French bulldogs or “Frenchies” are one of the most playful, loving, and hilarious dog breeds out there. Despite being small in size, they have such big personalities that will make anyone adore them at first glance.
If you’re thinking of adopting a French bulldog, there are many things you need to learn about this breed first.
So, what sets French Bulldogs apart from other dog breeds? What sets French Bulldogs apart from other dog breeds is their distinctive appearance as they are compact in size with a muscular build. They are also known to have amazing personalities and they get along well with children which makes them the perfect companions to all kinds of families.
Keep reading to learn more information about the French Bulldog’s origin, appearance, and temperament as well as some interesting historical facts about it.
13 French Bulldogs Facts and Quirks You Need to Know
1. They Don’t Actually Come from France
Despite the name, the French bulldog breed did not originate in France. It actually came from England, specifically the city of Nottingham.
When English workers lost their jobs following the Industrial Revolution, many of them fled to France bringing the bulldog breed with them.
Eventually, the breed’s popularity in France quickly surpassed its popularity in its native country until it became known as “French Bulldog” or more commonly “Frenchie”
I have discussed this in greater depth in my post that answers are french bulldogs and English bulldogs related here, so make sure to check it out to learn more about the fascinating history of the Frenchie.
2. They Are a Brachycephalic Breed
French Bulldogs have brachycephalic skulls which means they have flat faces with short muzzles. The only part of the dog’s face that sticks out is its lower jaw which makes it one of the breeds that are most affected by underbites.
Having an underbite is actually considered one of the key characteristics of the breed’s official standard that many owners seek as it makes the dog appear strong and fierce.
3. Their Ears Come in Two Shapes
The French Bulldog’s ears come in two main shapes which are bat shape and rose shape.
Early in the breed’s history, the rose-shaped ears were more common, but currently, the bat-shaped ears are more common. That is because breeders decided that bat-shaped ears should be considered the breed’s standard as they are more distinctive.
Since then, rose-shaped ears on French Bulldogs became a disqualifying characteristic in dog shows and competition. You can learn more about their ears in this article on French Bulldogs’ floppy ears.
4. Their Tails Come in Three Types
The French Bulldog’s tails in three main types which are straight, corkscrew, and long,
The straight tail is characterized by being short, broad at the base, and tapered down to a triangle-shaped point. It’s very common and fits the breed’s standard the most which makes it sought after by pet parents who want to take their French Bulldogs to dog shows and competitions.
The corkscrew tail slopes downward giving the appearance of being wrapped at the base. It’s flexible in newborn dogs, but as the dog grows older, it will stiffen into a hard, fixed, bun-like shape which might make it difficult to clean. It’s the most common type and often considered the most adorable.
The long tail is the rarest type and is often considered to be faulty by some breeders as it does not fit the breed’s standard. However, it can be healthier compared to other types as it’s more flexible and makes wagging easier for the dog.
5. They Are Extremely Sensitive to Cold Temperatures
French Bulldogs are extremely sensitive to cold weather because of the way their bodies are built.
- They are incapable of regulating their core body temperature as their bodies tend to lose heat faster than they can produce it.
- They are a brachycephalic breed which means that the shape of their skulls and muzzles makes it hard for them to warm up the cold air they inhale.
- They have short legs which means their bellies will frequently come in contact with the cold ground when they’re walking.
- They have short coats that don’t offer much protection against cold weather and allow their bodies to lose heat quicker.
So, it’s important to look out for signs that your French Bulldog is feeling cold and take the proper action to prevent your dog from getting sick. These signs include refusing to go outside during winter, lifting its paws off the ground when outside, feeling lethargic, shivering, and barking or whining frequently.
Check out this guide to when should french bulldogs wear winter coats (and boots) to keep them cold during the cold weather.
6. They Have Big Personalities
French Bulldogs have so many personality traits that make them fun and exciting to be around.
- They are highly intelligent and fast learners which makes them easy to train.
- They are energetic and outgoing so they tend to enjoy exercising and playing around.
