Close Encounter: Meet the French Bulldog

Jess Hodges By Jess Hodges, 3rd Apr 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Dogs

A brief look at the pros and cons of one of the cutest dog breeds; or at least, one of the cutest in my opinion.

What's a Frenchie?

The French Bulldog, the smallest of the Bully breeds, can be recognised most commonly by its bat-like ears. I've often heard people compare a Frenchie puppy to a gargoyle because of those giant ears and the Frenchie's characteristically squished and wrinkly face.
So what is it about these little gargoyle-esk creatures that have completely captivated me?
Read on for the pros and cons of the French Bulldog.

Pro: Too Cute for Words

There's no denying it: the French Bulldog has a face only a mother could love. With their short, stalky legs, barrel chests and little button noses the breed is difficult to resist. And those bat-like ears I mentioned earlier just only add to their appeal.
Aside from their general physical cuteness, the level of cute goes off the radar in comparison to the noises Frenchies make. My husband and I are proponents of crate training. Our other dogs have all been successfully crate trained. However, my husband succumbed to our French Bulldog's initial pleas to be let out and he now sleeps in our bed. I can't say I wouldn't have caved if my husband had not. I suppose their cuteness could be considered a con as it turns reasonable dog owners into mush balls who, despite their best efforts, cannot resist their Frenchie's demands, resulting in the Frenchie getting his/her way...some of the time. However, I consider the cute factor a pro.

Con: The Price Tag

If I'm being completely honest, the only deterrent for us owning more French Bulldogs is the price tag. There are a lot of costs involved in the breeding of French Bulldogs and that is reflected in the cost of the puppies.
First of all, most French Bulldog females have to deliver via a C-section due to the size of the puppies' heads in relation to the birth canal. This certainly brings the price up. Litters are also relatively small which also increases the price.
Breeding isn't easy either. French Bulldogs' rear ends are weaker than their fronts and often breeding cannot occur naturally. So, medical intervention is necessary here as well. More money for the breeder = more money for the puppy purchaser.
We as humans have technically caused these problems in the breed, but I won't go there.
In a way, the price could be looked at as a pro as people who are serious about getting a puppy and loving it for its entire life will most likely be the ones spending that kind of money. However, for most people it is not realistic or practical to spend that much money on a dog and they will never get to experience the joy of having a French Bulldog in their lives.
So, the high price tag is a con in my book.

Pro: More Love than You Know what To Do With

The French Bulldog is one of the most loving breeds I've ever had the pleasure to live and/or work with. They want to be where their people are and really insert themselves into the family fabric.
If you're sitting on the couch watching Tv then you can be sure your Frenchie will be sitting on the couch watching TV too. Washing the dishes, taking out the garbage, weeding the garden-you can be certain your French Bulldog will be right there. Don't even think about leaving him/her at home for long hours because this breed does not thrive if left alone. An hour with the dog walker is not going to cut it. If you can take your dog to work with you, then even better.
Again, this could be looked at as a con, but I love having my dogs with me and I am lucky enough to be able to spend most of the time with them.
Did I mention the breed's sense of humour? Often referred to as "the clown of the dog world," Frenchies' ability to make you laugh almost rivals that of their affection for their families. Maybe they're not doing it on purpose and maybe it's our human perception of them, but French Bulldogs will have you laughing no matter what mood you may be in. There really is not a flip side to that point is there?

Con: Health Risk

On the whole, the French Bulldog breed is prone to some serious health risks. Heart defects can be a problem. Frenchies also suffer from soft palette deformities which lead to breathing issues. That said, most purebred dogs come with health risks which is why it is important that you research the breeder you want to buy a puppy from.
Also of note in this "health risk" section is the possibility of your Frenchie over heating. All short nosed breeds, such as English Bulldogs, Boxers and Pugs run the risk of over heating easier than other breeds when out in hot temperatures or exercising. This is easily managed though as long as the owner pays attention to their dog.
Last but most certainly not least is the French Bulldog's potential to drown. This is not to be taken lightly as Frenchies have been known to drown in shallow puddles and children's wading pools. Because of their physical make up-big, heavy head and short face-French Bulldogs are not designed to swim or float, for that matter. If you know your Frenchie is going to be exposed to water on a regular basis buy him/her a life jacket and have the dog wear it.
Can you say cute? And, also you know that your dog is safe.

Pro: Grooming and Training

The initial price of a French Bulldog will make most people step back, but at least once you get your little bundle of wrinkles home you won't have to spend any more money on expensive grooming trips.
French Bulldogs are a short coated breed and therefore do not require any fancy hair cuts. A bath two to three times a year is suitable as long as you keep on top of brushing. Even brushing your French Bulldog is not an event. Running a brush over the dog's coat once a week is probably all that is needed. If you like brushing your dog more often and enjoy the bonding experience, then feel free, but you won't have to be de-tangling any giant knots from your dog's coat.
French Bulldog's ears are super easy to clean as well since they stand up and are open. Just a little wipe with a clean tissue to make sure there isn't any debris in there is good enough. We use an all natural ear cleaner from time to time, but there won't be any ear plucking necessary if you decide to own a Frenchie.
There are two parts of grooming a Frenchie that are a bit more work. These could be considered cons, but I'll mention them here anyway. First, you will need to wipe your French Bulldog's face folds clean on a daily basis. Debris can get stuck in there as well as mud, water and other things. A little wipe with a clean tissue or an unscented baby wipe and your Frenchie's ready to go. Now, the next bit is a bit more off putting. Due to the Frenchie's Bull Doggie build, he/she can't quite reach his/her nether parts to clean properly. Sometimes you will have to wipe your French Bulldog's bum. Unscented baby wipes are helpful in this area too.
As for training? Well, we found that our French Bulldog house trained faster than any of our other puppies. This could have just been our guy, but there have been other anecdotal reports of this. He was also the easiest dog to re-direct when he was misbehaving. He chewed on something he shouldn't have, we removed the item and replaced with an appropriate chew thing and he was more than happy to resume his chew fest with the new item. Because he wants to be with you, teaching recall was easy. He really wasn't a biter even when he was teething and the only thing I can remember him destroying was an already falling apart slipper. Again, we may have lucked out, but I've heard other Frenchie owners say the same.


Why a Frenchie?
Why not?
First time dog owners or families getting a puppy are often told to get a Lab or a Golden Retriever. Nothing against Labs or Goldens-I have a Lab and love him to death-but they are a breed that I think need more work than people realise. They are certainly trainable, but it takes time, patience and consistency; and sometimes a lot of expert help.
If I ever had a first time dog owner or a family ask me what kind of dog they should get, I would strongly suggest a Frenchie. They are sturdy enough to run around with the kids, easy to groom/train and really are a part of your family. Of course the only problem with this suggestion is the price. So, I shall amend my statement: if a first time dog owner or a family (with the funds to afford a French Bulldog) asked me what breed they should get I would strongly suggest a Frenchie.


Characteristics, Dogs, French Bulldog, Frenchie, Small

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author avatar Jess Hodges
If you like to read about: health and wellness, social and environmental issues, pets and much more, then these are the pages for you.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
4th Apr 2014 (#)

French bulldogs humorous looking dogs I think

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