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So You Want A French Bulldog

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So you want a French Bulldog.

Well, you’ve come to the right place.

We’re going to discuss some of the good, the bad, and the ugly of this popular breed.

Think you know everything about the cutie-pies we call “Frenchies?”

Think again!

French Bulldog Facts - Black & White French Bulldog

So You Want A French Bulldog

We know you want a French Bulldog but have you done your research. The good news is we put together this list of facts that might help you with your decision.

Here are 11 incredible French Bulldog facts you probably did not know!

1. “Frenchies” are Not Actually from France

They actually come from England!

The French Bulldog Club of America gives a detailed history of this “French” breed’s origins. French Bulldogs can trace their roots back to the older English bulldog.

This early bulldog breed was used for the sport “bull-baiting” until the sport was outlawed in 1835.

With many dogs left unemployed (and safe from this dangerous sport!) breeders began experimenting to create a smaller version of the bulldog as a companion pet.

These smaller dogs weighed between 12 and 25 pounds and were some of the earliest versions of the French bulldog.

These first French bulldogs were popular among the lace-makers in England. During the Industrial Revolution, the lace-makers left their homes seeking work.

They traveled to France, taking their tiny bulldogs with them. The people of France became so enamored of these precious little dogs, that a successful trade business was sparked between England and France.

So while the little bulldogs originated in England, it was in France that they truly gained popularity. Wealthier French citizens made the dogs fashionable and desirable.

Their first major boom in popularity was due to this high demand – christening the dogs with the name French bulldog.

Finally, in 1898 the French bulldog became an officially recognized breed with the AKC.

2. French Bulldog History Can be Traced Back to the Titanic

The French bulldog continued to remain popular among wealthy citizens in the early 20th century.

Their owners absolutely adored them. So much in fact, one wealthy French bulldog owner was willing to pay for his pup to ride on the Titanic!

Gamin de Pycombe was a French bulldog who had the honor of riding aboard the Titanic with his owner Robert Daniel.

Gamin was one of twelve dogs aboard the ship – and was the only French bulldog. The ticket price for a dog to ride the Titanic was equivalent to that of a small child.

But that price must have been worth it for Daniel. According to the French Bulldog Club of America,

Gamin de Pycombe was purchased in England for £150 – that equals $17,000 today!

Gamin the Frenchie was only two years old when he set sail on the Titanic in 1912.

Unfortunately, Gamin did not survive the sinking. But the little French bulldog’s legacy lives on.

James Cameron intended to include images of the dog aboard the ship in his film Titanic.

He even filmed a scene of the French bulldog boarding the ship with the other canine passengers along with a scene when the ship was sinking.

These scenes were cut from the final version of the film.

Here’s a clip from Titanic that ended on the cutting room floor but you catch a glimpse of the Frenchie on board:

3. French Bulldogs Come In A Variety Of Colors

With 9 Standard Colors And 5 Standard Markings there’s a color for everyone!

Here’s a look at the standard colors Frenchies:

Brindle & WhiteX059
Fawn & WhiteX086
Fawn Brindle & WhiteX089
White & BrindleX203
White & FawnX207

And here are the standard markings:

White MarkingsX014
Black MarkingsX002
Black MaskX004
Brindle MarkingsX007

Colorings and markings can get fairly complicated with all of these mixtures. The French Bulldog Club of America has on interpretation of color that you might find helpful if this is confusing to you.

A quick note on Ticked marking. From the AKC Breed Standard Sheet:

Ticking is acceptable but not desired.

AKC French Bulldog Breed Standard PDF

4. French Bulldogs Don’t Love the Heat

You may think that because of their short coat, French bulldogs would thrive in warm weather.

While the short coat certainly helps with heat tolerance, long periods of outdoor activity in warm weather are not the best way to spend quality time with your Frenchie.

The French bulldog has a short (and utterly adorable) face and nose.

This short face shape makes a Frenchie’s breathing less efficient than their longer-nosed canine cousins.

French Bulldogs are a brachycephalic breed and can be identified by their shortened snouts or faces that appear flat and, as a result, have narrow nostrils and smaller airways

The AKC states that because of this, your Frenchie may experience difficulty breathing in stressful conditions.

These conditions can include intense exercise, high stress situations or agitation, and – you guessed it – heat.

This doesn’t mean a French bulldog can never set foot in the warm sunshine!

It’s important to keep your French bulldog happy and comfortable in warm weather. Don’t leave them out in the heat for too long.

Avoid high-intensity exercise when the weather is hot.

After playing outside in the heat, provide your Frenchie with access to an air-conditioned environment. And of course – drink plenty of cool water!

5. French Bulldogs Are A Small (In Height) Yet Compact Breed

When you first see a French Bulldog you can tell right away that they are a small but sturdy looking dog. Here’s the AKC Standard for French Bulldogs:

11-13 inchesUnder 28 pounds

To give you and idea of the size to weight ratio. An Italian Greyhound which is a thin tall dog breed is 13-15 inches and 7-14 pounds.

If you’ve never seen either of these breeds just based on the above numbers you can tell that an Italian Greyhound is taller (for a small dog) and thinner while the French Bulldog is short and stout.

By the way, I love the size and shape of French Bulldogs. I myself am also short and stout. Obviously no bias here…hehehe…

6. They are a Lazy Person’s Dream

It’s true, that cute-as-a-button nose can cause a few breathing difficulties in a French bulldog, particularly in high heat.

But the other culprit?

Heavy exercise.

By no means should you never exercise your French bulldog.

But let’s face it: not every dog owner wants to be going on long trail runs every day.

