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French Bulldog Facts

Origin: France
Lifespan: 10-12 years
Breed Group: Non-Sporting
Coat Type: Short and smooth
Coat Colours: Various Colours, including brindle, fawn, and white
Temperament: Adaptable, Playful, Affectionate
Height: 28-33 cm (11-13 inches)
Weight: 8-14 kg (17-31 lbs)

Introduction

The French Bulldog, a charming and affectionate purebred canine, belongs to the Non-Sporting Dog category. Typically of a medium size, this breed’s appearance and stature are influenced by its parental lineage. Known for their amiable nature, French Bulldogs are ideal for families with a more relaxed lifestyle, as they don’t demand excessive exercise. A few brisk walks and occasional park outings suffice for their exercise needs.

These endearing dogs thrive as companions, preferring indoor comfort alongside their human counterparts. The French Bulldog’s distinctive features include a snub nose, bulging eyes, and large, bat-like ears, creating an irresistibly comical appearance. However, their short noses can lead to breathing difficulties and susceptibility to heat stroke in hot weather, necessitating air-conditioned environments.

As pets, Frenchies are active and alert, displaying well-balanced dispositions. They are not overly rowdy dogs, and are smart and wonderfully affectionate. French Bulldogs are an excellent and attractive companion breed, and a perfect size for people living in smaller spaces, like apartments. They get on exceptionally well with children, and with people who are disabled or elderly. If you seek a small, low-maintenance companion dog, the French Bulldog could be your perfect choice.

A Brief History

The French Bulldog’s journey from the lively cafés of Paris to the welcoming homes of Dublin and the tranquil seaside towns of Cork is a fascinating one. Originating from small bulldog-type dogs brought by Nottingham lace workers to France, they quickly won hearts. With their distinctive bat ears and cheerful disposition, it’s no wonder that they soon made their way across the sea to Ireland, where they found an equally passionate fanbase.

In the early 1800s, British Bulldog fanciers in England began to work on cultivating a toy version of the breed, seeking to create a miniature bulldog weighing around 4.5 kg. Their efforts were successful enough for Toy Bulldogs to appear in competitions around 1860.

Many small breeds, including Toy Bulldogs, became the pets of choice among textile workers, who valued the companionship of the little dogs in relieving the tedium of sewing, weaving, and lace-making for hours at a time.

The living and working relationship between British textile workers and their lap dogs was disrupted by the Industrial Revolution when power looms and other machinery displaced skilled artisans. Lace makers from Nottingham, Birmingham, and Sheffield in particular, chose to migrate across the English Channel to France where the superior superior quality of their delicate work was still valued.

Of course, they took their dogs with them. Many of these lace workers settled in Normandy where their dogs, les petites bouledogues, attracted attention. Soon the animals were popular among the working class of Paris, and found themselves ensconced as shop dogs — again for their abilities as “ratters.”

As French fanciers became intrigued with the breed, they did not like the exaggerated features the little dogs inherited from their larger British Bulldog antecedents, so they began to refine them by crossing them with other breeds such as pugs and various French terrier breeds.

With continued refinement of the characteristics considered desirable by their French fans, Toy Bulldogs enjoyed a steady growth of popularity. The animals became so distinct from their British counterparts they were routinely referred to as le Bouledogue Français.Consequently, Consequently, the first French Bulldog Club was formed in 1880; with the first official breed registrations in 1885.

By the early 20th century, the little dogs achieved international status, and even began to be re-imported to Britain.

The French Bulldog: Did You Know?

