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| Physical Characteristics:
Weight: 16-28 lbs.
Energy Level: Moderate
| Health & Longevity: 11-14 years
Breeders screen for the following conditions:
| The American Kennel Club recognizes the French Bulldog in the following colors:
| Frenchies can also be found in these colors:
Like other short-nosed (brachycephalic) breeds, the French Bulldog can experience challenges navigating everyday life. They cannot tolerate temperature extremes; their short coat provides no protection from cold, wet weather, and their shortened muzzles and heavy bodies make it difficult for them to cool themselves in warmer temperatures; high humidity makes this even more difficult. Protection from the cold during walks is easily provided with a coat; however, being housed outdoors is not recommended. In higher temperatures, these dogs must be given a cool spot with free access to water. Exercise, including walks, must be provided only during early morning or nighttime when temperatures are lower. For those living near or frequently visiting bodies of water, care must be taken to ensure the safety of your dog. With heavy bodies, short legs and shortened nasal passages, Frenchies are notoriously bad swimmers, and must be outfitted with a properly fitted flotation device.
Common health issues typically screened for by breeders include those to check for spine, knee and hip issues as well as eyes, hearing and heart. Allergies are also common, which can express themselves in many ways; ear infections, skin itchiness and chewing, hot spots, and gas. It is recommended that a harness be used to avoid putting any additional pressure on the airway.
Temperament & Train-ability
The Frenchie, as they are affectionately called by their devotees, are a fun-loving, social and sometimes mischievous dog, always entertaining their families with their goofy ways. A consummate companion, Frenchies relish in the company of their people, and are not recommended for long hours alone. An easy-going nature is common, which makes them a good choice for first-time dog owners. Sociable by nature, Frenchies are often strangers to no one, enjoying the company of children, other dogs, and strangers as well as their beloved family, which they shower with affection. Because temperaments do vary widely within a breed, careful selection for compatibility is recommended.
Frenchies are often good companions for children – small in stature while sturdy in construction, their playful and even tempered nature are usually a good combination for children. However, dogs and children should always be supervised, as both are not always the best decision-makers. Children should be taught appropriate, gentle handling, and how to know when a dog needs a break. Dogs need to be carefully introduced to children to be sure they are comfortable, and removed from situations that stress them.
Frenchies can make good apartment dogs due to their size, lower exercise needs, and the fact that they are not typically big barkers. Usually decent watch dogs, they’ll sound the alarm for something they feel needs attention, but are not prone to endless barking. However, some can indeed be protective over their homes and people, so good, positive socialization and training are important.
While not stars of obedience competitions, Frenchies are quite trainable. As long as the process is kept fun, your Frenchie will be eager to learn and do whatever you have the desire to teach them. In fact, because the process of training with positive reinforcement is so enriching to the bond you share, it may surprise you what your dog can learn. However, using heavy corrections can cause Frenchies to shut down or set in their heels, earning them a reputation of being “stubborn”. If they think it’s their idea, you’re golden; if you feel a dog should do something just “because I said so”, you may butt heads and experience more frustration than necessary.
Sporting an easy-care short, smooth coat, Frenchies are relatively easy to groom. Still, they do have some needs that, left unaddressed, can lead to problems down the road. Care should be taken to keep any wrinkles and skin folds clean and dry or they can become havens for bacteria to grow. Ears must be cleaned regularly, and toenails will need to be trimmed, as most Frenchies will not wear their nails down even if walked on concrete. Teeth should also be checked and cleaned as necessary.
The distinctive bat ear of the Frenchie gives them a unique silhouette and charming expression. It might have been lost during the breed’s development as many in Europe favored the rose ear of the English Bulldog. American fanciers, however, loved the look of the bat ear and worked to preserve it.
Most Frenchies will eat about 1-1.5 cups of food per day, fed in two meals; free feeding should be avoided as Frenchies can easily become overweight. However, that amount can vary depending on age, activity level, and type of food fed. A high quality diet will produce the best results, but one should avoid a high protein diet as these are typically better suited to more active dogs and can cause problems for Frenchies. Since Frenchies can experience food-related allergies and sensitivities, some experimentation to find a food that works may be needed if sensitivities surface.
Regular exercise is important to keep your Frenchie from becoming overweight. The good news is that a nice walk around the neighborhood is usually sufficient. Clean, fresh water should always be available.
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Purchase costs reflect a rare breed in high demand that produce small litters. Add to that the inability of French Bulldogs to breed or whelp unaided, and one can expect to pay $3,000-$4,000 for a puppy from a breeder. Although sometimes purchase costs are less than this, one should carefully consider the potential health issues and related veterinary expenses when health screenings have not been done. Wait lists are oftentimes long, causing many to search for alternative sources. Breed rescue groups provide screening and rehoming of dogs that, through no fault of their own, have lost their homes. Adoption fees vary, with an average fee of $400-$700, sometimes as high as $1200. If you are interested in one of the “rare” colors, be prepared to spend as much as $15,000 to $30,000! Be cautious when breeders advertise “rare” colors, as it is often nothing more than a marketing ploy to charge a high amount. Also, many colors are indeed rare, with good reason; nature favors survival of the fittest, and many rare colors come with other genetic issues.
If you have your heart set on a particular color and gender, your search for a Frenchie just got that much more difficult. By being open to other options, you may find the dog of your dreams, even if it’s in a different package than you imagined.
With airline restrictions on flying brachycephalic dogs, it may be necessary to add considerable travel expenses and driving time to get your new dog home. As with many purchases, the initial purchase price of any dog is only the beginning of the money you’ll spend. Buying supplies, food, and regular vet visits all add up; even in well-bred dogs, it is common for Frenchies to have a fairly high need for regular vet care.
Paws ‘N’ Pups Ranking
Paws ‘N’ Pups ranks every breed out of 4 with 1 being easiest to integrate into your life and 4 being the toughest – The lower the ranking the better.
Ranking takes into account a few basic factors such as cost, skill level needed, high vs low maintenance, and how critical regular training is to success. The Frenchie rates 2.5, primarily due to their cost and their physical challenges. They are usually fairly low maintenance, and do not typically require ongoing training to be happy.
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