- They can be loyal, friendly, and affectionate if they receive proper training and socialization early on in their life.
- They are always eager to please their owners and they love being the center of their attention.
- They are not inherently aggressive but they are territorial and protective which means they might become aggressive if they feel threatened or provoked.
7. They Are Great with Children and Other Pets
French Bulldogs make great companions for all kinds of families whether they have children or other pets. As long as they are properly socialized and trained when they are young, they will get along very well with others.
However, you still need to be careful when it comes to leaving your children alone around your dog and supervising all interactions because accidents can still happen.
8. They Are Low Maintenance When It Comes to Grooming
French Bulldogs do not require a lot of effort when it comes to their grooming as they have very short hair and their bodies produce natural oils that protect their skin and keep it smooth.
To properly groom your English bulldog, you only need to brush it a few times a week to keep the shedding under control. You also need to bathe them just once a month or once every 6 months.
Make sure to use a soft brush and a dog-friendly shampoo with no chemicals so you wouldn’t irritate your dog’s skin.
9. They Are Not Good Swimmers
Although French Bulldogs are energetic and love exercising, there are some exercises that you should not let them do, and that includes swimming.
They are at higher risk of drowning because they have short legs that make it difficult for them to move in the water. They also have short muzzles that cause them to have several respiratory issues.
10. They Were the Most Popular Dog Breed during the 19th Century in the United States
In 1898, the French Bulldog Club of America rented a ballroom at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City for a special breed event. The event received a lot of attention from the media causing the French Bulldogs to quickly rise in popularity among Americans.
That popularity reached its peak in 1913 when 100 French Bulldogs competed in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
11. They Are Currently The 11th Most Popular Breed in the United States
The French Bulldog has been in and out of the spotlight over the decades, but it has never exactly faded into obscurity.
They recently experienced a remarkable resurgence in popularity according to the AKC’s statistics. In 2003 they ranked at 54th, in 2008 they were at 26th, in 2014 they were at 14th, and currently, they are the 11th most popular breed in the United States
12. They Won Best Breed at Westminster Multiple Years in a Row
The title for Best of Breed was held by the remarkable French Bulldog Ch. Bouquet Nouvelle Ami for 8 years in a row during the 1950s. The winning streak only came to an end when the dog retired.
However, Amanda West, the dog’s owner, continued to win the title with her other French Bulldogs for the next 10 years.
13. They Are Beloved by Many Celebrities
French Bulldogs are a favorite breed for many celebrities including John Legend, Madonna, Carrie Fisher, and Lady Gaga. You can see these showing up wherever their celebrity owners go, including on the red carpet.
You can also see them in lots of movies and TV shows from the past decade or so such as “From Hell” (2001), “Bringing Down the House” (2003), “Secondhand Lions” (2003), “Due Date” (2010), and of course, Modern Family “2009-2021”.
What Is the Average Lifespan of French Bulldogs?
The average lifespan of a French bulldog is about 12 years but some dogs might live as long as 14 or 15 years. It mainly depends on the living conditions of the dog. So, if you want your dog to live longer, you need to take good care of it by providing it with regular exercise, a healthy diet, and most importantly affection.
What Is the Official Breed Standard for French Bulldog?
The official breed standard for French Bulldogs includes having blocky heads, bat-shaped ears, flat faces with short muzzles, undershot jaws with the lower set of teeth poking out, rounder chests, and short wrapped tails These characteristics are what qualify in dog competitions as they determine whether the dog is purebred.
What Are Some Health Problems French Bulldogs Can Have?
Some health problems that French bulldogs are prone to have include allergies, skin conditions, respiratory problems, hip dysplasia, and eye diseases. They may also be prone to obesity if not exercised enough. You need to take your dog for regular checkups at the vet to make sure it’s healthy.
What Are the Common Behavior Problems of French Bulldogs?
Some behavior problems that French Bulldogs may have include chewing on objects, being too clingy, developing separation anxiety, pulling on their leash, jumping up on people, and playing too rough. You need to properly train and discipline your dog at a young age to prevent all of these problems.
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