French Bulldog: dog breed appearance, character, training, care, health


The French bulldog breed, also known as the Frenchie , is pleasant in nature, very friendly, affectionate and easy to care for. This character makes this pet more popular every day around the world. The characteristics of this dog, of small proportions and somewhat plump, make its appearance endearing. At Petlifey, we explain everything about the French bulldog.


Characteristics of the French Bulldog breed

It should be noted among the characteristics of the frenchie that despite being a small dog, it has a robust body and a compact structure. Solid bones and strong musculature. Despite its small and somewhat chubby proportions, it is an active, energetic and alert dog.

As for the character of the Frenchie, to say that It is very sociable, cheerful, playful and awake, It is particularly affectionate with its master and also with children. Outgoing and sociable, It is a very affectionate and sweet dog.

Let’s get to know it in a little more detail and get to know what the character of the French bulldog is like and what its physical characteristics are :

Character of the French Bulldog breed

Its growing fame is mainly due to the fact that the French bulldog is an excellent companion dog, of a pleasant nature, very friendly and easy to care for, as it does not require great attention under normal circumstances.

On the other hand, It is not only enthusiastic, playful and always ready for action and play, but is also characterized by being neither loud nor biting.

Also, it is probably one of the most comical breeds that exist, as it is prone to very curious gestures and attitudes that lead it to be recognized as a true outgoing and sociable canine clown.

It gets along very well with strangers and adores its family, with whom It is close, sweet and always complicit. In fact, it is an ideal dog for families with children, as it likes to play with them and never tires of doing so. It is patient, complicit and collaborative, and you just have to be careful.

In addition to the precaution of giving the little ones in the house the appropriate indications about how they should treat their dog and making them aware that the small pet is not a toy, but a living being with feelings and with certain rights that must be respected. Avoiding that they treat and use it as if it were a stuffed animal or any other object.

With other dogs It also has a more than acceptable relationship, although It can be a bit quarrelsome at times, but never to the extent that this becomes a problem.

Basically, it is a dog that accepts the hierarchy that is set very well. If It is well educated and socialized, It does not pose any problem.

On the other hand, as It is a bit stubborn, if It is allowed to believe that It is the one who occupies the highest position in the house, then It can become somewhat aggressive towards other dogs. Especially if they are of the same sex.

  • Energy: medium / high. Active, energetic and playful, It is not a mere fancy dog, so It needs some activity.
  • Temperament: its character is enthusiastic, outgoing, sociable, affectionate and sweet, if It is very indulgent It can be stubborn and stubborn.
  • Adaptability: high. As long as you have the company of your family, you can live almost anywhere.
  • Sociability: high. It adores the members of its family nucleus, It loves to play with children and It is very sociable with strangers.
  • Health: good. You may have respiratory or joint problems.
  • Longevity: high. It lives between 12 and 15 years, but there are specimens that exceed that age.
  • Usefulness: it has always been used as a companion dog, but due to its expressiveness and its good relationship with people, it is also being used as a therapy dog.
  • Use: companion dog

