From my experience of being an owner, French Bulldogs are good pets. These little dogs make great companions. There loveable, lively, and very affectionate dogs. In this post I’m going to go into the history, characteristics, health, care, and nutrition.
History of the French Bulldog
So going way back, the French Bulldog actually descends from a greek tribe called the Molossians. These dogs were very useful in the ancient world. They were very popular in England and over time through breeding they developed into the English Mastiff.
In England during the time of Queen Anna, there was a cruel sport called bull baiting. This sport happened on a weekly basis for entertainment. It consisted of a bull tied to an iron stake in a pit and a dog or dog’s would have to try and immobilize the bull.
In this bloodsport there were particular dogs bred for this, starting with the English Mastiff, but the English mastiff was considered to be too slow, so they cross-bred the English mastiff with a greyhound which resulted in the English bulldog designed for bull baiting.
Thankfully this horrible bloodsport was outlawed in the house of commons in 1835 down to the cruelty to animals act being passed.
With bull baiting being outlawed this led to the English bulldog being unemployed although they were still used as guard dogs. Over time they were domesticated and crossbred to be a lot smaller.
They were eventually cross-bred with terriers to become a toy-sized bulldog and a great companion. They had the natural instinct of the terriers who were expert ratters back in those days.
The toy bulldog became very popular with the English lacemakers in Nottingham. With the English lacemaking industry changing operations the lace makers had to find work and that resulted in moving to France with their toy bulldogs. The toy bulldogs were then bred with a ratter and became what they are today a Frenchie.
French Bulldogs Character
I can’t say all french bulldogs have the same characteristics but from my experience with Buster he is a very loyal, affectionate, and intelligent dog. Here’s my experience and research of being an owner.
- Shedding- French bulldogs do shed but not as much as other breeds of dog.
- Barking – Not the loudest of dogs but they will soon let you know if something is not right.
- Intelligence -Very good to train and I would say Frenchies are quick learners.
- Affection- I’ve met a few Frenchies over the years and most like a bit of fuss.
- Friendly- Very friendly dogs, always happy to see you.
- Exercise – Levels of exercise are moderate.
- Playfulness- Frenchies love a bit of playtime, Busters more than happy most days to play fetch and tug of war.
- Energy level- Frenchies do tire and you will know when they’ve had enough.
- Pet Friendly – Very friendly with the right atmosphere and training in place.
Caring for a French Bulldog
French Bulldogs have a lovely short smooth coat that requires grooming, but not too much which is a bonus. The shedding of their coat and dander is relatively low compared to other dogs, so you won’t have to worry about fur being all over the house, saying that they do shed a bit more during the warmer weather seasons.
You may want to consider getting into a routine of grooming and possibly bathing depending on when and where you walk once a week. Not only will the bathing keep your dog smelling good you can use a nice dog shampoo to treat your dog’s fur and replenish their skin.
Also when bathing Its important to make sure to dry your Frenchies face wrinkles to stop bacterial infections.
Another good routine is to wipe their eyes and keep them clean. I usually do this twice a week because there is a buildup of gunk sometimes, which they struggle to remove on their own, I use cotton wool or a soft warm sponge.
This also prevents them from trying to remove it themselves which isn’t too nice because this can end up with them wiping their eye muck, usually all over your leg or my dogs personal favorite wiping and digging his face into the sofa.
When it comes to your Frenchies nails you can clip and cut them yourselves if you feel confident enough. I know that if you cut the nail too short this can lead to bleeding.
I personally don’t cut my dog’s nails as we do walk a lot on the pavements which results in filling and keeping those nails down, as well as walking on the pavement we do get them cut at a dog groomers.
From time to time you may notice your dog doing the bum shuffle. This is where your dog will sit and plant their bum on the floor and then drag themselves along. It may look funny but its actually a sign that their anal glands are full and need emptying.
When they start showing this behavior you should book a vet’s appointment and then it is just a simple 10-minute process at the vet’s, this will result in a much happier dog.
Also, let’s not forget about caring for your French Bulldogs oral hygiene, you should try and take action to prevent gum infections and dental problems, you can achieve this if possible by brushing your dog’s teeth with a dog’s toothbrush and paste twice a week, I personally struggle with this but I do try, also there are dental dog chews on the market which do help.
When it comes to exercise for your Frenchie they do love walks and playing, but being a small dog they don’t need too much, and being a brachycephalic breed you have to keep an eye out they don’t overheat due to their small nasal passage.
I usually go for two 20 minute walks each day and that seems plenty for my dog. He’s a good weight and seems fairly fit.
Training Your Frenchie
I found training pretty straight forward, as soon as we got buster I got into a daily routine and made sure from a young age.
I gave him quality time and engagement which helped him massively to respond to action and words that he understands and now knows what we want him to do. I think his love for food and learning that he would get treats made him very easy to work with.
Saying that I think his training and obedience has made him a relaxed dog as he’s got older, also we tried to socialize him as much as possible with dogs and humans from a pup, which I think has helped.
I can’t say all Frenchies are the same, I think it’s down to giving them your time and their environment.
Now coming onto the food I personally give Buster one to one and a half cups of quality dry food twice a day one for breakfast and one after our walk in the evening. That being said not all dogs are the same, some exercise more than others and will need extra and some live on the couch so will need less.
Also you want to take into account age of your Frenchie and maybe metabolism , not all dogs will be the same.
You can also feed your Frenchie other alternatives, Here you can find out what’s safe and foods to avoid.
French Bulldog colors
Frenchies have five original colors for their breed which are white, brindle, cream, fawn and black, you might be thinking I’ve seen blue Frenchies, black and tan, and there are other variations. Stay well clear of these other rarer colors they’ve been bred unethically and have known to suffer from serious health problems.
So are French Bulldogs good pets? Well if you put into consideration this loyal, charismatic, loveable, friendly, and all-round fun dog, I would say yes absolutely.
That being said you have to put into consideration that not all dogs are the same and I think what it comes down to is also the owner, how much quality time you give to your pet, playing walks and engagement is so important so if you have a happier pet I think its an easier job for sure.