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French Bulldog
French Bulldog

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Group: Mastiff, AKC Non-Sporting

Other Names: Bouledogue Francais, Frenchie

The French Bulldog originated in 19th Century Nottingham, England, where lace makers decided to make a smaller, miniature, lap version of the English Bulldog that was referred to as a "toy" bulldog. In the 1860s, when the Industrial Revolution drove the craftsmen to France, they took their dogs with them. The toy bulldogs became popular in France and were given the name the "French Bulldog." The breed eventually made its way back to England for dog shows. The Brits were not happy with the name "French" given to a dog that was originally from England, however the name "French Bulldog" stuck.

The French Bulldog is a sturdy, compact, stocky little dog, with a large square head that has a rounded forehead. The muzzle is broad and deep with a well-defined stop. The nose is black, but may be lighter in lighter colored dogs. The upper lips hang down over the lower lips. The teeth meet in an underbite and the lower jaw is square and deep. The round, prominent eyes are set wide apart and are dark in color. The bat ears stand erect, are broad at the base narrowing in a triangular shape and rounded at the tips. The height at the withers to the ground should be approximately the same as the length from withers to the base of the tail. The tail is either straight or corkscrew. The chest is broad and deep with the front of the dog being wider than the back end, forming a pear shape. The dewclaws may be removed. The medium-fine coat is short and smooth. The skin is loose, forming wrinkles around the head and shoulders. Coat colors include brindle, brindle and white, cream, cream and white, fawn, fawn and white, fawn brindle, white, white and brindle, white and fawn, black, black and fawn, black and white, fawn and black, fawn brindle and white and gray and white. It can have a black mask, brindle markings, be piebald, spotted and/or have white markings.

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The French Bulldog, like many other companion dog breeds, requires close contact with humans. As a result, they should not be left alone for more than a few hours because these dogs suffer from separation anxiety if they are alone for too long. This is especially important when French Bulldogs are young, but this issue remains a concern into adulthood. Being alone for too long can cause a French Bulldog to behave in a destructive manner, which can include chewing on household items or furniture or even going to the bathroom in the house. French Bulldogs make excellent companions. The French Bulldog rarely barks, and if he does it is to draw attention, to point out that he needs something (like attention). This breed is patient and affectionate with its owners, especially with children, who are especially protected by the females. French Bulldogs can easily live with other breeds when the proper introductions are done.

Height, Weight
Height: 12 inches (30 cm)
There are two weight classes of French Bulldog: 19 - 22 pounds (9 - 10 kg) and 22 - 28 pounds (10 - 13 kg). Over 28 pounds is a disqualification.

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Health Problems
French Bulldogs are prone to joint diseases, spinal disorders, heart defects and eye problems. Dams often have to deliver pups by cesarean section, because pups have relatively large heads. They often have respiratory problems. They tend to wheeze and snore and have trouble in hot weather. Prone to heatstroke. An overweight Frenchie may have trouble breathing, because of a swollen abdomen. Do not overfeed this breed. Putting them under anesthesia is risky because of their breathing issues. French Bulldogs are high maintenance and potential owners need to be aware that their vet bills may be high. Take this into consideration before choosing a Frenchie puppy.Living ConditionsFrenchies are good for apartment life. They can be fairly active indoors and will do okay without a yard. They do not do well in temperature extremes.ExerciseThe French Bulldog needs to be taken on a daily walk, where the dog is made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, as instinct tells a dog the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. Simply running around a large yard is not going to satisfy their migration instinct. Take care in hot weather. They love to run and play and can play for hours if you let them. Some have higher energy levels than others. 

Life Expectancy
About 10-12 years.

Litter Size
About 3 to 5 puppies

Very little grooming is needed. Regular brushings will do. This breed is an average shedder.

French bulldogs at risk of various health problems

Date: May 2, 2018
Source: BioMed Central

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French Bulldog puppy.
Credit: © Mary Swift / Fotolia

French Bulldogs, predicted soon to become the most popular dog breed in the UK, are vulnerable to a number of health conditions, according to a new study published in the open access journal Canine Genetics and Epidemiology.

Researchers at The Royal Veterinary College (RVC), UK found that the most common issues in French Bulldogs over a one year period were ear infections, diarrhea and conjunctivitis (inflammation of the eye surface).

Dr. Dan O'Neill, RVC Senior Lecturer and the main author, said: "French Bulldogs are a relatively new arrival to the list of common UK breeds so there is very little current research on them in the UK. Our study -- the first on this breed in the UK -- is based on anonymised records gathered from hundreds of UK vet clinics. It provides owners with information on the issues that they could expect and should look out for in French Bulldogs. It may also help potential new owners to decide if a French Bulldog really is for them."

