be owners should prepared for a pooch that likes to cuddle. They also get very attached to their humans, so may not enjoy being left alone for long periods of time. Although all dogs have their unique ways, French bulldogs are generally known for being good natured, making them a good choice for families with children.

guide to owning a french bulldog styletails

Image: RawPixel on Unsplash

EXERCISE

Frenchies might not need as much exercise as some of the larger breeds, but you’ll still need to walk them for around an hour a day – although city dwellers will be pleased to know they’re satisfied with a wander round the block, or through the nearby park. Because of their flat faces they can easily overheat, which means early morning and late evening outings are a must in the summer.  They’re not good swimmers either, so no dog pond dips unless you’ve got an inflatable vest to keep them afloat.

guide to owning a french bulldog styletails

Image: Alexandru Sofroni on Unsplash

LIVING ENVIRONMENT

This is an especially popular breed in cities, where their compact size fits nicely into your apartment, and onto public transport. Frenchies are known for their adaptability and easy-going nature, so would be equally happy in the countryside. It’s important to remember that many suffer from breathing problems and struggle in the heat, so will do best in temperate climates rather than places where temperatures soar in the summer. 

GROOMING

They might have short fur, but Frenchies will still need a weekly brush to get rid of hair that’s being shed. Their face folds require some extra attention, and the PDSA recommends cleaning them on a daily basis, as they’re prone to infection. The area under the tail will also need regular cleaning, as these dogs have deep tail pockets.

Guide to owning a french bulldog styletails

Image: Marion Michele on Unsplash 

SIZE

French Bulldogs are considered small dogs, measuring more or less 30 cm tall and weighing around 12kg – although, as with any dog, this can vary.  

HEALTH

This breed comes with some major health considerations, which are often down to the Frenchie’s squashed face. As well as many of these dogs suffering from breathing problems, there’s a long list of issues including inward-turning eyelids, hip dysplasia, issues with the vertebrae, and problems with kneecaps. Unfortunately, the Frenchie’s popularity has led to irresponsible breeding practices, which means investing time finding a reliable breeder is of utmost importance. Many will be able to screen for inherited diseases, but owners should be prepared for some pricy vet bills.

Do you own a French Bulldog or are you thinking about getting one? Tell us what you think about this breed in the comments below. 

Emma Tucker is a London-based writer and editor, who's been covering all things design-related for the past six years. After studying English Literature she spent several years working at magazines including Dezeen and Creative Review, before going freelance. Emma's now a regular contributor to several magazines, including The Spaces and Pitch, and also works with design brands on copywriting and editorial projects. On a day-to-day basis she's assisted by puppy PA and cockapoo Bear.

5 Comments

  • Reply October 11, 2018

    Mette B.

    I own the fabulous French bulldog Bob D. He is 11 month old and bred in Denmark by a breeder who weighs health very high. His parents have no breathing of allergy problems. Health must be a priority when choosing a puppy.

    Your article lacks some information about the color of the breed. It is very modern with blue and other unauthorized variants and it should be noted that these are at higher risk of allergy and other disease.

    Otherwise, it’s a lovely breed with a great temper. Bob D brings me lots of laughter and smile.

    (sorry for my bad English – hope you understand)

    • Reply October 12, 2018

      Sara White

      Hi Mette, thanks for much for taking the time to tell us about Bob! We follow your instagram and love to see his gorgeous face 🙂 Thanks also for the comments on colour. We will take a look at this! Sara x

    • Reply May 18, 2019

      Nicola nation

      Hiya I have 2 Frenchies and I have taken them both swimming I started with life jackets but have found that they don’t need them. Ear infections and having allergies has been our biggest problems. They are perfect dogs to me ❤️💗❤️. I love them

  • Reply January 2, 2020

    Leonie

    I own 7 French bulldogs. I get sick and tired of Google displaying these dogs like there a piece of problems. Not the case. Only bad breeders of these dogs or what we call back yard breeders breed unhealthy dogs. We are proud of our breed and we will do anything to protect. Google is destroying their reputation by advertising rubbish all the time. I am not saying this about yourselves. Please these are special little fur people and only compassionate people should own them

  • Reply March 4, 2020

    Nicole

    I thought this article was a great introduction for someone considering a french bulldog as an additional to their life. My husband and I have two french bulldogs and they bring so much love, comedy and antics into our home. I think it’s great that you emphasized not leaving them home alone as it’s important to keep these little meatballs happy and stimulated. Responsible breeding and ownership ensure that we can continue to enjoy our frenchies and further enforce positive experiences and reputations. If you own a french bulldog you know they can clear a room with their farts, but will forever take up space in our hearts!

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