BREED SPOTLIGHT

Breed Spotlight: French Bulldog

3 min read Sep 28, 2022

French Bulldog Quick Stats

Lifespan: 11 – 14 years

Weight: Under 28 lbs.

Height: 11 – 13 inches

Do I Shed?: Yes

Personality: Playful, smart, and adaptable

Common Health Problems: Cherry eye, cataracts, and skin allergies

French Bulldog: How Do I Look?

Also known as a Frenchie, the French bulldog is a smaller counterpart to the standard bulldog. It has large, bat ears that stand straight up, round eyes, and a flat-like face that gives it an alert expression. Frenchies make excellent companions and watch dogs because of their small size and attentiveness.

French Bulldog Size

The adult French bulldog shouldn’t exceed 28 pounds unless you overfeed them. They can range between 11 to 13 inches tall, which puts them in the toy dog category versus an active, sporting dog.

Coat Type and Colors

Frenchies today come in a wide variety of colors, including lilac and blue, but these exotic colors are hard to find. Here are the standard colors for French bulldogs recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC):³

  • Brindle
  • Cream
  • Fawn
  • White
  • Brindle and white
  • Fawn and white

In addition to these colors, a French bulldog may have markings on their coat or face that are black, white, brindled, or piebald (irregular patches of two colors).

Shedding and Grooming

French bulldogs are moderate shedders who are easy to groom. Simply brush them with a medium-bristle brush once a week after a good bath.

Frenchies have tight folds around their ears, eyes, and noses that need special attention during bathing sessions to avoid skin infections. If you’re pressed for time, a wet washcloth will help to keep your dog’s skin free from bacteria. Make sure you dry their face and body thoroughly to avoid bacteria.

Ears

Frenchies have round, pointy ears that stand straight up, giving them an expressive face.

Ear infections are common in bulldogs due to the narrowness of their ear canals, which creates a warm, moist environment that yeast and bacteria love. Special care is needed to keep their ears clean so pet owners can avoid costly veterinary bills.

Drooling Level

Drooling isn’t a typical Frenchie trait, but some can be a bit drool-prone. If that’s a concern, this breed may not be for you.

French Bulldog: Personality Traits

What My Adoption Bio Would Say:

I love everything life has to offer: eating, playing, sleeping, and hanging with my people are all my favorite things to do. I may not be the best hiking companion, but I hope you’ll love me as much as I’ll love you!

Behavior

Frenchies have an easy-going personality and are great for laid-back families that can give them plenty of love and attention. The French bulldog temperament can also manifest as possessiveness over their family and they could become aggressive.

Trainability

Positive reinforcement training works best for Frenchies because they are eager to please, but some do have a stubborn streak. Consider puppy training classes if you struggle to train your French bulldog.

Exercise Needs

A French bulldog does not require a significant amount of exercise due to their size. You should walk them once per day to prevent obesity. They enjoy a good play session, chasing balls, and playing tug of war. Don’t expect this pup to keep up on morning runs but they will be happy at the dog park with you. Frenchies can become tiny couch potatoes if you leave them to their own devices, so make time to get them up and to move!

Note that Frenchies cannot swim and should never be left unattended near a tub, pool, or body of water as exercise. They can drown due to their short legs and their top-heavy body.

Are French Bulldogs Good with Kids?

The Frenchie is very good with children. These bundles of energy will keep up with the most rambunctious kid while being calm enough for solemn teenagers. As long as you take the time to socialize your Frenchie, they can make wonderful family dogs.

Are French Bulldogs Good with Other Pets?

Socialization is key with French bulldogs and other pets. French bulldogs aren’t known to fuss with other dogs in public, but at home, they can become territorial if allowed. Take extra care to socialize your pets and you’ll have close fur buddies in no time.

Barking Level

Excessive barking is generally not a problem in this breed. If your Frenchie barks, it is only to get your attention or to warn you someone is coming.

French Bulldog History

As their name suggests, French bulldogs are French dogs. These bulldogs were popularly sold by breeders from the United Kingdom to French upper-class women who enjoyed the smaller, toy-sized bulldogs because of their fashionability and upbeat attitudes.³ The variety became associated with wealth, the upper crust, and the bourgeois.

Nowadays, the Frenchie is still a relatively expensive puppy to purchase but it can be found in regular, working class homes. Their small size makes them wonderful pets to keep in apartments, townhomes, and generally small living spaces. Unlike other bulldogs, this breed looks less grumpy due to their large expressive eyes. No matter how much money you make, French bulldogs love their pet parents equally.

Common French Bulldog Mixes

As you can imagine, dog breeders love to mix French bulldogs with other breeds. There are many reasons for this but you can bank on a Frenchie mix to be fun-loving, compact, and ready to play. Here is a handful of the popular mixes you can find on the market:

  • Frenchton: A Boston terrier mixed with a French bulldog
  • Frug: A pug mixed with a French bulldog
  • French Bulhuahua: A Chihuahua mixed with a French bulldog
  • Froodle: A poodle mixed with a French bulldog
  • Frengle: A beagle mixed with a French bulldog
  • French Bull Tzu: A Shih tzu mixed with a French bulldog

Be sure to chat with the breeder regardless of which one of these wonderful mixes you choose. Every animal is an individual with unique genetics. It is your responsibility to find out as much as you can before you bring the puppy home.

French Bulldog Health Problems

 French bulldogs may experience various health issues, including:3,4

How Pet Insurance Can Help French Bulldogs

Sadly, French bulldogs come with a handful of health issues. They commonly suffer from heatstroke, allergies, skin conditions, and orthopedic issues caused by their body structure. Frenchies need regular veterinary care to check their hearts, eyes, and back. These bills can add up over time without a dog insurance policy.

Brachycephalic Syndrome

For example, the Frenchie can develop brachycephalic syndrome, which is a result of their short snouts, narrow nostrils, and elongated soft palates. This can lead to difficulty exercising, overheating, trouble breathing, or a full collapse of their airways. A MetLife dog insurance policy may help cover the cost of diagnosis or treatment for the brachycephalic syndrome.1,2

Thinking of bringing home a new puppy? For more information on how pet insurance can help your French bulldog, check out our guide on How Pet Insurance Works. And remember, signing up for dog insurance while your Frenchie is a puppy is smart as it can ensure your dog has coverage before something becomes a preexisting condition.

Protect your French Bulldog

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal, or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC. 

³ “French Bulldog,” American Kennel Club

⁴ “French Bulldog: Recommend Tests,” OFA: The Canine Health Information Center

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