  • Originating during the Industrial Revolution, these dogs travelled from England to France for further development.
  • In France, they’re affectionately called “Bouledogue Français” and often referred to as “Frenchie.”
  • Their unique posture, with splayed back legs, earned them the nickname “frog dog.”
  • In the UK, they are sometimes called “pig dogs” due to their short, squat appearance and snorting noises.
  • Known as “a clown in the cloak of a philosopher” for their endearing and comical nature.
  • Highly popular in New York due to their small size and low exercise needs.
  • A French Bulldog on the Titanic was insured for a significant $750 (£532) in 1912.
  • Ranked among the top 5 most popular dog breeds from 1909 to 1914.
  • Known for being gassy and snoring, making them endearingly quirky.
  • Many celebrities, including Coco Chanel, Reese Witherspoon, Hugh Jackman, Leonardo DiCaprio, and more, have chosen French Bulldogs as their companions.

French Bulldog Puppies

There’s an unparalleled joy in witnessing the playful antics of French Bulldog puppies. Their pudgy faces, characteristic bat ears (even if a tad oversized on their little heads), and a boundless zest for life make them irresistibly charming.

In Ireland, the demand for Frenchie puppies has surged. Potential owners, however, are always advised to engage with reputable breeders who emphasize ethical breeding, puppy health, and early socialization. These initial stages are crucial for ensuring that the puppy grows up to be a well-rounded and healthy adult.

A French Bulldog puppy should never be removed from their mother any earlier than 8 weeks of age (at the very earliest), and leaving them until they are 10 to 16 weeks of age is preferred. This will give them the extra time they need to learn important life skills from the mother dog, including eating solid food and grooming themselves.

Also, a puppy left amongst their litter mates for a longer period of time will learn better socialization skills. Because dogs are descendants of wolves they are pack animals and prefer company, whether human beings or other dogs, to being alone. Without social contact, they can become depressed and behave badly.

Size and Weight

French Bulldogs are a compact breed:

  1. Males – Typically weighing between 9-12 kg with a height ranging from 27-31 cm.
  2. Females – Usually lighter at 8-11 kg and stand about 24-28 cm tall.

Coat

The Frenchie’s coat is smooth, short, and shiny, requiring minimal grooming. Their skin is soft and loose, especially at the head and shoulders, forming wrinkles.

French Bulldog Colours

They come in a variety of shades, from fawn, brindle, and white to more exotic and rare colours like blue, chocolate, and lilac.

Brindle is the dominant standard colour of the breed. Brindle is a stripy pattern of hairs which can range in colour from deep copper red to pale cream or an admix of lighter hairs.

The piebald coat colour is a white coat with patches of brindle, fawn or cream; sometimes the patches are outlined by black hairs, which is the handiwork of the black-masked genetics.

Merle

Some more rare colours are created by mutations, such as merle, or by a “dilute” gene which modifies the standard colours. These are white (a piebald that is absent of colour patches), a blue or blue fawn (which are diluted standard coat colours), or a black and tan (origin in this breed uncertain).

Blue

The blue coat is a disqualifying colour for showing, worldwide. Blue French Bulldogs are sold at twice the price as a dog with a legal coat colour. Because some breeders are promoting “blues”, it has created a volatile and controversial topic. Ethical and conservative breeders now do DNA testing to be sure their bloodline is free of this colour gene.

Popular French Bulldog Crosses

Breeding French Bulldogs is extremely difficult due to their physical conformation. Most pups are delivered by Caesarian. For this reason, there are really no recognized or sanctioned crosses.

Although you will see the following mixes advertised, and many are incredibly adorable, always have a French Bulldog cross evaluated for potential health problems before you adopt one.

Many of these crossbred dogs have much shorter lifespans and an unpredictable range of health issues.