Dr. O'Neill adds: "One of the interesting finding from our research is that male French Bulldogs appear to be less healthy than females. Males were more likely to get 8 of the 26 most common health problems while there were no issues that females were more likely to get than males."

The authors suggest that the distinctive appearance of the French Bulldog, with their short muzzles and wide, prominent eyes, may be a key factor influencing their popularity. However, these characteristics may also increase the risk for some of the health problems seen in French Bulldogs. For example breathing issues, seen in 12.7% of the dogs in this study, are a known problem in breeds with short noses and flat faces. Skin problems overall were the most common group of health issues and the authors suggest that this may be due to the skin folds that are characteristic of the breed.

Dr. O'Neill said: "This study also documents the dramatic rise in popularity of the French Bulldog, from 0.02% of puppies born in 2003 to 1.46% of puppies born in 2013. This level of population growth in a single dog breed is unprecedented. There is a worry that increased demand for the French Bulldog is damaging to these dogs' welfare because of the health risks associated with their extreme physical features."

The authors analyzed data on 2,228 French Bulldogs under veterinary care during 2013 from 304 UK clinics, collected in the VetCompass™ database. The French Bulldogs had a median age of 1.3 years old compared to a median age of 4.5 years for the other dog breeds in the VetCompass™ database. This reflects the growth in popularity of French Bulldogs.

The authors caution that the study may even under-estimate the true number of dogs with health problems as the data may include more severely affected animals that require veterinary management. Additionally, as French Bulldogs have only recently become popular the data was mostly collected from young dogs and it is well recognized that health problems generally become more common with age.

Story Source: BioMed Central. "French bulldogs at risk of various health problems." ScienceDaily. (accessed May 2, 2018).

Journal Reference:
Dan G. O’Neill, Lauren Baral, David B. Church, Dave C. Brodbelt, Rowena M. A. Packer. Demography and disorders of the French Bulldog population under primary veterinary care in the UK in 2013. Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, 2018; 5 (1) DOI: 10.1186/s40575-018-0057-9


Despite its Gallic name, the French Bulldog is a breed of both British and French origin that was first recognised by The Kennel Club in 1906. The French Bulldog has demonstrated recent rapid rises in Kennel Club registrations and is now (2017) the second most commonly registered pedigree breed in the UK. However, the breed has been reported to be predisposed to several disorders including ocular, respiratory, neurological and dermatological problems. The VetCompass™ Programme collates de-identified clinical data from primary-care veterinary practices in the UK for epidemiological research. Using VetCompass™ clinical data, this study aimed to characterise the demography and common disorders of the general population of French Bulldogs under veterinary care in the UK.
French Bulldogs comprised 2228 (0.49%) of 445,557 study dogs under veterinary care during 2013. Annual proportional birth rates showed that the proportional ownership of French Bulldog puppies rose steeply from 0.02% of the annual birth cohort attending VetCompass™ practices in 2003 to 1.46% in 2013. The median age of the French Bulldogs overall was 1.3 years (IQR 0.6–2.5, range 0.0–13.0). The most common colours of French Bulldogs were brindle (solid or main) (32.36%) and fawn (solid or main) (29.9%). Of the 2228 French Bulldogs under veterinary care during 2013, 1612 (72.4%) had at least one disorder recorded. The most prevalent fine-level precision disorders recorded were otitis externa (14.0%, 95% CI: 12.6–15.5), diarrhoea (7.5%, 95% CI: 6.4–8.7), conjunctivitis (3.2%, 95% CI: 2.5–4.0), nails overlong (3.1%, 95% CI% 2.4–3.9) and skin fold dermatitis (3.0%, 95% CI% 2.3–3.8). The most prevalent disorder groups were cutaneous (17.9%, 95% CI: 16.3–19.6), enteropathy (16.7%, 95% CI: 15.2–18.3), aural (16.3%, 95% CI: 14.8–17.9), upper respiratory tract (12.7%, 95% CI: 11.3–14.1) and ophthalmological (10.5%, 95% CI: 9.3–11.9).
Ownership of French Bulldogs in the UK is rising steeply. This means that the disorder profiles reported in this study reflect a current young UK population and are likely to shift as this cohort ages. Otitis externa, diarrhoea and conjunctivitis were the most common disorders in French Bulldogs. Identification of health priorities based on VetCompass™ data can support evidence–based reforms to improve health and welfare within the breed.

Attached to this post:[Image: attach.png] Demography_and_disorders_of_the_French_Bulldog_population_under_primary_veterinary_care_in_the_UK_in_2013.pdf (632 KB)
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