Physical characteristics of the French Bulldog

  • General appearance: it is a small but quite robust dog, with a compact structure and solid bones. Active, alert and muscular, its head and face are short and flat.
  • Size: small.
  • Height at the withers: between 25 and 35 cm for males and between 25 and 35 cm for females.
  • Weight: between 8 and 14 kg for males and between 8 and 14 kg for females.
  • Origin: France.
  • Body: the upper line of the body rises progressively to the level of the loin and then descends rapidly towards the rump, which is oblique, and the birth of the tail.
  • Head: broad and square, it has a very short muzzle, with a flat and raised nose. The jaws are broad, square and strong, and the lower jaw has a slight prognathism.
  • Skull: It is broad and almost flat, with a bulging forehead. The superciliary arches are prominent and are separated by a highly developed groove between the eyes. The occipital crest is poorly developed.
  • Muzzle: The muzzle is very short and wide, and presents concentrically symmetrical skin folds that descend over the upper lip, which is thick, a little loose, hanging and joins the lower lip in the center, completely covering the teeth.
  • Nose: Broad, very short and raised, the nostrils are wide open, symmetrical and obliquely extended backwards. Despite the inclination of the nostrils and the raised nose, the animal breathes without difficulty.
  • Eyes: they are large, round, slightly protruding and with a sharp expression. Rather low and separated inserts, they are dark in color and have black eyelids.
  • Ears: medium in size, broad at the base and rounded to the point; they are covered with a fine leather and soft to the touch. They are implanted in the skull, they are rather separated from each other and they go upright with the auditory pin well deployed and directed to the front.
  • Nose-frontal depression (stop): it is very accentuated.
  • Jaws: they are wide, square and strong. The lower one has a slight prognathism and traces a wide curve.
  • Neck: short and slightly arched, no dewlap.
  • Chest: cylindrical, descending quite low. The ribs are rounded and barrel-shaped, while the lower body line has a fairly raised belly and flanks.
  • Back: it is broad and muscular, with a short and broad back.
  • Forelimbs: seen in profile and from the front, they have regular poise. The shoulders are short and thick, they have firm and visible muscles. The forearms are short and are well separated from each other. The arms , also short, are straight and muscular. Its elbows are close to its chest.
  • Hind limbs: they are strong and muscular, somewhat longer than the forelimbs, so that the croup is elevated. Seen in profile and from behind, they are vertical and have regular poise.
  • Legs: strong and with muscular and firm thighs, although not too rounded. Their hocks are quite low, neither too angular nor too straight.
  • Feet: round and small, the so-called “cat’s feet”, they have compact toes, short and thick nails, and hard, robust and black pads. Supported firmly on the ground, they are slightly deflected outwards. The rear feet are somewhat more compact. The specimens with the brindle coat have black nails , but those that have it tawny with white patches are dark.
  • Tail: short and set low, it is thick at the base but ends in a point at the extreme end. Naturally knotted or folded, it always goes below the level of the back.
  • Skin: may present folds in some areas.
  • Hair: the coat is beautiful, short, fine and smooth, it is dense and tight. It appears in fawn color, sometimes dark brindle, and with white areas that can become very large.
  • Color: there are specimens with a uniform fawn color, sometimes brindle, with some small white patches, but there are also others, equally fawn, with or without a brindle coat, in which these white patches are quite widespread. Within the fawn color all possible shades are included, from red to coffee with milk.
  • Movement: the step is loose and the extremities move parallel to the median plane of the body.
  • FCI Classification: FCI No. 101. FCI Classification GROUP 9 Companion Dogs. Section 11 Molossian of small stature.
  • Other names : Frenchie / French Bulldog / Bouledogue frangais / Franzósiche BuUdogge.

French bulldog puppy

If you are thinking of buying a French bulldog puppy or, better yet, if you want to adopt a Frenchie , you should know that with this type of small dog breed , if you act in a “permissive” way from a very young age, it is very likely that the animal ends up developing the well-known small dog syndrome .

That is, the consequent behavioral disorders that this entails (disobedience, selfishness, dominance, aggressiveness …), which can pose real problems for daily coexistence.

All this does not imply in any way that the Frenchie is a dog that is difficult to coexist, of complex training, or that it is not suitable for inexperienced owners. On the contrary, it can be ideal as a starter breed for people who have never owned a dog .

If during the puppy stage the animal is subjected to good training and, above all, extensive socialization, it is almost certain that the French bulldog will become a pleasant pet. It will be peaceful and happy with which you can go anywhere and that will not present problems to interact with strangers or with other dogs.

But sometimes, as with many other small breeds , of the so-called companion dog breeds, this dog tends to be treated somewhat “spoiled”, as if it were a child or an eternal baby, and As it is also a very nice and fun little dog, it is allowed many more whims than it should, which almost always leads to behavior problems that later require more expensive solutions and, sometimes, very difficult to achieve.