  • American French Bull Terrier (x American Pit Bull Terrier)
  • American French Bulldog (x American Bulldog)
  • Faux Frenchbo Bulldog (x Boston Terrier)
  • French Bull Tzu (x Shih Tzu)
  • French Bull Weiner (x Dachshund)
  • French Bullhuahua (x Chihuahua)
  • French Bulloxer (x Boxer)
  • French Min (x Miniature Pinscher)
  • Frenchie-Pei (Chinese Shar Pei)
  • Frenchie Pug (x Pug)
  • Frengle (x Beagle)
  • Miniature French Bull Terrier (x Miniature Bull Terrier)
  • Miniature French Schnauzer (x Miniature Schnauzer)

Temperament and Personality

Although affable and adaptable, French Bulldogs do demand attention from their humans. They don’t do well left alone for long periods of time and are happiest when they have the constant attention of their family or solo human. It’s common for Frenchies to be referred to as “little clowns.” These dogs truly do seem to possess a sense of humor and they’re never happier than when they’re being loved and loving someone in return. It’s hard to find a better lap dog and best canine friend than a French Bulldog.

With Kids and Other Dogs

The Frenchie’s lovable and playful disposition makes them great companions for children who have been taught to be kind and respectful to animals. French Bulldogs are also companionable with other animals that are willing to play with them.

For cats and some older dogs that would prefer to be left alone, an enthusiastic French Bulldog can be a huge nuisance.

Some Frenchies are territorial and may show aggression toward already-established cats that have their own sense of territoriality. Make sure that all interactions are supervised until a new status quo is in place.

Reasons to Adopt a French Bulldog

  • French Bulldogs are excellent family pets. They are extremely affectionate and love to spend as much time as possible with their humans.
  • They do well in small spaces, like apartments, and do not need a great deal of exercise.
  • They get along well with children, as well as people who are elderly and disabled.
  • Frenchies typically interact well with other pets, but prefer other animals that will play with them.
  • French Bulldogs are intelligent and learn quickly (although they can be stubborn).
  • They are good watchdogs, but tend to only bark when they have something to “report” to their owners.
  • Low-maintenance in terms of grooming and compared to many other types of dog, odour is close to non-existent.
  • Unlike English Bulldogs, Frenchies do not drool nor slobber. A few have trouble picking up kibble when eating but this is only if a mouth is wry or extremely undershot.

Reasons NOT to Adopt a French Bulldog

  • These dogs are flatulent, the odour can be considerable and frequent (although this can be reduced through a better diet). They also tend to belch loudly after they’ve eaten.
  • Although Frenchies are a shorthaired breed, they can shed a great deal. Note that fawns shed more than brindles as they have a softer more plush undercoat.
  • Many French Bulldogs suffer from environmental and product-based allergies.
  • They are susceptible to heat stress and do not react well to severe cold.
  • Most French Bulldogs can’t swim.
  • As breeds go, Frenchies can be incredibly stubborn.
  • They are difficult dogs to housebreak.
  • Many suffer from severe separation anxiety, and although they are not known to bark excessively, they can emit a very distinctive and loud “yodel.”
  • They may annoy other pets, especially those that are older, or cats that don’t want to play with them.
  • The breed is associated with a number of health issues.

Popularity of French Bulldogs in Ireland

The rise of the French Bulldog in Ireland has been nothing short of meteoric:

  1. Ideal for Urban Living: Given their compact size and relatively minimal exercise needs, they’ve become favourites among city dwellers in places like Dublin, Limerick, and Cork.
  2. Endearing Personality: Known for being affectionate, alert, and downright adorable, the Frenchie’s personality is one that the warm-hearted Irish can’t resist.
  3. Celebrities & Influence: Several Irish celebrities, charmed by the breed, have contributed to the Frenchie’s popularity by making them their companions.
  4. Community Building: The establishment of French Bulldog clubs and meets in Ireland showcases the depth of the relationship between the Irish and this lovable breed.

French Bulldog for Sale in Ireland

Given their surge in popularity, there has been a marked increase in demand for French Bulldogs in Ireland:

Buyers: Ensure that you are connecting with breeders who are dedicated to the health and well-being of their Frenchies. Always prioritize breeders who provide health clearances and allow visits to meet the puppy’s parents.

Sellers: Providing a transparent account of the puppy’s lineage, health, and any other pertinent details will ensure that the Frenchie finds a suitable and loving home.