And truthfully, French bulldog’s don’t need or want it

Due to their small stature, a short walk once a day is typically enough to keep your Frenchie fit and happy.

This is great for those dog owners who like to take a slow walk in the park or a quick stroll around the block.

And if you have a sociable Frenchie, a quick visit to the dog park is a great way for your little bulldog to stay healthy and happy.

Joggers need not apply! But besides requiring only light exercise, French bulldog’s really love to snuggle!

The breed standards that they are known for include being affectionate, loyal, and eager to please.

Want to binge on your new favorite television show tonight? No problem!

Your Frenchie will be happy to spend hours on your lap any time of day.

7. They are Cute Enough to be in a Museum

We’re not talking about one or two paintings featuring a Frenchie. No, we’re talking about an entire exhibit devoted to the one and only French bulldog!

At the AKC Museum of the Dog an exhibit entitled “Send in the Clowns” was on display, featuring artwork that depicted the French bulldog in many different styles.

The exhibit ran from February 18th to May 13th, 2012 and was the first of its kind.

The museum displayed porcelain statues, bronze figurines, paintings, and even jewelry – all depicting either the face or the full form of the French bulldog.

Many of these items were on loan from generous collectors.

While the French bulldog exhibit is now closed, you can still visit the AKC Museum of the Dog in St. Louis, Missouri.

Their permanent exhibit features works of art showcasing multiple dog breeds. And the museum is dog friendly

If your dog is well-behaved on leash, you can bring your pup with you to view the artwork.

8. French Bulldogs Are Prone To Health Issues

Just like most other purebred dogs, there are health issues that any new French Bulldog owner should be aware of.

Here’s a list of health test recommendations for French Bulldog breeders:

  • Hip Dysplasia
    • OFA Evaluation – OR
    • OVC Evaluation – OR
    • PennHIP Evaluation
  • Eye Examination by a boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist- Annual recertification recommended
    • Results registered with OFA – OR
    • Results registered with CERF
  • Patellar Luxation
    • OFA Evaluation
  • Congenital Cardiac Database
    • OFA Evaluation – Echocardiagrams recommended but not required *Note NEW CHIC
    • REQUIREMENT as of Oct 2014
  • Autoimmune thyroiditis (Optional)
    • OFA evaluation from an approved laboratory
  • Juvenile Cataracts (Optional)
    • JUVENILE CATARACTS – DNA Test from an approved lab

If you’re looking to purchase a French Bulldog puppy then you should talk to your breeder and make sure your puppy’s parents are clear for all of these health conditions.

9. The Popularity of Frenchies Shows No Sign of Slowing Down

It seems that ever since the people of France took a liking to the little bulldogs, their popularity has only increased over the years.

In fact, a year before the breed was even recognized officially by the AKC, the French bulldog was featured on the cover of the Westminster catalog.

Since then, the French bulldog has been honored through various organizations such as the French Bulldog Club of America and the French Bulletyn, a magazine devoted to Frenchies.

French bulldog’s are extremely adaptable to apartment and city living, making them an excellent choice for densely populated areas.

This is due to their small stature and low-maintenance daily care.

Today the AKC ranks the French bulldog as the 2nd most popular dog breed in the USA! And it’s no wonder!

The Frenchie had meteoric rise and claimed it place in the top 5 for the past several years.

Here’s a look at their AKC ranking over the years.

French Bulldog AKC Ranking By Year


Source AKC and PetPlace

They are also hugely popular in Hollywood. Celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Carrie Fischer (Rest In Peace), Hugh Jackman, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson each call at least one French bulldog their furry companion.

Who knows? Maybe one day these lovable little French bulldogs will unseat the Labrador Retriever and reach the number one spot for the most popular dog breed.

10. French Bulldogs Fart A Lot!

Yep, just like Dad (me), French Bulldogs fart a lot!

I guess that makes them the perfect Dad Dog! Haha!

Just like our black Lab, Elsa and me, French Bulldogs tend to have sensitive stomachs, eat fast, and gulp down food. This can cause them to be quite gassy.

I guess next time I sit down I’m going to have to slow down my eating and try not to swallow so much air. 🙂

Seriously, you can help your gassy pup by not introducing new foods quickly and try using slow feeder dog bowl to negate the speed eating and gulping.

11. They Snore, Snort, And Make Other Weird Noises

Again, chalk another mark for perfect Dad Dog!

Kidding aside, because of their short snouts French Bulldogs often snore very loud. Hmmm…will this drown out my loud snoring? YEP! Now I can blame it on the dog 🙂

They also make others snorts, chortles, and snarling sounds due to their smushed faces.

Honest, this is all a part of their charm. Same with me and that’s why my wife married me! Right?

French Bulldog FAQs

How Much Is A French Bulldog?

The price you pay for a French Bulldog will vary a lot depending on where you live, quality of the breeder, champions lines, etc.

French bulldog puppies usually cost between $1,500 and $4,500, and the average cost is around $3,000.

Check out this article for more information on how much a French Bulldog costs.

How Long Do French Bulldogs Live?

The average lifespan for a French Bulldog is 10-12 years old. For a smaller dog that’s not too long.

Compare that to the average lifespan of a much larger dog, the Golden Retriever on average live between 10 and 12 years as well.

Final Thoughts

There’s so much to love about this adorable breed.

My favorite are all of the funny noises they make. While I’m sure others will find this a negative trait of the breed.

We’ve never raised a French Bulldog puppy but we’ve been around them often as several of our friends and family have little Frenchies.

So, do you still want a French Bulldog? or maybe you already have one.

Tell us about your experiences in the comment section below.

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So You Want A French Bulldog - 11 Interesting Facts - Black & White Frenchie sitting.

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