Education and training of the French Bulldog

On the contrary, the French bulldog needs to have a strong and firm owner , capable of naturally displaying solid leadership and carrying it forward with rigor. But also with a certain flexibility, without falling into laxity.

Discipline should not be confused with a heavy hand. Dogs in general, and this breed in particular, need and benefit a lot from routines , from consistent and repetitive work methods that make it clear what is required of the animal at all times and what is expected of it.

Without giving rise to misinterpretations and the possibility that the dog will choose an alternative path, choosing to do things its way.

However, it is highly recommended to always be careful to seek the advice and advice of more experienced people . As well as going to a canine center or to a work group where you can collaborate as a team with other people and other dogs. Many of whom will possibly find themselves in the same circumstances.

Sharing the experience of dog education can be very enriching, in addition to providing different points of view that sometimes lead to the solution of many small problems.


Frenchie’s diet

As has been seen, this dog is active, playful and energetic, so exercise should be part of its routine. Both to exercise your muscles and be in good physical shape, as well as to burn your excess energy and stay healthy and mentally balanced.

But, in addition, this physical activity is a fundamental mechanism to keep overweight at bay, one of the most widespread evils not only in this but in almost all current canine breeds. And the fact is that the French bulldog is crazy about food , so it has a great tendency to gain weight.

It is very important, therefore, to provide a diet rich in nutrients , which serve to keep the muscles in shape, and with the appropriate level of fat. These are essential for the proper functioning and good health of eyes, skin, hair, etc. Without an excessive intake of calories to avoid as much as possible that the animal is obese.

In addition to making the dog feel heavy, tire sooner and see reduced agility, mobility and endurance, being overweight can cause negative effects . That will undoubtedly have a direct impact on the health of the animal.

For example, the incidence of respiratory problems, which can be fatal, increases. And it exponentially increases the chances of the dog suffering from cardiovascular or joint diseases.

Therefore, the best advice to guarantee the health of the specimens of this breed is to keep them at their ideal weight using a balanced and healthy food, and subjecting them to the appropriate doses of exercise for the age and condition of each animal.


French Bulldog health and diseases

In general, this is a healthy dog ​​whose longevity exceeds the average of canine breeds, as there are numerous cases of Frenchies that live more than 15 years without apparent problems.

Even so, there are a series of conditions that are specific to this dog and that are directly related to the special conformation or morphology of the breed.

First of all, as the French bulldog is a breed whose popularity has grown dramatically in recent years, there has been a very high demand for puppies.

This has meant that in many cases some French bulldog breeders have come to use as reproducers specimens that were not the most suitable for it, since they did not meet all the desired characteristics. And they have thus become transmitters of some easily avoidable problems with a serious, responsible and rigorous selection.

This dog, for example, is brachycephalic , that is, the length of its muzzle is much smaller, in proportion, than that of the skull, and one of the most obvious consequences of this peculiar structure is that breathing difficulties often occur . Caused by a very short nasal canal .

Likewise, it is also quite common for various abnormalities to develop such as a loose palate, an excess of tissues in the throat, or an atrophied nose and nostrils , with the changes and difficulties that these conditions can cause in the larynx.

It is therefore important to take great care of everything related to the respiratory capacity of this dog and to eliminate from the breeding plans the specimens that present any of these problems.

This is so since animals that suffer from these respiratory symptoms experience great stress at minimum effort and their ability to move freely, exercise, is very limited. And even just walking when the environment is too hot or humid.

On the other hand, this small animal is also characterized by being chondrodystrophic , which means that its skeletal bone development is somewhat abnormal .

It has short vertebrae and long limbs. Which can end up leading to certain joint problems if the dog’s development is not properly cared for.

For example, on many occasions there is an inappropriate shortening of the spine that causes vertebral malformations. Even the degeneration of the invertebral discs due to excessive stress and overload. Which causes problems and serious difficulties in movement.

The Frenchie, in itself, has a short and compact body, but it keeps the correct proportions. An excessively short specimen which finds it difficult to use its limbs to their full extent, clearly and correctly. Fact that results in an erratic and deviant movement that, in turn, ends up causing joint problems of different severity.

Also, another secondary consequence caused by a short spine is a decrease in the rib cage and lung capacity. With which respiratory problems are also aggravated.Another of this dog’s weak points are its eyes , large and round. Sometimes they suffer from various conditions such as abnormal eyelid development or cataracts . And also the skin can be a source of problems. Especially in white dogs, so, in general, extreme care and cleaning of the area with wrinkles should be taken.

Despite all this, and although the description of the most common conditions of the breed may scare those who approach it for the first time, it must be reiterated that the French bulldog itself is a healthy and long-lived breed. It can live for many years in perfect condition.

The important thing is to take the precaution of always resorting to serious , responsible breeders and truly concerned about the promotion of their breed.

They never use specimens that are affected by any of these alterations. So, as far as possible, it is ensured that this problem is not passed on to future generations.

Thus, when selecting specimens of the breed, those with obvious respiratory difficulties should be avoided. Also, if they have very prominent eyes or that cannot completely close the eyelids. Observe that they do not have a too short neck or a very small nose, or that they have a too short back.

It should also be taken into account, especially those people who have in mind to raise their French bulldog sometime , that due to its special conformation, with a very large head and narrow pelvis, most of the time the deliveries of this breed must be resolved by caesarean section . This is still an added risk for both mothers and their puppies.

Once the pet is at home, the best health strategy that its owner can follow is to act preventively, visiting the veterinarian regularly .

Thus, complete the pertinent internal and external vaccination and deworming programs . Establish the pattern of regular visits in which to check the condition of the mouth, eyes, ears, skin and hair. And, keep a strict control of the evolution of your weight in the different stages of your life.


Specific care of the Frenchie breed

Generally, the French bulldog is a clean dog that does not like dirt at all. It is a real cruelty to keep them confined in a small and unsanitary place.

It is also not the most appropriate breed to live in a kennel, as it likes the permanent company of its family. However, it is well suited to living anywhere, regardless of whether it is a large country house or a small apartment in the city center.

On the other hand, if it is true that it is a companion dog, it is not for that reason a luxury animal. In other words, they are not satisfied with spending their days dozing in a small basket at the foot of the sofa and accompanying their owners to buy the newspaper.

On the contrary, it is an active breed, an athlete with a small and strong body who enjoys practicing a wide range of activities, as long as they are adapted to its physique and its possibilities.

In this sense, certain precautions with water must be observed since due to their special morphological conformation some specimens have significant difficulties swimming, which can involve serious risks to their lives.

In relation to the aesthetic care of the French bulldog, since it is a short-haired breed, its maintenance is quite simple and straightforward.

However, as it is an animal that sheds its coat almost continuously, it is very useful to give it a weekly brushing to help remove all the dead hair. Especially in those cases where the pet lives inside the house and shares most of its time with family members.

It is also important to take care of and clean the wrinkles that form on your face. It is necessary to ensure that they are always free of dirt and, as far as possible, dry. For which, special wipes, similar to those used to remove make-up, can be used without problems.

Finally, when the animal is really dirty , it can be bathed , with the precaution of drying it very well afterwards and not leaving it wet in the open. It is convenient to take advantage of the moment of the bath to check the state of the nails and cut them if necessary, taking care not to reach the fleshy part.

With these few attentions, the owners of a French bulldog will enjoy a healthy, fun and cheerful animal that will fill their lives with very special and fun moments.

In fact, due to its humour and thanks to the extraordinary connection that exists between this breed and people in general, it has stood out in recent years as an excellent therapy dog. It shares its time and spreads joy among sick children and elderly people or in situations of need.


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